The 18th Annual Hard Liver Fest & Other Upcoming Events At Brouwer’s Cafe

Seattle certainly has its share of craft beer events and festivals. I’ve been to more than my fair share and I’m betting many of you have as well. Some of my favorite annual events take place at one of my favorite craft beer bars in the city: Brouwer’s Cafe. I first discovered Brouwer’s way back in 2005, the year they opened, and immediately fell in love. They have great, Belgian inspired food and always have a great tap selection – especially during events/festivals.

Brouwer’s has several great events coming up over the next month. It all kicks off with the 18th annual Hard Liver festival coming up this Saturday, February 29th and culminates with their 15th anniversary celebration on March 28th. Now I know what you’re thinking. How can this be the 18th Hard Liver fest but only Brouwer’s 15th anniversary? Not to worry. This is a logical explanation for this discrepancy. The first few years of the Hard Liver fest were held at the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center, before Brouwer’s Cafe opened.

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Pyramid’s Apricot Ale Wins Bronze During Flagship February

It’s not just February, it’s Flagship February. Although some newer breweries are shunning the trend (Seattle’s Cloudburst Brewing Company comes to mind), many breweries have one (or more) flagship beers. These are the beers they’re know for – the beers that help build their brand and are still popular today. Some good examples would be Sierra Nevada‘s Pale Ale, Pike Brewing‘s Pike Place Ale or Pyramid Brewing Company‘s classic Hefeweizen.

I’ll be honest. I was oblivious to the fact that it was Flagship February myself until Pyramid Brewing reminded me by sending me a care package containing some of their most popular flagship beers including their classic Hefeweizen, their Apricot Ale (which was one of the first craft beers I tried in Seattle) and, another classic, McTarnahan’s Amber Ale from Portland Brewing Company.

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Hellbent Brewing Hosts Their First Annual Chili Con Carnival

There are lots of different foods that pair quite well with beer. In fact, I really wish more high end restaurants would put as much care into curating their beer lists as they do their wine lists, because I believe there’s a craft beer out there suitable to pair with pretty much any meal.

Don’t get me wrong though. Food and craft beer pairings shouldn’t be limited to just high end restaurants. While I do indeed love to pair a good sirloin steak with a hoppy Pale Ale or pair a steamed lobster tail with a nice Belgian Tripel, I still enjoy more classic pairings like pizza and a good IPA or a mushroom Swiss burger with a smoked Porter. One of my favorite beer and food pairings though is a bowl of chili and… well, it can depend on the type of chili. Many people love to pair a good chili with a hearty Stout. Others might prefer an assertive IPA – especially if the chili is extra spicy – and still others would select a nice Saison.

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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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Tin Dog Brewing Brings Home The Gold (And The Silver And The Bronze)

On February 10th of this year, a small brewery in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood – one some of you may not have heard of before – celebrated their latest anniversary.  That brewery is Tin Dog Brewing Company and they’ve bee operating quietly on the other side of the Duwamish since February 2014.

Specializing in Belgian-style beers, including sour/wild beers and aged, blended/mixed cluture styles, Tin Dog has been honing their craft, and their work has paid off.  I’d like to offer my congratulations to Tin Dog Brewing Company for taking home Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in this year’s wild sour beer category at the Washington Beer Awards and Brewer’s Choice Awards, taking home Gold, Silver and Bronze.

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Get Your Tickets Now For The Washington Brewer’s Festival

Here in the Northwest, we take a lot of pride in our craft beers.  While we recognize that there are excellent craft beers available from around the nation, most of us have a special place in our hearts (or is it livers?) for beers made in Washington State.

That’s why I’m always glad when Spring arrives and the Washington Beer Commission brings back their annual Washington Brewer’s Festival.  Set this year for Friday, June 15th through Sunday June 17th at Marymoor Park in Redmond, there are a few changes you’ll want to be aware of regarding how drink tokens will work at this year’s fest.

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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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Cheese Wars Returns To Hellbent Brewing For Seattle Beer Week 10

 

Cheese is addictive. That’s not just an opinion.  There have even been studies done that show that cheese may even be as addictive as heroin. Well, despite that conclusion, I’m not ashamed to say that I’m hooked.  I’m a cheese addict, and I know many others who are as well.

Hellbent Brewing Company has picked up on this. Last year during Seattle Beer Week #9, they hosted an event called Roquefort One: A Cheese Wars Story, where they pitted two local food trucks against each other in an ultimate cheesy, beer-fueled competition to raise money for Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Roquefort One was such a success, that Hellbent is bringing the event back next month for Seattle Beer Week 10.  This year it’s The Peach & the Pig vs. Wicked Good Grinders in Cheese Wars: The Last Cheddai.  The Rebel Legion and the 501st Legion will also be back this year in full costume to make this an event to remember.  Don’t worry though, no Bothans died to bring you this information.

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The Third Annual Ballard Beer Awards Return Next Week

Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood has a high concentration of craft breweries , many within just a few block of each other.  That makes it ideal for checking out several craft breweries in a short time.  Have you explored all of the breweries in Ballard?  Do you have any favorites?  Would you like to help them win an award?

For the third year, four Ballard breweries are coming together for a friendly little competition known as the Ballard Beer Awards, and you get to help determine the winners.  In order to cast your votes, you’ll have to visit Ray’s Cafe rather than the breweries themselves.  The competition kicks off on April 16th and runs through May 11th.  The four breweries involved in this year’s competition are: Stoup Brewing, Reuben’s Brews, Lucky Envelope Brewing and Maritime Pacific Brewing.

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Brewer’s Association Adds ‘Juicy Or Hazy’ To Their 2018 Beer Style Guidelines

 

In the World of craft beer, the IPA is king. There’s no denying it and, right now, the hazy and juicy New England Style IPA is the dominant sub-style. Everywhere you look there are cloudy, hazy, fruity IPAs that embody this very popular style.

The Brewer’s Association has taken notice of the meteoric rise in the popularity of this style and have added a new category to their 2018 Beer Style Guidelines: Juicy or Hazy Ale Styles – including: “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA.”  I’m somewhat perplexed that they didn’t call the category “New England Style”, but I’m sure they have their reasons.

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