Fresh Hops & Fine Cuisine At Urbane

There are several great restaurants in Seattle.  Since my primary focus here at CraftBeerMonger.com is on craft beer though (and to a lesser degree craft cider and other craft alcoholic beverages), I haven’t visited as many of Seattle’s fine dining establishments as I’d like.  Also, due to my somewhat unusual work schedule, I don’t get to downtown Seattle for a good meal very often.

That’s why I was pleased to receive an invitation recently from Urbane to experience, on them, their Fresh Hop dinner, featuring Fresh Hop beers from Georgetown Brewing Company.  Urbane is a farm-to-table restaurant who prides themselves on sustainability and using locally-sourced ingredients.  In fact, the vast majority of Urbane’s ingredients come from within a 200-mile radius of the restaurant located at 8th Ave and Olive Way in the Hyatt at Olive 8 building downtown.

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Seattle Mariners 2018 Food & Drink Preview

When you head to Safeco Field this year to watch the Seattle Mariners I sure hope you come hungry and thirsty, because the Mariners, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Centerplate and several local restaurants and breweries have teamed up to make your dining experience for the 2018 season something to remember.

At yesterday’s preview event, I had the opportunity to sample many of the new food and drink offerings you’ll find waiting for you at the ball park this season. You’ll have to come try them all for yourself, perhaps at the home opener next Thursday, March 29th as you cheer on the Mariners against the Cleveland Indians.

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Two Beers Brewing Gives EVO IPA A new Look And New Flavors

I’ve been following Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) almost since they first opened and I think the first beer I ever had from them was their flagship EVO (Evolutionary) IPA.  Loaded with Simcoe (one of my favorites), Amarillo and Centennial hops from the Yakima Valley, then dry-hopped with more Simcoe and Columbus, EVO is still a solid IPA.

However, ever since Two Beers came out with more IPAs like their Wonderland Trail Double IPA, Mango Passionfruit IPA and new The Other Coast Hazy IPA, EVO doesn’t get quite as much attention as it used to.  Two Beers has noticed this so they’ve decided to shake things up a bit and turn EVO into an IPA that will be constantly changing throughout 2018, utilizing new, experimental hop varieties from Yakima Valley. It seems quite fitting that a beer named ‘evolutionary’ is now evolving.

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Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks Releases Bretta Rose Batch No. 005

Are you a fan of sour or wild ales?  Not everyone is and that’s just fine by me.  Fewer fans simply means there’s more for those of us who do enjoy them to drink.  For those who do enjoy them though, we have some breweries here in the Northwest who excel at making incredible sour and wild ales, including Holy Mountain, Urban Family, Engine House Number 9, Cascade and more.

Though I’m a huge fan of Washington (and Oregon) brewed beers, I don’t hide the fact that several of my favorite breweries are, in fact, from California including one of my all time favorites: Firestone Walker Brewing Company.  Firestone’s Barrelworks Wile Ale program has it’s roots all the way back in 2006, when Barrelworks’ Master Blender, Jim Crooks, took a trip to Belgium to work with Lauren Salazar (New Belgium Brewing).  He returned with some dregs from one of their 15 or so Foeders and placed it into a French oak wine barrel of freshly filtered and un-carbonated Firestone DBA. This experiment was the foundation of what would eventually become Barrelworks’/Firestone Walker’s Agrestic Ale.  Continue reading

The Shambles Opens This Saturday In Maple Leaf

There are some good places to go in Seattle if you’re looking for butchery, charcuterie, smoked meats, sandwiches, sausages and the like.  There are also some good places to go in Seattle if you’re looking for an excellent selection of craft beers or some top notch craft cocktails.  Of course, trying to find all of these things under one roof has been a bit of a challenge, until now that is.  Set to open this coming Saturday, January 20th in Seattle’s Maple Leaf neighborhood is The Shambles, Seattle’s new North end destination where deli • meats • bar.

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Urbane Teams Up With Reuben’s Bews For Their Fall Menu

Last night my wife and I were fortunate to attend a special beer-pairing dinner at Urbane, located in the Hyatt hotel at Olive 8 in downtown Seattle.  It was a preview of a few of the new dishes Urbane will be adding to their Fall menu, all expertly paired with beers from Seattle’s own multi-award-winning (over 30 awards received so far in 2017 alone) Reuben’s Brews, one of the fastest growing breweries in Washington State with production set to increase by more than 50% this year over 2016.

The dinner was hosted by Urbane’s Executive Chef, Brian Pusztai and Reuben’s Brews was represented by brewery rep, Conrad Hermosillo.  Brian, Conrad and a few other members of the Urbane chef’s team greeted us upon our arrival and we prepared ourselves for a 3-course tasting menu by getting to know each other a bit while snacking on a very tasty cheese and charcuterie board.

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Tankard & Tun Opens Today

Last night my wife and I, along with several other members of the local media, were fortunate to attend a special preview night at Seattle’s newest craft beer and gourmet food spot: Tankard & Tun.  Created by Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, the same people who brought you Seattle’s iconic Pike Brewing Company, this Oyster bar and restaurant is a bit more upscale and, fittingly, is right upstairs from The Pike.

I first told you about Tankard & Tun back in April, when it was first announced and the Finkels were deep into construction and planning.  It’s a beautiful, spread out space with a moderately sized bar area (the only section that is 21 and over only) a fermentation deck and few separate seating areas, including a private event mezzanine that’s upstairs but somehow still doesn’t make you feel removed from the market.

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Discover The New Growler USA In Redmond

What happens when you take the basic concept of a growler refill station and decide to take it National?  Well, what happens is, you get something like Growler USA.  Founded in 2013 by Dan White (CEO), Dave Shaw (President), and Vern Whittaker (Retired CFO), Growler USA now has 10 locations across the U.S. and are slated to open 50 more throughout 2017-2018.

Each location boasts up to 100 taps of beer (including microbrewed craft beers), hard cider, draft wine & kombucha, plus an extensive food menu. Their tap list varies by location, of course, in order to offer locally-sourced options for their patrons, and their “True to the Brew” system ensures that each brewer’s vision for their product is honored.  Things are kept tightly controlled all the way from keg delivery and storage (using ‘gentle’ keg handling systems to avoid sloshing), to a meticulously maintained tap system and the proper glassware for each pour. Yesterday afternoon I took a trek out to their Redmond location, courtesy $30 in credit from Growler USA, to see what they had to offer first hand.

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A Look Back At The Waterways Cruises/Pike Brewing Dinner Cruise

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Last Friday, December 2nd, my wife and I attended a beer tasting dinner cruise courtesy of Waterways Cruises And Events, featuring beers from Pike Brewing Company.  This is the cruise I told you about just last month, which took us around Lake Union and Lake Washington as we enjoyed 5 different Pike Brewing Company beers and enjoyed a delicious, 4-course dinner.

Apart from a few somewhat loud and annoying shipmates at the next table and a small technical difficulty involving the last beer of the evening, we had a great meal and a wonderful time.  As a special bonus that we weren’t expecting, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, founders of Pike Brewing Company, were in attendance on the cruise (as well Pike’s Jon Gores).  Charles took the time to visit each and every table, and spoke to us all at length about his passion for beer, Pike Brewing Company and the beers we would be enjoying during the cruise.

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Good Food & Drinks At Moctezuma’s

 

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There’s more to life than just beer.  Yep, I said it, and it’s true.  Sometimes, even someone who loves craft beer as much as I do needs a change of pace.  Also, since I love Mexican food – both traditional and Tex-Mex, a good Margarita and perhaps a shot of tequila or two is something I always enjoy.

This past Saturday, my wife Lynn and I were in the mood to go out for dinner and a few drinks, so we headed to Moctezuma’s Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar at the Southcenter Mall, who had learned about my interest when I emailed them with a Margarita question, and graciously offered to buy us dinner and drinks.  Moctezuma’s also has locations in Tacoma, Gig Harbor and a new location coming soon in Silverdale.  The Tacoma location was their first, having been opened back in 1978 by Arturo and Magdelena Garcia.  Their son, Bernie, took the reigns from Mom & Dad and is the one responsible for their continued success and expansion.

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