Commercial Beer

Celebrate National Beer Day on April 7th

Washington Beer News - Sun, 04/07/2019 - 8:20am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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For some of us, every day is beer day, but officially April 7th is National Beer Day. There’s a simple reason why: it was on April 7, 1933 that beer became legal and the complete end of Prohibition was in sight. It would take a while for other alcoholic beverages to enjoy the same status. 

National Beer Day celebrates the passage of the Cullen-Harrison Act, the first step in the process of repealing the 18th Amendment. Reportedly, over 1.5 million barrels of beer were sold on April 7, 1933. Later that year the 21st Amendment was ratified, completely repealing the 18th Amendment.

We owe it to all of those people who suffered through Prohibition to celebration National Beer Day. Although teetotalers thought they were doing the right thing, Prohibition was a dark period in our nation’s history. 

Enjoy a beer or two, post about it on social media. Share the story, and a beer, with friends. 


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For the latest news and information about beer in and around Washington, visit Washington Beer Blog.

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Ninkasi Brewing Sells Majority Ownership To ERP Properties and Legacy Breweries

Brewpublic - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 1:53am
Yesterday, Ninkasi Brewing announced on its website that it is now part of a new strategic partnership with EPR Properties and Legacy Breweries. Ninkasi Brewing is currently the 35th largest craft brewery within the United States and was co-founded in 2005 by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge. EPR Properties is a NYSE (EPR) publicly traded […]
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Alesong Brewing & Blending 2019 Second Quarter Beer Release

Brewpublic - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 12:20am
Alesong Brewing & Blending is set to release five new beers for its 2019 Second Quarter Beer Release. These five new beers include Common Nectar, the brewery’s second collaboration brewed with the The Commons Brewery prior to its closure, along with Terroir: Chardonnay, Touch of Brett: Galaxy, Touch of Brett: Old Tom, and Kind of […]
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Deschutes Brewery Hires Industry Veteran Neal Stewart as New Vice President of Marketing

Brewpublic - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 12:05am
Bend, OR ‐‐ April 4, 2019 – Deschutes Brewery, the tenth largest craft brewery in the U.S. and family and employee owned since 1988, welcomes Neal Stewart, former Vice President of Marketing at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, DE. Stewart joins the leadership team in Bend as the new Vice President of Marketing, bringing nearly […]
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List of brewers for the Tri-Cities Craft Beer Festival – April 27th

Washington Beer News - Thu, 04/04/2019 - 2:40pm

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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The Washington Beer Commission the list of 28 local craft breweries that will participate in the 3rd Annual Tri-Cities Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, April 27 in Kennewick, WA. In all, participating breweries will pour no less than 90 beers.

“The Tri-Cities Craft Beer Festival will have an indoor/outdoor element to take advantage of the typically pleasant spring weather in the area,” said the event organizers. “Local food trucks and a music component will make for a festive atmosphere to go along with the delicious Washington craft beer selections.”

“Tasting festivals are a great marketing tool for the state’s breweries and the primary source of funding for the Washington Beer Commission. All event proceeds get reinvested in the marketing and promotion of Washington state craft beer and its 402 statewide breweries.”

Here is the list of participating breweries in the 2019 Tri-Cities Craft Beer Festival:

  • Badass Backyard Brewing – Spokane Valley
  • Bale Breaker Brewing -Yakima
  • Berchman’s Brewing – Yakima
  • Big Barn Brewing – Mead
  • Brothers Cascadia Brewing – Vancouver
  • Burwood Brewing – Walla Walla
  • Elysian Brewing – Seattle
  • Fremont Brewing – Seattle
  • Georgetown Brewing – Seattle
  • Ghostfish Brewing – Seattle
  • Gig Harbor Brewing Company – Tacoma
  • Ice Harbor Brewing – Kennewick
  • Icicle Brewing – Leavenworth
  • Iron Goat Brewing – Spokane
  • Laht Neppur Brewing – Waitsburg
  • M.T. Head Brewing – Walla Wall
  • No-Li Brewhouse – Spokane
  • Paradise Creek Brewery – Pullman
  • Silver City Brewery and Taproom – Bremerton
  • Single Hill Brewing – Yakima
  • Stormy Mountain Brewing – Chelan
  • Sumerian Brewing – Woodinville
  • Ten Pin Brewing – Moses Lake
  • Varietal Beer Co. – Sunnyside
  • Waddell’s Brewpub & Grille – Spokane
  • Wandering Hop Brewery – Yakima
  • Wenatchee Valley Brewing – Wenatchee
  • White Bluffs Brewing – Richland

Established in July 2007 the Washington Beer Commission represents all 402 craft breweries in Washington state. The Commission’s mission is to promote Washington beer, benefit the state’s breweries, and increase awareness and demand. It is still the only beer commission in the country! For more information about the Washington Beer Commission and its events please visit:

Saturday, April 27th

Southridge Sports and Events Complex
2901 Southridge Blvd
Kennewick, WA 99337

Age 21+ Event

$20 advance tickets/$25 at the door while supplies last

Admission includes a commemorative tasting glass & eight 4 oz. tastes

Additional tasting tokens may be purchased at $2 each or three for $5

Designated driver admission is $5 and available at the door only (includes free water/soda)

Tickets on sale now! Tri-Cities Craft Beer Festival


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For the latest news and information about beer in and around Washington, visit Washington Beer Blog.

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

The folly of app-driven groupthink and its impact on craft beer

Washington Beer News - Thu, 04/04/2019 - 1:37pm

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Recently, I got my hands on some data that revealed how Washington-brewed beers rank against beers from other states. What I have, and will share with you in a different post, is an analysis of data harvested from Untappd, the beer rating app that so many of us use to track and rate the beers we drink. (My username is BeerBlog, BTW)

When I got that report, I looked at the numbers and pondered what it really means. I couldn’t help questioning the nature of these kinds of beer ratings. Not because of how Washington’s beer ranked, which was about what I expected, but moreover it spawned a bigger question. I began to wonder about the value of such ratings. Are they useful? Are they harmful? Is this just another first-world beer problem? Probably.

According to Psychology Today magazine, “Groupthink occurs when a group of well-intentioned people make irrational or non-optimal decisions that are spurred by the urge to conform or the discouragement of dissent.”

Hans Christian Anderson published The Emperor’s New Clothes nearly 200 years ago, so the concept of groupthink is not new. The Emperor’s clothes were said to be so fine and so beautiful that they could only be seen by the most intelligent and sophisticated people. Of course, nobody wanted to admit that the Emperor was naked for fear of being dubbed an unworldly idiot.

Has that kind of unhealthy groupthink infiltrated the world of beer?

When you open Untappd, RateBeer, or similar online forums, and search for a beer, you are presented with that beer’s score as determined by the crowd that came before you. How can seeing that score not impact your own judgment? Now, I know that you are not influenced by the opinions of other people, but everyone else is.

If these beer ratings are influenced by something other than the beer itself, what’s the point?

Burnt Hair and Unwashed Ass

If you encounter a new beer that smells like burnt hair and tastes like unwashed ass, but then you see that it has a 4.5 rating on RateBeer, it would be immensely human of you to adjust your opinion. I mean, not you, but everyone else. Instead of reading your modified opinion, I am much more interested in reading your honest assessment, especially since I have never tasted unwashed ass.

To some extent, everyone except you is vulnerable to this kind of groupthink. I am willing to admit that I have, on plenty of occasions, checked myself and questioned my own opinion after seeing the collective opinion of the group, doubting my own level of taste and wondering if maybe all those people on Untappd are better beer drinkers than I am.

Truthfully, I tend to not check-in to beers that I don’t like, so I am a really bad example. If I really like a beer, I am much more likely to take the phone out of my pocket. I try to remind myself to use Untappd to track all of the beers I drink, without concern for the ratings, but instead, I only check-in to about one of every 20 new beers I drink. In other words, I suck at Untappd.

Here’s what I see as the problem, and this is probably obvious by now, published scores beget similar scores. If the first two people who taste a new beer rate it very high, it would be unusual for the third person to rate it very low. Once again, I am not talking about you; rather, I am talking about everyone else.

In many cases, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Unobtainable Barrel-Aged Stout is highly rated because it is highly rated. If you jump in and give Unobtainable Barrel-Aged Stout a crappy score, you will be seen as an outlier or a contrarian at best.

How much of an impact groupthink has on the beer’s eventual score, I do not know. Maybe a lot, maybe very little. Maybe you completely disagree with me and think it has no bearing on the final score. Maybe you don’t care and think that it’s okay that nobody mentions that the Emperor is naked.

B-Bomb is a Great Beer Regardless of the Groupthink

If Fremont Brewing’s B-Bomb is a great beer, it’s not because the group says it’s a great beer. Sure, the folks who make it are probably happy that it is so highly rated, and maybe it provides some validation, but that’s not the goal; great brewers work hard to impress themselves first, and then hope that we agree that something is good.

Still, if a brewery produces a beer that enjoys a high ranking, it should be proud. I do not mean to suggest that such rankings are complete nonsense, I am simply pointing out the nature of such rankings and how the unavoidable groupthink factor influences them.

Personally, and brewers probably agree with me, I am more interested results and feedback from blind tasting events where the judges do not know what beer they are drinking or how anyone else at the table is scoring it. At some tasting panels, I have even been asked not to voice any reactions to the beers while the tasting panel is in session. Not even a “hmmm” or an “ahhh.” No raised eyebrows, no crinkled noses. The goal is to remove groupthink from the equation.

In the end, I suppose none of this really matters all that much unless you’re a brewery that gets a crappy rating and can’t shake it. One bad Yelp review has been known to send a restaurant into an irreversible nose dive.

Here’s an idea. How about a beer app that doesn’t let you see other ratings until you’ve rated the beer yourself? When you bring up a beer on the app, you must choose whether you want to rate the beer yourself or see how other people have rated it. Once you’ve seen the beer’s score, you cannot rate that beer.

That way, we won’t be tempted to open the app to find out if we should, or should not, enjoy the beer we are drinking. I worry that too many people use beer apps and online forums for that reason.

It’s easy to adopt an opinion, but it is much more difficult to formulate one of your own.

Again, I am not talking about you. I’m talking about everyone else.

The ideas and opinions expressed in this editorial are purely my own and do not reflect the ideas or opinions of anyone else. That is unless you agree with me. No beers were harmed in the making of this editorial.  




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For the latest news and information about beer in and around Washington, visit Washington Beer Blog.

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

UW now offering beer classes in Bothell – classes start in a couple weeks

Washington Beer News - Thu, 04/04/2019 - 10:20am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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It’s not news that the University of Washington offers beer classes and Craft Beer Certification Programs that are suitable for all levels of beer lovers, but now they’re offering a class in Bothell, in addition to classes in Tacoma and Seattle. Enrollment is now open for classes beginning in a couple weeks. See our story from earlier this year about the UW’s beer programs.

Learn about all of the UW Craft Beer Certificate Programs here.

The Mastering Beer Styles: Exploration and Evaluation classes at Beardsless Public House in Bothell begin on April 16th. The course will be led by Dean Priebe, the award-winning brewer at Icicle Brewing Company.

The 10-week course guides students on an exploration through the world of beer. The program provides the core knowledge around the history, terminology and style characteristics of beers. The curriculum is based on the information covered in industry standard exam certifications such as the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) and Cicerone.

  • Classes start in Bothell at Beardslee Public House on April 16th
  • Classes start in Seattle at Lowercase Brewing on April 22nd
  • Classes start in Tacoma at 7 Seas Brewing on April 15th

For more information visit the program’s website.


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For the latest news and information about beer in and around Washington, visit Washington Beer Blog.

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

5th Annual Portland Craft Beer Festival Expands in 2019

Brewpublic - Thu, 04/04/2019 - 6:22am
When the Portland Craft Beer Festival arrives in 2019, the festival will expand to four days this Independence Day weekend. Held each year at The Fields Park in Portland’s Pearl District, the 5th Annual Portland Craft Beer Festival takes place from Thursday, July 4th through Sunday, July 7th. The Portland Craft Beer Festival (PCBF) is […]
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IPA Daze – 32 IPAs from 18 Washington breweries

Washington Beer News - Wed, 04/03/2019 - 8:48am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Later this month, Redhook Brewlab in Seattle hosts IPA Daze, a two-day event featuring beers from 18 Washington breweries. As the name suggests, IPA Daze is all about IPA. In all, expect 32 IPAs on tap, 15 of which head brewer Nick Crandall and his team at Brewlab created themselves. The list of other participating breweries is included in the info below.

IPA Daze takes place at Redhook Brewlab on Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21.

32 IPAs from 18 Washington breweries, and yes, those baby goats are back April 20-21

SEATTLE – April 2, 2019 – Redhook Brewlab is bringing back IPA Daze, its India Pale Ale party, for a two-day extravaganza to celebrate craft beer’s number one style. The two-day event will feature more breweries than 2018’s event. This year, the event will boast 32 IPAs from 18 of Washington state’s top breweries, including host Redhook. As with 2018’s inaugural event, hopheads can expect a variety of takes on the IPA, from traditional and imperial IPAs to fruit IPAs and hazies. A portion of the proceeds will once again benefit the Surfrider Foundation.

“We had so much fun doing this event last year, celebrating creativity among the Washington brewing community and raising money for charity, we thought ‘why not do it again but bigger?’” said Redhook Brewlab Brewmaster Nick Crandall. “Last year was one of the biggest weekends of the year for us,” he added.

IPA Daze will run Saturday and Sunday, April 20 – 21, from noon to midnight on Saturday and noon to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Guests will find 15 different takes on the style from Crandall and his team at Brewlab. Among the IPAs Crandall will brew for the event: Force Output, a triple IPA, Mana Vault, a hazy IPA, When Life Gives You Limes #2, a lime IPA, Hempocrat, a hemp seed IPA, and a can’t-miss milkshake IPA – Shake that Tangerine – on nitro. Of course, Redhook favorites Peaches for Me IPA and Atomic Robot will also be pouring.

“We didn’t just want to have 15 more-traditional IPAs from Brewlab for the weekend-long event,” said Crandall. “We wanted to push ourselves as the host to come up with a wide variety of IPAs, and to do a Brett IPA and a milkshake IPA on nitro – we’re thrilled with the results.”

But, WAIT, there’s more: Over the two-day IPA Daze party, fest-goers will also have access to some of Washington’s best breweries, as guest IPAs will be made by: Elysian, Georgetown, Stoup, Aslan, Matchless, Holy Mountain, Wander, Hellbent, Silver City, Standard, Brew Hall, Skookum, Rooftop, 20 Corners, Two Beers Brewing, Black Raven, Chainline, and 7 Seas – truly a one-of-a-kind event.

So where do the baby goats come in? Redhook wants to give guests a special treat, so Brewlab will have small petting zoo outside Brewlab from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. on each day of the festival. And KEXP DJs will be on hand all weekend to keep the music fresh. An assortment of snacks and pizzas will also be available.

Did we mention that this destination event is free? Yes, entry to the event is free; however, tokens will be required for beer purchases. Token breakdown:

1 Token – $2.00

4 Tokens – $8.00

11 Tokens – $20.00

24 Tokens – $40.00

What does that get you?

1 Token – 4 oz. sample

2 Tokens – One 16-ounce can of El Sonido or Big Ballard IIPA

3 Tokens – One 16-ounce or 10-ounce pint of event IPA

6 Tokens – Taster Tray of 6, 4 ounce tasters

With Earth Day just around the corner, Redhook will donate a portion of its proceeds from the two-day fest to their friends at the Surfrider Foundation, and you can join a beach cleanup with the organization on Friday, April 19 from 2-4 p.m., with an after party happy hour at Brewlab following the cleanup. More information about that effort can be found on their Facebook page.


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For the latest news and information about beer in and around Washington, visit Washington Beer Blog.

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs