Yonder Cider & Bale Breaker Brewing Announce Joint Taproom In Ballard

Many of you probably know about Yonder Cider. However, if you haven’t been following the news you may not be aware that Yonder Cider was recently forced to close their carry-out taproom in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood due to a series of (in my opinion, unfounded) complaints form ONE anonymous and apparently disgruntled neighbor. It was sad and, frankly, maddening to see the city allow a single person’s unverified complaints to shut down a struggling small business with their bogus claims.

Thanks to a new partnership with Bale Breaker Brewing Company, however, Yonder will be back with a vengeance. That’s because Bale Breaker & Yonder have just announced that they will be opening a joint taproom in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood by this Summer. They will be moving into the space formerly occupied by the now closed Populuxe Brewing Company (RIP, Populuxe).

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Hellbent Brewing Announces Moon Tower Stout Collaboration With Boon Boona Coffee

How do you prefer your Stouts? Do you like them with hazelnuts, or cocoa, or coffee, or vanilla, or any number of other possible adjuncts? Or are you a Stout purist, who prefers their Stouts have no adjuncts whatsoever? Personally, I’m right in the middle. I love a good, pure, basic Stout, but I also enjoy many of the Stouts with various adjuncts added. Coffee is probably one of my favorites.

Hellbent Brewing Company in Lake City has a few Stouts under their belt. Their most well known is probably their Big Island Toasted Coconut Stout. Now, Hellbent is preparing to release their next Stout; a collaboration with Boon Boona Coffee Company out of Renton. It arrives this Thursday, February 25th.

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Counterbalance Brewing Prepares To Celebrate Their 6th Anniversary

Celebrating brewery anniversaries in the time of COVID19 feels a bit sad. I’ve celebrated quite a few this year, in properly socially-distanced form, but it just doesn’t feel the same. Sure, we can all still do what’s necessary to help support our favorite craft breweries during this difficult time, but not being able to attend a big party/gathering, nor any other type of festivals or craft beer events this year, is really starting to wear on me.

Counterbalance Brewing Company in Georgetown understand this. I know they’d love to have a great big party to celebrate, but that wouldn’t be safe or responsible. Instead, they’ve put together a 3-day event with limited outdoor seating (make your reservations now!), food trucks, and 3 new beer releases and a few  special releases from their cellar.

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Fort George Stout Month 2021

 

I enjoy pretty much all styles of craft beer – everything from a light crisp Pilsner, to wonderful complex Saisons and Wild Ales, Old World Ales and more. I know I tend to drink a lot of IPAs (who doesn’t?), but I think my true favorites are really barrel-aged Stouts, Porters and Barleywines. There’s just something about their rich flavors and complex character that really appeals to me.

With that in mind, it’s time to get ready for Stout Month at Fort George Brewery in Astoria, Oregon. That means a whole lot of big, bold, barrel-aged goodness, which makes me very happy. Sadly, there will be no Festival of the Dark Arts this year, thanks to COVID, but Fort George has put together a great lineup of beers that will be available for shipping within Oregon and Washington.

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Cascade Brewing Releases Mango Road

There are several breweries in the Seattle/Tacoma area that make some truly excellent Sour Ales. Breweries like Holy Mountain, Urban Family, Mirage and Engine House No. 9 immediately come to mind, among others. I visit them all fairly regularly to satiate my thirst for delicious sours.

Before we had such great sour options around the Sound, however, the best Sour Ales Seattlites could hope to find came out of Portland – specifically Cascade Brewing. Their Sours are legendary around the Northwest and, while we have many great local options now, Cascade is still putting out World class Sour Ales that still catch my interest. They’re a must visit every time I’m in Portland. Now Cascade is preparing to release their latest offering: Mango Road.

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Counterbalance Brewing & Good Society Brewery Collaborate On “Long Way Round”

2020 has thrown a lot at us. It’s stressing everyone out, pushing businesses to their limit and, in some sad cases, has even claimed a few of our favorite spots. Getting through this will be tough, but with resourcefulness and perseverance, many businesses are doing what it takes to keep thing afloat.

To help with the struggle during these difficult times, Couterbalance Brewing has teamed up with Good Society Brewery and Public House in West Seattle to create a new IPA: Long Way Round.

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The Oregon Brewer’s Festival Has Been Cancelled Due To COVID-19

This is not the first event to be cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, and it certainly won’t be the last. Here is a statement about the cancellation from Oregon Brewers Festival founder, Art Larrance & his team:

Dear Friends of the Oregon Brewers Festival,

We are devastated to share that we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Oregon Brewers Festival, originally scheduled for this July 22-25. This will be the first time in 33 years that the iconic July event will not take place.

This decision was not made lightly. At the onset of the COVID-19 virus, we were hopeful that the situation might resolve itself by late July. But the health and safety of our guests, vendors, staff and volunteers is our top priority, and we have decided the risk of holding the festival is too great. The Oregon Brewers Festival is attended by thousands of visitors from all over the world. The last thing we would want to do is hold an event that could contribute to the spread of the virus and potentially introduce a second wave of infections.
It’s important for us to make sure that when the festival returns next year, it does so in a way that’s safe and ensures our guests feel secure. We will spend this downtime carefully planning on how to hold a successful event in a post-pandemic world.

The Oregon Brewers Festival will return July 28-31, 2021. In the meantime, we urge you to support your local craft breweries and cidermakers; place orders for curbside pickup or delivery and follow them on social media for the latest news on how to help. It has been estimated that up to 46% of craft breweries may be forced to close due to the pandemic. The Oregon Brewers Festival is a celebration of craft beer, and we need to make sure our breweries are still standing when this crisis has passed.
Until then, stay safe, be kind, and wash your hands. Cheers!

Founder Art Larrance and the entire Oregon Brewers Festival Team

About the Oregon Brewers Festival
The Oregon Brewers Festival got its start in Portland, Oregon, in July 1988 as the brainchild of Art Larrance, one of the founding fathers of Oregon craft beer. Back then, there were only four microbreweries in operation in Portland (BridgePort, McMenamins, Portland and Widmer), and two others across the state (Full Sail and Deschutes). Today, the Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the nation’s longest running and best loved craft beer festivals; it’s also one the largest of its kind. Located on the west bank of the Willamette River, with majestic Mt. Hood as a backdrop, it is the ideal venue for beer lovers to congregate. With a laid-back attitude and scores of beers, the festival embodies the spirit of the city of Portland. Around 50,000 visitors annually travel from all parts of the world to drink up what the festival has to offer while infusing millions of dollars into the local economy.

Try not to get too disheartened by all of these event cancellations. I love craft beer just as much as the rest of you but, right now, keeping everyone safe and healthy is more important that gathering in large groups to appreciate the labors of our favorite breweries. Do what you can to keep supporting as many of your local breweries as you can, and we’ll get through this together.

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.

Four IPA Releases Are Coming This Month From Hellbent Brewing

I know. I know. It’s still technically Winter and many of you are still in Barleywine and/or Imperial Stout mode, but I’m betting that hasn’t stopped you from enjoying some tasty IPAs too. After all, anytime is a good time for a tasty IPA.

Apparently Hellbent Brewing Company agrees. They’re set to release four different IPAs this month, and will be hosting their annual Poké & Pints For Public Lands event with the fourth release just after Spring arrives on March 20th. One of the IPAs is experimental. One is a POG. One is hop-forward and tropical, and the last is a PTG (Passionfruit, Tangerine, Guava) and will make wanna you hang loose. Say hello to Test Flight, Pau Hana, Expansion Pack and \m/ Shaka.

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The 18th Annual Hard Liver Fest & Other Upcoming Events At Brouwer’s Cafe

Seattle certainly has its share of craft beer events and festivals. I’ve been to more than my fair share and I’m betting many of you have as well. Some of my favorite annual events take place at one of my favorite craft beer bars in the city: Brouwer’s Cafe. I first discovered Brouwer’s way back in 2005, the year they opened, and immediately fell in love. They have great, Belgian inspired food and always have a great tap selection – especially during events/festivals.

Brouwer’s has several great events coming up over the next month. It all kicks off with the 18th annual Hard Liver festival coming up this Saturday, February 29th and culminates with their 15th anniversary celebration on March 28th. Now I know what you’re thinking. How can this be the 18th Hard Liver fest but only Brouwer’s 15th anniversary? Not to worry. This is a logical explanation for this discrepancy. The first few years of the Hard Liver fest were held at the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center, before Brouwer’s Cafe opened.

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Tin Dog Prepares For Their 6th Anniversary

There aren’t a whole lot of breweries in Seattle that focus primarily on Belgians, Sours and Farmhouse/Wild Ales. Some of the best known are probably Holy Mountain Brewing and Urban Family Brewing (who has returned to Ballard – opening tomorrow at noon). A few others with a similar focus have opened fairly recently including Best of Hands Barrelhouse a year ago and the just opened Fair Isle Brewing in Ballard. However, there’s another brewery in Seattle that has been quietly producing Belgians, Sours and Farmhouse/Wild Ales for nearly 6 years now. That brewery is Tin Dog Brewing in South Park.

Since opening in 2014 they’ve kept a somewhat low profile. It took them a couple of years to begin bottling, but they’ve been packaging more and more beers and just this week started sending out kegs to local craft beer bars. They have also recently rebranded themselves as a blendery (there will be no name change, however). In their own words:

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