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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Louis Raison French Cidre Arrives In The US

Even though I’m a big fan of craft beers, I do enjoy the occasional craft cider as well.  I sometimes head to one of my local watering holes fully intending to sample some ciders, but then I look at the tap list and I’m like, “Oh look! Three new craft beers I haven’t tried yet!”  As a result, I’m far less experienced and knowledgeable about craft ciders than I am craft beers.

Despite this inherent bias I have towards beer over cider, however, I definitely still appreciate a well made craft cider and usually do manage to try a few when I see something new and interesting.  So I’m a intrigued by the arrival of Louis Raison French Cidre, France’s #1 selling cider, which is set to make their U.S. debut this week.  There are five events happening around Seattle between August 15th and August 26th, where you’ll be able to sample their ciders and see what you think.

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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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Melvin Brewing Bellingham Expands Their Hours

Just a couple of years ago, beers from Melvin Brewing Company out of Wyoming started appearing in the Seattle area.  Being a big fan of hoppy beers as well as strong beers, I was immediately drawn to Melvin’s offerings, which satisfied both of these cravings quite nicely.  I can recall drinking quite a bit of their Melvin IPA and, of course, their extremely popular 2X4 Double (some might say triple with its 10% ABV) IPA.

Fast forward now to 2017 – just a few months ago.  Melvin Brewing decided it was time to expand and opened their first brewpub up in Bellingham on June 3rd.  I visited them a few weeks after their opening but  had to plan my day out carefully, because Melvin’s Bellingham location wasn’t set to open until 4 pm.  That’s about to change.  Starting on Monday, August 14th, Melvin Brewing Bellingham will start opening at 11 am and serving lunch.

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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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Stoup Brewing Announces Upstairs At Stoup Event Space

Do you ever find yourself in need of an event space; perhaps even one that serves craft beer?  We’ve all got that occasional work meeting or family and friends get together where it would be nice to have a large, dedicated event space, rather than try to cram everyone into a house that can’t really fit everyone.

Well, Stoup Brewing Company is ready to help.  Available for reservations now is ‘Upstairs At Stoup’, their new event space with enough capacity for over 40 guests (60-70 if you only need standing room).

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Are You Ready For The 15th Annual Bend Brewfest?

There are breweries all across the U.S. that are making some truly great craft beers, but I find that I tend to favor those that come from the West coast: Washington, Oregon and California.  I’m sure that’s probably due, in part, to what I guess you’d call regional loyalty.  I live in Washington and grew up most of the way in California.  It’s probably also party due to the fact my first introduction to craft beers was in California were I was drinking stuff from some of the early craft beer pioneers like Sierra Nevada, Mendocino Brewing and Anderson Valley Brewing, just to name a few.

Despite my general West coast preferences, however, please don’t ever ask me to pick a single favorite beer or a single favorite brewery.  It’s just become too difficult with so many great craft beer producers out there today.  There are, however, some breweries in Oregon that are doing some truly amazing work, particularly in the Bend area.  I’m a big fan of Crux, Boneyard and, of course, The Ale Apothecary – who was recently named one of the best 25 breweries in America by Gear Patrol. Also on the list were other West coast breweries: de Garde, Lost Abbey, MonkishSante Adairius & Sierra Nevada.  Personally, I’m a bit disappointed that Seattle’s own Holy Mountain Brewing didn’t make the list.

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Lagunitas Brews Their First Seattle Exclusive Beer

I’ve always enjoyed the beers coming out of Lagunitas Brewing Company.  I even used to live in Petaluma, CA but I moved to Seattle just a few years after they opened and never had the opportunity to visit the brewery there (it was also before I started writing about craft beer).  That’s why I was excited when the news broke last year that Lagunitas would be opening a brewery right here in Seattle – taking over the space formerly occupied by Hilliard’s Brewing.

After a media/friends/family sneak peek, The Lagunitas Seattle Taproom And Beer Sanctuary opened their doors back on January 12th.  At the time, there was a rumor going around that the new Seattle location would be producing some pilot batches of new, unique beers that would only be available in the Seattle market.  Those rumors were quickly confirmed, but no date was set for when those Seattle-only brews would begin.

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