Firestone Walker Introduces Old Man Hattan

Most of the time when I’m drinking, I’m drinking craft beer. I sometimes enjoy a cocktail (or even just straight bourbon), and the occasional glass of wine or cider but, for the most part, craft beer is my go to. My enjoyment of good cocktails, bourbons and wines though is likely a big part of the reason I’m such a fan of barrel-aged beers. There’s just something about barrel-aging a craft beer that adds character and a complexity that simply can’t be achieved without the barrel aging.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a master of barrel aged beers and they’ve won many awards over the years for their multitude of barrel aged offerings – particularly those from their Proprietor’s Vintage series. They’ve also become more experimental over the past few years, trying new grains, new hops and new techniques and I applaud their daring and creativity. Now, Firestone Walker is set to release their newest barrel aged experiment: Old Manhattan. This multi barrel aged and blended Ale is designed to invoke the classic cocktails: the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.

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Cascade Brewing Releases Ocean Views Hazy Pale & Coastal Gose

I love a good Sour Ale. We’ve got a few breweries around the Sound producing some excellent sours (Urban Family Brewing and Engine House No. 9 are two that immediately come to mind) but, for me, the gold standard for sours from the Northwest is still Cascade Brewing Company out of Portland, Oregon.

For years, Cascade was the name that immediately sprang to mind whenever anyone asked about good sour ales from the Northwest, and with good reason. Cascade’s portfolio speaks for itself and now they’ve released their two latest creations: Ocean Views Hazy Pale and Coastal Gose. While it’s obviously not a Sour Ale, Ocean Views marks the first been Cascade has released in 16 oz cans, and it will see national distribution. Coastal Gose will release in 500ml bottles and will also be distributed nationwide.

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The West Seattle Beer & Music Festival Returns In August

I don’t live in West Seattle, but I do spend quite a bit of time there. It’s one of my favorite Seattle neighborhoods and offers a little something for everyone. There’s a lot to do down by the waterfront, the restaurant scene is great and the craft beer scene is on point with two of Seattle’s best craft beer bars: Beveridge Place Pub and The Beer Junction.

Last year’s first annual West Seattle Beer & Music Festival was a wonderful celebration of microbrews and music from the Northwest, and now it’s set to return for a second year at the Alki Masonic Center on August 23rd & 24th.

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Luponic Distortion No. 13 Uses A New Custom-Grown Hop

It’s been a few years now since Firestone Walker Brewing Company shook things up a bit, discontinuing their popular Double Jack IPA (along with a few other beers) and launching two different series of IPAs: Luponic Distortion and Leo v Ursus. I’ve tried each release from both of these series as they’ve arrived and I’ve enjoyed most of them very much.

I applaud Firestone Walker’s commitment to experimentation, and that enterprising spirit continues with the arrival of the latest beer in the Luponic Distortion Series: Luponic Distortion No. 13. This latest entry in the Luponic Distortion series features a custom-grown experimental hop, grown right here in our own Yakima Valley. According to Firestone’s Brewmaster Matt Brynildson, this new hop adds a distinctive and tropical character to Lucky No. 13.

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Eastside Beer Week Kicks Off In July

Seattle Beer Week has been running for over a decade now. This year’s festivities marked the 11th year for Seattle Beer Week and it shows no signs of slowing down. While it is, of course, Seattle based, Seattle Beer Week featured beers from all around the sound. However, Seattle Beer Week and all of the events surrounding it aren’t always that convenient for people who live over on the East side. So this July, get ready for the first annual Eastside Beer Week,

Like Seattle Beer Week, Eastside Beer Week (EBW) will be 10 days long, and is set to feature events at breweries and craft beer spots along the 1-405 corridor. If you don’t get over to the East side that often, you might not be aware that there are well over 30 breweries on the East side. I’ve been to most of them myself but not all, so this is an excellent excuse for me to visit those I haven’t been to yet. Mark your calendar now for the ‘week’ of July 12th to the 21st, and prepare to head East.

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Oktoberfest Northwest Tickets On Sale Now

Right now, Oktoberfest is probably the last thing on your mind. We’ve been having a great Spring and Summer is right around the corner so why, you might be asking yourself, is anyone thinking about Oktoberfest already?

Granted, Oktoberfest is quite a ways off at this point. However, if you want to make sure you can attend this year’s festivities, you’ll want to purchase your tickets before they sell out (especially VIP and Fest Stein & Beer Package tickets). That’s why, even though it’s only Spring, it’s a really good idea to purchase your tickets for Oktoberfest Northwest now. Buying early even gets you a discount. This year’s event is presented by Evergreen Eye Center.

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Fort George Partners With Cloudburst & Ruse For This Year’s 3-Way IPA

Do IPAs have a season? Years ago, I used to think of the IPA as a bit more of a Spring/Summer beer, but their unrelenting popularity and proliferation has allowed the IPA to defy any kind of seasonal constraints. As the #1 most popular, style of craft beer that makes sense and explains why it’s so easy to find IPAs on tap all the time, and pretty much anywhere you go.

Fort George Brewing Company out of Astoria, Oregon clearly understands this demand for IPAs. In addition to all their other great IPAs, each year since 2013 Fort George has searched for other breweries to collaborate with in order to bring us that wonderful IPA known as 3-Way. Now, in collaboration with Cloudburst Brewing Company and Ruse Brewing, this year’s 3-Way is ready to make its debut.

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Stoup Brewing Launching Crowlers

When you’re at a local craft brewery or craft beer bar and you find a beer on tap that you really enjoy, the first thing you usually want to know is whether or not they package that beer to go. As I’m sure most of you are aware, there are quite a few craft beers out there that don’t get bottled or canned – especially beers that are one-offs. That means, if you want to take some of that great new craft beer you just discovered home with you, your best bet is to see if the brewery or bar can fill you a growler to go.

Growlers are a great option and, varying opinions notwithstanding, I think they do their job quite well. However, using one means you’d have to already own one and remember to have brought it with you, or else you’ll need to spend a little at the brewery or bar (assuming the bar has some to sell) to purchase one before having it filled.

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Craft Beer Monger’s Picks For Seattle Beer Week 11

Even though I knew it was coming, Seattle Beer Week (SBW) kind of snuck up on me this year. I can’t believe it kicks off in just 2 days! There are a few events that happen each year that I usually attend so I’m set there. However, I didn’t find much time until this past weekend to look over the rest of this year’s SBW events and choose which ones I’d either like to attend myself and/or that I’d like to suggest to you. I’m here to fix that.

How about you? Have you found the time to look over the ever growing list of events on the official Seattle Beer Week website? If not, don’t worry. I took the time to read through the details of every event that’s been posted for this year’s festivities, and I’m here to give you my suggestions for the best events to pick from for Seattle Beer Week #11.  Here we go!

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Sam Adams Updates The Recipe For Their Summer Ale

Do you have any favorite recipes? If so, do you share them freely or do you keep them a secret? Colonel Sanders did everything he could to protect KFC’s secret blend of 11 herbs and spices, and Coca-Cola keeps their secret recipe in a pretty serious looking vault, which is actually on display at the World of Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta. In case you weren’t aware, recipes can’t be copyrighted, which is why KFC, Coke and many other companies go to such great lengths to keep their recipes secret.

Craft breweries may not protect their recipes as fiercely as KFC or Coke, but they still don’t usually make them public or easy to share. They’ll often let you know what hops they use, what malt(s) they use and even which strain of yeast they brewed the beer with but that’s mainly because, for many craft beer enthusiasts, knowing those things can influence their choices. However, unlike KFC or Coke who keep their recipes the same year after year (‘New Coke’ notwithstanding), breweries will sometimes alter the recipes for some of their favorite beers based on feedback from their customers or their own taste buds.

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