Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood has a high concentration of craft breweries , many within just a few block of each other. That makes it ideal for checking out several craft breweries in a short time. Have you explored all of the breweries in Ballard? Do you have any favorites? Would you like to help them win an award?
For the third year, four Ballard breweries are coming together for a friendly little competition known as the Ballard Beer Awards, and you get to help determine the winners. In order to cast your votes, you’ll have to visit Ray’s Cafe rather than the breweries themselves. The competition kicks off on April 16th and runs through May 11th. The four breweries involved in this year’s competition are: Stoup Brewing, Reuben’s Brews, Lucky Envelope Brewing and Maritime Pacific Brewing.
I first told you about Reuben’s Brews’ Hop Idol homebrew competition back in late 2016, and the first winner was announced in early 2017. Well, the Hop Idol competition returned again this year and Reuben’s is ready to announce this year’s winner.
Like last year, this year’s Hop Idol winner will get to help brew their winning recipe on Reuben’s system and will see their winning beer distributed throughout the Northwest. It will also be entered into the Washington Beer Awards Pro-Am competition as well as the Great American Beer Festival.
Back in November of last year, I told you aboutReuben’s Brews‘ Hop Idol homebrew contest. As a call back to the homebrewing roots of founder Adam Robbings, Reuben’s Brews held this homebrew competition as a means to help inspire other homebrewers to chase their own brewery dreams.
Entrants could submit up to 5 entries each and all entries were due by January 17th. The judging took place the week of January 21st and now Reuben’s Brews is ready to announce the winner who will get to brew their beer with Reuben’s and see it distributed throughout Western Washington. The winning beer will also be entered into the Washington Beer Awards Pro-Am competition as well as the Great American Beer Festival.
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.
“Growing every year, the Pacific Northwest Cider Awards has received more than 180 cider entries in 15 categories from 44 cideries found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia. PNWCA raises awareness for the unique ciders being produced throughout the region while offering an easy way for the public to explore the world of cider.”
Last year I told you about the first annual Pacific Northwest Cider Awards; a showcase for all of the wonderful ciders coming out of the Pacific Northwest area. Last year’s event was a great success with awards going to cideries throughout Washington, Oregon, Montana and even British Columbia, Canada.
More than 25 different cideries participated in last year’s event. Now, back for its second year, the Pacific Northwest Cider Awards (PNWCA) are returning to The Woods, the shared tasting room for Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and Seattle Cider Company, with 38 participating breweries this year from across the Northwest.
Pale Ale is an extremely popular craft beer style. How many of you, as homebrewers, started out by trying to ‘copy’ your favorite Pale Ale? Granted, IPA is a bit more popular, especially here in the Northwest where many local IPAs are more assertively hoppy than IPAs from just about any other part of the U.S. Still, everyone needs a good go to Pale Ale.
I don’t really have one favorite beer company. With the incredible plethora of craft beer choices out there it’s impossible for me to pick just one, but I do have several favorites and Firestone Walker Brewing Company is indeed on that list of favorites. For years now, my favorite IPA has been Firestone Walker’s Double Jack Double IPA. Brewed with a veritable garden of hops, including: Warrior, Columbus, Cascade and Centennial and dry-hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe, Double Jack is a complex, smooth and incredibly well balanced double IPA.
After first declaring it my favorite a few years ago, I wanted to make sure my choice of Double Jack as my favorite IPA wasn’t a fluke so, over the past couple of years, I have participated in several blind IPA tastings. Every single time Double Jack was included in one of those tastings, I selected it as my favorite. So I know my choice is based on Double Jack’s appearance, aroma, flavor and mouth feel, and is not just an arbitrary selection due to my fondness for Firestone Walker and all the other amazing beers they create.
Are you a fan of craft ciders? I’m far more of a craft beer aficionado myself, but I’ve been trying to make more of an effort over the past year or so to learn more about the wide varieties of craft ciders available here in the Pacific Northwest. Ciders are also a great choice for those with gluten tolerance issues, which can prevent them from drinking most craft beers. There are more cideries in the Pacific Northwest than I had realized, with more popping up all the time, and each has something unique to offer.