Sierra Nevada Brews Resilience IPA For Camp Fire Relief

 

The fires this year in California have been devastating – particularly the one known as the Camp Fire.  Entire communities have disappeared and thousands have been displaced.  It is also the deadliest wildfire in California state history, with the death toll reaching at least 81 people – and that number is expected to rise as the number of missing/unaccounted for people is still over 870 people.

Fortunately, I don’t know anyone directly affected by the fire(s) (though I do have relatives in Chico – where it got pretty close!), but I know a few people who have family and/or friends who have lost their homes.  It’s a heartbreaking situation, but Sierra Nevada Brewing Company wants to help.

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Breakside Rounds Out 2018 With Quiescence

Breakside Brewery out of Portland Oregon has a pretty diverse portfolio.  I’ve had quite a few of their beers over the years; everything from their IPAs to their Stouts and Sours and, for the most part, they’ve been pretty solid.

More recently, Breakside has been working to expand their barrel-aged Sour program.  Perhaps you’ve had their In the City of Flowers or their popular Qualia (one of my favorites of the series).  Now, as 2018 draws to a close, Breakside is preparing to release Quiescence – a blend of 13 casks of wood-aged sour beer aged for 12 months in Archery Summit Pinot Noir barrels.

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Two Beers Prepares For Their 11th Anniversary

The story of Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is one I’ve been following for a long time.  I can still remember when the taproom had just a few stools and couldn’t hold more than a few people.  Today, Two Beers Brewing Company – along with their sister companies, Seattle Cider Company and Sound Seltzer Company – boasts a huge, inviting taproom with 24 taps of beer, cider and seltzer (plus a cider slushie machine), pub games (billiards, foosball, darts, shuffleboard, etc.), a beautiful patio and a food service window run by the folks from Bread And Circuses.

There was some concern in the local craft beer community when, back in 2016, Two Beers Brewing Company and Seattle Cider Company were acquired by the Agrial Group, a leading French agri-business cooperative. Since that acquisition, however, I haven’t noticed any drop in the quality of their products, and they’ve even started expanding their portfolio – releasing lots of new beers this year including what I think may have been their best IPA yet, What A Time To Be Alive hazy fresh hop IPA.  Now Two Beers is prepared to celebrate their 11th Anniversary with another new release: This Goes to 11 Birthday Cake IPA.

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Mr. Heron Goes To Montana

Seattle is a city that’s just bursting at the seams with craft breweries.  No matter were you are in the city, you’re likely not more than a few stones throws away from a craft brewery.  With so many breweries to choose from though, how do you decide who the standouts are?  How do you know which breweries to recommend to people here for a visit or those asking about which Seattle breweries they need to keep an eye on?

Two factors that can help you decide are, of course, the quality of the beers the brewery is putting out, and the demand for those beers whenever there’s a new release.  By those two measures, among others, Fremont Brewing Company has become one of Seattle’s best known breweries, even outside of Washington.  Many of their beers, particularly their barrel-aged offerings, have caught the attention of craft beer lovers both near and far. They even have a super secret society of members who “solemnly swear to devote themselves to the pursuit of the finest beers that ever were” – the Heron Hunting Club.  Fremont Brewing already distributes their beers to 6 states, including Washington, and now they’re ready to expand into Montana with the help of Hayden Beverage Company.

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Splinters Returns From Black Raven Brewing

More often than not in the craft beer World, it seems like hops are the big stars.  Much of this is due to the fact that IPA is still king when it comes to craft beer and, while I still enjoy drinking IPAs through the Fall and Winter, I really start to appreciate the complex malt character of less hop forward beers like Stouts, Porters and Scotch Ales to name a few.  I also enjoy many beers that have been barrel aged in Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch or other barrels and, let’s face it, there aren’t that many barrel aged IPAs out there (though they do exist).

I’m also rather picky about my Scotch Ales.  There are only a few locally made Scotch Ales that I really enjoy, and one of them is Second Sight from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).  Now, Black Raven is preparing to release Second Sight’s more mature brother, Splinters Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale.

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Smoked Porter Turns 30 As Alaskan Brewing Prepares to Debut Their Expanded Taproom

Fall is here in the Emerald City and that means Stouts.  Everywhere you look, it seems breweries are preparing their annual Stout releases and, as much as I do love a good Stout, their abundance can sometimes overshadow the deliciousness of a good Porter.

The differences between Stouts and Porters can be subtle and the debate over what the exact differences are continues.  Basically though, Porters are a bit lighter in body and mouthfeel and sometimes, though definitely not always, can be slightly lower in alcohol.  Essentially, all Porters are Stouts, but not all Stouts are Porters.

Now that I’ve made things clear as mud for you, I’d like to tell you that one of the best known and best loved Porters in the Northwest, Alaskan Brewing Company’s Smoked Porter, is turning 30.  Alaskan Brewing is preparing to celebrate with the opening of their expanded taproom this Saturday.

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The Ballard Brewed Winter Beer Festival Is Coming Up

I know it’s only Fall.  Winter doesn’t officially arrive until late December, but craft beer has always been a bit ahead of the curve (Pumpkin beers showing up in early August, anyone?)  Being a big fan of Winter beers though, I certainly don’t mind when they start arriving a bit early.

Apparently, nether do many of the breweries in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.  Because, coming up this coming Saturday, November 3rd is the Ballard Brewed Winter Beer Festival to Benefit Bellwether Housing.  Drink Winter beers from eleven different Ballard breweries and do your part to help Bellwether Housing – creating affordable housing in Seattle.

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Naked City Celebrates 10 Years With Gluten Removed Announcement, Parties & New Mug Club

Back in January of this year, Naked City Brewery & Taphouse celebrated their 10th Anniversary with parties, music and new beer releases at both their Greenwood and Camano Island locations.

Now, Naked City is keeping the celebration going with even more parties, more music, more new beer releases and the announcement of a new Mug Club at their Greenwood location.  All of the events are free and family friendly (open to all ages).

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Chainline Brewing Hosts Bitter Is Coming II

As the weather gets colder and wetter out there, the Fall and Winter beer releases just keep on coming.  I hope your wallet hasn’t taken too hard of a hit yet, because there are still several more releases to come.  After all, Winter hasn’t even started yet.

Next up for Fall releases is Chainline Brewing Company out of Kirkland.  This coming Saturday, November 18th, they’ll be hosting Bitter is Coming II – Welcome To Winter (& Return of the De-Railer!).  This annual taproom party will be the setting for the release of three special, seasonal beers from Chainline.

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Lowercase Brewing’s Georgetown Taproom Is Turning One

Lowercase Brewing Company first opened their doors back in January of 2014.  Of course that was back when their taproom was in South Park, where they shared a building with Burdick Brewery.  By early 2016, however, both breweries had a problem. The City of Seattle decided that the building that housed their taprooms was insufficient as it was and required both breweries to make some major and expensive upgrades to the building if they wanted to keep their taprooms there.

Unfortunately this demand was too costly for either brewery, so both taprooms were closed.  The breweries themselves could still operate out of their building in South Park, but had to find new taproom locations.  Lowercase wasted no time and found a new taproom location on Airport Way South in Georgetown (Burdick has also since found a new taproom space on 14th Avenue South in South Park).  After a few construction and licensing delays, Lowercase Brewing’s new Georgetown taproom opened their doors in November of 2016 and now they’re ready to celebrate the taproom’s first anniversary.  In addition, Lowercase has announced the launch of a new pop-up coffee shop, Side Hustle Coffee & Doughnuts, which will be operating Thursday through Sundays out of the taproom.   Continue reading