When you’re at a local craft brewery or craft beer bar and you find a beer on tap that you really enjoy, the first thing you usually want to know is whether or not they package that beer to go. As I’m sure most of you are aware, there are quite a few craft beers out there that don’t get bottled or canned – especially beers that are one-offs. That means, if you want to take some of that great new craft beer you just discovered home with you, your best bet is to see if the brewery or bar can fill you a growler to go.
Growlers are a great option and, varying opinions notwithstanding, I think they do their job quite well. However, using one means you’d have to already own one and remember to have brought it with you, or else you’ll need to spend a little at the brewery or bar (assuming the bar has some to sell) to purchase one before having it filled.
There are several great restaurants in Seattle. Since my primary focus here at CraftBeerMonger.com is on craft beer though (and to a lesser degree craft cider and other craft alcoholic beverages), I haven’t visited as many of Seattle’s fine dining establishments as I’d like. Also, due to my somewhat unusual work schedule, I don’t get to downtown Seattle for a good meal very often.
That’s why I was pleased to receive an invitation recently from Urbane to experience, on them, their Fresh Hop dinner, featuring Fresh Hop beers from Georgetown Brewing Company. Urbane is a farm-to-table restaurant who prides themselves on sustainability and using locally-sourced ingredients. In fact, the vast majority of Urbane’s ingredients come from within a 200-mile radius of the restaurant located at 8th Ave and Olive Way in the Hyatt at Olive 8 building downtown.
I love a parade – especially when it’s a parade of Fresh Hop Ales. I say keep ’em coming and I know I’m not the only one! Local breweries are definitely hearing that call and answering back in a big way. So far this season, I’ve enjoyed Fresh Hop Ales from at least 8 Northwest breweries (mostly Seattle, but a few from Oregon), and I’m looking forward to having even more in the coming weeks.
Now Stoup Brewing Company in Ballard has announced their Fresh Hop lineup for the 2018 season, and it doesn’t disappoint. Stoup if keeping it fresh with at least 5 different Fresh Hop Ales coming our way over the next few weeks.
There’s a lot going on right now at Schooner Brewing (formerly Schooner Exact Brewing Company). They’ve finished their remodel and re-branding from the old Schooner Exact taproom, but the changes aren’t so dramatic that you won’t recognize the place. They’ve updated the style, added more seating, updated the menu and started rolling out some new beers. Don’t worry though, your old Schooner favorites like 3 Grid IPA, Profanity Hill Porter, King Street Brown and more are still around too.
If you’re ready to try a new Schooner beer though, why not stop in for a pint of their SODO IPA, which is on tap now. Also on tap for these waning days of Summer is their very popular Seamstress Union Raspberry Wheat. Not your thing? Then hang on till the first week of October when Schooner Brewing’s Comet Fresh Hop will make its debut.
Don’t be sad that our Seattle Summer is winding down and Fall is set to return. Instead, rejoice in knowing that the hop harvest is upon us and that means the return of Fresh Hop beers. Several local breweries make Fresh Hop beers each year but one brewery really goes all out, releasing multiple Fresh Hop beers for us to enjoy each year. That brewery is Fremont Brewing Company.
Each year, they release multiple versions of their Field To Ferment Fresh Hop Ale, each one featuring a different hop. The first release in this year’s Field To Ferment series arrives today, 9/7 and features Centennial hops. Also, set to return soon is their wildly popular Cowiche Canyon Fresh Hop, using hops grown exclusively for Fremont on a single farm at the mouth of the Cowiche Canyon Conservation area in Yakima.
Seattle’s iconic Pike Brewing Company has been going through a few changes over the past year or so. They’ve expanded their brewery operations, opened the new Tankard & Tun upstairs from The Pike, and now they’re ready to open a new brewery beer garden for the Summer. Situated right in the brewery itself, Pike’s new brewery beer garden will be right near the brewery doors that open onto Post Alley below Pike Place Market. In
In other Pike Brewing News, the Flight of Dreams Opening in Nagoya Japan, featuring Pike Brewing, has been pushed back to September and Pike has also been named ‘Most Iconic Brand’ in Seattle Magazine’s 2018 beer awards. They also have two new beers about to release: Citrus Summer Ale and Hopsie.
They’ve been doing it for years. They keep changing partners too. Each year you wonder what could possibly make it so… hard… to find. They give you quick flashes of it at preview events, building up your anticipation, but hold back that final version until they’re ready for full release.
I’m referring of course to Fort George Brewery‘s annual release of 3-Way IPA. Each year this extremely popular collaboration brew is sought after by IPA fans everywhere, and it can go fast, making it somewhat difficult to find at times. For this year’s version of 3-Way, Fort George Brewery out of Astoria, Oregon has teamed up with Holy Mountain Brewing Company out of Seattle and Modern Times Beer out of San Diego. All three breweries are well known for making some excellent IPAs, so this sounds to me like the perfect recipe for a collaborative IPA made in hophead Heaven.
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.
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.
Hellbent Brewing Company is one of those Seattle breweries that I just don’t get to visit as often as I’d like. My unusual work hours, combined with the fact that I live in the South end, mean that I don’t get to visit many North end breweries that often. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy their beers and will enjoy a few pints whenever I find beers on tap from breweries I don’t get to enough.
Between next Wednesday, January 17th and the beginning of February, Hellbent Brewing Company is set to release two beers and their first ever 16 oz cans. First us is a returning favorite: Big Island Toasted Coconut Stout. This beer was largely inspired by the fact that one of Hellbent’s owners, Randy Embernate, is from the big Island of Hawaii. Also on the way is their Sparrowhawk Belgian Blond and their House IPA and Dang! Citra IPA in 16 oz cans.