I’ve been a Washingtonian for nearly 20 years now. I love the Washington craft beer scene and the plethora of wonderful craft breweries in the state, but some of my favorite breweries are still from California. One such brewery is Firestone Walker Brewing Company out of Paso Robles, CA.
Each year since their 10th Anniversary, Firestone Walker has released a special Anniversary Ale. They hold an annual blending session, with both brewers and winemakers in attendance, in order to craft the perfect blend for each year’s Anniversary Ale offering. Now, Firestone Walker is preparing to release the latest version: XXI Anniversary Ale.
Brewed with over 400 pounds of Centennial Hops fresh off the bine at Goschie Farms (less than 2 hours from hop field to brew kettle!), Green Haze is about as fresh as you can get and should bring those grassy, Earthy notes you’d expect from a well made Centennial Fresh Hop Pale.
Ninkasi Brewing Company out of Eugene Oregon puts out some excellent craft brews, including several different IPAs. I really enjoy their Total Domination IPA and Tricerahops Double IPA, as well as their Hop Cooler Citrus IPA; and don’t forget about their Maiden The Shade Summer IPA, which I told you about just last week.
With Summer right around the corner, Ninkasi has decided to pull together a few of their most popular IPAs into the Summer IPA Variety Pack. An easy way to please the hopheads in your life, this variety pack will include four different Ninkasi IPAs: Total Domination, Dawn Of The Red, Beer Run and Hop Cooler.
Collaboration beers have become so popular that they have even inspired the creation of collaboration-focused festivals such as the Washington Beer Collaboration Festival (Aug. 19, 2017). Now, I’ve learned about yet another new series of collaborations taking place in what has been dubbed the Bottle Shop Collaboration Project. 11 Seattle area bottle shops are teaming up with several local craft breweries to create some special collaborative releases.
Back in November of last year, I told you aboutReuben’s Brews‘ Hop Idol homebrew contest. As a call back to the homebrewing roots of founder Adam Robbings, Reuben’s Brews held this homebrew competition as a means to help inspire other homebrewers to chase their own brewery dreams.
Entrants could submit up to 5 entries each and all entries were due by January 17th. The judging took place the week of January 21st and now Reuben’s Brews is ready to announce the winner who will get to brew their beer with Reuben’s and see it distributed throughout Western Washington. The winning beer will also be entered into the Washington Beer Awards Pro-Am competition as well as the Great American Beer Festival.
There are lots of great craft breweries in the Seattle area, and many of those breweries were founded by people who started off as homebrewers before making the leap to professional brewer. Adam Robbings, founder of Reuben’s Brews is one of them.
As a call back to Adam’s homebrewing roots, Reuben’s Brews has announced a homebrew competition as a means to help inspire other homebrewers to chase their own brewery dreams. The winner will receive a cash prize but, more importantly, will brew their winning homebrew with the crew at Reuben’s Brews and see their beer on tap at Reuben’s and in limited distribution around the Northwest. So fire up those brewing kettles and bring out your very best homebrew recipes, because (in my best Ryan Seacrest immitation) this… is Hop Idol!
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.
It’s really been amazing to watch Seattle Cider Company grow so fast. First launched in August of 2013 by Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) founder Joel VandenBrink, Seattle Cider has continued to ramp up production and expand distribution. By August of 2015, they had increased production to over 23,000 barrels annually and expanded to more than ten states across the U.S.
Now, Seattle Cider Company is ready to expand distribution yet again. They have partnered with Missouri distributor, Major Brands, and starting on February 16th of this month, you’ll be able to find Seattle Cider Company Ciders across Missouri.
Payette Brewing Company‘s founder Mike Francis has spent plenty of time in Seattle. A former industrial engineer for Boeing, Francis left the corporate life to work on his associate’s degree in Brewing Technology at the Siebel Institute in Chicago. After earning his degree, he spent some time brewing for Seattle’s Schooner Exact Brewing Company.
He left the Seattle area after working for Schooner Exact to head back to his home town of Boise, Idaho and in 2010 Payette Brewing was born. Now, Francis is ready to make his return to Seattle, when Payette beers debut here next month.