Craft Beer Monger’s Picks For Seattle Beer Week 10

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.

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The Queen Anne Beerhall Prepares To Celebrate Mayfest

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.  

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Urbane Teams Up With Reuben’s Bews For Their Fall Menu

Last night my wife and I were fortunate to attend a special beer-pairing dinner at Urbane, located in the Hyatt hotel at Olive 8 in downtown Seattle.  It was a preview of a few of the new dishes Urbane will be adding to their Fall menu, all expertly paired with beers from Seattle’s own multi-award-winning (over 30 awards received so far in 2017 alone) Reuben’s Brews, one of the fastest growing breweries in Washington State with production set to increase by more than 50% this year over 2016.

The dinner was hosted by Urbane’s Executive Chef, Brian Pusztai and Reuben’s Brews was represented by brewery rep, Conrad Hermosillo.  Brian, Conrad and a few other members of the Urbane chef’s team greeted us upon our arrival and we prepared ourselves for a 3-course tasting menu by getting to know each other a bit while snacking on a very tasty cheese and charcuterie board.

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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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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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Flocktoberfest 2016 Happens This Saturday at Black Raven Brewing

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Everyone loves a good party, and Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) certainly puts on quite a celebration each year for their annual ‘Flock Party’.  They provide great beers, food trucks, live bands, etc.  I’ve been to their Flock Party many times, and it’s always a great time.

It seems that this year, however, just one Flock Party isn’t enough for Black Raven.  So, this Saturday, September 10th get ready for Black Raven’s Flocktoberfest.  As with their annual Flock Party, there’ll be great beers, including the release of their Flocktoberfest Lager, great food, games and more.

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Oaktoberfest Returns From Firestone Walker

Firestone Walker Logo

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

MLK Alt Is Returning From Foggy Noggin Brewing

Just yesterday, I told you about a place where you can go to try flights of German style beers.  Most of the styles contained in those flights are Lagers, but not the Alt.  Traditional German Altbier (or Dusseldorfer Alt) is one of just a few traditional German Ales rather than Lagers (along with Kolsch, Gose, Hefeweizen, Berliner Weisse, Weizenbock and a few others).

From the German Beer Institute:
One of only a handful of traditional German ales. Altbier is Copper-colored, cool-fermented, cold-conditioned, clean-tasting, with an aromatic hop presence, a firm creamy head, a medium body, and a dry finish. It is indigenous to the Rheinland, which is part of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in the northwestern part of Germany, near the Dutch border. The best known Altbiers come from the Düsseldorf, the state capital.

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Try A Traditional German Beer Flight At Altstadt

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Most craft beer fans I know gravitate towards Ales more than Lagers, and I think the reason is obvious.  Pale Ales, IPAs, Stouts, Porters, Barleywines, Saisons and other Belgian Styles, etc. are all Ales, not Lagers.  There are a few Lagers out there in the craft World but, for the most part, most of us tend to lean towards the Ale side of things much more often.

Unfortunately, that sometimes means we don’t take the time to appreciate some of the classic Germany styles (which are mostly Lagers) that are readily available at several places around Seattle.  One of those places is Altstadt in Pioneer Square.  To help you explore and appreciate some of these styles, Altstadt is serving up three different German beer flights, featuring classic German beer styles.

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Get Your Tickets Now For The 2015 Winter Beer Festival

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Fall my be just getting started, but Winter is right around the corner.  That means Winter beers; rich, dark, bold Winter beers – many with an ABV that will help warm you up a bit.  The Washington Brewer’s Guild is pleased to present the 2015 Winter Beer Festival, happening December 4th and 5th at Magnuson Park.

Since the festival is not until December, the tap and food lineups have not yet been announced, but at least 50 breweries will be participating and food will be available from several local area food trucks.

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