The 18th Annual Hard Liver Fest & Other Upcoming Events At Brouwer’s Cafe

Seattle certainly has its share of craft beer events and festivals. I’ve been to more than my fair share and I’m betting many of you have as well. Some of my favorite annual events take place at one of my favorite craft beer bars in the city: Brouwer’s Cafe. I first discovered Brouwer’s way back in 2005, the year they opened, and immediately fell in love. They have great, Belgian inspired food and always have a great tap selection – especially during events/festivals.

Brouwer’s has several great events coming up over the next month. It all kicks off with the 18th annual Hard Liver festival coming up this Saturday, February 29th and culminates with their 15th anniversary celebration on March 28th. Now I know what you’re thinking. How can this be the 18th Hard Liver fest but only Brouwer’s 15th anniversary? Not to worry. This is a logical explanation for this discrepancy. The first few years of the Hard Liver fest were held at the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center, before Brouwer’s Cafe opened.

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Tin Dog Prepares For Their 6th Anniversary

There aren’t a whole lot of breweries in Seattle that focus primarily on Belgians, Sours and Farmhouse/Wild Ales. Some of the best known are probably Holy Mountain Brewing and Urban Family Brewing (who has returned to Ballard – opening tomorrow at noon). A few others with a similar focus have opened fairly recently including Best of Hands Barrelhouse a year ago and the just opened Fair Isle Brewing in Ballard. However, there’s another brewery in Seattle that has been quietly producing Belgians, Sours and Farmhouse/Wild Ales for nearly 6 years now. That brewery is Tin Dog Brewing in South Park.

Since opening in 2014 they’ve kept a somewhat low profile. It took them a couple of years to begin bottling, but they’ve been packaging more and more beers and just this week started sending out kegs to local craft beer bars. They have also recently rebranded themselves as a blendery (there will be no name change, however). In their own words:

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Pyramid’s Apricot Ale Wins Bronze During Flagship February

It’s not just February, it’s Flagship February. Although some newer breweries are shunning the trend (Seattle’s Cloudburst Brewing Company comes to mind), many breweries have one (or more) flagship beers. These are the beers they’re know for – the beers that help build their brand and are still popular today. Some good examples would be Sierra Nevada‘s Pale Ale, Pike Brewing‘s Pike Place Ale or Pyramid Brewing Company‘s classic Hefeweizen.

I’ll be honest. I was oblivious to the fact that it was Flagship February myself until Pyramid Brewing reminded me by sending me a care package containing some of their most popular flagship beers including their classic Hefeweizen, their Apricot Ale (which was one of the first craft beers I tried in Seattle) and, another classic, McTarnahan’s Amber Ale from Portland Brewing Company.

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Hellbent Brewing Hosts Their First Annual Chili Con Carnival

There are lots of different foods that pair quite well with beer. In fact, I really wish more high end restaurants would put as much care into curating their beer lists as they do their wine lists, because I believe there’s a craft beer out there suitable to pair with pretty much any meal.

Don’t get me wrong though. Food and craft beer pairings shouldn’t be limited to just high end restaurants. While I do indeed love to pair a good sirloin steak with a hoppy Pale Ale or pair a steamed lobster tail with a nice Belgian Tripel, I still enjoy more classic pairings like pizza and a good IPA or a mushroom Swiss burger with a smoked Porter. One of my favorite beer and food pairings though is a bowl of chili and… well, it can depend on the type of chili. Many people love to pair a good chili with a hearty Stout. Others might prefer an assertive IPA – especially if the chili is extra spicy – and still others would select a nice Saison.

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Tin Dog Brewing’s Art Series Presents: Precious Metal Clay Crafting With Amanda Caps

Arts and crafts was never really my thing. I’m creative. I used to play guitar all the time, but don’t ask me to draw anything. It would come out looking like it was made by a kid in the 4th grade. I was a bit better at working with clay, sculpting and using a pottery wheel, but I only dabbled a bit and never really got into it long term. These days, I let my creativity come out in my writing instead, but I still wish I was a better at drawing.

Do you have a gift for the artistic – or would you like to work on your artistic skills? If so, Tin Dog Brewing Company has an event coming up that might interest you. On Wednesday, March 18th, Tin Dog’s Art Series will have local artist Amanda Caps in house to host a class on creating pieces of art using Precious Metal Clay (PMC), which is clay infused with copper or brass. You can use this special clay to create your own pieces of metal jewelry to keep for yourself or gift to others.

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Bale Breaker Debuts First Year-Round Hazy IPA

Yakima, Wash. – January 29, 2020 – Bale Breaker Brewing Company, a family-owned brewery located in the beautiful Yakima Valley, today announces that it will be adding a sixth 12oz can to its annual lineup named Hazy L IPA.

Hazy L IPA first debuted draft only in December 2019 and has received a great response from the market since its release.  This innovative take on the hazy IPA style features Citra®, Sabro™ and Mosaic® hops grown by BT Loftus Ranches.  With an approachable bitterness and a crisp body, this hazy IPA was thoughtfully crafted for everyday drinking.

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Fort George Stout Month Kicks Off Tomorrow

Here we are, smack in the middle of the Winter beer season. That means Stouts – big, bold, rich Stouts. I can enjoy a good Stout any time of year but, each February, Fort George Brewing Company out of Astoria, Oregon really brings the hits. Are you ready for this year’s Festival of Dark Arts and Stout Month?

As an added bonus, with this being a leap year, Stout month is a day longer this year. Fort George is taking advantage of that extra day and releasing more Stouts during Stout Month this year than ever before. Festival of Dark Arts tickets sold out in record time this year, so if you were fortunate enough to get one, I’m a bit envious. I’ll have to settle for drinking the Fort George Stouts that will make their way up to Seattle.

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Fair Isle Brewing Is Open For Business

I often hear the question; Has Seattle reached the saturation point for new breweries? I don’t think there’s an easy answer. Sure, Seattle is packed with over 330 breweries (many concentrated in Ballard and the South End), but is that too many? It depends on several factors: Location, size, the quality and uniqueness of the beers they produce, etc.

Seattle’s newest brewery: Fair Isle Brewing, opens their doors to the public today at 3 pm. Will they have what it takes to succeed in the saturated Seattle craft beer scene? I believe they will. Fair Isle is taking a slightly different approach with their taproom layout (details below), and will focus primarily on Saisons and other Wild Ales.

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Black Raven Releases Rye Lager

Are you a fan of rye beers? Not everyone is and that’s OK. I can’t recall what the first rye beer I ever had was, but I’ve been a fan of the style for as long as I can remember. Some of my favorites include Rye on Rye from Boulevard, Sah’tea from Dogfish Head and Old Birdbrain from Black Raven Brewing Company.

We may still be in the middle of Winter but I’m already thinking ahead to Spring and so is Black Raven. That’s why they released their Rye Lager just this past Monday the 20th.

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Introducing the Seattle Beer Bar Coalition (SBBC) & Georgetown Boop & Beep IPA Release

We are pleased to announce: Introducing the Seattle Beer Bar Coalition (SBBC)

Beer Release January 29th, 2020
Georgetown “Boop & Beep IPA”

January 6th was a good day for the beer community—The Seattle Beer Bar Coalition officially kicked off what will become a long and productive journey with a collaboration brew at Georgetown Brewing. The SBBC is made up of some of the city’s most well-known craft beer bars including Brouwer’s Cafe, Latona PubBottleworks, Fiddler’s Inn, The Yard Cafe, Watershed Pub & Kitchen, Trailbend Taproom, Olaf’s, The Pine Box, Toronado SeattleThe Shambles, Beveridge Place Pub, Hopvine Pub, and The Dray.

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