Four Breweries Team Up To Host Ballard Oktoberfest

Is it really getting to be that time already?  Summer, especially in Seattle, always seems so darn short.  A couple of weeks ago I was already seeing pumpkin beers appearing on craft beer store shelves and now, here come the Oktoberfest announcements.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Fall and the Seasonal craft styles that come along with it, but it’s a bittersweet reminder that the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer and Summer is starting to fade.

Of course, as I just mentioned, Fall’s arrival also means Oktoberfest biers and Oktoberfest celebrations.  The Märzen/Oktoberfest style is probably my favorite style of Lager.  Sure, a well made Pilsner is great on a hot Summer day, but I love the more toasty malt flavors of a good Märzen.  If you’re also a fan of a good Märzen and other German/European styles (Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen, Kölsch, Vienna Lager, Roggenbier, etc.) then you’ll want to mark your calendar for September 16th and this year’s Ballard Oktoberfest.

Continue reading

Bale Breaker Announces Sesiones del Migrante Mango IPA

Just last week I told you about the Harvest Collaboration Series form Bale Breaker Brewing Company, in which they paired with four different craft breweries to create the beers for the series.  They’ll have staggered releases from August through October.  Now, while they’re still in the collaborative mood, Bale Breaker is at it again with the upcoming release of Sesiones del Migrante Mango IPA in six-packs.

Sesiones del Migrante is a series of beers that Bale Breaker has brewed in conjunction with Mexican and American breweries, in a collaboration that spans 5 breweries and 2 countries.  Created in celebration of the Mexican migrant workers who travel to the Yakima Valley each year to help harvest the precious hops for all those wonderful craft beers we all enjoy, it’s due to arrive both on tap and in cans on September 7th and will see distribution throughout Washington and Northern Idaho.

Continue reading

Melvin Brewing Bellingham Expands Their Hours

Just a couple of years ago, beers from Melvin Brewing Company out of Wyoming started appearing in the Seattle area.  Being a big fan of hoppy beers as well as strong beers, I was immediately drawn to Melvin’s offerings, which satisfied both of these cravings quite nicely.  I can recall drinking quite a bit of their Melvin IPA and, of course, their extremely popular 2X4 Double (some might say triple with its 10% ABV) IPA.

Fast forward now to 2017 – just a few months ago.  Melvin Brewing decided it was time to expand and opened their first brewpub up in Bellingham on June 3rd.  I visited them a few weeks after their opening but  had to plan my day out carefully, because Melvin’s Bellingham location wasn’t set to open until 4 pm.  That’s about to change.  Starting on Monday, August 14th, Melvin Brewing Bellingham will start opening at 11 am and serving lunch.

Continue reading

Join Schooner Exact For A Hop Field Trip This September

Each year, as Fall approaches in the Northwest, it’s hop harvest time.  That can only mean one thing: Fresh Hop IPAs are coming.  Most beers are brewed using kilned or dried hops, usually in the form of compressed hop pellets.  Fresh Hop or Wet Hop beers, on the other hand, utilize fresh, un-kilned hops straight off the vine.  This allows them to retain all of their natural oils (some of which can be lost or reduced during the kilning/drying process), and impart a more Earthy and natural character to the finished beer.

When brewing a Fresh Hop Ale, the hops must be utilized with 24 – 48 hours after picking to ensure freshness.  Any longer and they’ll start to become soggy and begin to develop mildew and rot.  So, when the season arrives, you’ll see plenty of trucks from local breweries making day-trips up to the Yakima Valley to procure their fresh hops for brewing.

Continue reading

Are You Ready For The 15th Annual Bend Brewfest?

There are breweries all across the U.S. that are making some truly great craft beers, but I find that I tend to favor those that come from the West coast: Washington, Oregon and California.  I’m sure that’s probably due, in part, to what I guess you’d call regional loyalty.  I live in Washington and grew up most of the way in California.  It’s probably also party due to the fact my first introduction to craft beers was in California were I was drinking stuff from some of the early craft beer pioneers like Sierra Nevada, Mendocino Brewing and Anderson Valley Brewing, just to name a few.

Despite my general West coast preferences, however, please don’t ever ask me to pick a single favorite beer or a single favorite brewery.  It’s just become too difficult with so many great craft beer producers out there today.  There are, however, some breweries in Oregon that are doing some truly amazing work, particularly in the Bend area.  I’m a big fan of Crux, Boneyard and, of course, The Ale Apothecary – who was recently named one of the best 25 breweries in America by Gear Patrol. Also on the list were other West coast breweries: de Garde, Lost Abbey, MonkishSante Adairius & Sierra Nevada.  Personally, I’m a bit disappointed that Seattle’s own Holy Mountain Brewing didn’t make the list.

Continue reading

Are You Ready To Take Your LongShot With Samuel Adams?

The vast majority of brewers out there creating some of your favorite libations at countless craft breweries across the nation were, at one time, homebrewers.  They started out small-scale, found their passion and decided to take it to the next level.  Have you been homebrewing for a while?  Do you get lots of compliments on your beers and feel like you might want to make a career out of brewing?  Then you might want to seriously consider entering the Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest.

The winner will gain invaluable experience in a one-week ‘Brewership’ at the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery.  Also, the winner and two runners up will attend the next Great American Beer Festival and will get a valuable scholarship for an online course at The Siebel Institute of Technology.  This is an amazing opportunity for the right person to really take their passion for brewing and take a shot at making it their life’s work.  

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Bale Breaker Announces Their 2017 Summer Food Truck Lineup

Some things just go together, like peanut butter and jelly, chicken and waffles, meat and cheese.  The best pairing for us craft beer lovers, however, might just be the partnership between craft breweries and food trucks.  It’s the perfect arrangement for breweries that don’t serve their own food, as well as for the food trucks.  Brewery patrons don’t have to leave the brewery to go eat or worry about bringing their own food, and the food trucks get a steady supply of customers who need something to accompany those tasty craft beers they just ordered.

For some breweries, like Bale Breaker Brewing Company in Yakima, having food trucks is especially important because there aren’t a lot of food options right nearby.  That’s why Bale Breaker has arranged to have food trucks at the brewery 6 days a week, all summer long through Labor Day.

Continue reading

Bale Breaker’s Fresh Off The Farm IPA Goes On Tap For Seattle Beer Week 2017

Seattle Beer Week is almost here.  Things get under way next Thursday the 4th with the Kickoff night tour and, of course, the on-tap launch of the Official beer of Seattle Beer Week 2017: Fresh Off The Farm IPA from Bale Breaker Brewing Company.

Each year, Seattle Beer Week (SBW) partners with a different Washington brewery (or, in the case of SBW #6 in 2014, they partnered with six breweries), to produce the Official beer of SBW.  This year Bale Breaker is honored to be the first brewery from Yakima Valley to be selected.  In addition to brewing the official beer of SBW 2017, Bale Breaker also has several events setup throughout the week.

Continue reading

The Vera Project Hosts Elysian’s Search Party This Summer

We’re fortunate in the Seattle area to have such a plethora of craft beer festivals to attend, pretty much year-round.  In addition to being a great way to enjoy and share our love of craft beer, many of these festivals also serve to benefit various non-profit organizations and other worthy causes.  Well, get ready for one more festival in town as Elysian Brewing Company prepares to host the first ever Search Party this July at the Seattle Center.

This one-day festival will be a celebration of beer, food, music and the arts, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting The Vera Project.  With music and the arts no longer part of the core curriculum at many schools, it’s more important than ever to find other ways to cultivate a love of music and the arts in young people and to provide the necessary skills to pursue careers in those fields. That’s what The Vera Project does.  According to their Mission Statement: “The Vera Project fuels personal and community transformation through collaborative, youth-driven engagement in music and art.

Continue reading