Despite the wide range of styles available to craft beer drinkers, it’s impossible to deny that the IPA is still king. In fact, just last year, the Brewer’s Association‘s annual craft sales figures showed that at least one out of every five craft beers sold in the U.S. is an IPA. Even though I try to vary the styles I drink as much as possible, I’m definitely a big IPA fan too as are most other craft beer drinkers I know.
That popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing down either. In fact, it almost seems to be expanding. Even with the incredible influx of new IPAs that are constantly hitting the market these days, most manage to find their audience and sell out, making way for the next IPA(s) coming down the pipe. I say, keep ’em coming.
One of the best things about the cold, dark days of Winter are all of the dark, delicious Stouts that come along with it. Sure, you can drink a good Stout anytime, but Fall and especially Winter are when our palates seem to turn more towards the dark side and crave all those deep, rich, coffee/chocolate/roasty and often barrel-aged flavors that a good Stout provides.
February is Stout Month and Fort George Brewery is ready to celebrate with a full month of events and beer releases. Don’t worry if you can’t make it down to Oregon for some of the Traveling Carnival Of Stouts events. They’ve planned 5 events for Washington Fort George fans as well.
I hope you enjoyed our white Christmas. If nothing else, it provided us with proof that Winter is indeed here, and Winter means Stout season. There’s been a virtual flood lately of big, dark, bold and barrel-aged Stouts. Have you been stocking up your cellar with them like I have?
Even though I love all those rich, heavy barrel-aged Stouts (and Porters), sometimes that 12% – 14% ABV can be a bit daunting to face – especially if you’re trying to down a whole 22 oz bottle by yourself. So perhaps it’s time for a stout that’s a bit more approachable. Arriving this Friday, and clocking in at just 6%, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is releasing their Feather Weather Mocha Stout.
As the weather gets colder and wetter out there, the Fall and Winter beer releases just keep on coming. I hope your wallet hasn’t taken too hard of a hit yet, because there are still several more releases to come. After all, Winter hasn’t even started yet.
Next up for Fall releases is Chainline Brewing Company out of Kirkland. This coming Saturday, November 18th, they’ll be hosting Bitter is Coming II – Welcome To Winter (& Return of the De-Railer!). This annual taproom party will be the setting for the release of three special, seasonal beers from Chainline.
The parade of barrel-aged goodness continues in South Seattle with Schooner Exact Brewing Company. Available now, Schooner Exact released the 2017 version of their extremely popular Hoppy The Woodsman Whiskey Barrel Aged Ale just yesterday, November 1st.
In addition to the return of Hoppy The Woodsman, Schooner Exact is also pleased to announce their new Fall food menu (going live today) which, thanks to popular demand, now includes Fish and Chips. Other new items include Blackened Fish Tacos, Caprese Sandwich, and Pork Sliders. Also, on tap now in the Schooner Exact taproom, you’ll find their Schwarzbier Dark Lager and their Whiskey Dick Cantwell, Matt Where’s My Fucking Pumpkin Beer.
With so many breweries in Seattle, it seems like there’s always an anniversary celebration just around the corner (not that I’m complaining or anything!). Over the past few months I’ve told you about anniversary celebrations from such local breweries as Lucky Envelope, Hellbent, Stoup and Naked City and there’s still more anniversary celebrations to come before the year is out.
Now Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is getting ready to celebrate a major milestone. Coming up on Saturday, November 4th, they’ll be celebrating their 10th Anniversary. Rather than celebrating for just one day, however, Two Beers has nearly an entire week of events lined up, culminating with the Grand Celebration on the 4th.
This time of year, my taste buds are always in eager anticipation of all the upcoming delightful, dreamy, dark and delicious barrel-aged beers that begin to arrive as our days grow shorter and shorter. My wallet isn’t always so happy about it (There are a lot of releases to keep up with!), but my taste buds usually win that battle.
We’ve already seen a few barrel-aged releases this season and now Ninkasi Brewing Company is ready to get in on the action with the return of their popular, ‘space yeast’ utilizing, Ground Control Imperial Stout. This November they’ll be releasing two Bourbon Barrel-Aged versions of this popular brew in 22 oz bottles. It will also be available on draft in select markets. You can also get a taste of Ground Control at two special Oregon events: the Ninkasi Space Beer Dinner at OMSI on November 7th and the Space Oddity Ball at the Ninkasi Tasting Room on November 11th.
If you’re a fan of barrel aged stouts and porters then you know that Fall can be a trying time for your wallet. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been to several different barrel aged beer releases and, by no means, was I alone at these releases. Most had a line stretching down the street and around the corner with many people in line buying up to their allowed limit.
Well, I hope you haven’t depleted your holiday season craft beer spending limit yet, because Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is pleased to announce the return of Overhang Bourbon Imperial Porter this Friday, December 16th at The Woods taproom.
Last Friday, December 2nd, my wife and I attended a beer tasting dinner cruise courtesy of Waterways Cruises And Events, featuring beers from Pike Brewing Company. This is the cruise I told you about just last month, which took us around Lake Union and Lake Washington as we enjoyed 5 different Pike Brewing Company beers and enjoyed a delicious, 4-course dinner.
Apart from a few somewhat loud and annoying shipmates at the next table and a small technical difficulty involving the last beer of the evening, we had a great meal and a wonderful time. As a special bonus that we weren’t expecting, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, founders of Pike Brewing Company, were in attendance on the cruise (as well Pike’s Jon Gores). Charles took the time to visit each and every table, and spoke to us all at length about his passion for beer, Pike Brewing Company and the beers we would be enjoying during the cruise.
Ivar’s is a Seattle icon. They’ve been around since 1938, which is a good 30 years longer than I’ve even been alive. When was the last time you stopped by Ivar’s to enjoy a few drinks and some delicious seafood – especially their award winning Chowders? My wife and I hadn’t been for a visit in quite a while, but stopped by the Salmon House on NE Northlake Way, my favorite Ivar’s location, just last week.
The drinks were great and the food was as good as I remember. I also love the look of the Salmon House. The did a major remodel on the bar about three years ago, and the results are fantastic. If you haven’t been by that location since the remodel, you should check it out.
If you need a good excuse to drop by Ivar’s, I think I can help you with that. Coming up this Thursday, December 8th, Ivar’s is hosting their 6th Annual Northwest Winter Beer Tasting at their Acres of Clams location on Alaskan Way from 6 to 9 pm.