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).
Each year around this time, there’s a big party out in Redmond. If you’re a fan of Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor), then you know that I’m referring, of course, to their annual Flock Party anniversary celebration.
Set to take place on Saturday, May 6th from noon – 7 pm, this year’s Flock Party will include live music, plenty of ‘rare birds’ (rare and unique Black Raven beers, including some Tiki-drink inspired infusions this year), food, a retail merchandise booth and even an outdoor cigar lounge/booth. Well-behaved and leashed dogs will also be welcome and, if you run short on cash, there will be an ATM on site.
Seattle Beer Week is just around the corner. It kicks off on Thursday, May 4th and runs through Sunday May 14th. Just two days into the festivities though, on May 6th, Lucky Envelope Brewing is set to celebrate their 2nd Anniversary.
Lucky Envelope has been cranking out craft beers in Ballard since 2015 and now, they’re ready to mark the occasion with a new Anniversary IPA and three bottle releases. Then, one week after their anniversary, they’ll be hosting another event as part of their celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
What do you do when you’re a firefighter with a passion for craft beer and you’re looking for a hobby to keep you busy in your down-time? You start homebrewing, of course. At least that’s how things got started for Top Rung Brewing Company founders, Jason Stoltz and Casey Sobol.
First opened in April of 2014, Jason and Casey launched Top Rung to fill a need they saw for more craft beer choices in the Olympia area. Now, they’re preparing for their third anniversary celebration.
Sumerian Brewing Company has a lot on their plate right now. They continue to add new accounts, so you can now find their beers at 9 Costco locations, Xfinity Arena, 7-11, Haggen stores and Safeway stores, in addition to your local craft bottle shop. They’ve also worked to get their beers onto Washington State ferries and will also be one of several local craft beer choices available at Safeco Field for the coming 2017 Seattle Mariners season (watch for a Mariners 2017 Season Food & Drink preview coming in early April).
In addition, Sumerian is preparing for their 2nd Anniversary celebration and have also started to release their first canned beers thanks to their new canning line. The first of their beers up in cans will be Hopruption – formerly known as Eruption Double IPA.
Since I live in South end, I’ve always been a bit of an advocate for Seattle’s South end breweries. Back in 2015 I even published an article outlining some great reasons to visit some of Seattle’s South end breweries. In that article I made the observation that, if you include SoDo, Georgetown and Columbia City, the South end (even though it’s more spread out) actually has more breweries than Ballard.
Sheer numbers aside, however, I’ve become a big fan of several of Seattle’s South end breweries, including Counterbalance Brewing Company. First launched in February 2015, Counterbalance puts out some excellent beers. One of my favorites is their Bad Wolf Dark Ale (so I’m excited for their Big Bag Wolf Dark Strong 2nd Anniversary Ale), but they also make a great IPA (which actually made it to the final round in this year’s House IPA competition for Beveridge Place Pub) and a delicious Russian Imperial Stout that gets even better when they barrel age it. Now, Counterbalance is getting ready to celebrate their 2nd Anniversary.
Now, Firestone Walker is ready for another first. All of Firestone Walker’s Vintage Reserve barrel-aged beers will be moving from from 22-ounce bombers to individually boxed 12-ounce bottles. The first beer up for the 12-ounce treatment is Bravo Imperial Brown Ale, which is being bottled for the first time in 12 years.
Lowercase Brewing Company first opened their doors back in early 2014 in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood, sharing a building with another South Park newcomer, Burdick Brewing Company. If you’ve been following their stories, however, then you know that both breweries had to close their taprooms last year due to prohibitively expensive building upgrades the city demanded to keep the taprooms open in that location.
Burdick simply closed their taproom and decided to go the production brewery route. Lowercase Brewing, however, wanted to keep their taproom up and running so they started looking for a new location, which they found on Airport Way in Georgetown. After a few delays with permits and such, Lowercase was finally able to open their new taproom last November. The brewery itself stayed at their original location in South Park, allowing them to install an even lager brewing system and increase their capacity. Incidentally, I have also heard rumblings that Burdick Brewing might be looking for a new taproom location as well. I’ll keep you posted.
Seattle’s South end craft beer scene has really grown up. Less than a decade ago, it was a struggle to find any craft breweries (besides Georgetown Brewing or Pyramid Brewing) South of downtown. Now, the South end rivals Ballard for the sheer number of breweries you can visit (if you include SoDo, Georgetown and Columbia City).
One of the South End breweries that’s been around the longest is Schooner Exact Brewing Company. They started as a small nano-brewery back in 2007 and have grown steadily into an excellent craft brewery and restaurant. Now, several expansions, remodels and menu changes later, Schooner Exact is just about ready to celebrate their 10th Anniversary with a 10-day long celebration.