Urban Family Brewing Is Coming (Back) To Ballard

I can remember when Urban Family Brewing Company wasn’t yet a brewing company.  They were a craft beer bar on Ballard Ave NW, pretty much across the street from The Noble Fir.  As a craft beer bar, I only visited them a couple of times before they closed and moved across Salmon Bay to their current location on 26th Avenue West in Magnolia.

I think Urban Family is a bit homesick for Ballard though. They’ve just announced that, later this year, they will be moving the brewery to a new location, back in Ballard.  Sentiment isn’t the only reason for the move though.  They’re starting to outgrow their current location, and their new spot in Ballard will give them more room to expand, including more space for barrel aging and additional outdoor seating.

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Dark Heron IPA Returns For Emerald City Comic Con

Seattle is known for many different things.  Two of the most prominent are, of course, coffee and craft beer.  What some of you might not know, however, is that Seattle has a huge video game and comic book community.  The annual PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) started here (which I used to report on annually when I wrote about video games), and Emerald City Comic Con has been happening every year since 2003.  Last year’s attendance was over 95 thousand comic fans.

A few years back, Fremont Brewing Company partnered with ReedPOP, producer Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC), to create an ECCC-themed beer.  The result was Dark Heron IPA. Now returning for its fourth year, Dark Heron features artwork by local Seattle artist Julia Reck and will be available on tap throughout ECCC’s run, and in cans for the first time.  

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Counterbalance Brewing Prepares For Their 4th Anniversary

How long can a duck stand on one leg?  Well, the mascot for Counterbalance Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has been doing it for nearly 4 years now and he’s definitely ready to party.  You may recall that Counterbalance’s Multipass IPA came in as one of the finalists during Novemberfest at Beveridge Place Pub late last year and now they have another Fifth Element inspired beer coming your way as they prepare to celebrate another trip around the sun.

Come join Counterbalance Brewing this Friday and Saturday, January 25th and 26th, as they celebrate their 4th Anniversary with some new and returning beer releases, including their 4th Anniversary Big Bada Boom Hazy Double Mango IPA and 2019 Bourbon Barrel Kushetka Imperial Stout aged in 2Bar Spirits Bourbon Barrels.

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Firestone Walker Joins The Haze Craze With Mind Haze

Craft beers come in a wide variety of styles, and each style has managed to find its audience. With so many different styles to chose from though, IPA still remains the most popular style of craft beer by far and the New England style juicy/hazy IPA has taken the spotlight over the past couple of years, outselling all other sub-styles of IPA by a wide margin.

Although the juicy/hazy sub-style of IPA was only officially recognized by the Brewer’s Association in March of 2018, by the time the Great American Beer Festival rolled around in September, the “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA” dominated GABF entries.  Juicy/Hazy Pale Ales and IPAs made up 706 entries (Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale: 131. Juicy or Hazy IPA: 414. Juicy or Hazy Double IPA: 161.) compared with 331 entries for the more traditional American-Style IPA.

Many breweries have resisted jumping into what’s come to be known as the haze craze and, in fact, many breweries out there still refuse to make a hazy IPA. Others, like Firestone Walker Brewing Company, have simply been busy with other projects (like their experimental Luponic Distorion series and their Leo v. Ursus series). However, now they’re ready and the time has come. After a year of experimentation and development, say hello to Firestone Walker’s Mind Haze hazy IPA.

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Breweries To Host Nationwide Pint Night For Camp Fire Relief

I recently told you about Resilience IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and their drive to have as many breweries as possible across the US brew this beer and donate the proceeds to Camp Fire relief.

Sierra Nevada received an amazing response to their call. Over 1400 breweries nationwide brewed Resilience IPA and now, this coming Thursday, December 20th, all of those participating breweries will be hosting a Nationwide ‘Resilience Night’ for Camp Fire relief.

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Reuben’s Hosts The Third Annual Hop Idol Homebrew Contest

Are you a homebrewer?  Do you think you’ve gotten pretty good at it?  Do you think your beers are good enough to be brewed on a large scale, canned and sold to the craft beer masses here in Seattle?  Then Ruben’s Brews has the contest for you.  Returning for the third straight year, Reuben’s Brews presents: “Hop Idol”.

It’s time to refine your best hoppy recipes and hone your brewing techniques so you can put your best brew(s) forward.  Don’t wait too long to start either, because the cutoff date for entries is February 27, 2019.  It all comes down to you and your brew, because (Best Ryan Seacrest impersonaltion) THIS………. is Hop Idol!

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Sierra Nevada Brews Resilience IPA For Camp Fire Relief

 

The fires this year in California have been devastating – particularly the one known as the Camp Fire.  Entire communities have disappeared and thousands have been displaced.  It is also the deadliest wildfire in California state history, with the death toll reaching at least 81 people – and that number is expected to rise as the number of missing/unaccounted for people is still over 870 people.

Fortunately, I don’t know anyone directly affected by the fire(s) (though I do have relatives in Chico – where it got pretty close!), but I know a few people who have family and/or friends who have lost their homes.  It’s a heartbreaking situation, but Sierra Nevada Brewing Company wants to help.

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Fresh Hops & Fine Cuisine At Urbane

There are several great restaurants in Seattle.  Since my primary focus here at CraftBeerMonger.com is on craft beer though (and to a lesser degree craft cider and other craft alcoholic beverages), I haven’t visited as many of Seattle’s fine dining establishments as I’d like.  Also, due to my somewhat unusual work schedule, I don’t get to downtown Seattle for a good meal very often.

That’s why I was pleased to receive an invitation recently from Urbane to experience, on them, their Fresh Hop dinner, featuring Fresh Hop beers from Georgetown Brewing Company.  Urbane is a farm-to-table restaurant who prides themselves on sustainability and using locally-sourced ingredients.  In fact, the vast majority of Urbane’s ingredients come from within a 200-mile radius of the restaurant located at 8th Ave and Olive Way in the Hyatt at Olive 8 building downtown.

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Fresh Hop Releases From Schooner Brewing & Belltown Brewing

Man, I love living in the Northwest – home to the greatest hop growing region in the nation and possibly the World.  I can’t get enough of this year’s crop of Fresh Hop/Wet Hop beers, so it’s a good thing just about every craft tap list I see these days is packed with Fresh Hop/Wet Hop beers.

Does that mean we’ve had enough?  Never.  I’ve sampled nearly 30 different Fresh Hop/Wet Hop beers already this year, and I’m still ready for more.  Anticipating the continued demand for Fresh Hop beers this Season, Schooner Brewing and Belltown Brewing are preparing their Fresh Hop releases for later this week, featuring El Dorado and Mosaic hops respectively.

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Aslan Brewing Partners With Growing Veterans

You’re here, so I assume you enjoy locally made craft beer.  I’m also going to assume you’re a decent person because the vast majority of craft beer drinkers I know are decent people.  So you probably are as well, right?  Since you’re a decent person, then I know you also care about our Veterans.

I may not support the current administration in the White House, but I’ve always supported and respected our men and women in uniform.  Veterans made sacrifices for our freedoms – some making the ultimate sacrifice.  Many are still suffering in isolation, often leading to suicide. It’s the mission of Growing Veterans to end the loneliness and isolation that can lead to Veteran suicides and Aslan Brewing Company wanted to help.  That’s why they’ve teamed up with Growing Veterans to create Charlie Foxtrot IPA, brewed with hops grown and hand-picked by Growing Veterans’ veteran members from their Growing Veterans Organic Hops program. It will be released next Saturday the 29th, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit Growing Veterans.

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