What a year it’s been. We’ve had to deal with political madness, various ongoing marches and protests across the nation, mask mandates and lockdowns that have hurt and even destroyed so many businesses and forced so many onto unemployment, sports teams playing without any fans in the stands, and more. Thank God for beer, right? It provides at least a bit of joy in these dark and uncertain times.
As I’m sure most of you know, during this latest lockdown, I encourage all of my readers to do their part in supporting our local craft breweries, craft bottle shops and craft beer bars (at least those who are able to still serve right now because they have outdoor seating). They need our help to survive and we want them to still be around when things finally get back to normal – or whatever the new normal will be. Just be sure to always wear your mask and practice proper social distancing when picking up your beverages from your favorite places.
Oktoberfest you know. Everyone does. There are Oktoberfest celebrations all around the World every year – although may places improperly start their Oktoberfest celebrations in October. Traditionally, Oktoberfest ends the first week of October, so September is really when you want to do most of your celebrating.
What about Mayfest though (aka Maifest)? Do you know that one too? While Oktoberfest celebrates the harvest season, Mayfest/Maifest celebrates the return of Spring. Mayfest is starting to grow in popularity in the U.S. and has actually been celebrated in Cincinnati since 1873. The Queen Anne Beerhall has decided they’d like to get into the Mayfest spirit and will be hosting a Mayfest celebration for two weekends in May, the 11th-12th and the 18th-19th.
With so many breweries in Seattle, it seems like there’s always an anniversary celebration just around the corner (not that I’m complaining or anything!). Over the past few months I’ve told you about anniversary celebrations from such local breweries as Lucky Envelope, Hellbent, Stoup and Naked City and there’s still more anniversary celebrations to come before the year is out.
Now Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is getting ready to celebrate a major milestone. Coming up on Saturday, November 4th, they’ll be celebrating their 10th Anniversary. Rather than celebrating for just one day, however, Two Beers has nearly an entire week of events lined up, culminating with the Grand Celebration on the 4th.
Are you a homebrewer? Even if you aren’t, but you are a craft beer fan, I’m willing to bet you know at least a few people who are homebrewers. I myself first started homebrewing well over 20 years ago (but I’m between systems right now, which is killing me!) and back then, just like today, many homebrewers started out by trying to recreate some of their favorite craft beers at home.
Back in my early days, when craft breweries were few and far between, the holy grail for many homebrewers was to successfully reproduce or ‘clone’ beers like Sierra Nevada Brewing‘s Pale Ale. If you could do that as a homebrewer back in the early 90’s, then you really knew your stuff. The challenge was that you pretty much had to come up with the recipe on your own. The homebrewing community was much smaller, there were few helpful recipe guides and there was no brewing software like BeerSmith or Brewtarget to help you out.
Collaboration beers have become quite popular in the craft beer World. When some of your favorite breweries team up, it’s always exciting to see what new creations they’ll come up with. This year’s 3-Way IPA from Fort George Brewery for example (brewed in collaboration with Reuben’s Brews and Great Notion Brewing), is so popular it’s been rather difficult to find this year.
The winners have just been announced for the 2016 US Open Beer Championship. Unique in it’s format, the US Open Beer Championship is the only brewing competition to allow award winning home brewers to compete against commercial breweries Worldwide. Beers from 95 different categories (including non-alcoholic) were ranked and the top 10 breweries and medal winners were also listed.
We’re fortunate in the Seattle area to have lots of great craft bottle shops around where we can find our favorite craft beers and ciders, and discover new ones from breweries and cideries both near and far. One such bottle shop is Full Throttle Bottles.*
Nestled in the heart of Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, Full Throttle is a specialty beer and wine (and cider and mead) store that manages to carry an impressive selection of craft beers, craft ciders, wines and meads for you to choose from, despite its somewhat small size.
Most craft beer fans I know gravitate towards Ales more than Lagers, and I think the reason is obvious. Pale Ales, IPAs, Stouts, Porters, Barleywines, Saisons and other Belgian Styles, etc. are all Ales, not Lagers. There are a few Lagers out there in the craft World but, for the most part, most of us tend to lean towards the Ale side of things much more often.
Unfortunately, that sometimes means we don’t take the time to appreciate some of the classic Germany styles (which are mostly Lagers) that are readily available at several places around Seattle. One of those places is Altstadt in Pioneer Square. To help you explore and appreciate some of these styles, Altstadt is serving up three different German beer flights, featuring classic German beer styles.