Firestone Walker Introduces Old Man Hattan

Most of the time when I’m drinking, I’m drinking craft beer. I sometimes enjoy a cocktail (or even just straight bourbon), and the occasional glass of wine or cider but, for the most part, craft beer is my go to. My enjoyment of good cocktails, bourbons and wines though is likely a big part of the reason I’m such a fan of barrel-aged beers. There’s just something about barrel-aging a craft beer that adds character and a complexity that simply can’t be achieved without the barrel aging.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a master of barrel aged beers and they’ve won many awards over the years for their multitude of barrel aged offerings – particularly those from their Proprietor’s Vintage series. They’ve also become more experimental over the past few years, trying new grains, new hops and new techniques and I applaud their daring and creativity. Now, Firestone Walker is set to release their newest barrel aged experiment: Old Manhattan. This multi barrel aged and blended Ale is designed to invoke the classic cocktails: the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.

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Cascade Brewing Releases Ocean Views Hazy Pale & Coastal Gose

I love a good Sour Ale. We’ve got a few breweries around the Sound producing some excellent sours (Urban Family Brewing and Engine House No. 9 are two that immediately come to mind) but, for me, the gold standard for sours from the Northwest is still Cascade Brewing Company out of Portland, Oregon.

For years, Cascade was the name that immediately sprang to mind whenever anyone asked about good sour ales from the Northwest, and with good reason. Cascade’s portfolio speaks for itself and now they’ve released their two latest creations: Ocean Views Hazy Pale and Coastal Gose. While it’s obviously not a Sour Ale, Ocean Views marks the first been Cascade has released in 16 oz cans, and it will see national distribution. Coastal Gose will release in 500ml bottles and will also be distributed nationwide.

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The West Seattle Beer & Music Festival Returns In August

I don’t live in West Seattle, but I do spend quite a bit of time there. It’s one of my favorite Seattle neighborhoods and offers a little something for everyone. There’s a lot to do down by the waterfront, the restaurant scene is great and the craft beer scene is on point with two of Seattle’s best craft beer bars: Beveridge Place Pub and The Beer Junction.

Last year’s first annual West Seattle Beer & Music Festival was a wonderful celebration of microbrews and music from the Northwest, and now it’s set to return for a second year at the Alki Masonic Center on August 23rd & 24th.

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Luponic Distortion No. 13 Uses A New Custom-Grown Hop

It’s been a few years now since Firestone Walker Brewing Company shook things up a bit, discontinuing their popular Double Jack IPA (along with a few other beers) and launching two different series of IPAs: Luponic Distortion and Leo v Ursus. I’ve tried each release from both of these series as they’ve arrived and I’ve enjoyed most of them very much.

I applaud Firestone Walker’s commitment to experimentation, and that enterprising spirit continues with the arrival of the latest beer in the Luponic Distortion Series: Luponic Distortion No. 13. This latest entry in the Luponic Distortion series features a custom-grown experimental hop, grown right here in our own Yakima Valley. According to Firestone’s Brewmaster Matt Brynildson, this new hop adds a distinctive and tropical character to Lucky No. 13.

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Fort George Partners With Cloudburst & Ruse For This Year’s 3-Way IPA

Do IPAs have a season? Years ago, I used to think of the IPA as a bit more of a Spring/Summer beer, but their unrelenting popularity and proliferation has allowed the IPA to defy any kind of seasonal constraints. As the #1 most popular, style of craft beer that makes sense and explains why it’s so easy to find IPAs on tap all the time, and pretty much anywhere you go.

Fort George Brewing Company out of Astoria, Oregon clearly understands this demand for IPAs. In addition to all their other great IPAs, each year since 2013 Fort George has searched for other breweries to collaborate with in order to bring us that wonderful IPA known as 3-Way. Now, in collaboration with Cloudburst Brewing Company and Ruse Brewing, this year’s 3-Way is ready to make its debut.

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Craft Beer Monger’s Picks For Seattle Beer Week 11

Even though I knew it was coming, Seattle Beer Week (SBW) kind of snuck up on me this year. I can’t believe it kicks off in just 2 days! There are a few events that happen each year that I usually attend so I’m set there. However, I didn’t find much time until this past weekend to look over the rest of this year’s SBW events and choose which ones I’d either like to attend myself and/or that I’d like to suggest to you. I’m here to fix that.

How about you? Have you found the time to look over the ever growing list of events on the official Seattle Beer Week website? If not, don’t worry. I took the time to read through the details of every event that’s been posted for this year’s festivities, and I’m here to give you my suggestions for the best events to pick from for Seattle Beer Week #11.  Here we go!

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Sam Adams Updates The Recipe For Their Summer Ale

Do you have any favorite recipes? If so, do you share them freely or do you keep them a secret? Colonel Sanders did everything he could to protect KFC’s secret blend of 11 herbs and spices, and Coca-Cola keeps their secret recipe in a pretty serious looking vault, which is actually on display at the World of Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta. In case you weren’t aware, recipes can’t be copyrighted, which is why KFC, Coke and many other companies go to such great lengths to keep their recipes secret.

Craft breweries may not protect their recipes as fiercely as KFC or Coke, but they still don’t usually make them public or easy to share. They’ll often let you know what hops they use, what malt(s) they use and even which strain of yeast they brewed the beer with but that’s mainly because, for many craft beer enthusiasts, knowing those things can influence their choices. However, unlike KFC or Coke who keep their recipes the same year after year (‘New Coke’ notwithstanding), breweries will sometimes alter the recipes for some of their favorite beers based on feedback from their customers or their own taste buds.

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Hellbent Brewing Prepares To Release Their Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout

Spring is here. Temperatures are on the rise and Summer feels like it’s just around the corner. For some people, this might mean it’s time to put many of the darker, heavier craft beers on the back shelf and bring the lighter, fruitier, earthier, more floral Pales, IPAs, Hefeweizens, Golden Belgian Ales and other lighter styles forward.

You know what I say to that?  I say go to Hell – Hellbent brewing that is. Now don’t get me wrong. I love all those lighter styles too but, warm weather or cold, I always enjoy a rich, dark complex bourbon barrel aged Stout, and that’s exactly what Hellbent Brewing Company will be delivering next month on May 15th.

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Help Two Beers Brewing Climb For A Cause At Their Beer + Gear Sale

Do you enjoy craft beer? Do you enjoy hiking, climbing and other outdoor activities? Do you enjoy buying your outdoor gear at a good price, all while helping raise funds for Washington’s National Park Fund (WNPF)? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has an event coming up this weekend you might be interested in.

This Sunday, April 20th, Two Beers Brewing kicks off their 4th Annual Beer + Gear sale to benefit WNPF. Last year they raised over $25k, and they’re hoping to outdo themselves this year. Don’t need any beer or new gear? No problem. You can still make a donation to help out WNPF. Details below.

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Cascade Brewing Releases One Way Or Another 2017

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m a big fan of Sour Ales. That puckering tartness they impart can be too much for some, but it tickles my palate’s fancy and I’m always ready to try a new Sour Ale. We have some great local breweries that make some truly amazing Sour Ales, but most of them are relatively new. Before their existence, the best Sour Ales around always came from Cascade Brewing Company out of Portland, Oregon.

Cascade is still tops in my book. They’re one of my favorite Northwest breweries (as my #FF tweets can attest to), and I always keep tabs on what they’re working on next. To that end, I’m pleased to share the news with you that Cascade has released their One Way Or Another 2017 project. The 2017 version is a complex Sour Ale featuring Northwest-grown marionberries and Meyer lemon zest with Sour Blond Ale aged in oak barrels for up to 16 months.

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