Seattle is a city that’s just bursting at the seams with craft breweries. No matter were you are in the city, you’re likely not more than a few stones throws away from a craft brewery. With so many breweries to choose from though, how do you decide who the standouts are? How do you know which breweries to recommend to people here for a visit or those asking about which Seattle breweries they need to keep an eye on?
Two factors that can help you decide are, of course, the quality of the beers the brewery is putting out, and the demand for those beers whenever there’s a new release. By those two measures, among others, Fremont Brewing Company has become one of Seattle’s best known breweries, even outside of Washington. Many of their beers, particularly their barrel-aged offerings, have caught the attention of craft beer lovers both near and far. They even have a super secret society of members who “solemnly swear to devote themselves to the pursuit of the finest beers that ever were” – the Heron Hunting Club. Fremont Brewing already distributes their beers to 6 states, including Washington, and now they’re ready to expand into Montana with the help of Hayden Beverage Company.
More often than not in the craft beer World, it seems like hops are the big stars. Much of this is due to the fact that IPA is still king when it comes to craft beer and, while I still enjoy drinking IPAs through the Fall and Winter, I really start to appreciate the complex malt character of less hop forward beers like Stouts, Porters and Scotch Ales to name a few. I also enjoy many beers that have been barrel aged in Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch or other barrels and, let’s face it, there aren’t that many barrel aged IPAs out there (though they do exist).
I’m also rather picky about my Scotch Ales. There are only a few locally made Scotch Ales that I really enjoy, and one of them is Second Sight from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor). Now, Black Raven is preparing to release Second Sight’s more mature brother, Splinters Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale.
Ten years ago. That’s when it all began. That’s when Seattle area craft beer lovers got to experience the first ever Seattle Beer Week and the first ever official Seattle Beer Week beer (a double IPA from Pike Brewing Company). Back then, many of our favorite local craft breweries and craft beer bars didn’t even exist yet. Whereas today, it seems, we have a craft brewery or craft beer bar around almost every corner.
More craft breweries and more craft beer bars means even more Seattle Beer Week events. Are you ready? Surviving the week (actually 11 days) will take careful planning. I’m here to give you some suggestions on which events you might want to check out. So sit back, if you’ve managed to pick up any yet, grab yourself a can of this year’s official Seattle Beer Week beer – Citrus Galaxy IPA from Georgetown Brewing Company – and take a look a Craft Beer Monger’s Picks for Seattle Beer Week 10.
Everyone loves a good party, especially when that party involves craft beer. Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) definitely knows how to throw a great craft beer party, and they prove it every Spring with their annual Flock Party/anniversary celebration.
This year is Black Raven’s 9th anniversary/Flock Party and it’s set for Saturday, May 5th from noon till 8 pm. As always, the Flock Party will feature several live music acts, plenty of ‘rare birds’ (rare and unique Black Raven beers, including some special cask infusions), delicious food, a retail merchandise booth and they usually also have an outdoor cigar lounge/booth.
Alesong Brewing and Blending out of Eugene, Oregon is gearing up to release five new beers for their upcoming quarterly release and is also planning to host a celebration for their Seattle area members who purchase in the online presale (Join for details).
Alesong primarily distributes their limited quantity of bottled beers through their mailing list. Want in? You can join their mailing list at the link above. Using this members-first method is Alesong’s best attempt at a system they believe ensures as many people as possible can get their beers, by reserving beers for their loyal customers in advance before anything sells out. Join now to get all the details. Then on February 20th, Alesong will host an event at Teku Tavern where you can pick up your beers.
One of the best things about the cold, dark days of Winter are all of the dark, delicious Stouts that come along with it. Sure, you can drink a good Stout anytime, but Fall and especially Winter are when our palates seem to turn more towards the dark side and crave all those deep, rich, coffee/chocolate/roasty and often barrel-aged flavors that a good Stout provides.
February is Stout Month and Fort George Brewery is ready to celebrate with a full month of events and beer releases. Don’t worry if you can’t make it down to Oregon for some of the Traveling Carnival Of Stouts events. They’ve planned 5 events for Washington Fort George fans as well.
Now, with February almost upon us, Counterbalance Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor), is getting ready to celebrate their 3rd anniversary with 2 days of celebration and 2 beer releases, including their first ever Barleywine: Flight Risk.
For those of you keeping count, how many beers do you drink per day? Would you say you drink at least 2.6 beers per day? If you do, I assume you’re drinking a mix of different style from different breweries. After all, not many craft beer drinkers I know (if any) stick to just one beer or even just one brewery.
If you want to keep up with Breakside Brewing Company’s entire 2018 release calendar, however, then you’ll have to have at least 2.6 Breakside beers each day (Yeah, I know. Don’t ask me how to have .6 of a beer. lol). That’s because they’re planning to release over 140 different beers this year. They recently revealed their release schedule for every beer that will be coming out this year.
Do you have a favorite craft brewery? I get asked this question quite a bit, but I’ve found it virtually impossible to pick just one brewery as my overall favorite. I have a whole list of favorites (as well as a list of breweries I tend to dislike/avoid), but narrowing it down to just one? Nope. I can’t do it.
If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that I regularly post a list of some of my favorite breweries (on ‘Follow Friday’) but, again, it’s a list rather than just one brewery. Each time I post my list of favorites, however, Reuben’s Brews is included. Ever since they first launched back in 2012, I’ve been a fan. Their Rye beers and barrel aged stouts are always excellent and they’ve just been killing it lately with all of their different IPA releases.
I’ve been a Washingtonian for nearly 20 years now. I love the Washington craft beer scene and the plethora of wonderful craft breweries in the state, but some of my favorite breweries are still from California. One such brewery is Firestone Walker Brewing Company out of Paso Robles, CA.
Each year since their 10th Anniversary, Firestone Walker has released a special Anniversary Ale. They hold an annual blending session, with both brewers and winemakers in attendance, in order to craft the perfect blend for each year’s Anniversary Ale offering. Now, Firestone Walker is preparing to release the latest version: XXI Anniversary Ale.