50 Craft Breweries Unveil Their Recipes For Homebrewers

Are you a homebrewer?  Even if you aren’t, but you are a craft beer fan, I’m willing to bet you know at least a few people who are homebrewers.  I myself first started homebrewing well over 20 years ago (but I’m between systems right now, which is killing me!) and back then, just like today, many homebrewers started out by trying to recreate some of their favorite craft beers at home.

Back in my early days, when craft breweries were few and far between, the holy grail for many homebrewers was to successfully reproduce or ‘clone’ beers like Sierra Nevada Brewing‘s Pale Ale.  If you could do that as a homebrewer back in the early 90’s, then you really knew your stuff.  The challenge was that you pretty much had to come up with the recipe on your own.  The homebrewing community was much smaller, there were few helpful recipe guides and there was no brewing software like BeerSmith or Brewtarget  to help you out.

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Craft Beer Monger’s Top Picks For Seattle Beer Week #9

Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like the past year has flown by so quickly.  Seattle Beer Week #8 almost feels like it was just a few weeks ago.  Yet here we are, with Seattle Beer Week #9 kicking off in just two days.  Have you had an opportunity to look over the ever-growing list of events on the official Seattle Beer Week website?  With so many events to choose from, many of which happen on the same day or even at the same time, you may have to make some difficult choices regarding which events to attend.  Here are my top picks for Seattle Beer Week #9.

Things get under way with the Official Seattle Beer Week Kickoff this Thursday, May 4th.  There are  5 stops on the Seattle Beer Week (SBW) kickoff tour.  Things start off at 4:30 pm at the new Flatstick Pub location in Pioneer Square.  The other stops on this year’s kickoff tour include: Beveridge Place Pub (6:30 pm and Cask-O-Rama will be going on), Brouwer’s Cafe (7:45 pm), Naked City Brewery & Taphouse (9:00 pm), with the evening closing out at The Pine Box (10:30 pm).

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Discover The New Growler USA In Redmond

What happens when you take the basic concept of a growler refill station and decide to take it National?  Well, what happens is, you get something like Growler USA.  Founded in 2013 by Dan White (CEO), Dave Shaw (President), and Vern Whittaker (Retired CFO), Growler USA now has 10 locations across the U.S. and are slated to open 50 more throughout 2017-2018.

Each location boasts up to 100 taps of beer (including microbrewed craft beers), hard cider, draft wine & kombucha, plus an extensive food menu. Their tap list varies by location, of course, in order to offer locally-sourced options for their patrons, and their “True to the Brew” system ensures that each brewer’s vision for their product is honored.  Things are kept tightly controlled all the way from keg delivery and storage (using ‘gentle’ keg handling systems to avoid sloshing), to a meticulously maintained tap system and the proper glassware for each pour. Yesterday afternoon I took a trek out to their Redmond location, courtesy $30 in credit from Growler USA, to see what they had to offer first hand.

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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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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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Naked City Prepares For Their 8th Anniversary

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Sometimes, which breweries you tend to frequent will depend as much on location as it does on beer quality.  This is one of the reasons I don’t get to a few of my favorite Seattle breweries as often as I’d like to.  I work somewhat odd hours and live in the South end.  So visiting any Seattle breweries that are farther North in the city requires a bit of effort on my part, largely due to our craptacular traffic.

One of Seattle’s North end breweries that I don’t visit nearly as often as I’d like to is Naked City Brewery & Taphouse in Greenwood.  Owner and head brewer, Don Webb, really enjoys his work, and it shows in the quality of beers Naked City continually puts out.  I’m particularly fond of The Big Lebrewski, their award-winning White Russian Imperial Stout.

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Roasted Rye In Cans & 3 New Beers For Fall From Reuben’s Brews

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Earlier this month, Reuben’s Brews celebrated their 4th Anniversary.  It was a great party with an amazing tap list, featuring a new IPA and 3 different barrel-aged beers to enjoy.  I particularly enjoyed their new Hopped Off The Press IPA.  I hope they brew it again and send some cans to local retailers.

Until then, however, I’ll have to be satisfied with Reuben’s latest news.  Their Roasted Rye IPA, the beer that started it all for them, is now available in cans, and they have 3 new beers ready to debut for Fall.  Say hello to Imperial Pumpkin, Life on Mars and Amarillo Fresh Hop.

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Reuben’s Brews Celebrates Their 4th Anniversary This Weekend

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There are several breweries in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.  Most of them do great work but, for me, there are a few standouts who are head and shoulders above the rest.  One of those standouts is Reuben’s Brews.  They’ve earned over 100 medals at various competitions since first opening back in 2012 (quite an achievement for such a young brewery), and they make some of the best Rye beers I’ve ever had.

Now it’s time to celebrate those achievements in style.  Coming up this weekend is Reuben’s Brews’ 4th Anniversary celebration.  They’ll be tapping 25 different beers, including a brand new IPA dubbed Hopped off the Press!

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The PNA Summer Beer Taste Happens This Weekend

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Many of Seattle’s neighborhoods are tight knit communities.  Each is different in its own way and in the Phinney neighborhood, the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) helps bring the community together.  In their own words, the PNA exists to: “Build, engage and support our diverse community through programs, services and activities that connect neighbors and foster civic engagement.”

One of the best ways I know of to help connect the people in a community is an outdoor social gathering, and what better social gathering than a beer tasting?  Coming up this Saturday, July 23rd is the 10th Annual PNA Summer Beer Taste.

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2016 US Open Beer Championship Winners

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The winners have just been announced for the 2016 US Open Beer Championship.  Unique in it’s format, the US Open Beer Championship is the only brewing competition to allow award winning home brewers to compete against commercial breweries Worldwide.  Beers from 95 different categories (including non-alcoholic) were ranked and the top 10 breweries and medal winners were also listed.

Four different breweries from Washington State took home awards, including: Reuben’s Brews, Heathen Brewing Company, Icicle Brewing Company and a sweep in the gluten free category by Ghostfish Brewing Company.  Congratulations to all the winners.  I’d also like to offer a special congratulations one of my favorite breweries, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, for being named National Grand Champion (details below).

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