The end of Summer and the return of Fall is a double-edged sword in the Pacific Northwest. The downside is that we start to lose our Summer sun and Summer temperatures. The upside, however, is that Fall brings along with it all those wonderful, aromatic, tasty Fresh Hop Ales.
Hellbent Brewing Company is celebrating this Fresh Hop season in a big way. They’re throwing a big party on Saturday, September 30th, featuring the release of their own Amarillo Fresh Hop IPA.
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.
People are sometimes confused by the location of Counterbalance Brewing Company. Based on the name most locals assume, understandably, that they would be in or near the Queen Anne neighborhood. They are not. Counterbalance is, in the West end of Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. They went with the Counterbalance name because that’s where founders Frank Lawrence and Jeff Howell grew up.
Now that you know where they are, why not come for a visit this weekend and help them welcome the return of Fall? Coming up this Sunday the 24th, Counterbalance Brewing will host a release party for their Oktoberfestbier and Fresh Hop Ale. Come join them for these two new releases while watching the Seattle Seahawks beat the Tennessee Titans.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company has two different series’ of IPAs going right now. First is the Luponic Distortion Series, which is currently in its 7th iteration (featuring Australian hops), and then, of course, they have the Leo v. Ursus Series. Both series take an experimental approach, and they allow Firestone Walker to be constantly coming out with something new and unique – which is the industry trend these days. Innovate or be left behind.
Luponic Distortion Revolution No. 007 arrived just last month and now, Firestone Walker is ready to bring us the next iteration in the Leo v. Ursus Series: Inferos. An unfiltered Rye IPA that’s absolutely jam packed with over 4.7 pounds of Galaxy (and other) hops per barrel, Inferos sounds like a rye loving hop head’s dream. I’ve always been a big fan of beers with rye in the malt bill and Inferos has an almost unheard of 25% rye in the malt bill. With all that rye and all those hops, this sounds like a beer I’ll really enjoy.
Fresh Hop Season is upon us. The first few Fresh Hop beers have already arrived and we’ll be seeing many more Fresh Hop releases in the coming weeks. With so many Fresh Hop beers to try, it would be nice to have a single place where you can try a bunch of them at once. Thankfully, the Seattle Fresh Hops Festival returns next month.
Packed to the brim with Fresh Hop beers from all across Washington, the 2017 Seattle Fresh Hop Festival is a dream come true for all you serious hop heads out there.
Brewed with over 400 pounds of Centennial Hops fresh off the bine at Goschie Farms (less than 2 hours from hop field to brew kettle!), Green Haze is about as fresh as you can get and should bring those grassy, Earthy notes you’d expect from a well made Centennial Fresh Hop Pale.
Football season has returned, much to the delight of NFL fans everywhere and especially Seahawks fans right here in Seattle. After sweeping the pre-season 4 – 0, the ‘Hawks are ready to take on the challenge of making their way towards Superbowl LII (that’s 52 for those of you who aren’t up on your Roman numerals), and they’re going to need the help of you 12’s.
Of course, to cheer the Seahawks on properly, you’re going to need some good game-day beer. Sure, Marshawn Lynch is with the Oakland Raiders now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy a beer inspired by Lynch’s time with the ‘Hawks. That’s why Foggy Noggin Brewing Company is bringing back their popular football season brew: Cease & Desist IPA (Formerly 12th Man Skittles IPA – but I trust you see the legal issues he ran into there(?)).
Back in late July, I told you about a special brew day I attended at the Lagunitas Seattle Taproom & Beer Sanctuary. I joined Lagunitas and a whole host of their hop and barley farming partners to brew what would become the first Seattle exclusive beer to come out of the brewery since they took over their space in Ballard from Hilliard’s.
From what I could tell, this was a rather experimental brew with no strictly set recipe. In the end, it wound up including Caliente, Ron Mexico, and Galaxy hops, giving it a burst of tropical brightness on top of a smooth, blonde, 2-row malted barley backbone.
It’s harvest time up in the Yakima Valley, the #1 hop growing region in the World. Our proximity to the hop fields of Yakima Valley means that the Northwest, particularly Washington State, is in a prime location to enjoy one of the best benefits for craft beer lovers this time of year: Fresh Hop Ales.
As has become the norm, Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) was first out of the gate, releasing their Fresh Hop IPA back on August 23rd. Now, Fremont Brewing Company is ready to release the first of their Fresh Hop Ales for 2017. Field To Ferment Fresh Hop Pale Ale (each release featuring Centennial, Amarillo and Citra hops respectively) arrives today, 9/6, in Fremont’s Urban Beer Garden.
Back in March of this year, I told you about the Bottle Shop Collaboration Project. It’s a series of beers being produced by several local craft breweries that have teamed up with 11 different Seattle area bottle shops to create some special collaborative releases over the course of several months.
The first beer in the series was Soul Proprietor IPA, which was brewed by Cloudburst Brewing Company and tapped at all participating bottle shops in the Bottle Shop Collaboration Project (BSCP) at 5 pm on Friday, March 24th. The second beer in the BSCP series was Instant Karma IPA from Fremont Brewing Company, which was released back on June 30th. Now, the news has broken about the next beers on the way from the BSCP.