Fill Your Belly with Some Jolly Beer at Winter Beer Fest

When I arrived last night at the Palladium to take part in my first Washington Beer Commission’s Winter Beer Fest, I couldn’t feel my fingers or my toes due to the frosty cold Friday walking through Fremont. By 8:30 p.m., I couldn’t feel my face for a whole different reason.

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Today, Winter Beer Fest kicks off its second day of festivities down at the Hale’s Ales Palladium and, though online ticket sales are over, there are still a few tickets for purchase at the door. No reason to stay indoors or fight the crowds shopping, Winter Beer Fest is the perfect way to spend the first Saturday of December in Seattle. In fact, I don’t believe there’s a better way to ring in the first weekend of the holiday season. There are so many fantastic winter beers being brewed this year in Washington, and this festival not only has them all, but also has special casks and barrel aged versions of just about every one.

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Drink Beer For a Good Cause — The PNA Winter Beer Tasting

For the 24th consecutive year, Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) is throwing one of its most popular and wildly successful events of the year: The PNA Winter Beer Tasting. November 12th marks the first large-scale winter beer tasting events of the season in Seattle, basically queuing us all to drag out our fuzzy sweaters, trendy scarves and beer cozies.

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The PNA will host a whopping total of thirty-one local microbrewies that will offer samples of their new and returning favorite winter ales. Participating breweries include:

American, Anacortes, Baron, Big Al, Boundary Bay, Chuckanut, Diamond Know, Elysian, Epic Ales, Fremont, Georgetown, Golden Hills, Hale’s, Harmon, Hilliard’s, Iron Horse, Lantern, Lazy Boy, Maritime Pacific, Naked City, North Sound, NW Peaks, Oakshire, Odin, Pike, Schooner Exact, Sierra Nevada, Silver City, Snoqualmie, Two Beers, and Teiton Cider Works (okay, that’s not a brewery, it’s a cidery. But still!)

With such an extensive list of breweries at this event, you’re sure to taste just about every winter beer that’s going to be appearing in the coming weeks at your local markets and on tap at your favorite pubs. We’ll call it the perfect sneak preview to this seasons’ best of the best in local craft brewing. I find it hard to hide my unbridled love for winter beer, so you bet your asses I’ll be there with bells on.

Phinney Neighborhood Association is one of Seattle’s best-known community neighborhood organizations fostering community building and civic involvement in a diverse community. This year’s winter beer tasting is primarily a fundraiser to help build Phinney Neighborhood Center’s elevator. Patron tickets include a $30 tax-deductible donation to the PNA elevator fund, commemorative tasting glass, and 6:15 p.m. early admission to the event.

General admission ticket cost is $25 for PNA members, $30 for non-members and $10 for designated drivers. Patron tickets are $55 for PNA members, $65 for the general public and $30 for designated drivers. Admission includes a selection of ten tastings, pub snacks and a silent auction of various beer paraphernalia (read: fancy swag!) Get your tickets here, and get them quickly – this event sells out every year and you won’t want to miss out. See you there — cheers!


Here is the full list of beers that will be served at the event (looks pretty incredible!!)

American, Breakaway IPA & Caboose Oatmeal Stout
Anacortes, American Brown Rye & Vienna Amber Lager
Big Al, Winter Warmer Strong Ale & Peanut Butter Stout
Boundary Bay, Cabin Fever Ale & Harvest Rye
Chuckanut, Chuckanut Alt Bier
Diamond Knot, Industrial Ho! Ho! Winter Warmer
Elysian, Bye Bye Frost Strong Pale Ale & Dragonstooth Stout
Epic Ales, SoDo Sour
Fremont, Abominable Winter Ale & Dark Star Imperial Oatmeal Stout
Hales, Pikop Andropov Imperial Stout
Harmon, Vanilla Stryker Stout & Pt. Defiance IPA
Hilliard’s, Amber, Saison, Stout & Scottish Blonde
Iron Horse, India Pale Ale & Mocha Death
Lantern, Lantern Dubbel & Lantern Pumpkin Wit
Lazy Boy, Mistletoe Bliss Imperial Brown Ale
Maritime Pacific, Bourbon Barrel Aged Jolly Roger & Special Dry-Hopped Islander Pale
Naked City, The Big Lebrewski White Russian Imperial Stout & I and I Double IPA
North Sound, Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Porter & Dry Hopped IPA
NW Peaks, Snowfield Winter Ale & Redoubt Red
Oakshire, Watershed IPA & Ill Tempered Gnome Brown Ale
Odin’s Thor’s Equinox Belgian Dark Strong & Viking Gold Extra Pale Ale
Pike, Auld Acquaintance Happy Holiday Ale
Schooner Exact, Profanity Hill Porter & Hoppy Holidays Winter Ale
Scuttlebutt, Tripel 7 & Hoptopia
Sierra Nevada, Celebration IPA & Ovila Abbey Quad
Silver City, Winter Bock & Old Scrooge Christmas Ale
Snoqualmie, Avalanche Winter Ale & Steam Train Porter
Three Skulls, Barrel Aged Poison Winter Warmer
Tieton, Cherry Cider & Apricot Cider
Two Beers, Dark Chocolate Infused Jive Espresso Stout

If You Thought Beer + Food Was Good, Wait ‘Til You See This

BitterSweet-Logo-350px-wide.jpg From the folks that brought you Craft Beer + Food just last month, Washington Beer Blog presents another amazing beer event — this time tantalizing your taste buds with the world’s most perfect culinary invention: Chocolate. A night of mingling samples from Seattle’s premier chocolatier, Theo Chocolates with beers from eight of Seattle’s most inventive local brewers…need I say more? If you love chocolate and you love beer (e.g. you have a pulse), this event is not to be missed.

Bittersweet: Beer + Chocolate will take place on Thursday, November 10th, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Fremont Brewing Company in Seattle; it will benefit FamilyWorks, a local food bank and family resource center. Each beer is produced and served by the eight breweries in attendance at the event and will showcase the use of products from Theo Chocolate. In some cases, this includes beer styles never before brewed. Also, each brewery will provide a beer from its regular lineup that will be paired with a particular Theo Chocolate. Attendees will sample the specialty beers, as well as the beer+chocolate pairings, and then vote for their favorites.

As mentioned, Theo chocolate will be providing all of the chocholates for the event. Here is the line-up of breweries you can expect to find serving up gorgeous samples of beer:

  • Airways Brewing (Kent)
  • Big Time Brewery (U.District)
  • Black Raven Brewing (Redmond)
  • Elysian Brewing (Capitol Hill, SODO, Wallingford)
  • Fremont Brewing (Fremont)
  • Georgetown Brewing (Georgetown)
  • Naked City Brewing (Greenwood)
  • Two Beers Brewing (SODO)

Washington Beer Blog Direction Kendall Jones is pretty pumped about the event. “Our goal with Bittersweet is to showcase how beer can be paired elegantly with chocolate to elevate the consumer’s enjoyment of both products. Also, we want to introduce people to uncommon beers and give the breweries creative license to make beers the world has never seen. People will be amazed when they taste the range of beers produced for this event.”

Tickets are $35 and went on sale Friday afternoon, and if Craft Beer + Food is any indication, those tickets will not last long. So purchase early and prepare yourself for a night of heavenly delight.


Elysian Brews Another – Triple Door Backstage Ale to Release on Thursday

Elysian Brewing has been busy this year. Not only did they put on one of the year’s most popular and anticipated beer festivals in Seattle this last weekend, they’ve been brewing up a storm for local restaurants all over the city. At the end of last month, we saw the release of the Elysian’s collaboration with Tom Douglas, The Saison of the Witch and now they’ve hooked up with The Triple Door’s Jason Lock to make The Triple Door Backstage Ale. Premiering this Thursday night, The Backstage Ale is part of Locke’s goal as General Manager of the Triple Door to continue to provide quality adult beverages that pair well with their craft cuisine. Having tried their pairing at the Craft Beer + Food event just a week ago, Locke knows what he’s doing when it comes to complimenting tasty craft beer with delicious Asian cuisine.

Described as a refreshing golden pale ale, this beer will stay true to Northwest craft brewing by incorporating a lively hop profile. Unique flavoring and aromatic elements will be created by a rare Japanese hop, Sorachi Ace, that provides citrus and tropical notes, and for an additional twist, the use of juniper provides another intriguing flavor and aromatic layer. Cost of this beer will retail at $5.50 a pint, served both in the Musicquarium Lounge and the Wild Ginger restaurant, as well as the Elysian Fields brewpub by the stadium beginning on October 13th.

Locke explains:

When we initially developed the concept of a private label craft beer with the team from The Elysian Brewing Company, we were very excited about the prospect of creating our very own craft beer recipe that could perfectly suit the flavors found in our cuisine. We take great pride in crafting our cocktail, wine and beer offerings to provide our guests a variety of options that pair well with our menu – this provides the ultimate opportunity to deliver on this goal.

The launch party festivities will begin at 6 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. keg-tapping ceremony. Seattle funk and soul band Youngblood Groovement will provide live music throughout the night. Triple Door Backstage Ale, as well as classic cocktails and fine wines from The Triple Door’s extensive list, will be available for purchase.

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SODO Brewery Tour

Tomorrow I will be leading an elite crew of refined individuals (read: Seattlest beer-sluts) on an epic SODO Brewery Tour. This will officially be called The Seattlest SODO Brewery Tour 2011.

Starting at 11:30 a.m., we will venture sleepily on a Saturday morning into the bowls of the illustrious Schooner Exact, wander aimlessly in search of hidden treasures and delicious brews. From there, we’ll hop over to Two Beers, where (we’ve gotten wind) they will be serving up the first of their Pumpkin Ale (hurrah!) After that, on to Epic Ales to give Cody a visit and hopefully have some tasty beer and food pairings to keep our energy up and taste buds alert. Lastly, we will finish off our whirlwind tour at

Keep your eyes peeled for some hilarious anecdotes and educational photographs.


Craft Beer + Food = Delicious!

When you think of having a night out at the Tyee Yacht Club, the first things that springs to mind I’m sure is not, “What beer will I pair my braised lamb with on this fine Seattle evening?” Likely, you’re aware of the plethora of wine and food events that happen at hoity toity wine bars and fine dining establishments. But, we in the beer world are also seeing a new, exciting trend here in the Pacific Northwest. With the upswing (read: inundations) of craft beer in our region, beer is the new wine and pairing food with beer is on the rise.

Craft food + beer 2.JPG One such event that made a fine showing last night was Craft Beer + Food organized and presented by the folks at Washington Beer Blog, Kendall and Kim Jones. The couple have been involved heavily in the Washington craft beer industry for years, created their own beer-related charity (Beer Church) and this year decided to organize an event based out of their love of delicious local beer and food. Tickets went on sale back in August and sold out within a few weeks, so there was a full showing of beer and food lovers of all ages and knowledge levels. The event benefited the Just Garden Project, which had a booth at the event and lots of Brewery swag give-aways.

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Highlights of the evening included a pairing of the Ram’s Saison with a grilled salmon presented beautifully in banana leaves by the Triple Door. The richness of the saison really brought out the light, creamy flavor of the salmon — a most excellent flavor combination. For beer, my favorite was by far the Thor’s Equinox which is an extremely small batch beer by Odin Brewing. The dark Belgian strong ale is a perfect beer release for the season, bringing out all the best things about fall in liquid form. This particular brew is quite difficult to come by (they only brew it 30 barrels at a time) so it was a treat to have a tasting of it beside my braised lamb from Quinn’s Pub. And for dessert: An American Brewing Oatmeal Stout beer float with malt ice cream care of Seatown Seabar.

Beer float.jpeg From a beer drinker’s standpoint, I’d say pairing beer with food is a perfect way to get some of our wine-drinking, cocktail toting friends out there to think about beer differently. I for one do not often drink beers of the Indian Pale Ale (IPA) variety, but I sure drank plenty last night because frankly, IPAs do pair nicely with a good beer brat or a pulled-pork sandwich. I’m certainly hoping that we see a rise in beer plus food tastings at local venues and at the breweries themselves (some already do this!) Having gone to many beer events in the last couple of years, this one drew out a true diversity and lots of shiny happy new faces — which is a good sign. New blood in the beer community is something all us Pacific Northwest beer aficionados strive to see. So I’m counting this as a win for the community. Cheers to Kendall and Kim for helping to start the revolution that will hopefully only gain more and more momentum!

Viva la craft beer….er and food!

Beer at the Zoo? Who knew?

What inspires drinking more than spending all day looking at the baboon exhibit with 10 screaming children at Woodland Park Zoo? Nothing. That’s why the newly launching “Brew at the Zoo” after hours event is perfect for any parent or Seattle animal lover! humorous hilarious funny pictures of animals_Monkey_Beer_Drinking.jpg

Brew at the Zoo is an adults-only beer-tasting event on Friday, October 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Head to the zoo’s Rain Forest Food Pavilion and Zoomazium to sample your choice of 10 tastings of imports, domestics and microbrews from a host of breweries. Additional tastings and concessions from Lancer Catering will be available for purchase at the event. The evening includes live bluegrass music by Boys of Greenwood Glen, “Get Real Close” animal encounters, and an opportunity to take in the zoo’s award-winning Jaguar Cove and Humboldt penguin exhibits. Proceeds from this event benefit the zoo’s operations, animal care, conservation and education programs.

The list of brews to be featured on the 14th are as follows:
Blue Moon Brewing Co — Blue Moon Belgian White, Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale
Deschutes Brewery — Green Lakes Amber Ale, Inversion IPA
Dos Equis — Lager
Fremont Brewing
Full Sail Brewing Co. — Session Fest, Session Lager
Georgetown Brewing — Manny’s Pale Ale, Lucille IPA
Lagunitas Brewing Co — IPA, Little Sumpin Sumpin
Lazy Boy Brewing — Mistletoe Bliss, Imperial IPA
Mac & Jack’s — C U Lator Barleywine, Amber or IPA
New Castle — Belgo, Ranger
Pyramid Breweries — Snow Cap, Uproar Red Ale
Radeburger — Radeberger Pilsner
Samuel Adams — Boston Lager, Octoberfest
Snoqualmie Brewery — Harvest Moon, Wildcat IPA

Tickets are $20 per adult (must be 21 and over) if purchased prior to the event and $25 if purchased on the day of the event. Tickets can be purchased online and will be available at the zoo’s West Entrance during the event while quantities last.

I for one am excited to get my first taste of this year’s Lazy Boy Mistletoe and Snoqualmie’s Harvest Moon at this event. Hope to see you beer-loving zoo-goers there! Cheers.