Firestone Walker Releases Nitro Merlin Milk Stout In Cans

It took me a while, but I’ve come around to the can.  I guess I had some bias to overcome.  I grew up in the days when canned beer meant cheap, lousy, American light lagers in cans with pull-tabs that were littered everywhere and a real danger to anyone in bare feet.  Even worse was the so-called innovation of the ‘push button’ top, where you’d have to push one small button on the can to release the pressure, then push the other ‘button’ on the can to open it (leading to many cut thumbs).

With improvements in can design (in both opening and in making sure the contents don’t pick up any metallic taste from the can), you can now find many excellent craft beer in cans.  In fact, many of the more recent beer releases I’ve attended were to acquire beer that comes in cans. Firestone Walker Brewing Company has been canning beers for a while now (including those in their Luponic Distortion series, their Leo v Ursus series and, of course, Mocha Merlin), and now they’re pleased to announced the release of Nitro Merlin Milk Stout in cans.

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Feather Weather Returns For Winter From Black Raven

I hope you enjoyed our white Christmas.  If nothing else, it provided us with proof that Winter is indeed here, and Winter means Stout season.  There’s been a virtual flood lately of big, dark, bold and barrel-aged Stouts.  Have you been stocking up your cellar with them like I have?

Even though I love all those rich, heavy barrel-aged Stouts (and Porters), sometimes that 12% – 14% ABV can be a bit daunting to face – especially if you’re trying to down a whole 22 oz bottle by yourself.  So perhaps it’s time for a stout that’s a bit more approachable.  Arriving this Friday, and clocking in at just 6%, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is releasing their Feather Weather Mocha Stout.

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Counterbalance Brewing Announces Samsparilla Stout

People sometimes get confused about Counterbalance Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).  Based on their name, many people assume they’re located on Queen Anne hill.  That’s where you’ll find the counterbalance, one of the steepest slopes in all of Seattle, and definitely the tallest.  It increases in elevation by 450 feet in a span of just eight blocks.

Despite their name, however, Counterbalance Brewing is located in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, right next door to Sound Homebrew supply (503 S Michigan St, Suite B).  Founders Jeff Howell and Frank Lawrence selected the name because they both grew up on Queen Anne hill.

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Firestone Walker Announces Wookus Imperial Black IPA

Back in late 2016, Firestone Walker Brewing Company announced, to the dismay of many craft beer fans, that they were discontinuing their Proprietor’s Reserve series of beers (which included their Opal Dry Hopped Saison, Double Jack IPA and Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA).  Since that decision, however, Firestone has been busy cranking out new beers at a furious pace by way of the Luponic Distortion Series as well as their Leo v Ursus Series.

I’ve really been enjoying the first three releases in the Leo v Ursus Series: Fortem (A worthy successor to Double Jack!), Adversus and Inferos.  Now, Firestone Walker is set to bring back a classic.  Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA has found new life as Wookus, the next beer in the Leo v Ursus Series.

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Pike Brewing Introduces Monk’s Uncle In Cans

Pike Brewing Company is more than just a brewery.  They also care deeply about beer heritage and about bringing as many different styles of beers as possible to market.  Long before Pike Brewing existed, owners Charles and Rose Ann Finkel were the founders of Merchant Du Vin back in 1978 and today they are the World’s largest craft beer importer.

Today, Pike is still focused on making different styles of craft beer more accessible to everyone and, to that end, they have announced that their extremely popular, multi award-winning Belgian Tripel, Monk’s Uncle, is now available in 12 oz cans.

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Tin Dog Prepares To Release Melange Deux

I’m guessing that most of you don’t get down to Seattle’s South Park neighborhood very often.  Then again, maybe you do.  After all, back in May Loretta’s Northwesterner (quite possibly the best dive bar in all of Seattle) was honored with the title of 4th Best Burger In America from Thrillist.  There are only a few breweries in the South Park area: Burdick, Lowercase and Tin Dog.  Back when they all first opened the South Park bridge was still closed, making launching a brewery there a somewhat risky endeavor.  Despite the challenges though, all 3 South Park breweries still exist and are doing well.  You’ll even find their beers on tap at Loretta’s from time to time.

Tin Dog Brewing is situated in the Cloverdale business park, between Highway 509 and Highway 99 (W Marginal Way South).  They specialize in Belgian styles so you’ll often find a Saison or two on tap, along with a Belgian Dubbel or Tripel and perhaps a Wit or White IPA.

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Firestone Walker Releases XXI Anniversary Ale

I’ve been a Washingtonian for nearly 20 years now.  I love the Washington craft beer scene and the plethora of wonderful craft breweries in the state, but some of my favorite breweries are still from California. One such brewery is Firestone Walker Brewing Company out of Paso Robles, CA.

Each year since their 10th Anniversary, Firestone Walker has released a special Anniversary Ale. They hold an annual blending session, with both brewers and winemakers in attendance, in order to craft the perfect blend for each year’s Anniversary Ale offering.  Now, Firestone Walker is preparing to release the latest version: XXI Anniversary Ale.

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Pike Entire 2017 Arrives Tomorrow

As I mentioned in a few articles earlier this week (the return of Ground Control from Ninkasi and today’s release of Overhang from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor)), barrel-aged season is back.  I just loves all those thick, dark, woody, bourbony releases that start flowing this time of year, and now Pike Brewing Company is getting in on the act.

Arriving tomorrow, Friday, November 3rd (which also happens to be International Stout Day), Pike will be releasing their 2017 Pike Entire Barrel Aged Imperial Stout.  Aged for four months on Woodinville Whiskey bourbon barrels, Pike Entire is rich with chocolate and espresso flavors and clocks in at 9.9%

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Ground Control Returns From Ninkasi Brewing

This time of year, my taste buds are always in eager anticipation of all the upcoming delightful, dreamy, dark and delicious barrel-aged beers that begin to arrive as our days grow shorter and shorter.  My wallet isn’t always so happy about it (There are a lot of releases to keep up with!), but my taste buds usually win that battle.

We’ve already seen a few barrel-aged releases this season and now Ninkasi Brewing Company is ready to get in on the action with the return of their popular, ‘space yeast’ utilizing, Ground Control Imperial Stout.  This November they’ll be releasing two Bourbon Barrel-Aged versions of this popular brew in 22 oz bottles.  It will also be available on draft in select markets.  You can also get a taste of Ground Control at two special Oregon events: the Ninkasi Space Beer Dinner at OMSI on November 7th and the Space Oddity Ball at the Ninkasi Tasting Room on November 11th.

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Lowercase Prepares For Their First Bottle Release

Some of the first Fall Seasonals I started seeing this year were appearing as early as mid August.  I suppose planning ahead isn’t a bad thing but, here in the Northwest where the Summers are notoriously short, we don’t need those early reminders that our sunny Summer days are numbered.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love many different Fall styles and welcome their return, I guess I’m just a little sad to see Summer come to a close this year.

If there’s one thing you can be sure of when Fall arrives though, it’s that along with it comes all the different Fall seasonal craft beers (even if some of them start appearing a bit early), including pumpkin and squash style beers.  I haven’t found myself as excited for the plethora of pumpkin and squash ales that always make their way to craft bottle store shelves this time of year, but there are always a few new, interesting ones that catch my attention.  One such beer is Wine Barrel-Aged sQUASH Ale from Lowercase Brewing Company.

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