Splinters Returns From Black Raven Brewing

More often than not in the craft beer World, it seems like hops are the big stars.  Much of this is due to the fact that IPA is still king when it comes to craft beer and, while I still enjoy drinking IPAs through the Fall and Winter, I really start to appreciate the complex malt character of less hop forward beers like Stouts, Porters and Scotch Ales to name a few.  I also enjoy many beers that have been barrel aged in Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch or other barrels and, let’s face it, there aren’t that many barrel aged IPAs out there (though they do exist).

I’m also rather picky about my Scotch Ales.  There are only a few locally made Scotch Ales that I really enjoy, and one of them is Second Sight from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).  Now, Black Raven is preparing to release Second Sight’s more mature brother, Splinters Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale.

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Craft Beer Monger’s Picks For Seattle Beer Week 10

Ten years ago.  That’s when it all began.  That’s when Seattle area craft beer lovers got to experience the first ever Seattle Beer Week and the first ever official Seattle Beer Week beer (a double IPA from Pike Brewing Company).  Back then, many of our favorite local craft breweries and craft beer bars didn’t even exist yet.  Whereas today, it seems, we have a craft brewery or craft beer bar around almost every corner.

More craft breweries and more craft beer bars means even more Seattle Beer Week events.  Are you ready?  Surviving the week (actually 11 days) will take careful planning. I’m here to give you some suggestions on which events you might want to check out.  So sit back, if you’ve managed to pick up any yet, grab yourself a can of this year’s official Seattle Beer Week beer – Citrus Galaxy IPA from Georgetown Brewing Company – and take a look a Craft Beer Monger’s Picks for Seattle Beer Week 10.

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Black Raven Brewing’s Annual Flock Party Happens This Saturday

Everyone loves a good party, especially when that party involves craft beer. Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) definitely knows how to throw a great craft beer party, and they prove it every Spring with their annual Flock Party/anniversary celebration.

This year is Black Raven’s 9th anniversary/Flock Party and it’s set for Saturday, May 5th from noon till 8 pm.  As always, the Flock Party will feature several live music acts, plenty of ‘rare birds’ (rare and unique Black Raven beers, including some special cask infusions), delicious food, a retail merchandise booth and they usually also have an outdoor cigar lounge/booth.

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Hellbent Brewing Announces Upcoming Releases

Hellbent Brewing Company is one of those Seattle breweries that I just don’t get to visit as often as I’d like. My unusual work hours, combined with the fact that I live in the South end, mean that I don’t get to visit many North end breweries that often.  However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy their beers and will enjoy a few pints whenever I find beers on tap from breweries I don’t get to enough.

Between next Wednesday, January 17th and the beginning of February, Hellbent Brewing Company is set to release two beers and their first ever 16 oz cans. First us is a returning favorite: Big Island Toasted Coconut Stout.  This beer was largely inspired by the fact that one of Hellbent’s owners, Randy Embernate, is from the big Island of Hawaii.  Also on the way is their Sparrowhawk Belgian Blond and their House IPA and Dang! Citra IPA in 16 oz cans.

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Firestone Walker Releases Nitro Merlin Milk Stout In Cans

It took me a while, but I’ve come around to the can.  I guess I had some bias to overcome.  I grew up in the days when canned beer meant cheap, lousy, American light lagers in cans with pull-tabs that were littered everywhere and a real danger to anyone in bare feet.  Even worse was the so-called innovation of the ‘push button’ top, where you’d have to push one small button on the can to release the pressure, then push the other ‘button’ on the can to open it (leading to many cut thumbs).

With improvements in can design (in both opening and in making sure the contents don’t pick up any metallic taste from the can), you can now find many excellent craft beer in cans.  In fact, many of the more recent beer releases I’ve attended were to acquire beer that comes in cans. Firestone Walker Brewing Company has been canning beers for a while now (including those in their Luponic Distortion series, their Leo v Ursus series and, of course, Mocha Merlin), and now they’re pleased to announced the release of Nitro Merlin Milk Stout in cans.

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Discover The New Growler USA In Redmond

What happens when you take the basic concept of a growler refill station and decide to take it National?  Well, what happens is, you get something like Growler USA.  Founded in 2013 by Dan White (CEO), Dave Shaw (President), and Vern Whittaker (Retired CFO), Growler USA now has 10 locations across the U.S. and are slated to open 50 more throughout 2017-2018.

Each location boasts up to 100 taps of beer (including microbrewed craft beers), hard cider, draft wine & kombucha, plus an extensive food menu. Their tap list varies by location, of course, in order to offer locally-sourced options for their patrons, and their “True to the Brew” system ensures that each brewer’s vision for their product is honored.  Things are kept tightly controlled all the way from keg delivery and storage (using ‘gentle’ keg handling systems to avoid sloshing), to a meticulously maintained tap system and the proper glassware for each pour. Yesterday afternoon I took a trek out to their Redmond location, courtesy $30 in credit from Growler USA, to see what they had to offer first hand.

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Gunpowder Plot Returns From Black Raven Brewing

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I love this time of year.  I may be a serious hophead (I’ve been in hop-lovers Heaven this fresh-hop Season), but I think most of my favorite craft beers are still dark beers.  When Stout, Porter and Winter Lager season rolls back around, you’ll always find me with a big smile on my face.

Well, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is helping me out with that Winter beer smile.  Just two weeks ago they released Grandfather Raven Imperial Stout.  Last week they brought us Frost Beak Winter Lager and now, set for release this coming Saturday the 5th, is their Gunpowder Plot Nitro Porter.  Brewed to commemorate Guy Fawkes Day, Gunpowder Plot is rich and complex.  Brewed with bourbon-soaked coffee beans and cocoa nibs and served on Nitro, its a true pleasure to the palate.

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Two Beers Brewing Prepares For Their 9th Anniversary

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It’s time once again to celebrate at Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).  Coming up just one week from tomorrow, Saturday, November 5th, Two Beers Brewing will celebrate their 9th Anniversary from 1 pm to 7 pm.  For this year’s Anniversary celebration, Two Beers is revisiting their past a bit.  They’ve dug into both their pantry and their cellar to bring back some special cask infusions that were more prevalent during the previous iteration of The Woods taproom, as well as some vertical tastings of their Alta Series’ beers, including the now retired Ascension 2013, High Divide 2013 among others.

Also returning in time for the Anniversary celebration is Two Beers’ popular Jive Espresso Stout, and they will be debuting the latest addition to their lineup: Tipsy Toboggan Winter Ale.  This Winter Warmer comes in at 6.8% and will be available on draft and in 12 oz cans starting on November 5th.

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Firestone Walker Celebrates 20 Years With Nitro DBA

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Firestone Walker Brewing Company makes some delicious beers.  Their Parabola is one of my all time favorites and their Double Jack is one of my top (if not my top) IPAs.  Also, in case you weren’t aware, the 2016 release of Stickee Monkee is out now.  Hurry and grab yourself a bottle before it’s all gone.

Another beer from Firestone Walker that is very popular is their flagship DBA (Double Barrel Ale).  They also made a special version called Double DBA for a couple of years, but it has since been discontinued.  Now, Firestone Walker is ready to bring us another DBA variant.  This week, they are launching Nitro DBA as a new year round draft offering in all Firestone Walker markets, including Seattle.

Also, to help celebrate their 20th Anniversary this year, Firestone is releasing Unfiltered DBA (UDBA), a 100-percent oak fermented and unfiltered version of DBA, which will be available in all Firestone Walker markets for a limited time.  Get it while you can.

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Sam Adams Nitro Beers Launch Nationwide

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There’s just something about a beer served on Nitrogen.  Nitro beers create that silky smooth texture and creamy head often associated with Guinness, and can even alter your perception of a beer, subtly changing the flavor and mouth feel.

Stouts and Porters are the two styles most often associated with Nitrogen beers, but other styles can work well on Nitrogen too.  The Boston Beer Company agrees and has been experimenting with different nitrogen infused beers for the Samuel Adams Nitro Project.  Now, after three years of experimentation, they’re ready to bring those beers to you.

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