As I’m sure you’re already aware, June is Pride Month and there are plenty of events all around Seattle to celebrate and stand up for the LGBTQ community. Considering the current political climate in our nation, I think that recognizing and celebrating Pride Month is more important that ever.
Pike Brewing Company feels the same way and recently released Pike Pride Ale in celebration of Seattle’s LGBTQ community. It’s available on tap now at Pike Brewing and Tankard & Tun and will be featured at several locations during Pride Week (June 18-24).
Other news from Pike includes their new Late-Night Hoppy Hour (with food specials from 9 pm to close (menu below)), a new seasonal menu at Tankard & Tun, and the exciting news that Pike has shipped over 600 unique pieces of beer art to Japan’s International Airport in Nagoya in preparation for the opening of a Pike Brewing restaurant and craft beer bar in Nagoya Airport.
Here in the Northwest, we take a lot of pride in our craft beers. While we recognize that there are excellent craft beers available from around the nation, most of us have a special place in our hearts (or is it livers?) for beers made in Washington State.
That’s why I’m always glad when Spring arrives and the Washington Beer Commission brings back their annual Washington Brewer’s Festival. Set this year for Friday, June 15th through Sunday June 17th at Marymoor Park in Redmond, there are a few changes you’ll want to be aware of regarding how drink tokens will work at this year’s fest.
Last year, I told you about a new palace in Redmond called Growler USA. They were the newest location for the company, which has locations in over 19 states including Hawaii and Washington State (Vancouver). Less than a year after opening however, Greg and Ann Humes – who ran the Redmond location for Growler USA – decided they’d rather be independent. So they broke ties with Growler USA and re-branded themselves as Hop House.
Freed from their corporate shackles, so to speak, Greg and Ann were free to curate their local tap selections as they saw fit, bring in more imports and actually reduce their total number of taps from 105 down to 75, in order to make more room for local liquors as well. Now, with Seattle Beer Week 10 (SBW10) about to kick off, Hop House has a few events they’d like to share, to bring a bit of SBW10 to the East side.
Ten years ago. That’s when it all began. That’s when Seattle area craft beer lovers got to experience the first ever Seattle Beer Week and the first ever official Seattle Beer Week beer (a double IPA from Pike Brewing Company). Back then, many of our favorite local craft breweries and craft beer bars didn’t even exist yet. Whereas today, it seems, we have a craft brewery or craft beer bar around almost every corner.
More craft breweries and more craft beer bars means even more Seattle Beer Week events. Are you ready? Surviving the week (actually 11 days) will take careful planning. I’m here to give you some suggestions on which events you might want to check out. So sit back, if you’ve managed to pick up any yet, grab yourself a can of this year’s official Seattle Beer Week beer – Citrus Galaxy IPA from Georgetown Brewing Company – and take a look a Craft Beer Monger’s Picks for Seattle Beer Week 10.
Oktoberfest you know. Everyone does. There are Oktoberfest celebrations all around the World every year – although may places improperly start their Oktoberfest celebrations in October. Traditionally, Oktoberfest ends the first week of October, so September is really when you want to do most of your celebrating.
What about Mayfest though (aka Maifest)? Do you know that one too? While Oktoberfest celebrates the harvest season, Mayfest/Maifest celebrates the return of Spring. Mayfest is starting to grow in popularity in the U.S. and has actually been celebrated in Cincinnati since 1873. The Queen Anne Beerhall has decided they’d like to get into the Mayfest spirit and will be hosting a Mayfest celebration for two weekends in May, the 11th-12th and the 18th-19th.
Everyone loves a good party, especially when that party involves craft beer. Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) definitely knows how to throw a great craft beer party, and they prove it every Spring with their annual Flock Party/anniversary celebration.
This year is Black Raven’s 9th anniversary/Flock Party and it’s set for Saturday, May 5th from noon till 8 pm. As always, the Flock Party will feature several live music acts, plenty of ‘rare birds’ (rare and unique Black Raven beers, including some special cask infusions), delicious food, a retail merchandise booth and they usually also have an outdoor cigar lounge/booth.
Have you ever been a member of a craft brewery mug club? If you find that you’re a frequent visitor to some craft breweries more than others, joining a mug club could be a good way for you to save some money over time and even get access to special events and special releases. I myself have been a member of the mug club at Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) for several years now. Since they’re one of the breweries closest to my house, I tend to stop there quite a bit.
Now, with Spring upon us, Two Beers Brewing has announced the annual renewal for their mug club memberships. As with most mug clubs, not every member renews their membership each year. Any un-renewed membership slots are then available for new members to join. If you are already a member and are renewing your membership, there may be a few benefits for you as well.
Cheese is addictive. That’s not just an opinion. There have even been studies done that show that cheese may even be as addictive as heroin. Well, despite that conclusion, I’m not ashamed to say that I’m hooked. I’m a cheese addict, and I know many others who are as well.
Bicycling and beer seem to just go together. There are even several cycle-themed breweries here in the Northwest, including HUB in Portland, Flying Bike in Greenwood, Peddler in Ballard and, of course, Chainline Brewing Company in Kirkland. Situated along the new Cross Kirkland Corridor Trail, they’re in the perfect spot for craft beer lovers who prefer 2-wheeled, human-powered transportation.
I’ve been to Chainline Brewing several times (I drive there though – sorry), and I really enjoy their beers. Their Polaris Pilsner (2016 – GABF Silver Medal winner) and Tune Up New England Style IPA (2016 Best of Craft beer awards Silver Medal Winner) are solid and I’ve also enjoyed many of the special one-off beers they’ve produced. Their Flowtron Strawberry IPA was definitely one of my favorites and, lucky for me, it’s making a return for Chainline’s 3rd anniversary celebration coming up this weekend along with their first ever canned beer (Polaris Pilsner).
Seattle is definitely a wonderful place to live if you’re a fan of great craft beers. The high concentration of excellent breweries in the city make it one of the best craft beer destinations in the nation. However, don’t forget to take a trip out of town every now and then, because there are several breweries outside Seattle – from the Oregon border all the way up to Canada – who are doing great work.
One outside-of-Seattle destination I don’t make it to very often is the Olympia area, which is home to several craft breweries including Top Rung Brewing Company in Lacey. You may not be as familiar with Top Run as some other Olympia area breweries, because they haven’t started bottling or canning most of their beers yet, but they’ve been brewing good beers in Olympia for nearly four years now, and it’s time to celebrate. This Saturday, April 21st, Top Rung Brewing Company will celebrate their 4th anniversary.