Celebrate Oktoberfest At Queen Anne Beerhall

Harvest season is upon us.  For those of us here in the Northwest, that means lots and lots of Fresh Hop Ales – which makes me quite happy.  However, the abundance of wonderful Fresh Hop beers we get this time of year can sometimes obscure the start of another great annual beer tradition: Oktoberfest.

I’m a serious hop-head, but when Fall arrives, my palate sometimes needs an occasional break from the hops and starts craving something with more of those rich, toasty and bready malt flavors.  I’m referring, of course, to the traditional, German style Märzen/Oktoberfest.

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Worthy Brewing Announces Two IPAs And Reveals Their 2018 Release Calendar

Despite the wide range of styles available to craft beer drinkers, it’s impossible to deny that the IPA is still king.  In fact, just last year, the Brewer’s Association‘s annual craft sales figures showed that at least one out of every five craft beers sold in the U.S. is an IPA.  Even though I try to vary the styles I drink as much as possible, I’m definitely a big IPA fan too as are most other craft beer drinkers I know.

That popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing down either.  In fact, it almost seems to be expanding.  Even with the incredible influx of new IPAs that are constantly hitting the market these days, most manage to find their audience and sell out, making way for the next IPA(s) coming down the pipe. I say, keep ’em coming.

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Breakside Brewing Reveals Their 2018 Release Calendar

For those of you keeping count, how many beers do you drink per day?  Would you say you drink at least 2.6 beers per day?  If you do, I assume you’re drinking a mix of different style from different breweries.  After all, not many craft beer drinkers I know (if any) stick to just one beer or even just one brewery.

If you want to keep up with Breakside Brewing Company’s entire 2018 release calendar, however, then you’ll have to have at least 2.6 Breakside beers each day (Yeah, I know. Don’t ask me how to have .6 of a beer. lol). That’s because they’re planning to release over 140 different beers this year.  They recently revealed their release schedule for every beer that will be coming out this year.

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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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