Beak & Claw Arrives Today From Black Raven Brewing

It’s bright outside. Summer is almost here and you need a little shade. Heading out for a beer but forgot your sunglasses? Then you’ll need something dark to hold up and block those rays – but you probably still want something hoppy. After all, for most of us, Stout season is just about over.

A nice, hoppy, Black IPA would do the trick, right? Well, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has you covered. Later today (6/1) they’re prepared to release a new Black IPA, and they had a little help with this one from a local homebrewer.  Say hello to Beak & Claw Black IPA.

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Alesong Prepares To Release Four New Beers In Eugene, Portland & Seattle

In the craft beer World, some breweries create more buzz than others.  It usually has mostly to do with the quality of their beers.  The greater the perceived quality of the offerings from said brewery, the greater the level of buzz and, of course FOMO.

One such brewery that often creates a buzz around their releases is Alesong Brewing & Blending out of Eugene, Oregon.  Their creations, which are often Belgian inspired and/or barrel-aged, are quite popular – and quite tasty.  I’m a particular fan of their Sour Ales and particularly enjoyed their Peche Sour, which was poured recently during Seattle Beer Week 10 at Brouwer’s Cafe for Sour Fest.  Now, Alesong is preparing to release four new beers, in bottles and cans, on May 27th.

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The Goat The Elk And The Narwhal Are Coming Your Way In This Year’s 3-Way IPA

They’ve been doing it for years.  They keep changing partners too.  Each year you wonder what could possibly make it so… hard… to find.  They give you quick flashes of it at preview events, building up your anticipation, but hold back that final version until they’re ready for full release.

I’m referring of course to Fort George Brewery‘s annual release of 3-Way IPA.  Each year this extremely popular collaboration brew is sought after by IPA fans everywhere, and it can go fast, making it somewhat difficult to find at times.  For this year’s version of 3-Way, Fort George Brewery out of Astoria, Oregon has teamed up with Holy Mountain Brewing Company out of Seattle and Modern Times Beer out of San Diego.  All three breweries are well known for making some excellent IPAs, so this sounds to me like the perfect recipe for a collaborative IPA made in hophead Heaven.

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Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks Unveils UnderCurrants

Wild and Sour Ales have really grown in popularity in the last few years. For the uninitiated they can seem intimidating to approach at first but, once you get past that initial uncertainly and try a few different Wild and Sour styles, most people find something they really enjoy.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company‘s Barrelworks is no stranger to Wild and Sour Ales. They’ve put out several extremely popular selections like Agrestic (American Wild Red Ale), Krieky Bones (Wild Ale Fermented With Sour Cherries), SLOambic (Wild Ale Fermented With Blackberries) and more.  Now Barrelworks is ready to release the latest in their Wild Ales Series: UnderCurrants (Wild Ale Fermented With Black Currants).

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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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Pyramid Brewing Releases Berry Tart IPA

As my regular readers well know, I’m quite the hophead and I love a good IPA. I’m sure at least some of you out there are serious hopheads too, but do you have a favorite IPA sub-style?  What I mean is, do you prefer regular, straight up, West Coast style single IPAs, Double/Imperial IPAs, New England style IPAs, White IPAs, Black IPAs, Red IPAs, Belgian IPAs, etc?  Most of my favorites are Double/Imperial IPAs and I’ve also enjoyed many of the New England style IPAs we’ve been flooded with lately, although I am starting to grow just a bit weary of the haze (thankfully, it’s usually not too difficult to find a non-hazy IPA on tap).

What about tart IPAs?  Have you ever had one?  They were called ‘The Next Big Thing’ by All About Beer Magazine back in April of 2016, though I’m not sure they’ve quite lived up to that level of hype.  I’ve only had a few myself, the most recent being Passionate Clouds from Skookum in Arlington, WA.  They can have a juicy quality without necessarily including fruit (though some do), thanks to late hop additions and sometimes dry hopping. Their tartness is somewhat comparable to that of a kettle sour but not so tart as to obscure the hop character.

Pyramid Brewing Company wanted to get in on the tart IPA scene, so they’ve taken one of their most popular beers: Outburst IPA and turned it on it’s head. Outburst Berry Tart IPA is loaded with hibiscus, cranberries and black currants to provide a crisp tartness that should be a real thirst quencher as Summer approaches.

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Homebrew Con Comes To Portland This June

Do you homebrew?  I started homebrewing way back in the late 80’s and I have more than 25 years of homebrewing experience.  Sadly though, when I moved a few years back I didn’t have a good place to brew so I actually wound up selling my 10 gallon, all-grain brewing system rather than let it sit, gathering rust and dust (I’d rather see a brewer put it to good use).  I have every intention of getting back into brewing again – and on an even larger system – but I’ll have to wait a few more years before I can make that happen.

I still have a great interest in homebrewing, even though I’ve allowed me membership to the American Homebrewer’s Association lapse until I have a new system, and I’m often impressed by some of the stellar beers being produced by homebrewers today. Equipment has improved, techniques are evolving all the time and homebrewing is as popular as it ever was, if not more so.  This year marks the 40th year for the National Homebrew Conference (Homebrew Con), and thousands of homebrewers from across the nation will come together in Portland this June 28 – 30 to talk homebrewing, attend workshops, learn new techniques and more.

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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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Black Raven Releases Kitty Kat Blues In Cans

Do you like a good pale ale?  Do you like blueberries?  Do you like vanilla?  How about hibiscus?  Now, what if you combine all of these things together and then can them?  The result would be Kitty Kat Blues Pale Ale in cans from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).

Kitty Kat Blues is not a new beer. Black Raven has been making it for years, but this is the first time ever they’ve put it into cans. It’s also the first time I’ve seen a change in the recipe.  Prior to using hibiscus, Kitty Kat Blues got some of it’s unique and distinct flavor from the use of catnip in the recipe.  Yes, catnip.  I’m not certain why Black Raven has swapped out the catnip for the hibiscus.  The photo for the can release event on Facebook even still uses the old label – which clearly shows catnip as an ingredient, but I’m curious to try this new iteration.  Kitty Kat Blues in cans arrives this Friday, 3/16 at 3 pm.

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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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