Seattle Beer Week is almost here. Things get under way next Thursday the 4th with the Kickoff night tour and, of course, the on-tap launch of the Official beer of Seattle Beer Week 2017: Fresh Off The Farm IPA from Bale Breaker Brewing Company.
Each year, Seattle Beer Week (SBW) partners with a different Washington brewery (or, in the case of SBW #6 in 2014, they partnered with six breweries), to produce the Official beer of SBW. This year Bale Breaker is honored to be the first brewery from Yakima Valley to be selected. In addition to brewing the official beer of SBW 2017, Bale Breaker also has several events setup throughout the week.
As I’m sure most of you already know, Seattle Beer Week kicks off next Thursday, May 4th. Exactly one week later (but still during Seattle Beer Week, which continues until the 14th), Seattle’s premiere artisan-focused restaurant, Lark, will be hosting a gourmet beer dinner, featuring their own artisan cuisine and beers from two of Seattle’s newest and hottest breweries: Cloudburst Brewing and Holy Mountain Brewing.
This is just one of several dinners you’ll find listed on the events page for Seattle Beer Week, but this is the only one where you can enjoy Chef John Sundstrom’s gourmet offerings of locally-produced and organic cheese, charcuterie, vegetables, grains, fish, and meats, all prepared in season, as well as beers from both Cloudburst and Holy Mountain.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was one of the first craft breweries I discovered years ago when I made the switch from bland, mass-produced lagers to the wonderful World of craft beer. They’ve been at it since all the way back in 1979 – just one year after homebrewing became legal again at the Federal level in the U.S. (Thank you very much Jimmy & Billy Carter!)
One of Sierra Nevada’s biggest annual events these days is their popular Beer Camp, which first made it’s debut back in 2014. Dubbed the largest craft beer celebration around, Beer Camp 2017 is going Worldwide this year. They’ve collaborated with 6 U.S. based craft breweries and 6 overseas craft breweries. Now, they’re preparing to take it on the road. They’ll be hitting 8 major U.S. cities starting on June 3rd and ending with a bang in Seattle on June 30th.
CraftBeerMonger.com is, of course, primarily about craft beer. Of course, you can’t have craft beer without food and what are two types of foods that go great with craft beer? Cheese and meat. In addition to being a huge fan of great craft beer, I’ve always appreciated the artistry surrounding the practices of both cheese-making and charcuterie.
Coming up on Saturday, April 29th, McCaw Hall will host Seattle’s first ever Cheese and Meat Festival as a way to celebrate the fine arts of cheese-making and charcuterie. The Cheese and Meat Festival has also partnered with Food Lifeline for the inaugural Seattle event and proceeds from the Cheese and Meat Festival ticket sales will go directly to Food Lifeline.
Spring has finally arrived in the Northwest and that means, of course, the return of baseball. For the past few years, I’ve kept you up to date on what delicious craft beers and gourmet food choices you can expect to find each Seattle Mariners season at Safeco Field.
Well, it’s that time again and I’ve been invited back to check out some new offerings for this year’s menu. Ethan Stowell has, once again, partnered with Centerplate and the Seattle Mariners to bring you some amazing creations including: Seattle ‘Wings’ (Taylor Shellfish Farms fried oysters with Frank’s RedHot sauce), authentic Oaxacan chapulines (toasted grasshoppers with chile-lime salt seasoning), and frozen custard cookie sandwiches.
Collaboration beers have become so popular that they have even inspired the creation of collaboration-focused festivals such as the Washington Beer Collaboration Festival (Aug. 19, 2017). Now, I’ve learned about yet another new series of collaborations taking place in what has been dubbed the Bottle Shop Collaboration Project. 11 Seattle area bottle shops are teaming up with several local craft breweries to create some special collaborative releases.
Last year, I told you about a new Spring Seasonal from Pike Brewing Company: Hive Five – a tasty collaboration between Pike Brewing Company and Salish Lodge & Spa. Salish has 120,000 honey bees that live in their apiaries, which produce 600 pounds of superb and local honey every year. Pike’s brewers use this honey to brew Pike Hive Five.
After last year’s release, Hive Five was so popular that Pike has decided to bring it back year-round. Starting now, you’ll be able to pick up Hive Five year-round in cans at Pike Brewing Company and your local craft beer retailer.
I hear a lot of people saying, now that President’s Day (or ‘Not My President Day’ depending on who you talk to) and the rest of the holidays are behind us, they just want Spring to get here. I can relate. This Winter hasn’t bee too harsh, but I’m definitely ready for more sunshine and warmer temperatures.
Many breweries are getting into that Spring frame of mind too, as they prepare their Spring releases/Spring Seasonals. To that end, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is happy to announce the impending release of their latest IPA (which they’ve created specially for Bartell Drugs): Spring Break Key Lime IPA.
Back in early 2015, I first told you about the debut of Cold Brew Coffee Brown Ale from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor). It’s coffee-forward aroma and flavor are the perfect marriage of two quintessentially Seattle flavors: coffee and craft beer. Available seasonally from late Winter through Spring, Cold Brew Coffee Brown Ale is low in acidity and subtly sweet.
For this year’s iteration of Cold Brew, Two Beers has partnered with Seattle’s own Anchorhead Coffee. According to Two Beers’ founder, Joel VandenBrink: “Their unique roasting process and the flavors that shine through make this beer one of our favorites, and perfect for everything from brunch to backpacking.”
I’m not generally big on making new year’s resolutions. I know a few people who sometimes do though, and those resolutions often revolve around some type of fitness goal like losing a few pounds, starting a new exercise routine, eating better, that kind of thing. I even know a few people who decided to make January a dry month this year, where they would not drink for the whole month.
I wouldn’t necessarily call it a resolution but, this year, I’ve decided that I’ll be doing a dry February (well – January 26th to February 25th). That means 30 days of no drinking. At the same time, I’m trying to motivate myself to work out a bit more often than I do now and see if I can drop a few pounds.
Of course, you don’t have to eliminate alcohol from your diet to attain your fitness goals. In fact, some studies have even shown that beer can be quite effective as a post-workout recovery beverage. Perhaps that’s part of what motivated Happy Hour Fitness NW to start their Pilates & Pints program. It sounds like a great way to combine your drive for working out with your craft beer-related social life in a comfortable and familiar setting.