Craft Beer Monger’s Top Picks For Seattle Beer Week #9

Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like the past year has flown by so quickly.  Seattle Beer Week #8 almost feels like it was just a few weeks ago.  Yet here we are, with Seattle Beer Week #9 kicking off in just two days.  Have you had an opportunity to look over the ever-growing list of events on the official Seattle Beer Week website?  With so many events to choose from, many of which happen on the same day or even at the same time, you may have to make some difficult choices regarding which events to attend.  Here are my top picks for Seattle Beer Week #9.

Things get under way with the Official Seattle Beer Week Kickoff this Thursday, May 4th.  There are  5 stops on the Seattle Beer Week (SBW) kickoff tour.  Things start off at 4:30 pm at the new Flatstick Pub location in Pioneer Square.  The other stops on this year’s kickoff tour include: Beveridge Place Pub (6:30 pm and Cask-O-Rama will be going on), Brouwer’s Cafe (7:45 pm), Naked City Brewery & Taphouse (9:00 pm), with the evening closing out at The Pine Box (10:30 pm).

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The Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow Returns Next Month

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A few years back, IPA fans in Washington were dismayed to discover that Russian River Brewing would no longer be distributing their beers to Washington State.  That meant no more Pliny The Elder or Pliny The Younger for Washington (among many other great Russian River beers).  That drought of Pliny (and the over-the-top clamoring for it during the years when we could still get it here) led many Washington breweries to start crafting their own Triple IPAs.

The first two Triple IPAs I recall seeing, which were intended partly as a joke due to the insanity surrounding Pliny releases, were Big Time Brewing Company’s ‘Whiny The Complainer’ and Naked City’s ‘Cry Me A River’.  Super strong and over-the-top hoppy, I was an instant fan of both.  Since that time, more and more Washington breweries started crafting their own Triple IPAs and soon after the Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow was born.  That first year, just 14 Washington breweries participated.

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Beer Church IPA Arrives This Saturday

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If there’s two things Seattle area breweries do well, besides brewing great craft beers of course, it’s collaboration and doing what they can to benefit worthwhile charitable causes.  That’s what Beer Church is all about.

This year, Beer Church has teamed up with Georgetown Brewing Company (recent winner of the GABF Gold Medal for their Bodhizafa IPA), Airways Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor), Big Al Brewing Company and Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) to brew this year’s Beer Church IPA.  Proceeds from this beer will go to benefit the the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

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The Eleventh Annual IPA Cask-O-Rama Starts This Thursday

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One month ago, on September 29th, Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle (one of Seattle’s best local craft beer bars) kicked off their annual ‘Hoptoberfest’.  More than just a celebration of Washington-brewed IPAs, this month-long festival is their way of selecting their House IPA for the next year.

If you’re a regular at Beveridge Place Pub, then you know how this works.  For the uninitiated, Beveridge Place whittles down over 48 Washington IPAs to just 3 finalists based on your votes. Today and tomorrow is your last chance to vote on those 3 finalists, which must be done by blind ballot.  Order a taster try with all 3, and vote for your favorite without knowing which is which.  This year’s 3 finalists are: Reuben’s Brews‘ Crikey IPA, Georgetown Brewing‘s Bodhizafa IPA and Counterbalance Brewing IPA.  Visit Beveridge Place Pub today or tomorrow to have your blind tray and cast your vote.  I’ve already voted once, but I’ll probably go back and cast one more vote before the end of tomorrow.

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The Beer Junction Celebrates Their 6th Anniversary

 

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Finding a good tap and bottle shop around Seattle isn’t all that difficult.  We’re fortunate to have several options for where to go beer shopping while enjoying a few pints on tap at the same time.  One of those places that stands out for me in particular, however, is The Beer Junction in West Seattle.  Offering Seattle’s largest selection of more than 1,300+ different beers (plus cider and mead) and an incredible 70 taps of beer, cider, mead and wine, The Beer Junction has become my favorite after-work destination to enjoy a few cold ones from their always excellent and diverse tap selection and check out what’s new in bottles and cans.

Each year, as their anniversary approaches, The Beer Junction teams up with a local brewery to create a special anniversary beer to help them celebrate.  Last year it was Cinq Houblon, a Saison brewed by Sound Brewing out on the Kitsap peninsula.  The year before that it was Black Sands Coconut Cream Imperial Stout, from Fort George Brewing in Astoria, Oregon.  I’m still aging a bottle of that one in my cellar at home.

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Seattle Beer Week Kicks Off Today

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a pretty crazy last week or so leading up to Seattle Beer Week #8.  Between being busy at work (both of them), still mourning a bit for our dog, Bailei, and trying to plan out my Seattle Beer Week 2016 schedule (picking from, literally, hundreds of events), I’ve barely had time to breathe.

The event list for Seattle Beer Week seems to get a bit bigger each year.  There are always a few days where there are at least 2 or 3 different events all happening at the same time on opposite ends of town, so you have to make a choice.  Hitting every single event is absolutely impossible (and severe liver abuse!), so you have to pick your battles (or is it bottles?)

Now, it’s here.  Seattle Beer Week kicks off this evening at Reuben’s Brews in Ballard.  They’ll be open at noon today, but the official opening ceremony for Seattle Beer Week won’t take place until 5 pm.  The first keg of Daily Pale, the official beer of Seattle Beer Week #8, will be tapped and the Mayor’s Proclamation will be read.

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Craft Beer Monger’s Picks For The Best Local Craft Beer Bars

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Each week on Twitter I take part in what’s known as Follow Friday.  If you follow me (or anyone else) on Twitter then I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept.  In my Follow Friday (#FF) tweets, I always give a shout out to a few of my favorite local craft beer bars including: The Beer Junction, Beveridge Place Pub, The Pine Box, Toronado, Brouwer’s Cafe (and Burgundian), The Noble Fir, Stogies N Hops (CBM Sponsor) and The Red Hot and Parkway Tavern down in Tacoma.

I don’t always get to each of these places as often as I’d like, which is unfortunate.  The two I tend to make it to the most often are The Beer Junction and Beveridge Place Pub, both in West Seattle.  With only a minor detour, both places are basically on my way home from work.  Don’t get me wrong though.  Convenience is not, by any means, the only reason I frequent these two places.  In fact, Beveridge Place is regularly named one of Seattle’s best pubs on many ‘Best Of’ lists and The Beer Junction was just awarded Best Bottle Shop In Washington for the 4th year in a row from Rate Beer.

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Barleywine Season Is Almost Here – UPDATED

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There seem to be a lot of high alcohol beers around lately.  With Barrel Junction wrapping up at The Beer Junction (lots of high ABV, barrel-aged beers – a few are still on tap) and the Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow right around the corner (starting this Thursday at Brouwer’s Cafe and running through the 14th at various locations), we really have to pace ourselves.  That can be difficult to do, however, when even more high alcohol beers are right around the corner.

Each year, as Spring approaches, I look forward to the annual return of Barleywines from all around Washington State and all across the U.S.  Two of the biggest and best local events for enjoying all those wonderful Barleywines are returning soon.  I’m talking, of course, about the Barleywine Bacchanal at Beveridge Place Pub and the annual Hard Liver Barleywine Festival at Brouwer’s Cafe.

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The Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow Returns

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Oh hops, how do I love thee.  Let me count the ways.  Actually, I’d better not. With so many amazing hoppy beers out there, counting them all would take quite a while.  For the moment, I only want to worry about a particular set of hoppy beers that are back and ready to hit the road.  Returning for its third year and kicking off this week is the Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow.

I first told you about this event last month and now I wanted to update you with the full details.  Set to make its first stop this Thursday the 4th at Brouwer’s Cafe, the Hop Mob Roadshow will also hit several other locations around the Sound, bringing you the biggest, boldest, strongest and, of course, hoppiest beers around.

Originally inspired by the rather ridiculous amount of hype attributed to a particular Triple IPA from a well known Northern California brewery, the Hop Mob set out to prove that Washington Brewers can make triple IPAs just as well (and in my opinion even better) than just about anyone else.

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Chocolate Beer Week Is Coming To The Beer Junction

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Love is in the air.  Valentine’s Day is about two weeks away and that means romance, fancy dinners, jewelry, stuffed animals and, of course, chocolate.  However, don’t go for that same old boring heart-shaped box of mass-produced chocolates.  That’s boring.  Instead, why not satisfy that chocolate craving by getting local and indulging your love of great craft beer?

Starting this coming Saturday, February 6th and running through Valentine’s Day on the 14th is The Beer Junction‘s 4th Annual Chocolate Beer Week.  All week long, the taps at the Junction will be flowing with chocolaty beers of every variety.  Most will be Stouts and Porters, since those styles lend themselves so well to the use of chocolate, but there will be other offerings as well.

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