Monday, February 21, 2011

Washington Beer Open House this Saturday

When planning an afternoon of beer/brewery touring, the first thing you have to do is figure out where you're going and figure out who is going to be open to receive visitors. This Saturday things will be a bit different as breweries across the state open their doors and invite you to visit. The brainchild of the Washington Beer Commission, this is the first-ever Washington Beer Open House.

The Washington Beer Open House takes place this Saturday (February 26th) from noon - 4:00. More than 30 breweries across the state will be ready and waiting for you. What's more, they'll have some sort of special treat in store for you. Maybe a vertical tasting experience or the debut of a new beer. Maybe some other special treat. It will vary from brewery to brewery.

This is a great opportunity for you to get out there do some beer touring. Visit the official event website for updated details.

As of Monday, February 21, here is the list of participating breweries. If you need to map things out, visit our Washington Breweries page.


  • C.I. Shenanigans Brewery, Spokane

  • Iron Horse Brewery, Ellensburg

  • Palouse Falls Brewing, Pullman

  • Yakima Craft Brewing, Yakima


  • American Brewing, Edmonds

  • Anacortes Brewing, Anacortes

  • Black Raven Brewing, Redmond

  • Boundary Bay Brewing, Bellingham

  • Chuckanut Brewing, Bellingham

  • Diamond Knot Brewing, Mukilteo

  • Foggy Noggin Brewing, Bothell

  • Gallagher's Where U Brew, Edmonds

  • Redhook Brewery, Woodinville

  • Scuttlebutt Brewing, Everett

  • Snoqualmie Falls Brewing, Snoqualmie


  • Big Time Brewery, U District

  • Fremont Brewing, Fremont

  • Maritime Pacific Brewing, Ballard

  • Naked City Brewing, Greenwood


  • Pike Brewing


  • Big Al Brewing, White Center

  • Elliott Bay Brewing, W. Seattle

  • Epic Ales, SODO

  • Georgetown Brewing, Seattle

  • Schooner Exact Brewing, SODO

  • Three Skulls Brewing, South Park

  • Two Beers Brewing, SODO


  • M.T. Head Brewing, Graham

  • Trade Route Brewing, Pacific

  • The Ram Brewery, Puyallup

  • The Ram Brewery, Tacoma


  • 7 Seas Brewing, Gig Harbor

  • Der Blokken Brewing, Bremerton

American Brewing Announces Grand Opening

Back in October we introduced you to American Brewing Company, the new brewery coming to Edmonds. (Read our previous story.) Today we announce the grand opening. The event will take place on Saturday, February 26th at the brewery and tap room near the waterfront in Edmonds. Along with great beer, there will be live music, food and even wine for the non-beer drinker in your life.

Below, Skip Madsen and Neil Fallon.

While we are always excited about new breweries, we are particularly jazzed about American Brewing Company's opening because it represents the return of Skip Madsen, one of our local rockstar brewers, to the beer scene. Along with Neil Fallon, owner of American Brewing, Skip has been busy the last few months building out the brewery. We cannot wait to taste what he's been cooking up. When looking for a brewmaster with which to partner, Neil could not have made a better choice.

The American Brewing grand opening coincides with Washington Beer Open House - a day that will see a number of breweries across the state open their doors to local beer lovers. We'll have more info for you about Washington Beer Open House in the coming days.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Washington Beer Open House - Sat. Feb 26

It's still coming together. Breweries are still signing up and we will certainly have more information for you as it becomes available. For now, save the date: Saturday, February 26th, from noon - 4:00.

What exactly are we talking about? Well, the Washington Beer Commission is planning the first ever Washington Beer Open House, a chance for you to go visit a bunch of breweries. The exact format will be wide open: breweries can do what they want with it. Maybe they'll be tapping something special that day. Maybe they'll have some other sort of other treat for you. Who knows? It's all still coming together.

Like we said, exactly which breweries will be involved remains to be seen. We anticipate that many breweries across the state will choose to participate in some way. For now, save the date: Saturday, February 26th.

Strange Brewfest - Follow Up and Pictures

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

First off, given all that has happened over the past couple of years with the closing of the Water Street Pub and Brewery, it was awesome to find that Strange Brewfest is alive, kicking ass, and doing better than ever.

We wondered how many brewers would show up and how enthusiastically strange their creations would be. Well, I counted 22 breweries (I heard 24, but counted 22). There were literally too many beers. You could not try them all without sharing with friends.

Below: Nut Warmer - Peanut Butter Winter Warmer from Big Al Brewing

We wondered if the crowd would return. What were we thinking? Of course they did. This has turned into a very, very popular festival. From what we could tell, there were no rooms available in Port Townsend on Saturday night. The entire town was crawling with beer geeks.

Strange Brewfest Axiom 1

I'm not going to say that all of the beers were delicious. There were beers that I adored, beers that I tolerated, and beers that I dumped. You cannot make an omelet without breaking some eggs. This is a Strange Brewfest axiom: creative success is built on the shoulders of creative failure.

In Seattle, the old Deja Vu (a strip club on Denny Way) had a sign that said, "50 Beautiful Girls, and 3 Ugly Ones?" That sign beckoned us to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Strange Brewfest makes me think of that sign.

This is another Strange Brewfest axiom: beauty is in the hand of the beer holder. You will dump beers that other people adore. They will dump beers that you adore.

The beers were not only creative and strange, but they were delicious. The first time I attended this festival, several years ago, I was very impressed with the "strange factor," but less impressed with the "good factor." I have nothing against a beer being strange, or even down-right odd, but I really do prefer it to be good. This year, the beers were delicious. Creative, strange, and yummy.

Below: So many people have asked, this is now posted on the front door of what used to be the Water Street Pub and Brewery.

My Beer Sandwich

There are too many favorites for me to name. I have an idea. Here's a mythical sandwich I created out of just a few of my favorite beers.

To start with, you'll need two slices of Redhook's smokey-rye beer, which they referred to as Ham on Rye. Next, add some 7 Bloody Seas from 7 Seas Brewing. This spicy, tomato-infused beer simulated a Bloody Mary magnificently. What sandwich would be complete without meat? Add some of Anacortes' Grand Salami: a beer that made me laugh out loud when I first drank it because it actually did taste like Salami. Awesome.

Maybe next year someone will make a beer with Gouda or Gruyere. I can hope.

For dessert, I suggest an Almond Roca Brown Ale from Flyers Brewery.

Other beers that impressed the heck out of me included Big Al's Nut Warmer (Winter Warmer with peanut butter); the Naked City Sour Patch Citra Ass Down IPA; the Silver City Imperial Pepper Stout; and the Chocolate Orange Degenerator from Port Townsend.

So many more. If you were there, help me out. What were your favorites?

Oh the Humanity!

Okay, I would be irresponsible if I didn't talk about the crowd. Some people were annoyed, some were frightened, others simply melted comfortably into the swarming mass of humanity that was Strange Brewfest 2011. This was the first year at this venue and I am sure the festival organizers learned a lot.

It was packed. No denying that. I did not find it intolerable at all. Just crowded. Though navigating the crowd was a bit challenging at times, I rarely had to wait for a beer. Let's stay focused on what's important.

The music was amazing. All day and into the night, one outstanding band followed another. I like the band that kicked things off on Saturday, though the name escaped me. They had a cool Tom Waits vibe going on. I also really dug Tuba Luba: an all-brass funk band which performed later in the day on Saturday. No Bootsy Collins on bass guitar, just some fella blowing his mind out on a tuba.

The event staff did an amazing job. Seriously, it was a turbulent sea of humanity but the people in the red shirts never let things degenerate into a maelstrom. They kept things under control. It was busy, but it ran like clockwork. For the most part, anyway.

We had a blast. As usual, we were too busy having fun to take many good pictures. Perhaps we were having too much fun to take pictures well. Anyway, here are some pictures.

Below: Don Spencer (Big Daddy) of Silver City Brewery leads a group toast at Sirens Pub. That's how we kicked things off at Strange Brewfest this year.

Below: Packed house at the American Legion.

The outside portion of the festival was packed as well.

Below: Mike Runion (7 Seas Brewing) sports a had made from 7 Seas cans.

Below: Fellow blogger, Mike Besser (

Below: I wish these were loons. They're cormorants. I just like the picture, taken Saturday morning before the doors opened.

Below: Saturday morning, before the doors opened, the Big Al Brewing "time share condo" was parked across the street. Good thing they weren't drinking or serving any beer out there. That would be wrong.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Elysian Brewing Co. opening a new brewery in Georgetown

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Elysian Brewing Company is opening a new production brewing facility in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood. There will be no taproom or pub. Instead, this will be a production facility only, featuring a 60-barrel brewhouse and 240-barrel fermenters. Continuing growth over years created a justifiable need for this kind of expansion.

We talked to Elysian's Dick Cantwell about this planned expansion recently. He told us that the plan is to be build out the facility in the coming months, with the intention of brewing by the summer. When we asked about the taproom, or lack thereof, Dick simply pointed out that they already have three.

No doubt, Elysian already provides their fans with ample opportunity to drink Elysian beers at their three Seattle pubs: the flagship pub on Capitol Hill, Tangletown near Green Lake, and Elysian Fields in the stadium district.

Below: Elysian's flagship pub and brewery on Capitol Hill. Photo by Dor and Bob.


For many of you, this news comes as no surprise. While the official announcement was just made today, there has been a lot of industry buzz about this recently. Here is the official release from Elysian:

Elysian Brewing Co. of Seattle, WA has announced a substantial planned expansion to a 35,000 sq ft space in the Georgetown neighborhood of South Seattle. An outgrowth both of Elysian's successes at its three Seattle brewery/restaurants and steady growth in packaged sales, the 15-year-old company is investing in brewing equipment and site improvements for a facility at 5510 Airport Way S. of 60,000 US barrel capacity. It is expected that the brewery will be fully operational by late summer 2011.

Elysian began operations in 1996 with its original Capitol Hill location, serving food and house-brewed beers in a 200-seat restaurant. It followed in 2003 with Tangletown in the Greenlake neighborhood, and then in 2006 opened Elysian Fields, a large 400+ seat venue directly across from Qwest Field in downtown Seattle. Elysian's beers are among the most decorated in the Northwest, and brought the company the award for Large Brewpub of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver in 1999, 2003 and 2004.

Elysian's plans come at a time of heady growth both for itself and the craft brewing movement in general. One recent project that has brought the brewery recognition beyond the world of craft brewing is Mens Room Original Red Ale. Brewed in alliance with "The Mens Room" radio show on KISW, the beer's profits in part benefit Fisher House, serving service veterans and their families. To date over $100,000 has been contributed.

The Mens Room Red is one of a handful of beers that will be brewed at the new Airport Way facility, along with The Immortal IPA, Dragonstooth Stout, Avatar Jasmine IPA and seasonal beers such as Night Owl Pumpkin Ale and Bifrost Winter Ale. A 60-barrel brewhouse will fill quadruple-sized 240-barrel fermenters. Much of Elysian's specialty beer production will be maintained at the Capitol Hill brewery, which produced approximately 5,000 barrels in 2010, as well as at the Elysian Fields and Tangletown breweries.


Dick Cantwell, Joe Bisacca and David Buhler

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Belgianfest 2011, Follow Up and Pictures

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Belgianfest 2011 was a blast. Once again, the Washington Beer Commission organized an outstanding festival that showcased the amazing beers being produced by Washington brewers. Cheers to the Commission's festival organizers and to all of the great breweries that poured such an interesting and delicious selection of Belgian-inspired beers!

A few of our favorite beers included: Naked City's Gilda Wild American Ale, Ram University Village's Sour Diesel, Big Time's Saison Grisette, Elliott Bay's Belgian Black IPA, and Paradise Creek's Hoe Style Wit. There were so many more. What was your favorite?

Here are a few pictures from the event.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gearing Up for the National IPA Championship

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

For those of us who love IPA, this is our version of March Madness. Each year the Brewing News organizes the National IPA Championship (NIPAC). Participating beers are randomly bracketed and pitted in head-to-head competition. The winners advance to the next round. The losers go home.

The initial 128 entrants will be narrowed to 64, then to 32 and so on. Eventually the final four will face off to determine a champion. The judges in this competition are all brewers.

To stay informed, you should subscribe to the Hop Tips Newsletter. Obviously, we will track how Washington breweries perform in NIPAC this year.


Brewers, there is still time to enter your beer into the competition. To enter your beer click here. (Note - This competition is for commercial brewers only.) A list of the Washington breweries that have entered thus far can be found further down this article. We also provide a list of all participating breweries. Entries are still being accepted and the list continues to grow.

The Brewing News provides a way for beer lovers to be involved. We are invited to fill out brackets and see how well we can predict the winners. Yes, there are prizes for us, too. If you're subscribed to Hop Tips, you'll know what's going on. Otherwise you'll have to keep an eye on the Brewing News website.

Past Champions

In 2010, the NIPAC winner was Headhunter IPA from Fat Head's Brewery in Cleveland. In 2009 Workhorse IPA from Portland's Laurelwood Brewing took home the trophy. In 2008, top honors went to West Coast IPA from Green Flash Brewing in Vista, CA.

2011 Schedule

Round 1- February 13th @ Buffalo, NY
Round 2 - February 19th @ Syracuse,
NYRound 3 - February 26th @ Grand Rapids, MI
Round 4 - March 2nd @ Cleveland, OH
Final Round - March 5th @ Philadelphia, PA

The Combatants

As of this moment, the following Washington beers have joined the competition:

Interurban IPA - Fremont Brewing Company
Lazy Boy IPA - Lazy Boy Brewing Co.
Pike IPA - Pike Brewing Co
Supergoose IPA - Hale's Ales
Trickster IPA - Black Raven Brewing Company
Zombie Killer - Snipes Mountain Brewing
Hop Duster IPA - Flyers Restaurant and Brewery
Afterburner IPA - Flyers Restaurant and Brewery

Here is the complete list of entrants thus far:

Afterburner IPA - Flyers Restaurant and Brewery
Avery India Pale Ale - Avery Brewing Company
Be Hoppy IPA - Wormtown Brewery
Big Eye IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Co.
Big Sky IPA - Big Sky Brewing
Bitter Woman IPA - Tyranena Brewing Company
Border Hopper - SweetWater Brewing Co
Caged Alpha Monkey IPA - CB's
Centennial IPA - Founders Brewing Company
Class Five IPA - Thomas Creek Brewery
Cleveland IPA - Buckeye Brewing
Crooked Tree I.P.A - Dark Horse Brewing Company
crooked tree ipa - dark horse brewing co
Dagger Falls IPA - Sockeye Brewing
Devil's Peak IPA - Copper Canyon Brewery
Dirty Dog IPA - Big Dog's Brewing Co.
Duet - Alpine Beer Company
Elevated IPA - La Cumbre Brewing Co.
Empire I.P.A - Empire Brewing Co.
Finestkind IPA - Smuttynose Brewing Co.
Flower Power IPA - Ithaca Beer Company
Full Sail IPA - Full Sail Brewing Company
Good Karma IPA - Mad Anthony Brewing Company
Harpoon IPA - Harpoon Brewery
Head Hunter IPA - Fat Heads Brewery
Heavy Seas Loose Cannon - Clipper City Brewing
High Seas India Pale Ale - Michigan Brewing Company
Hop Duster IPA - Flyers Restaurant and Brewery
Hop Harvest Ale - Big Dog's Brewing Co.
Hop Ride IPA - Tenaya Creek Brewery
Hop Stalker IPA - Fat Heads Brewery
Hoppin' To Heaven IPA - Hoppin' Frog Brewing Company
India Pale Ale - Nebraska Brewing Company
India Pale Ale - Goose Island Beer Company
Interurban IPA - Fremont Brewing Company
Inversion IPA - Deschutes Brewery
IPA - Southern Tier Brewing Company
Islander IPA - Coronado Brewing Co
Jamaica Sunset IPA - Mad River Brewing Company
Lake Placid India Pale Ale - Lake Placid Craft Brewing Company
Lakefront IPA - Lakefront Brewery
Lazy Boy IPA - Lazy Boy Brewing Co.
Left Coast IPA - John Harvard's Brew House CT
Marin IPA - Marin Brewing Company
Mile HI.P.A. - Wynkoop Brewing Company
Modus Hoperandi - Ska Brewing Co.
Mojo IPA - Boulder Beer Company
Moylan's Harvest IPA - 15 Rowland Way
Nelson - Alpine Beer Company
NOR CAL IPA - Moylan's Brewing Co.
Norm,s Raggedy - Ass IPA - Big Rock Chop House
Oasis - Tallgrass Brewing Company
Organic Hopworks IPA - Hopworks Urban Brewery
Pike IPA - Pike Brewing Co
Pompous Ass - Orlando Brewing
Railroad Street IPA - Rohrbach Brewing Company
Ranger IPA - New Belgium Brewing
Red Eye PA - The Brew Kettle Production Works
Red Racer IPA - Central City Brewing
Red's Rye PA - Founders Brewing Company
Royal IPA - Bastone Brewery
Saber's Edge - Pearl Street Grill & Brewery
Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA - Boston Beer Company
Samuel Adams Latitude Belgian IPA - Boston Beer Company
Saranac IPA - F.X. Matt Brewing Company/Saranac
Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Co.
Seven Gates Pale Ale (Gate Two) - Spring House Brewing Co.
Seven IPA - Cornerstone Brewing Company
Sheltowee Hop - a - lot IPA - Bluegrass Brewing Co
Special Ration IPA - Pearl Street Grill & Brewery
Stone IPA - Stone Brewing Co.
Super Fly - Oaken Barrel Brewing Company
Supergoose IPA - Hale's Ales
SweetWater IPA - SweetWater Brewing Co
The Black Pearl - Pearl Street Grill & Brewery
Titan IPA - Great Divide Brewing Company
TOP GUN IPA - Blind Tiger Brewery
Torpedo Extra IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Tower 10 IPA - Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Trestles IPA - Left Coast Brewing Co.
Trickster IPA - Black Raven Brewing Company
Triple Play IPA - Lawson's Finest Liquids
West Coast IPA - Green Flash Brewing
White Rajah - The Brew Kettle Production Works
Wipeout IPA - Port Brewing Co.
Workhorse IPA - Laurelwood Brewing Co
Zombie Killer - Snipes Mountain