The Washington Beer Collaboration Festival Happens This Weekend

It seems like I’ve been telling you about a lot of collaboration beers lately.  There was the Chainline & Georgetown ‘Bunk Beds’ collaboration project, the American Dream Collaboration Pack from Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada‘s collaboration with Brauhaus Miltenberger for the ultimate Oktoberfest bier, the Harvest Collaboration Series and Sesiones del Migrante collaboration from Bale Breaker Brewing and, of course, this year’s 3-Way IPA from Fort George, Reuben’s and Great Notion (which has been somewhat difficult to find this year).

With so many collaboration beers around, it seems like it would be a great idea to have a festival where you could sample several different collaboration beers all in one place.  Well, luckily for us, just such a festival is happening at the end of this week.  Coming up this Saturday, August 19th, is the 2017 Washington Beer Collaboration Festival, presented by the Washington Beer Commission.

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Bale Breaker announces the Harvest Collaboration Series

Collaborations are all the rage these days.  I recently told you about the Samuel Adams Brewing The American Dream Collaboration Pack and this year’s 3-Way IPA from Fort George Brewing (plus Great Notion Brewing and Reuben’s Brews) has been flying off shelves so fast that it’s been a bit difficult to find this year.

Now, Bale Breaker Brewing Company is ready to get in on the action.  They’ve partnered with Georgetown Brewing, Founders Brewing, Cloudburst Brewing and Pinthouse Pizza & Brewpub to create the Harvest Series Collaboration Series.  The beers have staggered release date from August through October.

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Sierra Nevada Partners With Brauhaus Miltenberger To Create The Ultimate Oktoberfest Beer

Images Courtesy Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

I wonder how many young craft beer drinkers today realize that they owe the wonderful proliferation of craft beer in the U.S., in small part, to President Jimmy Carter and his brother Billy.  On October 14th, 1978, spurred on by his brother Billy who was a homebrewer, Jimmy Carter signed a bill into law which allowed homebrewing of beer in the United States. Prior to this ruling, Sierra Nevada founders, Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi, had already been homebrewing in California’s Butte County.  When it became legal, however, they decided it was time to go pro and in 1979 Sierra Nevada Brewing Company as born in Chico.

Their first beer was the popular and iconic, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, followed soon after by Celebration IPA (now discontinued). Today, Sierra Nevada still brews many excellent and well known beers including: Torpedo Extra IPA, Otra Vez Gose, Hoptimum Triple IPA and, of course, their classic Bigfoot Barleywine plus, of course, their annual Beer Camp series of collaboration beers.  Now Sierra Nevada is ready to release their latest Seasonal creation.  This year, they have teamed up with Germany’s Brauhaus Miltenberger to create the ultimate Oktoberfest beer.

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Samuel Adams Announces The Brewing The American Dream Collaboration Pack

Collaboration beers have become quite popular in the craft beer World.  When some of your favorite breweries team up, it’s always exciting to see what new creations they’ll come up with.  This year’s 3-Way IPA from Fort George Brewery for example (brewed in collaboration with Reuben’s Brews and Great Notion Brewing), is so popular it’s been rather difficult to find this year.

Now Samuel Adams (The Boston Beer Company) is getting in on the collaboration action with their Brewing The Great American Dream Collaboration Pack.  This mixed pack will include five new collaboration beers, brewed Roc Brewing Co. (Rochester, NY), Bosque Brewing(Albuquerque, NM), ChuckAlek Independent Brewers (Ramona, CA), Woods Beer Co. (San Francisco, CA) and Brewery Rickoli (Wheat Ridge, CO), as well as their flagship Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

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Chainline Brewing & Georgetown Brewing Prepare To Release Their Bunk Beds Collaboration

The majority of the craft beer styles we all love to enjoy are Ales.  Pales, IPAs, Stouts, Porters, Browns, Barleywines, Kolschs, Saisons, Lambics and more are all types of Ales.  When most people think of Lagers, they tend to, unfortunately, think of beers like Budweiser, Miller, Corona and the like.  While these brands are lagers (mass-produced, low-quality adjunct Lagers), don’t forget that most classic German beers are also Lagers. They include such classic styles as: Pilsner, Märzen/Oktoberfest, Bock/Doppelbock, Maibock, Helles Lager, Rauchbier and more.

There are also more American style Lagers such as Malt Liquor, Steam Beer (such as Anchor Steam*), Imperial Pilsner as well as Pale Lager and India Pale Lager, which are primarily intended to be lighter bodied versions of their Ale counterparts.  Creating a Pale Lager or India Pale Lager is quite similar to creating a Pale Ale or India Pale Ale, the main difference being the type of yeast used and, of course, the fermentation temperature.  Ales like things a bit warmer (mid to high 60’s), while Lagers like things a bit cooler (mid to high 30’s).

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Bramling Cross Hosts A Beer Feast With Fremont Brewing

Ethan Stowell’s Bramling Cross restaurant is betting you’ll still have some energy and a hearty appetite left over after the end of Seattle Beer Week (SBW) on May 14th.  That’s because just one day after SBW 2017 wraps up, on Monday, May 15th, they’ll be hosting a beer feast featuring beers from Fremont Brewing Company.

This evening of gastronomic delights, which Bramling Cross has described as a family-style feast, will feature several tasty selections from Chef Travis Post, all expertly paired with six different beers from Fremont Brewing Company.

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Lowercase Brewing Prepares For Their 3rd Anniversary – UPDATED

 

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Lowercase Brewing Company first opened their doors back in early 2014 in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood, sharing a building with another South Park newcomer, Burdick Brewing Company.  If you’ve been following their stories, however, then you know that both breweries had to close their taprooms last year due to prohibitively expensive building upgrades the city demanded to keep the taprooms open in that location.

Burdick simply closed their taproom and decided to go the production brewery route.  Lowercase Brewing, however, wanted to keep their taproom up and running so they started looking for a new location, which they found on Airport Way in Georgetown.  After a few delays with permits and such, Lowercase was finally able to open their new taproom last November.  The brewery itself stayed at their original location in South Park, allowing them to install an even lager brewing system and increase their capacity.  Incidentally, I have also heard rumblings that Burdick Brewing might be looking for a new taproom location as well.  I’ll keep you posted.

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Deschutes Brewery & Bendistillery Release Black Butte Whiskey

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Deschutes Brewery out of Bend and Portland Oregon puts out a wide variety of Ales.  Their most recognizable beers include Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale, Jubelale and, of course, their Black Butte Porter – both the regular and the annually-released, barrel-aged version.

The barrel-aged version of Black Butte is a bit different each year and can include additions like chilies, cranberries, orange peel, figs, vanilla beans or any number of other special ingredients.  I particularly enjoyed this year’s release of Black Butte XXVIII.  It had smooth well-blended flavors of vanilla and cocoa with just a touch of smoke, giving you a feel for the barrel the beer spent 12 months maturing in.

Now Deschutes has teamed up with Bendistillery, the same distillery that created the Crater Lake line of spirits, to bring to us a project 20 years in the making: Black Butte Whiskey.  Double distilled from the wash of Black Butte Porter, it sort of brings things full circle.

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STiVO Is Coming From Firestone Walker & Russian River

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Most craft beer enthusiasts have at least a few favorite breweries.  I have several but two of my favorite breweries are Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Russian River Brewing Company, both from California.  Unfortunately, Russian River stopped distributing to Washington state a couple of years ago; right around the time our state liquor laws changed and places like BevMo and Total Wine & More moved in.  Personally, I miss their wonderful sours more than I miss Pliny The Elder (and Pliny The Younger).

One of Russian River’s reasons for halting distribution to Washington was due to the changes in our state laws (I heard rumors that BevMo wanted to try and buy out Russian River’s entire supply of Pliny The Elder the year they moved into Washington).  However, it was also a financial as well as a supply and demand issue.  The last Russian River Brewing Company beers were shipped to Washington in December 2012.

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Get Your Tickets Now For The Washington Beer Collaboration Festival – UPDATED

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Nobody likes to see craft breweries fighting with each other.  Unfortunately, however, disputes occasionally arise between breweries over beer names, label designs and other issues relating to intellectual property rights.  Craft breweries are businesses after all, and must sometimes act to protect themselves.  Thankfully, most of the time these disagreements are resolved amicably rather than through litigation and, in some cases, have even led to craft breweries collaborating with each other to produce a new beer.

Now, collaborative beers are everywhere.  Avery Brewing and Stone Brewing gave us Collaboration Not Litigation (a strong, dark Belgian ale they collaborated on after discovering they had both named a beer ‘Salvation‘), Elysian Brewing did  collaboration beer with The Bruery and Stone Brewing called La Citrueille Céleste de Citracado (an Amber Ale with pumpkins, yams, rye, toasted fenugreek, birch bark, and lemon verbena) as well as a whole series of collaborative beers dubbed the ‘Trip‘ series with New Belgium Brewing, and Fort George Brewing has had great success with their 3-Way IPA series, collaborating with different breweries for each iteration.

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