New Beers From Belltown Brewing

New breweries open at such a rapid pace in Washington state, that I still haven’t had a chance to visit them all.  Even within Seattle city limits, there are still a couple of breweries I have yet to check out first hand.  One of those breweries is Belltown Brewing Company between 2nd and 3rd in Belltown, of course.

Not just a brewery, Belltown Brewing also offers a full bar with a wide range of cocktails and $5 Happy Hour food options, as well as a full food menu from Chef, Garrett Brown, featuring pizza, burgers, sandwiches and more – including a brunch special from noon to 4 on weekends. They even offer private dining options for groups (how ’bout a whole roast pig or lamb?) and you can always make reservations through Open Table.

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Join Counterbalance Brewing For A Fall Equinox Celebration

Counterbalance Belgian Golden Strong Ale

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.

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Harvestfest Happens This Month In SoDo

Can you have too many craft beer festivals?  It’s a quiet, behind-the-scenes type of debate here in the Northwest where breweries and craft beer festivals are plentiful.  We have so many annual festivals that some attendees and some breweries can sometimes get festival fatigue.  Those on the other side of the coin argue that there can’t be too much of a good thing and any reason one can find to create a new craft beer festival should be taken advantage of.

I can understand the viewpoint on both sides of this debate but I figure, as long as all these festivals can still find enough interested craft beer lovers to attend, then we’ll keep getting more.  With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to the Seattle Harvestfest, which will be coming to Utah Avenue South next Thursday, September 14th.  Brought to you by Cask Creek Productions, this festival is a celebration of all the Fall/Harvest season styles we all enjoy.

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Flocktoberfest Returns From Black Raven Brewing Company

It’s still nice and hot out there, but the end of Summer is right around the corner.  That means it’s harvest time, which also means it’s time for Fall Seasonals to start arriving.  In the Great Northwest that means Fresh Hop beers (the first few are just starting to arrive now), but it also means other Fall Seasonals, including the Märzen/Oktoberfest style.

Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) brews several tasty Seasonal beers including Beak Tweaker Citrus IPA, Frost Beak Winter Lager and Hochzeit Pilsner.  Right now, however, it’s time for their popular Fall Seasonal: Flocktoberfest Lager.

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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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Sierra Nevada Partners With Brauhaus Miltenberger To Create The Ultimate Oktoberfest Beer

Images Courtesy Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

I wonder how many young craft beer drinkers today realize that they owe the wonderful proliferation of craft beer in the U.S., in small part, to President Jimmy Carter and his brother Billy.  On October 14th, 1978, spurred on by his brother Billy who was a homebrewer, Jimmy Carter signed a bill into law which allowed homebrewing of beer in the United States. Prior to this ruling, Sierra Nevada founders, Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi, had already been homebrewing in California’s Butte County.  When it became legal, however, they decided it was time to go pro and in 1979 Sierra Nevada Brewing Company as born in Chico.

Their first beer was the popular and iconic, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, followed soon after by Celebration IPA (now discontinued). Today, Sierra Nevada still brews many excellent and well known beers including: Torpedo Extra IPA, Otra Vez Gose, Hoptimum Triple IPA and, of course, their classic Bigfoot Barleywine plus, of course, their annual Beer Camp series of collaboration beers.  Now Sierra Nevada is ready to release their latest Seasonal creation.  This year, they have teamed up with Germany’s Brauhaus Miltenberger to create the ultimate Oktoberfest beer.

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Oaktoberfest Returns From Firestone Walker

Firestone Walker Logo

It may still be Summer, but Fall beers are already starting to arrive.  In case you hadn’t noticed, Pumpkin beers are making their way back onto store shelves, and I’ve seen one or two Oktoberfest releases out there as well.

Last year, other than for a few select accounts, Firestone Walker Brewing Company didn’t release their Fall Seasonal, Oaktoberfest.  Now it’s back though, and this time it’s coming in 16 oz cans – only the second time Firestone has packaged this beer.  So dust off your lederhosen or pull your dirndl out of the closet, because Oktoberfest is right around the corner.   Continue reading

2016 US Open Beer Championship Winners

2016USOpenBeerChampionship

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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Full Throttle Bottles Sold – Taps To Be Added

 

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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.

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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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