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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Counterbalance Brewing Prepares For Their 5th Anniversary

Each year, Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle holds an IPA competition to select their House IPA for the next year. Georgetown Brewing Company is often the winner with their Bodhizafa IPA but, for the past couple of years, there’s been another brewery nipping at their heels. That brewery is Counterbalance Brewing Company and their popular Multipass IPA, which has come in 2nd place the past two years.

If Multipass IPA is the only beer you’re familiar with from Counterbalance, then it’s high time you paid them a visit to try some of their other tasty offerings. Mark your calendar for next Friday and Saturday, January 24th and 25th when Counterbalance is set to celebrate their 5th anniversary.

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Reuben’s Brews Prepares For Their 7th Anniversary

When you stop to think, it’s actually pretty amazing that Reuben’s Brews has only been around for just under 7 years. In that relatively short time, they’ve amassed a huge and loyal following, expanded the brewery twice (now encompassing three locations) and expanded their distribution across the state and into Oregon.

Their popular ‘Crush’ series keeps the hits coming, but hazy IPAs are by no means all Reubens brews. At their taproom on 14th Ave NW, you’ll find well over 20 beers on tap at any given time, spanning styles including: Pilsers, Goses, Belgian Wits, Porters, Stouts, Sours and more. The tap list as Reuben’s Brewtap (800 NW 46th St.) is a bit smaller, but you’ll still find the same wide variety.

As they approach the 7 year mark, Reuben’s is preparing for an anniversary celebration at all three of their locations: The 14th Ave NW taproom, the Brewtap and their original brewery location on NW 53rd Street.

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Black Raven Prepares For Their 10th Annual Flock Party

I’ve been following Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) ever since they first began, taking up just a small portion of the building at 14679 NE 95th Street in Redmond. Today they occupy virtually the entire building and just recently opened their 2nd location at 15902 Woodinville Road in Woodinville. Over the years they’ve provided us with so many amazing and memorable beers. Some of those that stick out the most in my mind include: Trickster IPA, Wisdom Seeker Double IPA, La Petite Mort (and La Mort Bourbon!), Kitty Kat Blues, Second Sight Scotch Ale, Great Grandfather Raven Bourbon Imperial Stout, Gunpowder Plot Nitro Porter and many, many more.

Their new Woodinville brewery and taproom is quite impressive. The taproom is a big, open space with large windows behind the bar, allowing you to see right into the brewery. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet, then here’s your perfect excuse. This Saturday, August 17th, Black Raven Brewing Company will celebrate their 10th Anniversary with the 10th annual Flock Party at their new Woodinville location.

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Chainline Brewing Prepares For Their 4th Anniversary

Cycling is huge in the Northwest. Far more than just a recreational vehicle, bicycles are the primary mode of transportation for many people around the Puget Sound. That’s a big part of the reason that Chainline Brewing Company in Kirkland is so cycle/outdoor activities-focused. Their name was inspired by the active, outdoor lifestyles that are so prevalent in the Northwest and their brewery and taproom is located right next to the Cross-Kirkland’s bicycle corridor.

Now, I’m not much of a cyclist myself, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy their beers all the same. Their most popular offerings include their Tune Up IPA and their Polaris Pilsner, which won a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2017. Perhaps you’ll even find a few new favorites from Chainline this weekend, as they prepare to celebrate their 4th Anniversary with the release of 4 different styles of a Saison from their Old Growth Series and the return of some of their most popular offerings from the past.

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Counterbalance Brewing Prepares For Their 4th Anniversary

How long can a duck stand on one leg?  Well, the mascot for Counterbalance Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has been doing it for nearly 4 years now and he’s definitely ready to party.  You may recall that Counterbalance’s Multipass IPA came in as one of the finalists during Novemberfest at Beveridge Place Pub late last year and now they have another Fifth Element inspired beer coming your way as they prepare to celebrate another trip around the sun.

Come join Counterbalance Brewing this Friday and Saturday, January 25th and 26th, as they celebrate their 4th Anniversary with some new and returning beer releases, including their 4th Anniversary Big Bada Boom Hazy Double Mango IPA and 2019 Bourbon Barrel Kushetka Imperial Stout aged in 2Bar Spirits Bourbon Barrels.

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Two Beers Prepares For Their 11th Anniversary

The story of Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is one I’ve been following for a long time.  I can still remember when the taproom had just a few stools and couldn’t hold more than a few people.  Today, Two Beers Brewing Company – along with their sister companies, Seattle Cider Company and Sound Seltzer Company – boasts a huge, inviting taproom with 24 taps of beer, cider and seltzer (plus a cider slushie machine), pub games (billiards, foosball, darts, shuffleboard, etc.), a beautiful patio and a food service window run by the folks from Bread And Circuses.

There was some concern in the local craft beer community when, back in 2016, Two Beers Brewing Company and Seattle Cider Company were acquired by the Agrial Group, a leading French agri-business cooperative. Since that acquisition, however, I haven’t noticed any drop in the quality of their products, and they’ve even started expanding their portfolio – releasing lots of new beers this year including what I think may have been their best IPA yet, What A Time To Be Alive hazy fresh hop IPA.  Now Two Beers is prepared to celebrate their 11th Anniversary with another new release: This Goes to 11 Birthday Cake IPA.

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Naked City Celebrates 10 Years With Gluten Removed Announcement, Parties & New Mug Club

Back in January of this year, Naked City Brewery & Taphouse celebrated their 10th Anniversary with parties, music and new beer releases at both their Greenwood and Camano Island locations.

Now, Naked City is keeping the celebration going with even more parties, more music, more new beer releases and the announcement of a new Mug Club at their Greenwood location.  All of the events are free and family friendly (open to all ages).

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Homebrew Con Comes To Portland This June

Do you homebrew?  I started homebrewing way back in the late 80’s and I have more than 25 years of homebrewing experience.  Sadly though, when I moved a few years back I didn’t have a good place to brew so I actually wound up selling my 10 gallon, all-grain brewing system rather than let it sit, gathering rust and dust (I’d rather see a brewer put it to good use).  I have every intention of getting back into brewing again – and on an even larger system – but I’ll have to wait a few more years before I can make that happen.

I still have a great interest in homebrewing, even though I’ve allowed me membership to the American Homebrewer’s Association lapse until I have a new system, and I’m often impressed by some of the stellar beers being produced by homebrewers today. Equipment has improved, techniques are evolving all the time and homebrewing is as popular as it ever was, if not more so.  This year marks the 40th year for the National Homebrew Conference (Homebrew Con), and thousands of homebrewers from across the nation will come together in Portland this June 28 – 30 to talk homebrewing, attend workshops, learn new techniques and more.

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