Commercial Beer

Ecliptic Brewing Releases New Year-Round IPA – Vega IPA

Brewpublic - Fri, 03/22/2019 - 6:23am
Tweet Portland, Oregon. Earth. (March 21, 2019)- Ecliptic Brewing is excited to announce a new year-round IPA. Vega IPA features an always evolving variety of hops with a focus on experimental and never before used options. The beer has been added to Ecliptic’s limited release series and will be available as draft only for the Ecliptic Brewing […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Mayfly Taproom & Bottle Shop Opens Today In North Portland

Brewpublic - Thu, 03/21/2019 - 11:45am
TweetPortland’s Kenton neighborhood is home to a new craft beer bar and bottle shop that opened today. Located in close proximity to the Kenton/North Denver Yellow Line MAX Stop, Mayfly Taproom & Bottle Shop serves 16 rotating taps of beer, cider and mead. Mayfly was founded by Ryan Born as he brings his many years […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Farmstrong Brewing is now producing nothing but “truly local” beer

Washington Beer News - Thu, 03/21/2019 - 8:58am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

Facebook Twitter Reddit Google+

 

By now, most beer lovers know that farmers in the Pacific Northwest grow virtually all of the nation’s hops; however, the source of the grains used in our favorite beers is something of a mystery. Most, but not all, of the beers that we drink around here are made with barley grown in various places across North America, like Montana, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wyoming and so on. Yes, Washington farmers also grow barley, but not in enormous quantities like some other states. Wherever the barley is grown, most of it is then processed (malted) by large malting companies who sell the resulting malted barley to the nation’s breweries. (Learn about the malting process.)

A brewery doesn’t necessarily know, or care, about the origin of the barley beyond who processed and supplied it. After all, how different is two-row barley grown in Montana from two-row barley grown in Washington? Some breweries are very particular about the source and the processing of the grain, some are not. As far as consumers are concerned, it’s not really something we think about too much.

Farmstrong Brewing of Mount Vernon, Washington is working with Skagit Valley Malting and defying the notion that all grain is the same grain. Skagit Valley Malting is a comparatively small malted barley producer in Burlington, Washington that focuses on malting locally grown grains. Many breweries use malted barely from Skagit Valley Malting, but I am unaware of any breweries (of significant size) using nothing but malted barley from Skagit Valley Malting. That is, until now. Farmstrong Brewing recently announced that it is using nothing but barley grown locally and malted locally.

“Three years ago, Farmstrong opened its doors in Mount Vernon, Washington,” says Clay Christofferson of Farmstrong Brewing. “Within that time we’ve seen amazing growth, both in the industry we love and the place we call home. The Skagit Valley is home to not only some of the country’s most fertile farmland but also to an incredible community. Our focus has always remained on showcasing our county’s bounty and using as many local ingredients as possible. For years we’ve strived to create “truly local” beer, and while most of our creations could hold that title, we were unable to bring our two flagships under that banner… until now.”

“As of March 1, 2019, all our beer is now made from local grain,” Christofferson explains. “We’ve spent the last year working hand-in-hand with local farmers and maltsters to transfer the entirety of our recipes to Skagit Valley Malt. Every glass of Farmstrong beer now comes from grain that was grown, malted, and brewed within a 10-mile radius.”

According to Christofferson, this “estate brewing” approach allows Farmstrong to do something very uncommon in the beer industry: showcase the terroir of the land where the beer is brewed.

“Crafting award-winning beer while remaining agriculturally-independent is no longer a dream, but a reality,” he says.

Head brewer Thane Tupper spent the last few months reworking Farmstrong Brewing recipes to incorporate Skagit Valley Malting products. His efforts were directed by his experience brewing at Mac & Jack’s Brewing, Elysian Brewing, and pFriem Family Brewers. The trick is to migrate over to the new grains while maintaining the familiar, expected flavor profiles.

Brewers have described malted barley produced by Skagit Valley Malting as intense and rich compared to the typical barley provided by the larger producers. This is not at all a bad thing, but it certainly is a consideration and it does impact the flavor of the beer, so existing recipes for familiar beers require careful reformulation.

“It’s been a lot of work but it was worth it,” says Tupper. “As a brewer, I’m excited about new challenges and this one was very important to me and the rest of the team.”

When Thane joined the team back in 2017, Farmstrong Brewing was a familiar brand based largely on the success of two beers: Cold Beer Pilsner and La Raza Ambar. The beers were popular, but they were the brewery’s only beers that did not utilize local malted barley. When the company canned and released it’s Valley Gold Lager, it was Farmstrong’s first canned beer brandishing the “Grown Here. Malted Here. Brewed Here.” slogan. At that time they decided all of their beers should live up to that mantra and have been working to bring that plan to fruition. Now they have.

“The next time you taste a Farmstrong beer, know that it’s the freshest, most “truly local” beer we can brew,” says Christofferson. “We’re proud of that, and we hope you are, too.”

 

Facebook Twitter Reddit Google+

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

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Redhook Brewery To Release El Sonido Mexican-Style Lager To Benefit SMASH

Brewpublic - Thu, 03/21/2019 - 8:17am
TweetLast year, Redhook Brewery released El Sonido, a Mexican inspired lager brewed at its Brewlab in Seattle and went on to become Brewlab’s most popular beer of 2018. Now El Sonido will join Redhook’s year-round lineup and will also benefit a very important charitable organization in Seattle. When released this month, El Sonido will partner […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Central Oregon Homebrewers Organization Annual Spring Fling Competition Returns April 26–28

Brewpublic - Thu, 03/21/2019 - 6:41am
Tweet Bend, OR – March 20, 2019 – The Central Oregon Homebrewers Organization (COHO) annual Spring Fling homebrew competition returns once again this April and is currently accepting entries. The event takes place the weekend of April 26–28, 2019, at the Aspen Ridge Retirement Community in Bend. Judging of the beers takes place Friday and […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

TangleTown Public House taking over Elysian’s Tangletown brewpub

Washington Beer News - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 2:40pm

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

Facebook Twitter Reddit Google+

 

Changes are afoot at Elysian Brewing’s TangleTown brewpub in Seattle. As of now, the brewpub is closed, but there are plans to reopen in late April with a different format and a different owner. Simultaneously, the plans do and do not involve Elysian Brewing. Allow me to explain.

The neighborhood brewpub, located in that neighborhood between Wallingford and Green Lake, where the roads seem to ramble in all directions, opened more than 15 years ago. Recently, the lease was up for renewal, at which time the folks at Elysian Brewing and Anheuser-Busch decided not to pursue another lease. The company is currently involved in a big renovation at the original Elysian brewpub in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and perhaps didn’t have interest in embarking on another facelift at the Tangletown pub, which has stood essentially unchanged over the years. Whatever the case, the company decided to let Tangletown go.

Enter David Buhler, one of the original owners/founders of Elysian Brewing, to save the day. After some key changes and modifications, he will reopen the business as TangleTown Public House, operating the new business independent of Elysian Brewing and Anheuser-Busch. The new pub will offer a wide selection of beers from a number of different breweries.

TangleTown is currently closed and Buhler hopes to reopen at the end of April with a focus on a thoughtful selection of draft and canned beers from some of his favorite breweries. In a phone call, Buhler mentioned the likes of Aslan Brewing, Georgetown Brewing, Fremont Brewing, pFriem Family Brewers, and Chuckanut Brewery. “The stuff I drink at home,” he said.

One thing that will not change is the name on the lease. “I’m a signer on the original lease from 16 years ago,” says Buhler, who along with managing the restaurant over a decade ago helped shepherd Elysian Brewing into its current role as one of the largest beer brands in the country. “So, being the sole owner now and signing a new lease with the property owner is weirdly contiguous.”

Buhler says that taking over and reimagining TangleTown will not impact his position with Elysian. “I will continue to provide strategy advice to Elysian along with my role at Elysian as a national brand ambassador”.

TangleTown will now have 20 rotating draft beers and ciders on tap and Buhler hopes to make use of his many relationships in the craft beer and beverage industry, many of which span decades.

“I decided to keep the name TangleTown,” says Buhler. “When we opened this spot in 2003 the name Tangletown had fallen out of use; it is now the descriptor for this whole neighborhood. It seems appropriate that this legacy should continue. TangleTown will continue to serve high-quality food, beer, wine, cider and spirits. It will continue to serve the vast array of families that live in the area and it will add an intimate acoustic music space as well.”

In addition to everything else, Buhler is a musician with a few albums to his credit and part of the plan is to create a place where people can enjoy live music.

TangleTown Public House will be open on weekdays starting at 3:00, but not for lunch. On weekends they will open earlier to accommodate the brunch crowd. He imagines the new pub as a place where families are welcome, but as the evening hours approach the vibe changes into more of an adult-focused environment.

“I’m super excited to be part of the fabric of this community again,” says Buhler. “I can’t wait to greet you all and share a story with you.”

 

Facebook Twitter Reddit Google+

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

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Crossbuck Brewing brings its beers to some of Seattle’s finest restaurants

Washington Beer News - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 10:27am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

Facebook Twitter Reddit Google+

 

Back in January, we told you about Crossbuck Brewing. (Read our previous story.) Specifically, we shared the news that the brewery is now up and brewing in the old train depot near the heart of downtown Walla Walla, Washington. What we didn’t really explain in detail is that the brewery is part of the Fire & Vine Hospitality family of businesses, the same company that is behind some really, really good local restaurants, like El Gaucho’s three locations, The Lakehouse in downtown Bellevue, Agua by El Gaucho on Seattle’s waterfront, Aerlume near Pike Place Market, and others. (Complete list below.) Without digging into business details, it’s just easiest to say that Crossbuck Brewing is related to Fire & Vine Hospitality–they’re part of the family.

Hard to beat the view from Aerlume, one of Fire & Vine’s restaurants. (Photos by Kim Sharpe Jones.)

Crossbuck Brewing is now shipping beer to Seattle. Expect to see it at restaurants across the Fire & Vine family. Look for two beers in particular: Switcher Kolsch and NoPac IPA. I attended a tasting event recently where I sampled those two beers and a few others. They’re all good. Clean, true to style, and flawless, from the crisp, light and slightly sweet Switcher Kolsch to the lush, robust and coconut-tinged Kokomo Kokonut Porter. The NoPac IPA is a delightful throwback, a real Northwest IPA that is not hazy and juicy, but bracing, hoppy and bit bitter. The brewery does, of course, also produce a hazy IPA.

We were told that Aerlume, where the company held the tasting event, plans to put a selection of Crossbuck beers on tap. Maybe as many as six. Speaking of Aerlume, this new addition to the Fire & Vine family is absolutely gorgeous and happily located right between Cloudburst Brewing and Old Stove Brewing near Pike Place Market. You cannot beat the view, which will only get better as the viaduct comes down.

Crossbuck Brewing’s beers are distributed by NW Beverages.

Fire & Vine Hospitality’s list of restaurants:

  • Aerlume
  • Agua by El Gacho
  • Civility and Unrest
  • Crossbuck Brewery and Taproom
  • El Gaucho
  • Eritage Resort
  • The Lakehouse
  • Miler’s Guild
  • Walla Wall Steak Co.

Visit Fire & Vine’s website for more info about the company.

Here’s the announcement from Fire & Vine Hospitality about the arrival of beers from Crossbuck.

The beer is here! Fire & Vine Hospitality is excited to announce that Crossbuck Brewing beer is now on tap at all of our Western Washington restaurants including El Gaucho Seattle, Bellevue and Tacoma, as well AQUA by El Gaucho, Miller’s Guild, The Lakehouse, Civility and Unrest and Aerlume. Crossbuck beers have been pouring at Eritage Resort, Walla Walla Steak Co and the Crossbuck tap room since October 2018. Our Puget Sound-area team selected two crowd-pleasing beers to serve at every Fire & Vine restaurant. Beginning today, the Switcher Kölsch and NoPac IPA will be available at all locations.

The NoPac IPA is a hops-forward trio of citrusy, piney and floral hop flavor from Chinook, Citra, Simcoe and Cascade hops. The flavor is balanced by a delicate malty sweetness on the finish. It pairs perfectly with the caramelized flavors of grilled meat cooked over live fire. The Switcher Kölsch is bright and clear with a soft malty sweetness, light spice and citrus notes from Mandarina Bavaria and Opal hops. Shellfish, salads and lighter fish dishes are a perfect match for the light, malty flavor of this German-style brew.

Every Crossbuck brew has a story and is crafted with locally sourced ingredients. Head brewer Steven Brack gets most of his hops from Yakima and Willamette Valley, and is also featuring Walla Walla Hops’ first harvest of a wild variety found in the Blue Mountains and replanted in their hop yard. “They have only gone through one harvest so far, but we have had some exciting results in our limited edition LOcAL SMaSH pale ale.”

Other releases currently available at Crossbuck Brewing taproom in Walla Walla include:

Xbuck Hazy Schmazy IPA
Udderly Mad Milk Stout
Harum-Scarum, Scotch Ale
Walloping Wheat, Bavarian Hefeweizen
Rugged Rye, Red Rye
10 : 10 To NoWhere Triple IPA

When asked how Steven decides which beers to make and why, he said “I always brew what I like to drink and hope others will like it too. I’m a curious drinker and I’m always looking for my next favorite… I’m a hopeful romantic and still haven’t found it yet but that doesn’t stop me from trying everything! There is always a specific beer for every occasion but I generally drink Pilsners, IPA’s and Porters/Stouts.”

Steven has a knack for developing clever names and descriptions for his beers. He says he generally loses sleep over each new beer name but that most come from a connection to his past or the history of the Walla Walla train depot building.

March will be a big month at the brewery to fill barrels for aging several fall/winter 2019 bottle release projects. Steven and his team also have several fun limited releases beers coming on tap soon. A Dry Stout, Helles and Pilsner will be in the tanks soon. As Steven says, “We need some immensely quaffable beers for spring, as it’s just around the corner, hopefully!”

We look forward to pouring a pint of our newest Crossbuck beers at any of our Fire & Vine locations, as well as in the taproom in Walla Walla.

 

Facebook Twitter Reddit Google+

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

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Merchant du Vin Presents 2019 Orval Day

Brewpublic - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 4:00am
What began as a day that Sean Campbell from The BeerMongers celebrated one of his most highly regarded beers Orval Trappist Ale, now Orval Day has turned into a national campaign from the beer’s importer, Merchant du Vin. Now in its fourth year, Merchant du Vin brings together hundreds of bars from across the United […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Laurelwood Brewing Celebrates 18 Years + Lost in Happy Mountain Saison Collaboration

Brewpublic - Tue, 03/19/2019 - 10:54pm
On Thursday, March 21st, Laurelwood Brewing will celebrate its 18th Anniversary with a daylong celebration. The Portland brewer is also excited to announce the release of its latest beer, Lost in Happy Mountain Saison, a collaboration with Happy Mountain Kombucha Co. In honor of Laurelwood’s 18th birthday, pints of beer will spin back the clock […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Higgins Restaurant and pFriem Family Brewers Collaborate on Higgins 25th Anniversary Ale

Brewpublic - Tue, 03/19/2019 - 10:06pm
As Higgins continues its 25th Anniversary throughout the month of March, the longtime Portland restaurant has just released its beer that it collaborated on with pFriem Family Brewers. Higgins Anniversary Ale is a Belgian-style farmhouse saison that was brewed with Calamondin oranges, cardamon, and green peppercorn. The beer features notes of lemon and spice, though […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Book Review – Cheese Beer Wine Cider: A Field Guide to 75 Perfect Pairings

Brewpublic - Tue, 03/19/2019 - 3:57pm
TweetToday, Tuesday, March 19th, Steve Jones and Adam Lindsley release their new book, Cheese Beer Wine Cider: A Field Guide to 75 Perfect Pairings published by Countryman Press. This 224-page book dives into 75 intriguing cheese pairings that includes 25 with beer, 25 with cider and 25 with wine. Cheese Beer Wine Cider is that […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Support the tradition! The story behind WA Cask Beer Festival (this Saturday)

Washington Beer News - Tue, 03/19/2019 - 8:55am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

Facebook Twitter Reddit Google+

 

The 20th Annual Washington Cask Beer Festival takes place this Saturday in Seattle. It is one of the area’s longest-running beer festivals. Today we share a story written for us by Bob Brenlin, the owner of three venerable beer-focused bars in Seattle: Latona Pub, Hopvine Pub, and Fiddler’s Inn. The first of the three, “the Latona,” opened in 1987, when finding good beer was no easy task. Bob was dedicated to the pursuit of hand-crafted, local beer and managed to focus on pouring it at a time when there were only 150 breweries in the entire nation. So who better to talk about the tradition of cask-conditioned beer and the tradition of Washington Cask Beer Festival. (See our previous post for more info and list of participating breweries.)

Twenty years of Cask. Preserving a tradition
by Bob Brenlin

Most people don’t walk into a craft beer around here and say, Hey I will have a cask. Though some folks know what it is, it is not the latest and greatest thing on the beer hit chart. The muddy mess of hazy, or a frantic sour, or sexy pilsner are more sought after than the comforting and warmish cask. There was a cask craze around here encouraged by the likes of Bert Grant and Mike Hale, early proponents of “real ale”, but more recently cask-conditioned beer is relegated to festivals or crazy beer aficionados, like Gary Sink at Beveridge Place Pub, which still hosts a monumental cask beer festival every year (Cask-O-Rama, pictured at the top of this post). Look, there is a cute little keg on the bar. I wonder what that is?

The Latona Pub had the first cask festival more than 20 years ago when the novelty of cask was something that created a buzz. It moved to Hales Ale Brewery later, and this week a milestone is being made this year as the Washington Brewer’s Guild celebrates the 20-year tradition of a cask beer festival.

Now known as Washington Cask Beer Festival, and held at Seattle Center this Saturday, the event is one the oldest local beer fests and celebrates the tradition of beer served by traditional means as was done before refrigeration and standardized kegging became the norm. In the early days of beermaking, especially in the warmer climates such as England, beer was brewed and allowed to ferment in wood vessels and then served in that same vessel at cellar temperature. The process of fermentation in the keg created natural carbonation and a resulting flavor profile. Since there was no refrigeration readily available there was no other option but to let the yeasty beasties work at a warmer temperature. The yeast evolved to this, and there is a signature flavor profile because of it. In contrast, in cold climate brewing areas like Germany, cold temperatures and iceboxes slowed yeast down but also created a completely different beer experience. Lager, the beer we think of, comes from the process of “lagering” or cold temperature fermentation.

Beer is old as dirt and brewing beer is as simple as rain-soaking grain and harvesting the liquid. But today everything is about moving through life as quickly as possible. The industrialization of beermaking was a key to replicating pint after pint after pint. The keg itself changed. Today the vast majority of breweries use what is called a “straight sided bungless Sankey.” They are top-filled kegs that moved along on a conveyor belt and the cleaning, rinsing and filling process is automated. The cleaning, rinsing, filling and serving all happen through one fitting at the top of the keg.

The idea that beer is served at cellar temperature and that a bung (big cork on the side of the keg) is applied to a keg that is hand-filled is certainly quaint and is a thing of the past. An organization called CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) was established in England back in the 1970’s to make sure the tradition was carried on in merry old England. With nearly 200,000 members, it is one of the largest independent, voluntary consumer organizations in the world.

Cask beer poured in the traditional manner. From a “beer engine.”

Cask-conditioned beer is beer that undergoes secondary fermentation in the vessel in which it is served. As defined by CAMRA, “real ale finishes fermenting, conditioning and maturing in the container from which it is dispensed.” Interestingly, the cask fest is more about the vessel of beer rather than the beer itself. We are quickly approaching a bungless society. The bunghole will be gone as no brewer in their right mind wants to pound a bung on every keg. The only thing worse than pounding the bung in is taking it back out when the keg is empty. The resurgence of wood-aging beer is the only thing saving the bung. That and an anachronistic cask beer fest.

Cask-conditioned beer poured our way: straight from the keg.

But the flavor of cask beer is worth the effort. If done right, it is one of the freshest beer experiences available. If done wrong, it is flat and lifeless. Everything has a modern Northwest twist, and so does how we do cask-conditioned beer. We are not CAMRA approved; we are the colonies and we do things a bit differently. We have no concept of cellarmanship and making a cask-conditioned beer (and kegging it) is painful for the brewer. A specific keg is designated and then, before fermentation is complete, the beer is racked off into a firkin, a pin, or some old, discarded Golden Gate quarter barrel keg. Sugar, or some active wort, is added to create a secondary fermentation. “Regular” beer is force-carbonated, which means Co2 gas is forced, or diffused, into the beer.

The keg then needs to find a quiet place where the natural carbonation can take place. (Co2 is a byproduct of fermentation.) At some point, the keg should be vented to release the excess Co2. Then the keg (cask) is carefully transferred to a place for very careful pouring. Of course, we don’t have time for any of that; Cask Fest is a rush to pour and the typical venting and resting processes don’t take place.

The bunghole, that big cork in the side of the keg, also provides a place for dry-hopping individual kegs and that is where some exciting beer flavors can happen. Of course, one of our knowledgeable cask brewers thinks the bunghole has provided a means to make it “Strange brew fest.” Jalapeno IPA is not what CAMRA had in mind; However, dry hopping individual kegs is an exciting means to create a totally different beer experience. That is the excitement of cask and why brewers need to keep the tradition alive. The creativity of the event will always outweigh the cumbersome nature of making cask. The flavors will always be different than beer that is force-carbonated. There is a softness that you will never get from a beer on tap.

Preserve the bung and go to the cask fest while you can. Fewer brewers are taking the time to make cask-conditioned beer. Fewer brewers are participating this year. Fewer retailers even know what cask beer is or how to pour it.

Cask Beer Fest!

The tradition of cask should be passed on to future brewers, for not only does it maintain a tradition it maintains a beer style that is strikingly different because of the process used to create it. The Washington Cask Beer Festival is an experience that cannot be replicated. The beers served will be unlike anything typically served at your local pub. It is exciting to find so many casks in one place. Cask-conditioned beers will go the way of the dodo bird unless festivals and foolhardy retailers demand them. Support the tradition and support real ale.

 

Facebook Twitter Reddit Google+

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

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Level Beer I’ve Got Next Hoppy Pale Ale Release Party + Tap Takeover at Ground Kontrol

Brewpublic - Tue, 03/19/2019 - 2:00am
For its new beer release today, Level Beer will partner with a bar and arcade that both share similar branding. On March 19th from 7:00-11:00pm, Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade will host the official launch party of I’ve Got Next Hoppy Pale Ale as that arcade themed bar will pour a total of seven various beers […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Pike Brewing New Beer Releases – Pike Tipel Kriek + Pike Pils + Pike Green Jacket IPA

Brewpublic - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 11:26pm
A few new beers from Pike Brewing have hit the marketplace. Joining Pike Pils the brewery’s new year-round offering are Pike Tripel Kriek and Pike Green Jacket IPA, a collaboration beer with Flatstick Pub. Here are additional details on all three beers from Pike Brewing. Pike Tripel Kriek Pike Tripel Kriek is a tart and juicy ode […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Worthy Brewing Rebrands Its Marketing To An Earth Friendly Message

Brewpublic - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 10:26pm
Next week beginning on March 25th, Worthy Brewing will begin its rebranding of its packaged beer and merchandise along with a new marketing message of Earth First. Beer Second. In addition to these new marketing initiatives, Worthy Brewing will also host an Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 20th. The Bend brewer has also released […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

March IPA Madness begins today at Latona Pub

Washington Beer News - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 5:38pm

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

Facebook Twitter Reddit Google+

 

Each year, while basketball fans turn their attention to the NCAA basketball tournament, IPA fans turn their attention to Latona Pub. This year they’ve made some changes, so pay attention.

March IPA Madness pits 16 IPAs against each other in head-to-head battle. There are two aspects to the tournament. First, fill out a bracket and make your predictions. Second, participate in the tastings and help pick the winners.

You have until March 21st to fill out your March IPA Madness bracket (see the list below). Make your predictions about which beer will advance from each bracket until you’ve picked the ultimate champion. The most accurate brackets will win prizes like brewery swag, gift certificates, and the opportunity to attend a Latona collaboration brew day and name the beer.

Pub patrons determine the winners via blind tastings. The victors move on in a bracketed tournament until a single champion stands alone. Latona Pub will have four IPAs on tap at the same time, on the same day. (Schedule below.) You can order a flight of four 4.5-ounce pours for $7. The beers will be numbered 1-4 and you’ll rank them based on blind tasting alone.

Brackets can be turned in at the Latona up until the second round starts (noon on March 21st.)

On April 1st they will tap the final four. The same days as a very important basketball game.

Tapping Dates:

Bracket 1 – 3/18
Standard – Ya, No, Totally IPA
Chainline – Tune Up IPA
Future Primitive – Green River IPA
Varietal – Future School IPA

Bracket 2 – 3/21
Stoup – Citra IPA
Big Time – Tanner IPA
Jellyfish – Smack IPA
Pike – Pike IPA

Bracket 3 – 3/25
Georgetown – Lucille IPA
Fortside – Orange Whip IPA
Seapine – Citra IPA
Skookum – Glow Inc. IPA

Bracket 4 – 3/28
Urban Family – Andy Doesn’t Know Yet IPA
Cloudburst – Some IPA, Probably
Brothers Cascadia – Out of the Weeds IPA
Reuben’s – Hazealicious IPA

Facebook Twitter Reddit Google+

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

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Populuxe Brewing celebrates 6th anniversary on March 23rd

Washington Beer News - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 9:09am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

Facebook Twitter Reddit Google+

 

Populuxe Brewing to Celebrating its 6th Anniversary with a Retro Game Show Night

Here’s what the brewery has to say about this Saturday’s event:

On Saturday, March 23rd from noon to 10:00 PM, Populuxe Brewing will celebrate its 6th Anniversary by hosting a Retro Game Show Night emceed by the silly, yet stunning Betty Wetter.

The event, which is sponsored in part by Verity Credit Union, kicks off at noon. The first 20 customers will receive a free commemorative t-shirt with their beer purchase. There will be opportunities to spin the Wheel of Fortune throughout the day to win additional prizes.

At 5:00, attendees will have a chance to be a contestant on the Price is Right, competing to identify accurate pricing of merchandise for prizes.

At 7:30 teams of four can face off in a game of Family Feud, with a special final round between the Reuben’s Brews Family and Populuxe Brewing Family.

More details on how to be a contestant will be posted on Facebook and Instagram as the event nears.

Beer releases include Contestant #1 IPA, Contestant #2 IPA, Contestant #3 IPA and Survey Says Sour.

Contestant #1

West Coast IPA brewed with Experimental Hop 07270. Dank and resinous, this big IPA has a strong, spicy hop-forward character. Double dry hopped to really help the aroma of 07270 to fill the glass. 7.5%ABV, 65IBU

Contestant #2

An IPA brewed with Experimental Hop 10416, Contestant #2 has fruit forward orange, citrus, pine and mint aromas. A simple malt bill of organic 2-row and white wheat keep the hop character front and center. 6%ABV, 65IBU

Contestant #3

Buddahs Hand Lemondrop Brut IPA! This IPA is brewed with 100% Lemondrop hops with a Pilsner malt and Flaked Rice grist. Buddahs Hand was added post fermentation to help the citrusy Lemondrop hops really pop. Bone dry and bright! 6.5%ABV, 40IBU

Survey Says Sour

American Sour ale brewed with Soursop and Tangerine. Fruity and tart, this refreshing experimental sour bursts with tropical flavor. 5%, 1IBU

Peasant Food Manifesto will be onsite for all your dining and with cuisine mimicking the TV dinners of your youth.

WHEN:
Saturday, March 23rd, Noon – 10:00 PM

WHERE:
Populuxe Brewing, 826 NW 49th Street, Seattle WA 98107

 

Facebook Twitter Reddit Google+

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

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Baerlic Brewing to Release All Seeing IPA

Brewpublic - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 12:05am
A new hazy IPA is on the way from Baerlic Brewing when the Southeast Portland brewer releases All Seeing IPA on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. This New England inspired IPA will be hazy, juicy and bitter, a combination that is sure to intrigue any fan of the IPA style. The brewers at Baerlic decided to […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Redhook Brewery Offers its Big Ballard Imperial IPA in 3 Can Sizes

Brewpublic - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 10:20pm
Redhook Brewery has recently added a new package size of 19.2-ounce cans for its Big Ballard Imperial IPA. This new stovepipe can has joined the previously available 12-ounce and 16-ounce cans along with 12-ounce and 22-ounce bottles. The name for Big Ballard Imperial IPA pays tribute to the brewery’s original location in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. […]
Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

The legacy brewery blues and the Pokemonification of craft beer

Washington Beer News - Fri, 03/15/2019 - 10:47am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

Facebook Twitter Reddit Google+

 

The independent craft breweries that deserve so much credit for starting and fueling the craft beer revolution of the past 30-plus years are facing a challenge these days. I call it the legacy brewery blues. If I had to draw a line, I’d say that any brewery nearing the 20-year milestone, or older, qualifies as a legacy brewery. Some would draw that line to include 10-year-old breweries, but that seems a bit unreasonable to me.

Some legacy breweries, like Deschutes Brewery, for example, are refusing to go down without a fight. They aren’t alone. Most legacy breweries are working hard to remain relevant as the craft beer industry that they created and nurtured charges headlong into the future. The breweries that are not at least trying to keep up will inevitably fall behind the ever-growing herd and face extinction.

If you can’t stand out, at least keep up

It is increasingly difficult for the nation’s oldest independent breweries to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Thing is, ten years ago there wasn’t a crowd. In the past decade, the number of breweries in America has swollen from about 1,500 to over 7,000. It’s a numbers game: with so many breweries, it is a challenge for any brewery, and especially long-established breweries, to attract the attention of today’s beer-drinking public.

On top of that, and this is tough news for some legacy breweries, the modern beer enthusiast has developed a thirst for the newest, the most obscure, and the most unobtainable beers. If they hope to survive, legacy breweries cannot rest on their laurels and continue to produce nothing but the same old beers, even if those are still great beers.

Of course, every brewery has its own set of circumstances and my assertion may not be true for all legacy breweries, like those operating successful brewpubs, for instance. There are plenty of stalwart legacy breweries that for one reason or another do not need to impress the cool kids and can just chug along as they always have. In addition to the things I talk about in this piece, there are plenty of other business concerns that impact a brewery’s success.

Sport Drinking

If a brewery wants to earn the admiration of the growing number of modernized beer drinkers, and attract some of their beautiful disposable income, it needs to understand something about the nature of the contemporary beer lover. Many of today’s aficionados chase after new beers like it’s a game. They’ve abandoned the act of casually enjoying a familiar, favorite, beloved beer and have replaced it with sport drinking—the act of hunting down new beers and upping their scores on apps like Untappd.

Think of it as the Pokemonification of craft beer. Whether they’re actually tracking their beer experiences on an app, that’s the way many people enjoy beer these days. For many ardent beer fans, the pursuit of something new, or rare, or unusual is what drives their drinking habits and, thus, their spending habits.

Establishments like The Beer Junction, Teku Tavern, and Chuck’s Hop Shop reflect this new way of drinking. Are there any beers on those tap lists that are always on tap? In the world in which legacy breweries used to exist, breweries could rely on a set number of regular handles. To a large extent, it just doesn’t work that way anymore. Getting on the list at the modernized beer hall requires something other than the same old same old.

“Yes, actually, I do mind if you join me.”

While visiting a local beer mecca not long ago, I happened to sidle up next to a fellow, random beer drinker. The time slipped away without so much as a nod in my direction. Eventually, I sipped my way through a pint as he worked his way through a taster flight (4-ounce pours) of various beers chosen from the massive, always-rotating selection of draft beers at this particular watering hole. Between sips, he was on his phone, checking-in to each beer on Untappd, maybe sharing photos on Instagram, and perhaps scoring his beers on Rate Beer or Beer Advocate, too.

He was polite, but I could tell that my attempts to start a conversation were not entirely welcome as he kept his head buried in his phone between sips.

“Have you had any of the beers from Future Primitive Brewing yet?” I eventually asked.

That got his attention. “I haven’t heard of them; are they new?” He quickly began to search for this new brewery on whatever app he was using.

I have always referred to beer as an inherently social beverage, one that brings friends, neighbors, and strangers together, but more and more it is becoming a social media beverage. I am not begrudging anyone for enjoying a beer in their own way or at their own breakneck pace, I’m just noting that the social aspect of drinking beer has changed. For breweries, this change is not necessarily a bad thing. There is some value in the Pokemonification of craft beer and the rising popularity of sport drinking.

The nature of a brewery’s reputation now depends in part on these shared, depersonalized, online experiences. People used to ask me, “What’s your favorite brewery?” Now they just pick up their phone and let an app or website tell them which breweries are worth their attention, and what beers are worth drinking.

For example, while conducting a tasting event a couple years ago, I met some beer geeks from Indiana who knew about Fremont Brewing only because B-Bomb is so highly rated on Beer Advocate and RateBeer. They had never even visited a state where Fremont Brewing’s beer is available. I met them while they were visiting the Northwest for the first time. They were positively giddy when I pulled out a bottle of B-Bomb.

If it wasn’t for the Pokemonification of craft beer, these people would know nothing of Fremont Brewing or B-Bomb, so if a legacy brewery wants to impress the cool kids these days, it needs to impress those kinds of people. The ones who treat beer drinking like they’re playing Pokemon.

“You kids and your newfangled beer apps, get off my lawn!” Don’t be that brewery.

The best place to find people is where they already are

There’s no social media cache in posting a photo of Samuel Adams Boston Lager on Instagram. The modern beer geek doesn’t earn any street cred by checking-in to Deschutes Brewery’s Black Butte Porter on UnTappd, although that is still a damn good beer.

Legacy breweries can still find an audience, but they need to find the people where they already are. If a brewery believes that their longevity, their decades-old reputation, and their position as an industry pioneer is enough to attract the attention of today’s growing craft beer audience, they are mistaken.

A brewery needs to give the modern ADD-afflicted beer connoisseur something new and different all the time. Some of the most successful, fastest-growing breweries are constantly introducing new beers, one-off-beers, variations of existing beers, and otherwise keeping the beer drinking public entertained and not just quenched.

When Steve Luke opened Cloudburst Brewing in 2016, he declared that he’d never make the same beer twice. Some people thought he was crazy; a brewery without a flagship beer? He wasn’t crazy. With few exceptions, he’s remained true to his word and his brewery is wildly popular because of it.

Reuben’s Brews, which celebrated its sixth anniversary last year, is another great example. In 2018, they produced 140 different beers (different recipes). For the modern beer hunter, this presents an irresistible challenge. Meanwhile, there are some legacy breweries that haven’t produced 140 different beers in their entire history.

Do not go gentle into that good night

Not long ago we reported that Deschutes Brewery, one of America’s greatest and oldest independent breweries, laid off 10 percent of its workforce. Many people took this as a sign that the industry was imploding and that legacy breweries like Deschutes would be the first to suffer. I am not so easily convinced.

In this case, the workforce cutback was not directly related to the brewery’s status as a legacy brewery; rather, the company says it ramped up for expansion that was never realized and eventually had to reduce what became unnecessary staffing. It was a miscalculation. The kind of business gaff that can impact breweries young and old. Whatever the case, Deschutes Brewery is not rolling over and showing the younger breweries its belly just yet.

At the same time that we learned about the layoffs, Deschutes Brewery announced that it had invested in a pilot brewing system with the intention of introducing a new series of experimental beers beginning in the fall of 2019. Also, the company will introduce a series of sour beers this summer.

Deschutes Brewery recently introduced three limited-release, small-batch beers: Black Mirror, an American-style black barleywine; Tempranillo Flanders, a unique beer that straddles the line between winemaking and brewing; and a collaboration beer brewed with Varietal Beer Company of Sunnyside, Washington (one of the newer breweries in the Pacific Northwest).

Those are the kinds of beers that attract the attention of modern beer enthusiasts, no matter how old the brewery.

There’s no telling how it will all turn out, but it seems Deschutes is facing the Pokemonification of craft beer by doubling-down on its efforts to continue innovating and evolving. At the very least, this is not a step in the wrong direction. Or even worse, a step in no direction at all.

As I stated earlier, there are a lot of factors that contribute to a brewery’s long-term success. The need to innovate, evolve and impress the cool kids is just an increasingly large piece of the puzzle. One thing is certain, if a legacy brewery isn’t willing to at least try to keep up with the herd, the herd will leave it behind for the wolves.

 

Facebook Twitter Reddit Google+

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

Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Pages