Monday, December 28, 2009

First Annual Belgianfest

The Washington Beer Commission is presenting a brand spankin new beer festival, "Belgianfest," showcasing a wide variety of Belgian style beers on Saturday, January 23rd, 2010, at Georgetown Studios' Engine Room, located in South Seattle.

There will be more than twenty Washington breweries on hand serving many classic Belgian brews, as well as some very unique adaptations. The event will showcase beer styles including Tripels, Dubbles, Saisons, Wits, Abbeys and Lambics. All of the beers will be brewed using Belgian yeast. In all, more than 50 Belgian style beers will be on tap.

2010 Belgianfest will host two sessions on the 23rd, noon to 4pm and 6pm to 10pm. Admission is $30 in advance and $35 at the door, and includes a tasting glass and ten 4oz tastes. Separate tickets are required and space is limited, with only 400 tickets available for each session. Get your tickets here. This is a 21+ only event.

In addition to the festival, The WBC has partnered with the Corson Building to present a Belgian beer dinner scheduled for the week leading up to the festival. The Corson Building is a renowned restaurant located in the Georgetown neighborhood known for its innovative cuisine using fresh local ingredients. Stay tuned for further event details.

Belgian beer expert, Stu Stewart of “Belgian Beer Me!” will also be attending Belgiannfest. Track him down and ask any and all questions Belgium-and-or-beer-related. “Belgian Beer Me!” offers Belgian beer appreciation classes in Seattle and organizes Belgian beer tours every year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

“Give a Pint, Get a Pint” Blood Drive

Stone Brewing Co. is hosting a two-day blood drive in partnership with the San Diego Blood Bank on December 22nd and 23rd. The blood drive will take place from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on both days, and donors will be rewarded with a Stone Brewing Co. pint glass and Arrogant Bastard Ale Brownies, baked locally by Amore Cheesecake Company.

88 donors have signed-up so far to participate in the blood drive, which is nearly three times the average for San Diego Blood Bank events. 70 appointments were filled within 9 days, leading the Blood Bank to add 18 more slots and increase their staffing on both days. They will now be able to accommodate a new donor every 5 minutes!

According to the Blood Bank, the holiday season is both the most difficult time of year to find blood donors and when supplies of blood are most needed, making the record turn-out at Stone all the more significant.

The call to action was sent to Stone's 16,000 Facebook fans and 10,000 Twitter followers about the blood drive. Following the message, appointments filled rapidly.

Since donors are specifically advised not to drink alcohol after their appointments, Stone is excited that so many of its fans are willing to come out and support an important cause, even if they have to abstain from drinking afterwards.

Black Raven Brewing Co. New Beer Release

Black Raven released yesterday the second beer in their holiday barrel aged series. Bourbon Barrel Aged Possum Claus is a Tamerlane Brown Porter that has been aged in a bourbon barrel with toasted pecans and Sorachi Ace whole leaf hops. They only produced three kegs of this beer, so they will not be filling growlers or kegs; stop by the Raven's Nest Taproom at Black Raven Brewing Co. to taste.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Ale Festival Re-Cap

Over 18,000 people attended this year's 14th annual Holiday Ale Festival, which took place Dec. 2 through Dec. 6 at the Pioneer Courthouse Square. This year featured more than 60 winter craft beers during its five-day run, all of which were either created for the event, or were rare or vintage beers not readily available in the state.

The festival's opening day - a Wednesday - exceeded expectations, with more than 2,500 in attendance. According to festival manager Preston Weesner, "Wednesday is the new 'must attend' day. We credit the increase to the eight rare beers we tapped that were only available on that particular day."

The sky bar, introduced last year to alleviate crowds in the main tent, was again popular with festival-goers who climbed a maze of scaffolding to arrive at the venue. Two fundraisers for the Children's Cancer Association were deemed a success - the Crater Lake Soda Garden, which offered complimentary root beer for designated drivers and accepted tips for donation, and a coat and bag check that ran at capacity much of the time. The monies raised by both projects were matched by the festival, bringing in more than $2,500 for the charity.

The Belgian Beer and Brunch, an auxiliary event held on the Sunday of the festival, sold out, with more than 120 people sampling prestigious beers and noshing on pastries, meats and cheeses.

The People's Choice winner, determined by the beer that sold the most kegs, was the Holiday Ale Festival/Hair of the Dog's commemorative Jim '09, a blended beer that featured Hair of the Dog's Doggie Claws, Adam, Fred from the Wood and Blue Dot, along with an English brown ale, a German bock and an American strong ale, plus a bit of Cantillon St. Lamvinus, Scaldis Noel, Corsendonk Christmas Ale and Orval.

Deschutes Brewing's Lost Barrels of Mirror Mirror and Rock Bottom Brewing's Blitzen came in second and third. Other buzz beers of the festival included Cascade Brewing's Sang Noir (my personal favorite) and New Belgium Brewing's Lips of Faith series (the Lychee was awesome!); both breweries are well-regarded for their sour beers, and their offerings introduced many attendees to the current sour beer/wild ale movement.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Black Raven Brewing Co. New Beer Release

The Bourbon Barrel Aged La Petite Mort is the latest seasonal release from Black Raven Brewing. A rare bird indeed, there are only three kegs in existence. This is BR's sold out summer seasonal "La Petite Mort - Belgian Strong Abbey Brown" that has been aged for five months in a bourbon barrel.

The beer was previewed at the Washington Winter Beer Festival and walked away with first place in the People's Choice awards.

ABV: 8.8%

Due to the rare and limited quantity, BR will not be filling growlers. Available only at the Raven's Nest Taproom at Black Raven Brewing Company, you best get there and get some before it's gone!

Naked City Taphouse Opens Brewery

After 13 months of hard labor, Naked City Taphouse finally gives birth to a beautiful baby brewery!

Naked City was fueled from a mutual love of beer by the owners who both have a long history of brewing. Don and Donald can’t imagine a better job than serving beer, talking about beer, and tasting beer day after day. They are very grateful to the community for their overwhelming support through the process of building the new establishment and allowing them to follow their dreams. Naked City offers a setting where the experienced beer enthusiast as well as craft beer novice can relax and enjoy a great beer.

Naked City Brewery & Taphouse
8564 Greenwood Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98103

Naked City Beers:
Yankee Drifter: A light ale brewed with pilsner and honey malts and German Tettnanger hops. A refreshing change of pace for this time of year!

Hoptari 664: A fresh-hop harvest ale brewed with Pale, Rye, Wheat and Light Munich malts, flaked oats and Amarillo bittering hops. 50lbs of experimental wet hops were added to the hop back. Thanks to Chris Miller from Snipes for sharing the fresh hops straight from Yakima!

The Big Lebrewski: A White Russian Imperial Stout aged on Kahlua-soaked oak. This beer is already being well-received at festivals. As it continues to age, it is getting better and better and better!

Bing: An English Style Old Ale made with Lyle’s Black Treacle Syrup and then “dry-hopped” with Washington cherries, cinnamon, star anise and cloves. Definitely enough to keep you toasty warm during the cold days of December!

COMING SOON… Hoptrocity: An Imperial Rye IPA brewed with Pale, Rye, Munich, Wheat, Crystal malts and Black Barley and Cascade, Centennial and Amarillo Hops.

Sierra Nevada Celebrates Craft Beer Pioneers

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is marking 2010 with a year-long celebration of the trailblazing brewers who helped transform America into the world’s most exciting brewing nation.

This coming year is the 30th anniversary for Sierra Nevada, and they're teaming up with the founders of the movement to benefit select charities and beer drinkers across the country.

March of 2010 will see the first of four beers in a series of collaborative projects with America’s craft-brewing pioneers: Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing; Jack McAuliffe, founder of New Albion Brewery; and authors, homebrewers, and beer advocates Fred Eckhardt, and Charlie Papazian. Together, this group is credited as ‘the men who launched a thousand breweries;’ and without them, our current day craft-beer-renaissance might never have happened.

“We wanted to pay tribute to the original pioneers who helped me and hundreds of others get started,” says Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman. “Few people in the craft-brewing world have accomplished more than these guys, and we thought it might be fun to get the original crew together and make something special.”

The project will begin where craft brewing started—Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco. Maytag bought the historic brewery in 1965, and his vision for American beer changed everything. This month, these pioneers gathered at Anchor to catch up, reminisce about craft beer’s beginnings, and share their vision for the project.

The beers will be released periodically throughout the year, starting with the first release in March, and continuing until Sierra Nevada’s 30th Anniversary on November 15. These limited-release 750ml cage-and-cork bottles will be available at select retailers and beer-centric bars.

And these beers will be much more than a tribute - proceeds from the project will go to benefit select charities chosen by the four pioneers.

A lot has changed in the generation since Grossman first met these brewing pioneers. When Sierra Nevada first opened its doors, there were less than 50 breweries in the United States. Today, there are more than 1,500 craft breweries in operation, and American brewers lead the world in variety of styles, innovation, experimentation, and quality.

Follow this collaboration of pioneering brewers at

Beermongers "Holiday Bottle Snatch" TOMORROW


The Beermongers
SE 12th and Division Portland, OR
4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Come to The Beermongers and stock-up for the holidays. For every dollar you spend between 4-9pm tomorrow, Forest Products Solutions will match it in a contribution to the Oregon Food Bank—up to $600.
Contribute to Oregon’s hunger-relief agencies, support a new small business, and enjoy some holiday beers!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Portland Brewers Gose Tasting Event

What is "gose," you might be wondering? Gose beer is a characteristically sour beer due to the presence of lactobacillus bacteria. Traditionally brewed Goses often fall within the 4-5% ABV range and give off a strong citrus and herbal zest, and a saltiness initially derived from the hard water where it originated in Germany.

On Monday, December 21st, join Brewpublic and Victory Bar as they present the Portland Brewers Gose Tasting.

Come try four different Gose beers brewed locally in Portland, including one-off seasonals that have never been on tap together before.

This special Gose tasting will include three of Cascade's seasonal interpretations: the Lipschmacker Summer Gose, the Autumn Gose and the new Winter Holiday Gose. Also on tap will be Upright Brewing's Gose.

Where: Victory Bar on 3652 SE Division St.
When: Monday, December 21st, 2009, 6 PM - 9 PM

Alex Ganum and Gerritt Ill of Upright Brewing and Ron Gansberg and Curtis Bain of Cascade Brewing will be in attendance. Enjoy Victory Bar's handmade pretzels and mustard, and get to be one of the first to experience the Pacific Northwest's Gose revival beers.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bridgeport Brewing Releases Highland Ambush

BridgePort Brewing Company, Oregon's oldest craft brewery, is launching its newest beer in the Big Brew Series, Highland Ambush, on December 17. This brandy snifter beer lends itself to fireside chats with its heavy body and malt driven palate. In keeping with the Scottish appetite for whiskey, this brew was aged partially in fresh bourbon barrels from the distillery at Makers Mark.

First brewed in the 80s as a special beer for the BrewPub at BridgePort, Highland Ambush is making its triumphant return more than 20 years later. Stuart MacLean Ramsay, then pub manager, conceptualized the brew to pay homage to his Scottish heritage. This year’s Highland Ambush takes inspiration from the original ale using NW pale ale malt along with a Scottish crystal and roast malt. The hopping rate of Highland Ambush has been toned down to help highlight the complementing vanilla from the American oak bourbon barrels and caramel-toffee malt nuances. Reddish-Brown in color, Highland Ambush will warm the coldest of toes and noses this holiday season.

BridgePort’s Highland Ambush Scotch Ale Stats:
IBU’s: 40 ABV: 6.8% Color: Reddish-Brown
Ingredients: Pale and Carmel Malts. UK Golding Hops.
Description: This beer will have a rich malt taste complementing vanilla flavors from the American oak barrels along with a bitterness attributed to the UK Golding hops.

New Brewer Joins Chuckanut Brewery

Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen in Bellingham, WA has hired Seattle-ite, Kevin Davey, as the newest Chuckanut brewer under the leadership of brewmaster, Will Kemper. Kevin has studied brewing science at Chicago's Siebel Institute and at Germany's Doemen's Institute (specializing in German style beers) in Munich, and has been a full time homebrewer, beer lover, and plumber.

Kemper is excited to have Kevin join his brew team and looks forward to utilizing his plumbing knowledge as the brewery prepares to expand for the first time since opening in 2008. Kevin has brewed in Seattle with Big Al Brewing and considers brewing with Chuckanut his "dream job."

Chuckanut Brewery is happy to have Kevin join their brew team. He will be introduced at their next Brewer's Night, Wednesday, December 9th at 7:30pm

Hosted in the bar area of the "Kitchen", the brewers will highlight 3 Chuckanut Brewery beers, discussing the process of brewing and the key ingredients of each unique beer. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers after the discussion of beers. Customers will receive a ticket for a door prize with purchase of highlighted beer. No Cover Charge. 21 years of age required.

Stella Artois Launches Global Campaign

Stella Artois, the best-selling Belgian beer in the world, is launching a global campaign asking adult consumers to help the Atlantic Rainforest, one of the most endangered habitats in the world.

“Send a Card, Save a Tree” encourages adults around the globe to visit and send a specially created, 3D augmented reality digital holiday card. In return for every free card that is e-mailed, Stella Artois will secure the future of a rainforest tree located in the threatened Atlantic Rainforest, until the target of one million eCards sent and one million trees saved is reached.

“Stella Artois was originally brewed as a premium beer for the holiday season,” said Ricardo Marques, global marketing manager, Stella Artois. “This time of year is about giving and we encourage beer lovers to share good wishes with each other for a great cause.”

Stella Artois is partnering with World Land Trust, a leading global environmental organization, to purchase and protect more than 1,500 hectares of rainforest. The Atlantic Rainforest is a top priority for conservationists worldwide and 93 percent of the land has already been lost.

The one million trees Stella Artois aims to save are located in Argentina’s Misiones Province in a vital land bridge connecting two national parks in neighboring Brazil and Paraguay. Wildlife in the area includes jaguar, puma, ocelot, lowland tapir, giant otter, more than 500 species of birds and thousands of plant species.

Progress of the campaign will be tracked via a sustainably sourced tree that will light up in stages marking 100,000 trees saved, until the target figure of one million eCards is achieved. The tree comes from a forest accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council, which ensures the forest the tree is being sourced from is not under threat. Additionally, for every tree cut down, three more are planted. The tree is at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, London and will be available to view remotely via a webcam at

Band Frontman Launches New Beer

Michael "Whip" Wilton, legendary guitar player and founder of the multi-platinum and Grammy nominated band, Queensryche, is launching a new beer, "Whip Ale" at a local event this December.

Whip Ale is a locally brewed pale ale; Michael researched the ingredients, put the recipe together himself, and it's being brewed by award-winning Lazy Boy Brewery in Everett, Washington.

Whip Ale will be available to the public for the first time on Friday, December 11th at Valhalla in Kirkland, WA. Michael will be in attendance at the event, where five of the top bands in the Northwest will be playing:

- Kevin Hoffmann (of Outshined, Rattlesnake Suitcase)
- Dirty Hollywood (the NW's ultimate Motley Crue experience)
- Midnight Idols
- Hairmageddon (80s rock tribute)
- Guns of Nevada

The event is 21+ only, starts at 7:30pm, and is free!

Valhalla: 8544 122nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98304

Whip Ale will be available for sale in 2010.

Sierra Nevada Introduces Glissade Golden Bock

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has announced the release of Glissade Golden Bock as its newest seasonal beer. Glissade celebrates the slow slide of winter into spring with a full-bodied beer that is delicately balanced, yet bold enough to brace against the last cold nights in the foothills of the Sierras. Glissade will be available in 6-packs, 12-packs, 24-ounce bottles, and on draft starting in January, 2010.

“We have been making versions of bock beers for our local fans for years, and with every release we get people clamoring for us to make it more widely available. Spring for us is the season for bocks, so we finally decided to do it,” said brewery founder Ken Grossman. “Glissade is something new for us—and something different from the other bock beers out there. We’re using the best German malts we can find, together with interesting and flavorful European hops.”

This zealous consumer demand inspired the brewery to make a change to its seasonal lineup. Glissade will be replacing the brewery’s ESB (Early Spring Beer) and will add an interesting new dimension to the popular seasonal offerings.

Glissade Golden Bock is the brewery’s take on the traditional pale bocks of Germany. The beer is remarkably mellow, with layers of subtle malt flavors and a more restrained sweetness than many of its continental cousins. Glissade emphasizes layers of malt, with flavors reminiscent of freshly-baked bread and toasted nuts held in perfect balance by a touch of spicy and floral European hops. This delicate balance helps the beer slide across the palate and welcomes another sip.

2010 marks the 30th anniversary for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Glissade is the first step into this auspicious year, which promises to be filled with events, celebrations, and specialty beer releases.