Friday, January 28, 2011

Elysian Brewing Co. opening a new brewery in Georgetown

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Dick Cantwell, Joe Bisacca and David Buhler

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Belgianfest 2011, Follow Up and Pictures

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

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

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

Here are a few pictures from the event.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gearing Up for the National IPA Championship

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

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

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

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


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

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

Past Champions

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

2011 Schedule

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

The Combatants

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

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

Here is the complete list of entrants thus far:

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

Belgianfest - Beer Descriptions are Here!

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

We now have descriptions of the beer that will be poured at this Saturday's Belgianfest.

You can read all of our previous posts about Belgianfest here.

To purchase tickets in advance (recommended) go to the official event website.

The brewers have provided descriptions of the beer that that will pour at Belgianfest. You can view the complete list of beer descriptions here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Belgianfest This Saturday. Get Tickets Now

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

This is just a reminder - Belgianfest is this Saturday and it is expected to sell out. Don't be left out in the cold. Buying your tickets in advance insures that you'll get in. You can get your tickets online or you can get them at Big Time Brewery and Full Throttle Bottles.

By now you likely know about Belgianfest. The event takes place this Saturday, January 22nd at Magnuson Park. The afternoon session runs from noon - 4:00. The evening session runs from 5:30 - 9:30. There will be 30 Washington breweries pouring Belgian-inspired beers. You can read our previous posts about it here or you can visit the official event website here.

The Top 100 Beer Bars in America

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Draft Magazine recently published its list of the Top 100 Beer Bars in America. Congratulations to the Beveridge Place Pub, Uber Tavern, Naked City Taphouse and Stumbling Monk for making the list. Those are the only Washington pubs that made the list.

Obviously this list is based on opinion and not on any kind of empirical evaluation of all of the pubs and bars in the nation. We expect that many people will be dismayed that Brouwer's Cafe, which is otherwise recognized nationally, failed to make the list. We know at least one person who will think that the people at Draft Magazine are high on glue for not including the Pub at Pipers Creek on the list. And what about Tacoma? Many people would argue that the Parkway Tavern needs to be on that list. It goes on and on. There is no way you can publish a list like this and not disappoint someone.

My point? Draft Magazine is a big, national publication and making their list of the Top 100 Beer Bars is an honor; however there is no dishonor in not making the list.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Beer List for Belgianfest

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Belgianfest is just one week and one day away. We now have the list of beers, which includes some old favorites as well as many new creations. Elysian is bringing six beers. Showoffs.

You can buy tickets online in advance. This event will likely sell out again. If you want to go (and you should), get on it now. Do not dawdle.

Below - Last year's Belgianfest - Some form of Belgian-inspired yumminess from Naked City.

I am looking forward to revisiting some of my favorites like Big Time Brewery's Trombipulator, Georgetown Brewing's Donkey Duex, and Pike Brewing's Monk's Uncle. I am also looking forward to some new stuff like Der Blokken Brewery's Belgian Gold, Snoqualmie Fall Brewing's Triskaidekaphobia, and Paradise Creek Brewing's Paradise Hoe Style.

Recently we were fortunate enough to sample some of Silver City Brewery's La Fat, Belgian-Inspired Scotch Ale. Put it on the list. Don't miss it.

Here's the list:

Anacortes Brewery
1) Dark Water Dubbel: ABV: 8.2%
2) Anacortes Sour Brown ABV: 9.1%

Big Al Brewing
1) Belgian Tripel ABV: 9%
2) Local Hero #9 Belgian Dubbel ABV: 7.7%

Big Time Brewery
1) Trombipulator 2010 ABV: 10%
2) Saison Grisette

Black Raven Brewing
1) “Pour Les Oiseaux” ABV: 6.2%
2) “Seasonal Farmhouse IPA” ABV: 7.7%
3) “La Petite Mort” (cask version) ABV: 8.8%

Boundary Bay Brewery
1) Big Belgian Ale ABV: 6.6%
2) Boundary Bay Tripel

Der Blokken Brewery
1) Belgian Gold ABV: 8.5%

Elliot Bay Brewing
1) Belgian Black IPA ABV: 6% IBU: 60
2) Brett von Boorian ABV: 4.75% IBU: 30
3) Imperial von Boorian ABV: 7.25% IBU: 70
4) Red von Boorian ABV: 5% IBU: 20

Elysian Brewing
1) Bête Blanche ABV: 6.9%
2) Bête Noel Belgian-style Ale. ABV: 8.5%
3) Toro Oro Yerba Mate Tripel ABV: 7.2%
4) Yuzu’s. Sour Belgian-Style Golden Ale ABV:4.5%
5) Groaning Board Trappist-style Table Beer ABV: 5.3%
6) Backhanded Compliment (Belgian-Style IPA) ABV: 6.2%

Fremont Brewing
1) Mystere de Tonneau
2) Blood Funnel-Saison

Georgetown Brewing
1) Donkey Deux! ABV: 7.9%
2) Georgetown Braggot ABV: 8.5%

Hale’s Ales
1) IX Gold-Belgium Strong Golden Ale. ABV: 9%
2) Quadruppel

Issaquah Brewhouse
1) Cask of Menage-a-Frog: ABV 9%
2) Cask of Menage-a-Frog: Berry Edition ABV 9%

Lazy Boy Brewing
1) Belgian Golden Ale
2) TBA

Naked City Brewery
1) Gilda American Wild Ale ABV: 8.5%
2) Saison De La Ville Nue ABV: 6.5%

Odin Brewing
1) Odin Pearl White Ale ABV: 5.1%

Paradise Creek Brewery
1) Paradise Hoe Style: Belgian Wit. ABV: 5.9%

Pike Brewing
1) Pike Monk’s Uncle Tripel Ale ABV: 9%
2) Pike Tandem Double Ale ABV: 7.5%

Ram Brewery
1) Biere de Mars
2) Rye
3) BBL-a-Trois

RedHook Brewery
1) Dubbel Hook ABV: 8%

Scuttlebutt Brewing
1) Belgian Winter-Belgian Dark Strong Ale
2) Tripel 7 ABV: 9%

Silver City Brewery
1) La Fat-Belgian Inspired Scotch Ale ABV: 9%
2) Katy Saison ABV: 6%

Snipes Mt. Brewery
1) Twangzister #3 ABV: 8.5%

Snoqualmie Falls Brewing
1) Triskaidekaphobia-Belgian Tripel
2) Spring Fever-Belgian Gran Cru
3) Wit-Wit Bier

Three Skulls-Baron Brewing
1) Three Skulls Belgian Trippel ABV: 9%

Two Beers Brewing
1) Crooked Belgian Wit
2) Cask Dry Peeled Crooked Belgian Wit

A New Washington Beer Festival Coming to Bremerton

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

We heard rumblings about this some time ago: a beer festival in Bremerton. We heard the idea discussed at a Washington Beer Commission meeting a few months ago. We heard our friends over at Silver City Brewing talking about it when we visited the production brewery in Bremerton a few weeks ago. Apparently Kurt Larson, sales and marketing for Silver City Brewery, was one of the people who hatched the idea. Nothing official.

Today the Kitsap Sun is reporting that the Washington Beer Commission has selected Bremerton as the site for a Summer Beer Festival (read it). Not only will the event take place during the summer, it will spotlight Washington-brewed summer beers.

The event will take place in downtown Bremerton, just a stone's throw from the ferry terminal, providing easy access for those of us who will need to travel across the pond. (Walking onto the ferry is so much cheaper than driving.) The word on the street is that the event will take place on Saturday, July 30th, but there's still no official word on the date. We're waiting for confirmation and will keep you posted.

Rest assured that we will report more about this event once the Washington Beer Commission makes an official announcement. We just wanted to share what we know thus far.

Below: Don Spencer and Kurt Larson - Silver City Brewery in Bremerton


Thursday, January 13, 2011

What's Brewing - New Washington Breweries

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Every now and again we take a look at recent microbrewery licensing activities. We get our information from the Liquor Control Board. Here's what has happened in the past 30 days.

(BTW - We are currently working on upgrading our brewery and brewpub mapping system. The existing map is up and running, but we want to make it better.)

The Liquor Control Board recently received Microbrewery license applications from the following businesses:

  • Decibell Brewing - Bellevue. Residential address in Bellevue's Lake Hills neighborhood.

  • Hillard's Beer - Seattle. Ballard getting another brewery. Commercial location, but no other information yet. Stay tuned.

  • Rock Island Brewing Company - Seattle. Residential location in North Seattle.

  • Old Mill House Micro Brew - Tacoma. Commercial location on 6th Avenue in Tacoma.

The Liquor Control Board recently approved Microbrewery license applications for the following businesses:
  • The Monkey - Seattle. The Monkey Pub in the University District apparently applied for a change to their liquor license type. This one is interesting. We're working on it. Stay tuned.

  • Communitea Kombucha - Seattle. It's not beer; it's Kombucha. Still, it is mildly alcoholic and they want to make it legally.

  • Slippery Pig Brewery - Poulsbo. Residential address in Poulsbo.

If you know more, please contact us or leave a comment below. We'd love to tell your story.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yakima Craft Brewing Opens New Taproom

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Yakima Craft Brewing just announced the opening of its new taproom. The Taproom at the Brewery will serve beer by the Imperial pint and half pint, with taster trays available. They will also fill growlers and sell bottles and kegs to go.

Below: Photo from

Here's the description from the website: "All the beer served at the Taproom is brewed here on-site. Inside you will find a small but inviting space with simple food and a classic pub atmosphere."

Monday-Friday 4:00 - 8:00
Saturday 1:00 - 10:00

Yakima Craft Brewing
2920 River Road (#6)
Yakima, Washington 98902
(509) 654-7357

Locöl Opens in West Seattle - a focus on local beer

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Admittedly, we do not drink 100 percent local beer, but most often we find it very easy to live by the "drink local" mantra given the fact that we live in a community blessed with so many great breweries.

Today at noon, in West Seattle's Highpoint neighborhood, a new restaurant and bar named Locöl is opening that shares our philosophy. The name is a play on the English word local and the Swedish word for beer. In Swedish the word folköl means "folk beer." Locöl will focus on local product, both in terms of food and in terms of beer.

Below - Photo courtesy of Locöl's Facebook page (

We were fortunate enough to attend a soft opening of Locöl last week. Located on 35th Avenue SW, one of West Seattle's main drags, Locöl is warm and cozy, friendly and inviting. Lots of dark and warm wood, plenty of seating at the bar, and walls adorned with artwork by local artists. Everything here seems very thoughtful, from the wood-paneled walls to the lighting, the art, and the beer selection. Every piece is well considered. Although we did not eat, the menu was tempting and the food we saw delivered to tables around us looked amazing.

Locöl features a limited number of taps (six) but the beer promises to be very thoughtfully chosen. We appreciate that. I'd rather go to a bar with six well-selected taps than a bar with 26 taps assigned at the distributors' discretion. Locöl will focus on regional beers, with an extra focus on hyper-local products: beers from Seattle. You will not find Blue Moon or Stella Artois on tap at Locöl. Sorry.

Cheers to Locöl for its commitment to local product!

You can find Locöl in West Seattle at 7902 35th Ave. SW.

It is said that a pictures is worth a thousand words. If that's true, how many words is a video worth? KOMO 4 News paid a visit to Locöl. Here is that video.

Belgianfest Tickets On Sale Online

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

Tickets are now available online for Belgianfest 2011, which takes place on Saturday, January 22. They are selling quickly. A quarter of the tickets for the first session are already sold. The evening session is also selling well. Tickets are also available at Big Time Brewery and Full Throttle Bottles. Our best advice is to buy your tickets early. This year the venue at Magnuson Park has a larger capacity (450 versus 300) but don't forget that both sessions sold out quickly last year.

Above - Last year Belgianfest packed the joint. Bigger venue this year, but expect the same.

Breweries expected to participate:
Anacortes Brewery
Baron Brewing
Big Al Brewing
Big Time Brewery
Black Raven Brewing
Boundary Bay Brewery
Der Blokken Brewery
Elliott Bay Brewing
Elysian Brewing
Fremont Brewing
Georgetown Brewing
Hale's Ales Brewery
Issaquah Brewhouse
Lazy Boy Brewing
Naked City Brewery
Odin Brewing
Paradise Creek Brewery
Pike Brewing, Ram Brewery
Redhook Ale Brewery
Scuttlebutt Brewing
Snipes Mountain Brewery
Snoqualmie Falls Brewing
Silver City Brewery
Two Beers Brewing

Plenty of free parking is available at the event site.

$30 advance tickets or $35 at the door (if available)
Admission includes a commemorative tasting glass & ten 4oz tastes
Designated driver admission is $5 and available at the door only (includes free water/soda)
Must be 21 years old or older and have a valid ID

Other details:

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011
Session 1: 12:00-4:00 p.m.
Session 2: 5:30-9:30 p.m.

The Workshop at Magnuson Park
6310 NE 74th St., Seattle, WA