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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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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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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Samuel Adams Announces The Brewing The American Dream Collaboration Pack

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.

Now Samuel Adams (The Boston Beer Company) is getting in on the collaboration action with their Brewing The Great American Dream Collaboration Pack.  This mixed pack will include five new collaboration beers, brewed Roc Brewing Co. (Rochester, NY), Bosque Brewing(Albuquerque, NM), ChuckAlek Independent Brewers (Ramona, CA), Woods Beer Co. (San Francisco, CA) and Brewery Rickoli (Wheat Ridge, CO), as well as their flagship Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

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Seafair Summer Ale Is Coming From Pike Brewing

 

Summer is almost here.  We had a bit of a tease over Memorial Day weekend (one of the hottest on record in the Puget Sound), but now we’re back to ‘normal’.  Oh joy.  We might have to wait just a bit longer before Summer truly arrives in Seattle, but at least we can start to enjoy all of the Summer Seasonals that make their return about this time each year.

I’ve already told you about the seasonal return of Lima Loca and Day Hike Summer Ale from Two Beers Brewing (CBM Sponsor), as well as the return of Hochzeit Pilsner and Beak Tweaker from Black Raven Brewing (CBM Sponsor).  Now, Pike Brewing Company is preparing to get in on the action with the upcoming release of their new Summer Seasonal: Seafair Summer Ale.

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Are You Ready To Have Your Beak Tweaked By Black Raven Brewing?

 

Just the other day, I was telling you about how the changing seasons bring with them all the different Seasonal craft beers we enjoy as they make their annual returns.  As the weather warms that, of course, means it’s time for most people’s taste buds to leave Stouts, Porters and other malt-heavy beers behind (for the most part) and start seeking out crisper, lighter (in some cases), refreshing, hoppier beers.

For me, the tipping point each year is the annual Underberg Back In Black Stout Fest at Brouwer’s Cafe during Seattle Beer Week. It’s sort of the last hurrah for the year before the Seasonal changeover.  Granted, that changeover came a bit earlier this year, since Seattle Beer Week began a week earlier than in previous years.  That doesn’t mean I never drink Stouts in the Summer, but far less so than in the colder months.

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Discover A New Take On Some Familiar Hops With Luponic Distortion Revolution No. 006 From Firestone Walker

Firestone Walker Brewing Company puts out some truly exceptional beers.  Their Proprietor’s Vintage Series (which includes beers such as Bravo, Parabola, Stickee Monkee and more) can’t be beat and they make some excellent IPAs as well.  Their Double Jack Imperial IPA used to be my favorite (determined through repeated blind tastings) but, in late 2016, they decided to retire their Proprietor’s Reserve Series of beers which included Double Jack, Opal (a dry-hopped Saison) and Wookey Jack (Black Rye IPA).

I was initially disappointed when Firestone discontinued Double Jack but I later realized that they were merely adjusting to the ever changing landscape defined by all the craft beer enthusiasts out there.  Lately, the underlying attitude seems to be that having a few well known beers, even if those beers are excellent and highly rated, isn’t enough anymore.  Sure, you’re still respected and people will still think highly of your beers but, if you want to keep that buzz going and stay on the forefront of what’s happening in the craft beer World, you have to keep constantly coming out with something new and exciting.

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Two Special Releases From Counterbalance Brewing & 2bar Spirits

I’ve always been an advocate for Seattle’s South end breweries.  Living in the South end myself I, of course, spend a lot of time at these places and enjoy seeing them succeed.  A couple of years back I penned an article with some great reasons to visit Seattle’s South end breweries and, earlier this year, I told you about the newly formed South Seattle Brewery Coalition.

That’s why I was very pleased when I heard the news that Counterbalance Brewing Company had teamed up with 2bar Spirits (who also happens to be in Seattle’s South end) for a unique Whiskey/Stout collaboration.

Aging Stouts in Whiskey barrels is nothing new.  Breweries have been doing it for years and indeed Whiskey and Bourbon barrel aged Stouts are some of my favorites.  This time, however, things went a bit in the other direction.  2bar Spirits used the actual mash bill from Counterbalance’s Kushetka Imperial Stout to produce this particular Whiskey, then aged it for 2 years in 2bar Whiskey barrels.

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Craft Beer Monger’s Top Picks For Seattle Beer Week #9

Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like the past year has flown by so quickly.  Seattle Beer Week #8 almost feels like it was just a few weeks ago.  Yet here we are, with Seattle Beer Week #9 kicking off in just two days.  Have you had an opportunity to look over the ever-growing list of events on the official Seattle Beer Week website?  With so many events to choose from, many of which happen on the same day or even at the same time, you may have to make some difficult choices regarding which events to attend.  Here are my top picks for Seattle Beer Week #9.

Things get under way with the Official Seattle Beer Week Kickoff this Thursday, May 4th.  There are  5 stops on the Seattle Beer Week (SBW) kickoff tour.  Things start off at 4:30 pm at the new Flatstick Pub location in Pioneer Square.  The other stops on this year’s kickoff tour include: Beveridge Place Pub (6:30 pm and Cask-O-Rama will be going on), Brouwer’s Cafe (7:45 pm), Naked City Brewery & Taphouse (9:00 pm), with the evening closing out at The Pine Box (10:30 pm).

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Black Raven’s 8th Annual Flock Party & Ravenmaster Club Open Enrollment

Each year around this time, there’s a big party out in Redmond.  If you’re a fan of Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor), then you know that I’m referring, of course, to their annual Flock Party anniversary celebration.

Set to take place on Saturday, May 6th from noon – 7 pm, this year’s Flock Party will include live music, plenty of ‘rare birds’ (rare and unique Black Raven beers, including some Tiki-drink inspired infusions this year), food, a retail merchandise booth and even an outdoor cigar lounge/booth.  Well-behaved and leashed dogs will also be welcome and, if you run short on cash, there will be an ATM on site.

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