Are You Ready To Have Your Beak Tweaked By Black Raven Brewing?

 

Just the other day, I was telling you about how the changing seasons bring with them all the different Seasonal craft beers we enjoy as they make their annual returns.  As the weather warms that, of course, means it’s time for most people’s taste buds to leave Stouts, Porters and other malt-heavy beers behind (for the most part) and start seeking out crisper, lighter (in some cases), refreshing, hoppier beers.

For me, the tipping point each year is the annual Underberg Back In Black Stout Fest at Brouwer’s Cafe during Seattle Beer Week. It’s sort of the last hurrah for the year before the Seasonal changeover.  Granted, that changeover came a bit earlier this year, since Seattle Beer Week began a week earlier than in previous years.  That doesn’t mean I never drink Stouts in the Summer, but far less so than in the colder months.

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Day Hike Summer Ale Returns From Two Beers Brewing Company

Every year, when certain craft beer styles return to taps and bottle shop shelves, you know the seasons are changing.  We’re finally coming out of our long Northwest Winter and Summer is right around the corner. I can tell not only by the calendar on the wall, but by the return of certain beers.  One of those beers, which heralds the arrival of longer days and warmer nights is Day Hike Summer Ale from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).

Light and crisp, Day Hike Summer Ale is the perfect accompaniment for all of your Summertime outings.  Coming in at just 4.1%, it won’t weigh you down or make you feel like you’re ready for a nap. Bring some to your next BBQ or while you’re out hiking, climbing, kayaking, cycling or however you like to fill your Summer days and nights.

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Two Special Releases From Counterbalance Brewing & 2bar Spirits

I’ve always been an advocate for Seattle’s South end breweries.  Living in the South end myself I, of course, spend a lot of time at these places and enjoy seeing them succeed.  A couple of years back I penned an article with some great reasons to visit Seattle’s South end breweries and, earlier this year, I told you about the newly formed South Seattle Brewery Coalition.

That’s why I was very pleased when I heard the news that Counterbalance Brewing Company had teamed up with 2bar Spirits (who also happens to be in Seattle’s South end) for a unique Whiskey/Stout collaboration.

Aging Stouts in Whiskey barrels is nothing new.  Breweries have been doing it for years and indeed Whiskey and Bourbon barrel aged Stouts are some of my favorites.  This time, however, things went a bit in the other direction.  2bar Spirits used the actual mash bill from Counterbalance’s Kushetka Imperial Stout to produce this particular Whiskey, then aged it for 2 years in 2bar Whiskey barrels.

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Discover The New Growler USA In Redmond

What happens when you take the basic concept of a growler refill station and decide to take it National?  Well, what happens is, you get something like Growler USA.  Founded in 2013 by Dan White (CEO), Dave Shaw (President), and Vern Whittaker (Retired CFO), Growler USA now has 10 locations across the U.S. and are slated to open 50 more throughout 2017-2018.

Each location boasts up to 100 taps of beer (including microbrewed craft beers), hard cider, draft wine & kombucha, plus an extensive food menu. Their tap list varies by location, of course, in order to offer locally-sourced options for their patrons, and their “True to the Brew” system ensures that each brewer’s vision for their product is honored.  Things are kept tightly controlled all the way from keg delivery and storage (using ‘gentle’ keg handling systems to avoid sloshing), to a meticulously maintained tap system and the proper glassware for each pour. Yesterday afternoon I took a trek out to their Redmond location, courtesy $30 in credit from Growler USA, to see what they had to offer first hand.

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Pike Brewing Announces Tankard & Tun

Pike Brewing Company has been a fixture of the Seattle craft beer scene since way back in 1989.  Founders Charles and Rose Ann Finkel have also been instrumental in helping expand the craft beer scene across Seattle and indeed across the nation.  Their tireless work to help promote craft beer as well as all the wonderful craft beer and food parings that are possible out there has been an inspiration to countless brewers and chefs.

Now, Charles and Rose Ann are preparing for Pike’s biggest expansion in over 21 years.  Pike Brewing Company is pleased to announce Tankard & Tun.  Coming this Summer, Tankard & Tun is a new restaurant, oyster bar and brew deck that will also provide Pike with an expanded brew cellar.

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Discover New Tastes At The Cheese And Meat Festival

Meat and cheese.  Cheese and meat.  They go together like bread and butter, like rhythm and blues, like Kayne West and being a douche.  If you agree, then you’ll definitely want to check out the Cheese And Meat Festival, coming to McCaw Hall (321 Mercer St.), this coming Saturday, April 29 from 7 – 9 pm.  

This celebration of charcuterie and artisan cheeses paired with local wines, ciders and beers features several local artisans, including Salumi, Jellyfish Brewing, Mollusk, FinnRiver Cidery and many, many more.

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Introducing The Bottle Shop Collaboration Project

Collaborations are nothing new in the craft beer World.  In fact, collaborations have produced some truly amazing beers.  Some examples that come to mind include Juicy Hop Bomb Double IPA from Georgetown Brewing & Two Beers Brewing (CBM Sponsor), Fist Bump from Cloudburst Brewing & Stoup Brewing and, of course, the popular 3-Way IPA Series from Fort George Brewing and the numerous other breweries they have partnered with for that series.

Collaboration beers have become so popular that they have even inspired the creation of collaboration-focused festivals such as the Washington Beer Collaboration Festival (Aug. 19, 2017).  Now, I’ve learned about yet another new series of collaborations taking place in what has been dubbed the Bottle Shop Collaboration Project.  11 Seattle area bottle shops are teaming up with several local craft breweries to create some special collaborative releases.

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Leo v. Ursus Is Coming From Firestone Walker

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Firestone Walker Brewing Company has been making lots of changes lately.  Their Proprietor’s Reserve Series has been retired, their Vintage Reserve Series is moving from 22 oz to 12 oz bottles, they’re 5 versions deep into their new Luponic Distortion Series and now, Firestone Walker is proud to announce a new chronology of beers: Leo v. Ursus, a quarterly series of bold, hoppy, balanced beers born at their Propagator pilot brewery in Venice, California.

Fortem, an unfiltered imperial IPA and the first release in the new Leo v. Ursus Series, will be available on a pre-release basis at Firestone Walker locations starting on Saturday, February 25, and will begin rolling into Firestone Walker markets, including Seattle, at the end of February.

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Lagunitas Brewing Has Arrived In Seattle

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Last night, I was fortunate to attend a sneak peek preview party for media and industry friends at Lagunitas Brewing Company‘s newest location in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.  As you’ve probably heard, they took over the space formerly occupied by Hilliard’s Brewing, which was purchased last year by Odin Brewing.  Lagunitas treated us to food, live music, acrobatic and sideshow performers mingling among the crowd and, of course, great craft beer from one of my favorite California craft breweries.

Lagunitas has made some small but significant changes to the space, including a new, spacious island bar in the middle of the taproom, large, sturdy beer hall style tables with bench seating and brand new, restaurant-quality bathrooms.  They want to open to the public as soon as possible and, from what I saw last night, they’re just about ready.  You should be enjoying your favorite Lagunitas beers there before the end of this month.

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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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