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No-Li Brewhouse 12 days of Christmas, $12k for the community

Sat, 11/28/2020 - 9:38am

Spokane’s award-winning No-Li Brewhouse is no stranger to charitable giving and community involvement. Living up to their mantra “stay strong together,” the brewery has supported a number of different community organizations and causes throughout the pandemic.

From serving lunches to families impacted by school closures to raising money for communities impacted by last summer’s wildfires, No-Li knows that being part of the community involves more than simply selling beer.

No-Li Brewhouse just announced its 12 Days of Christmas program that will see the company support 12 different local organizations, starting on December 1st.

No-Li 12 Days of Christmas

Celebrating & Supporting 12 Charities That Bring Love & Goodness to Our Communities.  

12 Charities, 12 Days, $1,000 Donated Each Day

No-Li 12 Days of Christmas Charities

Tuesday, Dec. 1st:  Saint Margaret’s Children and Family Shelter

Wednesday, Dec. 2nd: Odyssey Youth Movement

Thursday, Dec. 3rd: 2nd Harvest

Friday, Dec. 4th: Embrace Washington

Saturday, Dec. 5th:Women and Children’s Free Restaurant

Sunday, Dec. 6th: Crosswalk

Monday, Dec. 7th: Big Table

Tuesday, Dec. 8th: Teen Closet

Wednesday, Dec. 9th: Women Helping Women

Thursday, Dec. 10th: Spokane Human Rights Commission

Friday, Day 11th: Martin Luther King Center

Saturday, Dec. 12th: Day 12 – CASA Partners

“We are linked together by community and these 12 organizations lift up members of our communities with respect, dignity, and caring,” says Cindy Bryant of No-Li Brewhouse. 

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Seasonal beers abound at Beardslee Public House

Wed, 11/25/2020 - 1:55pm

Bothell’s Beardslee Public House has been busy. Sure, current circumstances have curtailed certain activities, like indoor dining and drinking, but they’re still brewing beer. And selling it, too.

Here is information about the seasonal, winter beers they’re pouring right now, and one they will be pouring soon. Among the beers, a barleywine (pictured above) that sounds quite amazing. Info below is straight from the brewery.

Debbie’s Barleyine

Brewed to honor the fifth anniversary of Beardslee Public House last August and released this week, Debbie’s Barleywine is named to honor two important women: Debbie Howie ( Chef John Howie’s wife) and Debbie Olson (head brewer Drew Cluley’s wife ). 

Drew decided to try Hornindal Kveik yeast (the yeast we use for our Hard Seltzer) in a high gravity beer and chose a barleywine style ale. Brewed in mid-August, “Debbie’s” spent a few weeks fermenting, and creating her 9.6% ethanol and, after a few months aging and rounding out in a stainless steel serving tank, she is now ready for release. 

Fruit forward, with residual sweetness, “Debbie’s” is a wonderful sipping ale. Hornindal effects the beer with an intense, tropical flavor along with an aroma of fresh pineapple, mango, and tangerine. Flavors of fig and brown sugar abound, and a lingering sweet/bitterness from the chinook, cascade, and comet hops coats your palate as you sip this big beer. 70 IBU, 9.6% ABV

Note: Because BPH will be curbside/delivery until at least December 14th, Debbie’s Barley Wine will be available to go in 32 oz crowlers (or 32 oz customer supplied glass growlers) for $12. 64 oz Growlers will not be filled.

Bad Axe IPA 

We use Simcoe and Amarillo hops, and dry hopped also with Simcoe and Amarillo to make this bright crisp NW style IPA burst with
tropical notes and a long lasting finish.  IBU 62; 7.7% ABV

R I S : Russian Imperial Stout 
This stout is big bold and beautiful.  Roasted barley, chocolate malt and a meaningful amount of crystal malt round out this bol’shoy mal’chik  “Big Boy”. IBU 58; 8.2% ABV

Widow Maker Wit – releases around 12/4

A light, crisp and refreshing Belgian style wheat ale brewed with orange peel and coriander. Wit means “white” describing the beer’s pale color and cloudy appearance.  Widow Maker is a logging term meaning a loose limb that may fall on a logger and make that logger’s spouse a widow. IBU 22; 5.8% ABV

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Two of Washington’s breweries show well at Brussels International Beer Awards

Wed, 11/25/2020 - 1:17pm

The Brussels Beer Challenge is an international beer judging event that sees Belgium’s esteemed breweries enter their top beers in competition against some of the best beers from the USA and around the world. It is one of Europe’s most esteemed beer competitions. The results are known as The Brussels International Beer Awards.

This year, the field included 1,700 beers from 35 countries that were judged by an international panel of more than 80 judges. A couple of our local breweries earned some impressive honors.

Congratulations to Spokane’s No-Li Brewhouse and Seattle’s Reuben’s Brews. They both brought home gold medals.

No-Li Brewhouse of Spokane lead the way with two gold medals, securing more medals than any other USA brewery. In the Russian Imperial Stout category, Wrecking Ball Imperial Stout brought home the gold. In the American IPA (Higher than 6.5 ABV) category Born and Raised IPA brought home the gold.

For No-Li, the two medals follow last month’s sweep at another international competition, the 2020 World Beer Awards in England. No-Li swept the Hazy IPA category. Cascade Fog Hazy IPA won the gold and Red, White and Haze IPA won the silver.

At the 2020 Brussels International Beer Awards, in the Pacific IPA category, Crikey IPA by Reuben’s Brews brought home the gold. Crikey IPA also won gold medals at the 2017 Brussels Beer Challenge and 2016 Euro Beer Star. This beer has earned plenty of other medals and accolades as well.

As with any beer competition like this, there are caveats. Not every brewery and not every beer is represented in the competition. Just because your favorite IPA did not win a medal, that doesn’t mean it is not good, or that it is not the best. Events like these typically do not provide a list of which breweries did and did not submit beer.

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Reserve your spot in the Greenhouse at Stoup Brewing

Wed, 11/25/2020 - 11:19am

At Ballard’s Stoup Brewing they’ve been working their tales off to accommodate guests in their beer garden as the seasons change. They’ve explored several different, creative ways to cover and heat more of the seating areas, basically. The latest addition, reservations for your group.

Guests at Stoup Brewing can now reserve an outdoor space that seats up to five people, which is the maximum group size allowed under the current mandates. They have dubbed it the Greenhouse at Stoup. Of course, all the necessary and required COVID-safety protocols are in place.

Here are more details straight from the brewery.

A By-Reservation-Only, Heated Greenhouse is the Final Touch on Stoup Brewing’s Winterized Beer Garden!

SEATTLE, November 24, 2020 – Welcome to the Greenhouse at Stoup Brewing where up to 5 guests can reserve a spot in their own private corner of the beer garden. Online reservations are available for $100 and guarantee a no-wait, 2 hour block of time. 10% of every reservation fee will be donated to one of 5 organizations that Stoup supports each month. Guests choose where their dollars go when booking the space at www.stoupbrewing.com/greenhouse. Beer is purchased separately and guests will be greeted with a Stoup Goody Pack upon arrival!  

“We’ve been thinking about how to winterize the beer garden since July,” says co-owner, Lara Zahaba. “It was apparent to us pretty early on that COVID-19 restrictions wouldn’t be lifted before winter weather set in,” adds Robyn Schumacher, also a co-owner and one of Stoup’s brewers. “The safety of our staff and customers was the driving factor in our planning,” she adds. “But,” Lara notes, “comfort is also crucial to a positive experience.” 

Stoup’s outdoor only beer garden includes tents, heat, 2 firepits and beer pods for safe separation from other guests. “Though we are committed to continual improvements, especially when it comes to heat,” says Zahaba, “The Greenhouse is the final addition to our winter plan.” “I feel like a Jedi heatmaster,” notes co-owner and brewer Brad Benson who has sourced and set up a complex myriad of heating options seen throughout. “We’ll keep working on it until we’re confident all guests are warm and comfortable.” Stoup has also expanded their merchandise store to include many weather-worthy items like blankets, hoodies, a super warm 1/4 zip and of course, hats (of the earflap and beanie variety)!

Opened in 2013 by Brad Benson, Lara Zahaba, and Robyn Schumacher, Stoup Brewing is a family friendly craft brewery located in Ballard’s Brewery District. Revered for their dedication and innovation to the art and science of making beer, Stoup has garnered numerous awards and a devoted following. With up to 21 beers on tap, an inviting year round beer garden, and a rotating selection of food trucks, Stoup is a welcoming destination for beer enthusiasts of every level. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all seating is outdoors, masks are required for entry and groups are limited to 5 or fewer! Stoup is open from noon-9pm Sunday through Thursday and noon-10pm on Friday/Saturday.

To learn more, visit www.stoupbrewing.com. Readers can also stay up on all the latest by following @stoupbrewing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Stoup Brewing is located at 1108 NW 52nd Street in Seattle, Washington.

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Taprooms team up with local artisans for the holidays

Wed, 11/25/2020 - 10:24am

I’m tired of saying 2020 is a strange year, but yeah, it is. Recent restrictions have all but halted indoor service at brewery taprooms, taverns, bars, bottleshops, and so on. While outdoor service is still okay, there’s a lot of unused indoor space these days.

Some creative business owners are thinking out of the box and inviting businesses and individuals to use those unused spaces. These spaces can still be used for retail sales, just not for sitting around and slurping beers.

Below I share three examples of local establishments that are opening up their retails spaces for use by artists, artisans, and makers of all sorts, offering a holiday shopping experience that may or may not include beer. Please feel free to use the comments section below to add any businesses you that are doing something similar.

BREWMASTER’S TAPROOM (Renton)

At Brewmaster’s Taproom in Renton, they are open for to-go beer sales, and some on-premise patio seating, but no seating inside. Through the holiday season leading up to Christmas, they’re hosting a Holiday Market featuring local artisans and makers, putting the unused indoor space to work.

“If I’m lucky enough to be open, I want to be able to support those who have lost their income stream – either through losing their jobs or losing their revenue through canceled holiday events,” says Marley Rall, owner of Brewmaster’s Taproom. “So we’ve invited a wide variety of vendors: sassy mask maker, cocoa bomb maker, cross stitcher, painter, candle maker, and more.”

“We’re hoping to be a place where people can come, feel safe, and support their local community members. You will not be asked/required to buy any beer; however, you will be required to wear a mask and respect the rules that will help to keep everyone safe. I would also like to make it clear that we will not be taking any cut of their sales, we only collect taxes and credit card fees.”

The Holiday Market at Brewmaster’s Taproom will be open through December 26th. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for more info.

TOGGLE’S BOTTLE SHOP (Everett)

From Toggle’s Bottle Shop:

Everett Makers Find a New Home at Toggle’s Bottle Shop

Dynamic duo reimagine empty taproom as local holiday hot spot

The once-bustling taproom at Toggle’s Bottle Shop sits empty. Chairs tucked neatly under tables, the copper bar top stretches on, seemingly forever, without the interruption of frothy pint glasses set against its metallic glare. The eerily quiet scene, now so familiar at many local food and beverage institutions, is about to be wildly interrupted with the arrival of the Everett Maker’s Market.

Toggle’s Bottle Shop.

The Toggle’s taproom will be transformed into a temporary home for local artisans and their handmade goods from November 25-December 23. Retail goods will include photography, art prints, pottery, plants, skincare, and jewelry amongst an assortment of other handcrafted items. Patrons can also choose from a selection of more than 700 craft beers, ciders, mead, kombucha and seltzers from Toggle’s extensive bottle shop with a focus on local, independent brewers.

“Now, more than ever, has really emphasized what a huge role local, small businesses play in our lives and well-being,” said co-owner Danielle Lothrop. “If we can use the current situation to help someone else and empower our artisan community- we will every time.”

Everett Makers Market, a collective of artisan makers, led by Kristen Keenan of Vertical Gardens Northwest typically sees its busiest season right before the holidays and relies on pop-up events to connect makers with the public. Due to COVID restrictions, events are on hiatus and many event locations are closed. The temporary residence at Toggle’s will be a first for the group. Both parties are looking forward to a bright and local holiday season.

Toggle’s is a 21+ establishment, please leave all minors at home to shop at the Makers Market or the bottle shop.

Toggle’s Bottle Shop is a craft beer bar and bottle shop located in the heart of Downtown Everett offering 700+ selections of craft beer, cider, mead, kombucha, hard seltzers on tap and in cans/bottles, crowlers/growlers to go.

Current operating hours:
Mon/Tues: CLOSED
Wednesday-Sunday: 2-7pm

Please note: 100% of tips on to-go beverage purchases will benefit laid off staff members. Due to the latest governor’s orders, all staff members have been laid off until dine-in restrictions have been lifted.Contact: Danielle Lothrop, owner of Toggle’s Bottle Shop. 206-660-4308

FARMSTRONG BREWING (Mount Vernon)

At Farmstrong Brewing, they’re still open for on-premis service in there spacious beer garden, but no inside seating. They want to put that space to use. The plans are coming together and they’ve put out the following message via social media.

“Calling all creators! Our taproom is now closed for inside dining and drinking BUT…. We can still do retail, SO……. We are donating our taproom space to local creative types looking for a place to set up and sell their wares. “

“I know a lot of you have already been asking how to sign up so here goes. Send an email to sales@farmstrongbrewing.com with the following info:

  • Your name and contact info
  • Name of the business (if you have one)
  • What is your product or art medium?
  • How much space do you need?
  • If you have some photos of your setup, that would help too.

“So far the response has been great and we want to help as many people as possible during this time. Based on our taproom size, I am thinking we could have 5-7 vendors set up at a time and still maintain proper distancing and capacity for a retail space at 25%.”

“We are planning on being open Wed-Sun and would like to start right away. We will book vendors on a weekly basis. and rotate weekly as long as we are in the scenario. I look forward to meeting you all but please understand that the safety of our staff and customers is the first priority. By setting up in our taproom you are agreeing to wear a mask and follow all current safety guidelines. This is not negotiable. That said, I hope we can help.”

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Familiar and classic, winter beers stand in defiance of current trends

Tue, 11/24/2020 - 3:56pm
Nostalgia and tradition are not words typically related to craft beer these days, but…

Think back and remember the pre-pandemic world. You visit a good beer bar, one with a couple dozen beers on tap. The draft menu featured a few beers with which you are already familiar along with a whole bunch of beers you’ve never tasted before. New, different, innovative, novel, unknown, unexplored beers for you to add to your Untappd total.

That’s what 2019 looked like in the world of American craft beer. Flagship beers were rare, having been set aside to make room for a constant stream of new and one-off beers. When the world begins to spin on its axis again and life returns to something resembling normal, it is likely the trend will continue.

Jolly Roger got into a can this year. Other than that, same Jolly we’ve all known and loved for so long.

In the face of all this newness, all this novelty, all this instagrammicfication, there is an exception. Resisting the allure of new Untappd badges, beer lovers still reach for nostalgic winter beers. Sierra Nevada’s Celebration, Anchor Brewing’s Christmas Ale, and Deschutes Brewing’s Jubelale are just a few of the most familiar examples. And then there are the local favorites like Maritime Pacific Jolly Roger, Boundary Bay Cabin Fever, Pike Brewing Auld Acquaintance, Dick’s Double Diamond, and Hale’s Wee Heavy.

I am no different. Usually, I’m interested in trying anybody’s newest creation. Perhaps I’m not as Untappd-driven as a lot of people these days, but I still find myself drawn to new beers, but this time of year something shifts inside my brain and drives me in a different direction. I’ve talked to other folks who agree: there is still something special about those old, familiar winter beers.

Why is Winter Beer Different?

Recently, I reached out to some trusted, revered beer experts to find out what they reach for this time of year and ask why we never tire of those classic winter beers.

I don’t know if I’m trusted, revered, or an expert, but for me, Cabin Fever from Bellingham’s Boundary Bay Brewery sets the season right. It’s like a trusted old friend that I only see once a year. Always glad I found a little time to hang out with my old buddy.

Apparently great minds drink alike. “My fave is Boundary Bay Cabin Fever,” says Gary Sink, the owner/operator at Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle. “Nice roasty malts, then a slight bitter finish so that it isn’t cloying. At 8.5 percent it warms you up without knocking you out.”

Also in a can now, but still the same.

“I think as much as we enjoy the next new release from…, there’s also the comfort of being able to reset your palate with a beer that is more balanced than the usual hazy IPA or pastry stout,” says Gary. “I do enjoy the breweries that play with winter spices and herbs (even fir and spruce!), Anchor Christmas is always near the top of the list too.”

I’ll be Home for Christmas

At The Brewmaster’s Taproom in Renton, owner Marley Rall suggests that winter classics have a nostalgic appeal. “We have a wide range of regulars– those who live for what’s new as well as those who live for what’s already known. However, in winter, they all seem to meld into one–enjoying the simple ritual of the annual dark beers. Even my steadfast and hardened IPA lovers will reach for a beer we all know and love, like Maritime Brewing’s Jolly Roger, Fremont Brewing’s BBOMBs, or Deschute Brewing’s Jubelale, and so on.”

Marley suggests it’s somehow like a longing for home. “I think it’s just like anytime the winter comes. We want to wrap ourselves up in warmth. In what’s comfortable. I think about how, when you’ve left home, you didn’t yearn for that new restaurant. You yearned for your comfort food spot, the place where you went to just hang out with friends, the place where your heart got broken, where your best friend was angry at their parents and just needed to vent.”

Since 1975! Few changes along the way.

“I think that’s what these classic dark beers are more than anything,” says Marley. “They’re our comfort spots. As much as we’ve changed and grown, there’s just something really special about “coming home” and getting to enjoy that solid beer you know is going to be good.”

Welcome Winter, Winter Welcome

Don Scheidt is a Portland-based beer expert and writer who has written for the like of Celebrator Beer News, The New School, and others. This week alone, Don has already forgotten more about beer than most of us will ever know–the new, the old, the unusual, the predictable, nothing gets by this guy.

New artwork each year, always lovely.

“Two current favorites are Sierra Nevada Celebration and Samuel Smith Winter Welcome,” he says, noting that the latter of the two has been relabeled for 2020 as Welcome Back in support of hospitality industry workers.

“Mind you, if any of the likes you mentioned [Jolly Roger, Anchor Christmas Ale, Deschutes Jubelale, etc.] are on offer and somehow I can order on draft, those all are great choices.”

Don adds, “Why do people go for the tried and true? Because sooner or later, the shiniest of shiny new baubles, the pastriest of pastry stouts, the thiccest of thicc fruit “sours” all get kinda same-same. The classics stand out for being what they are. Especially in these crazy pandemic times.”

Remember Normal?

I suppose that’s it. Pretty simple really. There is something about the dark season and the holidays that make us long for the comfort of the familiar. This year especially, there is something soothing and reassuring about anything that is regular or as expected.

Sometimes we want to challenge our palate, to explore, to expand our horizons, but sometimes we just want to hear the same old Christmas songs over and over again. That’s okay. We have the rest of the year to be the cool kids and chase after the newest, the shiniest, and the most-instagrammable beers.

Go on, give that good old familiar winter beer a big hug. You won’t see it again until next year.

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Celebrate and support small, independent breweries on Small Brewery Sunday

Mon, 11/23/2020 - 5:03pm
Sunday, November 29th is the second annual Small Brewery Sunday

So exactly what is Small Brewery Sunday? From sea to shining sea, it’s a day to show support for your local, beloved, independent beer manufacturer. I suppose it’s a riff on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday but geared specifically for us beer lovers.

Of course, because of the pandemic, this year the celebration will include all of the public health and safety guidelines. COVID be damned, the Sunday following Thanksgiving is Small Brewery Sunday.

Sunday is as Sunday Does

It has been said that one of the best things about craft breweries and their tasting rooms is that it validates, or legitimizes, day-drinking. I mean, a Saturday or Sunday afternoon is the best time to visit a craft brewery, right? We aren’t really day-drinkers so much as we are hobbyists, enthusiasts, or weekend warriors.

So in that regard, I suppose many of us consider every Sunday to be Small Brewery Sunday. Still, it’s good that the Brewers Association, which created the holiday, is spearheading the effort to give this one particular Sunday special attention.

The Official Announcement From the Brewers Association

What: Small Brewery Sunday will return for a second year on Nov. 29. The national beer holiday, created by the Brewers Association (BA) – the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American craft brewers. The BA encourages beer lovers to celebrate the big impact of small breweries on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and to support local breweries, brewpubs, and taprooms throughout the holiday season and beyond. 

When: Sunday, November 29  

Where: Beer lovers can visit their local brewery, taproom, or brewpub, or opt for curbside pickup or at-home delivery, location and restrictions dependent. To locate a small and independent brewery visit SmallBrewerySunday.com. 

Why: Small and independent craft breweries are critical to local communities and economies nationwide. More than two-thirds of Americans live within 10 miles of a brewery. In 2019 the craft brewing industry contributed $82.9 billion to the U.S. economy and employed more than 580,000 Americans. A recent survey of Brewers Association members, however, found that amid the global pandemic craft beer sales are down 22% in the third quarter of 2020. Only 78% of small breweries are confident that they’ll still be open in 12 months. The survey also reported that approximately two-thirds of at-the-brewery sales during the third quarter of the year occurred outdoors, indicating that winter will be the make it or break it season as colder temperatures arrive and service moves indoors. 

Who: Beer lovers across America of legal drinking age.

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Elysian Brewing creates new IPA to support the local, live music scene

Mon, 11/23/2020 - 4:09pm

Elysian Brewing Company and Keep Music Live WA just announced a partnership that will use beer to support small, independently owned music venues in Washington. Proceeds from Keep Music Live IPA will help with the great goal of raising $10 million to support live music venues devastated by the pandemic.

Here is a press release about the partnership and the beer.

Elysian Brewing and Keep Music Live Release Limited Edition Beer

Keep Music Live I.P.A. 6-pack beer proceeds will support small, independently-owned music venues in Washington State.

SEATTLE, WA – Keep Music Live WA, a fundraising campaign to save independent music venues across Washington State impacted by COVID-19 closures, is proud to announce a partnership with Elysian Brewing Company.

Available as a limited release, a Keep Music Live I.P.A. beer is available for purchase at Elysian Tasting Room (5410 Airport Way S, Seattle, WA 98108) (6-pack is $10.99) and will be available soon at Bartell Drugs and other retail locations.

Keep Music Live aspires to raise more than $10 million to provide venues with critical financial support they need to survive while closed through the pandemic. “Our partnership with Elysian Brewing is an amazing collaboration, and we are grateful to have them as a supporter of Keep Music Live.” said Manny Cawaling, Board President of Keep Music Live
WA.

Joe Bisacca, co-owner and founder of Elysian Brewing Company, sees the partnership as a natural fit for their company. “Elysian has supported and been inspired by music and musicians since our beginning. We all miss live music – including the shows we would regularly host at our Capitol Hill and Elysian Fields locations. We are proud to be part of Keep Music Live and help support Washington’s small, independent music venues to they avoid permanent closure.”

The Keep Music Live WA beer includes fresh notes of grapefruit, pine, and stonefruit. Aroma features grapefruit and pine as well, with a slight floral lean.

To learn more and contribute to Keep Music Live WA, visit: www.KeepMusicLiveWA.com. Follow and use: @KeepMusicLiveWA #KeepMusicLiveWA

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Teku Tavern celebrates the season, despite you know what

Mon, 11/23/2020 - 11:42am

Seattle’s Teku Tavern, a fine drinkery and bottleshop located in the shadow of the Space Needle, is keeping a positive attitude as we head into the holiday season. They’ve got an event planned for December and are currently running a sale to help you stock up for the season.

On Friday, December 18th at 7:00, Teku Tavern hosts a Virtual Holiday Beer & Cheese Pairing. The package includes four beers, cheeses, crackers, and other options to your spread. Each package can accommodate from two to four people, depending on how much you want to consume. Purchase Tickets Online and pick up your package(s) the week before the tasting.

Holiday Beer & Cheese Tasting Lineup

Beers: Aslan Brewing Cuvee Sortir, Chimay Oak-Aged Grande Reserve, Lowercase/Seattle Beer School For The Voices Yet To Be Heard, & Wayfinder Beer Time Spiral.

Cheese Plate: Beecher’s Flagship 4 Year Aged, Fromagier D’Affinois, & Sommerfield Stilton with Blueberries. And Dalmatia Fig Spread & Beecher’s Classic Crackers.

Add on Options: Columbus Dry Coppa, Marcona Almonds, TeKu Glasses, Extra Bottle of Aslan Cuvee Sortir. 

Holiday Sale, Online Store

In the meantime, Teku Tavern is running a Holiday Sale, offering up to 20 percent off some items. They’re even selling some items at their cost.

Teku Tavern is currently operating as a to-go only retail shop. They’re continuing to stock the shelves with all the beers you know and love, and they also have 32-ounce crowlers to go. By the end of the week, they will have different size crowlers (8-ounce and 16-ounce), which will make it easier for those of you interested in big, strong, intense beers.

As far as COVID protocols go, they are following and implementing best practices for social distancing. They have UV lights installed in our HVAC system to kill anything that is being re-circulated while you shop in the store.  Still, they encourage you to order online and pickup in-store if you know what you’re looking for.

And speaking of the online store, Teku Tavern just revamped theirs. Check it out. The sale items are clearly marked, too.

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Cairn Brewing gives 2020 “the big bird”

Mon, 11/23/2020 - 9:21am

Cairn Brewing of Kenmore, Washington is preparing to release a commemorative beer called The Big Bird that is intended to help beer lovers show 2020 exactly how they feel.

As we inch closer and closer, at a snail’s pace, toward the end of one of the most interesting years in recent memory, it’s time to reflect on 2020. Either that or it’s time to flip it the big bird and put 2020 in the rearview mirror and try to forget the whole thing. Cairn Brewing has got you covered.

On Tuesday, December 1st, Cairn Brewing releases The Big Bird, a blonde stout infused with birthday cake and glitter. The beer weighs in at 50 IBUs and 6.5 percent ABV. It will be available by the glass and in 16-ounce cans.

“The Big Bird started out as a joke but quickly turned into a project,” explains Anthony Morones, Assistant Brewer at Cairn Brewing. “I brewed a test batch based on my favorite Blonde Stout recipe. We started talking about infusing it with all kinds of things and just never looked back.” 

According to Bill and Jen Boyd, Cairn Brewing’s owners, “2020 has certainly been an over-the-top year, and The Big Bird reflects that. What can we say but goodbye? And so here’s to you, 2020—we’re giving you The Big Bird. Let’s hope 2021 is a better year for us all.”

The Big Bird is described as having dessert-in-a-glass flavors. It will make a great stocking stuffer for the adventurous beer drinker in your life. Or, put a playful spin on your New Year’s toast and join the Cairn Brewing Team in bidding adieu to 2020 with The Big Bird.

It’s been a couple of years since we talked about the glitter craze or glitter-infused beers at all. You can read our story from 2018 here.

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Help the brewing industry secure relief in wake of the COVID crisis

Thu, 11/19/2020 - 8:28am

As our elected officials in Olympia begin to consider what kind of financial assistance and relief the state will offer businesses in the midst of, and in the wake of, the latest round of COVID-related restrictions and shutdowns, the Washington Brewers Guild wants to make sure the state’s brewing industry is not forgotten.

The Guild recently penned and delivered a letter to all of the Washington State Legislators on behalf of the brewing industry. The Guild is now asking that members of the industry contact their legislators. Breweries that are not Guild members and regular, beer-loving citizens are strongly encouraged to contact their legislators as well.

I know that contacting your legislators can seem a bit daunting, or intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. They work for us. Just be brief, to-the-point, and sincere. Few words are better than no words. To guide your thoughts, take a look at the Guild’s talking points.

Below we provide resources for contacting your legislators as well as the message the Guild sent out yesterday to its members.

How to Contact Your Legislators:

Use the Legislative District Finder to Identify your State Senator and your Two State Representatives: https://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

A complete email roster can be found here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/MemberEmail/

The message from the Washington Brewers Guild to its members:

You all have stepped up to meet the challenges of 2020 in countless ways, adapting quickly to ever-evolving changes in consumer behaviors and government emergency mandates to keep your businesses afloat. Community is at the heart of the craft brewing industry and in the midst of all of the challenges 2020 has laid out for you, Washington craft breweries have gone above and beyond to prioritize the health and safety of employees and patrons and support communities across the state through these difficult times.

The impact of the pandemic and pandemic related regulations has taken a toll on our industry. This week’s order prohibiting indoor dining at breweries, restaurants, and bars is another blow to our industry, an industry where many were already struggling to meet the financial obligations necessary to keep businesses, dreams, and jobs alive. As suppliers and retailers, this new restriction hits WA brewers from two sides.

Yesterday, we sent a letter to every member of the Washington State Legislature, asking for immediate relief and support for our state’s small and independent breweries. You can read the letter here.

We are asking our members to join us in contacting your state legislators to let them know your small business needs their support.

You can find guild talking points and information on how to contact your legislators here. But the most important thing you can do now is share your own story and experience with your legislators. Tell them about your business, how many people you employ (before and during the Covid-19 crisis), what you’re doing to keep employees and patrons safe, and the struggles you’re facing in your business. Let them know what the latest order will do to your business. If it doesn’t change the way your taproom will operate, let them know what restaurant and bar closures mean for your wholesaling business.

Our guild will continue to work with legislators, state agency heads, and the Inslee administration to get relief and seek the solutions necessary to give breweries a fighting chance to weather the pandemic. In the coming days and weeks, we will be doing outreach to the media, as well as scheduling virtual meetings for brewery owners and employees with their legislators. In addition to emailing your legislators today, look for more opportunities to have your voice heard, coming soon.

We are here to advocate for you and support you. You’re not alone in this. The Washington brewing community is unlike any other, and we can count on our collective strength and camaraderie to get through this together.

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Breakfast beers, pastry stouts, and end of the world

Wed, 11/18/2020 - 5:06pm

Oconee Brewing of Greensboro, Georgia recently announced the release of Bacon & Kegs beer, a 6.5 percent ABV red ale brewed in collaboration with the beloved and bemoaned, but always popular, Waffle House restaurant chain (image above from Facebook). Understandably, predictably, and very likely by design, the story of this beer is getting a lot of media attention across the entire country, even in those parts of the nation where the beer is not, and very likely never will be, available.

Yeah, I’m guilty. I’m sharing the story too. Around here, the only thing we know about the Waffle House restaurant chain is that Waffle House is often part of a headline for a story involving things like late-night inebriation, firearms, and a shirtless guy from a town called Somethingsberg. So yeah, you make a “Waffle House beer” and people are going to pay attention, even way the hell out here in Washington.

That’s all fine. I have no issue with engineering a beer to get attention, assuming the beer is good. Marketing is half the game in the beer biz. At least it is part of the game and should never be ignored.

Oconee Brewing’s Bacon & Kegs beer is described as having a malty character enhanced with “salty, savory, and smoky bacon extract.” According to the brewery, the beer pairs well with breakfast food items or can be enjoyed as a stand-alone. By that description it sounds like bacon itself: great with breakfast but stands on its own, too.

above: An early example, Founders Brewing’s Breakfast Stout — a double-chocolate imperial oatmeal stout infused with coffee. A great beer, but definitely reminiscent of breakfast.

I am a lover of breakfast meat, make no mistake about it. Bacon has a special place in my heart. Just ask my doctor. Still, I am not entirely convinced that bacon should have a place in my beer, or that I really need a beer that pairs well with breakfast.

Regardless of whether or not I am fully ready to embrace the concept, today the world of craft beer is awash in pastry stouts and breakfast beers. I can think of one brewery here in the Northwest that has, basically, earned considerable acclaim among beer lovers because of its culinary-inspired beers.

The style itself is not at all new or even novel, but the sudden, increased popularity and visibility is new. It’s a trend, not unlike many others we’ve seen in craft beer. Some stick, some fade. We’ll see what becomes of these breakfast beers, pastry stouts, and other culinary-inspired creations.

I have some thoughts about how this current trend fits into the overall narrative of American craft beer. In some ways, it’s harmless and novel, but in others, it might be a sign that something is afoot.

And Over The Shark We Go!

For many years now, beer enthusiasts have wondered when the craft beer bubble would burst. We’ve anticipated a thinning of the herd. As much as we’ve enjoyed the skyrocketing growth of the craft brewing industry, we’ve endured an uneasy feeling in our guts, a sense that at some point things would change, that this level of craft beer exuberance was not sustainable..

above: Burial Beer Co. (a fabulous brewery in North Carolina) — Idol for None is an imperial stout with maple syrup, Vietnamese cinnamon, Madagascar vanilla bean and maple-wood-smoked sea salt. Image from Facebook. 

Anyway, while we all waited for things like market saturation, industry in-fighting, and consumer choice-fatigue to quiet the boom, something else may have happened: perhaps craft beer jumped the shark.

I really hope not. Lord, how tragic would it be if the craft beer industry was brought down by a ginger-blackberry, rosemary-chive imperial strudel stout?

Good is Good. Bad is Not

At their best, breakfast beers, pastry stouts and other culinary-inspired creations are well-conceived and expertly executed—delicious beers that push the boundaries of how we think beer should taste. At their worst they are gimmicky and gross—head-shakers, palate wreckers, dumpers.

It’s nothing new, right? Craft beer enthusiasts have always sought to find new, unexpected flavors in their beers. Flavor has long been the allure of the beloved elixir. The long-standing popularity of IPA and the subsequent accent of hazy, juicy IPA is a great example.

Since the very birth of modern craft beer, the flavors have been the driving force. Good flavor. Beer flavor. Breakfast beer, and the like, can be a bit too much. Perhaps we are trying a little bit too hard to be clever and creative.

above: Gingerbread Cream Stout by Lucky Envelope Brewing. I’ve tasted a few culinary-inspired beers by LE and they’ve all been good.

Consider the way Oconee Brewing describes its Bacon & Kegs red ale bacon beer: “The beloved scent of bacon stands out from the typical medium hop aroma of a red ale. The malty sweetness of the base beer blends perfectly with the salty, savory, and [smokey] bacon extract to create a delicious and unique beer.”

I do not mean to disparage this one beer in particular. For all I know, Bacon & Kegs is an amazing beer.

I do not mean do disparage this type of beer. Truth is, I have enjoyed many breakfast-infused and pastry-themed beers and will likely enjoy many more. Beers that excited my palate and challenged my mind.

above: Rogue teamed up with Portland’s world-famous Voodoo Doughnuts to create Voodoo Doughnut Mango Astronaut Ale—inspired by the Mango Tango, a doughnut filled with mango jelly and topped with vanilla frosting and a tangy orange powder.

At the same time, I have dumped more than my share. Some of them are just plain useless. Not just undrinkable, but uninteresting and predictable. It is not enough to make a beer that tastes like a pineapple upside down cake, the real trick is making a beer that is good and tastes like a pineapple upside down cake. Otherwise, it’s like listening to a long, drawn-out, really bad joke that is so boring you know the punchline long before it comes.

These kinds of culinary-inspired beers are best served as an occasional thing. The fact that they are enjoying a day in the sun is one thing, but god help us if this trend ends up sticking. Many of the consumers that the craft beer industry hopes to attract are standing on the sidelines waiting to get into the game. This kind of absurdity might make them turn their backs, raise a middle finger in the air, and walk back to the cheap beer aisle.

Make. Good. Beer.

To all you breweries out there, I have some advice. Make a beer because it is good. Remember what Dr. Ian Malcolm said in the movie Jurassic Park, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

Make good beer. I know many, many of you do, and you are fully capable of mastering the food-beer thing. Far be it from me to challenge your creativity, that’s not my intention. Just keep your eye on the prize. Make. Good. Beer.

Just because you can make a beer that tastes like a breakfast casserole doesn’t mean you should make a beer that tastes like a breakfast casserole. If you have a concept for a beer that tastes like a cherry-almond Danish, and you think it will actually be a good beer, go for it, but don’t do it just because it’s trendy these days.

Do it because you are inspired. Do it because it’s going to be a great beer. Otherwise don’t bother. Well, unless it’s going to get you a whole ton of free publicity. In that case, have at it.

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Black Raven releasing beloved, coveted Splinters on Nov. 18

Tue, 11/17/2020 - 5:37pm

Black Raven Brewing announces the annual release of Splinters, the dark and delicious barrel-aged scotch ale. A masterpiece. Here’s the release announcement from the brewery.

Bottles and Draft Available Wednesday, November 18th at 2 PM
 
Splinters starts life as our Second Sight Strong Scotch Ale before spending six months in Westland single-malt whiskey barrels, soaking up all that goodness.

Malty caramel and stone fruit flavors provide a steady base from which the warm, woody character of the barrel shines. This rare bird is released each November.

ABV: 10.8%
IBU: 24

Due to increased precautions in Washington state, no indoor seating is currently available. Patios remain open in both taprooms if you’d like bundle up and enjoy a pour here. Please visit our Tap Rooms page for the most up to date information on business hours or to place an order for pickup.

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Seasonal beer releases from Lucky Envelope Brewing

Tue, 11/17/2020 - 5:04pm

Seattle’s Lucky Envelope Brewing just introduced its current lineup of seasonal beers. One is available right now and the others go live tomorrow, Wednesday, November 18. The lineup includes a pastry stout, a juicy hop bomb, a dark mild, and even a sour.

“Following the popularity of the Pumpkin Emoji Cream Stout, we decided to keep the festive seasonal releases coming with the newest addition, the Gingerbread Cream Stout,” said an announcement from Lucky Envelope Brewing. That’s the Gingerbread Cream Stout pictured above.

As we move headlong into the darkest time of the year, you might expect the beers to follow suit — big, robust stouts and other dark beers. Not necessarily.

“Not a dark beer drinker? No problem! Our ENIAC Series welcomes a new Juicy IPA with Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand while our Small Batch Series sees a new tea-infused beer, the Mango Black Tea Sour. Finally, a draft-only release of the toasty dark mild, the Parti Kyle Pub Ale, is our first beer on nitro in the past two years.”

SEASONAL BEER OFFERINGS

Beer: Parti Kyle Pub Ale on Nitro (3% ABV)

Availability: Currently Available on Draft

Description: “You’ll find so much chocolate, caramel, and toasted bread flavors packed into this crushable dark mild—it’s hard to believe the low ABV! This Pub Ale was brewed from the parti gyle runnings of our Imperial Stout and hopped ever so gently with a touch of East Kent Goldings hops to lend a touch of woody black tea character. When served on nitro, Parti Kyle comes to life and is enhanced with a rich creamy mouthfeel. We named this beer after our BFF and party guy, ex-Brewer Kyle.”

Beer: Gingerbread Cream Stout (6% ABV)

Availability: 11/18 Release on Draft, 4-Pack Cans (4x16oz – $16)

Description: “Forget cookies, Santa will want a pint of this sweet, spice-filled Gingerbread Cream Stout on Christmas Eve. Our rich, roasty cream stout base was brewed with gingerbread spices, vanilla, lactose, and real blackstrap molasses to create this quintessential holiday treat.”

Beer: Nelson Juicy IPA (6.3% ABV)

Availability: 11/18 Release Date on Draft, 4-Pack Cans (4x16oz – $17)

Description: “The latest version of our ENIAC IPA series, the Nelson Juicy IPA showcases heavy whirlpool and dry hops of Nelson Sauvin balanced out with a touch of Mosaic. Nelson Sauvin hops are grown in the Nelson region of New Zealand and are coveted for their intensely juicy notes of crushed grape, gooseberry, and tropical fruit.”

Beer: Mango Black Tea Sour (5.7% ABV)

Availability: 11/18 Release Date on Draft, 4-Pack Cans (4x16oz – $17)

Description: “Our popular fruited tea kettle sour is brewed with Seattle’s own Marketspice aromatic Mango Black Tea. The earthy flavors of black tea and sweet juicy mango meld together wonderfully in our lightly acidic base golden sour.”

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Zeeks Pizza, Reuben’s Brews introduce Hop Tropic IPA in cans

Tue, 11/17/2020 - 12:57pm

The beer that Reuben’s Brews created as the house beer for Zeeks Pizza is hardly a token effort. Zeeks Pizza, the local beer chain with a pizza problem, teamed up with Reuben’s Brews back in 2015 to create Hop Tropic, an IPA that would make both companies proud. Learn more about this five-year affair here.

Thus, Hop Tropic IPA was born and almost immediately began impressing beer fans around the greater Seattle area. It also started winning awards and accolades. It won a silver medal at the North American Beer Awards. It won back to back titles as the Grand National Champion at the US Beer Tasting Championship. Hop Tropic was named 2015’s Best IPA in the Northwest by Sip Magazine. The list goes on.

By now you should be aware that all of the Zeeks Pizza locations serve up a great selection of beer. AND they’ll deliver it to your door with your pizza! Not just cans, but draft beer in crowlers and growlers.

Now, Hop Tropic IPA is available in cans. You can order cans of Hop Tropic IPA from Zeeks Pizza for delivery or you can pick it up at Reuben’s Brews’ to-go store in Ballard. A very limited amount of it will see distribution to other retailers.

“This is a new year-round beer for Reuben’s and we’re obviously stoked to feature it on our Bottle Shop On Wheels menu,” says Tommy Brooks, the resident beer impresario at Zeeks.”

“We are selling 4-packs for $12 for delivery, pick-up, and takeout. Still doing growlers and crowlers of Hop Tropic draft for delivery, pick-up and takeout and pints in-house where we have outdoor seating. Of course, endless pints will be consumed post-pandemic.”

Zeeks Pizza is no stranger to collaborative relationships like this. Though this one might be the longest-standing, the company has regularly teamed up with local breweries to produce exceptional beers.

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

New guidance for outdoor seating at brewery taprooms, etc

Tue, 11/17/2020 - 11:34am

The Washington Brewers Guild continues to work on behalf of the state’s breweries during the pandemic. Not only is the Guild processing and disseminating important information, but it is also working with Governor Inslee’s office to assure that the needs of the state’s breweries receive consideration as policies change.

Below, a message from the Washington Brewers Guild regarding outdoor dining/seating requirements at restaurants, which also applies to brewery taprooms, as well as taverns and other establishments.

Updated Guidance for Outdoor Service, Tenting and Structures 

November 16, 2020

We know it’s a really tough day for many in our industry. We’re working hard right now on your behalf to get breweries relief and ensure your voices are heard. We will be sending an update later this week, detailing the advocacy efforts currently taking place and letting you know how you can help. 

We’ll also be setting up a virtual meeting for members, later this week, to go over the new guidelines (including new outdoor structure guidelines issued this morning), answer any questions you might have, further detail our advocacy work, and take your input.

This morning, the Governor’s office issued new guidelines for outdoor dining and tenting/structures that provides more clarity on tenting/structures requirements and a little more flexibility than the previous guidance requiring tents and structures have no more than two sides. 

Outdoor Dining/Tent/Structure Update Guidelines Overview

Outdoor structures should have no more than two walls to provide appropriate ventilation unless they meet ventilation requirements:

  • Structures can have three walls if another opening exists that is large enough to create cross-ventilation

Smaller outdoor dining structures, such as pods/igloos must:

  • Be limited to one dining party (max 5 people) at a time
  • Keep doors and windows open when the structure is inhabited
  • Ensure the structure is aired out between dining parties. Wait ten minutes to air the structure out before cleaning and sanitizing. A new party may not be seated until after sanitizing
  • Keep structure as open as possible during cleaning and sanitizing and, at a minimum, employees shall wear disposable masks (for medium risk) 
  • Ensure orders and food/drink delivery occur outside the structure, if possible,

Additionally, the guidelines require that:

  • Lighting, electrical, ventilation and heating must not create a hazard for employees. Use caution with electrical cords; heaters must not produce carbon monoxide (such as propane heaters). 
  • Plans need to comply with state and local requirements/permits
  • Adequate lighting for tasks such as cleaning and sanitizing must be provided

You can view the full, upgraded guidance here.

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Reuben’s Brews releases rye beer variety packs this Friday

Tue, 11/17/2020 - 8:27am

My drive to utilize every pun available is strong. I’m like a walking, talking dad joke waiting to happen. Therefore, in composing the above headline it was nearly impossible for me to resist saying, “vaRYEity packs and FRYEday.” Since its inception, Reuben’s Brews has created beers using malted rye. A lot of breweries brew rye beer, but Reuben’s has always done it more frequently and prolifically.

In fact, back in the day, I would have told you that the brewery’s prowess with this particular grain set it apart from the fray. For the brewer, brewing with rye can be a bit tricky. Should I say, a bit sticky? There I go with the puns again. (Historically, rye has been known to increase the risk of something known as a stuck mash. Read about stuck mash here.)

Anyway, Reuben’s Brews just announced that this Friday, November 20th it releases a mixed four-pack of rye beers: Rye Crush, Roggenbier, Dark Munich Lager, and Cinnamon Raisin Rye. Available at the brewery’s to-go store and online store. Here are the details from the brewery:

VARYEITY PACKS THIS FRIDAYMIXED FOUR-PACK OF RYE BEERS

This Friday at our Taproom, To-Go Store, and Shipping Store we are debuting a VARYEITY PACK of four beers featuring one of our favorite malts: rye. We’ve brewed with rye malts from day one at Reuben’s Brews, with two of the four beers available the day we opened prominently featuring rye.

One of those – Roggenbier – is now available in cans for the first time, joining a lineup of other Taproom favorites:

RYE CRUSH: Hazy IPA brewed with a dash of rye for a hint of spice. Alongside the juicy, tropical hops you’ll find a smooth and full body. 6.0% ABV.

ROGGENBIER: A historic German-style rye beer, ours is analogous to a Rye Hefeweizen. One of the five beers we had on draft the day we opened! 5.3% ABV.

DARK MUNICH LAGER: Dunkel-style German lager. One of the most talked-about beers by our staff when it was first brewed last year, and a favorite if many while it was on tap. This beer was also named a Best of the Pacific Northwest by the US Beer Tasting Championship. 5.3% ABV.

CINNAMON RAISIN RYE: due to popular demand we’ve brewed one of our one-off beers from 2019 again. This cinnamon raisin rye brown ale is brewed with two kinds of rye and pureed raisins in the boil, and finished with vanilla bean and cinnamon. The best of cinnamon raisin toast. 7.2% ABV.

These mixed VaRYEity four-packs will be available online at ReubensBrews.com/Shop and in person at our Taproom and To-Go Store beginning this Friday at noon. All four beers are available exclusively in this four-pack, and are joined on the shelf by another rye favorite: ROASTED RYE IPA which is also available for a limited time!

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

American Brewing Co. announces it is closing for good

Mon, 11/16/2020 - 2:20pm

Yesterday, American Brewing Company announced via social media that it was closing down. Not just a temporary COVID-related shutdown, but shutting down with “if we’re lucky… a chance to come back at some time in the future.” (Photo from Facebook.)

American Brewing opened in Edmonds, WA back in 2011. Over the years there have been all sorts of changes and the company’s life-course has not been typical. For instance, American Brewing went public in 2014. Public, as in, common shares were available on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB).

Shortly thereafter, American Brewing acquired a company that produced organic sparkling kombucha drinks. I always suspected that there was way more to that part of the story, but details were never disclosed to me on the record. I am not sure what happened next between the beer-making company and the kombucha-making company.

In 2015 American Brewing (the beer-making company) was acquired by Pacific Brewing and Malting Company of Tacoma, a smaller company that, I think, was backed by the same investors as the original investors in American Brewing. You can read about that development here. Then, in 2019, Pacific Brewing and Malting closed its Tacoma location but remained in business, moving to its “other facility” in Edmonds. Now American Brewing is closing.

Compared to many other breweries around here, it’s been an uncommon course, one that was a bit difficult to track. I wish everyone well and am sorry to see one of our breweries close down, Most importantly, I sympathize with any employees losing their jobs.

Here’s is the announcement I found on Facebook:

“It is with a very heavy heart that we are making this post. We are very sorry to say we have to close American Brewing Company’s doors! Saturday, November 21, 2020 will be our last day of business (barring a shut down from the government)!”

“COVID has [really] affected our business & it is no longer sustainable. We want to thank all of our customers for the great experiences that we had together over the past 10 years. We built a great brand and maybe, if we’re lucky, we’ll get the chance to come back at some time in the future. For now, a cheers to everyone and a very heartfelt thank you for being a part of our journey! “

“All our love – The American Brewing Company Staff Brent, Brooke & Karl*Brent will be on site Thursday, Friday and Saturday to see everyone as well as being available to answer questions anyone may have.”

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

The latest COVID restrictions and what they mean for breweries and their fans

Mon, 11/16/2020 - 12:38pm
It’s Time to Focus on Drink Local

Yesterday, shortly after the Governor announced another round of COVID restrictions, Burwood Brewing used Facebook to very clearly state its plan for navigating the weeks ahead. The brewery in Walla Walla posted the above picture on Facebook along with a statement about how it will adjust its business to comply. As the rainbow suggests, it was a hopeful message. We don’t have to be happy, but at least we can be hopeful.

My fellow beer lovers, in a nutshell, it’s time to drink local. Very local. Yesterday Governor Inslee announced a one-month plan to help curb the rising tide of COVID cases in Washington. Below, I share information from the Washington Brewers Guild regarding the new restrictions and requirements and how they impact breweries, but first…

For consumers, I think the most important thing to consider is that your local breweries need your support now more than ever. This is especially true of breweries that are not established in distribution chains and rely heavily on your direct patronage at their taprooms.

Familiarize yourself with your favorite brewery’s plan. Does it have outdoor seating? (See our list, we are doing our best to keep it accurate). Will it offer to-go sales? Curbside pickup? Is it delivering or shipping beer? Seek them out on social media and keep watching as they announce and adjust their plans in the weeks to come. If they do not communicate clearly via those channels, reach out to them. Remind them that they should.

Get it From the Source

It is great that so many breweries have scrambled and started packaging beer in cans, crowlers, and bottles during the COVID pandemic, and it’s cool to see so many new beers on the grocery store shelves, but buying a brewery’s beer at the store is different than buying it directly from the brewery itself. If nothing else, the profit margin is higher when they sell direct to consumers. Many breweries rely on direct sales, whether by the pint or in cans and crowlers to go.

Below, the message from the Washington Brewers Guild regarding the Governor’s announcement and his latest COVID plan:

What it Means for Breweries

Here’s what it means for breweries. The same restrictions will apply to restaurants, wineries, distilleries, taverns, and other liquor licensees.

Effective November 18th – December 14th: 

  • Indoor on-premise service is prohibited
  • Outdoor on-premise service is allowed at 50% occupancy
  • Table party size for outdoor service no larger than 5
  • Any tenting or temporary or permanent outdoor structures must meet Safe Start guidance, which currently requires structures/tents to have no more than two walls
  • To-go, curbside, and delivery sales are allowed

Other measures in today’s order go into effect Monday, November 15th and include a ban on indoor social gatherings, a reduction in occupancy for grocery store and retail (25%), closing of gyms, bowling alleys, movie theaters, and more. 

Governor Inslee also announced a plan to distribute $50 million in grants and loans to Washington businesses that have been economically harmed by the pandemic and pandemic related restrictions. He indicated that the funding is in-hand and details on the mechanism for distributing the funds are still in the works. We will be working with his office and the Department of Commerce to ensure breweries have access to this funding. More to come.

You can read more about the order, here

Below, you’ll find info on deliveries, direct to consumer sales and shipping, tenting, unemployment resources for employers and employees, mental health resources, and hospitality employee relief.

We’ll be working to get you relief and make sure breweries voices are heard. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us- we are here to support you.

Deliveries:

Breweries can deliver packaged beer, growlers, crowlers, and kegs. Deliveries must be made in compliance with the rules found here

Complete the “Added Activity” form and email it to nonretailliquorlicensing@lcb.wa.gov. The Added Activity form can be found here, under Non-Retail.

If you plan to use a third-party processing or delivery service, make sure it’s one of the LCB’s approved vendors, found here

Direct to Consumer Sales and Shipping:

Breweries take orders via the internet, phone, or at the brewery and ship beer direct to consumers residing in WA. 

Complete the “added activities” form (same form for deliveries found above) and email the completed form to nonretailliquorlicensing@lcb.wa.gov to get set up with the LCB.

Important note: state shipping laws vary from state to state. If you’re shipping out of state, you’ll need to check with that state’s liquor regulator to learn about their direct to consumer laws. 

Last week, we hosted a Base Camp session on direct to consumer sales and shipping. You can watch the replay here.

Adding or Extending Outdoor Service/ Tenting Webinar:

You can find info on adding or extending outdoor service areas, here.

Last week, the WA Hospitality Association hosted a webinar on outdoor seating guidance and tenting. You can view the replay, here.

Unemployment FAQs for Employers and Employees:

WA unemployment resources for employers can be found here.

WA unemployment resources for employees can be found here.

Mental Health Resources:

This is a lot. Resources for crisis support and advice on self-care can be found here

Hospitality Employee Relief Resources:

Information on grants and relief efforts for hospitality workers impacted by COVID-19, here.

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Categories: Commercial Beer Blogs

Isolated and avoided, West Seattle continues to serve up great beer

Fri, 11/13/2020 - 11:42am

West Seattle, home of the Washington Beer Blog and one-fifth of Seattle’s total population, lost its mainline connection to the city last March when engineers unexpectedly deemed the West Seattle Bridge unsafe for traffic. These days, it sometimes feels more akin to an independent island-nation, but the rumors are exaggerated; you can still get to West Seattle. And you should! Good beer, maybe the Best beer, is the reward.

Beyond beer, it’s West Seattle and there’s other stuff to do. Take a walk at Alki Beach or Lincoln Park, visit Marination Ma Kai for a killer lunch, and enjoy a million-dollar waterfront view of the city, but let’s talk about the beer. (Map of our West Seattle beer stops at the bottom of the post.)

The Good Society. Photo from social media. The New Kids on the Block

On the south end of the West Seattle peninsula, Best of Hands Brewing and Barrelhouse opened about a year prior to the onset of the pandemic. From the very beginning, BOH offered a breadth of beers that defied its tender age, producing well-conceived and well-executed beers. Not just the predictable IPAs and Hazy IPAs, but stuff like a mind-melting Baltic Porter and a show-stopping Gose. Currently, the brewery’s Windowless Cabin Hazelnut Stout (available on nitro) is hitting the spot.

photo from social media.

The taproom is open indoors and out, with limited seating inside and a parking lot converted to a tentless beer garden. We’ll see how things progress as the seasons unfold. 21-plus, no food, but frequently on the weekends there are food trucks or, quite regularly, a pop-up barbeque purveyor. To-go beer is available in growlers, crowler, and some in cans.

On the north end of The Rock (aka West Seattle), The Good Society Brewery and Public House opened weeks before the word COVID became part of everyday conversation. Can you imagine? You finally get your brewery open, finally start selling beer in your taproom, and BAM!

Quite an honor for any brewery, much less a brand new one. photo from social media.

The Good Society managed to struggle their way through the complete lockdown, endured the reduced-capacity regulations, and navigated all the other pandemic requirements. As a reward for their perseverance, just a few months after opening, The Good Society won a gold medal at the GABF and was awarded Best Small Brewpub of the Year. They should have also gotten a Rookie of the Year award.

photo from social media.

Currently, The Good Society is open indoor and out, with a tented seating area out front. Serving a limited food menu consisting primarily of pizza. All-ages.

At the time of publishing, The Good Society Brewery and Public House is pouring its GABF gold medal beer—First To Fall, Grisette, a Belgian-Style/French-Style Ale. To-go beer is available in growlers and crowlers.

Familiar Favorites

While you are in West Seattle, consider visiting one of the other renowned beer stops. The most obvious route between Best of Hands and The Good Society, traveling along California Avenue, conveniently takes you right past three other neighborhood favorites: Beveridge Place Pub, Elliott Bay Brewery and Pub, and The Beer Junction.

Beveridge Place Pub beer garden. Photo by Kim Sharpe Jones.

The Beveridge Place Pub transformed its parking lot into a spacious beer garden that offers covered and uncovered seating. The Beveranda, the pub’s regular outdoor seating area, has also been tented. They’ve implemented an online contactless ordering and payment system. 21+, bring your own food or order it in.

Elliott Bay Brewery and Pub has also made some changes to offer outdoor seating. There’s a tent, but seating is pretty limited so plan to stop in and have one of Seattle’s best hamburgers during non-peak dining hours. All-ages pub. Order the “crack sauce” with your seasoned fries.

Elliott Bay Brewery & Pub. Photo by Kim Sharpe Jones.

The Beer Junction is currently closed for on-premise consumption but they are still open for to-go sales. In addition to massive coolers full of bottles and cans, they also offer crowler and growler sales. Recently, they started offering refillable, to-go pints as well.

Ounces Taproom & Beer Garden – Great selection of draft beers. Lots of outdoor seating. Kids welcome, food trucks, all the cool stuff. Heck, they even have TVs outside for watching the game on their big, covered, semi-enclosed patio area.

photo from social media. Other Opportunities

West Seattle Brewing – When the seasons allow, they have a second location down on Alki Beach. The original, main brewery and taproom is up the hill.

Future Primitive Brewing – Yeah, it’s White Center and not West Seattle, but I had to give it a mention. Kids welcome, great outdoor seating, covered, heaters, all that.

Beer Star – Doing what they can to stay open as restrictions shift and the weather changes. They’ve always got a great selection of beer on tap and in the coolers. Kids welcome. Again, in White Center, but…

Super Deli Mart – I think it was the very first establishment of its kind. A convenience store morphed into a beer joint. A very well-curated draft list. Good beer at affordable prices in the coolers. Kids welcome, great sandwiches.

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