Craft Beer Monger’s Picks For Seattle Beer Week 10

Ten years ago.  That’s when it all began.  That’s when Seattle area craft beer lovers got to experience the first ever Seattle Beer Week and the first ever official Seattle Beer Week beer (a double IPA from Pike Brewing Company).  Back then, many of our favorite local craft breweries and craft beer bars didn’t even exist yet.  Whereas today, it seems, we have a craft brewery or craft beer bar around almost every corner.

More craft breweries and more craft beer bars means even more Seattle Beer Week events.  Are you ready?  Surviving the week (actually 11 days) will take careful planning. I’m here to give you some suggestions on which events you might want to check out.  So sit back, if you’ve managed to pick up any yet, grab yourself a can of this year’s official Seattle Beer Week beer – Citrus Galaxy IPA from Georgetown Brewing Company – and take a look a Craft Beer Monger’s Picks for Seattle Beer Week 10.

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Black Raven Brewing’s Annual Flock Party Happens This Saturday

Everyone loves a good party, especially when that party involves craft beer. Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) definitely knows how to throw a great craft beer party, and they prove it every Spring with their annual Flock Party/anniversary celebration.

This year is Black Raven’s 9th anniversary/Flock Party and it’s set for Saturday, May 5th from noon till 8 pm.  As always, the Flock Party will feature several live music acts, plenty of ‘rare birds’ (rare and unique Black Raven beers, including some special cask infusions), delicious food, a retail merchandise booth and they usually also have an outdoor cigar lounge/booth.

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Chainline Brewing Prepares For Their First Can Release On Their 3rd Anniversary

Bicycling and beer seem to just go together.  There are even several cycle-themed breweries here in the Northwest, including HUB in Portland, Flying Bike in Greenwood, Peddler in Ballard and, of course, Chainline Brewing Company in Kirkland.  Situated along the new Cross Kirkland Corridor Trail, they’re in the perfect spot for craft beer lovers who prefer 2-wheeled, human-powered transportation.

I’ve been to Chainline Brewing several times (I drive there though – sorry), and I really enjoy their beers. Their Polaris Pilsner (2016 – GABF Silver Medal winner) and Tune Up New England Style IPA (2016 Best of Craft beer awards Silver Medal Winner) are solid and I’ve also enjoyed many of the special one-off beers they’ve produced. Their Flowtron Strawberry IPA was definitely one of my favorites and, lucky for me, it’s making a return for Chainline’s 3rd anniversary celebration coming up this weekend along with their first ever canned beer (Polaris Pilsner).

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Top Rung Brewing Prepares For Their 4th Anniversary

Seattle is definitely a wonderful place to live if you’re a fan of great craft beers.  The high concentration of excellent breweries in the city make it one of the best craft beer destinations in the nation.  However, don’t forget to take a trip out of town every now and then, because there are several breweries outside Seattle – from the Oregon border all the way up to Canada – who are doing great work.

One outside-of-Seattle destination I don’t make it to very often is the Olympia area, which is home to several craft breweries including Top Rung Brewing Company in Lacey.  You may not be as familiar with Top Run as some other Olympia area breweries, because they haven’t started bottling or canning most of their beers yet, but they’ve been brewing good beers in Olympia for nearly four years now, and it’s time to celebrate.  This Saturday, April 21st, Top Rung Brewing Company will celebrate their 4th anniversary.

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Brewer’s Association Adds ‘Juicy Or Hazy’ To Their 2018 Beer Style Guidelines

 

In the World of craft beer, the IPA is king. There’s no denying it and, right now, the hazy and juicy New England Style IPA is the dominant sub-style. Everywhere you look there are cloudy, hazy, fruity IPAs that embody this very popular style.

The Brewer’s Association has taken notice of the meteoric rise in the popularity of this style and have added a new category to their 2018 Beer Style Guidelines: Juicy or Hazy Ale Styles – including: “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA.”  I’m somewhat perplexed that they didn’t call the category “New England Style”, but I’m sure they have their reasons.

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Firestone Lager Returns From Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Ales tend to dominate the craft beer World.  Sure, there are some truly exceptional craft lagers out there but Ales, especially hoppy ones, always seem to take center stage. Even Firestone Walker Brewing Company, who first released Firestone Lager back in the year 2000, has a portfolio dominated by Ales.

Firestone Lager was discontinued back in 2007, mainly due to low demand compared with the plethora of Ales they produce. However, they feel that the craft beer landscape is changing and believe more people are open now to the idea of craft Lagers. So, Firestone Walker is pleased to announce the return of their new and improved version of Firestone Lager.

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Worthy Brewing Announces Two IPAs And Reveals Their 2018 Release Calendar

Despite the wide range of styles available to craft beer drinkers, it’s impossible to deny that the IPA is still king.  In fact, just last year, the Brewer’s Association‘s annual craft sales figures showed that at least one out of every five craft beers sold in the U.S. is an IPA.  Even though I try to vary the styles I drink as much as possible, I’m definitely a big IPA fan too as are most other craft beer drinkers I know.

That popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing down either.  In fact, it almost seems to be expanding.  Even with the incredible influx of new IPAs that are constantly hitting the market these days, most manage to find their audience and sell out, making way for the next IPA(s) coming down the pipe. I say, keep ’em coming.

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Chainline Brewing Hosts Bitter Is Coming II

As the weather gets colder and wetter out there, the Fall and Winter beer releases just keep on coming.  I hope your wallet hasn’t taken too hard of a hit yet, because there are still several more releases to come.  After all, Winter hasn’t even started yet.

Next up for Fall releases is Chainline Brewing Company out of Kirkland.  This coming Saturday, November 18th, they’ll be hosting Bitter is Coming II – Welcome To Winter (& Return of the De-Railer!).  This annual taproom party will be the setting for the release of three special, seasonal beers from Chainline.

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Lowercase Brewing’s Georgetown Taproom Is Turning One

Lowercase Brewing Company first opened their doors back in January of 2014.  Of course that was back when their taproom was in South Park, where they shared a building with Burdick Brewery.  By early 2016, however, both breweries had a problem. The City of Seattle decided that the building that housed their taprooms was insufficient as it was and required both breweries to make some major and expensive upgrades to the building if they wanted to keep their taprooms there.

Unfortunately this demand was too costly for either brewery, so both taprooms were closed.  The breweries themselves could still operate out of their building in South Park, but had to find new taproom locations.  Lowercase wasted no time and found a new taproom location on Airport Way South in Georgetown (Burdick has also since found a new taproom space on 14th Avenue South in South Park).  After a few construction and licensing delays, Lowercase Brewing’s new Georgetown taproom opened their doors in November of 2016 and now they’re ready to celebrate the taproom’s first anniversary.  In addition, Lowercase has announced the launch of a new pop-up coffee shop, Side Hustle Coffee & Doughnuts, which will be operating Thursday through Sundays out of the taproom.   Continue reading

Firestone Walker Introduces Adversus IPA

After retiring their Proprietor’s Reserve Series last year (which included one of my all time favorite IPAs, Double Jack), Firestone Walker Brewing Company embarked on two new series of IPAs.  First came the Luponic Distortion series, which is currently on version #6 and then came what is probably my new favorite IPA from Firestone Walker, Fortem; the first in their new Leo v. Ursus series.

I’ve been enjoying plenty of Fortem since it arrived in late February.  Now, I’m eager to try the next beer in the Leo v. Ursus series: Adversus.  It was released at Firestone Walker back on June 10th and should start arriving on Seattle store shelves and taps any day now.

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