Celebrate National Beer Day With Elysian Brewing & The Return Of Superfuzz

It seems these days, there’s a ‘National’ day of… well, just about anything.  We’ve got National Rotisserie Chicken Day (June 2nd), National Golf Lovers Day (October 4th), heck there’s even a National Day The Music Died day.  It can be difficult to keep track of all those ‘National’ days out there but, if you’re a craft beer lover like me, there’s only a few you have to worry about.

One of the big ones that should be on your radar is National Beer Day, which takes place in just over one week on Friday, April 7th.  Breweries and craft beer bars around the nation will be celebrating, and I’m here to tell you about a few  selections coming your way from Elysian Brewing Company for this special day, as well as the return of a Seasonal favorite: Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale.

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Safeco Field Menu Updates For The 2017 Mariners Season

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.

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Beardslee Hosts A Spring Solstice Brewer’s Dinner

That chill in the air is just starting to fade and the official start of Spring is just 5 days away, on March 20th.  To mark the occasion, Beardslee Public House in Bothell has decided to host a Spring Solstice Brewer’s Dinner next Tuesday, March 21st.

This special dinner will be comprised of 4 distinct courses, plus a dessert course and each course, including dessert, will be paired with a different Beardslee beer.  Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase the limited bottling of their Barleywine 2-packs at a discounted price.

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Kitty Kat Blues Joins Black Raven’s Year Round Lineup

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Back in 2009, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) introduced one-off Cask beer that was brewed with vanilla, blueberries and a slightly more unusual ingredient: Catnip.  Their press release below says it was called Kitty Kat Blues but I can also recall a version (which you can still get) of Kitty Kat Blues mixed with Trickster IPA – called Tricky Kitty.

The combination of ingredients worked well and, despite it’s slightly unusual description, Kitty Kat Blues has become one of my favorite Black Raven beers.  Until now it’s been a seasonal offering, so it wasn’t always available when I wanted one.  Now that’s all changed.  This Friday, March 3rd Kitty Kat Blues joins Black Raven’s stable of year-round  beers during a Cat Shirt launch party.

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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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Two New Beers Have Just Arrived From Pyramid Brewing

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Is it too early to start thinking about Spring?  I know we’re still in the middle of Winter right now, but it hasn’t been too horrible this year and who knows what news the groundhog will have for us this Thursday (Groundhog Day is February 2nd).  At Pyramid Brewing they’ve been doing a bit more than just thinking about Spring and earlier this month they announced the release of their Spring seasonal, Triangulate Citrus Pale Ale. Dry hopped with Lemondrop™ hops and real lemon peel, Triangulate brings us Spring a bit early this year.

Also arriving now from Pyramid is their limited time Brewer’s Reserve Railroad Avenue, which will be available from mid-January to late April. An Imperial Porter, Railroad Avenue uses deep roasted malts and roasted barley with dashes of vanilla, cinnamon and dark brown sugar. According to Pyramid: “Railroad Avenue is a big, malty brew that conducts the palate to a nicely spiced, mildly sweet finish.”

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Reuben’s Brews Reveals Their 2017 Release Calendar

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These days, lining up for coveted craft beer releases has become a way of life here in Seattle.  Over the past year, I’ve waited in line for the release of at least 7 or 8 different beers – probably more.  The wait in line isn’t only about the beer though.  For many of these releases I could have skipped the line, come in later and still gotten my bottles, but then I would have missed the opportunity to hang out with all my friends who also attend these releases.

Half the battle during bottle releases or when anticipating the return of your favorite on-tap selections, however, is knowing when they’re coming.  Often times we don’t hear about a particular release until just a few days before it happens, meaning we may have to alter our plans or find a friend to pick up a few bottles, cans or growler fills for us if we can’t attend.  That’s why having a release calendar can really help.  To that end, Reuben’s Brews has just revealed their 2017 release calendar.

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Raven de Brett Arrives This Saturday From Black Raven

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There’s something special that brettanomyces yeast (or “Brett” for short) does to a beer.  Lambics and Gueuze style beers owe their unique flavor profiles to Brett, as do wild yeast Saisons or Farmhouse styles.

When Brett is used in a hoppy Pale Ale or IPA, however, it can impart a decidedly juicy character to the hop flavors. I’ve noticed this in the Pale Ales and IPAs I’ve had that were fermented all or in part by Brett yeast.

If you haven’t tried a Pale or IPA fermented with Brett, then this is your chance.  Coming up this Saturday, December 10th, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is releasing the next beer in their Corbeaux Series: Raven de Brett, a dry hopped Pale Ale.

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The 2016 Seattle Fresh Hops Festival Starts This Friday

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Have you been enjoying Fresh Hop season?  I don’t know about you, but my lupulin levels must be through the roof.  I love the abundance of hoppy beers available this time of year and am thankful that I live in the Northwest, which produces the best Fresh Hop beers available in the World.

So, have I had enough?  Not by a long shot.  I know there are opinions out there that hops are overused in the craft beer industry and that the IPA style has taken over too much and become too hoppy.  To that I say, absurd.  Yes, there are some ridiculously hoppy beers out there. That’s great for those of us who enjoy them.   If you don’t, however, then don’t drink them. It’s just that simple.

The abundance and popularity of IPAs and hoppy Pale Ales doesn’t mean there aren’t other choices out there. Although, I will admit, most tap lists are rather hop-heavy this time of year for obvious reasons.  If you’re like me though and just can’t get enough then you’re in luck, because the 2016 Seattle Fresh Hops Festival starts this Friday at Hale’s Palladium.

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Fresh Hop Pale Ale Arrives Tomorrow From Black Raven Brewing

 

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We’re well into Fresh Hop season here in the Northwest (in fact the Yakima Fresh Hop Festival is coming up this weekend).  The Puget Sound’s proximity to the Yakima Valley means that local craft breweries have incredible access to the nation’s largest hop producing region.  This allows local breweries to produce what I believe are the best Fresh Hop beers available anywhere in the World.

Most Fresh Hop beers (also sometimes referred to as Wet Hop) are brewed using hops that were still on the vine less than 24 hours ago.  This gives them a unique hop character you won’t find in other, regular, IPAs or Pale Ales.  With all the Fresh Hop releases coming one after the other right now, it’s like Disneyland for hop heads.  Someone get me an E ticket!

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