Seattle is known for many different things. Two of the most prominent are, of course, coffee and craft beer. What some of you might not know, however, is that Seattle has a huge video game and comic book community. The annual PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) started here (which I used to report on annually when I wrote about video games), and Emerald City Comic Con has been happening every year since 2003. Last year’s attendance was over 95 thousand comic fans.
A few years back, Fremont Brewing Company partnered with ReedPOP, producer Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC), to create an ECCC-themed beer. The result was Dark Heron IPA. Now returning for its fourth year, Dark Heron features artwork by local Seattle artist Julia Reck and will be available on tap throughout ECCC’s run, and in cans for the first time.
Do you homebrew? I started homebrewing way back in the late 80’s and I have more than 25 years of homebrewing experience. Sadly though, when I moved a few years back I didn’t have a good place to brew so I actually wound up selling my 10 gallon, all-grain brewing system rather than let it sit, gathering rust and dust (I’d rather see a brewer put it to good use). I have every intention of getting back into brewing again – and on an even larger system – but I’ll have to wait a few more years before I can make that happen.
I still have a great interest in homebrewing, even though I’ve allowed me membership to the American Homebrewer’s Association lapse until I have a new system, and I’m often impressed by some of the stellar beers being produced by homebrewers today. Equipment has improved, techniques are evolving all the time and homebrewing is as popular as it ever was, if not more so. This year marks the 40th year for the National Homebrew Conference (Homebrew Con), and thousands of homebrewers from across the nation will come together in Portland this June 28 – 30 to talk homebrewing, attend workshops, learn new techniques and more.
I’m a beer guy. I’ve always been a beer guy. Sure, I enjoy the occasional glass of wine and I love a good Bourbon, Whiskey or Tequila, but my first love when it comes to adult beverages has been, and I think always will be, a great craft beer. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t still make an effort to broaden my horizons, and the incredible rise in popularity of craft cider (see the press release below) is making that much easier.
I’ve got to give much of the credit for my increased interest in cider to both Seattle Cider Company and The Beer Junction in West Seattle. Both are places I usually visit when I’m in the mood for a beer but, since they both have a great selection of ciders on tap as well, I often find myself switching things up a bit and ordering a cider instead of a beer.
I also haven’t been to many cider festivals or conventions yet, and unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to make this one either but perhaps you can. Coming up next week, starting February 2nd and running through February 6th is CiderCON 2016, presented by the Northwest Cider Association.