Firestone Walker Announces Generation 1 IPA – Limited Release

If you want to get noticed in today’s craft beer World, you can’t rest on your laurels.  You’ve got to continue to innovate and keep coming out with new and interesting beers to keep the buzz going.  Firestone Walker Brewing Company understand this and it’s part of the reason they retired their Proprietor’s Reserve Series of beers – which included Opal (Dry Hopped Saison), Wookey Jack (Cascadian Dark Ale) and their wildly popular Double Jack Imperial IPA.

Around the same time they retired the Proprietor’s Reserve Series, Firestone Walker proceeded to release two new series of IPAs: The Luponic Distorion Series (Currently on #6) and the Leo v. Ursus Series (which consists so far of Fortem and Adversus).  Now, Firestone Walker is preparing to release a new,limited-release IPA named Generation 1 IPA.

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Fresh Hop Season Kicks Off Next Week At Two Beers Brewing

Summer is waning and Fall is drawing closer each day.  That must mean it’s Fresh Hop time!  Each year, when it’s time for the hop harvest up in Yakima Valley, many local craft breweries prepare to brew their annual Fresh Hop beers – loaded up with fresh-picked hops right off the vine.

Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) prides themselves on always being the first local brewery each year to debut their Fresh Hop IPA, and this year is no different.  They held their annual hop picking party, and brewed their Fresh Hop IPA back on August 9th.  By next week it will be ready to serve, and Two Beers is welcoming it with a Fresh Hop IPA release party on Wednesday, August 23rd.

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Four Breweries Team Up To Host Ballard Oktoberfest

Is it really getting to be that time already?  Summer, especially in Seattle, always seems so darn short.  A couple of weeks ago I was already seeing pumpkin beers appearing on craft beer store shelves and now, here come the Oktoberfest announcements.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Fall and the Seasonal craft styles that come along with it, but it’s a bittersweet reminder that the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer and Summer is starting to fade.

Of course, as I just mentioned, Fall’s arrival also means Oktoberfest biers and Oktoberfest celebrations.  The Märzen/Oktoberfest style is probably my favorite style of Lager.  Sure, a well made Pilsner is great on a hot Summer day, but I love the more toasty malt flavors of a good Märzen.  If you’re also a fan of a good Märzen and other German/European styles (Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen, Kölsch, Vienna Lager, Roggenbier, etc.) then you’ll want to mark your calendar for September 16th and this year’s Ballard Oktoberfest.

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Ninkasi Bottles First Rule IPA

Things are moving pretty quickly in today’s craft beer World.  New craft breweries are popping up everywhere like weeds and exciting new beers are being released constantly.  Many of these new beers can only be found on tap but if they become popular enough, they usually find their way into bottles or cans.

Ninkasi Brewing Company loves hoppy beers and believes in “brewing without limitations.”  It was in this spirit that they added First Rule IPA to their Rare & Delicious Series back in March.  Now, they’re ready to promote this beer that’s been so popular on tap to their Special Release Series in 12 oz and 22 oz bottles.

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Bale Breaker announces the Harvest Collaboration Series

Collaborations are all the rage these days.  I recently told you about the Samuel Adams Brewing The American Dream Collaboration Pack and this year’s 3-Way IPA from Fort George Brewing (plus Great Notion Brewing and Reuben’s Brews) has been flying off shelves so fast that it’s been a bit difficult to find this year.

Now, Bale Breaker Brewing Company is ready to get in on the action.  They’ve partnered with Georgetown Brewing, Founders Brewing, Cloudburst Brewing and Pinthouse Pizza & Brewpub to create the Harvest Series Collaboration Series.  The beers have staggered release date from August through October.

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Sierra Nevada Partners With Brauhaus Miltenberger To Create The Ultimate Oktoberfest Beer

Images Courtesy Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

I wonder how many young craft beer drinkers today realize that they owe the wonderful proliferation of craft beer in the U.S., in small part, to President Jimmy Carter and his brother Billy.  On October 14th, 1978, spurred on by his brother Billy who was a homebrewer, Jimmy Carter signed a bill into law which allowed homebrewing of beer in the United States. Prior to this ruling, Sierra Nevada founders, Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi, had already been homebrewing in California’s Butte County.  When it became legal, however, they decided it was time to go pro and in 1979 Sierra Nevada Brewing Company as born in Chico.

Their first beer was the popular and iconic, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, followed soon after by Celebration IPA (now discontinued). Today, Sierra Nevada still brews many excellent and well known beers including: Torpedo Extra IPA, Otra Vez Gose, Hoptimum Triple IPA and, of course, their classic Bigfoot Barleywine plus, of course, their annual Beer Camp series of collaboration beers.  Now Sierra Nevada is ready to release their latest Seasonal creation.  This year, they have teamed up with Germany’s Brauhaus Miltenberger to create the ultimate Oktoberfest beer.

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Join Schooner Exact For A Hop Field Trip This September

Each year, as Fall approaches in the Northwest, it’s hop harvest time.  That can only mean one thing: Fresh Hop IPAs are coming.  Most beers are brewed using kilned or dried hops, usually in the form of compressed hop pellets.  Fresh Hop or Wet Hop beers, on the other hand, utilize fresh, un-kilned hops straight off the vine.  This allows them to retain all of their natural oils (some of which can be lost or reduced during the kilning/drying process), and impart a more Earthy and natural character to the finished beer.

When brewing a Fresh Hop Ale, the hops must be utilized with 24 – 48 hours after picking to ensure freshness.  Any longer and they’ll start to become soggy and begin to develop mildew and rot.  So, when the season arrives, you’ll see plenty of trucks from local breweries making day-trips up to the Yakima Valley to procure their fresh hops for brewing.

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Redfeather IPA Arrives This Week From Black Raven Brewing

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I hope you’ve all been having a wonderful Holiday season.  Winter officially arrived yesterday, though it feels like it’s already been here a bit longer.  To keep warm through our chilly Fall, I’ve been enjoying plenty of high octane, barrel aged beers (Lord knows, there have been enough great barrel aged releases around here lately).  I really love all those dark, strong, Winter-time beers but sometimes, even in the colder temperatures out there, my palate (and my liver) could use a break from something so heavy.

That’s where the Session IPA comes in.  Session IPAs are lower in alcohol, but still retain much of the hoppy punch you love from traditional IPAs. They’re crisp and refreshing and one the Northwest’s finest examples of the style, Redfeather Session IPA, returns tomorrow (12/23) from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).

Here is some more information about Redfeather Session IPA from Black Raven Brewing Company:

Release date: Friday, December 23rd

The Redfeather SIPA is brewed in the session IPA style. This beer presents the hop bitterness and flavor of a red IPA but in a more refreshing, lower alcohol version.

Additional crystal malts contribute the red hue and malt backbone to layer the hops onto. Hop varieties include Super Galena, Northern Brewer and Citra.

2016 GABF WINNER
Gold Medal – ESB category

ABV: 4.8%

On draft, growler fills and 22oz bottles available to go.

So, while I’m sure most of you will be digging into your cellars this Christmas to impress friends or family with a few extra special bottle selections (or just enjoying them yourself), be sure to stop by Black Raven to grab a growler or two of Redfeather Session IPA, so you and your guests have something a bit lighter and hoppier to enjoy as well.

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.

Believer Double Red Ale Returns From Ninkasi Brewing

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When I first got into craft beer, I was a big fan of Amber or Red ales.  Two of my favorites were Boont Amber from Anderson Valley and Red Tail Ale from Mendocino. Unfortunately, these days, Red Ales are often relegated to the background; pushed out of the way by many in favor of IPAs, Stouts, Porters and (more and more these days) even sours styles.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see people branching out more.  I just wish I’d see people ordering Red ales a bit more often.  I’m a fan of Ninkasi Brewing Company‘s Dawn Of The Red India Red Ale and now, another popular Red Ale is making its return from Ninkasi: Believer Double Red Ale.

Back by popular demand, Believer joins Ninkasi’s Seasonal Release Series available late December through April.  This release of Believer Double Red Ale will also benefit three different non-profit organizations.  A portion of all Believer sales will be donated to Conscious Alliance, Team River Runner, and Women Who Code through our Beer is Love program.  Your votes will help determine how the donations are allocated.

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Overhang Bourbon Imperial Porter Returns From Two Beers Brewing

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If you’re a fan of barrel aged stouts and porters then you know that Fall can be a trying time for your wallet.  Over the past couple of months, I’ve been to several different barrel aged beer releases and, by no means, was I alone at these releases.  Most had a line stretching down the street and around the corner with many people in line buying up to their allowed limit.

Well, I hope you haven’t depleted your holiday season craft beer spending limit yet, because Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is pleased to announce the return of Overhang Bourbon Imperial Porter this Friday, December 16th at The Woods taproom.

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