Are you a fan of sour ales and sour ciders? Not everyone is. I wasn’t always a fan of sours. Ten years ago, the very idea seemed odd to me. Why would I want a sour beer, I thought to myself? Then again, most people don’t consider bitter a flavor they seek out, yet IPA is the most popular style of craft beer around (even before they style became flooded with murky, ‘juicy’ IPAs that taste more like citrus juice).
As with many things, the enjoyment of sour ales can be an acquired taste. Elliott Bay Brewing‘s Brother Barrel location understand this and would like to give you the opportunity to taste a few of their own sours, along with sour ales and ciders from other local local producers. They’ll all be coming together at Brother Barrel one week from today for their first ever special event: Pucker Up: Washington.
What could be better than enjoying some delicious craft beers and tasty food from some of Seattle’s favorite breweries, food trucks and restaurants on a crisp, Fall evening in October? I know, enjoying those tasty beers and delicious food all while helping raise money to help sick children’s dreams come true.
Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington is in the business of making children smile. They do whatever they can to grant as many wishes as possible to local children with life-threatening medical conditions and now, they’ve teamed up with several local businesses to bring you an event filled with beer, cider and food samplings from some of Seattle’s favorite breweries, food trucks and restaurants.
Even though I’m a big fan of craft beers, I do enjoy the occasional craft cider as well. I sometimes head to one of my local watering holes fully intending to sample some ciders, but then I look at the tap list and I’m like, “Oh look! Three new craft beers I haven’t tried yet!” As a result, I’m far less experienced and knowledgeable about craft ciders than I am craft beers.
Despite this inherent bias I have towards beer over cider, however, I definitely still appreciate a well made craft cider and usually do manage to try a few when I see something new and interesting. So I’m a intrigued by the arrival of Louis Raison French Cidre, France’s #1 selling cider, which is set to make their U.S. debut this week. There are five events happening around Seattle between August 15th and August 26th, where you’ll be able to sample their ciders and see what you think.
Meat and cheese. Cheese and meat. They go together like bread and butter, like rhythm and blues, like Kayne West and being a douche. If you agree, then you’ll definitely want to check out the Cheese And Meat Festival, coming to McCaw Hall(321 Mercer St.), this coming Saturday, April 29 from 7 – 9 pm.
Fish Tale Ales has been cranking out craft brews in Olympia Washington since October of 1993. You know them as the most recognizable brand from Fish Brewing Company. What you might not be aware of though is that, through various mergers and acquisitions through the years, the name Fish Brewing Company now also includes the brands: Leavenworth Biers, Spire Mountain Cider and, added just last year, Vitis Spirits (Aka: Grapeworks Distilling).
Fish Tale Ales is popular with the organic crowd, thanks to their Organic IPA, which is made from 100% locally sourced organic malted barley and hops. Now, as part of their commitment to sustainability, Fish is expanding their organic line to include Organic Porter and Organic Red Ale. All three beers will now be available in both 12 oz cans and 22 oz bottles.
Many of the commercial ciders on the market today tend to be too sweet for my palate. Measured on a scale called Brix, many of those ciders come in at a Brix rating of 4, 5 or even higher. I think that’s why I enjoy so many of the ciders from Seattle Cider Company. They keep their ciders low on the Brix scale, which means they aren’t as cloyingly sweet. Their Dry cider, for example, is 0 (zero) Brix and their Semi-Sweet cider clocks in at just 2.6 Brix.
If you’re also a fan of ciders that stay a bit more on the dry side, then you’ll be excited to learn that Seattle Cider Company is ready to bring back their Spring Seasonal: Basil Mint Cider. Coming in at 6.9 ABV and just 1.8 Brix, this Spring Seasonal starts off with a base of 100 percent fresh pressed Washington apples, accompanied by 100 pounds of fresh basil and 100 pounds of fresh mint. Muddled on site, the basil and mint are then added directly to the cider during fermentation, providing savory and floral characteristics and a clean finish.
It’s time once again to celebrate at Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor). Coming up just one week from tomorrow, Saturday, November 5th, Two Beers Brewing will celebrate their 9th Anniversary from 1 pm to 7 pm. For this year’s Anniversary celebration, Two Beers is revisiting their past a bit. They’ve dug into both their pantry and their cellar to bring back some special cask infusions that were more prevalent during the previous iteration of The Woods taproom, as well as some vertical tastings of their Alta Series’ beers, including the now retired Ascension 2013, High Divide 2013 among others.
Also returning in time for the Anniversary celebration is Two Beers’ popular Jive Espresso Stout, and they will be debuting the latest addition to their lineup: Tipsy Toboggan Winter Ale. This Winter Warmer comes in at 6.8% and will be available on draft and in 12 oz cans starting on November 5th.
We’ve seen our share of ‘buyouts’ in the craft beer World. You know the feeling – that heartbreaking moment when you realize that one of your favorite craft breweries has ‘sold out’ to the big boys: InBev or SABMiller. This is NOT one of those moments.
Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and Seattle Cider Company, the first cidery in Seattle since the days of prohibition, are pleased to announce that they have formed a partnership with French, farmer-run cooperative Agrial. They’ve struck a great deal that allows for additional expansion of both Two Beers Brewing and Seattle Cider, without giving up any control. Both brands will continue to operate completely independently, right here in Seattle.
For pretty much my entire life, I’ve lived near the ocean. I was born on the Gulf Coast, grew up part of the way in New Jersey and have spent most of my life on the West Coast (California and Washington). There’s just something about being near the water that appeals to me. It’s a unique feeling – that aroma of sea air – the beautiful sunsets, the easy access to lots of great seafood.
One thing I regret, however, is that even though I’ve lived near the water most of my life, I don’t spend nearly enough time out on the water. I used to do quite a bit of sailing when I was younger, but keeping and maintaining a boat isn’t a cheap prospect and, frankly, I can’t afford waterfront property in Seattle. That’s why I’m really looking forward to October 7th, when my wife Lynn and I will be attending a Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) beer tasting and dinner and cruise, courtesy Waterways Cruises And Events.
It may still be Summer, but Fall beers are already starting to arrive. In case you hadn’t noticed, Pumpkin beers are making their way back onto store shelves, and I’ve seen one or two Oktoberfest releases out there as well.
Last year, other than for a few select accounts, Firestone Walker Brewing Company didn’t release their Fall Seasonal, Oaktoberfest. Now it’s back though, and this time it’s coming in 16 oz cans – only the second time Firestone has packaged this beer. So dust off your lederhosen or pull your dirndl out of the closet, because Oktoberfest is right around the corner. Continue reading →