Dates Set For 2019 Bend Brewfest

I love Washington beer.  We have some truly incredible breweries here in Washington state; some of the best in the nation in my humble opinion and, while I try to drink local as much as I can, I don’t limit myself to drinking beers from Washington exclusively.  Our neighbor to the South, Oregon, also has some of the nation’s best breweries and I enjoy beers from them regularly.

Some of my favorite Oregon breweries are from the Bend area, which is why I’m pleased to announced that dates have been set for the 2019 Bend Brewfest.  This year’s festival will take place on August 15th thru the 17th in the Les Schwab Amphitheater.

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Urban Family Brewing Is Coming (Back) To Ballard

I can remember when Urban Family Brewing Company wasn’t yet a brewing company.  They were a craft beer bar on Ballard Ave NW, pretty much across the street from The Noble Fir.  As a craft beer bar, I only visited them a couple of times before they closed and moved across Salmon Bay to their current location on 26th Avenue West in Magnolia.

I think Urban Family is a bit homesick for Ballard though. They’ve just announced that, later this year, they will be moving the brewery to a new location, back in Ballard.  Sentiment isn’t the only reason for the move though.  They’re starting to outgrow their current location, and their new spot in Ballard will give them more room to expand, including more space for barrel aging and additional outdoor seating.

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Best Of Hands Barrelhouse Opens March 8th

There are lots of great breweries in Seattle and the surrounding area, and many of those breweries are definitely worth the short or even long trip required for a visit.  Most of the time though, unless there’s an event or a gathering that might draw us farther away, or we’re out specifically to try a new place/new places, most of us tend to drink more often at the craft breweries that are closer to where we live. That’s a part of the reason I’m such an advocate for breweries that are more in Seattle’s South end (including West Seattle), but definitely not the only reason.  Sure, their proximity to me and my commute route makes them convenient, but most of them also make some damn fine craft beers.

There aren’t that many craft breweries in West Seattle (although Future Primitive Brewing did recently open in White Center), but now we have another newcomer nearly set to go.  Coming up on March 8th, Best Of Hands Barrelhosue will open their doors to the public.  Founded by Gregory Marlor and Nicholas Marianetti (former servers at The Beer Junction – and level II Certified Cicerones), along with their partner Chris Richardson, Best Of Hands will specialize in mixed-fermentation barrel aged sours and European inspired farmhouse ales.

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Dark Heron IPA Returns For Emerald City Comic Con

Seattle is known for many different things.  Two of the most prominent are, of course, coffee and craft beer.  What some of you might not know, however, is that Seattle has a huge video game and comic book community.  The annual PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) started here (which I used to report on annually when I wrote about video games), and Emerald City Comic Con has been happening every year since 2003.  Last year’s attendance was over 95 thousand comic fans.

A few years back, Fremont Brewing Company partnered with ReedPOP, producer Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC), to create an ECCC-themed beer.  The result was Dark Heron IPA. Now returning for its fourth year, Dark Heron features artwork by local Seattle artist Julia Reck and will be available on tap throughout ECCC’s run, and in cans for the first time.  

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Join Tin Dog For An Evening of Flamenco, Paella and Beer

I live just South of Seattle – so close to city limits that I even still have a Seattle zipcode. Since I’m in the South end, it’s no secret that I’m a bit of an advocate for many of Seattle’s South end breweries.  I’ve given you Great Reasons To Check Out Seattle’s South End Breweries. I’ve let you know about the South Seattle Brewery Coalition, I always try to keep you informed about events in the South end (and West Seattle) and two of my sponsors (Two Beers Brewing Company and Counterbalance Brewing Company) are in the South end.

One of the South end breweries I’ve been telling you about since they first opened in 2014 is Tin Dog Brewing down in South Park. Proprietors Lisa and Eric Rough have been quietly cranking out primarily Belgian inspired wild and sour blended Ales from their spot on S. Cloverdale Street and have garnered a small but loyal following.  Last year they won a Gold Medal for Best Sour Beer at the Brewer’s Choice Awards for their Melange Deux and have also won Silver and Bronze medals at last year’s Washington Beer Awards.

Tin Dog doesn’t usually host many big events, but they’ve got one coming up that might pique your interest.  On Saturday, February 23rd, you can join Tin Dog for an amazing evening of flamenco, paella and craft beer.

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Firestone Walker Joins The Haze Craze With Mind Haze

Craft beers come in a wide variety of styles, and each style has managed to find its audience. With so many different styles to chose from though, IPA still remains the most popular style of craft beer by far and the New England style juicy/hazy IPA has taken the spotlight over the past couple of years, outselling all other sub-styles of IPA by a wide margin.

Although the juicy/hazy sub-style of IPA was only officially recognized by the Brewer’s Association in March of 2018, by the time the Great American Beer Festival rolled around in September, the “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA” dominated GABF entries.  Juicy/Hazy Pale Ales and IPAs made up 706 entries (Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale: 131. Juicy or Hazy IPA: 414. Juicy or Hazy Double IPA: 161.) compared with 331 entries for the more traditional American-Style IPA.

Many breweries have resisted jumping into what’s come to be known as the haze craze and, in fact, many breweries out there still refuse to make a hazy IPA. Others, like Firestone Walker Brewing Company, have simply been busy with other projects (like their experimental Luponic Distorion series and their Leo v. Ursus series). However, now they’re ready and the time has come. After a year of experimentation and development, say hello to Firestone Walker’s Mind Haze hazy IPA.

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Aslan Brewing Is Coming To Seattle

Even though we have a large number of breweries right here in Seattle, many of us often take trips away from the city to explore breweries farther away or perhaps to visit some favorites we’ve found on previous craft beer excursions.

One popular destination for those leaving Seattle on one of these excursions is the city of Bellingham, WA.  I myself am a big fan of many Bellingham breweries including: Wander, Kulshan, Chuckanut, Structures and, of course, Aslan.  Well, if Aslan Brewing Company is on your list of favorite Bellingham breweries, then I’ve got some great news.  This Summer, Aslan will open a location in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.

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Get Your Tickets Now For Pike Brewing’s Annual Chocofest

Are you still searching for the perfect Christmas gift for that special someone? How about Valentine’s Day?  Have you thought about that yet? Yeah, I know. It’s still two months away but hear me out.  What if you could kill 2 birds with one stone?  Does your significant other enjoy craft beer? How about wine? How about spirits? How about small bites from top local restaurants? How about chocolate!? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then tickets to Pike Brewing Company‘s annual Chocofest might be just the gift you’ve been searching for.

Chcofest seems to grow bigger each year and is Pike’s most popular annual event. That’s why, in order to accommodate the more than 900 expected attendees, this year’s Chocofest will encompass all three levels of Pike including the brewery, the Pike Pub and Tankard & Tun.

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Breweries To Host Nationwide Pint Night For Camp Fire Relief

I recently told you about Resilience IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and their drive to have as many breweries as possible across the US brew this beer and donate the proceeds to Camp Fire relief.

Sierra Nevada received an amazing response to their call. Over 1400 breweries nationwide brewed Resilience IPA and now, this coming Thursday, December 20th, all of those participating breweries will be hosting a Nationwide ‘Resilience Night’ for Camp Fire relief.

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Reuben’s Hosts The Third Annual Hop Idol Homebrew Contest

Are you a homebrewer?  Do you think you’ve gotten pretty good at it?  Do you think your beers are good enough to be brewed on a large scale, canned and sold to the craft beer masses here in Seattle?  Then Ruben’s Brews has the contest for you.  Returning for the third straight year, Reuben’s Brews presents: “Hop Idol”.

It’s time to refine your best hoppy recipes and hone your brewing techniques so you can put your best brew(s) forward.  Don’t wait too long to start either, because the cutoff date for entries is February 27, 2019.  It all comes down to you and your brew, because (Best Ryan Seacrest impersonaltion) THIS………. is Hop Idol!

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