Two Beers Prepares For Their 11th Anniversary

The story of Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is one I’ve been following for a long time.  I can still remember when the taproom had just a few stools and couldn’t hold more than a few people.  Today, Two Beers Brewing Company – along with their sister companies, Seattle Cider Company and Sound Seltzer Company – boasts a huge, inviting taproom with 24 taps of beer, cider and seltzer (plus a cider slushie machine), pub games (billiards, foosball, darts, shuffleboard, etc.), a beautiful patio and a food service window run by the folks from Bread And Circuses.

There was some concern in the local craft beer community when, back in 2016, Two Beers Brewing Company and Seattle Cider Company were acquired by the Agrial Group, a leading French agri-business cooperative. Since that acquisition, however, I haven’t noticed any drop in the quality of their products, and they’ve even started expanding their portfolio – releasing lots of new beers this year including what I think may have been their best IPA yet, What A Time To Be Alive hazy fresh hop IPA.  Now Two Beers is prepared to celebrate their 11th Anniversary with another new release: This Goes to 11 Birthday Cake IPA.

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Mr. Heron Goes To Montana

Seattle is a city that’s just bursting at the seams with craft breweries.  No matter were you are in the city, you’re likely not more than a few stones throws away from a craft brewery.  With so many breweries to choose from though, how do you decide who the standouts are?  How do you know which breweries to recommend to people here for a visit or those asking about which Seattle breweries they need to keep an eye on?

Two factors that can help you decide are, of course, the quality of the beers the brewery is putting out, and the demand for those beers whenever there’s a new release.  By those two measures, among others, Fremont Brewing Company has become one of Seattle’s best known breweries, even outside of Washington.  Many of their beers, particularly their barrel-aged offerings, have caught the attention of craft beer lovers both near and far. They even have a super secret society of members who “solemnly swear to devote themselves to the pursuit of the finest beers that ever were” – the Heron Hunting Club.  Fremont Brewing already distributes their beers to 6 states, including Washington, and now they’re ready to expand into Montana with the help of Hayden Beverage Company.

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Splinters Returns From Black Raven Brewing

More often than not in the craft beer World, it seems like hops are the big stars.  Much of this is due to the fact that IPA is still king when it comes to craft beer and, while I still enjoy drinking IPAs through the Fall and Winter, I really start to appreciate the complex malt character of less hop forward beers like Stouts, Porters and Scotch Ales to name a few.  I also enjoy many beers that have been barrel aged in Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch or other barrels and, let’s face it, there aren’t that many barrel aged IPAs out there (though they do exist).

I’m also rather picky about my Scotch Ales.  There are only a few locally made Scotch Ales that I really enjoy, and one of them is Second Sight from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).  Now, Black Raven is preparing to release Second Sight’s more mature brother, Splinters Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale.

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Smoked Porter Turns 30 As Alaskan Brewing Prepares to Debut Their Expanded Taproom

Fall is here in the Emerald City and that means Stouts.  Everywhere you look, it seems breweries are preparing their annual Stout releases and, as much as I do love a good Stout, their abundance can sometimes overshadow the deliciousness of a good Porter.

The differences between Stouts and Porters can be subtle and the debate over what the exact differences are continues.  Basically though, Porters are a bit lighter in body and mouthfeel and sometimes, though definitely not always, can be slightly lower in alcohol.  Essentially, all Porters are Stouts, but not all Stouts are Porters.

Now that I’ve made things clear as mud for you, I’d like to tell you that one of the best known and best loved Porters in the Northwest, Alaskan Brewing Company’s Smoked Porter, is turning 30.  Alaskan Brewing is preparing to celebrate with the opening of their expanded taproom this Saturday.

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The Ballard Brewed Winter Beer Festival Is Coming Up

I know it’s only Fall.  Winter doesn’t officially arrive until late December, but craft beer has always been a bit ahead of the curve (Pumpkin beers showing up in early August, anyone?)  Being a big fan of Winter beers though, I certainly don’t mind when they start arriving a bit early.

Apparently, nether do many of the breweries in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.  Because, coming up this coming Saturday, November 3rd is the Ballard Brewed Winter Beer Festival to Benefit Bellwether Housing.  Drink Winter beers from eleven different Ballard breweries and do your part to help Bellwether Housing – creating affordable housing in Seattle.

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Fresh Hops & Fine Cuisine At Urbane

There are several great restaurants in Seattle.  Since my primary focus here at CraftBeerMonger.com is on craft beer though (and to a lesser degree craft cider and other craft alcoholic beverages), I haven’t visited as many of Seattle’s fine dining establishments as I’d like.  Also, due to my somewhat unusual work schedule, I don’t get to downtown Seattle for a good meal very often.

That’s why I was pleased to receive an invitation recently from Urbane to experience, on them, their Fresh Hop dinner, featuring Fresh Hop beers from Georgetown Brewing Company.  Urbane is a farm-to-table restaurant who prides themselves on sustainability and using locally-sourced ingredients.  In fact, the vast majority of Urbane’s ingredients come from within a 200-mile radius of the restaurant located at 8th Ave and Olive Way in the Hyatt at Olive 8 building downtown.

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Reuben’s Brews Adds A New Marketing Manager

Reuben’s Brews is one of Seattle’s most popular breweries with the local craft beer crowd.  In fact, if you were to ask me for a list of who I consider to be Seattle’s best craft breweries, Reuben’s Brews would definitely be in my top 5.  They’re one of Seattle’s most awarded breweries, winning over 200 medals in the six years they’ve been open, and they continue to expand and innovate.

Their popular ‘Crush’ series of IPA releases always draw a crowd and, just this Summer, they also launched their Barrel-Aged Sour series.  Now, as they move forward, Reuben’s wants to get the word out even more.  To that end, they have recently hired their first ever marketing manager, Matt Lutton, who will take over the day-to-day role of marketing operations, so that even more craft beer lovers in the Pacific Northwest can discover the fermented goodness that is Reuben’s Brews.

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Naked City Celebrates 10 Years With Gluten Removed Announcement, Parties & New Mug Club

Back in January of this year, Naked City Brewery & Taphouse celebrated their 10th Anniversary with parties, music and new beer releases at both their Greenwood and Camano Island locations.

Now, Naked City is keeping the celebration going with even more parties, more music, more new beer releases and the announcement of a new Mug Club at their Greenwood location.  All of the events are free and family friendly (open to all ages).

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New Cans As Pike Prepares For Their 29th Anniversary

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Pike Brewing Company is a Seattle icon.  They’re also one of the oldest craft breweries in Seattle and are preparing to celebrate their 29th anniversary.  That’s nearly 30 years of craft beer, which is longer than some craft beer drinkers I know have even been alive!

Pike doesn’t just rest on their laurels either.  Sure, they have their core favorites like Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale, XXXXX Stout, Naughty Nellie Golden Ale, Monk’s Uncle Belgian Tripel and more, but they also continue to innovate with beers like Hive Five Hopped Honey Ale, Oaked Pear Sour, their Third Story Series Dark Lager and more.

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Celebrate Oktoberfest At Queen Anne Beerhall

Harvest season is upon us.  For those of us here in the Northwest, that means lots and lots of Fresh Hop Ales – which makes me quite happy.  However, the abundance of wonderful Fresh Hop beers we get this time of year can sometimes obscure the start of another great annual beer tradition: Oktoberfest.

I’m a serious hop-head, but when Fall arrives, my palate sometimes needs an occasional break from the hops and starts craving something with more of those rich, toasty and bready malt flavors.  I’m referring, of course, to the traditional, German style Märzen/Oktoberfest.

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