Four Breweries Team Up To Host Ballard Oktoberfest

Is it really getting to be that time already?  Summer, especially in Seattle, always seems so darn short.  A couple of weeks ago I was already seeing pumpkin beers appearing on craft beer store shelves and now, here come the Oktoberfest announcements.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Fall and the Seasonal craft styles that come along with it, but it’s a bittersweet reminder that the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer and Summer is starting to fade.

Of course, as I just mentioned, Fall’s arrival also means Oktoberfest biers and Oktoberfest celebrations.  The Märzen/Oktoberfest style is probably my favorite style of Lager.  Sure, a well made Pilsner is great on a hot Summer day, but I love the more toasty malt flavors of a good Märzen.  If you’re also a fan of a good Märzen and other German/European styles (Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen, Kölsch, Vienna Lager, Roggenbier, etc.) then you’ll want to mark your calendar for September 16th and this year’s Ballard Oktoberfest.

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50 Craft Breweries Unveil Their Recipes For Homebrewers

Are you a homebrewer?  Even if you aren’t, but you are a craft beer fan, I’m willing to bet you know at least a few people who are homebrewers.  I myself first started homebrewing well over 20 years ago (but I’m between systems right now, which is killing me!) and back then, just like today, many homebrewers started out by trying to recreate some of their favorite craft beers at home.

Back in my early days, when craft breweries were few and far between, the holy grail for many homebrewers was to successfully reproduce or ‘clone’ beers like Sierra Nevada Brewing‘s Pale Ale.  If you could do that as a homebrewer back in the early 90’s, then you really knew your stuff.  The challenge was that you pretty much had to come up with the recipe on your own.  The homebrewing community was much smaller, there were few helpful recipe guides and there was no brewing software like BeerSmith or Brewtarget  to help you out.

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Fremont Brewing Releases Pride Kölsch For Pride Month

This month is Pride Month in Seattle and across the nation.  There are several Pride themed events happening around Seattle, culminating on June 23-25, when the Pride Parade, Seattle PrideFest, Trans Pride, and Seattle Dyke March & Rally will take place.

Fremont Brewing Company supports Pride Month and cares about the safety and self-determination of the LGBTQ community. They also want to help foster an LGBTQ presence in the craft beer World.  To that end, they are preparing once again this year to release their Pride Kölsch, which will arrive just in time for all of Seattle Pride Month’s biggest events.

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Naked City Prepares For Their 8th Anniversary

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Sometimes, which breweries you tend to frequent will depend as much on location as it does on beer quality.  This is one of the reasons I don’t get to a few of my favorite Seattle breweries as often as I’d like to.  I work somewhat odd hours and live in the South end.  So visiting any Seattle breweries that are farther North in the city requires a bit of effort on my part, largely due to our craptacular traffic.

One of Seattle’s North end breweries that I don’t visit nearly as often as I’d like to is Naked City Brewery & Taphouse in Greenwood.  Owner and head brewer, Don Webb, really enjoys his work, and it shows in the quality of beers Naked City continually puts out.  I’m particularly fond of The Big Lebrewski, their award-winning White Russian Imperial Stout.

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Reuben’s Brews Celebrates Their 4th Anniversary This Weekend

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There are several breweries in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.  Most of them do great work but, for me, there are a few standouts who are head and shoulders above the rest.  One of those standouts is Reuben’s Brews.  They’ve earned over 100 medals at various competitions since first opening back in 2012 (quite an achievement for such a young brewery), and they make some of the best Rye beers I’ve ever had.

Now it’s time to celebrate those achievements in style.  Coming up this weekend is Reuben’s Brews’ 4th Anniversary celebration.  They’ll be tapping 25 different beers, including a brand new IPA dubbed Hopped off the Press!

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The PNA Summer Beer Taste Happens This Weekend

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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.

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2016 US Open Beer Championship Winners

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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.

Four different breweries from Washington State took home awards, including: Reuben’s Brews, Heathen Brewing Company, Icicle Brewing Company and a sweep in the gluten free category by Ghostfish Brewing Company.  Congratulations to all the winners.  I’d also like to offer a special congratulations one of my favorite breweries, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, for being named National Grand Champion (details below).

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Craft Beer Monger’s Picks For Seattle Beer Week 2016 – UPDATED

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I’ve been a fan of great craft beer ever since having my very first craft beer (a Red Tail Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company, if memory serves).  However, I didn’t really immerse myself into the Seattle Craft Beer scene until sometime in 2010.  Before that I was, of course, still enjoying craft beer, but my journalistic focus was geared more towards the console video game market.  I used to operate a couple of console gaming review sites (focusing mostly on Xbox), which are now closed down.

That means I haven’t been attending Seattle Beer Week for as many years as some of you out there.  The first time I attended a Seattle Beer Week event (and actually knew that I was doing so), was back during Seattle Beer Week #4 in 2010, and the first Seattle Beer Week I ever wrote about was Seattle Beer Week #5 in 2011.  Right now, that sure seems like a long time ago.

Now, with 2016 upon us, we’re just one week away from the kickoff of Seattle Beer Week #8.  That means it’s time once again for me to give you my picks for what sound like the best events at this year’s Seattle Beer Week, just as I’ve done each year since 2012.

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Try A Traditional German Beer Flight At Altstadt

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Most craft beer fans I know gravitate towards Ales more than Lagers, and I think the reason is obvious.  Pale Ales, IPAs, Stouts, Porters, Barleywines, Saisons and other Belgian Styles, etc. are all Ales, not Lagers.  There are a few Lagers out there in the craft World but, for the most part, most of us tend to lean towards the Ale side of things much more often.

Unfortunately, that sometimes means we don’t take the time to appreciate some of the classic Germany styles (which are mostly Lagers) that are readily available at several places around Seattle.  One of those places is Altstadt in Pioneer Square.  To help you explore and appreciate some of these styles, Altstadt is serving up three different German beer flights, featuring classic German beer styles.

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