What do you do when you’re a firefighter with a passion for craft beer and you’re looking for a hobby to keep you busy in your down-time? You start homebrewing, of course. At least that’s how things got started for Top Rung Brewing Company founders, Jason Stoltz and Casey Sobol.
First opened in April of 2014, Jason and Casey launched Top Rung to fill a need they saw for more craft beer choices in the Olympia area. Now, they’re preparing for their third anniversary celebration.
Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) makes lots of excellent beers. Their popular Kitty Kat Blues was recently added to their year-round lineup and what is probably their most overall popular beer, Wisdom Seeker, just made it’s annual return as well. Now, Black Raven is preparing to bring back one of my absolute favorites. Arriving this Friday, March 24th is their popular and award-winning La Mort Bourbon.
Part of Black Raven’s Corbeaux Series and crafted by aging their equally popular La Petite Mort in Kentucky bourbon barrels, La Mort Bourbon is a complex beer that satisfies fans of Belgian Ales and bourbon-barrel aged beers alike. I’m a big fan of both, which helps explain why this is one of my favorite offerings from Black Raven.
That chill in the air is just starting to fade and the official start of Spring is just 5 days away, on March 20th. To mark the occasion, Beardslee Public House in Bothell has decided to host a Spring Solstice Brewer’s Dinner next Tuesday, March 21st.
This special dinner will be comprised of 4 distinct courses, plus a dessert course and each course, including dessert, will be paired with a different Beardslee beer. Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase the limited bottling of their Barleywine 2-packs at a discounted price.
Since I live in South end, I’ve always been a bit of an advocate for Seattle’s South end breweries. Back in 2015 I even published an article outlining some great reasons to visit some of Seattle’s South end breweries. In that article I made the observation that, if you include SoDo, Georgetown and Columbia City, the South end (even though it’s more spread out) actually has more breweries than Ballard.
Sheer numbers aside, however, I’ve become a big fan of several of Seattle’s South end breweries, including Counterbalance Brewing Company. First launched in February 2015, Counterbalance puts out some excellent beers. One of my favorites is their Bad Wolf Dark Ale (so I’m excited for their Big Bag Wolf Dark Strong 2nd Anniversary Ale), but they also make a great IPA (which actually made it to the final round in this year’s House IPA competition for Beveridge Place Pub) and a delicious Russian Imperial Stout that gets even better when they barrel age it. Now, Counterbalance is getting ready to celebrate their 2nd Anniversary.
Now, Firestone Walker is ready for another first. All of Firestone Walker’s Vintage Reserve barrel-aged beers will be moving from from 22-ounce bombers to individually boxed 12-ounce bottles. The first beer up for the 12-ounce treatment is Bravo Imperial Brown Ale, which is being bottled for the first time in 12 years.
These days, lining up for coveted craft beer releases has become a way of life here in Seattle. Over the past year, I’ve waited in line for the release of at least 7 or 8 different beers – probably more. The wait in line isn’t only about the beer though. For many of these releases I could have skipped the line, come in later and still gotten my bottles, but then I would have missed the opportunity to hang out with all my friends who also attend these releases.
Half the battle during bottle releases or when anticipating the return of your favorite on-tap selections, however, is knowing when they’re coming. Often times we don’t hear about a particular release until just a few days before it happens, meaning we may have to alter our plans or find a friend to pick up a few bottles, cans or growler fills for us if we can’t attend. That’s why having a release calendar can really help. To that end, Reuben’s Brews has just revealed their 2017 release calendar.
If you’re a fan of barrel aged stouts and porters then you know that Fall can be a trying time for your wallet. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been to several different barrel aged beer releases and, by no means, was I alone at these releases. Most had a line stretching down the street and around the corner with many people in line buying up to their allowed limit.
Well, I hope you haven’t depleted your holiday season craft beer spending limit yet, because Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is pleased to announce the return of Overhang Bourbon Imperial Porter this Friday, December 16th at The Woods taproom.
Schooner Exact Brewing Company has been busy lately. In addition to keeping the great beers and delicious food flowing at their 1st Avenue South location and their recent attendance at the 2016 American Craft Beer Experience Japan in Tokyo, they’ve also been busy with their latest expansion (including a new kitchen, restaurant, bar and, of course, more brewing space). You can see a few photos of the remodel work on their Facebook page.
You can tell Winter isn’t far off at Schooner Exact, when they release Hoppy The Woodsman, which arrived just last month. Now, with the first day of Winter just over two weeks away, Schooner Exact is ready to release their Bourbon Aged Imperial Porter this coming Thursday.
Scotch Ales are a style the often gets overlooked by your average craft beer drinker. They aren’t as prominent out there as Pale Ales, Stouts and, of course, IPAs, but if you enjoy a robust, malty beer that’s perfect for this chilly Fall weather we’ve been having, then give a Scotch Ale a try.
There are a few local breweries that make some excellent Scotch Ales, and one of my favorites is the award winning Second Sight Scotch Ale from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor). As good as Second Sight is, however, it gets even better when Black Raven ages it in Bourbon Barrels and christens it with the name of Splinters.
Bottle releases have become a pretty big deal in the Seattle area. It feels like just about every other weekend, there’s a new release (or several) coming out at one local craft brewery or another. Fremont Brewing Company has definitely had their share of sought after releases, including their recent release of The Ancient One series (Dark Star & B-Bomb versions). I heard the line for those bottles started as early as 4:30 am.
Your possible adverse feelings about standing in line for a beer release notwithstanding, the time has come to let you know that Fremont Brewing will be releasing the 2016 Version of B-Bomb in just over one week on “B-Bomb Friday”, November 25th.