Discover The New Growler USA In Redmond

What happens when you take the basic concept of a growler refill station and decide to take it National?  Well, what happens is, you get something like Growler USA.  Founded in 2013 by Dan White (CEO), Dave Shaw (President), and Vern Whittaker (Retired CFO), Growler USA now has 10 locations across the U.S. and are slated to open 50 more throughout 2017-2018.

Each location boasts up to 100 taps of beer (including microbrewed craft beers), hard cider, draft wine & kombucha, plus an extensive food menu. Their tap list varies by location, of course, in order to offer locally-sourced options for their patrons, and their “True to the Brew” system ensures that each brewer’s vision for their product is honored.  Things are kept tightly controlled all the way from keg delivery and storage (using ‘gentle’ keg handling systems to avoid sloshing), to a meticulously maintained tap system and the proper glassware for each pour. Yesterday afternoon I took a trek out to their Redmond location, courtesy $30 in credit from Growler USA, to see what they had to offer first hand.

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Beardslee Hosts A Spring Solstice Brewer’s Dinner

That chill in the air is just starting to fade and the official start of Spring is just 5 days away, on March 20th.  To mark the occasion, Beardslee Public House in Bothell has decided to host a Spring Solstice Brewer’s Dinner next Tuesday, March 21st.

This special dinner will be comprised of 4 distinct courses, plus a dessert course and each course, including dessert, will be paired with a different Beardslee beer.  Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase the limited bottling of their Barleywine 2-packs at a discounted price.

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Belgian Fest 2017 Happens Next Month

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Each year, the Washington Beer Commission puts on several different festivals to celebrate the diversity and excellence of Washington craft beer.  These festivals are a great way to discover new Washington breweries and to explore different craft styles that you may not be as familiar with.

It may still be a full month away, but tickets are already on sale for one of my favorite Washington Beer Commission hosted festivals: Belgian Fest 2017.  Set for 2 sessions on Saturday, January 28th, Belgian Fest 2017 will feature well over 100 different Belgian style beers from over 40 different Washington State breweries.  Featured beer styles include Tripels, Dubbels, Saisons, Wits, Abbeys and Lambics. In keeping with this unique style, all of the beers are brewed with Belgian yeast.

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2016 US Open Beer Championship Winners

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The winners have just been announced for the 2016 US Open Beer Championship.  Unique in it’s format, the US Open Beer Championship is the only brewing competition to allow award winning home brewers to compete against commercial breweries Worldwide.  Beers from 95 different categories (including non-alcoholic) were ranked and the top 10 breweries and medal winners were also listed.

Four different breweries from Washington State took home awards, including: Reuben’s Brews, Heathen Brewing Company, Icicle Brewing Company and a sweep in the gluten free category by Ghostfish Brewing Company.  Congratulations to all the winners.  I’d also like to offer a special congratulations one of my favorite breweries, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, for being named National Grand Champion (details below).

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Full Throttle Bottles Sold – Taps To Be Added

 

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We’re fortunate in the Seattle area to have lots of great craft bottle shops around where we can find our favorite craft beers and ciders, and discover new ones from breweries and cideries both near and far.  One such bottle shop is Full Throttle Bottles.*

Nestled in the heart of Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, Full Throttle is a specialty beer and wine (and cider and mead) store that manages to carry an impressive selection of craft beers, craft ciders, wines and meads for you to choose from, despite its somewhat small size.

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Sam Adams Nitro Beers Launch Nationwide

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There’s just something about a beer served on Nitrogen.  Nitro beers create that silky smooth texture and creamy head often associated with Guinness, and can even alter your perception of a beer, subtly changing the flavor and mouth feel.

Stouts and Porters are the two styles most often associated with Nitrogen beers, but other styles can work well on Nitrogen too.  The Boston Beer Company agrees and has been experimenting with different nitrogen infused beers for the Samuel Adams Nitro Project.  Now, after three years of experimentation, they’re ready to bring those beers to you.

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Belgian Beer Month Is Coming At Beveridge Place Pub

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Whenever I’m asked what my favorite beer is, I don’t really have a good answer.  Sure, I’m a Hophead (and s Stouthead, and a Sourhead) but I really enjoy all styles of beer.  So selecting just one favorite from the vast ocean of choices out there is a rather daunting, if not impossible task.  My ‘favorite’ beer is the freshly poured one in front of me, which I’m enjoying at this very moment.  Beyond that, I really don’t think declaring a favorite matters much.

That doesn’t mean I don’t prefer certain styles over others.  In general, I’m much more of an Ale drinker than a Lager drinker.  That can probably be said for most craft beer fans too, since the vast majority of craft beers out there are Ales (though there are some very fine craft Lagers out there too).  I’m starting to wonder if that attitude isn’t becoming more prevalent across the nation as well, as evidence by Budweiser’s falling sales and craft beer, for the first time ever, reaching double digits in market share.

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