Craft Beer Monger’s Top Picks For Seattle Beer Week #9

Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like the past year has flown by so quickly.  Seattle Beer Week #8 almost feels like it was just a few weeks ago.  Yet here we are, with Seattle Beer Week #9 kicking off in just two days.  Have you had an opportunity to look over the ever-growing list of events on the official Seattle Beer Week website?  With so many events to choose from, many of which happen on the same day or even at the same time, you may have to make some difficult choices regarding which events to attend.  Here are my top picks for Seattle Beer Week #9.

Things get under way with the Official Seattle Beer Week Kickoff this Thursday, May 4th.  There are  5 stops on the Seattle Beer Week (SBW) kickoff tour.  Things start off at 4:30 pm at the new Flatstick Pub location in Pioneer Square.  The other stops on this year’s kickoff tour include: Beveridge Place Pub (6:30 pm and Cask-O-Rama will be going on), Brouwer’s Cafe (7:45 pm), Naked City Brewery & Taphouse (9:00 pm), with the evening closing out at The Pine Box (10:30 pm).

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Ninkasi Releases Their Summer IPA Variety Pack

Ninkasi Brewing Company out of Eugene Oregon puts out some excellent craft brews, including several different IPAs.  I really enjoy their Total Domination IPA and Tricerahops Double IPA, as well as their Hop Cooler Citrus IPA; and don’t forget about their Maiden The Shade Summer IPA, which I told you about just last week.

With Summer right around the corner, Ninkasi has decided to pull together a few of their most popular IPAs into the Summer IPA Variety Pack.  An easy way to please the hopheads in your life, this variety pack will include four different Ninkasi IPAs: Total Domination, Dawn Of The Red, Beer Run and Hop Cooler.

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Ninkasi Brewing’s Maiden The Shade Gets A New Look

Spring is in full swing in the Northwest and Summer is right around the corner.  While I’m still enjoying plenty of tasty Stouts and Porters, the warming weather out there has begun to turn my palate back towards the hoppy beers of Spring and Summer.  Ninkasi is preparing to satisfy that hop craving with the impending return, and new look, of their popular Maiden The Shade IPA.

Dubbed a ‘Summer IPA’ by Ninkasi, Maiden The Shade boasts a combination of eight different hops and flaked barley for a smooth finish.  It will be available at Ninkasi and on craft beer store shelves wherever Ninkasi beers are sold starting on May 1st.

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Pacific Rain Joins Ninkasi’s Year-Round Flagship Series

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The Pacific Northwest has a well-deserved reputation for having a large number of businesses who embrace the ‘local and sustainable’ movement.  That is, trying to use local ingredients as much as possible as well as looking out for the environment, so our beautiful Pacific Northwest stays beautiful for years and years to come.

Ninkasi Brewing Company embraces this philosophy and wants to celebrate the Pacific Northwest, as well as the fantastic and fresh local ingredients available.  To that end, Ninkasi Brewing is happy to announce the latest addition to their year-round Flagship Series of beers, Pacific Rain Pale Ale.  Featuring crystal clear, lava-filtered water from the McKenzie River and four Pacific Northwest-grown hop varieties: Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic, and Nugget.

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Pacific Wonderland Joins Deschutes’ Year-Round Lineup

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Bend Oregon is a great city for craft beer lovers.  Sure, there are plenty of great breweries right here in Seattle but that doesn’t mean we can’t also appreciate the well crafted libations coming from other great breweries throughout the Northwest and across the nation. There are lots of breweries in Bend who are doing it right and one of the oldest and most successful breweries to come out of Bend is Deschutes Brewery.

When I think Deschutes there are plenty of great beers that come to mind.  The Abyss and its variants are, of course, always a popular choice as is their well known Black Butte Porter (now at number XXVIII).  I’ve enjoyed a great number of Deschutes’ beers over the years including: Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Red Chair Northwest Pale (find this one on Nitro, if you can), Fresh Squeezed IPA, The Dissident and many, many more.

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Believer Double Red Ale Returns From Ninkasi Brewing

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When I first got into craft beer, I was a big fan of Amber or Red ales.  Two of my favorites were Boont Amber from Anderson Valley and Red Tail Ale from Mendocino. Unfortunately, these days, Red Ales are often relegated to the background; pushed out of the way by many in favor of IPAs, Stouts, Porters and (more and more these days) even sours styles.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see people branching out more.  I just wish I’d see people ordering Red ales a bit more often.  I’m a fan of Ninkasi Brewing Company‘s Dawn Of The Red India Red Ale and now, another popular Red Ale is making its return from Ninkasi: Believer Double Red Ale.

Back by popular demand, Believer joins Ninkasi’s Seasonal Release Series available late December through April.  This release of Believer Double Red Ale will also benefit three different non-profit organizations.  A portion of all Believer sales will be donated to Conscious Alliance, Team River Runner, and Women Who Code through our Beer is Love program.  Your votes will help determine how the donations are allocated.

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Magnanimous IPA Returns From Fort George Brewing

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Enjoying craft beer is all about appreciating the skill of the brew master and treating your taste buds, while having a great time with friends and family.  So, if you’re feeling resentful or holding onto a grudge about something this holiday season, Let it go.  Be like Fort George Brewing Company.  Be Magnanimous.

This Fall/Winter Seasonal Ale is brewed with Grand Fir trimmings from Earth & Sky Farm in Oregon City, which Fort George co-owner Chris Nemlowill has been storing in his basement since May when they were picked.  Magnanimous IPA is a great way for hopheads like me to enjoy the Holidays and Hops at the same time.

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Deschutes Brewery & Bendistillery Release Black Butte Whiskey

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Deschutes Brewery out of Bend and Portland Oregon puts out a wide variety of Ales.  Their most recognizable beers include Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale, Jubelale and, of course, their Black Butte Porter – both the regular and the annually-released, barrel-aged version.

The barrel-aged version of Black Butte is a bit different each year and can include additions like chilies, cranberries, orange peel, figs, vanilla beans or any number of other special ingredients.  I particularly enjoyed this year’s release of Black Butte XXVIII.  It had smooth well-blended flavors of vanilla and cocoa with just a touch of smoke, giving you a feel for the barrel the beer spent 12 months maturing in.

Now Deschutes has teamed up with Bendistillery, the same distillery that created the Crater Lake line of spirits, to bring to us a project 20 years in the making: Black Butte Whiskey.  Double distilled from the wash of Black Butte Porter, it sort of brings things full circle.

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Ninkasi Rebrands Vanilla Oatis & Retires Original Oatis

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Ninkasi Brewing Company has been quite busy this year.  They just celebrated their 10th Anniversary and, earlier this year, they started rebranding their flagship lineup of beers.  Now, it’s time for their popular Stout, Vanilla Oatis, to get the rebranding treatment.

As the rebranding of Vanilla Oatis gets under way, Ninkasi will also be retiring the original Oatis, which has been a year-round offering but will begin to phase out as Vanilla Oatis takes it’s place.

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Ninkasi Announces Team Total Domination

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Do you dominate the outdoors and perpetuate better living in an inspiring way?  Many Ninkasi Brewing Company fans do, so Ninkasi is pleased to announce: “Team Total Domination.”

According to Ninkasi: “Team Total Domination is a crew of  explorers, adventurers, professional athletes and artists who we think totally dominate. No matter the season or terrain, you’ll find this bunch out in the wild, doing what they love. We’re thrilled to be a part of the action and share a few beers along the way.”

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