Tankard & Tun Opens Today

Last night my wife and I, along with several other members of the local media, were fortunate to attend a special preview night at Seattle’s newest craft beer and gourmet food spot: Tankard & Tun.  Created by Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, the same people who brought you Seattle’s iconic Pike Brewing Company, this Oyster bar and restaurant is a bit more upscale and, fittingly, is right upstairs from The Pike.

I first told you about Tankard & Tun back in April, when it was first announced and the Finkels were deep into construction and planning.  It’s a beautiful, spread out space with a moderately sized bar area (the only section that is 21 and over only) a fermentation deck and few separate seating areas, including a private event mezzanine that’s upstairs but somehow still doesn’t make you feel removed from the market.

Continue reading

Counterbalance Brewing Debuts Their First Cans

I never used to be a big fan of the can.  Like most of you, I’m sure, I prefer to get my beers on tap whenever possible.  When it’s not possible, the bottle was and in many cases still is my favorite choice.  However, there can be no denying that cans have made a comeback in a big, big way.  They’re lighter, more portable, won’t break like glass bottles and they’re easy to pack out if you want to bring some beers long for a hiking or camping trip.

Many breweries have started canning recently and now Counterbalance Brewing Company is teaming up with the new Beer Star in White Center for the official release of their first canned beers.  First up for the can treatment are Counterbalance IPA and Raconteur Rye Pale Ale.

Continue reading

Craft Beer Monger’s Top Picks For Seattle Beer Week #9

Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like the past year has flown by so quickly.  Seattle Beer Week #8 almost feels like it was just a few weeks ago.  Yet here we are, with Seattle Beer Week #9 kicking off in just two days.  Have you had an opportunity to look over the ever-growing list of events on the official Seattle Beer Week website?  With so many events to choose from, many of which happen on the same day or even at the same time, you may have to make some difficult choices regarding which events to attend.  Here are my top picks for Seattle Beer Week #9.

Things get under way with the Official Seattle Beer Week Kickoff this Thursday, May 4th.  There are  5 stops on the Seattle Beer Week (SBW) kickoff tour.  Things start off at 4:30 pm at the new Flatstick Pub location in Pioneer Square.  The other stops on this year’s kickoff tour include: Beveridge Place Pub (6:30 pm and Cask-O-Rama will be going on), Brouwer’s Cafe (7:45 pm), Naked City Brewery & Taphouse (9:00 pm), with the evening closing out at The Pine Box (10:30 pm).

Continue reading

The Brewmaster’s Taproom Is Hosting A BBQ To Benefit Rez Dog Rescue

One of the things that many people enjoy about the local craft beer scene is that the majority of craft breweries and craft beer bars (at least those that don’t serve their own food) are dog-friendly.  That means we’re free to bring our well-behaved, furry, four-legged family members along with us when we visit many of our favorite craft beer spots.

Sadly, there are still too many dogs out there who are in desperate need of help, and that’s where rescue organizations like Rez Dog Rescue come in.  With a focus on the Yakama Nation Indian Reservation and Yakima County in-general, Rez Dog Rescue does all they can to help abused, injured and unwanted dogs and cats and help them find their furever homes.  To help them in their mission, The Brewmaster’s Taproom in Renton is hosting a BBQ fundraiser during Seattle Beer Week, with 100% of the proceeds going to benefit Rez Dog Rescue.

Continue reading

Discover The New Growler USA In Redmond

What happens when you take the basic concept of a growler refill station and decide to take it National?  Well, what happens is, you get something like Growler USA.  Founded in 2013 by Dan White (CEO), Dave Shaw (President), and Vern Whittaker (Retired CFO), Growler USA now has 10 locations across the U.S. and are slated to open 50 more throughout 2017-2018.

Each location boasts up to 100 taps of beer (including microbrewed craft beers), hard cider, draft wine & kombucha, plus an extensive food menu. Their tap list varies by location, of course, in order to offer locally-sourced options for their patrons, and their “True to the Brew” system ensures that each brewer’s vision for their product is honored.  Things are kept tightly controlled all the way from keg delivery and storage (using ‘gentle’ keg handling systems to avoid sloshing), to a meticulously maintained tap system and the proper glassware for each pour. Yesterday afternoon I took a trek out to their Redmond location, courtesy $30 in credit from Growler USA, to see what they had to offer first hand.

Continue reading

Introducing The Bottle Shop Collaboration Project

Collaborations are nothing new in the craft beer World.  In fact, collaborations have produced some truly amazing beers.  Some examples that come to mind include Juicy Hop Bomb Double IPA from Georgetown Brewing & Two Beers Brewing (CBM Sponsor), Fist Bump from Cloudburst Brewing & Stoup Brewing and, of course, the popular 3-Way IPA Series from Fort George Brewing and the numerous other breweries they have partnered with for that series.

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.

Continue reading

The Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow Returns Next Month

12484695_10205753842786956_7968971419515233881_o

A few years back, IPA fans in Washington were dismayed to discover that Russian River Brewing would no longer be distributing their beers to Washington State.  That meant no more Pliny The Elder or Pliny The Younger for Washington (among many other great Russian River beers).  That drought of Pliny (and the over-the-top clamoring for it during the years when we could still get it here) led many Washington breweries to start crafting their own Triple IPAs.

The first two Triple IPAs I recall seeing, which were intended partly as a joke due to the insanity surrounding Pliny releases, were Big Time Brewing Company’s ‘Whiny The Complainer’ and Naked City’s ‘Cry Me A River’.  Super strong and over-the-top hoppy, I was an instant fan of both.  Since that time, more and more Washington breweries started crafting their own Triple IPAs and soon after the Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow was born.  That first year, just 14 Washington breweries participated.

Continue reading

The Eleventh Annual IPA Cask-O-Rama Starts This Thursday

Cask-O-Rama 2011 Bartop

One month ago, on September 29th, Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle (one of Seattle’s best local craft beer bars) kicked off their annual ‘Hoptoberfest’.  More than just a celebration of Washington-brewed IPAs, this month-long festival is their way of selecting their House IPA for the next year.

If you’re a regular at Beveridge Place Pub, then you know how this works.  For the uninitiated, Beveridge Place whittles down over 48 Washington IPAs to just 3 finalists based on your votes. Today and tomorrow is your last chance to vote on those 3 finalists, which must be done by blind ballot.  Order a taster try with all 3, and vote for your favorite without knowing which is which.  This year’s 3 finalists are: Reuben’s Brews‘ Crikey IPA, Georgetown Brewing‘s Bodhizafa IPA and Counterbalance Brewing IPA.  Visit Beveridge Place Pub today or tomorrow to have your blind tray and cast your vote.  I’ve already voted once, but I’ll probably go back and cast one more vote before the end of tomorrow.

Continue reading