Beer Camp Across The World Kicks Off In June

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was one of the first craft breweries I discovered years ago when I made the switch from bland, mass-produced lagers to the wonderful World of craft beer.  They’ve been at it since all the way back in 1979 – just one year after homebrewing became legal again at the Federal level in the U.S. (Thank you very much Jimmy & Billy Carter!)

One of Sierra Nevada’s biggest annual events these days is their popular Beer Camp, which first made it’s debut back in 2014. Dubbed the largest craft beer celebration around, Beer Camp 2017 is going Worldwide this year.  They’ve collaborated with 6 U.S. based craft breweries and 6 overseas craft breweries. Now, they’re preparing to take it on the road.  They’ll be hitting 8 major U.S. cities starting on June 3rd and ending with a bang in Seattle on June 30th.

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The PNA Summer Beer Taste Happens This Weekend

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Many of Seattle’s neighborhoods are tight knit communities.  Each is different in its own way and in the Phinney neighborhood, the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) helps bring the community together.  In their own words, the PNA exists to: “Build, engage and support our diverse community through programs, services and activities that connect neighbors and foster civic engagement.”

One of the best ways I know of to help connect the people in a community is an outdoor social gathering, and what better social gathering than a beer tasting?  Coming up this Saturday, July 23rd is the 10th Annual PNA Summer Beer Taste.

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2016 US Open Beer Championship Winners

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The winners have just been announced for the 2016 US Open Beer Championship.  Unique in it’s format, the US Open Beer Championship is the only brewing competition to allow award winning home brewers to compete against commercial breweries Worldwide.  Beers from 95 different categories (including non-alcoholic) were ranked and the top 10 breweries and medal winners were also listed.

Four different breweries from Washington State took home awards, including: Reuben’s Brews, Heathen Brewing Company, Icicle Brewing Company and a sweep in the gluten free category by Ghostfish Brewing Company.  Congratulations to all the winners.  I’d also like to offer a special congratulations one of my favorite breweries, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, for being named National Grand Champion (details below).

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Pike No. 4 Session IPA Is Here For The Summer

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Most craft beer drinkers I know enjoy a good IPA or double IPA, and lord knows we have an abundance of great IPAs to choose from, especially here in the Northwest.  Trying to find a brewery or craft beer bar around here without an IPA on tap would be an exercise in futility.

Now, with those long Summer evenings upon us, it feels like we have a few more hours in the day to enjoy all those IPAs.  The problem is, too many strong single or double IPAs and you’ll go down long before the Sun does.  The solution, of course, is the Session IPA.  Session IPAs are designed to be hoppy on the palate but are lower in alcohol, allowing you to enjoy a few more without feeling like it’s time for bed.

Pike Brewing Company understand this so, back for the Summer is their Seasonal release: Pike No. 4 Session IPA.  This light and refreshing IPA comes in at just 4.2% ABV, meaning you can throw back a few more while enjoying the game or tossing some meat on the grill, and still be the life of the party.

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The Beer Junction Celebrates Their 6th Anniversary

 

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Finding a good tap and bottle shop around Seattle isn’t all that difficult.  We’re fortunate to have several options for where to go beer shopping while enjoying a few pints on tap at the same time.  One of those places that stands out for me in particular, however, is The Beer Junction in West Seattle.  Offering Seattle’s largest selection of more than 1,300+ different beers (plus cider and mead) and an incredible 70 taps of beer, cider, mead and wine, The Beer Junction has become my favorite after-work destination to enjoy a few cold ones from their always excellent and diverse tap selection and check out what’s new in bottles and cans.

Each year, as their anniversary approaches, The Beer Junction teams up with a local brewery to create a special anniversary beer to help them celebrate.  Last year it was Cinq Houblon, a Saison brewed by Sound Brewing out on the Kitsap peninsula.  The year before that it was Black Sands Coconut Cream Imperial Stout, from Fort George Brewing in Astoria, Oregon.  I’m still aging a bottle of that one in my cellar at home.

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The Pacific Northwest Cider Awards Return To Seattle Cider Co. This Month – UPDATED

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Back in 2014, I told you about the first annual Pacific Northwest Cider Awards (PNWCA), hosted at Seattle Cider Company‘s taproom: The Woods.  It was a great success and returned for its 2nd year in June 2015.  Now, here we are in June of 2016 and the PNWCA is returning for it’s third and biggest year yet.

“Growing every year, the Pacific Northwest Cider Awards has received more than 180 cider entries in 15 categories from 44 cideries found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia. PNWCA raises awareness for the unique ciders being produced throughout the region while offering an easy way for the public to explore the world of cider.”

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Firestone Walker Celebrates 20 Years With Nitro DBA

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Firestone Walker Brewing Company makes some delicious beers.  Their Parabola is one of my all time favorites and their Double Jack is one of my top (if not my top) IPAs.  Also, in case you weren’t aware, the 2016 release of Stickee Monkee is out now.  Hurry and grab yourself a bottle before it’s all gone.

Another beer from Firestone Walker that is very popular is their flagship DBA (Double Barrel Ale).  They also made a special version called Double DBA for a couple of years, but it has since been discontinued.  Now, Firestone Walker is ready to bring us another DBA variant.  This week, they are launching Nitro DBA as a new year round draft offering in all Firestone Walker markets, including Seattle.

Also, to help celebrate their 20th Anniversary this year, Firestone is releasing Unfiltered DBA (UDBA), a 100-percent oak fermented and unfiltered version of DBA, which will be available in all Firestone Walker markets for a limited time.  Get it while you can.

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BrewDad’s Of Bonney Lake Opens In July

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The craft beer scene in the Puget Sound is rather large, so there are a number of different writers out there covering it.  Beyond Craft Beer Monger, of course, we have the Washington Beer Blog, Northwest Beer Guide, Northwest Brewing News, Two Brew Review, BrewDad and many more.

Each of these writers, including myself, have a passion for great craft beer.  Now, BrewDad writer Mike Besser is taking his passion for great craft beer beyond writing and opening up his own tap and bottle shop.  Next month, Northwest Caps & Taps in Bonney Lake will become BrewDad’s of Bonney Lake.

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The Washington Brewer’s Festival Happens This Weekend

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It’s that ‘Dads and Grads’ time of year.  I hope you’ve found the perfect Father’s Day or graduation gift for that special beer lover in your life.  If not then perhaps they’d enjoy a visit to the Washington Brewer’s Festival.  Hosted by the Washington Beer Commission and presented this year by Total Wine & More, the Washington Brewer’s Festival kicks off this Friday, June 17th and runs through Sunday the 19th at Marymoor Park in Redmond.

This all-ages festival is a celebration of craft brewing in Washington State and features over 110 Washington State breweries pouring over 500 different craft beers for you to enjoy.  Whether you attend just one day or all three, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy.  Feeling extra adventurous?  Starting this year, there’s a Washington Beer 5K on Sunday the 19th.  There’s also a full lineup of food trucks, live music, a brewer’s keg toss, a kid’s play area (Saturday & Sunday only), and even a Rootbeer garden.

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Hochzeit Pilsner & Beaktweaker IPA Are Returning From Black Raven

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With the warmer weather we’ve been having lately (today’s forecasted rain notwithstanding), most craft beer drinkers are in the mood for something a bit lighter and/or hoppier.  With Summer just over two weeks away, there are lots of Summer Seasonal beers returning to fulfill those cravings.  Two such returning beers are Hochzeit Pilsner and Beaktweaker Citrus IPA, both from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).

Hochzeit is a traditional Plisner, brewed with Czech malt and Domestic and European hops for a clean and crisp taste.  Beaktweaker is a Citrus IPA that boasts bold citrus flavors, and is brewed with black lemon, orange peel and lemon peel.  Both of theses beers are great options for those warm Summer days ahead and both are arriving this month.

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