Is it really getting to be that time already? Summer, especially in Seattle, always seems so darn short. A couple of weeks ago I was already seeing pumpkin beers appearing on craft beer store shelves and now, here come the Oktoberfest announcements. Don’t get me wrong. I love Fall and the Seasonal craft styles that come along with it, but it’s a bittersweet reminder that the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer and Summer is starting to fade.
Of course, as I just mentioned, Fall’s arrival also means Oktoberfest biers and Oktoberfest celebrations. The Märzen/Oktoberfest style is probably my favorite style of Lager. Sure, a well made Pilsner is great on a hot Summer day, but I love the more toasty malt flavors of a good Märzen. If you’re also a fan of a good Märzen and other German/European styles (Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen, Kölsch, Vienna Lager, Roggenbier, etc.) then you’ll want to mark your calendar for September 16th and this year’s Ballard Oktoberfest.
There are quite a few breweries and craft beer bars right in Seattle, North of Seattle and East of Seattle. South of Seattle though, until you get down closer to Tacoma, breweries and even craft beer bars become more sparse and difficult to find. As far as breweries south of Seattle city limits go, we’ve got Odin in Tukwila, Elliott Bay in Burien and Airways Brewing (CBM Sponsor) in Kent (plus Strong Arm, Four Generals and Herbert B. Friendly in Renton).
Some things just go together, like peanut butter and jelly, chicken and waffles, meat and cheese. The best pairing for us craft beer lovers, however, might just be the partnership between craft breweries and food trucks. It’s the perfect arrangement for breweries that don’t serve their own food, as well as for the food trucks. Brewery patrons don’t have to leave the brewery to go eat or worry about bringing their own food, and the food trucks get a steady supply of customers who need something to accompany those tasty craft beers they just ordered.
For some breweries, like Bale Breaker Brewing Company in Yakima, having food trucks is especially important because there aren’t a lot of food options right nearby. That’s why Bale Breaker has arranged to have food trucks at the brewery 6 days a week, all summer long through Labor Day.
Each year around this time, there’s a big party out in Redmond. If you’re a fan of Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor), then you know that I’m referring, of course, to their annual Flock Party anniversary celebration.
Set to take place on Saturday, May 6th from noon – 7 pm, this year’s Flock Party will include live music, plenty of ‘rare birds’ (rare and unique Black Raven beers, including some Tiki-drink inspired infusions this year), food, a retail merchandise booth and even an outdoor cigar lounge/booth. Well-behaved and leashed dogs will also be welcome and, if you run short on cash, there will be an ATM on site.
We’re fortunate in the Seattle area to have such a plethora of craft beer festivals to attend, pretty much year-round. In addition to being a great way to enjoy and share our love of craft beer, many of these festivals also serve to benefit various non-profit organizations and other worthy causes. Well, get ready for one more festival in town as Elysian Brewing Company prepares to host the first ever Search Party this July at the Seattle Center.
This one-day festival will be a celebration of beer, food, music and the arts, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting The Vera Project. With music and the arts no longer part of the core curriculum at many schools, it’s more important than ever to find other ways to cultivate a love of music and the arts in young people and to provide the necessary skills to pursue careers in those fields. That’s what The Vera Project does. According to their Mission Statement: “The Vera Project fuels personal and community transformation through collaborative, youth-driven engagement in music and art.”
What do you do when you’re a firefighter with a passion for craft beer and you’re looking for a hobby to keep you busy in your down-time? You start homebrewing, of course. At least that’s how things got started for Top Rung Brewing Company founders, Jason Stoltz and Casey Sobol.
First opened in April of 2014, Jason and Casey launched Top Rung to fill a need they saw for more craft beer choices in the Olympia area. Now, they’re preparing for their third anniversary celebration.
Sumerian Brewing Company has a lot on their plate right now. They continue to add new accounts, so you can now find their beers at 9 Costco locations, Xfinity Arena, 7-11, Haggen stores and Safeway stores, in addition to your local craft bottle shop. They’ve also worked to get their beers onto Washington State ferries and will also be one of several local craft beer choices available at Safeco Field for the coming 2017 Seattle Mariners season (watch for a Mariners 2017 Season Food & Drink preview coming in early April).
In addition, Sumerian is preparing for their 2nd Anniversary celebration and have also started to release their first canned beers thanks to their new canning line. The first of their beers up in cans will be Hopruption – formerly known as Eruption Double IPA.
If you’re a regular reader here at Craft Beer Monger then you’ve heard me say this before, but there aren’t too many breweries out there for which I can honestly say they don’t make a single beer I don’t enjoy. Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is on that rather short list. I don’t think I’m alone in that respect either. Go to any of our many local beer festivals and, if Black Raven is there, you’ll be able to spot them from the long line of craft beer fans waiting to get a taste.
It’s hard to believe they’ve only been around for just under 7 years. In that relatively short time they’ve amassed an extensive and impressive Beerfolio, with beers available to suit anyone’s taste and now, it’s time to celebrate that impressive lineup at Black Raven Brewing’s 7th Annual Flock Party.
Summer is almost here, and that means it’s time for the return of Food Truck Fridays (and now Saturdays) down at The Woods – the shared tasting room for Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and Seattle Cider Company. Starting today, Friday, June 13th, and running through Saturday, September 27th, a different food truck will be at The Woods each Friday and Saturday, so you can grab some food while you’re enjoying a few beers or ciders inside the taproom or out on the patio.
There’ll be something for everyone including: BBQ, Crepes, Tacos/Mexican, Falafel, Lumpia and much, much more. So check the schedule below and find out on which Friday/Saturday you’ll be able to find your favorite food truck down at The Woods.