Three Great Mardi Gras Options Around The Sound – UPDATED

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Fat Tuesday is a little under two weeks away and, though we may not be in New Orleans, that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate Mardi Gras with the best of ’em.  Want to get in on the action, but aren’t sure where to go?  Here are a few options for where you can celebrate Mardi Gras in Seattle on Fat Tuesday, which is Tuesday, February 9th.

Please note, this is not a comprehensive list of all Mardi Gras events around Seattle.  It’s just a few select events from a few local craft beer spots in and around Seattle.

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Lots Of Great Events To Keep You Busy Till Spring Arrives (UPDATED)

 

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It’s really pouring out there, but I’m not talking about the weather.  It’s raining craft beer events; enough to keep your liver plenty busy between now and the arrival of Spring.  Get you calendar out, because I’m going to tell you about 8 local craft beer festivals and other events coming your way between now and March 20; the first day of Spring, 2016.

Most of these upcoming events are free to attend.  The amount you’ll spend only depends on how many beers and how much food you decide to purchase.  The other two are ticketed events, where you’ll want to get your ticket(s) in advance to make sure you can attend.

(Please note – this is not a comprehensive list of ALL local events happening between now and March 20th.  I’m merely highlighting some of the events I think my readers would be most interested in.)

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Bellevue Brewing Launches KZOK Classic Rock Amber Tomorrow

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Craft beer has always had a conscience and a desire to give back to the community.  In my travels, I’ve been to countless craft beer events that also serve to benefit various charitable organizations and raise money for some worthwhile causes, etc.  In that spirit, Bellevue Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has teamed up with KZOK (102.5 FM) and Columbia Distributing to introduce KZOK Classic Rock Amber.

Set to release tomorrow, August 6th, this complex and hoppy Amber Ale will not only quench your thirst for delicious craft beer but also help benefit a number of different local charities.

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Bellevue Brewing Releases Bohemian Pilsner

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We’ve been having a great Summer here in the Northwest.  The long days and warmer temperatures have turned our taste buds on to the lighter, crisper beers of the season and it’s with this in mind that Bellevue Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has released their first lager ever, a Bohemian Pilsner.

Perfect for those long Summer evenings and weekend barbecues, Bellevue Brewing’s own John Robertson believes it to be one of the best representations of the style that he’s ever tasted.

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Bob’s Brown Ale BBQ Fundraiser Coming In July

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If you’re from the Seattle area and you enjoy Georgetown Brewing Company‘s beers, then there’s a good chance you know the story behind Bob’s Brown Ale.  For those of you who aren’t aware, Bob’s Brown Ale is a special beer that Georgetown brews just once a year, in honor of their dearly departed friend, Charles ‘Bob’ Hirsch.  Bob was a child fighting cancer at Ronald McDonald House and Georgetown’s own Manny Chao was Bob’s camp counselor at Camp Goodtimes.

After Bob lost his battle, Georgetown wanted to help others in need.  So they donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of Bob’s Brown Ale each year to the Ronald McDonald Charities of Western Washington and Alaska.  For this special event, The Westin Bellevue is donating all of their proceeds for this special release of Bob’s Brown to Ronald McDonald House Charities as well.

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Bellevue Brewing’s SIPA Arrives On April 1st

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The return of Spring in the Northwest brings with it a desire to enjoy more beers outside.  This wonderfully warm and early Spring we’ve been having is beginning to turn my palate away from all those dark, silky, luscious Stouts and Porters and back towards the hoppy goodness of IPAs.  I just want to sit out on a patio on a nice, sunny day and enjoy a pint.

Many of the IPAs I seem to enjoy the most are Double/Imperial IPAs, meaning they are both hoppier and higher in alcohol than most single IPAs.  There’s something about that extra hop and alcohol punch that really agrees with my taste buds.  Of course, there are other times where I still want the hops, but I want something lighter than I can enjoy more than just one or two of before having to stop.  That’s where the ‘Session’ IPA (SIPA) comes in.

Often a Seasonal offering (though I did just recently tell you about Firestone Walker’s Easy Jack, which is now available year round), Session IPAs are more prevalent in the Spring and Summer months.  Now, Bellevue Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is set to release their Session IPA.

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Early With Bellevue Brewing Company

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Are you feeling Irish yet?  Everyone has a bit ‘o the Irish in ’em on St. Patrick’s Day.  Unfortunately it’s on a Tuesday this year so, if you’re usually one to overdo it a bit on St. Pat’s, you’ll have to try to control yourself a bit, especially if you have to work the next day.  Or will you?  Read on.

Traditionally, and contrary to popular modern belief, St. Patrick’s Day is not primarily about drinking.  The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.  It’s that ‘celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish in general’ that leads people to think that, since the Irish have acquired a bit of a reputation or rather stereotype as a people who really enjoy drinking.

The stereotype isn’t necessarily wrong.  According to 2012 figures, annual beer consumption is 98.3 liters per person in Ireland.  The only countries with higher figures are Poland, Estonia, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.  The U.S. is farther down the list with an average of 77.1 liters per person.

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Scotch Ale Returns In Bottles From Bellevue Brewing

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I enjoy a good Wee Heavy Scotch Ale when I can get one.  The rich, malty and slightly smoky/peaty full flavor doesn’t agree with everyone but, when they’re made right, Scotch Ales are quite delicious.  The problem is, not a whole lot of local breweries make a Scotch Ale with any regularity.  One of my favorites from breweries in the Northwest is Fat Scotch from Silver City Brewing Company out on the Olympic peninsula.  It’s especially good when you can get the more rare Fat Woody Scotch (bourbon barrel aged).

Another locally made Scotch Ale that’s very high on my list is the one from Bellevue Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor), which also comes in a more rare bourbon barrel aged variety.  Unfortunately, it’s not quite bourbon barrel time yet (in bottles at least – the bourbon barrel aged version is on tap at the brewery right now but won’t be for long!), but the regular version of Bellevue Brewing’s Scotch Ale will be making its return in bottles on February 20th.  This is one of Bellevue Brewing’s flagship beers (meaning that it’s always on tap at Bellevue Brewing), and the only flagship beer they bottle seasonally.  Their other seasonally bottled beers include their Rye IPA and their Winter Ale (Summer & Winter, respectively).

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Bellevue Brewing’s CDA Returns

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Cascadian Dark Ale is a relatively new craft beer style.  The first ones stated showing up in the early 2000’s and, at the time, many of them were were referred to as a “Black IPA” – somewhat of an oxymoron (is it black or is it pale (the ‘P’ in IPA)?).  Personally, I’ve always thought they should be called IBA (India Black Ale), since they are, essentially, a dark version of the traditional IPA (with some variations, of course), but that’s another discussion.

Regardless of what you call them, Cascadian Dark Ales (CDAs) have become a popular style across the Northwest and indeed the craft beer World at large and several local breweries make great examples of the style.  One such brewery is Bellevue Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor), whose version was called the best CDA in the Pacific Northwest in 2013 by SIP Northwest Magazine.  Making it’s return for 2015, Bellevue Brewing’s CDA will return one week from today on Thursday, February 19th.

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Two Beers Creates Prosperity IPA To Benefit Whole Planet Foundation

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Craft beer cares.  Two Beers Brewing Company has created a new beer, Prosperity IPA.  This special ale was created to benefit Whole Planet Foundation, a non-profit organization started by Whole Foods Market to help poor and needy people around the world.  From Whole Planet Foundation’s website:

Whole Planet Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization established by Whole Foods Market. We provide grants to microfinance institutions in Latin America, Africa and Asia who in turn develop and offer microenterprise loan programs, training and other financial services to the self-employed poor.

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