Festivals are a big part of the craft beer World, and a great way to discover new beers and new breweries. New festivals seem to pop up nearly every year and some, including myself, might say we’re starting to get too many. I have a lot of respect, however, for the festivals that helped start the craft beer festival craze and the Oregon Brewer’s Festival, which has been running for more than 30 years now, is definitely one of them.
We have great craft beer here in Washington State for sure, but we also recognize that there is a plethora of craft beer awesomeness coming out of our neighbor to the South. Showcasing all that embodies craft beer (and cider), this year’s Oregon Brewer’s Festival is set for July 24th thru the 27th.
Seattle has lots of unique neighborhoods, each with their own identity and feel. One such neighborhood is Phinney RIdge and each year, the Phinney Neighborhood Association hosts a craft beer event known as the Summer Beer Taste. This year’s luau-themed event, Brewkilau, is set for this coming Saturday, July 21st.
Your $30 ticket for this event ($25 for PNA Members), gets you 10 beer tastes from 30+ different, local craft breweries and cideries, plus an assortment of pub snacks.
A couple of years ago I told you about a beer delivery service named Tavour. They send you daily emails with different beers you can order (from breweries both near and far) and then, every couple of weeks, Tavour ships the beers you’ve ordered out to you – or you can pick your orders up at their warehouse location in Seattle.
One of the many local breweries Tavour has teamed up with is Three Magnets Brewing Company out of Olympia and they’d both like to invite you to a tasting and beer release party at the Tavour Warehouse this Thursday, August 31st. This is a ticketed but free event where you can taste some Three Magnets beers, including their new GoldStorm Double IPA and their Gold Medal winning, Tavour-exclusive: Autumnal Dark Farmhouse Ale, all while listing to Americana music by Joey Capaccio and Kend Winter.
Even though I’m a big fan of craft beers, I do enjoy the occasional craft cider as well. I sometimes head to one of my local watering holes fully intending to sample some ciders, but then I look at the tap list and I’m like, “Oh look! Three new craft beers I haven’t tried yet!” As a result, I’m far less experienced and knowledgeable about craft ciders than I am craft beers.
Despite this inherent bias I have towards beer over cider, however, I definitely still appreciate a well made craft cider and usually do manage to try a few when I see something new and interesting. So I’m a intrigued by the arrival of Louis Raison French Cidre, France’s #1 selling cider, which is set to make their U.S. debut this week. There are five events happening around Seattle between August 15th and August 26th, where you’ll be able to sample their ciders and see what you think.
After a long Fn week. I bet you could use a Fn beer, am I right? Now, are you a fan of English style IPAs? They differ a bit from American style IPAs with their bitter yet smooth finish and a pronounced but never over-the-top hop character. American style IPAs tend to be much more in your face with the hops, slapping you with a big blast of hop aroma and flavor. American IPAs also tend to have, on average, a higher ABV than English style IPAs.
Foggy Noggin Brewing Company up in Bothell has lots of experience brewing English style Ales. In fact, it’s their specialty. Now, they’d like to devote a special day to just English style IPAs so, this coming Saturday, June 24th, Foggy Noggin will be hosting their first ever/first annual English IPA Tap Takeover.
Are you a fan of English style barleywines? If you aren’t familiar with the style, English barleywines, as compared to American style barleywines, tend to be just a bit more on the sweet side with a more subdued hop character and more fruit esters.
Are you also a fan of small batch breweries? Then Foggy Noggin Brewing Company out of Bothell (ones of Washington’s smallest production craft breweries) has an event coming up that should be right up your alley. Next Friday, February 17th from 6 pm – 8 pm, Foggy Noggin is hosting a vertical tasting (2013, 2015, 2016) of their English style barleywine: Duck’s Ass. There are only 20 spots available for this special vertical tasting and the cost is $30 per person.
For pretty much my entire life, I’ve lived near the ocean. I was born on the Gulf Coast, grew up part of the way in New Jersey and have spent most of my life on the West Coast (California and Washington). There’s just something about being near the water that appeals to me. It’s a unique feeling – that aroma of sea air – the beautiful sunsets, the easy access to lots of great seafood.
One thing I regret, however, is that even though I’ve lived near the water most of my life, I don’t spend nearly enough time out on the water. I used to do quite a bit of sailing when I was younger, but keeping and maintaining a boat isn’t a cheap prospect and, frankly, I can’t afford waterfront property in Seattle. That’s why I’m really looking forward to October 7th, when my wife Lynn and I will be attending a Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) beer tasting and dinner and cruise, courtesy Waterways Cruises And Events.
This coming Saturday, November 14th, is the 28th Annual PNA (Phinney Neighborhood Association) Winter Beer Taste – Aka: Beer Wars: The Wort Awakens. That’s right. This event has been going strong for 28 years now. Amazing.
This popular annual event will give you 10 tastes from a selection of 30 NW breweries, pub style snacks and a silent auction of awesome beer stuff.
I don’t always make it up to this festival, but the few times I have, I’ve had a great time. And talk about strange! Here is a brief description of the festival from the official website:
“The first great event of the Barrel Age is scheduled for January 25-27, 2013, and will be known as Strange Brewfest 9. At this celebration, humans and aliens alike will enjoy the heightened spirituality and the exploratory endeavors of our new age. Harmony will be achieved utilizing other worldly ingredients to create amazing craft brews. A musical odessey will accompany the beginning of the next 5,125 years of enlightenment, and you are all invited!”