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.
Bicycling and beer seem to just go together. There are even several cycle-themed breweries here in the Northwest, including HUB in Portland, Flying Bike in Greenwood, Peddler in Ballard and, of course, Chainline Brewing Company in Kirkland. Situated along the new Cross Kirkland Corridor Trail, they’re in the perfect spot for craft beer lovers who prefer 2-wheeled, human-powered transportation.
I’ve been to Chainline Brewing several times (I drive there though – sorry), and I really enjoy their beers. Their Polaris Pilsner (2016 – GABF Silver Medal winner) and Tune Up New England Style IPA (2016 Best of Craft beer awards Silver Medal Winner) are solid and I’ve also enjoyed many of the special one-off beers they’ve produced. Their Flowtron Strawberry IPA was definitely one of my favorites and, lucky for me, it’s making a return for Chainline’s 3rd anniversary celebration coming up this weekend along with their first ever canned beer (Polaris Pilsner).
Seattle is definitely a wonderful place to live if you’re a fan of great craft beers. The high concentration of excellent breweries in the city make it one of the best craft beer destinations in the nation. However, don’t forget to take a trip out of town every now and then, because there are several breweries outside Seattle – from the Oregon border all the way up to Canada – who are doing great work.
One outside-of-Seattle destination I don’t make it to very often is the Olympia area, which is home to several craft breweries including Top Rung Brewing Company in Lacey. You may not be as familiar with Top Run as some other Olympia area breweries, because they haven’t started bottling or canning most of their beers yet, but they’ve been brewing good beers in Olympia for nearly four years now, and it’s time to celebrate. This Saturday, April 21st, Top Rung Brewing Company will celebrate their 4th anniversary.
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.
When the temperatures cool down, our palates often crave something a bit more thick and malty, like a good Stout or Porter. Likewise when the temperatures start to warm up, as they have been lately, we often crave something a bit lighter and crisper that’s not quite as heavy on the palate. That’s why, as Summer approaches, we see more releases of lighter ales and Lagers (like yesterday’s release of Lima Loca from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor)).
Now, after the release of their popular Wisdom Seeker Double IPA in March and in anticipation of their annual Flock Party anniversary celebration, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is pleased to announce this year’s release of their Summer Seasonal, Hochzeit Pilsner.
Most craft beer enthusiasts have at least a few favorite breweries. I have several but two of my favorite breweries are Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Russian River Brewing Company, both from California. Unfortunately, Russian River stopped distributing to Washington state a couple of years ago; right around the time our state liquor laws changed and places like BevMo and Total Wine & More moved in. Personally, I miss their wonderful sours more than I miss Pliny The Elder (and Pliny The Younger).
One of Russian River’s reasons for halting distribution to Washington was due to the changes in our state laws (I heard rumors that BevMo wanted to try and buy out Russian River’s entire supply of Pliny The Elder the year they moved into Washington). However, it was also a financial as well as a supply and demand issue. The last Russian River Brewing Company beers were shipped to Washington in December 2012.