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.