Firestone Walker Introduces Old Man Hattan

Most of the time when I’m drinking, I’m drinking craft beer. I sometimes enjoy a cocktail (or even just straight bourbon), and the occasional glass of wine or cider but, for the most part, craft beer is my go to. My enjoyment of good cocktails, bourbons and wines though is likely a big part of the reason I’m such a fan of barrel-aged beers. There’s just something about barrel-aging a craft beer that adds character and a complexity that simply can’t be achieved without the barrel aging.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a master of barrel aged beers and they’ve won many awards over the years for their multitude of barrel aged offerings – particularly those from their Proprietor’s Vintage series. They’ve also become more experimental over the past few years, trying new grains, new hops and new techniques and I applaud their daring and creativity. Now, Firestone Walker is set to release their newest barrel aged experiment: Old Manhattan. This multi barrel aged and blended Ale is designed to invoke the classic cocktails: the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.

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Best Of Hands Barrelhouse Opens March 8th

There are lots of great breweries in Seattle and the surrounding area, and many of those breweries are definitely worth the short or even long trip required for a visit.  Most of the time though, unless there’s an event or a gathering that might draw us farther away, or we’re out specifically to try a new place/new places, most of us tend to drink more often at the craft breweries that are closer to where we live. That’s a part of the reason I’m such an advocate for breweries that are more in Seattle’s South end (including West Seattle), but definitely not the only reason.  Sure, their proximity to me and my commute route makes them convenient, but most of them also make some damn fine craft beers.

There aren’t that many craft breweries in West Seattle (although Future Primitive Brewing did recently open in White Center), but now we have another newcomer nearly set to go.  Coming up on March 8th, Best Of Hands Barrelhosue will open their doors to the public.  Founded by Gregory Marlor and Nicholas Marianetti (former servers at The Beer Junction – and level II Certified Cicerones), along with their partner Chris Richardson, Best Of Hands will specialize in mixed-fermentation barrel aged sours and European inspired farmhouse ales.

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Splinters Returns From Black Raven Brewing

More often than not in the craft beer World, it seems like hops are the big stars.  Much of this is due to the fact that IPA is still king when it comes to craft beer and, while I still enjoy drinking IPAs through the Fall and Winter, I really start to appreciate the complex malt character of less hop forward beers like Stouts, Porters and Scotch Ales to name a few.  I also enjoy many beers that have been barrel aged in Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch or other barrels and, let’s face it, there aren’t that many barrel aged IPAs out there (though they do exist).

I’m also rather picky about my Scotch Ales.  There are only a few locally made Scotch Ales that I really enjoy, and one of them is Second Sight from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).  Now, Black Raven is preparing to release Second Sight’s more mature brother, Splinters Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale.

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Breakside Brewing Reveals Their 2018 Release Calendar

For those of you keeping count, how many beers do you drink per day?  Would you say you drink at least 2.6 beers per day?  If you do, I assume you’re drinking a mix of different style from different breweries.  After all, not many craft beer drinkers I know (if any) stick to just one beer or even just one brewery.

If you want to keep up with Breakside Brewing Company’s entire 2018 release calendar, however, then you’ll have to have at least 2.6 Breakside beers each day (Yeah, I know. Don’t ask me how to have .6 of a beer. lol). That’s because they’re planning to release over 140 different beers this year.  They recently revealed their release schedule for every beer that will be coming out this year.

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Pike Entire 2017 Arrives Tomorrow

As I mentioned in a few articles earlier this week (the return of Ground Control from Ninkasi and today’s release of Overhang from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor)), barrel-aged season is back.  I just loves all those thick, dark, woody, bourbony releases that start flowing this time of year, and now Pike Brewing Company is getting in on the act.

Arriving tomorrow, Friday, November 3rd (which also happens to be International Stout Day), Pike will be releasing their 2017 Pike Entire Barrel Aged Imperial Stout.  Aged for four months on Woodinville Whiskey bourbon barrels, Pike Entire is rich with chocolate and espresso flavors and clocks in at 9.9%

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Harvestfest Happens This Month In SoDo

Can you have too many craft beer festivals?  It’s a quiet, behind-the-scenes type of debate here in the Northwest where breweries and craft beer festivals are plentiful.  We have so many annual festivals that some attendees and some breweries can sometimes get festival fatigue.  Those on the other side of the coin argue that there can’t be too much of a good thing and any reason one can find to create a new craft beer festival should be taken advantage of.

I can understand the viewpoint on both sides of this debate but I figure, as long as all these festivals can still find enough interested craft beer lovers to attend, then we’ll keep getting more.  With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to the Seattle Harvestfest, which will be coming to Utah Avenue South next Thursday, September 14th.  Brought to you by Cask Creek Productions, this festival is a celebration of all the Fall/Harvest season styles we all enjoy.

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La Mort Bourbon Returns From Black Raven Brewing

Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) makes lots of excellent beers.  Their popular Kitty Kat Blues was recently added to their year-round lineup and what is probably their most overall popular beer, Wisdom Seeker, just made it’s annual return as well.  Now, Black Raven is preparing to bring back one of my absolute favorites.  Arriving this Friday, March 24th is their popular and award-winning La Mort Bourbon.

Part of Black Raven’s Corbeaux Series and crafted by aging their equally popular La Petite Mort in Kentucky bourbon barrels, La Mort Bourbon is a complex beer that satisfies fans of Belgian Ales and bourbon-barrel aged beers alike.  I’m a big fan of both, which helps explain why this is one of my favorite offerings from Black Raven.

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Barrel Junction Kicks Off This Saturday At The Beer Junction

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How can anyone limit themselves to just a single style of beer?  Sure, I’m a serious hophead at heart, but I never limit myself to just IPA’s.  I’m a fan of all styles but I do have to admit that, especially in the cold of winter, I’m a huge fan of barrel aged beers.

There’s just something special that happens to a beer when it’s aged in Bourbon, Whiskey, Tequila, Brandy, Wine or other barrels.  They impart complex flavors, new characteristics, perhaps a slight boost in ABV, etc.  That’s why I’m glad that the 4th Annual Barrel Junction at The Beer Junction in West Seattle is almost here.

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