Belgian Fest 2017 Happens Next Month

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Each year, the Washington Beer Commission puts on several different festivals to celebrate the diversity and excellence of Washington craft beer.  These festivals are a great way to discover new Washington breweries and to explore different craft styles that you may not be as familiar with.

It may still be a full month away, but tickets are already on sale for one of my favorite Washington Beer Commission hosted festivals: Belgian Fest 2017.  Set for 2 sessions on Saturday, January 28th, Belgian Fest 2017 will feature well over 100 different Belgian style beers from over 40 different Washington State breweries.  Featured beer styles include Tripels, Dubbels, Saisons, Wits, Abbeys and Lambics. In keeping with this unique style, all of the beers are brewed with Belgian yeast.

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Redfeather IPA Arrives This Week From Black Raven Brewing

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I hope you’ve all been having a wonderful Holiday season.  Winter officially arrived yesterday, though it feels like it’s already been here a bit longer.  To keep warm through our chilly Fall, I’ve been enjoying plenty of high octane, barrel aged beers (Lord knows, there have been enough great barrel aged releases around here lately).  I really love all those dark, strong, Winter-time beers but sometimes, even in the colder temperatures out there, my palate (and my liver) could use a break from something so heavy.

That’s where the Session IPA comes in.  Session IPAs are lower in alcohol, but still retain much of the hoppy punch you love from traditional IPAs. They’re crisp and refreshing and one the Northwest’s finest examples of the style, Redfeather Session IPA, returns tomorrow (12/23) from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).

Here is some more information about Redfeather Session IPA from Black Raven Brewing Company:

Release date: Friday, December 23rd

The Redfeather SIPA is brewed in the session IPA style. This beer presents the hop bitterness and flavor of a red IPA but in a more refreshing, lower alcohol version.

Additional crystal malts contribute the red hue and malt backbone to layer the hops onto. Hop varieties include Super Galena, Northern Brewer and Citra.

2016 GABF WINNER
Gold Medal – ESB category

ABV: 4.8%

On draft, growler fills and 22oz bottles available to go.

So, while I’m sure most of you will be digging into your cellars this Christmas to impress friends or family with a few extra special bottle selections (or just enjoying them yourself), be sure to stop by Black Raven to grab a growler or two of Redfeather Session IPA, so you and your guests have something a bit lighter and hoppier to enjoy as well.

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.

Believer Double Red Ale Returns From Ninkasi Brewing

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When I first got into craft beer, I was a big fan of Amber or Red ales.  Two of my favorites were Boont Amber from Anderson Valley and Red Tail Ale from Mendocino. Unfortunately, these days, Red Ales are often relegated to the background; pushed out of the way by many in favor of IPAs, Stouts, Porters and (more and more these days) even sours styles.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see people branching out more.  I just wish I’d see people ordering Red ales a bit more often.  I’m a fan of Ninkasi Brewing Company‘s Dawn Of The Red India Red Ale and now, another popular Red Ale is making its return from Ninkasi: Believer Double Red Ale.

Back by popular demand, Believer joins Ninkasi’s Seasonal Release Series available late December through April.  This release of Believer Double Red Ale will also benefit three different non-profit organizations.  A portion of all Believer sales will be donated to Conscious Alliance, Team River Runner, and Women Who Code through our Beer is Love program.  Your votes will help determine how the donations are allocated.

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Overhang Bourbon Imperial Porter Returns From Two Beers Brewing

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If you’re a fan of barrel aged stouts and porters then you know that Fall can be a trying time for your wallet.  Over the past couple of months, I’ve been to several different barrel aged beer releases and, by no means, was I alone at these releases.  Most had a line stretching down the street and around the corner with many people in line buying up to their allowed limit.

Well, I hope you haven’t depleted your holiday season craft beer spending limit yet, because Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is pleased to announce the return of Overhang Bourbon Imperial Porter this Friday, December 16th at The Woods taproom.

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Raven de Brett Arrives This Saturday From Black Raven

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There’s something special that brettanomyces yeast (or “Brett” for short) does to a beer.  Lambics and Gueuze style beers owe their unique flavor profiles to Brett, as do wild yeast Saisons or Farmhouse styles.

When Brett is used in a hoppy Pale Ale or IPA, however, it can impart a decidedly juicy character to the hop flavors. I’ve noticed this in the Pale Ales and IPAs I’ve had that were fermented all or in part by Brett yeast.

If you haven’t tried a Pale or IPA fermented with Brett, then this is your chance.  Coming up this Saturday, December 10th, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is releasing the next beer in their Corbeaux Series: Raven de Brett, a dry hopped Pale Ale.

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A Look Back At The Waterways Cruises/Pike Brewing Dinner Cruise

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Last Friday, December 2nd, my wife and I attended a beer tasting dinner cruise courtesy of Waterways Cruises And Events, featuring beers from Pike Brewing Company.  This is the cruise I told you about just last month, which took us around Lake Union and Lake Washington as we enjoyed 5 different Pike Brewing Company beers and enjoyed a delicious, 4-course dinner.

Apart from a few somewhat loud and annoying shipmates at the next table and a small technical difficulty involving the last beer of the evening, we had a great meal and a wonderful time.  As a special bonus that we weren’t expecting, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, founders of Pike Brewing Company, were in attendance on the cruise (as well Pike’s Jon Gores).  Charles took the time to visit each and every table, and spoke to us all at length about his passion for beer, Pike Brewing Company and the beers we would be enjoying during the cruise.

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Bourbon Aged Imperial Porter Arrives This Thursday From Schooner Exact

 

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Schooner Exact Brewing Company has been busy lately.  In addition to keeping the great beers and delicious food flowing at their 1st Avenue South location and their recent attendance at the 2016 American Craft Beer Experience Japan in Tokyo, they’ve also been busy with their latest expansion (including a new kitchen, restaurant, bar and, of course, more brewing space).  You can see a few photos of the remodel work on their Facebook page.

You can tell Winter isn’t far off at Schooner Exact, when they release Hoppy The Woodsman, which arrived just last month.  Now, with the first day of Winter just over two weeks away, Schooner Exact is ready to release their Bourbon Aged Imperial Porter this coming Thursday.

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Ivar’s Northwest Winter Beer Tasting Returns

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Ivar’s is a Seattle icon.  They’ve been around since 1938, which is a good 30 years longer than I’ve even been alive.  When was the last time you stopped by Ivar’s to enjoy a few drinks and some delicious seafood – especially their award winning Chowders?  My wife and I hadn’t been for a visit in quite a while, but stopped by the Salmon House on NE Northlake Way, my favorite Ivar’s location, just last week.

The drinks were great and the food was as good as I remember.  I also love the look of the Salmon House.  The did a major remodel on the bar about three years ago, and the results are fantastic.  If you haven’t been by that location since the remodel, you should check it out.

If you need a good excuse to drop by Ivar’s, I think I can help you with that.  Coming up this Thursday, December 8th, Ivar’s is hosting their 6th Annual Northwest Winter Beer Tasting at their Acres of Clams location on Alaskan Way from 6 to 9 pm.

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