Maiden The Shade Summer IPA And Summer IPA Variety 12-Pack Return From Ninkasi

Spring is being stubborn in the Northwest this year.  With a few  1-2 day exceptions our temperatures have been, on average, lower than they should be for this time of year.  Fear not though, it looks like warmer temperatures will return by mid week and should be sticking around this time.  It’s a good thing too because, though it may still be Spring, Summer seasonals are starting to arrive.

That warmer weather is good news for Ninkasi too as they prepare to roll out their Summer Seasonal Maiden The Shade IPA as well as their Summer IPA Variety 12-Pack featuring: Total Domination IPA, Maiden The Shade IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA and Prismatic Juicy IPA.  This year’s variety 12-pack features bottles and cans.  Both should arrive in early May.

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Corvus Frambicus Returns From Black Raven

Seattle Beer Week #10 is right around the corner (watch for an article from me soon on my top event picks for SBW10), and one of my favorite SBW events each year is Sour Fest at Brouwer’s Cafe. I love a good sour Ale. Years ago, I approached them with caution, not knowing what to expect, and I fell in love.

If you haven’t gotten into sour Ales yet, then Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is bringing back one that you might want to check out.  Arriving today, 4/27, at The Raven’s Nest (Black Raven’s taproom in Redmond) is their popular Corvus Frambicus American Sour Ale with Raspberries.

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Pyramid Brewing Releases Berry Tart IPA

As my regular readers well know, I’m quite the hophead and I love a good IPA. I’m sure at least some of you out there are serious hopheads too, but do you have a favorite IPA sub-style?  What I mean is, do you prefer regular, straight up, West Coast style single IPAs, Double/Imperial IPAs, New England style IPAs, White IPAs, Black IPAs, Red IPAs, Belgian IPAs, etc?  Most of my favorites are Double/Imperial IPAs and I’ve also enjoyed many of the New England style IPAs we’ve been flooded with lately, although I am starting to grow just a bit weary of the haze (thankfully, it’s usually not too difficult to find a non-hazy IPA on tap).

What about tart IPAs?  Have you ever had one?  They were called ‘The Next Big Thing’ by All About Beer Magazine back in April of 2016, though I’m not sure they’ve quite lived up to that level of hype.  I’ve only had a few myself, the most recent being Passionate Clouds from Skookum in Arlington, WA.  They can have a juicy quality without necessarily including fruit (though some do), thanks to late hop additions and sometimes dry hopping. Their tartness is somewhat comparable to that of a kettle sour but not so tart as to obscure the hop character.

Pyramid Brewing Company wanted to get in on the tart IPA scene, so they’ve taken one of their most popular beers: Outburst IPA and turned it on it’s head. Outburst Berry Tart IPA is loaded with hibiscus, cranberries and black currants to provide a crisp tartness that should be a real thirst quencher as Summer approaches.

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Cheese Wars Returns To Hellbent Brewing For Seattle Beer Week 10

 

Cheese is addictive. That’s not just an opinion.  There have even been studies done that show that cheese may even be as addictive as heroin. Well, despite that conclusion, I’m not ashamed to say that I’m hooked.  I’m a cheese addict, and I know many others who are as well.

Hellbent Brewing Company has picked up on this. Last year during Seattle Beer Week #9, they hosted an event called Roquefort One: A Cheese Wars Story, where they pitted two local food trucks against each other in an ultimate cheesy, beer-fueled competition to raise money for Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Roquefort One was such a success, that Hellbent is bringing the event back next month for Seattle Beer Week 10.  This year it’s The Peach & the Pig vs. Wicked Good Grinders in Cheese Wars: The Last Cheddai.  The Rebel Legion and the 501st Legion will also be back this year in full costume to make this an event to remember.  Don’t worry though, no Bothans died to bring you this information.

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Homebrew Con Comes To Portland This June

Do you homebrew?  I started homebrewing way back in the late 80’s and I have more than 25 years of homebrewing experience.  Sadly though, when I moved a few years back I didn’t have a good place to brew so I actually wound up selling my 10 gallon, all-grain brewing system rather than let it sit, gathering rust and dust (I’d rather see a brewer put it to good use).  I have every intention of getting back into brewing again – and on an even larger system – but I’ll have to wait a few more years before I can make that happen.

I still have a great interest in homebrewing, even though I’ve allowed me membership to the American Homebrewer’s Association lapse until I have a new system, and I’m often impressed by some of the stellar beers being produced by homebrewers today. Equipment has improved, techniques are evolving all the time and homebrewing is as popular as it ever was, if not more so.  This year marks the 40th year for the National Homebrew Conference (Homebrew Con), and thousands of homebrewers from across the nation will come together in Portland this June 28 – 30 to talk homebrewing, attend workshops, learn new techniques and more.

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Chainline Brewing Prepares For Their First Can Release On Their 3rd Anniversary

Bicycling and beer seem to just go together.  There are even several cycle-themed breweries here in the Northwest, including HUB in Portland, Flying Bike in Greenwood, Peddler in Ballard and, of course, Chainline Brewing Company in Kirkland.  Situated along the new Cross Kirkland Corridor Trail, they’re in the perfect spot for craft beer lovers who prefer 2-wheeled, human-powered transportation.

I’ve been to Chainline Brewing several times (I drive there though – sorry), and I really enjoy their beers. Their Polaris Pilsner (2016 – GABF Silver Medal winner) and Tune Up New England Style IPA (2016 Best of Craft beer awards Silver Medal Winner) are solid and I’ve also enjoyed many of the special one-off beers they’ve produced. Their Flowtron Strawberry IPA was definitely one of my favorites and, lucky for me, it’s making a return for Chainline’s 3rd anniversary celebration coming up this weekend along with their first ever canned beer (Polaris Pilsner).

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Top Rung Brewing Prepares For Their 4th Anniversary

Seattle is definitely a wonderful place to live if you’re a fan of great craft beers.  The high concentration of excellent breweries in the city make it one of the best craft beer destinations in the nation.  However, don’t forget to take a trip out of town every now and then, because there are several breweries outside Seattle – from the Oregon border all the way up to Canada – who are doing great work.

One outside-of-Seattle destination I don’t make it to very often is the Olympia area, which is home to several craft breweries including Top Rung Brewing Company in Lacey.  You may not be as familiar with Top Run as some other Olympia area breweries, because they haven’t started bottling or canning most of their beers yet, but they’ve been brewing good beers in Olympia for nearly four years now, and it’s time to celebrate.  This Saturday, April 21st, Top Rung Brewing Company will celebrate their 4th anniversary.

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Doughnuts And Beer Returns To Lowercase Brewing

Craft beer and food pairings are everywhere these days, as they should be.  I’m glad we’re finally starting to reach the point where pairing great craft beers with great food is nearly as ubiquitous (at least here in the Northwest) as pairing wine with food.  In fact, I think that the range and diversity of craft beer styles offers even more exciting food pairing options than wine.

Beer and food parings are serious business.  In fact, next month during Seattle Beer Week, you’re sure to find some pretty amazing craft beer pairing dinners/events.  Not all pairings have to be so serious though. Perhaps you’ve read one of the recent articles about pairing craft beers with Girl Scout cookies?  It’s in that vein that Lowercase Brewing Company, along with their sister company Side Hustle Coffee & Doughnuts, are pleased to announce the return of their Doughnuts and Beer pairing event this Wednesday, April 18th from 6-9 pm.

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Reuben’s Brews Consolidates Production At A New Location

There may be a large number of breweries in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, but there are just a few standouts that always keep me coming back for more. One of those standout breweries, and probably my favorite brewery in all of Ballard is Reuben’s Brews.  They first first opened their doors to the public back in 2012 and, since that time, they’ve garnered a large and loyal following and received well over 150+ awards for their amazing brews, including Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year at the 2015 Washington Beer Awards.

In 2015 they brought aboard Dean Mochizuki (Formerly of Pike Brewing) as their new head/experimental brewer and were ready to expand, having outgrown their original space.  Unfortunately, when the time came to expand, they had a hard time finding a single building that could provide what they needed. So Reuben’s currently has two locations: one brewery and taproom on 14th Ave NW and an additional/experimental brewery space in their original location, just a few short blocks away.

Now it’s time for Reuben’s to expand yet again and this time they found a new space, still in Ballard, where they can house most of their production under one roof.

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The Third Annual Ballard Beer Awards Return Next Week

Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood has a high concentration of craft breweries , many within just a few block of each other.  That makes it ideal for checking out several craft breweries in a short time.  Have you explored all of the breweries in Ballard?  Do you have any favorites?  Would you like to help them win an award?

For the third year, four Ballard breweries are coming together for a friendly little competition known as the Ballard Beer Awards, and you get to help determine the winners.  In order to cast your votes, you’ll have to visit Ray’s Cafe rather than the breweries themselves.  The competition kicks off on April 16th and runs through May 11th.  The four breweries involved in this year’s competition are: Stoup Brewing, Reuben’s Brews, Lucky Envelope Brewing and Maritime Pacific Brewing.

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