Ethan Stowell’s Bramling Cross restaurant is betting you’ll still have some energy and a hearty appetite left over after the end of Seattle Beer Week (SBW) on May 14th. That’s because just one day after SBW 2017 wraps up, on Monday, May 15th, they’ll be hosting a beer feast featuring beers from Fremont Brewing Company.
This evening of gastronomic delights, which Bramling Cross has described as a family-style feast, will feature several tasty selections from Chef Travis Post, all expertly paired with six different beers from Fremont Brewing Company.
Many of Seattle’s neighborhoods are tight knit communities. Each is different in its own way and in the Phinney neighborhood, the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) helps bring the community together. In their own words, the PNA exists to: “Build, engage and support our diverse community through programs, services and activities that connect neighbors and foster civic engagement.”
One of the best ways I know of to help connect the people in a community is an outdoor social gathering, and what better social gathering than a beer tasting? Coming up this Saturday, July 23rd is the 10th Annual PNA Summer Beer Taste.
The winners have just been announced for the 2016 US Open Beer Championship. Unique in it’s format, the US Open Beer Championship is the only brewing competition to allow award winning home brewers to compete against commercial breweries Worldwide. Beers from 95 different categories (including non-alcoholic) were ranked and the top 10 breweries and medal winners were also listed.
Most craft beer drinkers I know enjoy a good IPA or double IPA, and lord knows we have an abundance of great IPAs to choose from, especially here in the Northwest. Trying to find a brewery or craft beer bar around here without an IPA on tap would be an exercise in futility.
Now, with those long Summer evenings upon us, it feels like we have a few more hours in the day to enjoy all those IPAs. The problem is, too many strong single or double IPAs and you’ll go down long before the Sun does. The solution, of course, is the Session IPA. Session IPAs are designed to be hoppy on the palate but are lower in alcohol, allowing you to enjoy a few more without feeling like it’s time for bed.
Pike Brewing Company understand this so, back for the Summer is their Seasonal release: Pike No. 4 Session IPA. This light and refreshing IPA comes in at just 4.2% ABV, meaning you can throw back a few more while enjoying the game or tossing some meat on the grill, and still be the life of the party.
We’re fortunate in the Seattle area to have lots of great craft bottle shops around where we can find our favorite craft beers and ciders, and discover new ones from breweries and cideries both near and far. One such bottle shop is Full Throttle Bottles.*
Nestled in the heart of Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, Full Throttle is a specialty beer and wine (and cider and mead) store that manages to carry an impressive selection of craft beers, craft ciders, wines and meads for you to choose from, despite its somewhat small size.
Winter officially starts tomorrow, December 22nd and, like many of you, my palate has already become accustomed to drinking darker, stronger, heavier beers as the temperatures outside drop below my usual comfort level. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’ve been enjoying all the wonderful Bourbon Barrel Aged beers that have been arriving recently from several local breweries. Fremont Brewing Company’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Abominable Ale or B-Bomb, for example, or their Bourbon Barrel Aged Darkstar. I think the Coffee Cinnamon variant of B-Bomb is my favorite.
Even with all these wonderful Barrel Aged beers available, however, a hophead like me still wants the occasional IPA to lighten things up a bit. As much as I do enjoy a good, thick, dark Stout or Porter (especially the Bourbon Barrel Aged variety), I need a break from them every now and then. That’s where Fremont’s next release comes in. Returning next Tuesday, December 29th is Fremont Brewing’s 77 Select Session IPA.
While the rest of the nation was getting pounded with nasty weather late this past Winter, we were fortunate here in the Northwest to have an early Spring. From the looks of things, it seems that Summer is showing up early as well. The warmer weather is turning our taste buds away from all those delicious, but often to heavy for warm weather, Stouts and Porters and more towards those wonderful, hoppy Pale Ales and IPAs.
With that in mind, Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is bringing back their popular Summer Seasonal Session Ale, Day Hike. A bit lighter in both alcohol and IBUs (hops), Day Hike goes down easy on those hot Summer days. Also returning on draft is Two Beers’ other Session IPA: Trailhead.
The ‘Session’ IPA has become a popular style for hopheads who sometimes want a lower alcohol brew, so that we can enjoy more of them in an afternoon without getting too sloshed or being ready for a nap. I have a few local favorites (including Trailhead ISA from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and Son Of Birdserker from Black Raven Brewing (CBM Sponsor)), however both of these beers are Seasonal and not available year round.
The same was true of Firestone Walker’s Easy Jack Session IPA when it first arrived last Summer. Due to its popularity, Firestone actually ran out of the hops needed to make this tasty brew. To ensure that won’t happen again, Firestone’s own Matt Brynildson traveled to Germany last year to secure the necessary supplies of the hops he’d need. As a result, Firestone Walker Brewing Company is now set to offer Easy Jack Session IPA year round.
Breakside Brewing Company out of Portland makes some solid beers. I really enjoy their Wanderlust IPA, their seasonal Salted Caramel Stout and their Bourbon Barrel-Aged Aztec. Now, Breakside has two new beers: Lunch Break ISA and Amuse Belgian-Style Ale, and they’ll be pairing them up with sandwiches from Mammoth in Seattle this Friday, March 13th.