I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Pike Brewing Company is a Seattle icon. They’re also one of the oldest craft breweries in Seattle and are preparing to celebrate their 29th anniversary. That’s nearly 30 years of craft beer, which is longer than some craft beer drinkers I know have even been alive!
Pike doesn’t just rest on their laurels either. Sure, they have their core favorites like Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale, XXXXX Stout, Naughty Nellie Golden Ale, Monk’s Uncle Belgian Tripel and more, but they also continue to innovate with beers like Hive Five Hopped Honey Ale, Oaked Pear Sour, their Third Story Series Dark Lager and more.
Don’t be sad that our Seattle Summer is winding down and Fall is set to return. Instead, rejoice in knowing that the hop harvest is upon us and that means the return of Fresh Hop beers. Several local breweries make Fresh Hop beers each year but one brewery really goes all out, releasing multiple Fresh Hop beers for us to enjoy each year. That brewery is Fremont Brewing Company.
Each year, they release multiple versions of their Field To Ferment Fresh Hop Ale, each one featuring a different hop. The first release in this year’s Field To Ferment series arrives today, 9/7 and features Centennial hops. Also, set to return soon is their wildly popular Cowiche Canyon Fresh Hop, using hops grown exclusively for Fremont on a single farm at the mouth of the Cowiche Canyon Conservation area in Yakima.
Of all the breweries in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, I think I’d have to say my favorite is Reuben’s Brews. The quality and consistency of their beers are top notch and I honestly have yet to be disappointed with any of their releases. So when I heard they were getting ready to launch their first barrel-aged sours, I was intrigued and delighted.
Reuben’s has show themselves to be the masters of Rye beers, hazy and West Coast IPAs, Goses and more, so I have high hopes that their new sour Ales will be at the same high level of quality I’ve come to expect from Reuben’s. Over 17 months in the making, the first releases from their barrel-aged sour series will be “Brettania” and “Tropical Funk”.
I love the craft beer community – especially here in the Northwest. It goes well beyond just beer. Sure, different breweries are in competition with each other to make the best beers and to sell the most beers, but I’ve always felt that, for the most part, there’s a real feeling of kinship between many local brewers and breweries. They don’t just provide a faceless product. They become part of the greater community and, as such, care about that community.
That’s why you’re constantly seeing local craft breweries hosting events that are geared towards helping out local charities and non profits. They want to give something back to the community that’s given to them. Also, let’s face it, as a craft beer consumer it feels good to know you’re helping out by really doing nothing more than enjoying the craft beers you love. What could be better?
Back in Spring of 2016, Firestone Walker Brewing Company launched a new series of experimental IPAs under the name Luponic Distortion. Each one has been different. I’ve enjoyed some more than others, but each offering in the series is distinct and unique.
Now, two years later, Firestone has reached a milestone. They’re releasing Luponic Distortion No. 10. This version uses 7 different hops from 3 continents and, according to Firestone, has a variety of fruity aromas and flavors. Perfect for Summer. No. 10 also marks a change in the look of the Luponic Distortion cans. You can see the new look below.
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.
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.
Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has had quite the journey. They started off back in 2007, brewing just 100 barrels per year and, since then, they’ve never stopped growing. Year after year, Two Beers has just kept on expanding. They’ve updated and upgraded their taproom, The Woods, several times since 2007 and, back in 2013, they announced the launch of their wildly successful sister company: Seattle Cider Company.
Then just two years ago in 2016, Two Beer announced that they had been acquired by Agrial Group, a leading French agri-business cooperative. Since that acquisition, however, not much has changed. Now comes the first big announcement since that acquisition. Two Beers Brewing Company is pleased to announce the launch of their newest sister company: Sound Craft Seltzer Co.
Since you’re here, I’m assuming you enjoy craft beer. How about hiking? Do you enjoy hiking as well? Great. Do you also enjoy doing what you can to help protect our Northwest forests, waters and wildlife? If the answer is still yes, then strap on your hiking shoes and get registered with Washington Wild for one (or more) of three hikes coming up later this month, in July and in August.
Each hike will follow a different trail where local craft breweries haven taken inspiration from the native plants along the trail for their next beers. Then, this October, there’ll be a special tapping event at Naked City Brewery & Taphouse to enjoy the fruits of those trail-inspired brewing labors.
It’s almost here. Seattle Beer Week 10 kicks off tomorrow with well over 200+ events at more than 100+ locations around the Sound. If you’re still having trouble deciding which events to attend, you can check out Craft Beer Monger’s Picks For Seattle Beer Week 10 (SBW10). It should give you some idea of the types of events that will be happening during the week you may want to attend but is, by no means, meant to be a comprehensive list of all SBW10 events (for that you can check out the official events list on the SBW website).
Early last year, Lagunitas Brewing Company arrived in Seattle, taking over the space formerly occupied by Hilliard’s Brewing. Being so new in town in 2017 though, they didn’t have much going for SBW last year. This year, however, they’re all set to jump right in with their SBW10 Kickoff event, which features their first Seattle brewed and Seattle-area sourced beer: Tri-County IPA. You might recall that, last year, Lagunitas brewed their first Seattle-exclusive release, Beard And Bine IPA. That beer, however, was more crowd-sourced with ingredients from Lagunitas’ barley and hop farming partners. Lagunitas is also pleased to welcome aboard Dan Schmelzer as the new head brewer at their Seattle Taproom & Beer Sanctuary.