Cascade Brewing Releases Mango Road

There are several breweries in the Seattle/Tacoma area that make some truly excellent Sour Ales. Breweries like Holy Mountain, Urban Family, Mirage and Engine House No. 9 immediately come to mind, among others. I visit them all fairly regularly to satiate my thirst for delicious sours.

Before we had such great sour options around the Sound, however, the best Sour Ales Seattlites could hope to find came out of Portland – specifically Cascade Brewing. Their Sours are legendary around the Northwest and, while we have many great local options now, Cascade is still putting out World class Sour Ales that still catch my interest. They’re a must visit every time I’m in Portland. Now Cascade is preparing to release their latest offering: Mango Road.

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Counterbalance Brewing & Good Society Brewery Collaborate On “Long Way Round”

2020 has thrown a lot at us. It’s stressing everyone out, pushing businesses to their limit and, in some sad cases, has even claimed a few of our favorite spots. Getting through this will be tough, but with resourcefulness and perseverance, many businesses are doing what it takes to keep thing afloat.

To help with the struggle during these difficult times, Couterbalance Brewing has teamed up with Good Society Brewery and Public House in West Seattle to create a new IPA: Long Way Round.

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The Oregon Brewer’s Festival Has Been Cancelled Due To COVID-19

This is not the first event to be cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, and it certainly won’t be the last. Here is a statement about the cancellation from Oregon Brewers Festival founder, Art Larrance & his team:

Dear Friends of the Oregon Brewers Festival,

We are devastated to share that we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Oregon Brewers Festival, originally scheduled for this July 22-25. This will be the first time in 33 years that the iconic July event will not take place.

This decision was not made lightly. At the onset of the COVID-19 virus, we were hopeful that the situation might resolve itself by late July. But the health and safety of our guests, vendors, staff and volunteers is our top priority, and we have decided the risk of holding the festival is too great. The Oregon Brewers Festival is attended by thousands of visitors from all over the world. The last thing we would want to do is hold an event that could contribute to the spread of the virus and potentially introduce a second wave of infections.
It’s important for us to make sure that when the festival returns next year, it does so in a way that’s safe and ensures our guests feel secure. We will spend this downtime carefully planning on how to hold a successful event in a post-pandemic world.

The Oregon Brewers Festival will return July 28-31, 2021. In the meantime, we urge you to support your local craft breweries and cidermakers; place orders for curbside pickup or delivery and follow them on social media for the latest news on how to help. It has been estimated that up to 46% of craft breweries may be forced to close due to the pandemic. The Oregon Brewers Festival is a celebration of craft beer, and we need to make sure our breweries are still standing when this crisis has passed.
Until then, stay safe, be kind, and wash your hands. Cheers!

Founder Art Larrance and the entire Oregon Brewers Festival Team

About the Oregon Brewers Festival
The Oregon Brewers Festival got its start in Portland, Oregon, in July 1988 as the brainchild of Art Larrance, one of the founding fathers of Oregon craft beer. Back then, there were only four microbreweries in operation in Portland (BridgePort, McMenamins, Portland and Widmer), and two others across the state (Full Sail and Deschutes). Today, the Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the nation’s longest running and best loved craft beer festivals; it’s also one the largest of its kind. Located on the west bank of the Willamette River, with majestic Mt. Hood as a backdrop, it is the ideal venue for beer lovers to congregate. With a laid-back attitude and scores of beers, the festival embodies the spirit of the city of Portland. Around 50,000 visitors annually travel from all parts of the world to drink up what the festival has to offer while infusing millions of dollars into the local economy.

Try not to get too disheartened by all of these event cancellations. I love craft beer just as much as the rest of you but, right now, keeping everyone safe and healthy is more important that gathering in large groups to appreciate the labors of our favorite breweries. Do what you can to keep supporting as many of your local breweries as you can, and we’ll get through this together.

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.

Four IPA Releases Are Coming This Month From Hellbent Brewing

I know. I know. It’s still technically Winter and many of you are still in Barleywine and/or Imperial Stout mode, but I’m betting that hasn’t stopped you from enjoying some tasty IPAs too. After all, anytime is a good time for a tasty IPA.

Apparently Hellbent Brewing Company agrees. They’re set to release four different IPAs this month, and will be hosting their annual Poké & Pints For Public Lands event with the fourth release just after Spring arrives on March 20th. One of the IPAs is experimental. One is a POG. One is hop-forward and tropical, and the last is a PTG (Passionfruit, Tangerine, Guava) and will make wanna you hang loose. Say hello to Test Flight, Pau Hana, Expansion Pack and \m/ Shaka.

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The 18th Annual Hard Liver Fest & Other Upcoming Events At Brouwer’s Cafe

Seattle certainly has its share of craft beer events and festivals. I’ve been to more than my fair share and I’m betting many of you have as well. Some of my favorite annual events take place at one of my favorite craft beer bars in the city: Brouwer’s Cafe. I first discovered Brouwer’s way back in 2005, the year they opened, and immediately fell in love. They have great, Belgian inspired food and always have a great tap selection – especially during events/festivals.

Brouwer’s has several great events coming up over the next month. It all kicks off with the 18th annual Hard Liver festival coming up this Saturday, February 29th and culminates with their 15th anniversary celebration on March 28th. Now I know what you’re thinking. How can this be the 18th Hard Liver fest but only Brouwer’s 15th anniversary? Not to worry. This is a logical explanation for this discrepancy. The first few years of the Hard Liver fest were held at the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center, before Brouwer’s Cafe opened.

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Tin Dog Prepares For Their 6th Anniversary

There aren’t a whole lot of breweries in Seattle that focus primarily on Belgians, Sours and Farmhouse/Wild Ales. Some of the best known are probably Holy Mountain Brewing and Urban Family Brewing (who has returned to Ballard – opening tomorrow at noon). A few others with a similar focus have opened fairly recently including Best of Hands Barrelhouse a year ago and the just opened Fair Isle Brewing in Ballard. However, there’s another brewery in Seattle that has been quietly producing Belgians, Sours and Farmhouse/Wild Ales for nearly 6 years now. That brewery is Tin Dog Brewing in South Park.

Since opening in 2014 they’ve kept a somewhat low profile. It took them a couple of years to begin bottling, but they’ve been packaging more and more beers and just this week started sending out kegs to local craft beer bars. They have also recently rebranded themselves as a blendery (there will be no name change, however). In their own words:

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Pyramid’s Apricot Ale Wins Bronze During Flagship February

It’s not just February, it’s Flagship February. Although some newer breweries are shunning the trend (Seattle’s Cloudburst Brewing Company comes to mind), many breweries have one (or more) flagship beers. These are the beers they’re know for – the beers that help build their brand and are still popular today. Some good examples would be Sierra Nevada‘s Pale Ale, Pike Brewing‘s Pike Place Ale or Pyramid Brewing Company‘s classic Hefeweizen.

I’ll be honest. I was oblivious to the fact that it was Flagship February myself until Pyramid Brewing reminded me by sending me a care package containing some of their most popular flagship beers including their classic Hefeweizen, their Apricot Ale (which was one of the first craft beers I tried in Seattle) and, another classic, McTarnahan’s Amber Ale from Portland Brewing Company.

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Hellbent Brewing Hosts Their First Annual Chili Con Carnival

There are lots of different foods that pair quite well with beer. In fact, I really wish more high end restaurants would put as much care into curating their beer lists as they do their wine lists, because I believe there’s a craft beer out there suitable to pair with pretty much any meal.

Don’t get me wrong though. Food and craft beer pairings shouldn’t be limited to just high end restaurants. While I do indeed love to pair a good sirloin steak with a hoppy Pale Ale or pair a steamed lobster tail with a nice Belgian Tripel, I still enjoy more classic pairings like pizza and a good IPA or a mushroom Swiss burger with a smoked Porter. One of my favorite beer and food pairings though is a bowl of chili and… well, it can depend on the type of chili. Many people love to pair a good chili with a hearty Stout. Others might prefer an assertive IPA – especially if the chili is extra spicy – and still others would select a nice Saison.

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Bale Breaker Debuts First Year-Round Hazy IPA

Yakima, Wash. – January 29, 2020 – Bale Breaker Brewing Company, a family-owned brewery located in the beautiful Yakima Valley, today announces that it will be adding a sixth 12oz can to its annual lineup named Hazy L IPA.

Hazy L IPA first debuted draft only in December 2019 and has received a great response from the market since its release.  This innovative take on the hazy IPA style features Citra®, Sabro™ and Mosaic® hops grown by BT Loftus Ranches.  With an approachable bitterness and a crisp body, this hazy IPA was thoughtfully crafted for everyday drinking.

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Fort George Stout Month Kicks Off Tomorrow

Here we are, smack in the middle of the Winter beer season. That means Stouts – big, bold, rich Stouts. I can enjoy a good Stout any time of year but, each February, Fort George Brewing Company out of Astoria, Oregon really brings the hits. Are you ready for this year’s Festival of Dark Arts and Stout Month?

As an added bonus, with this being a leap year, Stout month is a day longer this year. Fort George is taking advantage of that extra day and releasing more Stouts during Stout Month this year than ever before. Festival of Dark Arts tickets sold out in record time this year, so if you were fortunate enough to get one, I’m a bit envious. I’ll have to settle for drinking the Fort George Stouts that will make their way up to Seattle.

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