Fair Isle Brewing Is Open For Business

I often hear the question; Has Seattle reached the saturation point for new breweries? I don’t think there’s an easy answer. Sure, Seattle is packed with over 330 breweries (many concentrated in Ballard and the South End), but is that too many? It depends on several factors: Location, size, the quality and uniqueness of the beers they produce, etc.

Seattle’s newest brewery: Fair Isle Brewing, opens their doors to the public today at 3 pm. Will they have what it takes to succeed in the saturated Seattle craft beer scene? I believe they will. Fair Isle is taking a slightly different approach with their taproom layout (details below), and will focus primarily on Saisons and other Wild Ales.

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Black Raven Releases Rye Lager

Are you a fan of rye beers? Not everyone is and that’s OK. I can’t recall what the first rye beer I ever had was, but I’ve been a fan of the style for as long as I can remember. Some of my favorites include Rye on Rye from Boulevard, Sah’tea from Dogfish Head and Old Birdbrain from Black Raven Brewing Company.

We may still be in the middle of Winter but I’m already thinking ahead to Spring and so is Black Raven. That’s why they released their Rye Lager just this past Monday the 20th.

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Counterbalance Brewing Prepares For Their 5th Anniversary

Each year, Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle holds an IPA competition to select their House IPA for the next year. Georgetown Brewing Company is often the winner with their Bodhizafa IPA but, for the past couple of years, there’s been another brewery nipping at their heels. That brewery is Counterbalance Brewing Company and their popular Multipass IPA, which has come in 2nd place the past two years.

If Multipass IPA is the only beer you’re familiar with from Counterbalance, then it’s high time you paid them a visit to try some of their other tasty offerings. Mark your calendar for next Friday and Saturday, January 24th and 25th when Counterbalance is set to celebrate their 5th anniversary.

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Firestone Walker Announces Flyjack 96-Calorie IPA

There’s no denying that IPA is the most popular style of craft beer, and there are quite a few variations on the style. We’ve got the good old standard IPA (West Coast IPA – Clear, hoppy and bitter), Double IPA, Triple IPA, New England Style IPA (single or double), Milkshake IPA (single or double), Session IPA, Brut IPA, Sour IPA and more. Personally, Double IPAs (both West Coast & New England Style) are my favorite. There’s just something about that intense flavor and hop character that I just love.

Sometimes though, I wish I could get the flavor and hoppy character I enjoy from a Double IPA in a Single IPA or, better yet, a Session IPA. Most Session IPAs I’ve tried are too light on the hops and thin on the mouthfeel for my taste. Even with lower ABV and/or lower carbohydrates, I still want full flavor and a hoppy punch. Well, Firestone Walker Brewing Company just announced a new IPA called Flyjack. It’s a Session IPA at only 96 calories and 5 grams of carbs, but it’s supposed to be big on flavor.

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Sam Adams Reformulates Cold Snap & Announces Mountain Berry

Cold Snap limited release White Ale from Sam Adams has been around since 2014. Loaded with a plethora of spices, including orange zest, vanilla and other adjuncts, Cold Snap is a light and tasty Winter warmer.

The recipe for Cold Snap has been the same since 2014 – until now that is. Sam Adams has tweaked the recipe for the 2020 release, to make Cold Snap even more refreshing that before.

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Portland Cider Co. Teams Up With Blue Star Donuts For Blueberry Bourbon Basil

Collaborations are all the rage in the craft beer world and, apparently, they’re popular in the cider world as well. If you enjoy cider, blueberries, bourbon, donuts and barrel-aged libations, then Portland Cider Co. and Blue Star Donuts have the collaboration for you.

One of Blue Star’s most popular donuts is their Blueberry Bourbon Basil donut (Which sounds incredible! I need to get down to Portland to try one.). This best seller was the inspiration for Portland Cider Co’s new Blueberry Bourbon Basil Cider.

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Reuben’s Brews Announces Their 2020 Release Calendar

SEATTLE, WA – January 6, 2019 – Reuben’s Brews, a family-owned and operated Pacific Northwest Brewery, today unveiled its beer release schedule for 2020. Adding to the breadth of its beer portfolio, having released more than 170 beers last year, Reuben’s Brews is introducing a new year-round IPA as well as two new series of seasonal releases to its 2020 calendar.

Mind the Gap! IPA is joining the lineup of year-round beers Crikey IPAPilsnerHazealicious IPA, and Robust Porter, while the Seasonal IPA roster will remain the same as 2019, featuring Bits & BobsSummer IPA and Moreish IPA.

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Reuben’s Brews Prepares For Their 7th Anniversary

When you stop to think, it’s actually pretty amazing that Reuben’s Brews has only been around for just under 7 years. In that relatively short time, they’ve amassed a huge and loyal following, expanded the brewery twice (now encompassing three locations) and expanded their distribution across the state and into Oregon.

Their popular ‘Crush’ series keeps the hits coming, but hazy IPAs are by no means all Reubens brews. At their taproom on 14th Ave NW, you’ll find well over 20 beers on tap at any given time, spanning styles including: Pilsers, Goses, Belgian Wits, Porters, Stouts, Sours and more. The tap list as Reuben’s Brewtap (800 NW 46th St.) is a bit smaller, but you’ll still find the same wide variety.

As they approach the 7 year mark, Reuben’s is preparing for an anniversary celebration at all three of their locations: The 14th Ave NW taproom, the Brewtap and their original brewery location on NW 53rd Street.

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Black Raven Prepares To Release The First Beer From Their Flight Test Taproom Series

Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has been quite busy lately. In addition to keeping things running smoothly at their original, Redmond location. Black Raven recently opened their second brewery and taproom up in Woodinville. I had the opportunity to visit their new space this past weekend, and it’s quite impressive.

The new taproom is a large, inviting open space, with large windows allowing you to see their new 40 barrel brewing system, which represents a huge increase in their brewing capacity – and they still have room to grow. Now, with their new space up and running, Black Raven is preparing for their latest release at both locations. Arriving this Friday the 26th, say hello to Holding Pattern Hazy Pale Wheat, the first beer from Black Raven’s new Flight Test Taproom Series.

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Firestone Walker Introduces Old Man Hattan

Most of the time when I’m drinking, I’m drinking craft beer. I sometimes enjoy a cocktail (or even just straight bourbon), and the occasional glass of wine or cider but, for the most part, craft beer is my go to. My enjoyment of good cocktails, bourbons and wines though is likely a big part of the reason I’m such a fan of barrel-aged beers. There’s just something about barrel-aging a craft beer that adds character and a complexity that simply can’t be achieved without the barrel aging.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a master of barrel aged beers and they’ve won many awards over the years for their multitude of barrel aged offerings – particularly those from their Proprietor’s Vintage series. They’ve also become more experimental over the past few years, trying new grains, new hops and new techniques and I applaud their daring and creativity. Now, Firestone Walker is set to release their newest barrel aged experiment: Old Manhattan. This multi barrel aged and blended Ale is designed to invoke the classic cocktails: the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.

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