Urban Family Brewing Is Coming (Back) To Ballard

I can remember when Urban Family Brewing Company wasn’t yet a brewing company.  They were a craft beer bar on Ballard Ave NW, pretty much across the street from The Noble Fir.  As a craft beer bar, I only visited them a couple of times before they closed and moved across Salmon Bay to their current location on 26th Avenue West in Magnolia.

I think Urban Family is a bit homesick for Ballard though. They’ve just announced that, later this year, they will be moving the brewery to a new location, back in Ballard.  Sentiment isn’t the only reason for the move though.  They’re starting to outgrow their current location, and their new spot in Ballard will give them more room to expand, including more space for barrel aging and additional outdoor seating.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Dark Heron IPA Returns For Emerald City Comic Con

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.  

Continue reading

Counterbalance Brewing Prepares For Their 4th Anniversary

How long can a duck stand on one leg?  Well, the mascot for Counterbalance Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has been doing it for nearly 4 years now and he’s definitely ready to party.  You may recall that Counterbalance’s Multipass IPA came in as one of the finalists during Novemberfest at Beveridge Place Pub late last year and now they have another Fifth Element inspired beer coming your way as they prepare to celebrate another trip around the sun.

Come join Counterbalance Brewing this Friday and Saturday, January 25th and 26th, as they celebrate their 4th Anniversary with some new and returning beer releases, including their 4th Anniversary Big Bada Boom Hazy Double Mango IPA and 2019 Bourbon Barrel Kushetka Imperial Stout aged in 2Bar Spirits Bourbon Barrels.

Continue reading

Firestone Walker Joins The Haze Craze With Mind Haze

Craft beers come in a wide variety of styles, and each style has managed to find its audience. With so many different styles to chose from though, IPA still remains the most popular style of craft beer by far and the New England style juicy/hazy IPA has taken the spotlight over the past couple of years, outselling all other sub-styles of IPA by a wide margin.

Although the juicy/hazy sub-style of IPA was only officially recognized by the Brewer’s Association in March of 2018, by the time the Great American Beer Festival rolled around in September, the “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA” dominated GABF entries.  Juicy/Hazy Pale Ales and IPAs made up 706 entries (Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale: 131. Juicy or Hazy IPA: 414. Juicy or Hazy Double IPA: 161.) compared with 331 entries for the more traditional American-Style IPA.

Many breweries have resisted jumping into what’s come to be known as the haze craze and, in fact, many breweries out there still refuse to make a hazy IPA. Others, like Firestone Walker Brewing Company, have simply been busy with other projects (like their experimental Luponic Distorion series and their Leo v. Ursus series). However, now they’re ready and the time has come. After a year of experimentation and development, say hello to Firestone Walker’s Mind Haze hazy IPA.

Continue reading

Reuben’s Hosts The Third Annual Hop Idol Homebrew Contest

Are you a homebrewer?  Do you think you’ve gotten pretty good at it?  Do you think your beers are good enough to be brewed on a large scale, canned and sold to the craft beer masses here in Seattle?  Then Ruben’s Brews has the contest for you.  Returning for the third straight year, Reuben’s Brews presents: “Hop Idol”.

It’s time to refine your best hoppy recipes and hone your brewing techniques so you can put your best brew(s) forward.  Don’t wait too long to start either, because the cutoff date for entries is February 27, 2019.  It all comes down to you and your brew, because (Best Ryan Seacrest impersonaltion) THIS………. is Hop Idol!

Continue reading

Sierra Nevada Brews Resilience IPA For Camp Fire Relief

 

The fires this year in California have been devastating – particularly the one known as the Camp Fire.  Entire communities have disappeared and thousands have been displaced.  It is also the deadliest wildfire in California state history, with the death toll reaching at least 81 people – and that number is expected to rise as the number of missing/unaccounted for people is still over 870 people.

Fortunately, I don’t know anyone directly affected by the fire(s) (though I do have relatives in Chico – where it got pretty close!), but I know a few people who have family and/or friends who have lost their homes.  It’s a heartbreaking situation, but Sierra Nevada Brewing Company wants to help.

Continue reading

Breakside Rounds Out 2018 With Quiescence

Breakside Brewery out of Portland Oregon has a pretty diverse portfolio.  I’ve had quite a few of their beers over the years; everything from their IPAs to their Stouts and Sours and, for the most part, they’ve been pretty solid.

More recently, Breakside has been working to expand their barrel-aged Sour program.  Perhaps you’ve had their In the City of Flowers or their popular Qualia (one of my favorites of the series).  Now, as 2018 draws to a close, Breakside is preparing to release Quiescence – a blend of 13 casks of wood-aged sour beer aged for 12 months in Archery Summit Pinot Noir barrels.

Continue reading

Two Beers Prepares For Their 11th Anniversary

The story of Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is one I’ve been following for a long time.  I can still remember when the taproom had just a few stools and couldn’t hold more than a few people.  Today, Two Beers Brewing Company – along with their sister companies, Seattle Cider Company and Sound Seltzer Company – boasts a huge, inviting taproom with 24 taps of beer, cider and seltzer (plus a cider slushie machine), pub games (billiards, foosball, darts, shuffleboard, etc.), a beautiful patio and a food service window run by the folks from Bread And Circuses.

There was some concern in the local craft beer community when, back in 2016, Two Beers Brewing Company and Seattle Cider Company were acquired by the Agrial Group, a leading French agri-business cooperative. Since that acquisition, however, I haven’t noticed any drop in the quality of their products, and they’ve even started expanding their portfolio – releasing lots of new beers this year including what I think may have been their best IPA yet, What A Time To Be Alive hazy fresh hop IPA.  Now Two Beers is prepared to celebrate their 11th Anniversary with another new release: This Goes to 11 Birthday Cake IPA.

Continue reading

Mr. Heron Goes To Montana

Seattle is a city that’s just bursting at the seams with craft breweries.  No matter were you are in the city, you’re likely not more than a few stones throws away from a craft brewery.  With so many breweries to choose from though, how do you decide who the standouts are?  How do you know which breweries to recommend to people here for a visit or those asking about which Seattle breweries they need to keep an eye on?

Two factors that can help you decide are, of course, the quality of the beers the brewery is putting out, and the demand for those beers whenever there’s a new release.  By those two measures, among others, Fremont Brewing Company has become one of Seattle’s best known breweries, even outside of Washington.  Many of their beers, particularly their barrel-aged offerings, have caught the attention of craft beer lovers both near and far. They even have a super secret society of members who “solemnly swear to devote themselves to the pursuit of the finest beers that ever were” – the Heron Hunting Club.  Fremont Brewing already distributes their beers to 6 states, including Washington, and now they’re ready to expand into Montana with the help of Hayden Beverage Company.

Continue reading

Splinters Returns From Black Raven Brewing

More often than not in the craft beer World, it seems like hops are the big stars.  Much of this is due to the fact that IPA is still king when it comes to craft beer and, while I still enjoy drinking IPAs through the Fall and Winter, I really start to appreciate the complex malt character of less hop forward beers like Stouts, Porters and Scotch Ales to name a few.  I also enjoy many beers that have been barrel aged in Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch or other barrels and, let’s face it, there aren’t that many barrel aged IPAs out there (though they do exist).

I’m also rather picky about my Scotch Ales.  There are only a few locally made Scotch Ales that I really enjoy, and one of them is Second Sight from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).  Now, Black Raven is preparing to release Second Sight’s more mature brother, Splinters Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale.

Continue reading