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.
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.
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.
Do you enjoy craft beer? Do you enjoy hiking, climbing and other outdoor activities? Do you enjoy buying your outdoor gear at a good price, all while helping raise funds for Washington’s National Park Fund (WNPF)? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has an event coming up this weekend you might be interested in.
This Sunday, April 20th, Two Beers Brewing kicks off their 4th Annual Beer + Gear sale to benefit WNPF. Last year they raised over $25k, and they’re hoping to outdo themselves this year. Don’t need any beer or new gear? No problem. You can still make a donation to help out WNPF. Details below.
Cycling is huge in the Northwest. Far more than just a recreational vehicle, bicycles are the primary mode of transportation for many people around the Puget Sound. That’s a big part of the reason that Chainline Brewing Company in Kirkland is so cycle/outdoor activities-focused. Their name was inspired by the active, outdoor lifestyles that are so prevalent in the Northwest and their brewery and taproom is located right next to the Cross-Kirkland’s bicycle corridor.
Now, I’m not much of a cyclist myself, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy their beers all the same. Their most popular offerings include their Tune Up IPA and their Polaris Pilsner, which won a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2017. Perhaps you’ll even find a few new favorites from Chainline this weekend, as they prepare to celebrate their 4th Anniversary with the release of 4 different styles of a Saison from their Old Growth Series and the return of some of their most popular offerings from the past.
I can remember when Urban Family Brewing Company wasn’t yet a brewing company. They were a craft beer bar on Ballard Ave NW, pretty much across the street from The Noble Fir. As a craft beer bar, I only visited them a couple of times before they closed and moved across Salmon Bay to their current location on 26th Avenue West in Magnolia.
I think Urban Family is a bit homesick for Ballard though. They’ve just announced that, later this year, they will be moving the brewery to a new location, back in Ballard. Sentiment isn’t the only reason for the move though. They’re starting to outgrow their current location, and their new spot in Ballard will give them more room to expand, including more space for barrel aging and additional outdoor seating.
Seattle is known for many different things. Two of the most prominent are, of course, coffee and craft beer. What some of you might not know, however, is that Seattle has a huge video game and comic book community. The annual PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) started here (which I used to report on annually when I wrote about video games), and Emerald City Comic Con has been happening every year since 2003. Last year’s attendance was over 95 thousand comic fans.
A few years back, Fremont Brewing Company partnered with ReedPOP, producer Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC), to create an ECCC-themed beer. The result was Dark Heron IPA. Now returning for its fourth year, Dark Heron features artwork by local Seattle artist Julia Reck and will be available on tap throughout ECCC’s run, and in cans for the first time.
How long can a duck stand on one leg? Well, the mascot for Counterbalance Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has been doing it for nearly 4 years now and he’s definitely ready to party. You may recall that Counterbalance’s Multipass IPA came in as one of the finalists during Novemberfest at Beveridge Place Pub late last year and now they have another Fifth Element inspired beer coming your way as they prepare to celebrate another trip around the sun.
Come join Counterbalance Brewing this Friday and Saturday, January 25th and 26th, as they celebrate their 4th Anniversary with some new and returning beer releases, including their 4th Anniversary Big Bada Boom Hazy Double Mango IPA and 2019 Bourbon Barrel Kushetka Imperial Stout aged in 2Bar Spirits Bourbon Barrels.
Sierra Nevada received an amazing response to their call. Over 1400 breweries nationwide brewed Resilience IPA and now, this coming Thursday, December 20th, all of those participating breweries will be hosting a Nationwide ‘Resilience Night’ for Camp Fire relief.
Are you a homebrewer? Do you think you’ve gotten pretty good at it? Do you think your beers are good enough to be brewed on a large scale, canned and sold to the craft beer masses here in Seattle? Then Ruben’s Brews has the contest for you. Returning for the third straight year, Reuben’s Brews presents: “Hop Idol”.
It’s time to refine your best hoppy recipes and hone your brewing techniques so you can put your best brew(s) forward. Don’t wait too long to start either, because the cutoff date for entries is February 27, 2019. It all comes down to you and your brew, because (Best Ryan Seacrest impersonaltion) THIS………. is Hop Idol!