Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Beerfest Follow Up and Pictures

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Just before the doors opened for the Friday session of the Washington Winter Beer Festival, Eric Radovich, Executive Director of the Washington Beer Commission, announced the fest was 30 tickets shy of sell-out prior to opening the doors, with more tickets sold in presales than last year. Once the doors opened, the capacity crowd filled the space and made it a little difficult to find your friends, if you happened to lose them. But the longest beer line we waited in was maybe five people deep, nothing like the 15 minute lines we saw at the summer festival.

The 2010 version of Washington Winter Beerfest was outstanding. The brewers really out-did themselves. It was nearly impossible to choose a favorite beer. We attended the Friday evening session and the Saturday evening session. We heard nothing but good things about the Saturday afternoon session.

By mid-session, there was a full house.

The Seven Seas Brewing Santa tells Ken (Port Townsend Brewing) that he's been a naughty boy.

Janelle Pritchard of Trade Route with Richard, her trusty volunteer.

Some of our favorite beers of the festival: Fremont Brewing's Abominable B-Bomb, Flyer's Daybreak Breakfast Stout, Boundary Bay '09 Cabin Fever, Airways Hot Chocolate Ale, Big Al's Peanut Butter Stout, and Naked City's French Dude. The biggest surprise for us was the newcomer, Paradise Creek Brewery from Pullman, WA, and their super malty, super hoppy dark IPA, the Hopocolypse.

Now that Winter Beerfest is over, it's time to start thinking about the upcoming Belgianfest. We'll have more details soon, but for now mark the date - Saturday, January 22, 2011.

Boundary Bay brought a vertical tasting of Cabin Fever. And a cabin.

Elysian's Brewers Nativity.

Best taphandle: Le Dude is ready for the holidays too.

Pooped post-fest in the brewer's lounge: Drew from Pike and Heather from Schooner Exact.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Washington Welcomes More New Breweries

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

We try to keep up, really we do, but the brewing scene around here is a very dynamic thing. Breweries apply for licenses and then are never heard from again. Other breweries are awarded their microbrewery licenses and then never actually materialize.

By our reckoning—our best attempt to understand the reality of the situation—there are currently 137 licensed breweries in Washington, plus one that is licensed but apparently doesn't even know it.

We base our list of Washington Breweries on the Liquor Control Board's list of Washington Domestic and Micro Breweries.

There is one licensed brewery which we leave off of our list because they don't brew beer, never have brewed beer, and apparently do not intend to brew beer. When I called and asked about it, they had no idea what I was talking about. They seemed quite surprised to learn they had a microbrewery license. Weird.

Conversely, Gilligan's Brewing in Seattle, which is currently not brewing beer, is on the list because they are licensed and we know that they actually want to brew beer and actually intend to brew beer.

It gets confusing, but we try to keep things current.

Added to our list of Washington Breweries:

Barhop Brewing in Port Angeles. Actually, added as Harbinger/Barhop Brewing. This is the place in Port Angeles which is a winery and, as of a few months ago, is a brewery now as well. They have two microbrewery licenses at one location. I imagine things will get straightened out before too long. I'm guessing Harbinger is the wine and Barhop will be the brewery.

Gilligan's Brewing in Seattle. His old license expired and now he's been awarded a new license. Not sure about any new plans to get brewing again. I've asked and will keep you posted.

Parker's Steakhouse in Longview. They have been awarded a license, are building out the brewery and have plans to brew. No word on a launch date, but I'll keep you posted.

Grit City Brewing in Centralia. At one point they were licensed in Tacoma. Then there were rumors about Olympia. Now they are licensed in Centralia. We have no further information.

Removed from the list:

Speedway Brewing in Lacey. We have heard that they plan to open a new location around Olympia somewhere, but do not have any details or any status report for you.

New on the list of applicants this month:

Ashtown Brewing Company, Kelso.
Underground Lighthouse Brewing, Seattle.
Anne Uther Brewing Company, Auburn
Old Mill House Brewing, Tacoma

See all of our previous stories about new breweries popping up in Washington.

If you know anything about any of these breweries (new, old, or planned), please let us know or leave a comment.


Kona is licensed as a Washington brewery. Their beer is brewed at Redhook.

Because of their collaborative relationship with Elysian, New Belgium is licensed as a Washington brewery.

Pyramid is still licensed as a Washington brewery, although the brewhouse in Seattle seems to be in mothballs.

Washington Winter Beer Fest - a few of our top picks

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

The Washington Winter Beerfest kicks off today. There will be 35 breweries pouring more than 90 different beers.

There will be a lot of great beer poured this weekend at the Washington Winter Beerfest (see the complete list). It's always a challenge to decide where to start, but this year I have my eye on few things in particular.

Don't forget to buy your tickets in advance. This festival often sells out and you don't want to be left out in the cold, so to speak. Click here for details.

Below is the list of beers about which I am most excited.

Cabin Fever Vertical - Boundary Bay Cabin Fever is probably my favorite winter beer year in and year out. I tend to have an annual favorite each year, but I always reach into the bottom drawer and pull out the same old wool sweater when the temperatures drop and the snows start to fall. This year Boundary Bay Brewery will be pouring 2008, 2009, and 2010 Cabin Fever. I seriously cannot wait!

Back by Popular Demand
- Two beers that blew everyone's minds at the Washington Brewers Festival last June. Both of these beers are made in smaller batches, so we'll call them rare. I'm sure some of it will be available at each of the three sessions, but it will go fast. First is Big Al Brewing's Peanut Butter Stout, which is made with real peanut butter and presents a real challenge for the brewer as well as the "assistant brewer" (the person who cleans up after the brewer). The other is Black Raven Brewing's La Petite Mort, a barrel-aged Belgian dark ale (bourbon barrel).

Sweet and Sour
- Elysian Brewing's Bifrost Winter Ale—the seasonal offering from one of Seattle's most revered breweries—might not qualify as sweet, per se, but it is a beer that we consider a wintertime staple around these parts. This year, they'll be pouring it alongside Bret Frost, which we can reasonably assume is a soured version of the Bifrost.

Coffee Brews
- Nobody will be pouring 4 Loko, but artisan brewers are not shy about their love of coffee. There are three coffee-themed beers that we are looking forwards to enjoying at Winter Beerfest: Daybreak Breakfast Stout, an oatmeal coffee stout from Flyer's Brewery in Oak Harbor; Sumatra Coffee Stout from Trade Route Brewing; and Jive Espresso Stout from Two Beers Brewing, an outstanding beer with which we are already familiar in its regular form, but not the cask-conditioned version they'll be pouring at the festival.

A Winter Welcome
- Paradise Creek Brewery is located Pullman and is a newcomer to the festival this year. Actually, they're a fairly new brewery overall. They will be pouring three different beers: Hopocolypse Black IPA, Dirty Blonde, and Over the Hop American IPA. We look forward to sampling their beer without driving all the way to Pullman.

We will be at the festival this weekend. Look for us in our "Follow Me to Good Beer" shirts. Be sure to say hello. Tell us about your favorite beer.

Pictures from last year's Winter Beerfest:

It was chilly last night. Kim is bundled in her puffy coat with Ken (Big Al Brewing), Hutch (Rogue Issaquah Brew House), and Janelle (Snoqualmie Falls Brewing).
Getting there early has advantages. You get to meet Santa - Ken from Port Townsend Brewing.

We were the first people through the door. The WABL happy hour certainly has its advantages. No crowd.

We were the first people through the door last year.

Later in the evening the crowd picked up, as expected.

Later in the evening the crowd picked up, as expected.

Washington Beer on the Air

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Did you hear us? We were on the radio (KUOW 94.9 FM, to be exact) talking about the Washington Winter Beer Fest, the Washington beer scene, and beer in general. They kindly devoted an entire hour to the topic.

I was contacted a few weeks ago by a KUOW producer who wanted to talk about beer - winter beer, in particular. We chatted via email and then over the phone. I was invited to come into the studio for an hour of beer talk. Drew Cluley from Pike Brewing and Alejandro Brown from Big Al Brewing joined me as we appeared on KUOW's Weekday.

We sampled a few beers, talked about beer and the local brewing industry. We had a great time and were honored to be on air representing the Washington beer industry.

The show's site is here.

You can download the MP3 here.

You can find it in the KUOW archives as well, click here. (The show aired on 12/6 at 10:00 a.m.)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

And the Winner is... NW Brewing News People's Choice

The Northwest Brewing News has released the winners of the annual People's Choice Awards. Below we list the Washington winners. Only Washington winners are listed below. To see the complete list of all winners, click here.

Congratulations to all of the winners.

Best Alehouse/Pub, Washington
Brouwers’ Café, Seattle
Honorable Mention: Beveridge Place Pub, Seattle

Best Brewery, Washington

Black Raven Brewing Company, Redmond

Best Brewpub, Washington

Boundary Bay Brewing Company, Bellingham

Best Bartender, Washington

Tom Dineen, Brouwers’ Café, Seattle

Best Beer Store, Washington
By the Bottle, Vancouver

Best Homebrew Supply, Washington

Bader Beer & Wine Supply, Vancouver
Honorable Mention: Larry’s Homebrew Supply, Renton

Best beers, by style

Best ESB:
Redhook ESB, Washington

Best IPA:
Boundary Bay Inside Passage Ale, Washington

Best Strong Ale:
Big Time Nemesis, Washington

Best Scotch Ale:

Boundary Bay Scotch Ale, Washington

Best Pilsner:
Chuckanut Pils, Washington

Best Bock/Doppelbock:

Tie: Chuckanut Bock, Washington
Columbia River Rick-N-Bocker, Oregon

Best Herb or Spice Beer:

Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale, Washington

Best Cider:

Wildfire Pirates’ Plank Cider, Washington

Monday, December 6, 2010

A New Brewery Coming to Georgetown

There's just something about that particular location that wants to be a brewery. I am talking about the entire stretch of Airport Way in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood, along the east side of the street where the old Seattle Brewing and Malting Company's operation once stretched on and on for blocks. Georgetown Brewing previously resided along that stretch of Airport Way but recently moved a few blocks away to the new location on Denver Ave.

The ancient Beer Gods of Airport Way will not be denied.

Last night I learned that Elysian Brewing Company plans to open a new brewery in Georgetown - on the east side of Airport Way very near the intersection with Lucile Street. Sacred beer ground. The new brewery will be a production-only facility and will not even have a tap room. At least that's the plan as of this time.

Elysian has been operating at capacity (perhaps beyond capacity) for some time now. Maybe it was the success of the Men's Room Red Ale that finally broke the camel's back.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Washington Winter Beerfest - the official beer list

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Below is the official list of breweries and beers for the 2010 Washington Winter Beerfest. In all, 35 breweries will pour nearly 100 different beers. For complete details and ticket information visit the official event website.

The event takes place on Friday, December 10th and Saturday, December 11th at the Hale's Palladium in Ballard. There are three sessions this year−a Friday evening session, a Saturday afternoon session and a Saturday evening session. Washington Winter Beerfest regularly sells out. Get your tickets early.

7 Seas Brewing-Gig Harbor
1) Port Royal Export Style Stout
2) Saison
3) Ballz Deep Double IPA

Airways Brewing-Kent
1) Hot Chocolate Ale
2) Sky Hag IPA
3) Jet City ESB

Anacortes Brewery-Anacortes
1) Noel Winter Ale
2) Broadswood Scottish Ale
3) Klosterbier

Baron & Three Skulls-Seattle
1) Three Skulls Poison Winter Warmer
2) Three Skulls Blackbeard Dark Lager-Schwarzbier

Big Al Brewing-Seattle
1)Winter Warmer
2) Belgian Tripel
3) Peanut Butter Imperial Stout

Big Time Brewery-Seattle
1) Yulefest Winter Ale
2) Random Thought Generator Imperial Rye IPA
3) Holy Molé Chocolate-Chile Ale

Black Raven Brewing-Redmond
1) 2010 Old Birdbrain Barley Wine
2) 2010 Bourbon Barrel la Petite Mort Barrel Aged Belgian Dark Ale
3) Festivus IPA Herb and Spice Beer

Boundary Bay Brewery-Bellingham
1) 2010 Cabin Fever Winter Ale
2) 2009 Cabin Fever Winter Ale
3) 2008 Cabin Fever Winter Ale

Chuckanut Brewery-Bellingham
1) Kolsch
2) Dunkel

Diamond Knot Brewing-Mukilteo
1) Industrial HO HO HO
2) TBA

Elliott Bay Brewing - Burien & Seattle

Elysian Brewing-Seattle
1) Bifröst Winter Ale
2) Oak Frost
3) Brett Fröst
4) Valhalla Christmas Ale

Fish Brewing-Olympia
1) Winter Fish
2) Boulder Bend Dunkelweizen

Flyers Brewery-Oak Harbor
1) Daybreak Breakfast Stout-Oatmeal Coffee Stout
2) Dry Hop Afterburner IPA-American Strong Pale Ale

Fremont Brewing-Seattle
1) Bourbon Abominable Ale “BBomb”
2) Le Mystère de l’hiver - Bourbon barrell Oatmeal Stout

Gorden Biersch Brew-Seattle
1) Dopplebock Lager

Hale's Ales Brewery-Seattle
1) Supergoose
2) Wee Heavy Scotch Ale
3) Quadruppel Belgian Style Strong Dark

Harmon Brewing-Tacoma
1) Olde Bog Breath Scotch Ale
2) Oak Aged Point Defiance IPA

Hood Canal Brewery-Kingston
1) Southpoint Porter
2) Bywater Bay ESB

Iron Horse Brewery-Ellensburg
1) Cozy Sweater
2) Mocha Death

Issaquah Brewhouse/Rogue Ales-Issaquah
1) Jolly Frog
2) Brown Frog Belgian Wit

Naked City Brewery-Seattle
1) French Dude Barrel Aged Beer
2) Bing Spiked Cherry Ale

Northern Lights Brewing-Spokane
1) Winter Ale
2) Stellar Stout
3) Imperial IPA

Paradise Creek Brewery-Pullman
1) Hopocolypse Black IPA
2) Dirty Blonde
3) Over the Hop American IPA

Pike Brewing-Seattle
1) Auld Acquaintance Holiday Ale
2) Kilt Lifter Ruby Ale

Port Townsend Brewing-Port Townsend
1) Winter Ale Old Ale
2) Hop Diggidy IPA

Ram Restaurant & Brewery-Seattle
1) Ol’ Mallwalker - Strong old ale
2) Uber Dunkle Weizenbock
3) Dawgsled Winter warmer

Redhook Ale Brewery-Woodinville
1) Winterhook Winter Ale
2) Eisbock 28 Iced Winter Lager
3) Copperhook Copper Ale

Rock Bottom Brewery-Bellevue
1) Frostbite Imperial Red
2) Hollydaze Imperial IPA
3) Black Diamond Oatmeal Stout

Schooner Exact Brewing-Seattle
1) Hoppy the Woodsman
2) Puget Soundian Dark Ale - Black IPA
3) Profanity Hill Porter
4) Black Raspberry Wheat Ale

Scuttlebutt Brewing-Everett
1) 10 Below Winter Ale
2) Oaked 10 Below Winter Ale

Silver City Brewery-Silverdale
1) Imperial Stout
2) Old Scrooge Christmas Ale English Strong Ale

Snipes Mountain Brewery-Sunnyside
1) Pumpkin Death
2) 2 Fresh IPA

Trade Route Brewing-Pacific
1) Sumatra Coffee Stout
2) Trade Route IPA

Two Beers Brewing-Seattle
1) Cask Conditioned Jive Espresso Stout
2) Double Dry-Hopped Infused Evo
3) 20:20 Blonde

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Beer Lovers Guide to Holiday Shopping

by Kim Sharpe Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Hey guys, want to know a secret about women? Something that most men might not know? Not all women like to shop. Shocking, I know. But I know that to be true because I'm one of the women who would rather do anything but wake up early for 4 a.m. doorbusters, circle the parking lots, scavenge through racks or wait in line to pay. Sure, occasionally I get a whim to browse at U. Village, but it's usually on an off day, not the middle of the holidays.

In our consumerist society it's hard to escape the crush of holiday shopping, even if you get an early start, and shop mid-week from a strict list. Shopping online is an option, but if you must go to the mall, is there anything to make it more bearable? Yes, the answer is -- Beer. Diving into a pub for a cool beer between fighting off throngs of recreational shoppers in crowded stores makes the whole experience so much more agreeable. So much more likely to finish your shopping and maybe even bring some holiday spirit to the process.

The trick? Plan ahead and shop where the beer is.

University Village

Gifts for them: Apple, books, boutique clothing, jewelry, shoes, housewares, Eddie Bauer, kids toys and furnishings.
Beer for you: RAM U. Village is in the shopping center so you won't have to repark your car.

Downtown Seattle

Gifts for them: housewares, art, jewelry, high-end boutique clothing, department-store clothing or "Made in Washington" gifts from the Pike Place Market.
Beer for you: Taphouse Bar and Grill, Rock Bottom Seattle, Buckleys in Belltown.

Bellevue Square

Gifts for them: Microsoft Kinect, anything and everything for label-conscious fashionistas.
Beer for you: Rock Bottom Bellevue, Pumphouse (not downtown, but worth a short drive if you're in for a long shopping session).


Gifts for them: practical stuff, with everything from Nordstrom to Target within the mall or a couple blocks from the mall.
Beer for you: RAM Northgate.

Kitsap Mall

Gifts for them: another practical place to shop for practical people, it's the biggest mall on the peninsula.
Beer for you: Silver City Brewery, Hale's Alehouse.

Shopping (and Drinking) Local

As an alternative, consider skipping the mall for shopping at locally owned neighborhood boutiques and stores. The experience will likely be less crowded, you may find a more unique gift, and you'll be doing a local shop owner good. And there's usually even better beer to be found. Neighborhoods with great boutique shopping paired with good locally-owned pubs include:

West Seattle Junction

Gifts for them: records, paper goods, crafts, jewelry, art, womens clothing, housewares.
Beer for you: Elliott Bay Brewery and Pub.


Gifts for them: art, antiques, records, clothing, custom cosmetics, chocolates.
Beer for you: Brouwer's, Fremont Brewing.


Gifts for them: outdoor wear, art, housewares, boutique clothing, shoes, records.
Beer for you: The Noble Fir, Maritime Jolly Roger Taproom.

Queen Anne

Gifts for them: mens and womens boutique clothing, housewares, art, jewelry.
Beer for you: Hilltop Ale House.

U. District

Gifts for them: youthful clothing and accessories, Husky merchandise, books.
Beer for you: Big Time Brewery and Alehouse.


Gifts for them: antiques, art, toys, boutique clothing.
Beer for you: Naked City, Pillager's Pub, 74th Street Alehouse.


Gifts for them: Scandinavian products (great for Grandma).
Beer for you: Tizley's Europub.

Downtown Tacoma and 6th Avenue

Gifts for them: antiques, museum shop, art, vintage clothing.
Beer for you: Downtown - The Swiss, Harmon; 6th Avenue - Red Hot, Parkway.

Winslow (walk on the ferry from Downtown Seattle)

Gifts for them: boutique clothing, wine, housewares, custom cosmetics.
Beer for you: Harbour Public House.

Why not choose your shopping destination based on where you can stop for a refreshment? If you have other favorite beery ideas for escaping the holiday shopping crush, share your secret in comments.

Strange Brewfest - All Systems Go

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Many people have been wondering what will happen to Strange Brewfest now that Port Townsend's Water Street Brewing is only a fond memory. Well, we just learned for certain that the Strange Brewfest will live on. Here are the details from the event organizers.
It's official! Strange Brewfest 2011 is on!

The 7th Annual Strange Brewfest - January 28-30

This year's festival will be hosted by the American Legion in downtown Port Townsend, which is one block from the old Water Street Brewing location. Friday's schedule is still brewing, but Saturday the fun starts at 1pm and lasts until 9pm and Sunday starts at 1pm and will be jam'n until 7pm.

No need to worry about the frigid forecast that Old Man Winter is predicting this year. The American Legion's Hall offers double the indoor capacity of years past. Sure, Strange Brewfest is, and will always be, an indoor/outdoor challenge to your commitment as a beer enthusiast. But this year, there will be more room inside and out, allowing you a full arm extension when hoisting your glass in celebration.

Last year's Strange Brewfest was a tremendous success, as brewers from around the region embraced the 'strangeness' with more gusto than ever before. The result was a preeminent lalapalooza for the palate. Some of your favorite local breweries brought tasty quaffs, whose recipes included such delights as cayenne, coconut, corriandor and cucumber. Folks, those are just some of the ingredients from catogory 'C'. Strange Brewfest 2011 is sure to be another sensory slam dance.

Speaking of slam dancing, this year's festival will be packed with fantastical music stylings, including Lucky Brown and The Funk Revolution and many more.

As per usual, Strange Brewfest 2011 will feature countless, random acts of enchantment. If you've been before, you'll be suprised by some new and equally zany antics. If you've never been, you're in for a real show.

Strange Brewfest 2011 will feature a costume contest on Saturday night, which will be voted on by, you, the people. Win prizes for having an overtly creative spirit.

2010 Brewfest Winners

And, as the tradition continues, a presentation ceremony will be held on Sunday afternoon, awarding 'people's choice' medals to the top three breweries, and the coveted 'Strange Brew' medal to the brewery, which brought the beer that most captures the essence of the Strange Brewfest 2011. All of the awards will be voted on by you, the righteous festival goer!

For more details, and continual updates, visit: and bookmark it!

Also, be sure to sign up as a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Email us:
Strange Brewfest 2011! The party is on!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bar Hopping Across Europe with Will and Mari Kemper

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Rewind for a moment to the autumn of 2009 and you might recall that Chuckanut Brewery took the Great American Beer Festival by storm. In its first trip to the GABF the young Bellingham brewery brought home four medals for beer and was also awarded Best Small Brewpub and Brewer of the year (read about it here). Will and Mari Kemper, the owners of Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen, were rewarded with a free trip to Europe.

Fast forward to the present day and you will find Will and Mari cashing in their prize as they bar hop their way across Europe. Mari Kemper is blogging along the way. I promise this will make you jealous. Having spent the past 30 years in the craft beer biz, and having spent many years traveling the globe setting up craft breweries from Mexico to Turkey, they have plenty of beer contacts around the world. It sounds like they're having an amazing time.

Follow their adventure on the Chuckanut Brewery blog.

Cheers to you, Will and Mari. Couldn't happen to nicer people.

WA Beers Headed South. Way South

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Over the past few years a seemingly endless stream of out-of-state beers has flooded into the flourishing Washington craft beer market. Whether you welcome out-of-state beers into the local market or feel threatened by the incursion, there’s no escaping the fact that Washington, and especially the Seattle metro area, is a target-rich environment for out-of-state breweries.

But how often do you hear about one of our local, award-winning breweries making noise beyond our borders? For any number of reasons Washington beer rarely makes it out of state.

Roll Tide

Wait a minute! We have word of a couple local breweries bucking the trend. Flyers Brewery and Big Al Brewing both have plans to send beer south. In Big Al's case, we're talking about the deep south.

Flyers Restaurant and Brewery announced recently that their Afterburner IPA will soon be distributed in Portland. The Whidbey Island brewery will be working with Point Blank Distributing, a Portland-based boutique distributor. This is a bold move. Rarely does an out-of-state beer punch its way into the insanely provincial Portland beer market.

Also, we recently learned that Big Al Brewing will soon be shipping beer to the home of the other Big Al. If you’ve read the book Rammer, Jammer, Yellow Hammer you know what I’m talking about. The costumed mascot of the Alabama Crimson Tide is an elephant named Big Al. If you know anything about Alabama football, you can imagine that a beer named Big Al is going to go over very, very well. According to Alejandro Brown (our Big Al), they were contacted by a distributor in Alabama and the deal is done. Now the beer just needs to make its way south.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Washington Winter Beer Fest - Update

Tickets are now on sale for the Washington Winter Beer Fest, which takes place at Hale's Palladium on December 10th and 11th. Advance tickets are $23 ($25 at the door, if available). This year there will be three sessions: Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening. It will be interesting to see which session sells out first.

Friday, December 10th, 5:30 - 9:30
Saturday, December 11th, 12:00 - 4:00
Saturday, December 11th, 5:30 - 9:30

Click here to purchase tickets.

Click here to go to the official event website.

The Breweries

The lineup includes 35 Washington breweries pouring more than 70 dfferent beers. The lineup of beers will be available after Thanksgiving. Looking at the list of breweries, a couple of things jump off the page. Paradise Creek Brewery, from Pullman, is on the list, providing an opportunity to sample their beer without a cross-state roadtrip. Gordon Biersch Brewing will be at Winter Beer Fest this year. I can't remember the last time I saw them at a beer festival and I'm curious to see what they'll be pouring.

Here is the complete list of breweries:

  • 7 Seas Brewing

  • Airways Brewing

  • Anacortes Brewery

  • Baron Brewing

  • Big Al Brewing

  • Big Time Brewery

  • Black Raven Brewing

  • Boundary Bay Brewery

  • Chuckanut Brewery

  • Diamond Knot Brewing

  • Elliott Bay Brewing

  • Elysian Brewing

  • Fish Brewing

  • Flyers Brewery

  • Fremont Brewing

  • Gordon Biersch Brewing

  • Hale's Ales Brewery

  • Harmon Brewing

  • Hood Canal Brewery

  • Iron Horse Brewery

  • Issaquah Brewhouse/Rogue Ales

  • Northern Lights Brewing

  • Paradise Creek Brewery

  • Pike Brewing

  • Port Townsend Brewing

  • Redhook Ale Brewery

  • Rock Bottom Brewery

  • Schooner Exact Brewing

  • Scuttlebutt Brewing

  • Silver City Brewery

  • Snipes Mountain Brewery

  • The Ram Brewery

  • Trade Route Brewing

  • Two Beers Brewing

Walking Man Brewing Celebrates 10 Years Anniversary

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

We would like to extend a happy birthday to Walking Man Brewing. Coming up November 17th - 21st they will be celebrating their 10th anniversary at the brew pub in Stevenson and they have invited everyone to come join them. They promise to have a bunch of really interesting and rare beers waiting for you.

Starting on Wednesday the 17th and continuing on each night through Sunday the 21st, Walking Man will tap "one-off" kegs. They will also be releasing two new beers: the 10th Anniversary Rye-PA (the yet-to-be-named birthday beer) and the 2010 Jaywalker Imperial Stout. Those two will be available throughout the celebration. Below is a list of Walking Man's single keg concoctions. They have graciously agreed to allow one growler fill per person of these beers.

Wednesday 17th:

  • Chinook Dry-Hopped Iron Man IPA (last keg)

  • Big Phat Homo (substantially dry-hopped in the keg)

  • Anniversary IPA (Oak-aged and Dry-Hopped)

Thursday 18th:

  • 2008 Foot Fetish Imperial Brown

  • 2009 Old Stumblefoot

  • 2010 Old Stumblefoot

  • 2009 High Road Scotch Ale

Friday 19th:

  • 2008 Bourbon Barrel Jaywalker

  • 2008 Jaywalker

  • Cacao bean infused Walking Stick Stout

  • Coffee infused Walking Stick Stout

Saturday 20th:

  • Parade Pale Ale (Belgian pale ale)

  • Foot Funk (sour wheat ale)

  • 2008 Sasquatch Legacy Project Imperial Vienna

  • 2009 Sasquatch Legacy Project Belgian IPA

  • 2010 Sasquatch Legacy Project Imperial Oatmeal Porter

Sunday 21st:

  • Whatever is left over and we feel like drinking

Thursday, November 4, 2010

24 Delicious Casks of Washington IPA Await You

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Last night I was talking to Jeff Lawrence, owner of the Whistle Stop Ale House in Renton. I first met Jeff back in 2002 when I interviewed him as part of a story I was writing for another publication−an article about cask-conditioned beer. More specifically, the story was about the unexpected increase in popularity of cask-conditioned beer. You see, back then the whole cask beer thing seemed unexpected and a bit remarkable. He was a good person to talk to because the Whistle Stop Ale House was one of the only bars in the Seattle area regularly serving cask-conditioned beer back in those days.

My, How Things have Changed

These days "Cask Night" seems to be a regular event at most of the better beer bars around town. The annual Washington Cask Beer Festival is one of the most popular beer events in the area. And then there's Cask-O-Rama. Today it seems hard to believe that we ever survived without cask-conditioned beer.

This evening at the Beveridge Place Pub (Thursday 6:00 p.m.) the 5th Annual Cask-O-Rama will officially begin. There will be a line, you will need be patient, but it is worth it. The event features 24 casks of Washington-brewed IPAs lined up on the bar. It's a damned impressive sight to see, if nothing else. Cask-O-Rama continues on into the weekend (Friday and Saturday 6:00-12:00).

read the complete story on the Washington Beer Blog

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Northern Ales Moves to the Big City

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

A couple of years ago we told you about Northern Ales—the brewery in North Port, WA that we'd dubbed Washington's most remote brewery. (North Port is 2.5 hours north of Spokane very near the Canadian border.) A few months ago we reported that Northern Ales was in the process of moving to Kettle Falls. Now we report that the move is complete.

Check out the original post about our visit to Northern Ales — the brewery we also dubbed "most likely to survive the apocalypse."

Sure, Kettle Falls is not exactly a bustling metropolis, but compared to North Port? Congratulation to Steve and Andrea Hedrick! Here's the email we recently received from Northern Ales. We wish them well and hope they're getting used to the noise and the crowds.

We are proud to announce that we have made it to Kettle Falls. All of 40 miles and it only took 6 months to get everything done! J

Our Address in Kettle:
325 W. 3rd Ave
Kettle Falls, WA 99141

Phone: 509-738-7382 although the old number will still get us 509-732-6200

Wednesday – Saturday 12-10pm
Pool tournaments Thursday @ 6pm

Web site is updated weekly with beers on tap and events.

Now distributed @ 99 Bottles Federal Way, Franks Market Moses Lake, Whidbey island Beer Works Oak Harbor and coming soon Amocat Café Tacoma, and the tri-county area. Locations are also on the web site.

Dine Out (at a local pub) for Lakewood Officer Memorial

by Kim Sharpe Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Connections to the local police community run deep in my family. Two uncles retired, one from the SPD, the other from the Renton PD. My brother-in-law and sister both work for the SPD. My brother-in-law is a less-lethal (think Taser) trainer and award-winning neighborhood officer. My sister has worked in homicide for about ten years, she talks to crazy people on the phone, transcribes witness statements about violent crimes, and handles gruesome evidence photos. She, my brother-in-law and their fellow officers and civilian staffers do good work that normal people like me couldn't bear to do. And sometimes they pay with their lives.

Because of my sister, I found out about this event happening this Thursday, November 4th -- Dine Out to Remember Our Fallen, a benefit for the Lakewood Officers Memorial and Behind the Badge Foundation. Most of the participating restaurants are local pubs and brewpubs including the RAM Restaurant and Breweries in Lacey, Lakewood, Kent, Puyallup, Tacoma and Northgate; the Elliott Bay Brewery in West Seattle; and Harmon Brewing and Hub and Katie Downs in Tacoma - to name a few.

All RAM restaurants are donating 10% of sales on Thursday night. The Lakewood RAM is the designated Home Base for the Dining Out event, with a silent auction, raffle and live band.

Read the complete story on the Washington Beer Blog

NW Brewing News Reader Choice Poll. Vote Now

The Northwest Brewing News is currently running their 6th Annual
Reader's Choice Poll. The online poll gives you the opportunity to
express your opinion about things like Best Brewery, Best Brewpub, Best Alehouse, Best Bartender, and more. The poll runs through November 15th. The results are announced in early December.

You can find the poll here:

Sadly, there is no category for best beer blog.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Beveridge Place Pub Announces the Top 3 WA IPAs

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

We have been following the 2010 Hoptoberfest tournament at the Beveridge Place Pub with bated breath, waiting to see which Washington IPA wins. You can read our previous posts about Hoptoberfest here.

Yesterday the Beveridge Place Pub announced the final three: Boundary Bay IPA, Black Raven Trickster IPA, and Two Beers Evolutionary IPA. Through November 2nd, patrons will be allowed to cast one ballot per day for their favorite. The winner will be announced on November 4th at 8:00 p.m. during the first night of Cask-o-Rama -- the Beveridge Place Pub's annual 3-day celebration of cask-conditioned IPA. For the next year (2011) the winner of Hoptoberfest will be poured as the house IPA at the Beveridge Place.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A new brewery in Edmonds - Skip Madsen resurfaces

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog.

When you look at a map showing all of the breweries in the greater Seattle-Tacoma-Everett area, there are very few blank spots. For the most part, any community that seems like it should have a brewery does have a brewery. There are a few exceptions: Edmonds, for instance. Sure, Edmonds is the home of Gallagher’s Where U Brew, a well-established and beloved Brew on Premise operation, but the community lacks a more traditional brewery.

That’s about to change. American Brewing Company is in the process of building a new brewery near the waterfront in Edmonds. We are happy to report that Skip Madsen will be the man creating the beer.

Combining the Familiar with the New

American Brewing represents the meeting of two minds. One is familiar to Washington beer lovers, while the other brings fresh energy to the local beer scene.

Fans of Washington beer will be excited to know that Skip Madsen will be responsible for brewing the beer at American Brewing. One of the Northwest’s most revered and decorated brewers, Skip's awards include 10 Great American Beer Festival medals, 15 North American Beer Awards medals, and three World Beer Cup medals. His work experience includes stints brewing for Pike Brewery, Big Time Brewery, Boundary Bay Brewery, and most recently Water Street Brewing. His recipe book includes beers like Breakaway IPA, Queen Nina’s Imperial IPA, Boundary Bay Imperial IPA, Panama Red, and Big Phatty Imperial Red.

The new brew-blood at American Brewing comes from business owner Neil Fallon. This is his first venture into the world of brewing. A Tacoma native, Neil is a real estate developer looking for a new challenge and a new business adventure.

Skip Madsen and Neil Fallon.

Building Beer

“I’m a residential real estate developer and I was looking for a new opportunity,” Neil told me Wednesday at the soon-to-be brewery in Edmonds. “Someone suggested that I consider getting a sports bar. I talked to a broker and looked at some stuff but I didn’t want to deal with owning a bar, working until 2:00 a.m. and all that, but I looked at the bar—the bottles, the beer—and I thought maybe that’s what I should do. So I started to look at getting into the brewing business.”

“I manufacture things,” he says. “I find property and source materials; I build homes and then deliver them to people. Making beer is the same process.”

It’s a bit of a stretch, but I understand his point. Whether you’re making houses or beer, at the end of the day you have produced and delivered something to people—something that they want and/or need. There are a lot of things you can do in life to make a buck which do not involve producing and delivering something so essential as beer and housing. Philosophically, I get it.

When Neil decided to pursue the brewery business, he made a few key contacts around the beer business. He quickly learned that getting a top-notch brewer aboard was imperative. Neil contacted the Washington Beer Commission, which helped spread the news that he was looking for a brewer. He also contacted Jeannie McWilliams, a well-respected writer for the Northwest Brewing News, and asked for her advice.

“Jeannie told me that with Skip as my brewer I couldn’t go wrong.”

Building the Brewery

“Neil looked at some places in Fife, but he wasn’t getting anywhere,” says Skip. “I’ve had my eye on this location for a while now and had already talked to the city about building a brewery here, so it was pretty much ready to go.” All indications are that Edmonds is happy to have American Brewing come to town.

Neil and Skip are building out the brewery themselves along with help from some carpenters and other specialists.

Click here to Read the complete story on the Washington Beer Blog

Beer Church and Local Brewers Bowl for Charity

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

On November 20th, nine local breweries and five local bars will participate in Beer Church Turkey Bowl 2010 at that West Seattle Bowl. The 12th Annual Turkey Bowl is a fundraiser and food drive for the West Seattle Food Bank.

What's a Beer Church?

In addition to operating this blog, Mrs. Beer Blog and I also run Beer Church. Without going into too much excruciating detail, Beer Church is an idea that I hatched many years ago with my good friend Pete. He is now sipping barley pops at the Great Taphouse in the Sky, but Beer Church carries on in his honor.

From the beginning our idea was simple: use beer as a way to get people engaged in the community. Create simple, fun and affordable ways for people to be involved in charitable giving. And what's more simpler, more funner and more affordabler than beer? (That's how Pete would have said it.)

Above - Me and my buddy Pete manning the donation table at Beer Church Turkey Bowl, circa 1999?

So that's what we do. Beer Church has hosted the annual Beer Church Turkey Bowl for the past 12 years at West Seattle Bowl. We've done all sorts of other crazy events over the years, but it always comes back to bowling. Our annual food drive and fundraiser for the West Seattle Food Bank has become legendary. There is a video below that will give you an idea of the kind of fun we have.

It's not our mission to brag about these things, but suffice it to say that the many wonderful people who have attended our events over the years have donated tens of thousands of dollars to various charities. Actually, this year's event will push us into the six digit range. This doesn't even include the truckloads of food we've donated to the Food Bank.

The Battle of the Brewers

A couple of years ago we started inviting a few breweries to participate in the Beer Church Battle of the Brewers - a friendly competition within the larger Turkey Bowl. The winning team last year was from Elliott Bay Brewery. This year we have nine teams competing: Big Al Brewing, Naked City Brewery, Pike Brewery, Elysian Brewing, Georgetown Brewing, Emerald City Beer, Schooner Exact Brewing, Two Beers Brewing, and returning champion Elliott Bay Brewing.

There will also be teams from local bars competing in the Beer Church Bar Brawl, namely: Beveridge Place Pub, Dog and Pony Alehouse, Porterhouse Pub, the Feedback Lounge, and West 5 (the three-time champion).

This year Beer Church Turkey Bowl is sponsored by Link Apartments and Mike's Hard Lemonade. We seriously appreciate their support. Although Mike's isn't beer, it is local and they have graciously stepped up to sponsor the event. We like that.

Beer Church Pale Ale

This year Beer Church is hatching a new plan to help beer lovers contribute to charitable causes. We're making a beer. If you frequent the better beer bars and pubs around the Seattle area, you'll start to see Beer Church Pale Ale late next month. We will do a separate post about that beer in the near future.

In the meantime, here's a video from last year's Beer Church Turkey Bowl.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Elite Eight Washington IPAs

by Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

We recently passed the midpoint in October and that means the Beveridge Place Pub has announced the Elite Eight in their annual Hoptoberfest Tournament. For the past two weeks patrons have sampled a wide variety of Washington IPAs and voted for their favorites, with each pubster allowed just one vote per day. Hundreds of ballots have been tallied and the top eight vote-getters now advance to the semifinals.

To learn more about the Beveridge Place Pub's Hoptoberfest Tournament, click here.

The Elite Eight

From this group of eight, three finalist will advance to the finals and eventually a champion will be crowned. The winning beer will be the house IPA for 2011--the one IPA guaranteed to always be on tap at the Beveridge Place. Each year the winner is announced at the Beveridge Place Pub's IPA Cask-O-Rama, a three day event (Thurs, November 4th - Sat, November 6th) that features no less than 24 Washington cask-conditioned IPAs served from firkins lined up on the bar.

No doubt, winning the Hoptoberfest Tournament is an honor, but it also translates into a significant number of guaranteed sales. Read our story from last week to learn more about the Hoptoberfest tournament.

Below is a video from last year's Cask-O-Rama, when the Hoptoberfest winner was announced.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pike Brewery Celebrates 21st Birthday

by Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog

Sunday, Oct. 17 was Pike Brewery's Birthday. Cheers to Pike! Very Happy Birthday! The celebration continues all week long with special beers, prices and events. Details below.

The Birthplace of Great Brewers

Over the past 21 years, the Pike Pub and Brewery has given the Washington craft beer scene more than great beer. Beyond the world class ales, they've helped spawn more great brewers than I can remember. Some of the most esteemed Washington brewers came through Pike in one way or another. People like Bill Jenkins (Big Time Brewery), Kevin Forhan (Ram, Northgate), Janelle Pritchard (Trade Route), Skip Madsen (formerly of Water Street and Boundary Bay), and Drew Cluley (current top dog at Pike), to name only a few. The complete list is staggering.

The Pike Pub and Brewery is a Seattle institution. Because of the location next to the market, it is understandable that the Pike is all that many tourists see of Seattle's proud brewing tradition. Thank heavens that the beer and people at the Pike Pub and Brewery represent Washington beer so well.

Charles and RoseAnn Finkel, founders and current owners of the Pike, are legends in the craft beer business, not to mention two of the nicest people you'll ever meet. The story of their contribution to American craft beer is remarkable. Someday it will be properly told. For now, just know that they are legends. I will never forget the first really good beer I ever tasted. I was still a teenager, probably in about 1981, and the beer was called Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, imported by Merchant Du Vin--a company started by Charles Finkel in 1978.

I could go on all day. Instead, I'll just say happy birthday.

Here is the birthday week info from Pike:
October 17, 2010 is Pike's birthday. We're 21, we're proud of it and we are going to celebrate reaching maturity with what else, but a week of coming-of-age events!


October 17-24

Our three original Pike ales that were served at The Pike Pub will be featured at their opening day prices!

$3.50 for pints · $11.00 for pitchers

Hoppy Hour (Monday-Friday) pints $2.50

Much has changed over 21 years. We are master brewers, chefs, and servers. Our celebration will feature a delicious and affordable prix fixe dinner every evening as a special alongside our regular Pike Pub menu featuring local, sustainable pub fare. We hope you will be able to join us in celebrating 21 years of great food and beers!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Upcoming event at Hales celebrates GABF winners

Last month Washington breweries brought home seven medals from the 2010 Great American Beer Festival. (Read our report.) Now you have a chance to taste all of the medal winners in one place.

There will be a special GABF medal winner celebration at the Hales Brewery in Seattle on Saturday, October 23rd from 3-7 PM. Attendees will have a chance to purchase tastes of all 7 medal winning GABF beers. Admission is free.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jillian's in Seattle - A New Focus On Craft Beer

Not long ago Mrs. Beer Blog and I were invited to join some friends for an afternoon of gaming and appetizers at Jillian’s, the sports bar and billiards parlor on Westlake Avenue in Seattle. Apparently someone had won a VIP party package at a silent auction. We had a great time. I’m not sure what we were expecting, but we were happy with what we found. We wished they had a better selection of beer, but understood their need to appeal to the sports bar crowd with a limited number of taps.

Since then, things have changed at Jillian’s. And it is good news. They have a new focus on craft beer and they want to embrace the local craft beer scene. When a bar like Jillian’s decides to do that, they can expect a big shout out from the Washington Beer Blog. Attaway Jillians, attaway!

I have just learned of an upcoming event at Jillian’s which has me licking my lips. Next Friday (October 15th) Jillian’s will host Micros and Music, an event featuring beer from some of our favorite local breweries. There are a limited number of tickets available so you should act quickly. You can reserve your tickets by calling Jillian’s (206) 223-0300. Some of the breweries involved also have tickets. Event details are below.

A New Attitude

“We have 10 breweries bringing in interesting, creative beers for this event,” said Caitee McCormick, Marketing and Promotions Director for Jillian’s. “The people attending the event will actually be voting for their favorite. The brewery that gets the most votes will get a tap handle through the end of the year.”

“We want to appeal to the local craft beer crowd,” said McCormick. “We’ve added more taps so we can be flexible and have more craft beer. We want to be a part of Seattle’s great craft beer scene. People think of us as more corporate and less local. We want that to change.”

The new approach to beer is largely due to a change in management at Jillians. “Our new General Manager (Tom Balcom) came in and decided that he wanted to increase the number of taps so that we could offer a wider selection of beer, specifically craft beer,” says McCormick. “We now have 20 tap handles. The taps were added specifically for the purpose of providing craft beer, with the goal of being flexible about what we offer.”

Click here to read the entire story and get all the event details.

Nothing but Washington Beer for 10 Days

Around here, two things in life are certain when it comes to beer. Washington loves delicious craft beer and Washington produces delicious craft beer. Events taking place this weekend, and over the next ten days, confirm these two self-evident truths. So do the numbers. In the greater Seattle-Tacoma area 24 percent of the beer we consume is craft beer. In the United States, only Portland, Oregon has us beat at 29.9 percent. San Francisco is the only other city to reach the 20 percent mark. Most cities aren’t even close.

Last weekend there was a statewide party in Washington. In Tacoma they celebrated the second annual Tacoma Craft Beer Festival (Friday and Saturday). In Yakima they enjoyed another outstanding Fresh Hop Ale Festival. Enumclaw got in the game, hosting a big Oktoberfest party which will featured a lot of locally brewed beer. Up in Blaine, Semiahmoo Resort held a very special Brewmasters Dinner featuring the beers of Bellingham’s venerable Boundary Bay Brewery.

From one end of the state to the other, last weekend people celebrated beer. However, for two of Washington’s better beer bars, last weekend marked the kickoff of a celebration not only of beer, but a celebration of Washington-brewed beer exclusively. For 10 days (Oct. 1st through 11th) the Parkway Tavern and the Red Hot will serve nothing but Washington-brewed beers.

Both the Parkway Tavern and the Red Hot are located in Tacoma and the kickoff of “Tacoma Drinks Washington Beer Week” intentionally coincided with the Tacoma Craft Beer Festival. All of the taps will pour nothing but beers brewed right here in The Evergreen State. The Parkway offers 34 beers on tap and the Red Hot another baker’s dozen. Two bars pouring nearly 50 Washington beers. That’s impressive.

Busily servicing the thirsty hordes, the craft beer industry is booming in Washington these days. In the past two months 21 new microbreweries have applied for licenses with the Liquor Control Board. It is hard to keep exact count, but currently Washington has approximately 130 microbreweries licensed to brew beer.

You might think that the market is overcrowded, but most breweries tell us that they are brewing beer at capacity and are trying to find ways to make more beer to meet the growing demand. For a brewery, increasing capacity most frequently means investing more money into the business—a particularly tough challenge in the current economy.

To read the complete story on the Washington Beer Blog, click here.

Lost in Fremont - a beer lover hits Fremont Oktoberfest

Today we'd like to introduce a new contributor. To his friends, he is known as the Growler Guy because that's the way he rolls: showing up at parties, barbecues, and just about anywhere else with growlers full of delicious craft beer. Recently, not entirely by his own choosing, Growler Guy found himself at Fremont Oktoberfest. Here's his report.

Fremont Oktoberfest

By Growler Guy

Sometimes it isn’t always about the event, but about the experience you make out of it.

So when my wife and I, and our friends, loaded the car towards Seattle for the Fremont Oktoberfest, I kept my expectations low. For no good reason, we bypassed Auburn’s Hops and Crops and Des Moines’ Blues and Brews, which were basically in our backyard, and headed North. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon, we were heading for a day in the city and beer was going to be plentiful. What was not to like, right?

I had been warned that the Fremont Oktoberfest was more frat party than craft brew festival. This was pretty accurate, but we still made the most of a great afternoon. Thanks to my friend Mark at Deschutes Brewing, we were on scholarship (free beer tastes even better), and ventured out to find the best beers to fulfill our five tokens.

Upon arriving in Fremont, I had an idea of what beers were being poured, and a little disappointed that I would be missing out on two of my favorites, Airways and Two Beers, who were both at the events we bypassed.

There were a ton of breweries from all over the West Coast to choose from, and also a great selection of German beers. We all started off with the selections from Fremont Brewing, because, when in Rome… right? I sampled the Mystere de la Saison and the Universal Pale Ale and loved both.

The beer tents were lined in kind along the streets of Fremont and when we went (around 1 p.m.) it wasn’t very crowded, which suited us just fine. As the day got later, a lot more people started showing up, the lines got longer and I imagine the party got a little rowdier.

I fully intended to stick to a strictly Washington Beer diet, but there were just too many selections and choices to pass up on. I can’t remember all the beers our party tasted, but I enjoyed the Big Al Tripel (8.9 percent ABV), Deschutes Jubelale, Ninkasi Total Domination and Roslyn Brookside. We spent a lot of time hanging around the Deschutes Brewery’s Woody and even got to sample their Black Butte XX with some Theo Chocolate.

To read the complete story on the Washington Beer Blog, click here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nine New Brerweries on the Horizon for Washington

The last time we did one of these posts it was early August. At that time we reported that 12 new Washington breweries were looming on the horizon, threatening to pop into existence. Read that report. It hasn't even been two months and we have nine more to report. This is getting crazy. Can you imagine if they all get approved and actually materialize? That would be 21 new breweries over the course of a few months. Insane.

The State Liquor Control Board is currently considering applications for nine new microbreweries. These applications are still pending approval. We follow this stuff pretty closely and, to be honest, not every application is approved and not every approval actually results in a new brewery. Still, we like to keep you informed.

As usual, we ask anyone who knows more to chime in and leave a comment or contact us so we can tell your story.

Current Microbrewery Applications awaiting approval:

Business Location: MCCLEARY, WA 98557

Location: VASHON, WA 98070

Business Location: VANCOUVER, WA 98686

Business Location: DAVENPORT, WA 99122

Business Location: PORT ANGELES, WA 98363

Business Name: THE MONKEY
Business Location: SEATTLE, WA 98105

Business Location: SHORELINE, WA 98155

Business Location: WENATCHEE, WA 98801

Business Location: ORCAS, WA 98280

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bellevue Brewing Company - a solid foundation for a brewery

Story by Kendall Jones

This is the first in a series of stories I will write about the Bellevue Brewing Company. I find myself emotionally invested in this one. While the building of a new brewery is a beautiful and glorious thing that always tickles my fancy, this one hits really close to home. In this post, I want to lay the foundation: the story behind the Bellevue Brewing Company (find them on Facebook).

A Sprawling Beerless Wasteland

John Robertson doesn’t want to offend anyone by saying it aloud, but he cannot help recognizing that Bellevue is behind the curve when it comes to craft beer. He does not call it a "beer wasteland" because he wants to badmouth Bellevue. He sees it as a problem that he intends to fix.

Robertson fully recognizes that Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Bellevue makes some excellent beer. He also knows that Rock Bottom is a chain of breweries spread across the United States. He knows that the Taphouse Grill has one-hundred-something beers on tap. You do not need to remind him about those two downtown establishments or any of the sadly few other places around town that offer a barely passable selection of craft beer. He knows Bellevue inside-out. He is a native and a current resident.

Like Robertson, I am also a Bellevue native: it is my hometown. I grew up there and spent a significant portion of my adult life there. I have a realistic opinion of the beer scene in my old stomping grounds. When it comes to beer, Bellevue needs some tough love.

We recently met with Robertston at the Pumphouse Bar and Grill (one of the better places to drink good beer in Bellevue) to talk about his plans to open the Bellevue Brewing Company. His enthusiasm is infectious. His motivation is pure of heart. His success seems imminent.

Good Beer and Baseball Jerseys

Instead of building something in one of downtown Bellevue’s glass towers, which might more aptly match many people’s stereotypical visions of a Bellevue brewpub, Roberston has secured a location in a much more modest part of town. Instead of designing a pub with a polished, corporate or franchised feel, he is creating a place that is casual and comfortable. Rather than worry about creating a logo that tests well with focus groups, he seems more concerned about how it will look on a Little League baseball jersey.

“No doubt the beer must be great,” Robertson says. “All of the other things we want to do start with great beer. In this market, you cannot produce an inferior product and expect people not to notice.”

(below - Behind the modest storefront, a vast space awaits--a blank slate.)

Robertson tells us that he is ready to assemble a team that will quickly put Bellevue Brewing Company on the beer map. He says that he is looking for, and assembling, the best of the best. We get the feeling he is farther down the road to building his brewery team than he’s letting on. He is noticeably tight-lipped about that part of the plan.

You can read the complete story, including more pictures, on the Washington Beer Blog (Click Here.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Special Hotel Offer for Spokane Oktoberfest

by Kendall Jones

Let's get you off of the fence

Have you been thinking about making the roadtrip (or cheap flight) to Spokane this weekend for the inaugural Spokane Oktoberfest (this Fri, Sat, Sun), where the weatherman says it will be sunny and in the 70s? Do you need one last thing to push you over the edge? How about a really great deal on a hotel room just a couple of blocks from the festival? We've got you covered.

How does $85 per night for a room just a couple blocks from the event sound?

The Spokane Travelodge (at the Convention Center) is just a couple blocks from Riverfront Park, where the festival takes place. To reserve a room for $85 per night just call the Travelodge and tell them that you want the Washington Beer Blog special, festival rate. (Contact info is below.) If you're one of those high-roller types and you want a room with a balcony, it's going to cost you a whopping $95 per night. Don't dally, get off the fence and make the call. High-roller or not, your room includes breakfast--a critical element in any beerfest morning-after plan.

Organized by the Washington Beer Commission, Spokane Oktoberfest will feature great beer from across the state, live entertainment, German-style food and other Oktoberfest fun. Included in the lineup are a number of beers from Washington breweries that we don't too often (if ever) see on the west side of the mountains. Breweries like Palouse Falls, Northern Ales, Riverport, Laht Neppur, and Paradise Creek. You can see the complete lineup of breweries and beers at


Travelodge Spokane
W. 33 Spokane Falls Blvd.
Division/Spokane Falls Blvd
Spokane, WA 99201

Beer and Food Pairing: Elliott Bay Brewery Pub

by Kim Sharpe Jones

This is the first of what I hope will become a series of posts featuring food and beer pairing suggestions at our local brewpubs and beer bars. As Paul "Fruit Trees" Orchard (NW Beer Guide) has noted before, we bloggers have the best of intentions to start a series of this, or a series of that, but often lapse and fail after a few posts.

So forgive me in advance if these posts are infrequent or lapsing. But my intention is good. I really dig this new trend of pairing food with beer at fine restaurants so I want to have some fun pairing different beers (and sometimes hard ciders), with any food that I come across, and share what I think are the best of the best pairings we try.

For the first outing, Kendall and I were lucky enough to have dinner plans with our friends Dan and Nancy at the Elliott Bay Brewery and Pub in West Seattle. This being our local brewpub, it was an easy target because we've already tried most everything on the menu. But we haven't tried the dishes with multiple beers for the sole purpose of finding the best pairing for each plate.

Being that Dan and Nancy are also foodies and beer geeks, we had a good foursome with which to start. So we ordered a variety of beers, a couple extra beer samplers and a good variety of food that includes some of what we consider to be Elliott Bay's signature dishes.

We ate: Ahi Tacos, Seared Goat Cheese Salad, Shroomer hamburger with a side Caesar, and Salami Sliders with a quinoa salad on the side.

We drank:

  • Luna Weizen (a hefeweizen)

  • Alembic Pale Ale (a Pale Ale hopped exclusively with Cascades)

  • Hop Von Boorian (a hoppy, Belgian-style Pale Ale)

  • Dry Hop IPA (a dry-hopped version of their IPA)

  • Demolition Ale (Imperial Pale Ale)

We liked these pairings:
Ahi Tacos + Alembic Pale Ale

(below - Ahi Tacos with a side of Salsa and Chipotle Aioli)

The tacos come with a garlicky salsa, a creamy cole slaw and a hot chipotle aioli. It's the heat of the aioli that screams for some hops like those offered by the Alembic Pale Ale. Since the aioli comes on the side, if you don't put much of it on your tacos you could also go with the Luna Weizen here.

Read the entire article, and hear about our 3 other pairings, on the Washington Beer Blog (click here).

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pictures from Two Beers' Anniversary Bash

Last Saturday we stopped by Two Beers Brewery in Seattle's SoDo district to extend our congratulations and check out the celebration. We were there early in the afternoon and left with a feeling that things were still picking up. Make sure you read the entire post to see all of the pictures. Congratulation to Joel VandenBrink and the crew at Two Beers on a successful first year in SoDo. Click here to see the complete post.

Click here to see the complete post and more photos.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Emerald City Beer Co. invites you to the grand opening party

Back in May, we told you about Emerald City Beer Company's plan to open a new brewery in the old Rainier brewery (read our original post). It was exciting news and received a great deal of attention, even from traditional media outlets who usually ignore the craft beer scene.

Since that time, Emerald City Beer Company's flagship beer, Dottie's Seattle Lager, has hit the market. Perhaps you've already seen the distinctive emerald green tap handle at your local pub.

Today we announce the grand opening of the brewery and taproom, dubbed "The Emerald City Beer Lab." On September 25th the festivities will run from 2:00 - 8:00 and will feature beer (Dottie's), bratwurst, and live music. Emerald City Beer Company is located at 3100 Airport Way South, in the old Rainier Brewery. See the official event poster below.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Baron Brewing looking to update its image and asks for your help

Baron Brewing has decided that it is time to update its look. They've put together a contest to attract all of you artistic types. If you are a beer lover and an artist, check this out.

Here is the call to action from their latest newsletter:
Baron Brewing - Artwork Contest!

Here at Baron Brewing we have sported the same look for a long time and feel it's time to update ourselves. We love our Baron beers and want to present them in a way that says we are craft German beer lovers from the Northwest. We need your help to give Baron Brewing a new look. We're looking for new artwork for posters, bottles, signs, coasters and anything else we can think up.

If you have artistic skills and would like to donate your artwork we would like to see what you can do.

On October 1st we will pick the top three pieces of artwork and give away $100 gift certificates to Pillagers Pub in Greenwood Washington.

Send your artwork to Jeff Smiley (jeff at



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Boundary Bay plays host to this month's WABL event

Every now and again we like to tell you about the advantages of becoming a member of Washington Beer Lovers (WABL). What is a WABL? Simply put, it is the official Washington beer fan club. If you are the kind of person who likes to go to beer festivals, visit breweries and brewpubs, and attend exclusive beer events, then the advantages of being a WABL outweigh the cost of $25 per year. (Visit the official WABL site.)

Last Sunday we attended the monthly WABL party at Boundary Bay Brewing in Bellingham. The event included food specials, happy hour pricing on great beers, a sneak peak of a couple of special soon-to-be-released Boundary Bay beers, brewery tours, and live music. WABL members even received a 15% discount on Boundary Bay Brewery merchandise, including the newly released 15th anniversary gear. The luscious beer garden was reserved exclusively for the party and the weather even cooperated—not a sniff of rain and nary a cloud in sight.

Janet Lightner, Boundary Bay’s General Manager, welcomed the crowd and thanked us for our support. Giants’ Causeway, a local Celtic folk trio, provided the live music. Boundary Bay Brewing's head brewer, Aaron Jacob Smith, led groups on tours of the brewery and then took the stage for a question and answer session.

Above - Janet welcomes the crowd.

We’d like to thank Boundary Bay for extending such gracious hospitality and WABL for arranging such a great event.

Read the complete story, with more pictures, on the Washington Beer Blog.

Spokane Oktoberfest - Update

Not long ago we told you about the inaugural Spokane Oktoberfest (read that post). The event runs from Friday, September 26th through Sunday, September 28th. It is the first official Washington Beer Commission festival on the east side of the mountains. Now we have more information to share with you, including the updated list of participating breweries.

The Spokane Oktoberfest website is now up and running with a lot of information and tickets available online.

Saturday and Sunday authentic German/Austrian musical entertainment will be provided by Happy Hans Music.

There are some volunteer shifts available. Volunteers will receive a T-shirt, stein and festival admission for a non-shift day or session. (Contact and let him know your availability.) They would prefer that you have some experience pouring at festivals.

Admission is $20 advance, $25 at the door and includes six 5.5 oz. tasting tickets. Extra tickets are $1.50 each. A weekend pass is also available for $50 and includes six taster tickets per day. Advance tickets available at the Spokane Oktoberfest website.

The current list of expected breweries includes:

Northern Lights (Spokane)
Iron Horse (Ellensburg)
Palouse Falls (Pullman)
Paradise Creek (Pullman)
Riverport (Clarkston)
Georgetown (Seattle)
Elysian (Seattle)
Mac and Jack's (Redmond)
Snoqualmie Falls (Snoqualmie)
Elliott Bay (Seattle/Burien)
Fremont (Seattle)
Pike (Seattle)
Diamond Knot (Mukilteo)
Snipes Mountain (Sunnyside)
Golden Hills (Airway Heights)
Schooner Exact (Seattle)
Northern Ales (Northport)
Laht Neppur (Waitsburg)
C.I. Shenanigan's (Spokane)
Alpine (Oroville)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Congressman Rick Larsen visits Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen

This past Saturday morning, Congressman Rick Larsen of Washington’s 2nd Congressional District paid a visit to Bellingham’s Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen. His mission was to learn more about the craft beer industry, from the actual nuts and bolts of the brewing process to the business and economic challenges facing craft breweries in Washington and across the country.

Just moments after the congressman walked through the door, Will Kemper handed Larsen a printout and explained that it was list of all of the craft breweries in the 2nd Congressional District, which includes the communities of Everett, Monroe, Whidbey Island, Bellingham and others.

Above - Rep. Rick Larsen with Will and Mari Kemper.

Larsen’s hosts, Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen owners Will and Mari Kemper, did an excellent job of articulating the needs and concerns of craft brewers. Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen was born in the summer of 2008, just a few short months before the financial markets began melting down. While the beers and the brewpub have won prestigious awards and have continually grown in popularity, Chuckanut has faced challenges because of the recession. Suffice it to say, it was not (is not) an easy time to be getting a business off of the ground. Representative Larsen seemed particularly interested in this part of the Chuckanut story.

The challenge of making beer when the well has run dry

The conversation included plenty of discussion about the decreased availability of business financing. The growing popularity of craft beer across the nation has created an uptick in demand for craft beer and many of our local breweries are scrambling to keep up. Virtually every brewery we visit is producing beer at capacity and is trying to grow. While some breweries are finding creative ways to finance the growth of their businesses, it has become increasingly difficult to secure funding through traditional means. It’s a theme we’ve heard over and over again: while business loans are not impossible to secure, various forms of private financing have become increasingly common.

Read the complete story, with more photos, on the Washington Beer Blog