Seattle Mariners 2018 Food & Drink Preview

When you head to Safeco Field this year to watch the Seattle Mariners I sure hope you come hungry and thirsty, because the Mariners, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Centerplate and several local restaurants and breweries have teamed up to make your dining experience for the 2018 season something to remember.

At yesterday’s preview event, I had the opportunity to sample many of the new food and drink offerings you’ll find waiting for you at the ball park this season. You’ll have to come try them all for yourself, perhaps at the home opener next Thursday, March 29th as you cheer on the Mariners against the Cleveland Indians.

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Brewer’s Association Adds ‘Juicy Or Hazy’ To Their 2018 Beer Style Guidelines


In the World of craft beer, the IPA is king. There’s no denying it and, right now, the hazy and juicy New England Style IPA is the dominant sub-style. Everywhere you look there are cloudy, hazy, fruity IPAs that embody this very popular style.

The Brewer’s Association has taken notice of the meteoric rise in the popularity of this style and have added a new category to their 2018 Beer Style Guidelines: Juicy or Hazy Ale Styles – including: “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA.”  I’m somewhat perplexed that they didn’t call the category “New England Style”, but I’m sure they have their reasons.

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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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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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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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Payette Brewing Releases A New Year-Round Sour

I first told you about Payette Brewing Company back in February of 2016.  Their beers were just arriving in Washington State, including their Rustler IPA, North Fork Lager, and Rodeo Rye Pale (Spring seasonal).

Now, Payette is preparing to release their next year-round offering: Aura Guava & Hibiscus Sour Ale.  Payette has been putting out sours in 22 oz bottles for a while, and Aura Guava & Hibiscus was the standout from their rotating 22 oz sour series.  It became popular enough that canning seemed to be the next logical step.

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Ninkasi Releases Spring IPA Variety Pack

There’s no doubt that, in the craft beer World, the IPA is king.  We’ve got regular IPAs, double IPAs, Red IPAs, fruity and juicy IPAs and just about every other type of IPA you could imagine.  The IPA ‘style’ category could probably use a bit of updating to keep up with all the sub-styles emerging.

With so many choices, selecting an IPA can be a daunting task.  Ninkasi Brewing Company wants to make that choice a bit easier for you so, starting this month, they’re releasing the Spring IPA Variety 12-pack, which includes four different Ninkasi IPAs (3 in bottles and one in cans).

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Worthy Brewing Announces Two IPAs And Reveals Their 2018 Release Calendar

Despite the wide range of styles available to craft beer drinkers, it’s impossible to deny that the IPA is still king.  In fact, just last year, the Brewer’s Association‘s annual craft sales figures showed that at least one out of every five craft beers sold in the U.S. is an IPA.  Even though I try to vary the styles I drink as much as possible, I’m definitely a big IPA fan too as are most other craft beer drinkers I know.

That popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing down either.  In fact, it almost seems to be expanding.  Even with the incredible influx of new IPAs that are constantly hitting the market these days, most manage to find their audience and sell out, making way for the next IPA(s) coming down the pipe. I say, keep ’em coming.

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Fort George Stout Month 2018 Is Almost Here

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.

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