It seems like you can’t throw a rock in Seattle these days without hitting a brewery, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Despite the large and ever-increasing number of craft breweries in Seattle, we still don’t seem to have reached the saturation point. I believe that’s because Seattle craft beer drinkers really love to drink local.
Sure, Seattle has its iconic and big name breweries that are well known even outside the Seattle area. Others, however, have a more local, neighborhood feel and here in the Northwest we love to support small neighborhood businesses. That’s why two local, neighborhood breweries, Belltown Brewing Company and Schooner Exact Brewing Company, to form a new, limited-series collaboration brewery named SODO Brewing.
Last night my wife and I, along with several other members of the local media, were fortunate to attend a special preview night at Seattle’s newest craft beer and gourmet food spot: Tankard & Tun. Created by Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, the same people who brought you Seattle’s iconic Pike Brewing Company, this Oyster bar and restaurant is a bit more upscale and, fittingly, is right upstairs from The Pike.
I first told you aboutTankard & Tun back in April, when it was first announced and the Finkels were deep into construction and planning. It’s a beautiful, spread out space with a moderately sized bar area (the only section that is 21 and over only) a fermentation deck and few separate seating areas, including a private event mezzanine that’s upstairs but somehow still doesn’t make you feel removed from the market.
Melvin Brewing Company out of Alpine and Jackson, Wyoming brews some pretty tasty beers. Since they began distribution in the Seattle area in early 2016, I’ve come to really appreciate several of their offerings. The two of their beers people around here are probably the most familiar with include their wildly popular 2×4 Imperial IPA and, of course, last year’s 3-Way IPA (brewed in conjunction with Fort George Brewing Company and Barley Brown’s).
First launched in 2009, Melvin took off quickly and gained high praise from the brewing industry, including a 2012 Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival for their 2×4 Imperial IPA (among other awards). Now, they’ve launched a 3rd location, and their first full-scale brewpub, right here in Washington State. Opened in Bellingham on June 3rd, Melvin’s brewpub offers 20 taps (including one rotating guest tap) and a full menu.
Spring has finally arrived in the Northwest and that means, of course, the return of baseball. For the past few years, I’ve kept you up to date on what delicious craft beers and gourmet food choices you can expect to find each Seattle Mariners season at Safeco Field.
Well, it’s that time again and I’ve been invited back to check out some new offerings for this year’s menu. Ethan Stowell has, once again, partnered with Centerplate and the Seattle Mariners to bring you some amazing creations including: Seattle ‘Wings’ (Taylor Shellfish Farms fried oysters with Frank’s RedHot sauce), authentic Oaxacan chapulines (toasted grasshoppers with chile-lime salt seasoning), and frozen custard cookie sandwiches.
I’ve never given a lot of thought to bottle openers or to ‘venting’ cans. Since I drink the majority of my beer these days either on tap or from a growler, I don’t often have use for a bottle opener or much reason to vent a can. I’m also, in general, not a huge fan of cans anyway. I totally understand why they’re back, why so many craft breweries are canning their beers and why they’re popular but, if I have to purchase packaged beer, I’ve always preferred the bottle over the can. It’s just my personal preference.
In addition, my days of drinking straight from the bottle or the can are pretty much over. I used to drink beer that way, back in my college days, but no more. Perhaps some of you think that makes me a beer ‘snob’. I don’t agree. I just prefer to drink my beer as it was intended to be: out of a glass. Granted, if I’m offered a beer somewhere in a bottle or a can and there’s no glassware available, I will go ahead and drink it from the bottle/can. Again, it’s just not my preference.
Having said that, I know that I may be in the minority. Not everyone drinks the majority of their beer on tap or in growlers as I do. If they did, there wouldn’t be much of a reason for breweries to package their beers now would there? Also, I obviously have need of a bottle opener at times. Not every beer I drink comes from a tap or growler. We’ve also reached the point where some beers only come in cans. So I do occasionally find myself opening a can rather than a bottle. You can’t fight change. So, when the Snake Bite Co. contacted me about trying out their product, I figured I’d give it a look.