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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Event: Seattle: Hard Liver Barelwine Festival returns to Brouwer's Cafe, February 25th and 26th

image courtesy Brouwer's Cafe

In less than a week an annual festival returns to the corner of 35th and Phinney Avenue. We're speaking of Hard Liver, hosted and produced by Brouwer's Cafe.  As it has in previous years, the event will feature barleywines from local breweries, as well as regional, national, and international addresses. And now a few tips, for the seasoned idiot or those experiencing a barleywine for the first time.

  • Build a food base. A couple of quick options are: Original Pancake House, Norm's Eatery, Dish, and Roxi's Diner.
  • Use public transportation or a 'buddy'. This writer's going to be honest, you're not Superman, Wolverine, or Deadpool, so you're going to get drunk if you try and drink more than 2 or three barleywines. So why not use a service Uber, Lyft, local cab company, or even a buddy. 
  • Be patient as you wait in line to get in. Due to fire code laws, Brouwer's Cafe (like any business) is only allowed to host a certain number of people at any given time. If you're in line, then you're gonna need to wait before you get in.
  • Be patient as you sit at your table or stand around. Whether it's ordering a number 3 or ordering a large order of frites, it's gonna be slightly chaotic. But then again, show me any restaurant or bar that isn't, on a day like St. Patricks or New Year's Eve. 
  • Order by number and not by name. Despite what the menu says, you're encouraged to request from the server or bartender the number of the beer you wish to have. An example of ordering would be "I'd like a 12 ounce number 3"
  • Finally and we can't believe we have to repeat this, know your limit and don't overdue it!

Now that we've covered the dos and don'ts, here's the (tentative) list of breweries that submitting beers for this year's festival.

(Olympia) Three Magnets Brewing          (San Diego) Green Flash Brewing
(Anacortes) Anacortes Brewing                (Portland) Hair of the Dog Brewing
(Boulder) Avery Brewing                           (Seattle) Holy Mountain Brewing
(Bainbridge Island) Bainbridge Brewing (United Kingdom) J.W. Lees
(San Diego) Ballast Point Brewing            (Petaluma) Lagunitas Brewing
(Long Beach) Beachwood Brewing           (San Marcos) Lost Abbey
(Missoula) Big Sky Brewing                      (Alpine) Melvin's Brewing
(Seattle) Big Time Brewing                       (Anchorage) Midnight Sun Brewing
(Bend) Boneyard Brewing                         (Deming) North Fork Brewing
(Bellingham) Boundary Bay Brewing      (Seattle) Pike Brewing
(Netherlands) De Molen                            (Seattle) Reuben's Brews
(Milton) Dogfish Head Brewing               (Bremerton) Silver City Brewing
(Seattle) Elysian Brewing                          (Arlington) Skookum Brewing
(Paso Robles) Firestone Walker Brewing (Escondido) Stone Brewing
(Olympia) Fish Brewing Company           (Bellingham) Wander
(Seattle) Fremont Brewing                        And many more ...

For updates including a draft list from each participating brewery, visit Brouwer's Cafe's website.

Brouwer's Cafe is located at 400 N 35th Street in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Release: Northwest: Get It Now ... Samuel Adams Hopscape

image courtesy Boston Beer
Press Release

Samuel Adams Hopscape is one of two new seasonal brews released in 2017. This deep gold, medium-bodied wheat ale is the perfect stepping stone from winter’s bitter bite to a warmer spring. Its citrusy, dank resin and grapefruit rind aromas lead into a balanced flavor of bright citrus and piney hop character paired with notes of crisp, lightly sweet malt. Hopscape finishes with a smooth and slightly lingering bitterness.

 Aptly named, Hopscape is brewed with four varieties of West Coast hops: Chinook, Citra, Centennial and Zeus. Each variety adds bold notes of pine and juicy grapefruit to this deep golden wheat ale.

Pairing with Food: The citrusy, piney, and resinous notes that the hops contribute to Samuel Adams Hopscape are a great pairing for spicy foods. The crisp wheat character balances the spice. The peppery, allspice complexity of jerk chicken enhances the hop profile in this beer, while buffalo cucumbers’ mixture of heat and coolness mirror the beer’s balance between malt and hops.

Release: Northwest: Get It Now ... Stone Brewing's Jindia Pale Ale and Pataskala Red X IPA

image courtesy Stone Brewing Company
Press Release

ESCONDIDO, CA ... Today, Stone Brewing announces two seasonal additions to its 2017 lineup of offerings with the brand new Stone Jindia Pale Ale, and the return of the much loved Stone Pataskala Red X IPA.
Making its debut as a Stone Imperial Seasonal, Stone Jindia Pale Ale is a double IPA, instilled with ginger, juniper berries, lemon peel and lime peel. The botanicals mix miraculously well with a double dose of the most delectable hops.
Steve Gonzalez, Stone’s Senior Manager of Small Batch Brewing & Innovation, jumped at the chance to create this beer as he had experience in his former job making gin blends. And he absolutely nailed it. The beer has the hop-forward component of a great IPA and also the complexity of aroma and flavors derived from gin botanicals.

 “Our co-founder, Greg Koch, came up with the idea of an IPA with gin botanicals after we had done the Stone & Sierra Nevada NxS IPA, which had a portion of the beer aged in gin barrels,” said Jeremy Moynier, Senior Innovation Brewing Manager. “Along with hops, we added ginger, juniper berries, lemon peel and lime peel to create a truly unique beer.”

Returning for a second year, Stone Pataskala Red X IPA, is a red IPA brewed with a unique malt called Red X from Germany-based BESTMALZ. The beer features a backstory as vibrant as its hop bill. This specialty seasonal red IPA was first brewed in September 2015 as a fundraising beer to support music and arts education programs in Pataskala, Ohio, where co-founder Greg Koch grew up.  People loved it, so it was added to the 2016 beer lineup and the name stuck. Rarely used in hoppy beers, the special German malt variety is typically reserved for German amber lagers, Irish red ales and other mildly-hopped beers. But that’s not the Stone way.

“We loved this beer and knew we had to bring it back this year,” said Moynier. “It’s a challenging beer to brew on the big scale with the amount of hops and Red X malt that we use. But I think when you taste it you will know it’s worth the effort! It has a beautiful balance of hops and malt and definitely makes you want to have more than one pint!”
Mosaic, Amarillo and Cascade hops provide this red IPA with an upfront fruity and piney aroma, transcending into stone fruit flavor and pleasingly lingering bitterness. Brewed with late hop additions and generously dry-hopped, the 7.3 % ABV beer is incredibly hop-forward, yet balanced by very unique cereal notes and biscuit undertones from the Red X malt. When all the ingredients are combined, this IPA showcases the signature qualities of classic hoppy Stone beers: citrusy, herbal, balanced just right.
Beginning today, both will be will be available in 12-ounce six-packs to retailers and on draft at restaurants and bars where Stone beer is sold.


Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996, the groundbreaking San Diego-based Stone Brewing is the 10th largest craft brewer in the United States. Recognized as an industry leader, Stone has been listed on the Inc. 500 | 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies list 12 times, has been called the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine twice, and was named the “Top Rated Brewer in California” by RateBeer Best in January 2017. The multifaceted company is the first American craft brewer to independently build, own and operate their own brewery in Europe (Berlin, Germany), and also opened a production brewery in Richmond, Virginia in 2016. Known for its bold, flavorful and largely hop-centric beers, Stone has earned a reputation for brewing outstanding, unique beers while maintaining an unwavering commitment to sustainability, business ethics, philanthropy and the art of brewing…and pledging never, ever, to sell out to the man.  For more information on Stone Brewing,  please visit stonebrewing.com or the company’s social media sites: FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter and The Stone Blog.
image courtesy Stone Brewing Companyimage courtesy Stone Brewing Company

Release: Longmont: Coming Soon ... Left Hand's Hard Wired Nitro, Well Played, Saison au Miel, & Travelin’ Light

image courtesy Left Hand Brewingimage courtesy Left Hand Brewingimage courtesy Left Hand Brewingimage courtesy Left Hand Brewing
Press Release

LONGMONT, CO ... The start of the new beer year is here! Left Hand Brewing Co.is releasing a variety of seasonal and limited releases for the late winter / spring season, including cans, bottles, and 22oz offerings. From coffee to wildflower honey, the spring mix of beers will bring something for everyone. 

Hard Wired Nitro - Following a hard pour and rippling cascade, Hard Wired Nitro is your favorite cup of coffee with a pillowy, toffee-sweet head. Coffee and flavors of caramelized sugar, cacao and hints of blueberry lead to a light, smoky finish. Seasonal release: FEB – APR

Well Played – Left Hand’s new Red IPA plays up experimental hops and specialty malts to compose a beer that is sweet up front with robust hop character and a dry finish. The ever changing hop blend will be selected by the Left Hand team each year following the hop harvest. First sips of this year’s release brewed with 2017 Experiment Hop #09326 will leave the drinker thinking well played, indeed. Seasonal release: FEB – APR

Saison au Miel – Les Quatres Saisons, Left Hand’s quarterly Saison series debuts this March with Saison au Miel. Brewed with native Colorado ingredients, each beer in the collection will highlight a unique addition. Saison au Miel features wildflower honey to bring a touch of sweetness to soften the dry and crisp farmhouse-style ale.  Available in 16oz four packs for two perfect servings at a time. Seasonal Release: MAR - MAY

Travelin’ Light – Golden, crisp & refreshing... and just in time for the warm months ahead! Travelin’ Light is a Kölsch style ale to be available year round as a new perennial. At 4.8% abv, Travelin’ Light is perfect for mellow days and a thirst-quencher for the sunshine. Year Round, starting March.

Release: Northwest: Get It Now ... Samuel Adams Irish Red

image courtesy Boston Beer
Press Release

Red ales became known as the symbol of Ireland’s rebellion and fight for independence from England. Inspired by the similarities to Samuel Adams, a hero of the American Revolution, the brewers at Sam Adams crafted an Irish Red characterized by a smooth malt backbone balanced by earthy English hops.

This hearty beer boasts a deep red color with aromatic notes of roasty caramel followed by malty, toasty and slightly sweet flavors. To achieve the comforting and satisfying profile the brewers were looking for, they used East Kent Golding and Fuggles hops to balance between earthy and citrusy notes. A sip of this robust brew is then finished with a smooth and rounded malt sweetness.

 Pairing with Food: Irish Red’s roasted caramel sweetness helps tame the heat of spicy sausage while complementing the meat’s savory richness.  Corned beef or ham are natural fits because the malt sweetness of the beer balances the meat’s saltiness and deepens the caramelized flavors.  This brew pairs well with classic desserts like Apple and Pecan pie.

Release: Northwest: Get It Now ... Samuel Adams Noble Pils

image courtesy Boston Beer
Press Release

Brewed using all five Noble hop varieties from the oldest hop growing regions in the world, Samuel Adams Noble Pils is a crisp golden Bohemian Pilsner full of bright hop character. Jim Koch, Samuel Adams Brewer and Founder, first brewed Noble Pils as a gift to his daughter for her wedding. Since its initial 2009 release, the beer has developed a cult following.

Noble Pils is a traditional Bohemian Pilsner with a deep golden color and citrusy hop aroma. The honeyed malt character from a special Bohemian spring barley is balanced by delicate yet pronounced citrus, floral, and piney notes from the Noble hops.

Of the more than 100 hop varieties in the world, only five are considered “Noble.” Noble hops are aroma hops as opposed to bittering hops and contribute greater hop aroma than hop bitterness to beer. They are the original lager-brewing hops grown only in Bavaria and the Czech Republic, where the environment (much like terroir for wine grapes) contributes to their prized aroma and flavor. Many hops used in brewing today are descendants of these original hops.

Each Noble hop variety in Noble Pils adds specific flavors and aromas to the brew:
  • Hallertau Mittelfrueh: lemony citrus 
  • and resinous pine notes 
  • Tettnang Tettnanger: citrus and spice notes
  • Spalt Spalter: floral and fruity notes
  • Saaz: fresh cut grass notes
  • Hersbrucker: slight herbal notes
Food Pairings: The bright hop character and crispness of Noble Pils is a perfect complement to the delicate flavors of smoked salmon, tuna, or sushi, but doesn’t overpower their flavors. The citrusy and floral hops also brighten the spice of an Indian curry.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

News: Newport: Rogue Ales announces an updated look to Dead Guy Ale

Press Release

NEWPORT, Ore. ... Rogue Ales & Spirits reveals a fresh new look for its Dead Guy Ale and introduces 12-ounce cans for the first time. The updated design features a bigger and bolder Dead Guy, who has come down off his barrel, with a black, white and silver color scheme. 
image courtesy Rogue Ales

Dead Guy Ale labels spanning 26 years
"There were a number of iterations, but the idea came out pretty quickly," said Rogue's Creative Director Hagen Moore. “We wanted to make the Dead Guy larger than life, and have him stand out in a simple and unique way." 
image courtesy Rogue AlesOriginally brewed and bottled in 1990 as a Dia de los Muertos beer for a Portland Tex-Mex restaurant, Dead Guy Ale quickly became a favorite among craft beer drinkers. For the last 26 years, the Dead Guy Ale label featured a beer-clutching skeleton with crossed arms and a beehive hat sitting on a barrel. Although 
there have been small tweaks to the label over the years, this new look marks the first major redesign for Dead Guy Ale's packaging. From its inauspicious beginnings to becoming one of the most recognized bottles in craft beer, the Dead Guy Ale label has always been designed in-house. See the early sketch of the Dead Guy to the right.

Dead Guy Ale's new look will be available in 12-ounce and 22-ounce bottles, and in all new 12-ounce cans starting February 15. For more information about the history of Dead Guy Ale, visit our blog. Get an audiovisual experience of the cans here. For more information about the Revolution, visit rogue.com. 
Rogue Ales & SpiritsRogue Ales & Spirits is an agri-fermenter founded in Oregon in 1988 as one of America’s first microbreweries. Rogue has won more than 1,800 awards for taste, quality and packaging and is available in all 50 states as well as 54 countries. Since 2008, Rogue has remained committed to saving the terroir of Oregon hops, barley, rye, wheat, honey, jalapeños, and pumpkins one acre at a time by growing its own.

News: San Diego: Alpine Beer Company announces 2017 release of Windows Up IPA, Truck Trail Ale, and Willy American Wheat

image courtesy Alpine Beer Companyimage courtesy Alpine Beer Companyimage courtesy Alpine Beer Company

Press Release

... San Diego, CA                                              Diving into 2017 with broad US distribution, Alpine Beer Company announces three new, year-round beers will be added to their front line. In addition, the brewery is planning four limited-release offerings which will be available exclusively in the Alpine Tasting Room. The releases include two canned offerings - a first for the brand. Twelve-ounce cans of Willy Wheat Ale and Truck Trail Ale (an American Pale) will hit select markets in early summer. In addition, Windows Up IPA already began shipping to retailers nationally in January, and is quickly becoming an Alpine bestseller.

“In addition to offering Alpine beer in cans for the first time, I am especially excited for our newest IPA addition, Windows Up, to hit the market,” says Alpine Head Brewer, Shawn McIlhenney. “It’s got big hop aromatics and a really bold flavor profile with very little bitterness; this beer is a home run.”  

About Windows Up IPA

Windows Up is a single IPA made with Mosaic and Citra hops. It pours a hazy straw color and is topped with bright white beer foam. Piney aromas mingle with fruity notes, while hints of citrus fruit and an overall lingering resinous quality lend a touch of complexity to this dank IPA and is 7% ABV.

About Truck Trail Ale

Truck Trail is named for the Anderson Truck Trail in Alpine, CA and is a tribute to rural American back roads where locals go for off-roading and other shenanigans. This American Pale Ale features a balanced blend of Cascade and Centennial hops. It pours a golden yellow with an eggshell colored beer foam and its bold hop-bitterness is perfectly balanced by a mellow, malty sweetness. Dominant notes of fresh pine needles and zesty citrus rind make this a classic example of the style. Truck Trail will be available in 6-packs of 12oz cans and is 5.5% ABV.

About Willy American Wheat Cans

An old-school recipe and beloved Alpine classic, Willy is a light, crisp, and refreshing American Wheat Ale featuring a prominent wheat backbone and Amarillo hops. Its pale-hued liquid contrasts beautifully against the bright, white beer foam. Hints of clean orange zest and lemon rind are balanced by an approachable wheat character, making this a refreshing and flavorful choice for craft beer lovers and newbies alike. Willy will be available in 6-packs of 12oz cans and is 5% ABV.

In addition to the new releases, the Alpine Beer Company portfolio consists of the following full-time, front line beers: Duet IPA, Willy Vanilly American Wheat Ale with Vanilla, Mandarin Nectar Orange Blossom Honey Ale with Orange Zest and Coriander, Hoppy Birthday Pale Ale. They will release their Double IPA, Pure Hoppiness for a limited time in November of 2017. Cult-favorite, Nelson IPA will be available on draft only, with small batches slated to be brewed and released as a “special editions” throughout the year.

McIlhenney is also focused on the production of four limited-edition Alpine beers that will release in the Tasting Room throughout the year, featuring classic Alpine fan-favorites and innovative new brews. The first release slated for March is Exponential Hoppiness Double IPA, followed by Bad Boy Double IPA in the Spring. In the fall, they will release a Bourbon barrel-aged version of the Imperial Porter, "Token" and are also planning to debut a wine barrel-aged fruited sour towards the end of the year.  These in-demand offerings will be available via bottle release events on a first-come, first-served basis.

About Alpine Beer Company
Celebrated by craft beer fanatics as “The Home of Pure Hoppiness,” Alpine Beer Company was established in 1999. Since its inception, this tiny brewery located in the Cuyamaca Mountain foothills has developed a cult-like following for their highly-acclaimed ales, lagers and sours.  Please visit AlpineBeerCo.com for more information.

Event: Bellingham: Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen celebrates hosts Open House, February 25th, at both brewery locations.

image courtesy Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen
Press Release

Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen in Bellingham and Chuckanut’s new South Nut Brewery in the heart of Skagit Valley will be open to the public on February 25th  noon til 3 pm for a statewide-organized open house for all Washington State breweries. Every year the Washington Beer Commission aims to promote Washington beer by organizing this event giving the public an opportunity to explore their local breweries. Chuckanut’s Breweries will be among hundreds of Washington breweries to give the community a sneak peak of their facilities and brewing process. And the Port of Skagit where Chuckanut’s South Nut is located will have other agriculture related industries open their doors as well. This includes Skagit Valley Malting Company, Skagit Valley College’ Cardinal Brewing Program and the new Skagit Mills all within a block of Chuckanut’s Skagit location. Random Acts of Food truck will be on hand for those that work up an appetite while out and about at the Port!

At the Chuckanut Brewery open houses informal free tours will be given at 12 and 1:30pm. Chuckanut brewers and representatives will be there to guide the tour and discuss everything related to the art of brewing Chuckanut beer. This is a unique opportunity to see Chuckanut’s hi-tech equipment and learn more about what makes Chuckanut beers award winning. If you are curious to taste the distinctive flavor of Chuckanut beers or smell the mouth-watering aromas, Keller bier (beer taken directly from the fermentation tanks) samples will be given to those 21 and over.

This is a free event and a great learning experience for all, so make the most of it! After your tour of North Nut, step into the Chuckanut Kitchen where you can order fresh and local cuisine to pair with your favorite Chuckanut beer on tap! Or if you are at South Nut head into the cozy Tap Room for a pint and get some grub from Random Acts of Food truck just outside. You may even want to purchase a souvenir as a remembrance of the experience from the collection of schwag!

Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen located at 601 West Holly St, Bellingham was awarded the National Small Brewpub/Brewer of the Year 2009 and National Small Brewery/Brewer of the Year 2011 at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). The full service “Kitchen” serves from 11:00am every day to guests of all ages with an eclectic fresh local menu. South Nut’s Tap Room is in the heart of Skagit Valley, 11937 Higgins Airport Way, Burlington and welcomes guests of all ages. Check out additional information about Chuckanut Brewery at http://www.chuckanutbreweryandkitchen.com/

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Release: Northewest: Get It Now ... Rogues Ales Chocolate Stout and Double Chocolate Stout

Press Release
image courtesy Rogue Ales
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the honey, malts and oat
That in a pint my nose and tongue can note
On these cold and dark February days.
I love thee to the level of my thirst
Upon sitting at the bar after work.
I love thee freely, as joyful men do toast;
I love purely, as your taste we praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In the big old brewery on the bay.
I love thy rich, indulgent chocolate pour
And thy dark and decadent velvet foam
Which in this snowy winter keeps me warm
And makes the perfect dessert treat at home.

Celebrate your love for Rogue's Chocolate Stout and Double Chocolate Stout this Valentine’s Day. Find both beers near you using Rogue's own Rogue Finder tool. Get more information about the Revolution at rogue.com.

Rogue Ales & SpiritsRogue Ales & Spirits is an agri-fermenter founded in Oregon in 1988 as one of America’s first microbreweries. Rogue has won more than 1,800 awards for taste, quality and packaging and is available in all 50 states as well as 54 countries. Since 2008, Rogue has remained committed to saving the terroir of Oregon hops, barley, rye, wheat, honey, jalapeños, and pumpkins one acre at a time by growing its own

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In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the affiliated companies mentioned have not paid me for my opinion unless explicitly mentioned within the post. All products reviewed are freely purchased by the author unless otherwise disclosed.

The Northwest Brewery Guide™, The NW Brewery Guide™, Brewery Guide Northwest™, and Brewery Guide NW™

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