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 baronbrewing.com)



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 matt@washingtonbeer.com 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

Snoqualmie Falls Brewing's Triskaidekaphobia soothes your irrational fears

Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company is about to celebrate its 13th anniversary with the release of a new beer. Actually, the beer's release and the actual anniversary are still a few months away, but the beer and the celebration planning are already fermenting.

If you can get over your triskaidekaphobia (irrational fear of the number 13), and you posses some artistic talent, you might just win a case of beer and dinner for two.

Rande Reed, brewmaster at Snoqualmie Falls Brewing, has concocted a special beer to commemorate the brewery's 13th anniversary. The beer is named Triskaidekaphobia. Now they are looking for a label for the beer. That's where you aspiring artists come in.

I must admit that I have an irrational fear of my own. Not of spiders or confined spaces, but of 17 letter words. I don't have a problem with 19 letter words like antiparliamentarian or even 20 letter words like ultramicroscopically, but for some reason I dread 17 letter words like triskaidekaphobia. I hope you all can appreciate how terrifying I find it to write this post.

Here's the contest information straight from Snoqualmie Falls Brewing's Facebook page:
Snoqualmie Falls Brewing will begin celebrating its 13th anniversary in December. Appropriate to the occasion, we will release a limited edition brew called Triskaidekaphobia, which means fear of the number 13. Of course, this will be a beautiful tripel. Part of this limited run will be bottled, and this is where you come in.

We need a special label for the brew, and unfortunately, we can only draw stick figures.

So, assuming the name will be Triskaidekaphobia, send us your best! We don’t need a full label as there are strict federal requirements for them. Just send us a drawing, painting or photograph we can reproduce, preferably including the word Triskaidekaphobia.

Helpful background information may be that for the 13th anniversary the traditional gift is lace; modern gifts are furs and textiles; flowers are hollyhock; and gems are moonstone, malachite and citrine. Yeah, we have no idea what those stones are either, but info is cheap on the net.

Remember, though- Fear of 13 is the overarching theme.

Most importantly, though, is that we at SFBC are unrepentant capitalists and so we need your label to attract attention and produce a grab. We need a great label that will earn us more money for the run than Bud makes in a year. Ooh, I can already hear the money rolling right in! At the same time we want it to be fun and quirky like Jones Soda.

Huh? What’s in it for you? Oh, how about a case of the limited brew, dinner for four at the Taproom and credit to you for the inspired artwork right on the label? Get on it, artsy types!

Questions? Call Dave Eiffert, co-owner at 425-894-7970

Thursday, August 19, 2010

15 Years of Great Beers - Boundary Bay Brewery Anniversary Celebration

Boundary Bay Brewery is about to celebrate its 15th anniversary. The party takes place on Thursday, September 16th at the pub in Bellingham. Over the past 15 years Boundary Bay has won prestigious awards and earned a reputation as one of the region's outstanding craft breweries; what's more, they have won the hearts of the community they serve.

Great people making great beer

Beyond making great beer and having a fantastic restaurant and pub, Boundary Bay is a beloved fixture in Bellingham. More than just a local business, Boundary Bay Brewery is an important part of the community. I have friends who live in Bellingham and I can attest to the fact that their affection for Boundary Bay goes beyond the beer. Bellingham is a great community: a city with more than 80,000 people that feels like a small town. Boundary Bay Brewery is one of the things that makes Bellingham great.

Cheers to Boundary Bay Brewery, and cheers to many, many more years!

From their website:
Please join Boundary Bay Brewery in celebrating our 15th anniversary on September 16th, 2010!

15 years ago we found a home in the heart of downtown Bellingham. We opened our doors on September 16th, 1995 in a restored, historic warehouse right across the street from the Saturday Farmers Market. From the beginning we knew that we wanted to make the kinds of beers that we liked to drink: big, bold Northwest brews. Early on, our handcrafted ales began gaining recognition and we quickly became a place where the locals love to go.

We started with just six beers on tap, mostly English-style ales like ESB and Scotch Ale. Over the years, we’ve expanded our brewing and now feature 7 beers permanently on tap, 3 rotating seasonal taps and 2 ales always on cask. Throughout the year, we feature over 25 seasonal varieties, ranging from classics like our IPA to the cult favorites like our Cabin Fever and Imperial IPA.

Our logo has become a familiar sight on the Boundary Bay Brewery clothing that people seem to spot everywhere. Historically, it references the bootlegging in Boundary Bay from British Columbia to Washington that was common during Prohibition.

Now, though, it means so much more to us. We’ve updated our logo to reflect the last 15 years of saving the ales…and you can expect new coasters, t-shirts, hoodies, pint glasses and growlers. All emblazoned with our 15th anniversary design!

Come to the Beer Garden at 4pm for a Happy Hour BBQ, dancing and live music by the Marion Weston band. Enjoy $1 off your pints, anniversary cake and the special 15th Anniversary Ale which will be tapped at 4pm!.....

Read the complete story on the Washington Beer Blog.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One Year for Two Beers Brewing

Two Beers Brewing is about to celebrate the one year anniversary of its move to Seattle's SoDo district. The party will take place on Saturday, August 28th at the brewery and tap room on Ohio Avenue South. The details are below in the official press release.

Here's the press release:

August 16, 2010

Two Beers Brewing Co. Celebrates One Year in SoDo

Seattle WA -- Two Beers Brewing Co. is celebrating being in SoDo for a year and wants to invite anyone and everyone down for their celebration.

“It’s been quite a year for us” said Joel VandenBrink, Founder and Brewmaster of Two Beers Brewing Co. “We have made many friends along the way thus far and want to have a party to thank everyone for the continued support.”

The Party will be at the brewery, 4700 Ohio Ave S. Seattle WA 98134, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday August 28th. On tap will be the only keg of Winter Hop 2009 remaining, Orange, Grapefruit, and Lemon Peeled Belgian Wit, Summer Hop, and all your other favorites from Two Beers Brewing Co. In addition, Casks will be on the bar all afternoon, a BBQ will be cooking up Spicy Sausage from Zoe’s Meats, and live music will be on the dock out front....

Read the complete story on the Washington Beer Blog.

Iron Horse Brewery Introduces 509 Style Ale

Iron Horse Brewing recently announced the release of its 509 Style Ale, a medium-bodied session beer. The 509 Style Ale is intended to pay homage to the farmers of the 509 area code who produce the ingredients used by the craft beer industry.

Here is the press release from Iron Horse:
Iron Horse Brewery Announces Release of 509 Style Ale

Ellensburg, Wa August 8,2010 - When Iron Horse Brewery sets out to create a beer, they like to think outside of the box. So, instead of taking traditional style guidelines and attempting to follow them, Iron Horse focuses on producing a unique and flavorful end result. Their newest release, 509 Style Ale, will replace their Rodeo Pale Ale. The original Rodeo Pale underwent so many slight revisions over the past three years, that it became a completely different beer; hence the new name.

Greg Parker, co-owner of Iron Horse Brewery, when commenting on the origins of the new name said, “We like people from the west side and respect their refined beer palates, but we wanted to salute the roots of our brewery, as well as the hops, malt and farmers that produce them.” He points out that, “509 style is made in the 509 (area code), with ingredients grown in the 509, and a flavor profile suitable to the 509. And while the greater population density rests in the western half of the state, we all owe gratitude to the fertile soil and farmers, growing hops and barley in the eastern half.”

509 Style Ale, a 5% ABV (alcohol by volume) session beer is a medium bodied, lightly-malty ale with medium hop presence, that finishes exceedingly smoothly....
Read the complete story on the Washington Beer Blog

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Best Little Beer Fest You've Never Heard About

Okay, maybe you have been to this one, but last year was my first time and I was totally blown away. Until last year, I had never even heard about this festival and it is awesome.

This Saturday the Porterhouse Pub in Mount Vernon will celebrate its 8th Annual Porterhouse Charity Brewfest to benefit the historic Lincoln Theater. The event features great craft beer and world-class music, mostly blues. They shut down the entire street in front of the Porterhouse and put on one helluva show.

Last year, this was a great event. In fact, I was surprised that I had never heard about it. Kind of freaked me out, actually. I mean, great beer and great music? What's not to love? Below, you'll find all the details for this years festival.

Here's our video from last year's festival.

Here are all the details from the Porterhouse website.
2:00 pm Saturday August 14th between 1st and Main On Gates Street will be shut down and set up for great brews, raffle prizes, live bands, and dancing to raise funds for the Lincoln Theatre. Breweries from the north west region and the west coast will be bringing their best craft beers for your enjoyment along with some great local music.

This years musical lineup includes:

The Bill Mattocks Band, high energy first rate contemporary blues and blues-based rock.

Tim Halpin and the Better Half, "Funk-infused Rock-N-Roll" style

and last but not least

The Red Hot Blues Sisters, internationally recognized Blues/folk sound

Tickets can be purchased at the Pub or Lincoln Theatre for
$20 in advance, or $24 @ the gates.

Each ticket provides 5 (4oz.) Pours and entrance to the festivities. Please remember this event is strictly 21 and over.

All proceeds will go to help keep the Lincoln Theatre a cornerstone of local culture and history. So come down and celebrate summer with us for a noble cause with craft brews, great music, and good times!

Breweries Confirmed Thus Far:

Flyer's, Hale's, Skagit, Boundary Bay, Anacortes, 2 Beers *, Birdsview, Full Sail, Snoqualmie Falls, Deschutes, New Belgium, Lazy Boy, Alaska, Ninkasi, Bridgeport, Elysian, Stone, Pike, 192

WA Beer Commission Announces Spokane Oktoberfest

The Washington Beer Commission just announced that it will host the inaugural Spokane Oktoberfest, taking place September 24-26 at Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane. This will be the first official Commission-supported event to take place on the east side of the cascades. Spokane Oktoberfest will feature great beer from a number of Washington breweries, along with live Bavarian music and authentic German cuisine.

Expected to participate in Spokane Oktoberfest are a number of breweries not wholly familiar to those of us residing on the wetter side of the mountains. While many of us have sampled eastern-born beers from Iron Horse Brewing (Ellensburg) and Northern Lights Brewing (Spokane), fewer of us have tried beer from breweries like Laht Neppur Brewing (Waitsburg), Rocky Coulee Brewing (Odessa), Riverport Brewing (Clarkston), and Palouse Falls Brewing (Pullman). The complete list is provided in the press release below.

What's more, Spokane Oktoberfest also provides an opportunity for east side residents to sample beer from breweries like Elliott Bay Brewing and Fremont Brewing, which otherwise rarely find their way over the mountains.

For those who have not been, Spokane's Riverfront Park is absolutely lovely. This event will see the park's Central Meadow transformed into a Bavarian bier garten.

Located in downtown Spokane, near the Spokane Convention Center and Gonzaga University, there are plenty of lodging options. There are several hotels within easy walking distance of Riverfront Park. The closest are the Doubletree Spokane City Center and the Red Lion Hotel at the Park. For serious luxury and opulence, consider the historic Davenport Hotel, just three blocks from the park. Other nearby options include an Oxford Suites, a Travelodge, a Ramada, and a Holiday Inn Express. There are several others nearby. Use the Google.

Here is the official press release from the Washington Beer Commission:
The Washington Beer Commission proudly announces

Spokane Oktoberfest!

September 24 - 26, 2010 Ÿ Riverfront Park, Spokane, WA

The Washington Beer Commission will host its inaugural Spokane Oktoberfest on Friday, September 24th through Sunday, September 26th at downtown Spokane's Riverfront Park. This will be the first craft beer tasting festival for the Washington Beer Commission on the east side of the Cascades. The Commission currently produces four beer festivals in the greater Seattle area as a means for supporting the marketing, education and public relations efforts of the Washington Beer Commission and its more than 100 member breweries.

Spokane Oktoberfest will turn Riverfront Park's Central Meadow into an authentic Bavarian bier garten featuring delicious German food, music and of course Washington brewed German style lagers and fall seasonal beers on tap. This first-year event will showcase more than 30 wonderful craft beers masterfully brewed by Washington breweries.

The event will take place over three days, beginning with Friday evening, September 24th from 4pm to 8pm. Saturday, the 25th the festival will run from noon to 8pm and Sunday the 26th from noon to 6pm. Admission is $20 in advance or $25 at the door if tickets are still available. Separate tickets are required for each day or you may purchase a three-day pass for $50. Admission includes a commemorative tasting cup and six 5.5oz sample tastes. Additional tastes will be available for purchase at $1.50 each or four for $5.00. Tickets are available online at www.spokaneoktoberfest.com and at select ticket outlets. The event is expected to sell out so advance ticket purchase is recommended. This is a 21 and over only event. Additional information including the beer lineup, entertainment schedule, contests, menu items and ticket outlet locations coming soon.

The Washington Beer Commission was formed in 2007 to promote craft beer brewed in Washington State, to educate Washington consumers about craft beer and to foster a vibrant community of craft brewers in Washington. With more than 100 breweries now producing craft beer in the state, Washington boasts a top three ranking for number of state-wide breweries.


September 24th, 25th and 26th, 2010


Friday, September 24th - 4pm - 8pm

Saturday, September 25th - Noon to 8pm

Sunday, September 26th - Noon to 6pm


Riverfront Park, Central Meadow

507 N. Howard St.

Spokane, WA 99201


$20 advance tickets or $25 at the door if still available. Admission includes a commemorative tasting cup and six 5.5oz sample tastes.

Must be 21 years old or older and have a valid ID to be admitted.

Designated driver admission is free and available at the door only.

Tickets are on sale online at www.spokaneoktoberfest.com and at select Washington breweries.


Washington breweries expected to attend Spokane Oktoberfest include: Northern Lights, C.I. Shenanigans, Iron Horse, Riverport, Paradise Creek, Palouse Falls, Georgetown, Elysian Fields, Snoqualmie, Elliott Bay, Fremont, Pike, Schooner Exact, Laht Neppur, Rocky Coulee and Alpine. More detailed information about breweries and their beers to come soon!





Monday, August 9, 2010

Hello Seattle! Time for you to meet Dottie

We first introduced you to Rick Hewitt and the Emerald City Beer Company back in May (read it). Rick's plan to open a new craft brewery in the old Rainier Brewery attracted a lot of attention. Today, we are happy to announce that the Emerald City Beer Company will officially release Dottie's Seattle Lager this Thursday at Jillian's in Seattle. The Dottie's First Pour Event will take place from 5:00 - 9:00 and will feature $3 pints of Dottie's, $4 appetizers, and discounts on pool and arcade games.

Dottie's Seattle Lager - First Pour Event
Thursday, August 12th
5:00 - 9:00 p.m.
731 Westlake Ave. North
Seattle, WA 98109

Saturday, August 7, 2010

12 New Breweries Coming to Washington

The Brewers Association recently reported that 100 new breweries opened in the U.S. since July 2009. That's a pretty amazing number. If new craft breweries are a nationwide trend, then Washington is riding atop that foamy wave of sudsy goodness. Last year more than a dozen new Washington craft breweries fired up their kettles for the first time. It was difficult to keep track of all the new breweries opening in 2009 and the trend is not slowing down in 2010.

Below is a list of recent applications for, and approvals of, new brewery licenses in Washington. If you are affiliated with any of the following, we'd love to talk to you and tell your story to the world (email us).

Recently Applied

Notification Date: 7/26/2010
Business Location: EDMONDS, WA
Application Type: NEW APPLICATION

Notification Date: 7/26/2010
Business Location: LEAVENWORTH, WA
Liquor License Type: MICROBREWERY
Application Type: NEW APPLICATION

Notification Date: 7/20/2010
Business Location: WESTPORT, WA
Liquor License Type: MICROBREWERY
Application Type: NEW APPLICATION

Notification Date: 7/19/2010
Business Location: POULSBO, WA
Liquor License Type: MICROBREWERY
Application Type: NEW APPLICATION

Notification Date: 7/19/2010
Business Name: SOUND BREWERY
Business Location: POULSBO, WA
Liquor License Type: MICROBREWERY
Application Type: NEW APPLICATION

Notification Date: 7/19/2010
Business Location: ANACORTES, WA
Application Type: NEW APPLICATION
License Number: 406874

Notification Date: 7/14/2010
Business Location: SEATTLE, WA
Liquor License Type: MICROBREWERY
Application Type: NEW APPLICATION

Notification Date: 7/9/2010
Business Location: SEATTLE, WA
Liquor License Type: MICROBREWERY
Application Type: NEW APPLICATION

Notification Date: 7/9/2010
Business Location: SEATTLE, WA
Liquor License Type: MICROBREWERY
Application Type: NEW APPLICATION

Notification Date: 7/7/2010
Business Location: WOODINVILLE, WA
Liquor License Type: MICROBREWERY
Application Type: NEW APPLICATION

Recently Approved

Approved Date: 7/22/2010
Business Location: SEATTLE, WA
Liquor License Type: 332, MICROBREWERY
Application Type: NEW APPLICATION

Approved Date: 7/16/2010
Business Location: MOUNT VERNON, WA
Liquor License Type: 332, MICROBREWERY
Application Type: NEW APPLICATION

Friday, August 6, 2010

Redhook Signs Partnership Agreement with U.W. Huskies

Redhook has just announced a 3 year partnership with the University of Washington to be the Huskies' exclusive craft brewery. What does that mean? It means that when you go to "The Zone" at a UW football game you'll be drinking Redhook products.

The Zone is the UW's answer to a big tailgate party. Although no actual tailgates are involved, The Zone features entertainment, food, adult and non-adult beverages, and generally provides a place for Husky fans to socialize before the game and during halftime.

Here's the press release from Redhook:
WOODINVILLE, Wash. - (Business Wire) Redhook Ale Brewery (NASDAQ:HOOK) has partnered with the University of Washington Huskies to become the Dawg’s exclusive craft brewery. The three year partnership kicks off this month.

“As Seattle’s original craft brewer, we are thrilled to team up with the University of Washington to bring Husky fans a true taste of the Pacific Northwest,” said Greg Deuhs, brewmaster for Redhook Ale Brewery. “Redhook has been pouring craft beers in Western Washington since 1982 and we look forward to cheering the Dawgs on from The Zone.”

Through this partnership, Redhook will be the exclusive craft beer sponsor of The Zone. The Zone is a Washington Huskies’ game day experience that features entertainment, food, beverages and a place for Husky fans to socialize for three hours pre-game, during halftime and post-game. Additionally, The Zone offers custom suite rentals for first-class entertaining.

Redhook Ale Brewery was established in 1981 in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. The brewery has gone on to be recognized as a craft brewing innovator with distribution throughout the U.S. Maintaining its Pacific Northwest roots, Redhook’s main brewery is located in Woodinville, Wash.

Happy International Beer Day

Happy International Beer Day! Cheers, Salute, Prost, Sláinte and Op uw gezondheid!

August 5th was International Beer Day. Big thanks go out to our fellow beer blogger, BrewDad, for first pointing this out to us. According to the organizers, one of the purposes of International Beer Day is to show our appreciation for the good people who provide us with beer--a chance to say thank you to the brewers, publicans and everyone else who delivers unto us the divine libation that we all so love.

Sadly, no official International Beer Day events were planned around the Seattle area this year, but I'm not going to let that stop me from sharing the love.

I want to thank the owners, managers and servers at Washington's better beer bars and bottle shops. From the Green Frog in Bellingham to By the Bottle in Vancouver, from Bob's Keg and Cork in Yakima to Peaks Pub in Port Angeles, from the Viking Tavern in Spokane to 99 Bottles in Federal Way, we have great places to buy and consume good beer. Cheers to that!

Around Seattle, I especially appreciate the efforts of publicans like Bob Brenlin, Gary Sink, Seth Howard, Silas Reynolds, Jay Fischer, Matt Vandenberghe, and the two Dons at Naked City. Along with the many others that I am failing to mention, they have a serious commitment to great beer that benefits our community as a whole. Seattle is a great beer town largely because of their passion for beer. Cheers to that!

Of course we all owe a big round of thanks to the incredible brewing industry here in Washington. Whether it be nationally recognized Rockstar Brewers like Elysian's Dick Cantwell or young up-and-comers like Grove Street's Adam Orrick, we have a community of brewing professionals who are dedicated to wowing us with great beer. Cheers to that!

I would be remiss if I didn't show some love for the Washington craft beer enthusiast. Cheers to us! Each year the Washington Brewers Festival attracts between 10,000 and 20,000 people. The Washington Cask Beer Festival sells out regularly. In January the first-ever Belgianfest sold out. If it has to do with beer in Washington, it is growing. That's because of us--the Washington beer lover.

Our passion for great beer is nationally recognized. Why do you think so many out-of-state breweries have flocked here in recent years? They recognize that we know a thing or two about beer. We have one of the most vibrant craft beer cultures in the country. Maybe, in the entire world. Cheers to us!

The Washington Brewers Guild, which fights to protect the political interests of the industry we love, deserves a round of applause. Shoestring budgets and purely volunteer efforts power everything they do. You may not always agree with them, or fully understand their positions, but I think we all appreciate their efforts to keep the Washington brewing industry healthy and growing. Cheers to that.

Not to be confused with the Brewers Guild, the Washington Beer Commission has a less political mission and is authorized by the Washington State Legislature to promote Washington-brewed craft beer. It is the only commission of its kind in the country. No other state has a beer commission. In Washington today, just as we were back in the early 1980s when Bert Grant, Paul Shipman, Will Kemper and the other founding fathers of the craft beer revolution got this whole thing started, we are pioneers. Cheers to that!

And then there are those of us who strive to keep you informed and entertained--Geof Kaiser at Seattle Beer News, the three minds behind Beer Blotter, Paul "Fruit Trees" Orchard at Northwest Beer Guide, and Mike Besser at BrewDad. That's naming just a few of my fellow bloggers. We cannot forget the more traditional media contributors like Don Scheidt of Celebrator Beer News, Jeannie McWilliams and the entire crew at the Northwest Brewing News, and Megan Flynn of Beer Northwest. There are many other people working to keep you informed. If there is a fraternity of local beer writers, I am honored to be part of it.

So cheers to all the great people who bring us beer. Raise a glass to the hop farmers outside Yakima and to Larry at Larry's Brewing Supply in Kent. Hoist a cold one for the guy washing kegs at Georgetown Brewing and for Boundary Bay's Ed Bennett who drives a van full of Washington beer to Denver every year for the Great American Beer Festival. Clink your pints in appreciation of the guy sanitizing the taps at Uber Tavern and everyone else who helps make good beer happen.

Happy International Beer Day.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

U.S. Craft Beer Sales Up 12% in 2010

In March we reported that craft beer sales soared in 2009. Today we report more good news from the Brewers Association, the organization that represents the majority of the nation's breweries. In the first half of 2010, craft beers sales increased by 12% in terms of dollar sales.

Here is today's press release from the Brewers Association:

Dollar growth up 12% in first six months of 2010; U.S. brewery count climbs by 100 in last year

Boulder, CO • August 2, 2010 – The Brewers Association, the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, today released strong mid-year numbers for America's small and independent craft brewers. Dollar sales were up 12 percent in the first half of 2010, compared to 9 percent growth during the same period in 2009. Volume of craft brewed beer sold grew 9 percent for the first six months in 2010, compared to 5 percent growth in the first half of 2009.

Craft breweries continue to grow despite many challenges, and currently provide an estimated 100,000 jobs and contribute significantly to the U.S. economy. Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first half of the year are an estimated 4.6 million, compared to 4.2 million barrels sold in the first half of 2010.

Read the complete story on the Washington Beer Blog, click here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pictures and Report from 7 Seas' Anniversary Bash

Saturday we attended the 7 Seas Brewing Company’s first anniversary party. We arrived at about 1:30 when the party was just beginning to pick up steam. As directed, we parked the Washington Beer Cruiser at the designated off-site parking lot and waited less than 5 minutes for the shuttle bus which took us to the front gate. Very convenient.

(Above - Mike Runion, one of the owners at 7 Seas, works the beer line, making sure he gets to greet everyone.)

First things first: we got a couple beers. Then we got some food. By the time we finished lunch, we noticed that the crowd was growing rapidly. The shuttle bus showed up every 5 minutes and dropped off another full load of partygoers. By the time we left at 4:30, the place was packed. I’m not good at judging crowd size, but there had to be hundreds of people there.

Surprisingly, we didn’t see any of the regular crew that we see at events like this (we call them the “drinkalotti”). Nope, this event was crowded primarily with local beer lovers who were there to show their appreciation to Mike Runion and Travis Guterson for blessing the Gig Harbor community with a brewery. Many of the younger partygoers seemed to be friends, many of the older partygoers said that they knew “the boys” one way or another.

To read the complete story and see more pictures on the Washington Beer Blog, click here.