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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Bale Breaker Planning To Celebrate 5 Years With A Special Fresh Off The Farm Release

Really? Only 5 years?  For some reason, it seems to me like Bale Breaker Brewing Company has been around longer than that.  I’m used to seeing their Field 41 Pale Ale and Topcutter IPA everywhere, not to mention some their other releases like Leota Mae IPASesiones Del Migrante Mango IPA and, of course, their popular Fresh Off The Farm IPA, which was the official beer of Seattle Beer Week #9 in 2017.

Well, whether I believe it or not, Bale Breaker is preparing to celebrate their 5th Anniversary this month, with a special re-release of Fresh Off The Farm IPA on April 13-15 at their newly expanded taproom.

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Foggy Noggin Brewing Prepares For Their 8th Anniversary

Many craft breweries start out small, then slowly expand as they find some success and the demand for their beer grows.  A few breweries, on the other hand, start out small and prefer to stay small by choice.  One such brewery is Foggy Noggin Brewing Company in Bothell.

Since first opening their doors to the public back in 2010, Foggy Noggin has been brewing on a tiny 1/2 barrel system.  1 barrel is approximately 31 gallons, so brewing on a 1/2 barrel system means that Foggy Noggin produces just 15.5 gallons of beer per batch.  That’s about enough to fill just one full size keg, though most of their beer finds it’s way into 1/6 barrel (5 gallon) or 1/4 barrel (7.5 gallon) kegs.

Now Foggy Noggin is preparing to celebrate their 8th Anniversary, with a 3-day-long celebration from March 23rd to 25th and the release of their special 8th Anniversary Ale.

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Populuxe Brewing Prepares For Their 5th Anniversary

There are breweries spread out all over Seattle, covering almost every neighborhood.  In fact, most Seattle residents live within just a few miles (or even closer) of at least one craft brewery.  That’s especially true if you live in Ballard, which still has the highest concentration of craft breweries in Seattle, most within just a few blocks of each other.

One of those Ballard breweries is Populuxe Brewing Company, which was first launched back in 2012 by co-founders Peter Charbonnier and Amy Besunder in a small space on NW 49th Street. They received a very positive response, kept on brewing and, in late 2016, a new, larger space became available right on the same lot. By September 2017, they were ready to debut their new space.

Much larger than the original space, Populuxe’s new taproom features 12 taps, plenty of seating and even an arcade room, packed with pinball machines and classic arcade games.  It’s the perfect venue for their upcoming beach blanket bingo themed 5th Anniversary celebration, which is set for this coming Saturday, March 10th.

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Tin Dog Brewing Prepares For Their 4th Anniversary

Have you ever been down to Tin Dog Brewing Company in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood?  Sure, they’re a bit out of the way if you don’t live in the South end, but they’ve been quietly operating out of their space on Cloverdale St. for nearly 4 years now.

Tin Dog recently released their third French Oak Wine Barrel Aged Wild Blend Bottle: Mandala Blended Wild Ale, which has been dry-hopped with Mosaic giving it tropical notes.  You can find it at the brewery and at several local craft bottle shops, including Chuck’s Hop Shop locations and Full Throttle Bottles in Georgetown.  Now, they’re preparing to celebrate their 4th Anniversary.

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Counterbalance Brewing Prepares For Their 3rd Anniversary

Apparently, it’s anniversary season yet again in Seattle.  Lowercase Brewing celebrated their 4th anniversary just this past weekend, Naked City has their 10th anniversary coming up this week, and The Shambles, which opened just this past weekend, will celebrate their 1st anniversary one year from now.

Now, with February almost upon us, Counterbalance Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor), is getting ready to celebrate their 3rd anniversary with 2 days of celebration and 2 beer releases, including their first ever Barleywine: Flight Risk.

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Naked City Prepares For Their 10th Anniversary

Despite the fact that I just don’t get there often enough, I have a strong affinity for Naked City Brewery & Taphouse.  As I’ve said many times before, Owner and Head Brewer, Don Webb truly loves his work and it shows in the quality of the beers Naked City produces.  Some of my favorites of theirs over the years have included their Big Lebrewski Russian Imperial Stout, Rye Barrel Aged Old 48 Stout, The Can In Black Malt Liquor and Old Proper, their English Style Barleywine.  Not to mention their popular, seasonal triple IPA, Cry Me A River, which you should be seeing again soon as the Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow returns next month.

Now, with well over 320 distinct beers under their belt, Naked City is preparing to celebrate their 10th Anniversary with the release of a beer that will be the first in a series of 10 collaboration beers along with a series of 10 concerts for charity.

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Lowercase Brewing Prepares For Their 4th Anniversary

 

Are you ready to party?  Lowercase Brewing Company certainly is.  Their taproom on Airport Way South in Georgetown turned one just this past November, but the brewery itself (still in South Park) has been around for nearly four years now.

I won’t re-hash the story of how Lowercase wound up with a brewery in South Park but a taproom in Georgetown here, but if you read my previous article (at the link above), it will explain the situation.  It actually wound up being a good thing for Lowercase because their Georgetown taproom is larger than their old one and in a better location to get more traffic.

In preparation for their upcoming 4th Anniversary celebration on January 20th (4 – 10 pm), Lowercase has brewed up 4 special beers (for 4 years): iRISH Stout, Strata IPA, Barrel-Aged Winter Warmer and Hop Snow Hazy IPA.  There’ll also be live music and BBQ.

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