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Pike Brewing adds more tours to its schedule

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 11:06am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Pike Brewing Company today announced that it is increasing the number of brewery tours it offers. Here’s the announcement.

Starting today, Pike Brewing Company is increasing the number of brewery tours and tastings offered each week. Upped by popular demand, three public tours will now be offered on Saturdays, and two held Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Pike’s tour department is led by premier brewery tour guide Abil Bradshaw.

Tour details: Pike offers interactive tours of our unique gravity-flow, steam-powered brewery. Guests can learn about the ingredients that make beer, witness brewing and fermentation processes first hand, and discover what makes Pike Brewing both an iconic brand and forward-thinking industry leader within the mecca that is Washington state craft beer! Tours include samples of Pike beer and are offered Saturday-Sunday 12-1pm, Wednesday-Sunday 3-4pm, and Wednesday-Saturday 6-7pm. $5 per person +21, free for ages 6-20.

 

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Schooner Brewing reopens its taproom kitchen, teams up with Ethan Stowell

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:44am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Last month we shared news that Schooner Brewing had merged with San Juan Seltzer. At that time, the company also announced that it was temporarily shutting down the kitchen at the taproom in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood. Today we learned that the kitchen is reopening with the food program now managed by Ethan Stowell Restaurants.

The kitchen at the taproom is undergoing some renovations but will remain open as the work is completed. In addition to providing food to the taproom, Ethan Stowell Restaurants will use the kitchen as its commissary kitchen, where the company produces desserts and fresh pastas for all of its 14 Seattle locations.

“This partnership offers ESR the opportunity to expand our catering business while opening a fun, new spot for food and drink in south Seattle,” said Ethan Stowell. “We’re looking forward to hosting cooking classes, charity events, and collaborating with Schooner and San Juan Seltzer. Who knows, there may even be an ESR beer one of these days!”

“The concept is simple, come down enjoy a beer or spiked seltzer along with some great approachable food,” said Ron Lloyd, President and CEO of Schooner Brewing and San Juan Seltzer. “We want an environment that is unique and different for our customer and Ethan gets that. We are already coming up with different recipes that connect great food with our unique beers and seltzers.”

This newly forged alliance will also see Ethan Stowell Restaurants serve beers from Schooner Brewing and seltzers from San Juan Seltzer at its 14 restaurants. According to a press release issued on February 15th, Ethan Stowell recently became a minority partner in San Juan Seltzer but does not intend to have a hand in the production of the seltzer or the beer.

 

 

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Flatstick Pub announces plans to open in Tacoma

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 2:05pm

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Flatstick Pub will open a new location later this year in downtown Tacoma. The 12,000 square-foot pub will be the largest of the company’s four locations. This according to a report from Tacoma Untapped. The other three locations are in Kirkland, Pioneer Square (Seattle) and South Lake Union (Seattle).

Like the other Flatstick Pubs, the Tacoma pub will offer the company’s signature and proprietary golf-themed games: mini-golf, Duffleboard™, Cup Hunter and ‘stick putt! Along with that, a menu featuring nothing but Washington-brewed beers from independent breweries. As they did at the South Lake Union location, they will partner with Ethan Stowell Restaurants to put together a food menu.

According to the report, Founder and CEO Sam Largent has search for a Tacoma location for years and is excited to bring the Flatstick concept to the South Sound. “We have felt that Tacoma was a good fit for a Flatstick for quite a while,” he told Tacoma Untapped. “I’ve been looking for a space for us down there for over two years.”

The building, located at 809 Pacific Avenue, formerly the home of Learning Sprout Toys, was designed by local architect Silas E. Nelsen and built in 1927. Over the decades it has been home to several different businesses.

Photo via Google Maps.

“Everything finally came together on this site and we couldn’t be more thrilled to get going,” Largent said in the Tacoma Untapped report. “I love the character of this old building and of the neighborhood in general. We are excited to be working with our new landlord on restoring the building to its original look and utilizing the second floor for a lot of our games.”

While beer drinkers are familiar with the nearby breweries, like Odd Otter Brewing and Pacific Brewing and Malting, Flatstick Pub is just one more addition to the growing nightlife scene on Pacific Avenue. Other nearby establishments include Matador Restaurant, The Office on Pacific, The Forum-Tacoma, Meconi’s Pub and Eatery, and Dorky’s Arcade. Just a block up the hill, McMenamins is scheduled to open their newest location, McMenamins’ Elks Temple, this spring.

 

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Skagit Beer Week – a celebration of beer, food, farms and more

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 9:20am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Skagit Beer Week is a week-long marathon of beer dinners, tastings, tap takeovers and educational events occurring all over Skagit Valley from March 22nd to March 31st, culminating with the Grand Finale event: Skagit Farm to Pint FEST 2019.

Here is some basic info about some of the events. Visit the official website to learn more.

Skagit Farm to Pint Beer Run Kicks Off Skagit Beer Week 2019!
March 23 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Run For Beer! Join us on March 23 at 11am to kick off Skagit Beer Week with a 5k-ish course and great, local beer! Proceeds and donations will go to fund the Skagit Valley College (SVC) Cardinal Craft Brew Academy Scholarship through the SVC Foundation.
More info

Cardinal Craft Brewing Tap Takeover @ Flyers Restaurant & Brewhouse
March 28 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
TAP TAKEOVER FOR SKAGIT BEER WEEK!
We’re taking our talents on the road (across the street anyway) to takeover Flyers Restaurant & Brewhouse. Buy a pint, keep the glass! Live music, raffle prizes, talk beer with students & more!
More info

Skagit Farm to Pint FEST 2019
March 30 @ 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
The 2nd Annual Skagit Farm to Pint FEST, a beer and bounty celebration, is THE gathering of 13 Skagit Breweries paired with Skagit Valley restaurants and farmers showcasing local ingredients. Homegrown Skagit Valley bands will be rockin’ the stage! All proceeds go to support the non-profit Farm Business Incubator and Training Program: Viva Farms – Long Live Farms!
More info and tickets

 

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Five Days of Imperial Stouts at Watershed Pub & Kitchen

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 8:20am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Starting today (Valentine’s Day) and continuing through February 19th, Watershed Pub & Kitchen hosts its 5th annual Black & Brew Imperial Stout Fest.  They’ve lined up an impressive bunch of big beers this year, which we share below.

SEATTLE, WA – Watershed Pub & Kitchen presents the renowned Black & Brew Imperial Stout
Fest for the 5th year, beginning Valentine’s Day (February 14th) through February 19th.
You really like stouts. You might even love them, and our love borders on obsession. We should
hang out. Wanna be our Valentine?

Each year we tap 15 of the most delicious, decadent, and eclectic imperial stouts we could get our
busy hands on throughout the year, all at the same time. That time has come once again.
Starting Valentine’s Day follow your heart to the maltiest, darkest reaches of the craft beer universe
with us. Appropriately hearty and comforting dishes will be prepared to accompany these sultry
brews, and for those who can’t commit we’ll have 4 oz pours available so you can play the field.

This year’s very special line-up:

● AleSmith Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Speedway Stout
● Avery Raspberry Truffale Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
● Black Raven Great Grandfather Raven Bourbon Imperial Stout
● Breakside Bourbon Barrel Aged Salted Caramel Stout
● Crux Tough Love Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
● Deschutes The Abyss Barrel Aged Imperial Stout ’17
● Founders KBS Bourbon Barrel Chocolate Coffee Stout
● Fremont Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star Imperial Oatmeal Stout ’16
● Fremont The Rusty Nail Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
● Modern Times Nitro Devil’s Teeth Strawberry Vanilla Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
● pFriem Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
● Sierra Nevada Beer Camp #208 Little Stronghand Imperial Cocoa Oatmeal Stout
● Skookum A Memory Of Light Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
● Stoup Shapka Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
● The Bruery Bakery Stout Coconut Macaroons Imperial Stout

(All beers listed are the most recent vintage unless otherwise noted.)”

Watershed Pub & Kitchen – in Thornton Place, south of the Northgate Mall
10104 3rd Ave NE
Seattle WA 98015
Map

(206) 729-7433

 

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Tin Dog Brewing reschedules anniversary celebration – new date is March 2nd

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 9:09am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Tin Dog Brewing originally planned to celebrate its anniversary last Saturday, but the weather did not cooperate (understatement), so they’ve rescheduled the event. The new date for the celebration is Saturday, March 2nd. Here’s is the press release about the event.

Tin Dog Brewing, located in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle, is celebrating their 5th Anniversary with limited release tasters of their Gold, Silver and Bronze Award-Winning Blended Sours, Melange Deux and Mandala, and a new blended sour release, “Errant Whispers.”

They will also be featuring Neighbor Lady Cheese Monger with melted Ricochet and other delicious cheese samples and Carl’s Cutting Board with an array of charcuterie. This event will take place at Tin Dog Brewing, 309 S. Cloverdale Street, Cloverdale Business Park, Seattle WA 98108 from 4-8pm on 3/2/19, the same day as the Washington Beer Open House from 12-5 that day.

New Beer

“Errant Whisper” tastes like biting into a juicy, summer peach. There are no peaches used. It is a blend of two oak barrel aged beers which were both aged over a year. It is made with local Washington Skagit Valley malt which is grown and malted there. It will be available in bottles, 10 oz pours and as part of the Sour Cellar Taster Tray.

ABV:6%  IBU’s: N/A

Sour Cellar Flights

There will be flights available with our two prize-winning blended sours and two other sours of your choice. The below is a description of the beers.

Prize Winners

Melange Deux – Gold Winner in the Sour Beer Category at the Brewer’s Choice Awards June 2018; Bronze Winner in the Sour Beer Category at the Washington Beer Awards June 2018                      Featured at “The Herbfarm” Restaurant April 2018                 Released in November 2017

Light, effervescent, Champagne-like with Apricot notes.

ABV:   6.2%      IBU’s:N/A

Mandala – Silver Winner in the Mixed Brett Beer Category at the Washington Beer Awards June 2018 Featured at “The Herbfarm” Restaurant April 2018                 Released in December 2017

Spicy, peppery with Brett notes.

ABV:  6.3%      IBU’S:N/A

 

 

 

 

 

Other Limited Release Flight Options

Melange Une – Bright, spritzy, hoppy citrus flavored. Released in October 2017

ABV: 6%         IBU’S: N/A

Melange Rouge – Rich, caramel, leather notes with an orange peel finish Released in August 2018

ABV:   7.2%       IBU’S:N/A

Catwalk – Grapefruit and other citrus notes. Released in November 2018

ABV:  6.6%        IBU’s:N/A

Black Tripel Whiskey Barrel Sour – Dark Cherry notes with a whiskey finish. Released December 2018

ABV: 12.3%  IBU’s:N/A

Errant Whispers – Tastes like biting into a juicy, Summer Peach Released February 2019

ABV: 6% IBU’S:N/A

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Hellbent Brewing releasing a new beer for Sounders supporters

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 8:48am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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On Saturday, February 16, 2019, Hellbent Brewing unleashes its latest beer released in collaboration with the Emerald City Supporters: Seattle Sunshine Hazy Pale Ale. Below we share more information about the release party, the beer, and the beer’s availability.

Seattle Sunshine Hazy Pale Release  

Official ECS Release Party:

When: February 16th, 2019 7:00pm

Where: Atlantic Crossing-6508 Roosevelt Way NE  Seattle, WA 98115

Seattle Sounders celebrity bartenders pouring your brews!

Other locations to find on Draft:

-Hellbent Brewing: 13035 Lake City Way NE Seattle WA 98125 (All of 2019)

-CenturyLink Stadium SEC 119,139 & the Verizon Club Lounge during all 2019 CenturyLink events

-Other ECS Supporter Bars like Fuel and Temple Billiards

-Other bars and restaurants in WA will be able to carry it, none are known at this time

On Saturday, February 16, 2019, Hellbent Brewing unleashes its latest beer released in collaboration with the Emerald City Supporters: Seattle Sunshine Hazy Pale Ale. When the sky opens above the stadium, hard-charging Sounders fans respond to the pelting rain with fervor, chanting “Seattle Sunshine” at their opponents. ECS shines even more brilliantly in a downpour, so we created this batch to match their spirit.

About Seattle Sunshine Hazy Pale

The newest Emerald City Supporters beer is a hazy pale ale that’s light in color and malty with soft bready notes. It’s really all about the hops, and contains no bittering additions. The first hops that touch the wort–Mosaic, Citra, and Simcoe–are added in the whirlpool, forming citrus, tropical, and stone fruit hop flavors. Then we kick the hop party up a notch by dry hopping at the end of fermentation with Azacca, Citra, Amarillo, Mosaic, and Simcoe, which creates a sublime hop burst of citrus and tropical fruit aromas that will blow your boots off.

ABV: 5.7%

IBU’s: 34

For more information, visit the event page

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How to Become a Craft Brewer – Insight from 10 Industry Insiders

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 8:09am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Guest post by Morgan Walker Clarke

Over the last 10 to 15 years, the world surrounding the beer industry has dramatically shifted. With a new generation of artsy, alcohol-loving millennials who greatly enjoy turning everything into a unique, emotional experience, the demand for beer drinking to fall in line with that concept has become a high priority in the culture.

Where mass-produced six-pack cans of so-so beer and super bowl Sundays used to be the primary ways to enjoy beer socially, passionate craft brewers have risen out of the shadows and changed the way we see and experience the handsome amber beverage. If you love beer and the idea of working with it, you no longer must find a job at a bar or in a huge commercial factory. Now you can find quaint beer dens aglow with hard-working craft brewers who are willing and eager to help you understand what great beer should taste like and how you can create that great beer.

Craft brewers are passionate about what they do and about growing the craft brewery market. Here are what 10 insiders have to say about what it takes to become a craft brewer.

1. Cody Morris (formerly of Epic Ales and Mollusk Brewing)

This young entrepreneur fell in love with beer as a college student and took a job at a big brewery and a side job with a retail wine store in Seattle, Wash. after graduating from college. It did not take him long to figure out he wanted to combine ideas from the brewery and the wine store to create his own craft brewery. Why couldn’t he make masterpiece beers and invite people in to taste and experience the process just like in the wine industry?

Although the idea was good, he quickly found that opening your own successful brewery was not easy. It took him some time to succeed — experimenting with taste and atmosphere and failing often — but he never gave up. According to Morris, the most important thing you need to know when pursuing a career as a craft brewer is to have a solid plan and be extremely flexible and hardworking when it comes to executing that plan.

2. Dustin Hazer of Helio Basin Brewing Company

Dustin Hazer of Helio Basin Brewing Company says that when pursuing the idea of being a craft brewer, you really need to decide if it’s something you want deep in your bones or if it’s just a passing interest. He explains you need to accept that craft brewing is a lifestyle and not just a job in the industry. You must really love it to endure the long hours of hard physical labor that go into craft brewing with what is often low compensation in return, especially when you are just starting out. According to him, if you love it, every bit of that work is worth it.

3. Danny Bruckert of Circa Brewing Co.

Craft brewers are a tight-knit circle, and if you can get an in with one, you can often network with the rest. Danny Bruckert of Circa Brewing Co. says that a terrific way to learn how to be a craft brewer and what it takes to succeed in the business is to volunteer at a craft brewery.

4. Erik Lars Myers of Mystery Brewing Company

If you are unwilling to push into the creative side of the business and try out new things, it can be very hard to get your start in the craft brewing world. That’s why Erik Lars Myers of Mystery Brewing company emphasizes the importance of being willing to take a risk with innovative ideas. Realize that what you are getting into is a field that is growing in competitiveness, so you must bring something unique to the table.

5. Andrew Hood of Sun King Brewery

Andrew Hood started out doing grunt work at a major brewing company he had pushed his way into while attending the Siebel Institute, a Chicago brewing school. His dream was to become a master brewer, and he quickly realized the importance of not only gaining experience from working alongside other brewers but also getting the education and figuring out what works in the competitive craft brewing market. You must be willing to start from the bottom, work your way up and do the research you need to learn how to be the best. This may include school, home brewing sessions and more.

6. Chris Cramer of Karl Strauss Brewing

Capital is a hurdle every new business owner must face. Chris Cramer of Karl Strauss Brewing stresses the need to know how expensive the endeavor of becoming a successful craft brewer can be and to raise more capital than you think you will need before you start.

7. Michael Kane of Kane Brewing Company

Be realistic, have a capital cushion and be patient, counsels Michael Kane of Kane Brewing Company, who warns that “starting a brewery from scratch is incredibly time-consuming and expensive.” You will need to buy all the equipment and ingredients you required for brewing, find a space to work and open in and fill out a lot of business paperwork before you can even start creating craft beer and serving the public.

8. Julia Herz of the Brewers Association Craft Beer Department

Julia Herz, program director of the Brewers Associations craft beer program, advises that “the most successful ventures are highly organized on both the business and quality fronts.” She warns that “you can’t just make beer and [hope] people fly through the doors.” You need to make sure what you are making is high quality and be smart in how you go about marketing it and budgeting your costs. Do not just buy equipment and quit your job without a concrete plan of action and a calculation of the risk involved.

9. Steve Parkes of the American Brewers Guild

Steve Parkes is the owner and lead instructor of the American Brewers Guild, one of the premier brewing schools in the nation for the craft brewing industry. If you want to get into craft beer brewing but don’t know where to start, he can help you learn what you need to know to survive in the field. He saw the need in the industry for education of brewing science and business, so he created several classes for aspiring brewers, including a Craft Brewers Apprenticeship Program. If you don’t know the science behind brewing — like what fermentation enzymes are used to break down the yeast in your beer — and you don’t know the business, Parkes feels you won’t get far.

Morgan Walker Clarke is a writer and food aficionado from Dallas, Texas. He has 10+ years of restaurant and craft brewing experience as well as an extensive background in food science. In his spare time, he enjoys creating his own recipes for his friends and family to enjoy! He is a frequent contributor to the food-science blog for Enzyme Innovation.

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Ballard Brew Hall coming to Sea-Tac Airport this spring

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 8:38am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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The Port of Seattle recently announced that several vendors at Sea-Tac Airport were shutting down to make room for a new flock of dining and shopping options. Among the newcomers opening in the near future, Ballard Brew Hall promises to offer a selection of local, artisan beers.

Beer-loving travelers were disappointed to learn that Anthony’s was among the restaurants at the airport closing down. Anthony’s was the only place you could find a decent selection of local craft beer at the airport. Also, the food was good, as you’d expect from the always-reliable, local restaurant chain. Furthermore, the location in the central terminal was convenient.

Hopefully, one of the new businesses will fill the void. Ballard Brew Hall, slated to open this spring, describes itself as “ideal for artisanal-minded travelers looking for local craft beer.” They will also offer Washington wines, handcrafted cocktails, and a full dining menu.

Ballard Beer Hall will be located in the D concourse, near gate D12, so the location isn’t quite as convenient. Also, we’ll have to wait and see what kind of beer selection they’ll offer. Rest assured, we’ll be sure to share more info about Ballard Brew Hall once we know more about the beer program.

 

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Chocolate Beer Week continues at The Beer Junction

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 5:00pm

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Snow be damned! The Beer Junction in West Seattle is celebrating Chocolate Beer Week regardless of the weather.

The simple, succinct description of the event says it all.

“9 days, 20+ chocolate beers, free sides of chocolate for taster trays… enough said!”

That’s the way The Beer Junction describes its Chocolate Beer Week, happening now through February 16th. In addition to at least 20 chocolate beers on tap at a time, they’ll give you an assortment of chocolate treats with each taster tray. Check out the event page on Facebook.

Below, a sampling of what they tapped for the kickoff of Chocolate Week.

  • Boneyard – Backbone Chocolate Espresso Stout
  • Block 15 – Love Potion #9, stout with chocolate and black cap raspberries.
  • The Bruery White Chocolate with Cherries, Bourbon-barrel Wheatwine.
  • Cascade – Cocoa Rojo.
  • Cloudburst Brewing – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
  • Epic – Bi Bad Baptist.
  • Georgetown Brewing – Lisa’s Chocolate Stout (cask).
  • Modern Times – Grim Tusk.
  • Reuben’s Brews – White Elephant Imperial White Stout, with coconut, coffee, cocoa nibs.
  • Skookum Brewing – Right in the Peels. Banana split stout.

And many, many more. See the live tap list here.

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The legendary Jim Parker settles up his tab – Remembering a legend

Sat, 02/09/2019 - 5:41pm

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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To say Jim Parker was a legend on the Northwest beer scene is an understatement. The beer world lost a giant last week when Jim succumbed to the effects of a stroke that he suffered in November. He passed last Tuesday, February 5th, surrounded by family and loved ones. Everyone hoped and assumed that he’d endure the long road to recovery, but that’s not how it worked out. Like so, so many people on the beer scene around here, I called Jim a friend.

His career in beer stretched across time and space, from Colorado in the earlier years of craft beer to his more recent history in Washington and Oregon, where he spent the last two decades of his life. Primarily, he was a publican, a brewer, and a beer sales guru. Among his many other contributions to the region’s beer scene, Jim served as the executive director of the Oregon Brewers Guild for six years.

Above, Jim with Skip Madsen. Skipper and his Little Buddy. Two legends reunited.

In Oregon he worked at, or in some way helped open, places like Concordia Ale House, Horse Brass Pub, The Green Dragon, Oaks Bottom Public House, and others. As far as breweries are concerned, Jim worked in some capacity with Chuckanut Brewery, Kulshan Brewing, Baerlic Brewing, pFriem Family Brewers, North Jetty Brewing, Fort George Brewing, Wayfinder Beer, and others.

Most recently, he’d been working on a new project with David Lederfine and Asher David Brewing and Cellarworks. Coincidentally, David Lederfine is an old friend of mine. And by “old friend” I mean that we played little league baseball together. Just another example of how Jim Parker was everywhere and knew everyone.

Last April, I ran into Jim at Salt Pub in Ilwaco, Washington. Unexpected, totally random encounter. As usual. I didn’t know that would be the last time I’d see him. Glad I saw him, sorry it was the last time.

Oh, and one last thing. Apparently Jim is credited with inventing the Totcho. You know, nachos made on a bed of tater tots instead of chips. A man of great vision and many talents!

More than anything else, Jim Parker was one of the nicest people you’d ever hope to meet. There was no way in hell you couldn’t like the guy. He will be missed.

According to those closest to Jim, a celebration of life will take place later this year when the weather turns, so we can drink beer and listen to music outside, as he would have wanted.

 

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Another brewery opens on Vashon Island – Camp Colvos Brewing

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 9:48am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Introducing Camp Colvos Brewing, a new brewery that recently opened its taproom on Vashon Island. The brewery is located down the road a spell, but the taproom is right in the heart of the village (AKA, “downtown” Vashon) just a couple blocks south of Vashon Brewing‘s taproom. Also, meet Clint Brownlee, a guest contributor here on the Washington Beer Blog.

Camp Colvos: a Brewery of, by, and for the People

by Clint Brownlee

Matt Lawrence didn’t have time to run a brewery. He had a day job, a family, and the minor everyday complications inherent with living on an island. Still, he felt compelled to devote any slice of free time he could find to brewing. For years.

Now with his Camp Colvos Brewing leasing three spaces on Vashon Island and residents flocking to its just-opened Campsite taproom (in a former pizza restaurant), he continues to maintain a career in commercial janitorial services, shuttle his family to school and extracurricular functions, and keep a handle on everyday logistical challenges. But thanks to a little bit (or a whole lot) of help from friends, he now contemplates a day when his brewery becomes his day job.

The seeds for CCB, as Lawrence and his crew call it, were sowed several years ago, when he started a club for beer-thirsty Vashonites. He delivered brews to his members on a schedule, and used the fees he collected to fund a 1 bbl (40 gallon) brewing system. The effort, which Lawrence dubbed CSB (for Community Supported Beer), was a success. “I was making beer every month for almost two years, [which] helped get me the experience I needed to get the idea [of a brewery] off the ground.”

That happened fairly quickly, thanks to the complementary skill set of long-time friend Lara Feltin (labeled “The Architect” on the brewery’s website).

“I called her with the idea, and a few calculations on a spreadsheet,” says Lawrence. “I asked her to talk me out of it. We spent the summer of 2016 calculating every possible scenario, every hop, every speck of grain.”

Instead of deciding a brewery was prohibitive, the duo found a way to convert Lawrence’s home-based, community-beer concept into a brick-and-mortar operation—as partners.

“I realized there was no way I could do this alone, nor would I want to,” Lawrence says.

Thus began a fortuitous alignment with other friends and contacts who added integral pieces to the fledgling enterprise. There were Tami and Paco Joyce, owners of Vashon-based Seattle Distilling Company, who’d been members of Lawrence’s beer club. When they vacated their island headquarters, Lawrence moved in—and the brewery had a home. An added bonus, according to Lawrence, “Part of that transition allowed us to start barrel-aging beer right out of the gate.”

Lawrence sought out another CSB member and friend, the voluminously bearded Scott MacLaughlin. He instantly became a constant presence at the new space, which they casually called the “Log Cabin.” He would do anything and everything: build and repair equipment; brew; clean; cook. And with the addition of the Campsite taproom, MacLaughlin now pours beer, delivers kegs, and handles the brewery’s social media accounts. Though he’s known by all as Scotty, his title on the Camp Colvos site, “The Fixer,” seems more apt. And it’s not his day job, either. (He’s a professional videographer.)

Brewmaster Nathan (“The Maker”) Schafer is an entrepreneur himself. He and his wife Melissa own a landscape design company, which is why he and Lawrence crossed paths. During a stint at Vashon’s Sea Breeze Farm years ago, Lawrence became aware of the mild-mannered Schafer’s business—and, eventually, his shared interest in brewing. Now the two brew at all hours of the day and night to keep up to eight taps flowing at Campsite (and more at locations both on and off the island). “Beer brought our families together,” Lawrence says.

Beer and ambition. The two ingredients have accounted for much success in a relatively short time. Camp Colvos currently produces beer in the Log Cabin, hosts guests at Campsite (on a one-year lease), and is plotting the future home of the taproom, in a former general contractor’s headquarters several doors south.

Lawrence is tight-lipped on specific plans for the eventual space, perhaps more because of the vast possibilities than a desire for secrecy. He’s also maintaining tandem focus on the day-to-day, by necessity. “It’s sort of like going to taproom school,” he says. “I am learning so much about the needs of a seven-days-per-week retail venue, and managing all the aspects that go along with it.”

And there’s the year that Campsite will be open to think about. Food service will factor into that, thanks to another relationship Lawrence has struck up. “I didn’t know Jen or Matt [Harvey] when they took over Island Queen,” he says, referring to a burger joint across the street. “But I had the oddest feeling I would be working with them. As it turns out, Jen is a pastry chef, and loves making meat pies, which is exactly what I wanted for our food menu. We are super stoked to be working with her.”

And though it may seem distant now, warm days will introduce possibilities, too. “I’m really excited for the summer months with the awesome patio out front,” Lawrence says. Asked what to expect from Campsite into that season and beyond, he flips the question around. “Really, what does Campsite have planned for me?”

It’s an apt and somewhat sly thought from the man labeled “The Visionary” of the brewery. No doubt the future will be shaped by contributions from friends aligned with his vision. Like MacLaughlin and Schafer. Like Feltin. Like the Harveys. Like Marcus Daly, who carved the brewery’s sign that hangs behind the Campsite bar. Like the folks behind Westland Distillery, which has partnered with Camp Colvos to release barrel-conditioned libations. And the list goes on.

Last year at the Log Cabin, a small crowd of islanders denuded hop bines they’d harvested from their home plants while they sipped draft beer. Why? Because Lawrence and his partners were brewing a beer using only local, crowdsourced hops: Saison Du Vashon. Lawrence stood outside the cabin and surveyed the scene with a smile. “It takes a village,” he said.

The village of Vashon rewarded Lawrence’s vision when Campsite opened on January 4, doubling the island’s number of craft taprooms. (Vashon Brewing’s aptly named Community Pub was the first.) Though it was cold and wet, the place was overrun by beer enthusiasts, curious residents, and scores of kids (many hanging with the crew’s own contingent of offspring). People crowded the small interior and the larger, tent-covered outside patio. There were party planners and school principals. Writers and painters. Coaches and commuters. A hearty cross-section of the island was in attendance.

Lawrence, his wife Mary, MacLaughlin, and Schafer vacillated between tasks—taking orders, pouring beer, grilling sandwiches, shaking hands—and mixing with the crowd. Exchanging a few words with them that evening, two things were obvious: they were thrilled to be open, and were overwhelmed by the response. “It’s been humbling,” Lawrence says.

Since opening night, Campsite has been open 1–8PM every day, enhancements have been made to their taps and signage and space, they’ve added bar staff—and business has been booming. Seeing Lawrence and his stalled truck on the side of the road one recent evening, this writer pulled over and talked with him. (The Fixer—who else?—was en route to help.) Lawrence said that sales had been well beyond the conservative figure he and his team had ballparked ahead of their opening. The neighborly village, it seems, works up quite a thirst.

Camp Colvos is poised to satisfy. Available in January were Rye IPA, Winter Warmer, Munich Lager, Saison Du Vashon, Dark Lager, Pale Ale, a Session IPA, and a limited bottling of Sheepdog, a woody, barrel-aged Pale Ale named after the island’s annual Sheepdog Classic event. They also released a batch of Resilience IPA, the philanthropic juggernaut launched by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. which raises funds for Paradise, CA residents impacted by the devastating Camp Fire. (CCB’s January 24 “Resilience Night on Vashon” supported the beer’s release.) Lawrence says contributing to that effort “Didn’t even require any consideration.”

He does consider the beer lineup carefully, of course. He intends to keep things varied for the time being, having only a few permanent handles. A Belgian Pale Ale is in the works, among other brews. And Lawrence daydreams about lagering. “I lean toward traditional German beers,” he says. “I would love to devote more time to lagering. But lager requires space, and time to perform its magic in the tank.”

Given the fast pace of developments for Camp Colvos Brewing to date, that magic may yet come to pass. No doubt there are some in the village of Vashon who will step forward to assist in some way. “In a time like this, if we pause to think about how we can help, rather than just helping, then nothing gets done,” Lawrence reflects, referring to their Resilience IPA contribution. The sentiment, though, could be applied to his island community—or the culture at large. And it’s spoken like a true visionary.

 

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Washington Beer Open House on March 2nd is a statewide celebration of beer

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 9:11am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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On March 2nd, breweries all across Washington open the brewhouse doors for a statewide celebration of beer and brewing. More than a simple visit to the taproom, each of the breweries involved in 9th Annual Washington Beer Open House has something a little special planned. Some will offer brewery tours, others will offer special tastings. Some will release special beers, others will offer food and beer pairings. Some will do all of those things while others will do something completely different. Each brewery does what it wants, as long as it involves you.

Organized and spearheaded by the Washington Beer Commission, the goal of Washington Beer Open House is simple: help you connect with the breweries you love. More breweries will be added to the list, so keep an eye on the official website. For now, start making your plans.

While you’re out there experiencing Washington beer, tweet using the hashtag #WAbeerOH and post photos on the Washington Beer Facebook page.

List of Participating Breweries (as of Feb. 6th): 20 Corners Brewing 54-40 Brewing 7 Seas Brewery and Taproom 7 Seas Brewing Anacortes Brewery Bad Jimmys Brewing Badass Backyard Brewing Bainbridge Brewing Bainbridge Brewing Alehouse Bale Breaker Brewing Bastion Brewing Co. Bent Bine Brew Co. Berchmans Brewing Bosk Brew Works Chainline Brewing Company Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen Chuckanut Brewery South Nut Taproom Counterbalance Brewing Co Elliott Bay Brewing – Lake City Everybodys Brewing Farmstrong Brewing Co. Fish Brewing Floating Bridge Brewing Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery Foggy Noggin Brewing Fortside Brewing Company Garden Path Fermentation Georgetown Brewing Gig Harbor Brewing Company – Harbor Taproom Gig Harbor Brewing Company – Tacoma Taproom & Brew Haywire Brewing Co. Heathen Brewing Hoh River Brewery Jones Creek Brewing Company Keyhole Valley Brewing (Production Only) Kulshan Brewery Kulshan Brewery – K2 Taproom Lazy Boy Brewing Loowit Brewing Lucky Envelope Brewing M.T. Head Brewing Machine House Brewery Maritime Pacific Brewing Millwood Brewing Company North Jetty Brewing Outer Planet Craft Brewing Populuxe Brewing Scrappy Punk Brewing Silver City Brewery and Taproom Silver City Restaurant and Brewery Single Hill Brewing Sumerian Brewing Three Bull Brewing (Production Only) Walking Man Brewing Wandering Hop Brewery White Bluffs Brewing Wingman Brewers Yakima Craft Brewing Facebook Twitter Reddit Google+

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Aslan Brewing, Rainier Beer join forces to create King of the Mountain

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 2:44pm

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Rainier Beer and Aslan Brewing teamed up to create a beer to benefit Protect Our Winters, an organization of winter athletes and forward-thinking business leaders working toward systemic political solutions to climate change. In addition to being a benefit beer, it celebrates a legendary event at Mount Baker. Here is the press release with all the information. Rainier and Aslan teamed up to create King of the Mountain, a limited release pilsner.

Rainier & Aslan Brewing Companies Introduce: King of the Mountain Pilsner a collaboration brew celebrating the Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom and benefiting Protect Our Winters

SEATTLE – Whether you grew up in the shadows of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker, or you’re new to the Pacific Northwest, the Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom (LBS) is one of the iconic events in our region. Now in its 33rd year, the world-renowned LBS is the oldest single-venue snowboard competition in the world, bringing together hundreds of the world’s top riders each year from all generations to compete head to head and reunite with the rest of the snowboard community. It’s a throwback to the roots of the sport, when fun and friends were all that mattered.

This year, to celebrate the legendary race and have a bit of fun together, Rainier Brewing Co. and Aslan Brewing Co. have joined forces to create King of the Mountain, a limited release pilsner benefiting Protect Our Winters (POW) and available in 6-pack cans and draft starting February 8.

The name of the beer is a playful nod to the event itself as well as to the two partnering breweries. The Aslan logo is a lion (the king of the jungle), and Rainier Beer is named after the mountain.

“We are excited to partner with an up-and-coming brewery like Aslan,” said Michael Scott, Brand
Manager at Rainier Brewing Co. “We really appreciate that Aslan is not only making innovative beers but creating great pubs that bring people together and foster community, while having a lot of fun doing it.”

The collaboration brew will be available throughout the weekend on Mt. Baker, at participating area bars, and at both Aslan locations in Bellingham (until supplies last). Five percent of the beer’s total sales will go to support Protect Our Winters (POW), an organization of winter athletes and forward-thinking business leaders working toward systemic political solutions to climate change.

“We’re extremely honored to be collaborating with Rainier and partnering with POW on this project. This is a great opportunity for us to raise funds and awareness for POW while bringing friends together to celebrate,” said Boe Trosset, Co-Owner of Aslan. “Like many folks from the Pacific Northwest we grew up drinking Rainier, still do, and have fond memories of the commercials and brewing culture they helped develop. The truth is, we’ve had a Rainier neon bar sign in our brewery ever since it was a 5-gallon homebrew set up in my parents’ basement.”

The weekend-long celebration will culminate in a co-sponsored Wrap Party at Graham’s Restaurant in Glacier, WA on Sunday February 10th from 6p until late. The party is open to the public with live music and lots of Rainier and Aslan beer, including a chance to try King Of The Mountain.

 

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Urban Family Brewing announces plans to move to Ballard

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 11:38am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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According to the City of Seattle’s boundaries, there are currently 13 breweries in the Ballard neighborhood, plus one brewery’s satellite tasting room (see our map). On top of that, another brewery and tasting room (the new Reuben’s Brews Brewtap) opens in March.

Above, the boundaries of Ballard according to the city.

From Hale’s Ale Brewery and Bad Jimmy’s Brewing on the eastern border, to Peddler Brewing and Lagunitas Brewing near the heart of downtown Ballard, the neighborhood that is so lousy with breweries is about to get at least one more. Urban Family Brewing just announced its plan to move it’s brewery from Magnolia across the Ballard Bridge to the cozy confines of Ballard’s booming brewery district.

Above, the Ballard Brewery District. Blue markers are current breweries.

The plan will see Urban Family Brewing’s beer production begin in Ballard this summer, with the new taproom’s opening slated for later in the year. Among other things, the move allows the brewery to expand production with the installation of a new 20-barrel brewhouse. It will also provide guests with a more spacious taproom featuring a large outdoor seating area. The brewery will continue to focus on the production of the sour beers and IPAs for which it is renowned, but the new space also allows for the expansion of Urban Family Brewing’s barrel program.

Here’s the press release about the pending relocation.

Urban Family to Join Ballard Beer Community: Brewery to Relocate in 2019

SEATTLE, 2/5/19 – After four years of running their brewery and tasting room in Magnolia, Urban Family Brewing Co. is moving to a new location in the heart of Ballard’s “brewery district.” Andy Gundel, owner of Urban Family, says the move will occur in phases: production will relocate this summer, with the tasting room to follow by the end of 2019.

“We think we’re going to be the first brewery in Ballard,” jokes Gundel. The new building will serve as the brewery’s home for the foreseeable future, he adds, since “the 23-foot ceilings and the ability to spread out to neighboring spaces mean we can grow as fast or as slowly as we need to.”

The team at Urban Family is grateful to the Magnolia community for their support, says Gundel, and will miss being in the neighborhood — but the new facility provides unparalleled opportunities. While they weren’t actively looking to move, it was inevitable in order to expand on the barrel program, as well as to keep the taproom feeling less crowded and more comfortable.

The new location will provide room for a bigger, 20-barrel brewhouse that some will recognize from another iconic Seattle brewery; a large walk-in space; an expanded taproom; and a larger outdoor area. While current space limitations prevent Urban Family from fulfilling many requests for private parties and events, the new facility will be able to accommodate these in addition to regular traffic. It will also allow for designated family-friendly, 21-plus and dog-friendly areas, along with greater access and exposure for new customers.

After the move, Urban Family will continue to focus primarily on fruited sours and IPAs; however, the expanded production facility will allow them to add more variety to their lineup, including more wood-aged offerings, as well as room for storage.

This will allow them to build up their barrel program and “focus on making more complex, wood-aged beer,” Gundel says. “We want to bring something special into the Ballard area. We know we’re not the first game in town, by any means, but we hope that we are viewed as a positive addition.”

Gundel and the rest of the team welcome questions and feedback, and encourage those who want to learn more about the move to come in, have a beer and chat with their staff.

Follow Urban Family Brewing at http://www.urbanfamilybrewing.com or find them on social media.

 

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Growler Guys taps into some special bottles this Wednesday

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 8:31am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Growler Guys (Seattle NE), located on Lake City Way in Seattle, is hosting a special event this Wednesday, February 6th. The coolers are bursting with good beers, so it’s time to open some bottles and share some fine, fancy, rare and delicious beers for Open That Bottle Night. In the mix, some lovingly aged barrel-aged beers. The event runs from 7:00 until 10:00. Details below. Keep an eye on their company’s Facebook page.

Are you a fan of the fancier things in life, especially fine beer? Then join our OPEN THAT BOTTLE NIGHT on Wednesday, Feb 6th, from 7-10pm. Our cooler is over-LOADED with great bottles of beer, including a lot of BARREL-AGED baddies that have been aging nicely, and we want to share and have your help in drinking it!

Anyone in attendance and sitting in our reserved tasting area near the bottle cooler, can take 10% OFF and NO CORKAGE for drinking it here with friends, sharing, and learning more about the beer from other beer geeks in attendance. Low lights + candles will make your Untappd check in photo even better!

We will be opening some very fancy bottles to pour tasters for a small fee – try some awesome new things without investing in a full bottle! Watch for full list of special bottles, in the comments here, and yes you can come in early and pre-purchase bottles at discount for this tasting event, and we’ll hold them safely in the cooler for you.

Red, white, and sparkling WINE bottles included, as well as ciders, we have some awesome French ciders in the cooler too.

Bella M’Briana Food Truck here for dinner, their pasta and meatball sandwiches should pair nicely with some barrel-aged bottle pours!

We will be opening some very fancy bottles to pour tasters for a small fee – try some awesome new things without investing in a full bottle! Watch for full list of special bottles, in the comments here, and yes you can come in early and pre-purchase bottles at discount for this tasting event, and we’ll hold them safely in the cooler for you.

Red, white, and sparkling WINE bottles included, as well as ciders, we have some awesome French ciders in the cooler too.

Bella M’Briana Food Truck here for dinner, their pasta and meatball sandwiches should pair nicely with some barrel-aged bottle pours!

 

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Opening a new brewery in Shelton, Cody Morris’ next plan

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 4:04pm

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Cody Morris took the local beer world by storm nearly a decade ago when he opened Epic Ales in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood and started serving his wildly creative beers. Seriously, his beers challenged people to rethink the nature of beer, sometimes including ingredients like beets, mushrooms, szechuan peppercorns, and I don’t remember what else. [Pictured above Cody Morris (right) with Carey Dixon, brewmaster at Magnuson Cafe and Brewery.]

Creative beers, yes, but mostly they were just tasty. His beers paired exceptionally well with food, like the food created by chef Travis Kukull at the Epic Ales Gastropod on First Avenue South.

Fast-forward to 2015 and Cody moved up to a bigger brewing system, shutting down Epic Ales and the Gastropod when Dexter Brewhouse and Mollusk Brewing became a reality. Many local foodies and beer geeks shed a tear over the closing of the cozy confines of Gastropod. As we recently reported, Dexter Brewhouse and Mollusk Brewing shut the doors for good on February 1st. The company will continue to brew at its other location, Magnuson Cafe and Brewery.

So how did this impact Cody Morris and what’s does he have planned next?

“I had the choice to stay on board but the direction the new ownership wants to take the brewing program isn’t what I want to spend my time doing,” explains Cody, expressing no ill-will at the parting. “Also the cost of living in Seattle made it increasingly difficult to live a full life on a brewer’s salary.”

As Cody pondered his future, the town of Shelton, Washington suffered as one of the very few dark spots on the map of Washington breweries. A town of that size in the Puget Sound area that does not have a brewery or brewpub is a rarity to say the least. Grove Street Brewing gave it a shot a few years back, opening its doors in Shelton back in 2009, but for whatever reason that brewery failed to gain momentum and closed several years ago, leaving Shelton without a brewery to call its own.

(I should mention Keyhole Valley Brewing, located near Shelton. That brewery, located on a farm, does not have a taproom, though it will be open on March 2nd for Washington Beer Open House.)

“I have a long connection to the peninsula –Mason county specifically–and wanted a fresh start in an under-served community,” says Cody. “I am in the process of buying an old funeral home in downtown Shelton and am getting all the financing set up. My hope is to open the doors in September.”

Shelton Brewing Company will create a collection of core beers, available on draft for the immediate area: beers like IPAs, wheat beers, red ales, and lagers. Those beer will pour at the brewery’s tasting room alongside seasonal one-off beers. They’ll also produce sours beers and farmhouse-style beers, along with barrel-aged and mixed-fermentation beers. The taproom will have a crowler machine as well as a selection of bottled beers, which they’ll wholesale to local shops, including shops in the Seattle area.

The plan is to forego a kitchen, but the tasting room will offer a selection of locally produced packaged foods, which customers can enjoy on site or to go. Also, food trucks are part of the plan and guests will be allowed to bring in food from home or other local businesses.

Shelton Brewing Company will also offer a bottle club, like a wine club. Recent changes to Washington’s liquor laws now allow breweries to ship beer directly to customers.

Cody adds, “I plan to do a ton of collaborations with brewers from all over. Collabs have always been my favorite development in the brewing scene and I want to embrace it. Though Shelton is far away [from other breweries], our building includes a four-bedroom apartment, so we’ll have plenty of room for a brew team to spend the night.”

We will keep you posted as the Shelton Brewing Company plan comes to fruition.

 

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Dexter Brewhouse closes and other changes at Mollusk Brewing

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 10:20am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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As of February 1st, Dexter Brewhouse in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood is closed. In a statement on Facebook, the company says it was a voluntary decision. Dexter Brewhouse was the home of Mollusk Brewing – the pub was located immediately next to the brewery. The closure does not impact the company’s other location, Magnuson Cafe and Brewery.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed serving you, your family and friends over the last three years,” the statement said. “We are forever thankful for the continuous support the South Lake Union community has shown us and we hope to see you all one last time.”

Over in the Sand Point neighborhood, near Magnuson Park, it’s business as usual at the Magnuson Cafe and Brewery. Well, not quite. Cody Morris, the brewmaster at Mollusk, is moving on to pursue a new project. Magnuson Cafe and Brewery has been serving Mollusk’s beers, but will soon start serving its own beers.

Cody Morris explains the situation: “Dexter closed its doors on Friday the 1st. Magnuson’s brewhouse went live a few weeks ago. Carey Dixon will be the brewmaster for Magnuson and I’m moving out of town to start a new brewery in Shelton, Washington.”

We’ll talk to Cody about his plans in a separate post.

According to Cody Morris, “From what I understand of Mollusk, we have a decent inventory of bottles that will continue to be sold via our distributor, and we will continue to bottle Cerveza Chukis for Taco Chukis. As I said, Carey Dixon is staying on so the quality of the beer will continue to be executed at the highest level.”

According to state records, the brewery in South Lake Union is licensed as Mollusk, while the brewery at Magnuson Park is licensed as Magnuson Brewery. In other words, the closing of one does not impact the other.

Photo from Facebook.

Magnuson Cafe and Brewery is located near the shores of Lake Washington at Magnuson Park, in a historic building from the Naval Air Station. The large deck out front is dog-friendly, which is a bonus for those visiting after a trip to the nearby off-leash area. The cafe serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner along with their own beers.

 

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Strange Brewfest an other zany success this year

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 9:52am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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Strange Brewfest, the annual beer festival in Port Townsend that challenges the creative boundaries of beer, took place this year on January 25th and 26th. It was the 15th annual event. As usual, it was more than a beer festival; it was a party. Something about all those crazy beers makes people get a little bit crazy. The theme this year focused around super heroes. Costumes encouraged. Below I share some photos provided by the event organizers. Sorry I missed it this year.

The event is always a rip-roaring good time, with lots of zaniness, but in the end it’s about the beer. This year’s people’s choice first place winner was Rainy Daze Brewing of Poulsbo, the top token-getting brewery. The brewery’s beer lineup included Coconut Cream Pie lager, She’s Bazaar Belgian-style golden strong ale, and Only the Tip Double IPA.

Kenny and Mike from Rainy Daze Brewing celebrate the win.

Over at the Jelly Fish Brewing booth, festivalgoers were challenged to take a Shotski. I’ll let the picture explain the process. Each time a group downed a shot, the crowd yelled “Shotski!” The more perceptive among you might recognize Dick Cantwell in the photo(s) below — formerly a co-owner at Elysian Brewing and now an owner and brew guru at Magnolia Brewing, an independent brewery and pub in San Francisco.

Strange Brewfest takes place (usually) the last weekend of January in Port Townsend. Be warned, lodging sells out early, usually a month in advance or more. Make your plans early. Keep an eye on the website for details.

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Celebrating the beers that made beer great – Flagship February

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 11:07am

By Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

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I’m as guilty of it as anyone. When I walk into a place like The Beer Junction, Beer Star, Chuck’s Hop Shop, or any other place with a long and rotating draft list, my attention gravitates towards new beers, or at least new-to-me beers. In that way, I am very much the model of a modern craft beer enthusiast.

I’ve heard it referred to as Beer Attention Deficit Disorder (BADD), a concept recently penned by  Stephen Beaumont, a nationally recognized beer writer, but also used by other people such as me. Like a baby getting distracted by a jingly, shiny set of keys, many of today’s beer drinker are drawn compulsively towards anything new. We have replaced relaxing at the local pub with the thrill of the chase and the never ending quest to earn new badges and raise our scores on Untappd.

That’s cool, but there’s something to be said for the familiar. Sometimes beer is not part of an adventure. Sometimes it is like hanging out with your oldest friend. The one you’ve know for a long time. The one you trust the most. The one you do not judge. You just hang out and enjoy each other’s company.

With that, I would like  to introduce the concept of Flagship February. The whole thing was conceived by the aforementioned Stephen Beaumont. #FlagshipFebruary is a way to celebrate and appreciate the beers that made beer great again. It’s a hashtag that everyone can use to show their appreciation for, and their consumption of, beloved beers. Not the newest or shiniest beer, but the beers that made beer great.

So far, I know of two local, Washington pubs that plan to celebrate Flagship February. Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle and The Red Hot in Tacoma. I don’t doubt there are others.

Starting today, Beveridge Place Pub will begin rotating flagship beers into the draft list. They’ll start with perhaps the most-flagship of all flagship beers, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. As tap space becomes available, expect other beers like Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Hale’s American Pale Ale, Pike Kilt Lifter, and Maritime Pacific Flagship Red Ale to find their way into the mix, along with many others.

The Red Hot will have a series of events celebrating  flagship beers from across the region. The Flagships of Bend, The Flagships of the Gorge, The Flagships of Fre-Lard, and so on. Follow along on Facebook to see what they’re up to.

If there are other bars celebrating #FlagshipFebruary, use the comments below to share what you know.

 

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