Dark Heron IPA Returns For Emerald City Comic Con

Seattle is known for many different things.  Two of the most prominent are, of course, coffee and craft beer.  What some of you might not know, however, is that Seattle has a huge video game and comic book community.  The annual PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) started here (which I used to report on annually when I wrote about video games), and Emerald City Comic Con has been happening every year since 2003.  Last year’s attendance was over 95 thousand comic fans.

A few years back, Fremont Brewing Company partnered with ReedPOP, producer Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC), to create an ECCC-themed beer.  The result was Dark Heron IPA. Now returning for its fourth year, Dark Heron features artwork by local Seattle artist Julia Reck and will be available on tap throughout ECCC’s run, and in cans for the first time.  

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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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Firestone Walker Joins The Haze Craze With Mind Haze

Craft beers come in a wide variety of styles, and each style has managed to find its audience. With so many different styles to chose from though, IPA still remains the most popular style of craft beer by far and the New England style juicy/hazy IPA has taken the spotlight over the past couple of years, outselling all other sub-styles of IPA by a wide margin.

Although the juicy/hazy sub-style of IPA was only officially recognized by the Brewer’s Association in March of 2018, by the time the Great American Beer Festival rolled around in September, the “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA” dominated GABF entries.  Juicy/Hazy Pale Ales and IPAs made up 706 entries (Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale: 131. Juicy or Hazy IPA: 414. Juicy or Hazy Double IPA: 161.) compared with 331 entries for the more traditional American-Style IPA.

Many breweries have resisted jumping into what’s come to be known as the haze craze and, in fact, many breweries out there still refuse to make a hazy IPA. Others, like Firestone Walker Brewing Company, have simply been busy with other projects (like their experimental Luponic Distorion series and their Leo v. Ursus series). However, now they’re ready and the time has come. After a year of experimentation and development, say hello to Firestone Walker’s Mind Haze hazy IPA.

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Breweries To Host Nationwide Pint Night For Camp Fire Relief

I recently told you about Resilience IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and their drive to have as many breweries as possible across the US brew this beer and donate the proceeds to Camp Fire relief.

Sierra Nevada received an amazing response to their call. Over 1400 breweries nationwide brewed Resilience IPA and now, this coming Thursday, December 20th, all of those participating breweries will be hosting a Nationwide ‘Resilience Night’ for Camp Fire relief.

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Breakside Rounds Out 2018 With Quiescence

Breakside Brewery out of Portland Oregon has a pretty diverse portfolio.  I’ve had quite a few of their beers over the years; everything from their IPAs to their Stouts and Sours and, for the most part, they’ve been pretty solid.

More recently, Breakside has been working to expand their barrel-aged Sour program.  Perhaps you’ve had their In the City of Flowers or their popular Qualia (one of my favorites of the series).  Now, as 2018 draws to a close, Breakside is preparing to release Quiescence – a blend of 13 casks of wood-aged sour beer aged for 12 months in Archery Summit Pinot Noir 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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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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Smoked Porter Turns 30 As Alaskan Brewing Prepares to Debut Their Expanded Taproom

Fall is here in the Emerald City and that means Stouts.  Everywhere you look, it seems breweries are preparing their annual Stout releases and, as much as I do love a good Stout, their abundance can sometimes overshadow the deliciousness of a good Porter.

The differences between Stouts and Porters can be subtle and the debate over what the exact differences are continues.  Basically though, Porters are a bit lighter in body and mouthfeel and sometimes, though definitely not always, can be slightly lower in alcohol.  Essentially, all Porters are Stouts, but not all Stouts are Porters.

Now that I’ve made things clear as mud for you, I’d like to tell you that one of the best known and best loved Porters in the Northwest, Alaskan Brewing Company’s Smoked Porter, is turning 30.  Alaskan Brewing is preparing to celebrate with the opening of their expanded taproom this Saturday.

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Grandfather Raven Returns From Black Raven Brewing

 

Have you been out there enjoying all of those wonderful, harvest season, Fresh Hop beers?  I know I have and I’m loving it.  Now, however, with the things getting a bit chillier outside, my palate is ready to welcome back all those wonderful, malty dark beers.

Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is ready to oblige.  They’ve announced that their popular, award winning Grandfather Raven Imperial Stout is set to make it’s annual return this coming Friday, October 19th.

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Festivus Returns From Black Raven Brewing

Like it or not, the holiday season is almost upon us.  Right now that means plenty of Fresh Hop Ales and Oktoberfest celebrations, but it also means that other Fall an Winter styles are appearing on craft beer store shelves for you to enjoy.

Regardless of which seasonal holiday(s) you choose to celebrate, you can usually find the right craft beverage to accompany your festivities.  There’s something out there for everyone, right?  Something for you, something for him, something for her, but what about… the rest of us?  Well, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is about ready to release their popular Fall Seasonal: Festivus.

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