Craft Beer Monger’s Top Picks For Seattle Beer Week #9

Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like the past year has flown by so quickly.  Seattle Beer Week #8 almost feels like it was just a few weeks ago.  Yet here we are, with Seattle Beer Week #9 kicking off in just two days.  Have you had an opportunity to look over the ever-growing list of events on the official Seattle Beer Week website?  With so many events to choose from, many of which happen on the same day or even at the same time, you may have to make some difficult choices regarding which events to attend.  Here are my top picks for Seattle Beer Week #9.

Things get under way with the Official Seattle Beer Week Kickoff this Thursday, May 4th.  There are  5 stops on the Seattle Beer Week (SBW) kickoff tour.  Things start off at 4:30 pm at the new Flatstick Pub location in Pioneer Square.  The other stops on this year’s kickoff tour include: Beveridge Place Pub (6:30 pm and Cask-O-Rama will be going on), Brouwer’s Cafe (7:45 pm), Naked City Brewery & Taphouse (9:00 pm), with the evening closing out at The Pine Box (10:30 pm).

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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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Dine With Lark, Cloudburst & Holy Mountain During Seattle Beer Week

 

As I’m sure most of you already know, Seattle Beer Week kicks off next Thursday, May 4th.  Exactly one week later (but still during Seattle Beer Week, which continues until the 14th), Seattle’s premiere artisan-focused restaurant, Lark, will be hosting a gourmet beer dinner, featuring their own artisan cuisine and beers from two of Seattle’s newest and hottest breweries: Cloudburst Brewing and Holy Mountain Brewing.

This is just one of several dinners you’ll find listed on the events page for Seattle Beer Week, but this is the only one where you can enjoy Chef John Sundstrom’s gourmet offerings of locally-produced and organic cheese, charcuterie, vegetables, grains, fish, and meats, all prepared in season, as well as beers from both Cloudburst and Holy Mountain.

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Lucky Envelope Brewing Celebrates Their 2nd Anniversary During Seattle Beer Week

Seattle Beer Week is just around the corner.  It kicks off on Thursday, May 4th and runs through Sunday May 14th.  Just two days into the festivities though, on May 6th, Lucky Envelope Brewing is set to celebrate their 2nd Anniversary.

Lucky Envelope has been cranking out craft beers in Ballard since 2015 and now, they’re ready to mark the occasion with a new Anniversary IPA and three bottle releases.  Then, one week after their anniversary, they’ll be hosting another event as part of their celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

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Schooner Exact Prepares For Their 10th Anniversary

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Seattle’s South end craft beer scene has really grown up.  Less than a decade ago, it was a struggle to find any craft breweries (besides Georgetown Brewing or Pyramid Brewing) South of downtown.  Now, the South end rivals Ballard for the sheer number of breweries you can visit (if you include SoDo, Georgetown and Columbia City).

One of the South End breweries that’s been around the longest is Schooner Exact Brewing Company.  They started as a small nano-brewery back in 2007 and have grown steadily into an excellent craft brewery and restaurant.  Now, several expansions, remodels and menu changes later, Schooner Exact is just about ready to celebrate their 10th Anniversary with a 10-day long celebration.

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Bourbon Aged Imperial Porter Arrives This Thursday From Schooner Exact

 

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Schooner Exact Brewing Company has been busy lately.  In addition to keeping the great beers and delicious food flowing at their 1st Avenue South location and their recent attendance at the 2016 American Craft Beer Experience Japan in Tokyo, they’ve also been busy with their latest expansion (including a new kitchen, restaurant, bar and, of course, more brewing space).  You can see a few photos of the remodel work on their Facebook page.

You can tell Winter isn’t far off at Schooner Exact, when they release Hoppy The Woodsman, which arrived just last month.  Now, with the first day of Winter just over two weeks away, Schooner Exact is ready to release their Bourbon Aged Imperial Porter this coming Thursday.

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Corvus Kriekus Arrives This Weekend From Black Raven Brewing

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Are you a fan of Sour Ales?  Just a few years back, I wasn’t.  I hadn’t discovered them yet and decided that the best way to introduce myself to them would be attending the annual Sour Fest at Brouwer’s Cafe.  The first time I attended was back in 2011 and, since then, my love for sour beers has grown exponentially.

We’re fortunate in the Seattle area to have several local breweries that make some excellent Sour Ales.  One of those breweries is Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) out of Redmond.  This coming Saturday, October 8th, Black Raven is set to release the 2016 vintage of Corvus Kriekus.  This tart Ale is made using locally-sourced ‘Van’ and ‘Black Republican’ cherries from Wenatchee, WA.

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Firestone Walker Brewing Turns 20

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There are far too many great breweries out there for me to pick a single favorite.  There are a handful, however, that I would consider my top ranked breweries.  High up on that list is Firestone Walker Brewing Company.  They are masters of barrel fermentation, barrel aging and blending, and I have never had a single beer from them that wasn’t outstanding.

Now, as they prepare to turn 20, they have a whole list of special events planned.  Unfortunately for us here in Washington, most of these events take place down in California so, unless you have the mean to head South for a visit, we’ll have to celebrate vicariously with some delicious Firestone Walker beers.

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Reuben’s Brews Celebrates Their 4th Anniversary This Weekend

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There are several breweries in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.  Most of them do great work but, for me, there are a few standouts who are head and shoulders above the rest.  One of those standouts is Reuben’s Brews.  They’ve earned over 100 medals at various competitions since first opening back in 2012 (quite an achievement for such a young brewery), and they make some of the best Rye beers I’ve ever had.

Now it’s time to celebrate those achievements in style.  Coming up this weekend is Reuben’s Brews’ 4th Anniversary celebration.  They’ll be tapping 25 different beers, including a brand new IPA dubbed Hopped off the Press!

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Tickets On Sale Now For The 12th Annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival

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They make pie out of it.  They put it in your latte.  They put it’s scent into air fresheners.  Heck, they put it in just about everything these days the moment any hint of Fall is in the air.  Of course, the very best way to use that wonderful gourd known as the pumpkin is in beer.

Elysian Brewing Company understand this, and they have for a very long time.  So, back for 2016 is the 12th Annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival.  For the past few years, this event has been taking place at Elysian’s relatively new production brewing facility in Georgetown.  This year, however, it’s moving to Elysian Fields on 1st Avenue South.

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