Some of the first Fall Seasonals I started seeing this year were appearing as early as mid August. I suppose planning ahead isn’t a bad thing but, here in the Northwest where the Summers are notoriously short, we don’t need those early reminders that our sunny Summer days are numbered. Don’t get me wrong. I love many different Fall styles and welcome their return, I guess I’m just a little sad to see Summer come to a close this year.
If there’s one thing you can be sure of when Fall arrives though, it’s that along with it comes all the different Fall seasonal craft beers (even if some of them start appearing a bit early), including pumpkin and squash style beers. I haven’t found myself as excited for the plethora of pumpkin and squash ales that always make their way to craft bottle store shelves this time of year, but there are always a few new, interesting ones that catch my attention. One such beer is Wine Barrel-Aged sQUASH Ale from Lowercase Brewing Company.
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.
Last Friday, December 2nd, my wife and I attended a beer tasting dinner cruise courtesy of Waterways Cruises And Events, featuring beers from Pike Brewing Company. This is the cruise I told you about just last month, which took us around Lake Union and Lake Washington as we enjoyed 5 different Pike Brewing Company beers and enjoyed a delicious, 4-course dinner.
Apart from a few somewhat loud and annoying shipmates at the next table and a small technical difficulty involving the last beer of the evening, we had a great meal and a wonderful time. As a special bonus that we weren’t expecting, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, founders of Pike Brewing Company, were in attendance on the cruise (as well Pike’s Jon Gores). Charles took the time to visit each and every table, and spoke to us all at length about his passion for beer, Pike Brewing Company and the beers we would be enjoying during the cruise.
Ivar’s is a Seattle icon. They’ve been around since 1938, which is a good 30 years longer than I’ve even been alive. When was the last time you stopped by Ivar’s to enjoy a few drinks and some delicious seafood – especially their award winning Chowders? My wife and I hadn’t been for a visit in quite a while, but stopped by the Salmon House on NE Northlake Way, my favorite Ivar’s location, just last week.
The drinks were great and the food was as good as I remember. I also love the look of the Salmon House. The did a major remodel on the bar about three years ago, and the results are fantastic. If you haven’t been by that location since the remodel, you should check it out.
If you need a good excuse to drop by Ivar’s, I think I can help you with that. Coming up this Thursday, December 8th, Ivar’s is hosting their 6th Annual Northwest Winter Beer Tasting at their Acres of Clams location on Alaskan Way from 6 to 9 pm.
Pyramid Brewing Company has been around for quite a while. They began as Hart Brewing way back in 1984 and have been through several small changes, including changes in ownership, since then. While their main brewing operation today is in Portland, they continue to produce beer at their Seattle brewery location on 1st Avenue South, right across from Safeco Field. Pyramid produces a number of different Ales, including their popular Winter Warmer, Snow Cap.
It’s amazing to think that Pyramid has been producing Snow Cap for 30 years now. That’s longer than some of you reading this have even been alive. Now, Pyramid is preparing three special releases in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Snow Cap.
For some reason, I just wasn’t into the whole Pumpkin beer thing this year. I have enjoyed Pumpkin beers in the past but, for some reason, they just didn’t appeal to me this year. What I’ve been waiting for instead are the Winter Ales and Lagers. Lucky for me, they’re beginning to arrive.
One such Winter time beer that I’ve had before and really enjoyed is making its return. This coming Saturday, October 29th, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is releasing their Frost Beak Winter Lager.
It’s time once again to celebrate at Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor). Coming up just one week from tomorrow, Saturday, November 5th, Two Beers Brewing will celebrate their 9th Anniversary from 1 pm to 7 pm. For this year’s Anniversary celebration, Two Beers is revisiting their past a bit. They’ve dug into both their pantry and their cellar to bring back some special cask infusions that were more prevalent during the previous iteration of The Woods taproom, as well as some vertical tastings of their Alta Series’ beers, including the now retired Ascension 2013, High Divide 2013 among others.
Also returning in time for the Anniversary celebration is Two Beers’ popular Jive Espresso Stout, and they will be debuting the latest addition to their lineup: Tipsy Toboggan Winter Ale. This Winter Warmer comes in at 6.8% and will be available on draft and in 12 oz cans starting on November 5th.
Enjoying craft beer is all about appreciating the skill of the brew master and treating your taste buds, while having a great time with friends and family. So, if you’re feeling resentful or holding onto a grudge about something this holiday season, Let it go. Be like Fort George Brewing Company. Be Magnanimous.
This Fall/Winter Seasonal Ale is brewed with Grand Fir trimmings from Earth & Sky Farm in Oregon City, which Fort George co-owner Chris Nemlowill has been storing in his basement since May when they were picked. Magnanimous IPA is a great way for hopheads like me to enjoy the Holidays and Hops at the same time.
Wasn’t Summer here just yesterday? It sure feels like it and, to my delight, Fresh Hop beers are everywhere right now. It’s easy to forget, however, that Fresh Hop season also means harvest time and that means that holiday beers can’t be far behind.
Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is prepared for the return of the Holidays and, as such, are pleased to announce the return of their annual Holiday Ale, Festivus.
Earlier this month, Reuben’s Brews celebrated their 4th Anniversary. It was a great party with an amazing tap list, featuring a new IPA and 3 different barrel-aged beers to enjoy. I particularly enjoyed their new Hopped Off The Press IPA. I hope they brew it again and send some cans to local retailers.
Until then, however, I’ll have to be satisfied with Reuben’s latest news. Their Roasted Rye IPA, the beer that started it all for them, is now available in cans, and they have 3 new beers ready to debut for Fall. Say hello to Imperial Pumpkin, Life on Mars and Amarillo Fresh Hop.