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

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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

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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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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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Get Your Tickets Now For The 2015 Winter Beer Festival

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Fall my be just getting started, but Winter is right around the corner.  That means Winter beers; rich, dark, bold Winter beers – many with an ABV that will help warm you up a bit.  The Washington Brewer’s Guild is pleased to present the 2015 Winter Beer Festival, happening December 4th and 5th at Magnuson Park.

Since the festival is not until December, the tap and food lineups have not yet been announced, but at least 50 breweries will be participating and food will be available from several local area food trucks.

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Hochtoberfest Returns From Black Raven Brewing

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What’s with all these Fall beers coming back?  The pumpkin ales are popping up everywhere, harvest ales are starting to show up, etc.  They’re on schedule but, somehow, it just seems a bit too soon this year.  I’m not done with my Summer yet!

Well, it looks like Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is about to add to my seasonal woes. Set for release this coming Saturday, August 29th Black Raven’s Fall Seasonal Marzen Style Lager, Hochtoberfest, makes it’s return.  Since I’m a fan of Marzen Style Lagers, however, I think I can forgive them for reminding me that Seattle Summer is winding down.

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