Two Special Releases From Counterbalance Brewing & 2bar Spirits

I’ve always been an advocate for Seattle’s South end breweries.  Living in the South end myself I, of course, spend a lot of time at these places and enjoy seeing them succeed.  A couple of years back I penned an article with some great reasons to visit Seattle’s South end breweries and, earlier this year, I told you about the newly formed South Seattle Brewery Coalition.

That’s why I was very pleased when I heard the news that Counterbalance Brewing Company had teamed up with 2bar Spirits (who also happens to be in Seattle’s South end) for a unique Whiskey/Stout collaboration.

Aging Stouts in Whiskey barrels is nothing new.  Breweries have been doing it for years and indeed Whiskey and Bourbon barrel aged Stouts are some of my favorites.  This time, however, things went a bit in the other direction.  2bar Spirits used the actual mash bill from Counterbalance’s Kushetka Imperial Stout to produce this particular Whiskey, then aged it for 2 years in 2bar Whiskey barrels.

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2017 Old Birdbrain Barleywine Arrives This Weekend From Black Raven

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Barleywine season is almost here.  The 15th Annual Hard Liver Barleywine Festival is coming up next month at Brouwer’s Cafe and the 15th Annual Barleywine Bacchanal will happen at Beveridge Place Pub in March.  With these and other barleywine festivals on the way, local breweries are working hard to get their 2017 barley wines ready to go.

To that end, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is just about ready to release their 2017 Old Birdbrain Barleywine, which has been a multiple award winner at the annual Great Alaskan Beer & Barleywine Festival. This year’s vintage will arrive this coming Friday, Jaunary 27th.

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Celebrate Chinese New Year With Two New Beers From Lucky Envelope

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Lucky Envelope Brewing was founded by partners Barry Chan and Raymond Kwan back in late 2014.  An award-winning home brewer and structural engineer and a finance strategist respectively, Barry and Raymond decided to leave their old careers behind to follow their dreams of opening a craft brewery.

They first opened their doors to the public in May of 2015 with a decidedly Asian/Thai inspiration.  Even their name, Lucky Envelope, was inspired by the red envelopes which the older generation in China will gift to the younger generation during holidays and special occasions.

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Deschutes Brewery & Bendistillery Release Black Butte Whiskey

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Deschutes Brewery out of Bend and Portland Oregon puts out a wide variety of Ales.  Their most recognizable beers include Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale, Jubelale and, of course, their Black Butte Porter – both the regular and the annually-released, barrel-aged version.

The barrel-aged version of Black Butte is a bit different each year and can include additions like chilies, cranberries, orange peel, figs, vanilla beans or any number of other special ingredients.  I particularly enjoyed this year’s release of Black Butte XXVIII.  It had smooth well-blended flavors of vanilla and cocoa with just a touch of smoke, giving you a feel for the barrel the beer spent 12 months maturing in.

Now Deschutes has teamed up with Bendistillery, the same distillery that created the Crater Lake line of spirits, to bring to us a project 20 years in the making: Black Butte Whiskey.  Double distilled from the wash of Black Butte Porter, it sort of brings things full circle.

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