New breweries open at such a rapid pace in Washington state, that I still haven’t had a chance to visit them all. Even within Seattle city limits, there are still a couple of breweries I have yet to check out first hand. One of those breweries is Belltown Brewing Company between 2nd and 3rd in Belltown, of course.
Just a couple of years ago, beers from Melvin Brewing Company out of Wyoming started appearing in the Seattle area. Being a big fan of hoppy beers as well as strong beers, I was immediately drawn to Melvin’s offerings, which satisfied both of these cravings quite nicely. I can recall drinking quite a bit of their Melvin IPA and, of course, their extremely popular 2X4 Double (some might say triple with its 10% ABV) IPA.
Fast forward now to 2017 – just a few months ago. Melvin Brewing decided it was time to expand and opened their first brewpub up in Bellingham on June 3rd. I visited them a few weeks after their opening but had to plan my day out carefully, because Melvin’s Bellingham location wasn’t set to open until 4 pm. That’s about to change. Starting on Monday, August 14th, Melvin Brewing Bellingham will start opening at 11 am and serving lunch.
Melvin Brewing Company out of Alpine and Jackson, Wyoming brews some pretty tasty beers. Since they began distribution in the Seattle area in early 2016, I’ve come to really appreciate several of their offerings. The two of their beers people around here are probably the most familiar with include their wildly popular 2×4 Imperial IPA and, of course, last year’s 3-Way IPA (brewed in conjunction with Fort George Brewing Company and Barley Brown’s).
First launched in 2009, Melvin took off quickly and gained high praise from the brewing industry, including a 2012 Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival for their 2×4 Imperial IPA (among other awards). Now, they’ve launched a 3rd location, and their first full-scale brewpub, right here in Washington State. Opened in Bellingham on June 3rd, Melvin’s brewpub offers 20 taps (including one rotating guest tap) and a full menu.
Back in January, I shared with you the exciting news that Naked City Brewery & Taphouse announced they would be opening a second location out on Camano Island. Now, just three short months after that announcement, they’re ready to go.
After a soft opening that will happen later this week for family and friends (invite only), they will be ready to open their doors to the public on Saturday, April 22nd at 11 am.
Last night, I was fortunate to attend a sneak peek preview party for media and industry friends at Lagunitas Brewing Company‘s newest location in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. As you’ve probably heard, they took over the space formerly occupied by Hilliard’s Brewing, which was purchased last year by Odin Brewing. Lagunitas treated us to food, live music, acrobatic and sideshow performers mingling among the crowd and, of course, great craft beer from one of my favorite California craft breweries.
Lagunitas has made some small but significant changes to the space, including a new, spacious island bar in the middle of the taproom, large, sturdy beer hall style tables with bench seating and brand new, restaurant-quality bathrooms. They want to open to the public as soon as possible and, from what I saw last night, they’re just about ready. You should be enjoying your favorite Lagunitas beers there before the end of this month.
Back in March of this year, I told you about some coming changes for Airways Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor). Since opening six years ago on 196th Street in Kent (and the opening of Airways Brewing Beer & Bistro one year later), they’ve continued to grow, pushing the limits of their current brewery space. The time had come to expand.
Well, Airways has been working on that expansion as well as re-branding themselves with a new logo which debuted earlier today, and now they’re ready to share some more details about the new space, their expanded hours and the grand opening date for the new brewery.
New craft breweries are popping up at an amazing rate these days. I’m sure you’ve heard the news that, as of December 2015, there are now more operating breweries in the U.S. than at any other time in U.S. history (4,144). That’s an impressive statistic and it means that we craft beer lovers have more choice in what we drink than ever before.
With so many new breweries around, what can a brewery do to really stand out? That hasn’t been a problem for Holy Mountain Brewing. Specializing in seasonal releases, including barrel-fermented beers, they have created a brewery that prominently features several different unique, barrel-aged beers, with no particular ‘Flagship’ beer in mind. In the short time they’ve been around they’ve become extremely popular, and I’ve amassed a pretty good selection of Holy Mountain beers in my cellar.
This new beer, dubbed Brewmance Golden Ale, will be on tap at both Flying Bike and Naked City starting today, September 30th, when they both open their doors (11:30 AM at Naked City and 3:00 PM at Flying Bike).
I remember when I first heard about Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery. It was April of 2011 and, at the time, there were only 9 members (the original founding members/owners). I was excited about the idea and became member number 12. By August of 2011, Flying Bike had rapidly grown to over 400 members and, by September of 2011, I was elected to the Flying Bike Coop Board of Directors.
For the year I was on the Board of Directors, our primary focus was on building the membership and, more specifically for me, organizing member homebrew competitions so that Flying Bike could start coming up with our first beers. Also during my time on the Board, I led a few sensory tasting classes. These classes were a member-only benefit, designed to educate cooperative members who were interested in learning how to better articulate the different sights, aromas and flavors they experience when tasting different craft beers.
Now, four years later, it’s finally happened. As many of you may know, Flying Bike secured a space in early 2015, right next door to Naked City Brewery And Taphouse. Since then, they have been busy building out the space, hiring their head brewer, Kevin Forhan, and obtaining all the necessary permits and licenses to get things up and running.