Louis Raison French Cidre Arrives In The US

Even though I’m a big fan of craft beers, I do enjoy the occasional craft cider as well.  I sometimes head to one of my local watering holes fully intending to sample some ciders, but then I look at the tap list and I’m like, “Oh look! Three new craft beers I haven’t tried yet!”  As a result, I’m far less experienced and knowledgeable about craft ciders than I am craft beers.

Despite this inherent bias I have towards beer over cider, however, I definitely still appreciate a well made craft cider and usually do manage to try a few when I see something new and interesting.  So I’m a intrigued by the arrival of Louis Raison French Cidre, France’s #1 selling cider, which is set to make their U.S. debut this week.  There are five events happening around Seattle between August 15th and August 26th, where you’ll be able to sample their ciders and see what you think.

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Stoup Brewing Is Preparing To Throw A Yard Party

We’ve been having a great Summer in Seattle.  It’s been wonderfully warm (Oh, stop complaining! How often do we get the heat?  Plus, it’s cooler again this week.)  We broke the record for number of days without rain at 52 (breaking the old record of 51 set in 1951), and great, locally-brewed, Summertime craft beers are on tap everywhere you look.  We won’t discuss the BC smoke though…

Stoup Brewing Company has been enjoying all that beautiful weather out there too and now they’re preparing to host their largest event of the Summer – a yard party on Saturday, August 26th from 2 pm to 10 pm.  They’ll have great beer (of course!), lots of food, live bands and activities for the whole family thanks to the Seattle Children’s Museum.

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The Washington Beer Collaboration Festival Happens This Weekend

It seems like I’ve been telling you about a lot of collaboration beers lately.  There was the Chainline & Georgetown ‘Bunk Beds’ collaboration project, the American Dream Collaboration Pack from Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada‘s collaboration with Brauhaus Miltenberger for the ultimate Oktoberfest bier, the Harvest Collaboration Series and Sesiones del Migrante collaboration from Bale Breaker Brewing and, of course, this year’s 3-Way IPA from Fort George, Reuben’s and Great Notion (which has been somewhat difficult to find this year).

With so many collaboration beers around, it seems like it would be a great idea to have a festival where you could sample several different collaboration beers all in one place.  Well, luckily for us, just such a festival is happening at the end of this week.  Coming up this Saturday, August 19th, is the 2017 Washington Beer Collaboration Festival, presented by the Washington Beer Commission.

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Ninkasi Bottles First Rule IPA

Things are moving pretty quickly in today’s craft beer World.  New craft breweries are popping up everywhere like weeds and exciting new beers are being released constantly.  Many of these new beers can only be found on tap but if they become popular enough, they usually find their way into bottles or cans.

Ninkasi Brewing Company loves hoppy beers and believes in “brewing without limitations.”  It was in this spirit that they added First Rule IPA to their Rare & Delicious Series back in March.  Now, they’re ready to promote this beer that’s been so popular on tap to their Special Release Series in 12 oz and 22 oz bottles.

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Bale Breaker announces the Harvest Collaboration Series

Collaborations are all the rage these days.  I recently told you about the Samuel Adams Brewing The American Dream Collaboration Pack and this year’s 3-Way IPA from Fort George Brewing (plus Great Notion Brewing and Reuben’s Brews) has been flying off shelves so fast that it’s been a bit difficult to find this year.

Now, Bale Breaker Brewing Company is ready to get in on the action.  They’ve partnered with Georgetown Brewing, Founders Brewing, Cloudburst Brewing and Pinthouse Pizza & Brewpub to create the Harvest Series Collaboration Series.  The beers have staggered release date from August through October.

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Melvin Brewing Bellingham Expands Their Hours

Just a couple of years ago, beers from Melvin Brewing Company out of Wyoming started appearing in the Seattle area.  Being a big fan of hoppy beers as well as strong beers, I was immediately drawn to Melvin’s offerings, which satisfied both of these cravings quite nicely.  I can recall drinking quite a bit of their Melvin IPA and, of course, their extremely popular 2X4 Double (some might say triple with its 10% ABV) IPA.

Fast forward now to 2017 – just a few months ago.  Melvin Brewing decided it was time to expand and opened their first brewpub up in Bellingham on June 3rd.  I visited them a few weeks after their opening but  had to plan my day out carefully, because Melvin’s Bellingham location wasn’t set to open until 4 pm.  That’s about to change.  Starting on Monday, August 14th, Melvin Brewing Bellingham will start opening at 11 am and serving lunch.

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Sierra Nevada Partners With Brauhaus Miltenberger To Create The Ultimate Oktoberfest Beer

Images Courtesy Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

I wonder how many young craft beer drinkers today realize that they owe the wonderful proliferation of craft beer in the U.S., in small part, to President Jimmy Carter and his brother Billy.  On October 14th, 1978, spurred on by his brother Billy who was a homebrewer, Jimmy Carter signed a bill into law which allowed homebrewing of beer in the United States. Prior to this ruling, Sierra Nevada founders, Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi, had already been homebrewing in California’s Butte County.  When it became legal, however, they decided it was time to go pro and in 1979 Sierra Nevada Brewing Company as born in Chico.

Their first beer was the popular and iconic, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, followed soon after by Celebration IPA (now discontinued). Today, Sierra Nevada still brews many excellent and well known beers including: Torpedo Extra IPA, Otra Vez Gose, Hoptimum Triple IPA and, of course, their classic Bigfoot Barleywine plus, of course, their annual Beer Camp series of collaboration beers.  Now Sierra Nevada is ready to release their latest Seasonal creation.  This year, they have teamed up with Germany’s Brauhaus Miltenberger to create the ultimate Oktoberfest beer.

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Are You Ready For The 15th Annual Bend Brewfest?

There are breweries all across the U.S. that are making some truly great craft beers, but I find that I tend to favor those that come from the West coast: Washington, Oregon and California.  I’m sure that’s probably due, in part, to what I guess you’d call regional loyalty.  I live in Washington and grew up most of the way in California.  It’s probably also party due to the fact my first introduction to craft beers was in California were I was drinking stuff from some of the early craft beer pioneers like Sierra Nevada, Mendocino Brewing and Anderson Valley Brewing, just to name a few.

Despite my general West coast preferences, however, please don’t ever ask me to pick a single favorite beer or a single favorite brewery.  It’s just become too difficult with so many great craft beer producers out there today.  There are, however, some breweries in Oregon that are doing some truly amazing work, particularly in the Bend area.  I’m a big fan of Crux, Boneyard and, of course, The Ale Apothecary – who was recently named one of the best 25 breweries in America by Gear Patrol. Also on the list were other West coast breweries: de Garde, Lost Abbey, MonkishSante Adairius & Sierra Nevada.  Personally, I’m a bit disappointed that Seattle’s own Holy Mountain Brewing didn’t make the list.

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The 2017 PNA Summer Beer Taste Happens This Weekend

Each year, the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) hosts a Summer Beer Tasting. This year will be the 12th year for this fun event, which is scheduled to take place this Saturday, July 22nd at the Phinney Neighorhood Center.

The motto/slogan for this year’s event is Summer of Beer which is a throwback, of course, to the Summer of Love. That’s very fitting since the Summer of Love was exactly 50 years ago (1967).

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Tankard & Tun Opens Today

Last night my wife and I, along with several other members of the local media, were fortunate to attend a special preview night at Seattle’s newest craft beer and gourmet food spot: Tankard & Tun.  Created by Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, the same people who brought you Seattle’s iconic Pike Brewing Company, this Oyster bar and restaurant is a bit more upscale and, fittingly, is right upstairs from The Pike.

I first told you about Tankard & Tun back in April, when it was first announced and the Finkels were deep into construction and planning.  It’s a beautiful, spread out space with a moderately sized bar area (the only section that is 21 and over only) a fermentation deck and few separate seating areas, including a private event mezzanine that’s upstairs but somehow still doesn’t make you feel removed from the market.

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