Craft Beer Monger’s Picks For Seattle Beer Week 11

Even though I knew it was coming, Seattle Beer Week (SBW) kind of snuck up on me this year. I can’t believe it kicks off in just 2 days! There are a few events that happen each year that I usually attend so I’m set there. However, I didn’t find much time until this past weekend to look over the rest of this year’s SBW events and choose which ones I’d either like to attend myself and/or that I’d like to suggest to you. I’m here to fix that.

How about you? Have you found the time to look over the ever growing list of events on the official Seattle Beer Week website? If not, don’t worry. I took the time to read through the details of every event that’s been posted for this year’s festivities, and I’m here to give you my suggestions for the best events to pick from for Seattle Beer Week #11.  Here we go!

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Hellbent Brewing Prepares To Release Their Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout

Spring is here. Temperatures are on the rise and Summer feels like it’s just around the corner. For some people, this might mean it’s time to put many of the darker, heavier craft beers on the back shelf and bring the lighter, fruitier, earthier, more floral Pales, IPAs, Hefeweizens, Golden Belgian Ales and other lighter styles forward.

You know what I say to that?  I say go to Hell – Hellbent brewing that is. Now don’t get me wrong. I love all those lighter styles too but, warm weather or cold, I always enjoy a rich, dark complex bourbon barrel aged Stout, and that’s exactly what Hellbent Brewing Company will be delivering next month on May 15th.

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Chainline Brewing Prepares For Their 4th Anniversary

Cycling is huge in the Northwest. Far more than just a recreational vehicle, bicycles are the primary mode of transportation for many people around the Puget Sound. That’s a big part of the reason that Chainline Brewing Company in Kirkland is so cycle/outdoor activities-focused. Their name was inspired by the active, outdoor lifestyles that are so prevalent in the Northwest and their brewery and taproom is located right next to the Cross-Kirkland’s bicycle corridor.

Now, I’m not much of a cyclist myself, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy their beers all the same. Their most popular offerings include their Tune Up IPA and their Polaris Pilsner, which won a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2017. Perhaps you’ll even find a few new favorites from Chainline this weekend, as they prepare to celebrate their 4th Anniversary with the release of 4 different styles of a Saison from their Old Growth Series and the return of some of their most popular offerings from the past.

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Cascade Brewing Releases One Way Or Another 2017

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m a big fan of Sour Ales. That puckering tartness they impart can be too much for some, but it tickles my palate’s fancy and I’m always ready to try a new Sour Ale. We have some great local breweries that make some truly amazing Sour Ales, but most of them are relatively new. Before their existence, the best Sour Ales around always came from Cascade Brewing Company out of Portland, Oregon.

Cascade is still tops in my book. They’re one of my favorite Northwest breweries (as my #FF tweets can attest to), and I always keep tabs on what they’re working on next. To that end, I’m pleased to share the news with you that Cascade has released their One Way Or Another 2017 project. The 2017 version is a complex Sour Ale featuring Northwest-grown marionberries and Meyer lemon zest with Sour Blond Ale aged in oak barrels for up to 16 months.

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The 32nd Annual Oregon Brewer’s Festival Is Set For July 24 – 27

Festivals are a big part of the craft beer World, and a great way to discover new beers and new breweries. New festivals seem to pop up nearly every year and some, including myself, might say we’re starting to get too many. I have a lot of respect, however, for the festivals that helped start the craft beer festival craze and the Oregon Brewer’s Festival, which has been running for more than 30 years now, is definitely one of them.

We have great craft beer here in Washington State for sure, but we also recognize that there is a plethora of craft beer awesomeness coming out of our neighbor to the South. Showcasing all that embodies craft beer (and cider), this year’s Oregon Brewer’s Festival is set for July 24th thru the 27th.

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Bretta Tangerine Is Arriving Now From Firestone Walker

I wasn’t always a fan of Sour Ales.  They weren’t a big thing when I first got into craft beer back in the 80’s but, since first discovering them several years ago, I can’t get enough. Super sour or just mildly tart, fruited or not, I’ve come to appreciate a wide variety of Sour Ales.

They weren’t the first Sour Ales I’ve ever had, but I’ve enjoyed just about every sour offering from Firestone Walker Brewing Company‘s Barrelworks series. Each year they keep expanding their wild/sour portfolio and this year is no exception.  Say hello to the newest offering from Barrelworks: Bretta Tangerine.  Brewed with Murcott tangerines, Bretta Tangerine is the latest beer to build on Barrelworks’ signature Bretta Weisse base beer.

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Best Of Hands Barrelhouse Is A Welcome Addition To West Seattle

Yesterday evening, I attended a preview event for Seattle’s newest brewery, Best Of Hands Barrelhouse.  I first told you about Best Of Hands back at the end of January, when they announced their opening date of Friday, March 8th.  Since then I’ve been eagerly anticipating the opening, and with good reason.  These guys really know what they’re doing, and the beers I enjoyed yesterday proved it beyond any doubt.

If you visit The Beer Junction in West Seattle with any regularity, you may recognize two of Best Of Hands’ founders: Gregory Marlor, and Nicholas Marianetti (both are level II Certified Cicerones®).  They both worked at The Beer Junction before leaving recently to launch Best Of Hands with their partner, Chris Richardson.  The Beer Junction was also the first place to tap Best Of Hands’ Phantom Boots IPA last month.

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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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Counterbalance Brewing Prepares For Their 4th Anniversary

How long can a duck stand on one leg?  Well, the mascot for Counterbalance Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has been doing it for nearly 4 years now and he’s definitely ready to party.  You may recall that Counterbalance’s Multipass IPA came in as one of the finalists during Novemberfest at Beveridge Place Pub late last year and now they have another Fifth Element inspired beer coming your way as they prepare to celebrate another trip around the sun.

Come join Counterbalance Brewing this Friday and Saturday, January 25th and 26th, as they celebrate their 4th Anniversary with some new and returning beer releases, including their 4th Anniversary Big Bada Boom Hazy Double Mango IPA and 2019 Bourbon Barrel Kushetka Imperial Stout aged in 2Bar Spirits Bourbon Barrels.

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