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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The Queen Anne Beerhall Prepares To Celebrate Mayfest

Oktoberfest you know.  Everyone does.  There are Oktoberfest celebrations all around the World every year – although may places improperly start their Oktoberfest celebrations in October. Traditionally, Oktoberfest ends the first week of October, so September is really when you want to do most of your celebrating.

What about Mayfest though (aka Maifest)?  Do you know that one too?  While Oktoberfest celebrates the harvest season, Mayfest/Maifest celebrates the return of Spring.  Mayfest is starting to grow in popularity in the U.S. and has actually been celebrated in Cincinnati since 1873.  The Queen Anne Beerhall has decided they’d like to get into the Mayfest spirit and will be hosting a Mayfest celebration for two weekends in May, the 11th-12th and the 18th-19th.  

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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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Reuben’s Brews Announces Winner Of Hop Idol Homebrew Contest

I first told you about Reuben’s Brews’ Hop Idol homebrew competition back in late 2016, and the first winner was announced in early 2017. Well, the Hop Idol competition returned again this year and Reuben’s is ready to announce this year’s winner.

Like last year, this year’s Hop Idol winner will get to help brew their winning recipe on Reuben’s system and will see their winning beer distributed throughout the Northwest. It will also be entered into the Washington Beer Awards Pro-Am competition as well as the Great American Beer Festival.

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Populuxe Brewing Prepares For Their 5th Anniversary

There are breweries spread out all over Seattle, covering almost every neighborhood.  In fact, most Seattle residents live within just a few miles (or even closer) of at least one craft brewery.  That’s especially true if you live in Ballard, which still has the highest concentration of craft breweries in Seattle, most within just a few blocks of each other.

One of those Ballard breweries is Populuxe Brewing Company, which was first launched back in 2012 by co-founders Peter Charbonnier and Amy Besunder in a small space on NW 49th Street. They received a very positive response, kept on brewing and, in late 2016, a new, larger space became available right on the same lot. By September 2017, they were ready to debut their new space.

Much larger than the original space, Populuxe’s new taproom features 12 taps, plenty of seating and even an arcade room, packed with pinball machines and classic arcade games.  It’s the perfect venue for their upcoming beach blanket bingo themed 5th Anniversary celebration, which is set for this coming Saturday, March 10th.

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Counterbalance Brewing And Sound Homebrew Team Up For A Pro-Am Homebrew Competition

Homebrewing is a big part of the craft beer World.  In fact, many of today’s professional brewers started out as homebrewers themselves before launching their professional breweries.  Many homebrewers enjoy entering their creations into local and national homebrew competitions.  Winning an award for your homebrew is always a great feeling.  I’ve won a few myself in my homebrewing days (though I’m between systems right now).

What if winning meant more than just a ribbon or certificate?  What if winning meant that your beer could be scaled up, brewed on a professional brewing system and made available for commercial sale?  Well that’s exactly what Counterbalance Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and Sound Homebrew Supply are doing with their Really Big Georgetown Pro-Am Homebrew Competition.

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Lucky Envelope Brewing Prepares To Celebrate Chinese New Year

Living in the South end and working the early hours I do, I don’t get to Ballard as often as I’d like.  Thankfully, I can usually find at least some beers from a few of my favorite Ballard area breweries either on tap at some good, local craft beer bars or in bottles or cans.

One of the breweries I try to visit when I do manage to get to Ballard is Lucky Envelope Brewing Company.  I enjoy their IPAs and a few of their more unusual offerings.  Now, Lucky Envelope is preparing to release five specialty beers in celebration of Chinese New Year – Year of the Earth Dog.   Continue reading

Tin Dog Brewing Prepares For Their 4th Anniversary

Have you ever been down to Tin Dog Brewing Company in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood?  Sure, they’re a bit out of the way if you don’t live in the South end, but they’ve been quietly operating out of their space on Cloverdale St. for nearly 4 years now.

Tin Dog recently released their third French Oak Wine Barrel Aged Wild Blend Bottle: Mandala Blended Wild Ale, which has been dry-hopped with Mosaic giving it tropical notes.  You can find it at the brewery and at several local craft bottle shops, including Chuck’s Hop Shop locations and Full Throttle Bottles in Georgetown.  Now, they’re preparing to celebrate their 4th Anniversary.

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Enter Bale Breaker’s #FreshOffTheSlopes Instagram Photo Challenge

Since you’re here, I’m going to assume you’re a craft beer fan, right?  Great.  Now, do you also have an Instagram account? (If not, it’s easy to sign up free at Instagram.com).  Next, by any chance are you a fan of ski season and hitting the slopes?  Finally, do you enjoy winning gift cards that can net you free craft beer schwag and lift tickets?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you’ll want to get in on Bale Breaker Brewing Company‘s #FRESHOFFTHESLOPES Instagram Photo challenge.  All you have to do is follow White Pass and Bale Breaker on Instagram, snap a picture that includes Bale Breaker & White Pass and post it to Instagram with the tag #freshofftheslopes.  Each week (from Jan. 1st thru Jan. 31st) five winners will be selected to receive a $25 Bale Breaker Gift Card and a $25 White Pass Gift Card. Then, those winners are eligible for the Escape to High Camp Grand Prize Package (details below).

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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