Craft Beer Monger’s Picks For Seattle Beer Week 11

Even though I knew it was coming, Seattle Beer Week (SBW) kind of snuck up on me this year. I can’t believe it kicks off in just 2 days! There are a few events that happen each year that I usually attend so I’m set there. However, I didn’t find much time until this past weekend to look over the rest of this year’s SBW events and choose which ones I’d either like to attend myself and/or that I’d like to suggest to you. I’m here to fix that.

How about you? Have you found the time to look over the ever growing list of events on the official Seattle Beer Week website? If not, don’t worry. I took the time to read through the details of every event that’s been posted for this year’s festivities, and I’m here to give you my suggestions for the best events to pick from for Seattle Beer Week #11.  Here we go!

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Hellbent Brewing Prepares To Release Their Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout

Spring is here. Temperatures are on the rise and Summer feels like it’s just around the corner. For some people, this might mean it’s time to put many of the darker, heavier craft beers on the back shelf and bring the lighter, fruitier, earthier, more floral Pales, IPAs, Hefeweizens, Golden Belgian Ales and other lighter styles forward.

You know what I say to that?  I say go to Hell – Hellbent brewing that is. Now don’t get me wrong. I love all those lighter styles too but, warm weather or cold, I always enjoy a rich, dark complex bourbon barrel aged Stout, and that’s exactly what Hellbent Brewing Company will be delivering next month on May 15th.

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Chainline Brewing Prepares For Their 4th Anniversary

Cycling is huge in the Northwest. Far more than just a recreational vehicle, bicycles are the primary mode of transportation for many people around the Puget Sound. That’s a big part of the reason that Chainline Brewing Company in Kirkland is so cycle/outdoor activities-focused. Their name was inspired by the active, outdoor lifestyles that are so prevalent in the Northwest and their brewery and taproom is located right next to the Cross-Kirkland’s bicycle corridor.

Now, I’m not much of a cyclist myself, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy their beers all the same. Their most popular offerings include their Tune Up IPA and their Polaris Pilsner, which won a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2017. Perhaps you’ll even find a few new favorites from Chainline this weekend, as they prepare to celebrate their 4th Anniversary with the release of 4 different styles of a Saison from their Old Growth Series and the return of some of their most popular offerings from the past.

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Cascade Brewing Releases One Way Or Another 2017

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m a big fan of Sour Ales. That puckering tartness they impart can be too much for some, but it tickles my palate’s fancy and I’m always ready to try a new Sour Ale. We have some great local breweries that make some truly amazing Sour Ales, but most of them are relatively new. Before their existence, the best Sour Ales around always came from Cascade Brewing Company out of Portland, Oregon.

Cascade is still tops in my book. They’re one of my favorite Northwest breweries (as my #FF tweets can attest to), and I always keep tabs on what they’re working on next. To that end, I’m pleased to share the news with you that Cascade has released their One Way Or Another 2017 project. The 2017 version is a complex Sour Ale featuring Northwest-grown marionberries and Meyer lemon zest with Sour Blond Ale aged in oak barrels for up to 16 months.

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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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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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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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Two Beers Prepares For Their 11th Anniversary

The story of Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is one I’ve been following for a long time.  I can still remember when the taproom had just a few stools and couldn’t hold more than a few people.  Today, Two Beers Brewing Company – along with their sister companies, Seattle Cider Company and Sound Seltzer Company – boasts a huge, inviting taproom with 24 taps of beer, cider and seltzer (plus a cider slushie machine), pub games (billiards, foosball, darts, shuffleboard, etc.), a beautiful patio and a food service window run by the folks from Bread And Circuses.

There was some concern in the local craft beer community when, back in 2016, Two Beers Brewing Company and Seattle Cider Company were acquired by the Agrial Group, a leading French agri-business cooperative. Since that acquisition, however, I haven’t noticed any drop in the quality of their products, and they’ve even started expanding their portfolio – releasing lots of new beers this year including what I think may have been their best IPA yet, What A Time To Be Alive hazy fresh hop IPA.  Now Two Beers is prepared to celebrate their 11th Anniversary with another new release: This Goes to 11 Birthday Cake IPA.

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Smoked Porter Turns 30 As Alaskan Brewing Prepares to Debut Their Expanded Taproom

Fall is here in the Emerald City and that means Stouts.  Everywhere you look, it seems breweries are preparing their annual Stout releases and, as much as I do love a good Stout, their abundance can sometimes overshadow the deliciousness of a good Porter.

The differences between Stouts and Porters can be subtle and the debate over what the exact differences are continues.  Basically though, Porters are a bit lighter in body and mouthfeel and sometimes, though definitely not always, can be slightly lower in alcohol.  Essentially, all Porters are Stouts, but not all Stouts are Porters.

Now that I’ve made things clear as mud for you, I’d like to tell you that one of the best known and best loved Porters in the Northwest, Alaskan Brewing Company’s Smoked Porter, is turning 30.  Alaskan Brewing is preparing to celebrate with the opening of their expanded taproom this Saturday.

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