Homebrewing is a big part of the craft beer World. In fact, many of today’s professional brewers started out as homebrewers themselves before launching their professional breweries. Many homebrewers enjoy entering their creations into local and national homebrew competitions. Winning an award for your homebrew is always a great feeling. I’ve won a few myself in my homebrewing days (though I’m between systems right now).
What if winning meant more than just a ribbon or certificate? What if winning meant that your beer could be scaled up, brewed on a professional brewing system and made available for commercial sale? Well that’s exactly what Counterbalance Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and Sound Homebrew Supply are doing with their Really Big Georgetown Pro-Am Homebrew Competition.
Now, with February almost upon us, Counterbalance Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor), is getting ready to celebrate their 3rd anniversary with 2 days of celebration and 2 beer releases, including their first ever Barleywine: Flight Risk.
People sometimes get confused about Counterbalance Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor). Based on their name, many people assume they’re located on Queen Anne hill. That’s where you’ll find the counterbalance, one of the steepest slopes in all of Seattle, and definitely the tallest. It increases in elevation by 450 feet in a span of just eight blocks.
Despite their name, however, Counterbalance Brewing is located in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, right next door to Sound Homebrew supply (503 S Michigan St, Suite B). Founders Jeff Howell and Frank Lawrence selected the name because they both grew up on Queen Anne hill.
People are sometimes confused by the location of Counterbalance Brewing Company. Based on the name most locals assume, understandably, that they would be in or near the Queen Anne neighborhood. They are not. Counterbalance is, in the West end of Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. They went with the Counterbalance name because that’s where founders Frank Lawrence and Jeff Howell grew up.
Now that you know where they are, why not come for a visit this weekend and help them welcome the return of Fall? Coming up this Sunday the 24th, Counterbalance Brewing will host a release party for their Oktoberfestbier and Fresh Hop Ale. Come join them for these two new releases while watching the Seattle Seahawks beat the Tennessee Titans.
I never used to be a big fan of the can. Like most of you, I’m sure, I prefer to get my beers on tap whenever possible. When it’s not possible, the bottle was and in many cases still is my favorite choice. However, there can be no denying that cans have made a comeback in a big, big way. They’re lighter, more portable, won’t break like glass bottles and they’re easy to pack out if you want to bring some beers long for a hiking or camping trip.
Many breweries have started canning recently and now Counterbalance Brewing Company is teaming up with the new Beer Star in White Center for the official release of their first canned beers. First up for the can treatment are Counterbalance IPA and Raconteur Rye Pale Ale.
I’ve always been an advocate for Seattle’s South end breweries. Living in the South end myself I, of course, spend a lot of time at these places and enjoy seeing them succeed. A couple of years back I penned an article with some great reasons to visit Seattle’s South end breweries and, earlier this year, I told you about the newly formed South Seattle Brewery Coalition.
Aging Stouts in Whiskey barrels is nothing new. Breweries have been doing it for years and indeed Whiskey and Bourbon barrel aged Stouts are some of my favorites. This time, however, things went a bit in the other direction. 2bar Spirits used the actual mash bill from Counterbalance’s Kushetka Imperial Stout to produce this particular Whiskey, then aged it for 2 years in 2bar Whiskey barrels.
Since I live in the South end, I’ve been a bit of an advocate for Seattle’s many South end breweries. Back in 2015 I even published an article encouraging craft beer lovers to check out all of the breweries in SoDo, Georgetown, South Park and Columbia City. As I pointed out in that article, the South end rivals Ballard for the sheer number of breweries you can visit, albeit spread out a bit more than the concentration in Ballard.
In order to continue encouraging craft beer fans to visit Seattle’s South end breweries, they have come together to form the South Seattle Brewery Coalition (SSBC), which encourages you to “be disloyal” and drink someone else’s beer. According to the SSBC: “We love challenging one another to make better beer, to provide more excellent service, and to better educate the wonderful people who have chosen to support our businesses.”
I’m not generally big on making new year’s resolutions. I know a few people who sometimes do though, and those resolutions often revolve around some type of fitness goal like losing a few pounds, starting a new exercise routine, eating better, that kind of thing. I even know a few people who decided to make January a dry month this year, where they would not drink for the whole month.
I wouldn’t necessarily call it a resolution but, this year, I’ve decided that I’ll be doing a dry February (well – January 26th to February 25th). That means 30 days of no drinking. At the same time, I’m trying to motivate myself to work out a bit more often than I do now and see if I can drop a few pounds.
Of course, you don’t have to eliminate alcohol from your diet to attain your fitness goals. In fact, some studies have even shown that beer can be quite effective as a post-workout recovery beverage. Perhaps that’s part of what motivated Happy Hour Fitness NW to start their Pilates & Pints program. It sounds like a great way to combine your drive for working out with your craft beer-related social life in a comfortable and familiar setting.
How would you like to visit five of Seattle’s South end breweries, have some poker-themed fun and help out Washington Wild and Brewshed Alliance at the same time? Sound too good to be true? Well Washington Wild is making it a reality as Poker N’ Pints returns to South Seattle on February 18th.
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.