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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The Washington Beer Collaboration Festival Happens This Weekend

It seems like I’ve been telling you about a lot of collaboration beers lately.  There was the Chainline & Georgetown ‘Bunk Beds’ collaboration project, the American Dream Collaboration Pack from Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada‘s collaboration with Brauhaus Miltenberger for the ultimate Oktoberfest bier, the Harvest Collaboration Series and Sesiones del Migrante collaboration from Bale Breaker Brewing and, of course, this year’s 3-Way IPA from Fort George, Reuben’s and Great Notion (which has been somewhat difficult to find this year).

With so many collaboration beers around, it seems like it would be a great idea to have a festival where you could sample several different collaboration beers all in one place.  Well, luckily for us, just such a festival is happening at the end of this week.  Coming up this Saturday, August 19th, is the 2017 Washington Beer Collaboration Festival, presented by the Washington Beer Commission.

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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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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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Samuel Adams Announces The Brewing The American Dream Collaboration Pack

Collaboration beers have become quite popular in the craft beer World.  When some of your favorite breweries team up, it’s always exciting to see what new creations they’ll come up with.  This year’s 3-Way IPA from Fort George Brewery for example (brewed in collaboration with Reuben’s Brews and Great Notion Brewing), is so popular it’s been rather difficult to find this year.

Now Samuel Adams (The Boston Beer Company) is getting in on the collaboration action with their Brewing The Great American Dream Collaboration Pack.  This mixed pack will include five new collaboration beers, brewed Roc Brewing Co. (Rochester, NY), Bosque Brewing(Albuquerque, NM), ChuckAlek Independent Brewers (Ramona, CA), Woods Beer Co. (San Francisco, CA) and Brewery Rickoli (Wheat Ridge, CO), as well as their flagship Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

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Chainline Brewing & Georgetown Brewing Prepare To Release Their Bunk Beds Collaboration

The majority of the craft beer styles we all love to enjoy are Ales.  Pales, IPAs, Stouts, Porters, Browns, Barleywines, Kolschs, Saisons, Lambics and more are all types of Ales.  When most people think of Lagers, they tend to, unfortunately, think of beers like Budweiser, Miller, Corona and the like.  While these brands are lagers (mass-produced, low-quality adjunct Lagers), don’t forget that most classic German beers are also Lagers. They include such classic styles as: Pilsner, Märzen/Oktoberfest, Bock/Doppelbock, Maibock, Helles Lager, Rauchbier and more.

There are also more American style Lagers such as Malt Liquor, Steam Beer (such as Anchor Steam*), Imperial Pilsner as well as Pale Lager and India Pale Lager, which are primarily intended to be lighter bodied versions of their Ale counterparts.  Creating a Pale Lager or India Pale Lager is quite similar to creating a Pale Ale or India Pale Ale, the main difference being the type of yeast used and, of course, the fermentation temperature.  Ales like things a bit warmer (mid to high 60’s), while Lagers like things a bit cooler (mid to high 30’s).

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Bale Breaker Announces Their 2017 Summer Food Truck Lineup

Some things just go together, like peanut butter and jelly, chicken and waffles, meat and cheese.  The best pairing for us craft beer lovers, however, might just be the partnership between craft breweries and food trucks.  It’s the perfect arrangement for breweries that don’t serve their own food, as well as for the food trucks.  Brewery patrons don’t have to leave the brewery to go eat or worry about bringing their own food, and the food trucks get a steady supply of customers who need something to accompany those tasty craft beers they just ordered.

For some breweries, like Bale Breaker Brewing Company in Yakima, having food trucks is especially important because there aren’t a lot of food options right nearby.  That’s why Bale Breaker has arranged to have food trucks at the brewery 6 days a week, all summer long through Labor Day.

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Seafair Summer Ale Is Coming From Pike Brewing

 

Summer is almost here.  We had a bit of a tease over Memorial Day weekend (one of the hottest on record in the Puget Sound), but now we’re back to ‘normal’.  Oh joy.  We might have to wait just a bit longer before Summer truly arrives in Seattle, but at least we can start to enjoy all of the Summer Seasonals that make their return about this time each year.

I’ve already told you about the seasonal return of Lima Loca and Day Hike Summer Ale from Two Beers Brewing (CBM Sponsor), as well as the return of Hochzeit Pilsner and Beak Tweaker from Black Raven Brewing (CBM Sponsor).  Now, Pike Brewing Company is preparing to get in on the action with the upcoming release of their new Summer Seasonal: Seafair Summer Ale.

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Two Special Releases From Counterbalance Brewing & 2bar Spirits

I’ve always been an advocate for Seattle’s South end breweries.  Living in the South end myself I, of course, spend a lot of time at these places and enjoy seeing them succeed.  A couple of years back I penned an article with some great reasons to visit Seattle’s South end breweries and, earlier this year, I told you about the newly formed South Seattle Brewery Coalition.

That’s why I was very pleased when I heard the news that Counterbalance Brewing Company had teamed up with 2bar Spirits (who also happens to be in Seattle’s South end) for a unique Whiskey/Stout collaboration.

Aging Stouts in Whiskey barrels is nothing new.  Breweries have been doing it for years and indeed Whiskey and Bourbon barrel aged Stouts are some of my favorites.  This time, however, things went a bit in the other direction.  2bar Spirits used the actual mash bill from Counterbalance’s Kushetka Imperial Stout to produce this particular Whiskey, then aged it for 2 years in 2bar Whiskey barrels.

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