Back in 2009, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) introduced one-off Cask beer that was brewed with vanilla, blueberries and a slightly more unusual ingredient: Catnip. Their press release below says it was called Kitty Kat Blues but I can also recall a version (which you can still get) of Kitty Kat Blues mixed with Trickster IPA – called Tricky Kitty.
The combination of ingredients worked well and, despite it’s slightly unusual description, Kitty Kat Blues has become one of my favorite Black Raven beers. Until now it’s been a seasonal offering, so it wasn’t always available when I wanted one. Now that’s all changed. This Friday, March 3rd Kitty Kat Blues joins Black Raven’s stable of year-round beers during a Cat Shirt launch party.
I’m a fan of all different styles of craft beer, but I think my two favorite styles are barrel aged Stouts and IPAs (actually, double IPAs). So, whenever I hear of an impending barrel aged Stout release, I get a little excited.
Unfortunately, since I’m currently doing a dry 30 days (no alcohol from January 26th to February 25th), I won’t be able to enjoy the latest Alta Series release from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) until this Saturday. For the rest of you, however, drop by The Woods today when they open their doors at 3 pm and grab yourself a few bottles of Fall Line Russian Imperial Stout. They’ll also have it on tap for you to enjoy.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company has been making lots of changes lately. Their Proprietor’s Reserve Series has been retired, their Vintage Reserve Series is moving from 22 oz to 12 oz bottles, they’re 5 versions deep into their new Luponic Distortion Series and now, Firestone Walker is proud to announce a new chronology of beers: Leo v. Ursus, a quarterly series of bold, hoppy, balanced beers born at their Propagator pilot brewery in Venice, California.
Fortem, an unfiltered imperial IPA and the first release in the new Leo v. Ursus Series, will be available on a pre-release basis at Firestone Walker locations starting on Saturday, February 25, and will begin rolling into Firestone Walker markets, including Seattle, at the end of February.
Since I live in the South end, I’ve been a bit of an advocate for Seattle’s many South end breweries. Back in 2015 I even published an article encouraging craft beer lovers to check out all of the breweries in SoDo, Georgetown, South Park and Columbia City. As I pointed out in that article, the South end rivals Ballard for the sheer number of breweries you can visit, albeit spread out a bit more than the concentration in Ballard.
In order to continue encouraging craft beer fans to visit Seattle’s South end breweries, they have come together to form the South Seattle Brewery Coalition (SSBC), which encourages you to “be disloyal” and drink someone else’s beer. According to the SSBC: “We love challenging one another to make better beer, to provide more excellent service, and to better educate the wonderful people who have chosen to support our businesses.”
I hear a lot of people saying, now that President’s Day (or ‘Not My President Day’ depending on who you talk to) and the rest of the holidays are behind us, they just want Spring to get here. I can relate. This Winter hasn’t bee too harsh, but I’m definitely ready for more sunshine and warmer temperatures.
Many breweries are getting into that Spring frame of mind too, as they prepare their Spring releases/Spring Seasonals. To that end, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is happy to announce the impending release of their latest IPA (which they’ve created specially for Bartell Drugs): Spring Break Key Lime IPA.
Many of the commercial ciders on the market today tend to be too sweet for my palate. Measured on a scale called Brix, many of those ciders come in at a Brix rating of 4, 5 or even higher. I think that’s why I enjoy so many of the ciders from Seattle Cider Company. They keep their ciders low on the Brix scale, which means they aren’t as cloyingly sweet. Their Dry cider, for example, is 0 (zero) Brix and their Semi-Sweet cider clocks in at just 2.6 Brix.
If you’re also a fan of ciders that stay a bit more on the dry side, then you’ll be excited to learn that Seattle Cider Company is ready to bring back their Spring Seasonal: Basil Mint Cider. Coming in at 6.9 ABV and just 1.8 Brix, this Spring Seasonal starts off with a base of 100 percent fresh pressed Washington apples, accompanied by 100 pounds of fresh basil and 100 pounds of fresh mint. Muddled on site, the basil and mint are then added directly to the cider during fermentation, providing savory and floral characteristics and a clean finish.
Are you a fan of English style barleywines? If you aren’t familiar with the style, English barleywines, as compared to American style barleywines, tend to be just a bit more on the sweet side with a more subdued hop character and more fruit esters.
Are you also a fan of small batch breweries? Then Foggy Noggin Brewing Company out of Bothell (ones of Washington’s smallest production craft breweries) has an event coming up that should be right up your alley. Next Friday, February 17th from 6 pm – 8 pm, Foggy Noggin is hosting a vertical tasting (2013, 2015, 2016) of their English style barleywine: Duck’s Ass. There are only 20 spots available for this special vertical tasting and the cost is $30 per person.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company brews some of my favorite beers. I was dismayed a bit last October when they announced that they were discontinuing their Proprietor’s Reserve series, which included what was probably my favorite IPA of all time: Double Jack. However, I was thrilled earlier this year to learn that they’ll be putting their entire line of Vintage Reserve beers in 12 oz bottles, starting with Bravo.
As sad as I was to see Double Jack go, I’ve really been enjoying Firestone’s Luopnic Distortion Series of IPAs. For those who aren’t familiar with the series, Firestone is brewing a line of IPAs which will all have the same malt bill, but each new iteration will use different hops. The first 4 have already dropped and now, Firestone Walker is pleased to announced the imminent arrival of Luponic Distortion Revolution No. 005.
Back in early 2015, I first told you about the debut of Cold Brew Coffee Brown Ale from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor). It’s coffee-forward aroma and flavor are the perfect marriage of two quintessentially Seattle flavors: coffee and craft beer. Available seasonally from late Winter through Spring, Cold Brew Coffee Brown Ale is low in acidity and subtly sweet.
For this year’s iteration of Cold Brew, Two Beers has partnered with Seattle’s own Anchorhead Coffee. According to Two Beers’ founder, Joel VandenBrink: “Their unique roasting process and the flavors that shine through make this beer one of our favorites, and perfect for everything from brunch to backpacking.”
Back in November of last year, I told you aboutReuben’s Brews‘ Hop Idol homebrew contest. As a call back to the homebrewing roots of founder Adam Robbings, Reuben’s Brews held this homebrew competition as a means to help inspire other homebrewers to chase their own brewery dreams.
Entrants could submit up to 5 entries each and all entries were due by January 17th. The judging took place the week of January 21st and now Reuben’s Brews is ready to announce the winner who will get to brew their beer with Reuben’s and see it distributed throughout Western Washington. The winning beer will also be entered into the Washington Beer Awards Pro-Am competition as well as the Great American Beer Festival.