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.
Sumerian Brewing Company has a lot on their plate right now. They continue to add new accounts, so you can now find their beers at 9 Costco locations, Xfinity Arena, 7-11, Haggen stores and Safeway stores, in addition to your local craft bottle shop. They’ve also worked to get their beers onto Washington State ferries and will also be one of several local craft beer choices available at Safeco Field for the coming 2017 Seattle Mariners season (watch for a Mariners 2017 Season Food & Drink preview coming in early April).
In addition, Sumerian is preparing for their 2nd Anniversary celebration and have also started to release their first canned beers thanks to their new canning line. The first of their beers up in cans will be Hopruption – formerly known as Eruption Double IPA.
There are several breweries in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. Most of them do great work but, for me, there are a few standouts who are head and shoulders above the rest. One of those standouts is Reuben’s Brews. They’ve earned over 100 medals at various competitions since first opening back in 2012 (quite an achievement for such a young brewery), and they make some of the best Rye beers I’ve ever had.
Now it’s time to celebrate those achievements in style. Coming up this weekend is Reuben’s Brews’ 4th Anniversary celebration. They’ll be tapping 25 different beers, including a brand new IPA dubbed Hopped off the Press!
The winners have just been announced for the 2016 US Open Beer Championship. Unique in it’s format, the US Open Beer Championship is the only brewing competition to allow award winning home brewers to compete against commercial breweries Worldwide. Beers from 95 different categories (including non-alcoholic) were ranked and the top 10 breweries and medal winners were also listed.
With the warmer weather we’ve been having lately (today’s forecasted rain notwithstanding), most craft beer drinkers are in the mood for something a bit lighter and/or hoppier. With Summer just over two weeks away, there are lots of Summer Seasonal beers returning to fulfill those cravings. Two such returning beers are Hochzeit Pilsner and Beaktweaker Citrus IPA, both from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).
Hochzeit is a traditional Plisner, brewed with Czech malt and Domestic and European hops for a clean and crisp taste. Beaktweaker is a Citrus IPA that boasts bold citrus flavors, and is brewed with black lemon, orange peel and lemon peel. Both of theses beers are great options for those warm Summer days ahead and both are arriving this month.
Most craft beer enthusiasts have at least a few favorite breweries. I have several but two of my favorite breweries are Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Russian River Brewing Company, both from California. Unfortunately, Russian River stopped distributing to Washington state a couple of years ago; right around the time our state liquor laws changed and places like BevMo and Total Wine & More moved in. Personally, I miss their wonderful sours more than I miss Pliny The Elder (and Pliny The Younger).
One of Russian River’s reasons for halting distribution to Washington was due to the changes in our state laws (I heard rumors that BevMo wanted to try and buy out Russian River’s entire supply of Pliny The Elder the year they moved into Washington). However, it was also a financial as well as a supply and demand issue. The last Russian River Brewing Company beers were shipped to Washington in December 2012.
We’re fortunate in the Seattle area to have lots of great craft bottle shops around where we can find our favorite craft beers and ciders, and discover new ones from breweries and cideries both near and far. One such bottle shop is Full Throttle Bottles.*
Nestled in the heart of Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, Full Throttle is a specialty beer and wine (and cider and mead) store that manages to carry an impressive selection of craft beers, craft ciders, wines and meads for you to choose from, despite its somewhat small size.
Sometimes ‘real life’ can be a pain. I’m a writer/blogger on the side, but I still have a regular, full-time job and the same day-to-day responsibilities as everyone else. That means, just like many of you, I don’t have unlimited time (nor an unlimited budget). This means that, unfortunately, I don’t always make it to all the new Seattle area breweries I’d like to as soon as I’d like to. Of course, that’s a challenging prospect with so many new breweries opening around here all the time.
One of the new breweries that I haven’t found the time to visit yet is Sumerian Brewing Company up in Woodinville. I have enjoyed a few of their beers at some events and festivals I’ve attended, but I really need to visit the taproom and get to know more about them and their beers. With their 1st Anniversary coming up next month, I’ll have to see if I can find the time for a visit.
Most craft beer fans I know gravitate towards Ales more than Lagers, and I think the reason is obvious. Pale Ales, IPAs, Stouts, Porters, Barleywines, Saisons and other Belgian Styles, etc. are all Ales, not Lagers. There are a few Lagers out there in the craft World but, for the most part, most of us tend to lean towards the Ale side of things much more often.
Unfortunately, that sometimes means we don’t take the time to appreciate some of the classic Germany styles (which are mostly Lagers) that are readily available at several places around Seattle. One of those places is Altstadt in Pioneer Square. To help you explore and appreciate some of these styles, Altstadt is serving up three different German beer flights, featuring classic German beer styles.
Airways Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has been at their location on South 196th Street in Kent since they first opened 6 years ago. They’ve expanded the taproom since then and added a second location (Airways Brewing Beer & Bistro on West Harrison Street), but their main location has remained the same. That’s about to change.
For the past few months, Airways Brewing has been working diligently to prepare a new 9,000 square foot space a bit father South on 212th Street, and they’re nearly ready to unveil it to the public. It’s won’t be ready to open until early to mid Spring, but that won’t stop Airways from celebrating their 6th Anniversary now.