Black Raven Releases Kitty Kat Blues In Cans

Do you like a good pale ale?  Do you like blueberries?  Do you like vanilla?  How about hibiscus?  Now, what if you combine all of these things together and then can them?  The result would be Kitty Kat Blues Pale Ale in cans from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).

Kitty Kat Blues is not a new beer. Black Raven has been making it for years, but this is the first time ever they’ve put it into cans. It’s also the first time I’ve seen a change in the recipe.  Prior to using hibiscus, Kitty Kat Blues got some of it’s unique and distinct flavor from the use of catnip in the recipe.  Yes, catnip.  I’m not certain why Black Raven has swapped out the catnip for the hibiscus.  The photo for the can release event on Facebook even still uses the old label – which clearly shows catnip as an ingredient, but I’m curious to try this new iteration.  Kitty Kat Blues in cans arrives this Friday, 3/16 at 3 pm.

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Bruery Terreux Releases Saison Ardennes

While it’s true that IPAs tend to dominate the craft beer World, I’ve also seen quite a bit of support for many other craft styles, including many Belgian styles. This is evident in the popularity of breweries like Holy Mountain, Engine House No. 9, De Garde and many, many more.

Another popular brewery that excels at producing Beigian style Ales is Bruery Terreux – a brand from The Bruery in Orange County, California that exclusively focuses on and explores the sour and wild side of beer. Bruery Terreux is pleased to announce their latest release: Saison Ardennes – a food-friendly, oak foeder-aged, Belgian-style farmhouse Ale.

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Reuben’s Brews Announces Winner Of Hop Idol Homebrew Contest

I first told you about Reuben’s Brews’ Hop Idol homebrew competition back in late 2016, and the first winner was announced in early 2017. Well, the Hop Idol competition returned again this year and Reuben’s is ready to announce this year’s winner.

Like last year, this year’s Hop Idol winner will get to help brew their winning recipe on Reuben’s system and will see their winning beer distributed throughout the Northwest. It will also be entered into the Washington Beer Awards Pro-Am competition as well as the Great American Beer Festival.

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Pike Brewing Updates Their Classic Pike IPA

The hop is an amazing plant. There are dozens of different hop varieties (with even more new and experimental varieties showing up every year) and each one can impart different aromas and flavors to many of the craft beers we love. Those smells and tastes can run the gamut from fruity and citrusy to floral, herbal, piney, earthy, and more. S’cuse me for being Captain Obvious for a moment, but we love hops.

With so many hop forward beers available today, beers with a more subtle/subdued hop character can sometimes seem a bit underwhelming by comparison. Pike Brewing Company has taken note of this hoppy trend and has made the bold decision to reformulate their classic Pike IPA with a more hop-forward character to satisfy our hop hungry palates.

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Firestone Lager Returns From Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Ales tend to dominate the craft beer World.  Sure, there are some truly exceptional craft lagers out there but Ales, especially hoppy ones, always seem to take center stage. Even Firestone Walker Brewing Company, who first released Firestone Lager back in the year 2000, has a portfolio dominated by Ales.

Firestone Lager was discontinued back in 2007, mainly due to low demand compared with the plethora of Ales they produce. However, they feel that the craft beer landscape is changing and believe more people are open now to the idea of craft Lagers. So, Firestone Walker is pleased to announce the return of their new and improved version of Firestone Lager.

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Counterbalance Brewing And Sound Homebrew Team Up For A Pro-Am Homebrew Competition

Homebrewing is a big part of the craft beer World.  In fact, many of today’s professional brewers started out as homebrewers themselves before launching their professional breweries.  Many homebrewers enjoy entering their creations into local and national homebrew competitions.  Winning an award for your homebrew is always a great feeling.  I’ve won a few myself in my homebrewing days (though I’m between systems right now).

What if winning meant more than just a ribbon or certificate?  What if winning meant that your beer could be scaled up, brewed on a professional brewing system and made available for commercial sale?  Well that’s exactly what Counterbalance Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and Sound Homebrew Supply are doing with their Really Big Georgetown Pro-Am Homebrew Competition.

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Two Beers Brewing Gives EVO IPA A new Look And New Flavors

I’ve been following Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) almost since they first opened and I think the first beer I ever had from them was their flagship EVO (Evolutionary) IPA.  Loaded with Simcoe (one of my favorites), Amarillo and Centennial hops from the Yakima Valley, then dry-hopped with more Simcoe and Columbus, EVO is still a solid IPA.

However, ever since Two Beers came out with more IPAs like their Wonderland Trail Double IPA, Mango Passionfruit IPA and new The Other Coast Hazy IPA, EVO doesn’t get quite as much attention as it used to.  Two Beers has noticed this so they’ve decided to shake things up a bit and turn EVO into an IPA that will be constantly changing throughout 2018, utilizing new, experimental hop varieties from Yakima Valley. It seems quite fitting that a beer named ‘evolutionary’ is now evolving.

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Sam Adams Joins The Haze Craze

The New England Style/East Coast Style hazy IPA is everywhere these days.  So many breweries have jumped on the hazy bandwagon it seems like we get a few new citrusy, juicy, difficult-to-see-through IPAs nearly every week.  Despite their name, however, most of the New England Style IPAs we enjoy here in the Northwest come from right here on the West coast.

The Boston Beer Company (Aka: Sam Adams) has taken notice of the rise in popularity of this new IPA variant and they’ve decided it’s time for a nationally distributed New England style IPA that’s actually from New England. The Boston Beer Company is pleased to announce the release of their new Samuel Adams New England IPA on draft and in cans.

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Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks Releases Bretta Rose Batch No. 005

Are you a fan of sour or wild ales?  Not everyone is and that’s just fine by me.  Fewer fans simply means there’s more for those of us who do enjoy them to drink.  For those who do enjoy them though, we have some breweries here in the Northwest who excel at making incredible sour and wild ales, including Holy Mountain, Urban Family, Engine House Number 9, Cascade and more.

Though I’m a huge fan of Washington (and Oregon) brewed beers, I don’t hide the fact that several of my favorite breweries are, in fact, from California including one of my all time favorites: Firestone Walker Brewing Company.  Firestone’s Barrelworks Wile Ale program has it’s roots all the way back in 2006, when Barrelworks’ Master Blender, Jim Crooks, took a trip to Belgium to work with Lauren Salazar (New Belgium Brewing).  He returned with some dregs from one of their 15 or so Foeders and placed it into a French oak wine barrel of freshly filtered and un-carbonated Firestone DBA. This experiment was the foundation of what would eventually become Barrelworks’/Firestone Walker’s Agrestic Ale.  Continue reading

Wisdom Seeker Returns From Black Raven Brewing

This coming Saturday, February 24th is the date for Washington Beer Open House.  Hosted by the Washington Beer Commission, this celebration of Washington State’s beer industry invites you to get out and visit a few of the more than 130+ craft breweries operating all across Washington State.

Several local breweries have events planned for the 24th, including Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).  They’ll have the brewery opened up for tours, with brewery staff on-hand to answer any questions you may have and will also be releasing their extremely popular Wisdom Seeker Double IPA.

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