Tuesday, July 27, 2010

7 Seas Brewing Turns 1 Year Old and Opening a NW Beer Garden

Last week we attended a brewers night celebration at the Beveridge Place Pub and had a chance to talk to Mike Runion, one of the owners of 7 Seas Brewing, which will celebrate its one year anniversary with a big bash at the brewery next Saturday. We talked about a lot of things, like how busy they are brewing, canning and distributing their beer, but Mike was particularly excited about the opening of their beer garden at the upcoming party (Saturday, July 31st).

Mike and his partner Travis Guterson are a couple of guys who like to get outside and enjoy the environment, so their vision of a beer garden is a bit different than most. It’s more like a campground or a wilderness picnic spot, really. In Seattle, Fremont Brewing Company has an urban beer garden (read about our visit) which has its own kind of charm for sure, but what they have planned at 7 Seas is quite the opposite.

If you’ve visited the 7 Seas brewery, you might recall that it borders a wooded area. Their next door neighbors are robins, squirrels, raccoons and the trees those woodland critters call home. Into this forest, 7 Seas has inserted a beer garden. While many beer gardens offer you an asphalt floor, you’ll have a blanket of pine needles beneath your feet in this one.

“This is going to be a real northwest beer garden,” Mike told us. “It’ll be like having a beer at your campsite in the woods.”

That might be true, but this beer garden is going to be a lot larger than most campsites. “About 1,200 square feet. Maybe closer to 1,500,” Mike says. “It’s big. It dwarfs our taproom.”

As far as the party goes, Mike assured us that it’s going to be a big bash. It sounds like they’re not holding anything back for this one. You can get all the details on their website. I’ll mention just a couple of things here:

Mike tells us that he’s expecting over 1,000 people. Yep, it’s going to be a bash. Live music, food, great beer. Sounds like a great time to me.

Parking – Since the brewery’s parking lot will be hosting the party, all parking will be off site. There’s a parking lot nearby that will have plenty of room and shuttle buses will be running constantly. Truth is, the parking lot is within walking distance anyway. DO NOT make the mistake of parking in the lot next door at the Inn at Gig Harbor. Big, big mistake.

Pirates - Argh! When ye sails the 7 Seas, ye should expect to see pirates. This is, after all, Gig Harbor—a town with an unmistakable maritime heritage. Without going into too much detail, Mike tells us that there will be pirates. “Serious pirates,” were his exact words. If you show up dressed as a pirate, they’ll buy you a beer.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Elysian Mens Room Red Earns $3,000 in June for Local Veterans

Some months ago, Elysian Brewing teamed up with the afternoon guys at KISW 99.9 FM (the Mens Room) to produce Mens Room Original Red. While most local beer enthusiasts are aware of the beer's existence, I'm not sure how many people understand the origin of the name or the noble purpose behind the beer. A portion of the of the proceeds from the sale of Mens Room Original Red benefit Fischer House - an organization that helps veterans and their families.

Don't rush to judgment. Although the Mens Room radio show might not be your cup of tea, the Mens Room Original Red is not some silly, gimmicky beer. It's damn good. What's more, having listened to the Mens Room show on KISW more than once, I can tell you that the radio personalities involved are truly stoked. It's fun to hear them talk about how awesome it is that they have their own beer. Not surprising, really. I mean, how excited would you be if Dick Cantwell and his crew at Elysian made a beer with your name on it?

The Mens Room Original Red is a medium-bodied ale, hopped with Chinook and Cascade hops, weighing in at 5.6 ABV. As you might expect from Elysian, the beer is delicious--a well-balanced amber ale with a slighly hoppy nose and smooth malty finish.

In June, sales of Mens Room Original Red raised $3,000 for Fischer House. That number will continue to grow as the beer's popularity increases. Cheers to that!

From Elysian:
A big Thank You to all you Mens Room Red guzzlers out there--demand for this beer has been out of control and we are very pleased to be able to hand this donation over to the VA Puget Sound Fisher House. For those that aren't familiar--Fisher House provides temporary housing for families of military Veterans receiving medical care in area facilities.

22 oz. bottles will soon be available in stores! Mens Room Red 22 oz. bottles should be hitting shelves of area Puget Sound retailers after August 25.

If you can't wait until then, they are currently available at Elysian Capitol Hill and Tangletown. It's always a good idea to call ahead to check stock.

Cap Hill 206.860.1920
Tangletown 206.547.5929

Thursday, July 22, 2010

7 Seas Brewing Plans a Big Bash in Gig Harbor

Remember the fire? Before they'd even brewed their first batch of beer, Gig Harbor's 7 Seas Brewing was devastated by fire in January of 2009. Like a Phoenix, they clawed their way out of the ashes and emerged victorious. 7 Seas Brewing is now one of the brightest new stars on the Washington craft beer scene. We introduced you to Travis Guterson, Mike Runion and 7 Seas Brewing back in July of last year, now we are happy to announce the brewery's one Year Anniversary Bash, which will take place at their brewery on July 31st. .

Need to catch up? Read our introduction to 7 Seas Brewing here.

In just one year, 7 Seas Brewing has accomplished a lot. They have the proud distinction of being the first Washington craft brewery to package its product in aluminum cans, they are brewing beer furiously to keep up with orders, and they are currently in the process of expanding their brewing capacity.

It's been quite a ride for Travis and Mike since that fire tore through their fledgling brewery 16 months ago. We hope you'll all join us in wishing them a happy first birthday. And many more!

Here are some details about the party. Visit the 7 Seas website for more information.
7 Seas Brewing 1 Year Anniversary Bash

Time flies when you’re having fun and drinking great beer! 7 Seas Brewing will be celebrating this occasion with a Beer Bash of epic proportions. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, 7 Seas has rebuilt better than ever and introduced Washington to Craft Beer in a Can! Come celebrate with us and enjoy the local live music of China Davis, Perry Acker, and Black Market Revue.

Grillmaster Buck Buchanan will be holding down the grill serving Brats, Burgers, Ribs, and world-famous Buck’s Beans, while Courtney and Trish of Provisions Catering will be serving Fish Tacos, Stout Ice Cream, Taco Salad, and Hop Lemonade. I know…… a little something for everyone, we’re in for a treat!

Beers? Oh Yeah! All of the 7 Seas Proper Pints will be pouring! A full spectrum of refreshing brews to satisfy all.

Parking will be @ the old Gig Harbor Ford Dealership (a mere 2 blocks away) and there will be a continuously running shuttle to and from. Please NO parking at the Inn at Gig Harbor Hotel.

The cost of such an amazing day? $3 per person which goes to support our local entertainment. Credit/debit cards will only be accepted for merchandise purchases, so cover, beer, and food will be on a cash basis.

We are extremely fortunate to have had all of the amazing support from the local community here in Gig Harbor and throughout Washington. We truly appreciate all of you and would like to thank you by throwing one hell of a bash. Please plan ahead and designate a driver or other accommodations.


When: Saturday, July 31st: 12noon-8pm
Where: @ 7 Seas Brewing (see below for parking info)
3207 57th St CT NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98335

Details: $3 cash cover (+21 and over only)

Local Rockstar's Beer Now in Bottles

Whip Ale, which hit the market last December in its draft form, is now available in 22 oz. bottles. You should start seeing bottles of Whip Ale at local bottle shops and at better beer retailers in the coming weeks. Read our previous posts about Whip Ale.

As we reported last December, Whip Ale is a Pale Ale developed under the direction of Michael "Whip" Wilton, guitarist for Queensryche. Last year Wilton approached Everett's Lazy Boy Brewing, expressing an interest in developing his own, unique craft beer. Working with head brewer Shawn Loring, Wilton formulated Whip Ale, a Pale Ale described (quite accurately, I might add) as “Bold, rich, and aromatic – smooth and well flavored."

Whip Ale quickly became popular, with beer geeks and rockers alike. To keep up with demand, Wilton had to change breweries in April. Whip Ale is now brewed by Diamond Knot Brewing in Mukilteo. It's the same great beer but it's brewed by a different brewery.

Last week Diamond Knot bottled a batch of Whip Ale for the first time and it is now moving through distribution channels. Whip Ale could start showing up on the shelves as early as next week. If your local beer retailer doesn't stock it, tell them that they should.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Looking Ahead to Tacoma Craft Beer Festival 2010

Last year the first-ever Tacoma Craft Beer Festival was a huge success. We attended the event and were amazed at how well the organizers put together the inaugural event. Last night we talked to Chris Miller—owner of Tacoma's Red Hot and one of the festival organizers—about the 2010 version of the Tacoma Craft Beer Festival, which will be held on October 1st and 2nd.

Once again, the event will take place at The Foss Waterway Seaport and the proceeds will benefit the Emergency Food Network. In addition to the fact that this year's event will be generally bigger and better, here's some new stuff.
  • A total of 50 breweries will be represented compared to 44 last year.
  • Parking - while we had no problems parking last year, apparently it became a bit of an issue as the day wore on. This year, there will be parking at the Tacoma Dome Station parking garage with free shuttle buses to get you to and from the venue from there.
  • Two days instead of one! Friday October 1st (from 5pm-9pm), and Saturday October 2nd (from noon-8pm).
  • The event space will be reconfigured to better accommodate the crowd. Essentially, some of the museum-type stuff will be moved aside for the event.
  • Friday night Firkins. There will be a special firkin tapping event within the larger event. Basically, a whole bunch of firkins will be tapped at once on Friday night at 6:00 p.m. We'll confirm the exact time and the number of firkins as the event nears.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Des Moines City Council Approves a New Beer Festival

The city council in Des Moines has just approved the local Rotary Club's plans to stage the first ever Poverty Bay Blues and Brews Festival.

The event will be held on Saturday, September 25th, from 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the Des Moines Beach Park. According to festival organizers, the event will feature beer from 12-15 craft breweries. Do not expect to see the Bud Light girls. This is a 21+ event.

The event is a benefit for the Des Moines Rotary Club’s “Music for Youth/Music for Life” service project. Read our complete post about this event.

Monday, July 12, 2010

West Seattle's New Craft Beer Bar

A new beer-focused bar opened recently in West Seattle. The Cask is a self-described “old world ale house and wine house.” Currently they're featuring four beers on tap and one on the beer engine. The Cask also has a nice selection of bottled world beers, not to mention wine by the glass. With the exception of the world beers, the focus here is on local product.

You’ll find The Cask at 2350 California Avenue SW, immediately across the street from the historic Admiral Theater. Consequently, it is also across the street from the Porterhouse Pub. How convenient. Now you have at least two reasons to visit West Seattle’s Admiral District. The Cask is open Tuesday-Thursday from noon – 10:00 p.m. Friday-Saturday noon – 11:00 p.m. Sunday 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Read our complete story about The Cask, including some pictures.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Chuckanut Brewery celebrates two years by doubling capacity

To celebrate its second anniversary, Chuckanut Brewery in Bellingham is about to double its brewing capacity. Hard to believe it has only been two years, given the awards they've won and the esteem they've gained. We just received a message from Mari Kemper, who tells us about the planned birthday celebration as well as the new fermentation tanks:
Just wanted you to know we'll be celebrating our 2nd year Anniversary at Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen on Saturday, July 17!! We're very excited and we'll have some music for your pleasure and dancing: at 5:30 p.m. Laura Overstreet and gang with country blues, and at 8 p.m. The Groove Patrol playing they're groovy mix of sounds with a full set of horns!

Please stop by to raise a toast to Chuckanut and celebrate the addition of 5 new fermentation tanks set to be delivered on July 5! This will more than double our capacity for beer and allow those accounts on the waiting list to start selling Chuckanut Beers!!

Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Brewery on the Way in Poulsbo

Back in December, we posted an early distant warning about a new brewery opening in Poulsbo. Today we're posting more information. Jeff Holcomb, owner/brewer at Valholl Brewing, sent us this update to share:

Just wanted to throw you an update about Valholl Brewing. We got our Brewers Notice and just need final walk-through for our Liquor License. The city of Poulsbo has been the biggest delay in getting our business license, but it is looking like an early August opening. We changed locations and are now at 20186 B Front Street (Map). The old location was not big enough for the tasting room we wanted. We are brewing test batches in prep for our opening date. We are on twitter and Facebook and the website is up and will be completed in the next few weeks.