Firestone Walker Announces Generation 1 IPA – Limited Release

If you want to get noticed in today’s craft beer World, you can’t rest on your laurels.  You’ve got to continue to innovate and keep coming out with new and interesting beers to keep the buzz going.  Firestone Walker Brewing Company understand this and it’s part of the reason they retired their Proprietor’s Reserve Series of beers – which included Opal (Dry Hopped Saison), Wookey Jack (Cascadian Dark Ale) and their wildly popular Double Jack Imperial IPA.

Around the same time they retired the Proprietor’s Reserve Series, Firestone Walker proceeded to release two new series of IPAs: The Luponic Distorion Series (Currently on #6) and the Leo v. Ursus Series (which consists so far of Fortem and Adversus).  Now, Firestone Walker is preparing to release a new,limited-release IPA named Generation 1 IPA.

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Fresh Hop Season Kicks Off Next Week At Two Beers Brewing

Summer is waning and Fall is drawing closer each day.  That must mean it’s Fresh Hop time!  Each year, when it’s time for the hop harvest up in Yakima Valley, many local craft breweries prepare to brew their annual Fresh Hop beers – loaded up with fresh-picked hops right off the vine.

Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) prides themselves on always being the first local brewery each year to debut their Fresh Hop IPA, and this year is no different.  They held their annual hop picking party, and brewed their Fresh Hop IPA back on August 9th.  By next week it will be ready to serve, and Two Beers is welcoming it with a Fresh Hop IPA release party on Wednesday, August 23rd.

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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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Louis Raison French Cidre Arrives In The US

Even though I’m a big fan of craft beers, I do enjoy the occasional craft cider as well.  I sometimes head to one of my local watering holes fully intending to sample some ciders, but then I look at the tap list and I’m like, “Oh look! Three new craft beers I haven’t tried yet!”  As a result, I’m far less experienced and knowledgeable about craft ciders than I am craft beers.

Despite this inherent bias I have towards beer over cider, however, I definitely still appreciate a well made craft cider and usually do manage to try a few when I see something new and interesting.  So I’m a intrigued by the arrival of Louis Raison French Cidre, France’s #1 selling cider, which is set to make their U.S. debut this week.  There are five events happening around Seattle between August 15th and August 26th, where you’ll be able to sample their ciders and see what you think.

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Bale Breaker Announces Sesiones del Migrante Mango IPA

Just last week I told you about the Harvest Collaboration Series form Bale Breaker Brewing Company, in which they paired with four different craft breweries to create the beers for the series.  They’ll have staggered releases from August through October.  Now, while they’re still in the collaborative mood, Bale Breaker is at it again with the upcoming release of Sesiones del Migrante Mango IPA in six-packs.

Sesiones del Migrante is a series of beers that Bale Breaker has brewed in conjunction with Mexican and American breweries, in a collaboration that spans 5 breweries and 2 countries.  Created in celebration of the Mexican migrant workers who travel to the Yakima Valley each year to help harvest the precious hops for all those wonderful craft beers we all enjoy, it’s due to arrive both on tap and in cans on September 7th and will see distribution throughout Washington and Northern Idaho.

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The Brewmaster’s Taproom Prepares For Their 1st Anniversary

There are quite a few breweries and craft beer bars right in Seattle, North of Seattle and East of Seattle.  South of Seattle though, until you get down closer to Tacoma, breweries and even craft beer bars become more sparse and difficult to find.  As far as breweries south of Seattle city limits go, we’ve got Odin in Tukwila, Elliott Bay in Burien and Airways Brewing (CBM Sponsor) in Kent (plus Strong Arm, Four Generals and Herbert B. Friendly in Renton).

Craft beer bars seem even more sparse South of Seattle.  The only ones that come immediately to mind are the Dog & Pony Alehouse (Renton), Pit Stop Taproom & Pub (Burien) and, of course, The Brewmaster’s Taproom (Renton).  Just a reminder, though, the the grand opening for Burien’s newest craft beer bar, Flight Path, happens tomorrow at 5 pm.

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Bale Breaker announces the Harvest Collaboration Series

Collaborations are all the rage these days.  I recently told you about the Samuel Adams Brewing The American Dream Collaboration Pack and this year’s 3-Way IPA from Fort George Brewing (plus Great Notion Brewing and Reuben’s Brews) has been flying off shelves so fast that it’s been a bit difficult to find this year.

Now, Bale Breaker Brewing Company is ready to get in on the action.  They’ve partnered with Georgetown Brewing, Founders Brewing, Cloudburst Brewing and Pinthouse Pizza & Brewpub to create the Harvest Series Collaboration Series.  The beers have staggered release date from August through October.

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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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Join Schooner Exact For A Hop Field Trip This September

Each year, as Fall approaches in the Northwest, it’s hop harvest time.  That can only mean one thing: Fresh Hop IPAs are coming.  Most beers are brewed using kilned or dried hops, usually in the form of compressed hop pellets.  Fresh Hop or Wet Hop beers, on the other hand, utilize fresh, un-kilned hops straight off the vine.  This allows them to retain all of their natural oils (some of which can be lost or reduced during the kilning/drying process), and impart a more Earthy and natural character to the finished beer.

When brewing a Fresh Hop Ale, the hops must be utilized with 24 – 48 hours after picking to ensure freshness.  Any longer and they’ll start to become soggy and begin to develop mildew and rot.  So, when the season arrives, you’ll see plenty of trucks from local breweries making day-trips up to the Yakima Valley to procure their fresh hops for brewing.

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Lagunitas Brews Their First Seattle Exclusive Beer

I’ve always enjoyed the beers coming out of Lagunitas Brewing Company.  I even used to live in Petaluma, CA but I moved to Seattle just a few years after they opened and never had the opportunity to visit the brewery there (it was also before I started writing about craft beer).  That’s why I was excited when the news broke last year that Lagunitas would be opening a brewery right here in Seattle – taking over the space formerly occupied by Hilliard’s Brewing.

After a media/friends/family sneak peek, The Lagunitas Seattle Taproom And Beer Sanctuary opened their doors back on January 12th.  At the time, there was a rumor going around that the new Seattle location would be producing some pilot batches of new, unique beers that would only be available in the Seattle market.  Those rumors were quickly confirmed, but no date was set for when those Seattle-only brews would begin.

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