There’s a lot going on right now at Schooner Brewing (formerly Schooner Exact Brewing Company). They’ve finished their remodel and re-branding from the old Schooner Exact taproom, but the changes aren’t so dramatic that you won’t recognize the place. They’ve updated the style, added more seating, updated the menu and started rolling out some new beers. Don’t worry though, your old Schooner favorites like 3 Grid IPA, Profanity Hill Porter, King Street Brown and more are still around too.
If you’re ready to try a new Schooner beer though, why not stop in for a pint of their SODO IPA, which is on tap now. Also on tap for these waning days of Summer is their very popular Seamstress Union Raspberry Wheat. Not your thing? Then hang on till the first week of October when Schooner Brewing’s Comet Fresh Hop will make its debut.
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.
Harvest season is upon us. For those of us here in the Northwest, that means lots and lots of Fresh Hop Ales – which makes me quite happy. However, the abundance of wonderful Fresh Hop beers we get this time of year can sometimes obscure the start of another great annual beer tradition: Oktoberfest.
I’m a serious hop-head, but when Fall arrives, my palate sometimes needs an occasional break from the hops and starts craving something with more of those rich, toasty and bready malt flavors. I’m referring, of course, to the traditional, German style Märzen/Oktoberfest.
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.
Seattle’s iconic Pike Brewing Company has been going through a few changes over the past year or so. They’ve expanded their brewery operations, opened the new Tankard & Tun upstairs from The Pike, and now they’re ready to open a new brewery beer garden for the Summer. Situated right in the brewery itself, Pike’s new brewery beer garden will be right near the brewery doors that open onto Post Alley below Pike Place Market. In
In other Pike Brewing News, the Flight of Dreams Opening in Nagoya Japan, featuring Pike Brewing, has been pushed back to September and Pike has also been named ‘Most Iconic Brand’ in Seattle Magazine’s 2018 beer awards. They also have two new beers about to release: Citrus Summer Ale and Hopsie.
Each year, as Seattle’s Summer starts to wane, our palates grow eager with anticipation of one of the best Seasonal craft beer styles for hopheads: Fresh Hop Ales. Ordinarily, Fresh Hop Ale season doesn’t get started until late August or even early September, as the hop harvest gets under way. This year, however, hops at Puterbaugh Farms in Yakima Valley were ready early thanks to ideal growing conditions.
As a result, Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor), always first out of the gate each year with their Fresh Hop IPA, is bringing it to you even earlier than usual. In just two days, on Friday, August 3rd, come down to Two Beers Brewing for the release of their 2018 Fresh Hop IPA.
Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) puts out lots of great IPAs including their popular Trickster IPA and, my personal favorite IPA from Black Raven, Wisdom Seeker Double IPA. They also put out some lighter IPAs like Beak Tweaker Citrus IPA and their Nothing But Flowers Session IPA.
Now, Black Raven is finally set to jump into the juicy, hazy New England style IPA craze with their latest offering: Nothing But Haze. Based on their Nothing But Flowers Session IPA, Nothing But Haze is still sessionable at just 5.0% ABV.
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”.
Specializing in Belgian-style beers, including sour/wild beers and aged, blended/mixed cluture styles, Tin Dog has been honing their craft, and their work has paid off. I’d like to offer my congratulations to Tin Dog Brewing Company for taking home Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in this year’s wild sour beer category at the Washington Beer Awards and Brewer’s Choice Awards, taking home Gold, Silver and Bronze.
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?