Is it too early to start thinking about Spring? I know we’re still in the middle of Winter right now, but it hasn’t been too horrible this year and who knows what news the groundhog will have for us this Thursday (Groundhog Day is February 2nd). At Pyramid Brewing they’ve been doing a bit more than just thinking about Spring and earlier this month they announced the release of their Spring seasonal, Triangulate Citrus Pale Ale. Dry hopped with Lemondrop™ hops and real lemon peel, Triangulate brings us Spring a bit early this year.
Also arriving now from Pyramid is their limited time Brewer’s Reserve Railroad Avenue, which will be available from mid-January to late April. An Imperial Porter, Railroad Avenue uses deep roasted malts and roasted barley with dashes of vanilla, cinnamon and dark brown sugar. According to Pyramid: “Railroad Avenue is a big, malty brew that conducts the palate to a nicely spiced, mildly sweet finish.”
Seattle is known for a lot of different things including coffee, craft beer and, of course, great seafood, and one of the most iconic and well known seafood names in Seattle is Ivar’s. First opened on the Seattle waterfront’s Pier 3 (now Pier 54) in 1938 , Ivar’s has expanded to 26 different locations around Washington state. Their clam chowder (and salmon chowder) have become the stuff of Seattle legend.
Hawaii is also known for it’s great seafood. Ivar’s knows this and is currently featuring some island themed menu choices including: Grilled Opah, Lomi-Lomi Salmon Salad, Coconut and Pineapple Carrot Cake and they’re even currently featuring Kona Brewing Compnay’s Big Wave Golden Ale and their new Hanalei Island Style IPA. If the sound of these island dishes has you in that tropical island mood and you’re looking to escape the cold this Winter, then you’ll want to enter Ivar’s Island Getaway contest for your chance to win a trip for 4 to Maui.
I’ve always been a big fan of Naked City Brewery & Taphouse. They make some of my favorite locally-brewed beers including their The Big Lebrewski Imperial Stout and Cry Me A River Triple IPA. Unfortunately, I don’t get there as often as I’d like but every time I’m in the Greenwood area, I’ll stop by. One taste of their beers is all it takes to let you know Owner and Brewmaster Don Webb really loves his work.
Now, after going strong for over 8 years (they celebrated their 8th Anniversary last October), Naked City is ready to expand. So, coming as soon as this Spring, Naked City is pleased to announced they will be opening their 2nd location out on Camano Island.
I’m not generally big on making new year’s resolutions. I know a few people who sometimes do though, and those resolutions often revolve around some type of fitness goal like losing a few pounds, starting a new exercise routine, eating better, that kind of thing. I even know a few people who decided to make January a dry month this year, where they would not drink for the whole month.
I wouldn’t necessarily call it a resolution but, this year, I’ve decided that I’ll be doing a dry February (well – January 26th to February 25th). That means 30 days of no drinking. At the same time, I’m trying to motivate myself to work out a bit more often than I do now and see if I can drop a few pounds.
Of course, you don’t have to eliminate alcohol from your diet to attain your fitness goals. In fact, some studies have even shown that beer can be quite effective as a post-workout recovery beverage. Perhaps that’s part of what motivated Happy Hour Fitness NW to start their Pilates & Pints program. It sounds like a great way to combine your drive for working out with your craft beer-related social life in a comfortable and familiar setting.
A few years back, IPA fans in Washington were dismayed to discover that Russian River Brewing would no longer be distributing their beers to Washington State. That meant no more Pliny The Elder or Pliny The Younger for Washington (among many other great Russian River beers). That drought of Pliny (and the over-the-top clamoring for it during the years when we could still get it here) led many Washington breweries to start crafting their own Triple IPAs.
The first two Triple IPAs I recall seeing, which were intended partly as a joke due to the insanity surrounding Pliny releases, were Big Time Brewing Company’s ‘Whiny The Complainer’ and Naked City’s ‘Cry Me A River’. Super strong and over-the-top hoppy, I was an instant fan of both. Since that time, more and more Washington breweries started crafting their own Triple IPAs and soon after the Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow was born. That first year, just 14 Washington breweries participated.
How would you like to visit five of Seattle’s South end breweries, have some poker-themed fun and help out Washington Wild and Brewshed Alliance at the same time? Sound too good to be true? Well Washington Wild is making it a reality as Poker N’ Pints returns to South Seattle on February 18th.
Barleywine season is almost here. The 15th Annual Hard Liver Barleywine Festival is coming up next month at Brouwer’s Cafe and the 15th Annual Barleywine Bacchanal will happen at Beveridge Place Pub in March. With these and other barleywine festivals on the way, local breweries are working hard to get their 2017 barley wines ready to go.
To that end, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is just about ready to release their 2017 Old Birdbrain Barleywine, which has been a multiple award winner at the annual Great Alaskan Beer & Barleywine Festival. This year’s vintage will arrive this coming Friday, Jaunary 27th.
Since I live in South end, I’ve always been a bit of an advocate for Seattle’s South end breweries. Back in 2015 I even published an article outlining some great reasons to visit some of Seattle’s South end breweries. In that article I made the observation that, if you include SoDo, Georgetown and Columbia City, the South end (even though it’s more spread out) actually has more breweries than Ballard.
Sheer numbers aside, however, I’ve become a big fan of several of Seattle’s South end breweries, including Counterbalance Brewing Company. First launched in February 2015, Counterbalance puts out some excellent beers. One of my favorites is their Bad Wolf Dark Ale (so I’m excited for their Big Bag Wolf Dark Strong 2nd Anniversary Ale), but they also make a great IPA (which actually made it to the final round in this year’s House IPA competition for Beveridge Place Pub) and a delicious Russian Imperial Stout that gets even better when they barrel age it. Now, Counterbalance is getting ready to celebrate their 2nd Anniversary.
Now, Firestone Walker is ready for another first. All of Firestone Walker’s Vintage Reserve barrel-aged beers will be moving from from 22-ounce bombers to individually boxed 12-ounce bottles. The first beer up for the 12-ounce treatment is Bravo Imperial Brown Ale, which is being bottled for the first time in 12 years.
The Boston Beer Company is known by most as Samuel Adams, which is actually not the name of the brewery. It’s just one of the many beers brewed by the Boston Beer Company. Another beer they brew that has become fairly well known is their Rebel IPA. It’s their flagship IPA and has remained the same since it first launched back in 2014.
Even before Rebel IPA was first launched, Boston Beer Company founder and brewer of Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Jim Koch, launched Project Lupulus. Under this program, Koch was experimenting with hops that were not available when Rebel IPA first launched. They even cultivated their own proprietary hop (HBC 566), partnering with growers in the Yakima Valley, and that hop is exclusive to the Boston Beer Company. Now, Rebel IPA is being reborn with HBC 566 and other new and familiar hop varieties.