Pyramid Brewing Releases Berry Tart IPA

As my regular readers well know, I’m quite the hophead and I love a good IPA. I’m sure at least some of you out there are serious hopheads too, but do you have a favorite IPA sub-style?  What I mean is, do you prefer regular, straight up, West Coast style single IPAs, Double/Imperial IPAs, New England style IPAs, White IPAs, Black IPAs, Red IPAs, Belgian IPAs, etc?  Most of my favorites are Double/Imperial IPAs and I’ve also enjoyed many of the New England style IPAs we’ve been flooded with lately, although I am starting to grow just a bit weary of the haze (thankfully, it’s usually not too difficult to find a non-hazy IPA on tap).

What about tart IPAs?  Have you ever had one?  They were called ‘The Next Big Thing’ by All About Beer Magazine back in April of 2016, though I’m not sure they’ve quite lived up to that level of hype.  I’ve only had a few myself, the most recent being Passionate Clouds from Skookum in Arlington, WA.  They can have a juicy quality without necessarily including fruit (though some do), thanks to late hop additions and sometimes dry hopping. Their tartness is somewhat comparable to that of a kettle sour but not so tart as to obscure the hop character.

Pyramid Brewing Company wanted to get in on the tart IPA scene, so they’ve taken one of their most popular beers: Outburst IPA and turned it on it’s head. Outburst Berry Tart IPA is loaded with hibiscus, cranberries and black currants to provide a crisp tartness that should be a real thirst quencher as Summer approaches.

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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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Doughnuts And Beer Returns To Lowercase Brewing

Craft beer and food pairings are everywhere these days, as they should be.  I’m glad we’re finally starting to reach the point where pairing great craft beers with great food is nearly as ubiquitous (at least here in the Northwest) as pairing wine with food.  In fact, I think that the range and diversity of craft beer styles offers even more exciting food pairing options than wine.

Beer and food parings are serious business.  In fact, next month during Seattle Beer Week, you’re sure to find some pretty amazing craft beer pairing dinners/events.  Not all pairings have to be so serious though. Perhaps you’ve read one of the recent articles about pairing craft beers with Girl Scout cookies?  It’s in that vein that Lowercase Brewing Company, along with their sister company Side Hustle Coffee & Doughnuts, are pleased to announce the return of their Doughnuts and Beer pairing event this Wednesday, April 18th from 6-9 pm.

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Curve Ball Blonde Is Back From Pyramid For Baseball Season

We’ve had a couple of slightly chillier days recently but there’s no denying that Spring is in the air.  Our days are getting longer, and our palates are starting to seek lighter beer styles that seem a bit more refreshing on a sunny Spring day.

Baseball is back too, of course. You can check out my recap of the Mariners food & drink preview event (showcasing the food & drink you can enjoy at Safeco this season) HERE.  Pyramid Brewing Company is ready with their Seasonal Blond Ale: Curve Ball.  It will be available from April thru July.

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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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Black Raven Prepares To Release Tropical Squaker IPA

The IPA is a complicated beast.  There are several different sub-styles including: English, American, Belgian, Black, Brown, Red, Rye, White, etc.  Right now, however, fruity, juicy, tropical IPAs seem to be the most popular, as evidenced by the Brewer’s Association officially adding ‘Juicy or Hazy’ to their 2018 Beer Style Guidelines.

Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) hasn’t joined the haze craze yet, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get a little juicy.  Set for release this Friday, March 30th, Black Raven will be releasing their latest creation: Tropical Squaker IPA.   Continue reading

Seattle Mariners 2018 Food & Drink Preview

When you head to Safeco Field this year to watch the Seattle Mariners I sure hope you come hungry and thirsty, because the Mariners, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Centerplate and several local restaurants and breweries have teamed up to make your dining experience for the 2018 season something to remember.

At yesterday’s preview event, I had the opportunity to sample many of the new food and drink offerings you’ll find waiting for you at the ball park this season. You’ll have to come try them all for yourself, perhaps at the home opener next Thursday, March 29th as you cheer on the Mariners against the Cleveland Indians.

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Brewer’s Association Adds ‘Juicy Or Hazy’ To Their 2018 Beer Style Guidelines

 

In the World of craft beer, the IPA is king. There’s no denying it and, right now, the hazy and juicy New England Style IPA is the dominant sub-style. Everywhere you look there are cloudy, hazy, fruity IPAs that embody this very popular style.

The Brewer’s Association has taken notice of the meteoric rise in the popularity of this style and have added a new category to their 2018 Beer Style Guidelines: Juicy or Hazy Ale Styles – including: “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA.”  I’m somewhat perplexed that they didn’t call the category “New England Style”, but I’m sure they have their reasons.

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Black Raven Releases Kitty Kat Blues In Cans

Do you like a good pale ale?  Do you like blueberries?  Do you like vanilla?  How about hibiscus?  Now, what if you combine all of these things together and then can them?  The result would be Kitty Kat Blues Pale Ale in cans from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).

Kitty Kat Blues is not a new beer. Black Raven has been making it for years, but this is the first time ever they’ve put it into cans. It’s also the first time I’ve seen a change in the recipe.  Prior to using hibiscus, Kitty Kat Blues got some of it’s unique and distinct flavor from the use of catnip in the recipe.  Yes, catnip.  I’m not certain why Black Raven has swapped out the catnip for the hibiscus.  The photo for the can release event on Facebook even still uses the old label – which clearly shows catnip as an ingredient, but I’m curious to try this new iteration.  Kitty Kat Blues in cans arrives this Friday, 3/16 at 3 pm.

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