Beer Line Blog

California Craft Beer Summit report

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As I drove 725 miles through jockeying semi trucks, dusty lakes and sweltering heat toward the inaugural California Craft Beer Summit, I was certain I would be surrounded by astonishing epiphanies offered up by the beer-famous, controlled debauched, hops overloaded spectacle now underway in the Sacramento Conference Center. After all, it’s been a helluva week in their $6.5 billion industry, one that featured Petaluma’s Lagunitas Brewing Co. announcing a 50-50 partnership with Heineken International and San Diego’s Saint Archer Brewing Co. being gobbled up by MillerCoors LLC. Somewhere soon in Amsterdam, Loote van Leeuwen will be kicking back on his

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Wet Coast Brewing to release Fresh Hop Ale

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On sprawling farms clustered around Yakima and Sunnyside, thousands of green Humulus lupulus vines snake vigorously skyward. A relative of marijuana, these hop plants produce resiny, cone-shaped flowers prized for their use as a bittering agent in beer. The fall hop harvest is in full stride in Washington state. That means a steady increase in fresh hop brewing in the weeks ahead and into October, in which the moisture level in hops have reached the optimum 80 percent level and are picked fresh from fields. While Willamette and Centennial hops have been a bit disappointing, YCH Hops — a 100

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Wingman Brewers and Pacific Brewing to release Oktoberfest collaboration

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After the turn of September / In the cloudy skies over Tacoma / Came a roar and a thunder people had never heard / Like the scream and the sound of a big war bird. Up in the sky, a beer in a plane / Baron von Huth is its name. Many breweries tried, but two hit their stride / Early October they’ll release it on the countryside. Tacoma breweries Wingman Brewers and Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. have collaborated on an Oktoberfest beer titled Baron von Huth. The idea soared after Wingman head brewer Ken Thoburn and Pacific Brewing

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Q&A with North 47 Brewing Co. founders Carl and Stephanie Leach

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Carl and Stephanie Leach of North 47 Brewing Co. / photo credit: Pappi Swarner Husband and wife duo Carl and Stephanie Leach have always had beer in common. Their relationship started at Central Washington University when Stephanie enjoyed helping Carl with his home brewing. It became their passion — when Carl wasn’t studying to be an eventual reservist in the Air Force and Stephanie wasn’t fine-tuning her studies that eventually lead to a career in tourism. Currently, the Kent-based home brewers look toward the future as founders/business partners of North 47 Brewing Co., a taproom in

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Photos from South Sound Craft Beer Festival

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It was around beer o’clock yesterday when the South Sound Craft Beer Festival felt like a full-blown happening. Yes, we can use beer o’clock in a sentence. It’s officially a thing. The online platform oxforddictionaries.com announced dozens of new additions earlier this week, including beer o’clock, wine o’clock, awesomesauce, manspreading, butthurt and hangry. Yesterday, beer o’clock was 3 p.m., at least that’s when the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall was jumping — full of Seahawk jersey-wearing beer drinkers tasting the IPAs and other awesomesauce from more than 30 Washington state breweries. For us, the “appropriate time of day to start drinking

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South Sound 2015 fall beer releases

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Always looking for an excuse to party, the astronomically inclined people of Earth recently enjoyed the Perseid meteor shower. In the aftermath, many folks anticipate the changing hue of the falling leaves. Others toil under the rapidly diminishing daylight, raking away said leaves. But if the only seasonally affected vegetation concerning you is the particular combination of malt and hops in your pint glass, this is the most relevant blog you’ll read, ever. Until winter. Pacific Brewing & Malting Co., Tacoma The downtown Tacoma brewery will be releasing several German-style beers to coincide with their one-year anniversary party Oct. 3,

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Bend Brewfest recap

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Portland doesn’t have the patent on big-fat beer celebrations. Bend can get down too, with more than 70 purveyors sharing their drinkable bounty over the course of four days, with lively DJs and food to help chase it down. The annual Bend Brewfest wraps up today from noon to 8 p.m. at the Les Schwab Amphitheater. If it was anything like yesterday, expect body paintings, multiple wedding parties, dance parties and piles and piles of gourmet fries. Along with the addition of a Sunday schedule, this year’s festival features a “cider row” of eight regional cideries and two Oregon mead

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South Sound Craft Beer Festival recap

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It’s a wickedly simple concept. Gather ye together a large group of craft beer enthusiasts, targeted for their obsessive adoration of hoppy beers and their preference for Malt Lite and their curious taste in T-shirts, and also for their ability to drink under control and self-deprecate and laugh easily and look at each other like each was sort of crazy for his or her weird and borderline obsession with India Pale Ale. But, you know, in a good way. Thirty Washington breweries bring their IPA, maybe two, maybe a double, even a triple. They will also bring a Pale Ale

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Tacoma Beer Week 2015 Day 6

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FRIDAY, AUG. 7 Slingload Pils release, 5 p.m., Wingman Brewers Wingman Brewers releases a special pilsner for the weekend. The reason is twofold: celebrate beer in the northwest and to give 10 percent of all the sales from that weekend to BRAVO 1-214th GSAB’s Family Relations Group at JBLM. “We encourage people to come down to the taproom, buy some beer and help support their neighbors who are going on deployment and also their neighbors who are having to live without their spouses, mothers, fathers who are deployed,” says Ken Thoburn, Wingman co-owner and head brewer. White IPA release, 6

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Harmon Brewing Co. to release Duck Face Sour

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Unless you’re older than 62 or live in a Tacoma Chinese Tunnel, odds are remarkably good that you’ve already shot a selfie or 20, maybe a 100. What’s your default? What’s your favorite go-to expression? Sweet smirk? Goofy grin? Smoochy duck-face? You know you have one. This is what we do now. This is what we deem important. Because life is nothing if not fruitless, outlandish and wonderful, all at once. Haven’t you heard? Have you heard Harmon Brewing Co. will release a sour beer named after a selfie pose resembling the same facial expression many bust out after drinking

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Tacoma Beer Week 2015 Day 5

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THURSDAY, AUG. 6 Seattle Luvs Tacoma Day, 11 a.m. to close, The Red Hot Seattle breweries flood the taps with discounts. Battle of the Gorge, 6 p.m., Parkway Tavern Washington vs. Oregon. Head to Head. You crown the champions. Famed breweries of the Columbia Gorge battle it out in a head to head taste blind test. Everybody’s Brewing of White Salmon, Wash. and Backwoods Brewing of Carson, Wash. vs. Double Mountain Brewing and pFriem Family Brewers of Hood River, Oregon. Friendships will end this night. Red X release, 6 p.m., Wingman Brewers Tacoma Wingman Brewers will be supporting their friends

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2015 Tacoma Beer Week Day 4

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WEDNESDAY, AUG. 5 3-Way with friends, 5-8 p.m., The Copper Door Brewers’ night featuring Fort George Brewery, pFriem Family Brewers and Georgetown Brewing with an outdoor beer garden, food trucks and free swag. Randall Night, 5 p.m., Harmon Tap Room Gigantic Brewing Ume Umai & Solid Launch, 5 p.m., The Red Hot Gigantic Brewing co-owner Ben Love will be in the house as Ume Umai (black rice and plum beer) and Solid (American hoppy wheat beer) are launched. Hot Winter Night, 6 p.m., The Swiss Restaurant and Pub Christmas is coming early this year. The Swiss will pour two different

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Tacoma Beer Week 2015 Day 3

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TUESDAY, AUG. 4 Ballast Point Sculpin IPA 5-Ways, 5 p.m., The Red Hot The Red Hot will tap kegs of Sculpin IPA, NITRO Sculpin IPA, Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, Habanero Sculpin IPA and a cask of Blood Orange Sculpin IPA. Who will tap the firkin cask? Will it be you? Scotty The Oaktopus tapping, 5 p.m., Narrows Brewing Co. Oaked IPA? You bet. Pin The Beer On The Brewer, 6 p.m., Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. A big photograph of Pacific Brewing co-owner and head brewer Steve Navarro will hang on the wall with an empty beer hand. Blindfolded contestants will

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Tacoma Beer Week 2015 Day 2

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Day two of Tacoma Beer Week is upon us. MONDAY, AUG. 3 Randall Night, 5 p.m., Parkway Tavern What on the world will Sean do with Pacific Brewing and Malting Company’s Citra Pale? You’ll have to stop in and find out. Tacoma Neo Noir tapping, 6 p.m., Narrows Brewing Narrows Brewing kept a keg of the 2014 Tacoma Beer week collaboration beer Tacoma Neo Noir. Tonight that sucker gets tapped. Beer of Fortune, 6 p.m., The Ale House Pub and Eatery Narrows Brewing Company and Northwest Brewing Company will be front and center for this game. Letters will be written

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Olympia Brew Fest meets National IPA Day

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Hop Valley, Top Rung and Diamond Knot in the house. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner Thursday, Aug. 6 is a big holiday: National IPA Day (or ‪#‎IPADay‬, if you’re joining the cause on social media). Founded by beer aficionados “The Beer Wench” Ashley Routson and “Certified Cicerone” Ryan Ross in 2011 as a way to link breweries, bloggers and beer drinkers, National IPA Day celebrates this particular style because the India Pale Ale is one of civilization’s saner inspirations for a holiday: it evolved from a means of preservation during beers’ arduous travels from England to India;

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Sierra Nevada Brewing shares new beers in Tacoma

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Nov. 15, 1980: 26-year-old Ken Grossman brewed his first commercial beer, four years after launching his home-brewing hobby. There were just 40 breweries of all makes in the country, with sales dominated by Coors, Miller and Budweiser. From modest beginnings on a 10-barrel brew system, Grossman now owns and operates the largest independent brewery in America ― Sierra Nevada Brewing produced 1 million barrels in 2014 — equal to 331 million 12-ounce bottles. Grossman’s first batch, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, boasted 36 IBUs, at least thrice as high as Bud Light. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone

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Narrows Brewing Co. honors 2nd Ranger Battalion with Lead The Way IPA

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U.S. Army Rangers, assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, advance toward their objective during Task Force Training on Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., Jan. 22, 2014. Rangers conduct rigorous training to maintain their tactical proficiency. Photo credit: Spc. Steven Hitchcock When you brew beer in honor of the personnel at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, you receive a salute on Peaks and Pints. I’ve given props to Harmon Brewing’s Stryker Stout, as well as nods to the ownership at Odd Otter Brewing Co., composed of current and former soldiers. Tacoma’s Narrow Brewing Company just announced they brewed Lead

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Narrows Brewing exposes Area 13 Experimental Imperial IPA

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Some say the greatness of “Area 13” lies in its surrounding visual birthplace grandeur, the sparkling blue spectacle, the nautical eye candy encompassing all waters south of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Others have pointed out how “Area 13” itself is exoticism wrapped in virile prowess slipped into a shiny black sheath of sexy green alienhop. It would appear that head brewer Mike Davis, manager Mary Asami and the Narrows Brewing Co. crew of brewhounds probed every nook and cranny and orifice of extraterrestrial fantasy handbooks to invent the imperialist 9.8 percent ABV lustcreature imaginable. Evidence? Plenty. Let’s start with the

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Wingman Brewers doubles capacity

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The South Sound is home to 20 or so craft breweries, with a handful of breweries-in-planning here as well — a sign of a growing depth and breadth that makes the South Sound a notable beer region in the country. One of those breweries, the 51-month-old Wingman Brewers, will double its beer-making capacity by the end of August. Last week I dropped by Wingman Brewers for the growth details and found head brewer Ken Thoburn brewing a big batch of his Prop Wash IPA, which is being bottled this week. “We dry-hopped the Prop using the most hops were have

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Bremerton Summer Brewfest recap

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Maybe you’ve seen Michelle Obama’s plate-shaped replacement for the food pyramid, and maybe you’re worried that you aren’t getting enough fruit to fill up that red wedge. A good place was yesterday’s Bremerton Summer BrewFest. The Washington Beer Commission hosted 32 Washington state craft breweries to convince you that fruit beer doesn’t have to taste like Blue Moon. A lot of the breweries created one-off concoctions specifically for this event, such as Top Rung Brewing’s Lacey Lager ran through a Randall full of coffee and raspberries, Fremont Brewing’s Interurban IPA Randalled with grapefruit and Rosemary, and Dirty Bucket Brewing’s Hefen’

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South Sound Brewery Medal Showcase Party

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I arrived 15 minutes late. The Puyallup River Alehouse was packed. Owners, head brewers and sales representatives from South Sound breweries gathered in the back, near the beer taps. Puyallup River Brewing owner/head brewer Eric Akeson towered above the crowd as if the beanstalk had been cut. I had to squeeze through a narrow tunnel of beer drinkers to order a beer. Securing a Three Magnets Brewing Co. bronze medal winning Barley Wine, I leaned against the wall, listening to the beer community chat. Harmon Brewing Co. head brewer Jeff Carlson shared his annual Fall Ball Imperial Harvest Ale is

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Craft Beer and Cigars Pairing – When Perdomo Cigars meets Top Rung Brewing

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For craft beer enthusiasts who want to drink their beer and smoke it too, Aficionado Cigar Lounge & Store in Tacoma will host Perdomo Cigars of Nicaragua and Top Rung Brewing Co. of Lacey for a night of world-class cigars perfectly paired with the beers at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 30. Perdomo just released a new line of cigars that have specifically been created to pair with various beers. I’m not a cigar smoker, but sensual experiences brought on by handcrafted products are something I’m all about. I know the enhancing effect an exemplary beer can have on food and

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Pike Derby Lager off and running

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This is not your cat’s lager. To many better beer drinkers, lager is a dirty word. It’s the beer that we drank as broke, uninformed college kids — the Bud Lights, PBRs and Heinekens of the world. These beers are pale and watery, and made with adjuncts like corn and rice, and the import versions are often skunky and terrible. Ostensibly a nod to the country’s German heritage, the modern versions of these mass-produced lagers would likely be unrecognizable and disgusting to a beer-drinking immigrant of days gone by. But to a growing number of brewers and beer geeks, lagers

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Sierra Nevada Brewing beer dinner coming to The Swiss Pub

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Jacob Thacker, head chef at The Swiss restaurant and Pub in Tacoma / photo credit: Pappi Swarner Beer dinners are a great way to explore craft beer’s myriad flavors. Beer and food have long gone hand-in-hand. Beer is, after all, liquid bread. Pairing beer and food allows the flavors of the beverages and the dishes to blend together, offering comparing or contrasting experiences that highlight the individual components of the dishes and the beers. Often, with successful pairings, the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts. The Swiss Restaurant & Pub excels at

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Silver City Brewery’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Giant Made of Shadows now in bottles

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Silver City Brewery’s The Giant Made of Shadows is awesome delicious; it did grab a bronze medal at the 2015 Washington beer Awards, after all. But, take that malty Dark Strong Ale in the Belgian Style, age it in Kentucky Bourbon barrels for a year, and the result is double awesome delicious. No, this isn’t a tall tale. The Giant returned to the shadows, aging in single use Kentucky Bourbon barrels, oak and whiskey ran currents through the dark fruit, caramel and coffee. The Bourbon Barrel Aged Giant crushes with richness and complexity, ringing in at 9.9 percent ABV. Silver

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About Last Night – 21st Amendment and Hop Valley Brewing

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Some people and beer from 21st Amendment Brewery Night at Puyallup River Alehouse and Drinking for Conservation and the Slow Loris/Hop Valley Brewing Co. Night at the Parkway Tavern Wednesday, July 8, 2015.

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Where To Celebrate Tacoma Beer Week 2015

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The second annual Tacoma Beer Week officially runs Aug. 2-8 — if you’re counting, that’s actually 7 days. The celebration is all things to the beer enthusiast, with special tappings, competitions, beer games, personal appearances by many local brewers at numerous Tacoma area restaurants and taverns, culminating at the Broadway Center’s Brew Five Three Blues & Brews Festival in front of the Pantages Theater in downtown Tacoma. See the Tacoma Beer Week schedule of events below. Tacoman Zoe Brackney founded Tacoma Beer Week in February 2014 after Narrows Brewing Company and several other Tacoma breweries asked her to organize an

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Q&A with Top Rung Brewing head brewer Jason Stoltz

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Top Rung Brewing Co. head brewer Jason Stoltz / photo credit: Mike Besser, sales executive at Top Rung Brewing Co. His first beer experience matched that of many other early teens: a room temperature MGD in the backyard while the parents were away. Of course, I hated it,” says Jason Stoltz. “I dumped the rest then hid the can.” Although his love for beer had a rocky start, Stoltz went on to become co-founder and head brewer at Top Rung Brewing Company in Lacey. Between the MGD dump and his brewing duties at Top Rung, Stoltz

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How it Gose at Wingman Brewers

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You’ve heard of Gose. It’s German, a sour beer. Pronounced “Go-zuh,” like the thing that wrecked New York in “Ghostbusters.” Reported to be between 200 and 1,000 years old, it’s sour and salty, a low-ABV session beer, which means it won’t get you sauced. Wingman Brewers has Lime Gose in its tanks. “The Lime Gose is just about done,” Wingman co-owner/head brewer Ken Thoburn told me this morning. “Sours take a bit of time and sometimes to get them to the perfect pH you need an extra week. But, right now, the coriander and sour flavors are perfect so we

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Portland International Beerfest recap

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Sure, you love beer. When you head to the bar for happy hour with friends, you carefully consider the draft, can and bottle lists. You often order something you’ve never tasted, just to see what it’s like. You might have gotten into the habit of filling a growler at a brewery every weekend, or stopping by the neighborhood bottle shop two or three times during the week. Perhaps you’re comfortable with spending $17 on a special beer every now and again. But have you stood outdoors in 96 degree heat for a four-ounce pour of some rare beer that either

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4 reasons to love Three Magnets Brewing

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Three Magnets Brewing head brewer Pat Jansen caught in the act of brewing. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner Three Magnets Brewing’s head brewer Pat Jansen checks his Strawberry Saison. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner There are plenty of reasons to be excited about Three Magnets Brewing Co., which opened in early November last year. It’s located at the corner of Legion and Franklin streets in downtown Olympia, a stone’s throw (granted, a rather muscular one) from Darby’s Café, which Three Magnets co-owners Nathan and Sara Reilly also own. Head brewer Patrick Jansen is sour-obsessed;

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Engine House No. 9 to release five new bottled beers

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Engine House No. 9 Le Pelerin Saison Ale is now in bottles. Engine House No. 9 released its first bottles this past March — Raspberry Wild Ale and a Farmhouse Style Saison. Saturday, E9 head brewer Shane Johns leaned over and a Washington Beer Awards gold medal was placed around his neck for the Raspberry Wild. He leaned over again for a bronze for his Nefelibata sour. Saturday, June 27, E9 will release its next round of bottles when the doors open at 8 a.m. The restaurant and brewery at Sixth and Pine in Tacoma will

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Wet Coast Brewing Company opens

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Welcome to the South Sound suds scene Wet Coast Brewing Company. The Gig Harbor brewery is now open at 6820 Kimball Dr.

 

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10th Anniversary Washington Brewers Festival photos

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Woot! Day One of the 10th Anniversary Washington Brewers Festival is in the history books; a glorious affair nestled between a grassy field and beautiful skies. The state’s granddaddy of beer festivals has returned to Marymoor Park in Redmond, with 105 breweries pouring 400 different beers, plus a lot of free bags of Tim’s Cascade Chips. Day Two of the Washington Brewers Festival kicks off at 11 a.m. at Marymoor Park. Last night’s adult-only opening of the three-day festival was a blast, and the next two days promises more fun with more breweries and more kids. Yup, the next two

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Maritime Pacific Brewer’s Night at Puyallup River Alehouse

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Maritime Pacific Brewing Co. opened in 1990, making it the oldest brewery in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. The brewery sold 400 barrels that year. In 2010, they packed up the goods and sailed down the street to a location just west of 15th Avenue. Today, their Jolly Roger Taproom — a brewpub meets pirates’ lair, complete with a treasure map painted on the floor — is a beloved fixture in the neighborhood, and the 40-barrel brewhouse produces around 8,000 barrels per year for its taproom and distribution throughout the Puget Sound and Eastern Washington. Last night, the Maritime Pacific crew dropped

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A Very U.S. Open Redhook Putt Putt Golf Pub Crawl Sequel

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Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. Swiss bartender Josh Hill, now, about to become the 2015 U.S. Open Redhook Putt Putt Golf Pub Crawl champion. It looks like a mirac… It has hit the cans! It has hit the cans! It has hit the cans! Hill wasn’t the only pub golfer not to score a hole-in-one in Redhook’s indoor miniature golf contest at three Tacoma pubs yesterday. Hill missed the hole-in-one on The Swiss Restaurant & Pub course. Many others missed the prize at the other two spots — Rock The Dock Pub & Grill and The Valley. This isn’t a cakewalk.

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Portland Rye Beer Fest recap

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Rye has a long history as a brewer’s grain, but its prevalence in whiskey production has, until recently, overshadowed its use in beer. The explosion of craft brewing has seen rye become a more popular grain that gets used in both traditional styles and new hybrids. Brewers prize the unique dry and spicy character it lends to a beer’s flavor and aroma, and the proteins in rye can also provide a fuller mouthfeel and aid in head formation and retention. The Rye Beer Fest, a celebration of the revival of rye beers, was held at EastBurn on East Burnside yesterday

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Scenes from Portland Beer Week’s opening day

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As if Portland’s status as Beervana was in danger of lapsing, the fifth annual Portland Beer Week brings a whole slew of chances to celebrate Oregon suds. I previewed Portland Beer Week a few weeks ago here.  I have also listed a few highlights again below. Every year, PDX Beer Week organizer and New School Beer website founder Ezra Johnson-Greenough adds eats to the week’s beer treats. I ventured south for dinner during yesterday’s Portland Beer Week’s opening day festivities. The special Beer Week cake doughnuts made with Hopworks IPA were sold out at Blue Star Donuts on Washington Street.

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ParkWay Tavern presents Collab-A-Gasm for The Lost Kids

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One of the most incredible things I’ve witnessed covering the craft beer industry is the willingness and ability of its member companies to help out charity causes, campaigns and non-profit organizations. Prime example is the ParkWay Tavern’s Pints With Purpose Collab-A-Gasm Saturday, June 13. ParkWay manager Sean Jackson has elicited the help Of Columbia Distributing and six of the distributor’s client breweries/cideries. Hop Valley Brewing Co., Two Beers Brewing Co., Seattle Cider Company, New Belgium Brewing, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits and Georgetown Brewing will take over the ParkWay’s taps, host raffle drawings and help raise money for The Lost

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2015 Sasquatch Brew Fest in Eugene

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This year’s Sasquatch Brew Fest moved down the street from Ninkasi Brewing to Hop Valley Brewing’s distribution parking lot for the second year in a row of sunny weather. Folks huddled under a spray tent indifferent that their program guides listing the 45 participating breweries were soaked; they were too busy studying the more than 75 available beers from local Eugene and Springfield, regional Oregon breweries and even Fish Brewing from Olympia. All the fun of Sasquatch — the beer, Friday night’s beer dinner, a home brew contest, silent auction, food trucks and live bands The Sugarbeets, Mexican Gunfight, Halie

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Peaks and Pints wins Washington Beer Instagram contest

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Hey Peaks and Pints! You just won the Washington Beer ‪#‎DrinkWaBeer‬ Instagram contest. What are you going to do next? We’re going to the 10th Anniversary Washington Brewers Festival in Marymoor Park over Father’s Day weekend! A big THANK YOU to Washington Beer for naming https://instagram.com/peaksandpints the grand prize winner of its inaugural #DrinkWaBeer Instagram campaign. For five weeks Washington beer lovers posted pics centered on weekly theme. Peaks and Pints won two of the weeks: Week Four “Food” and Week Five “Sunsets.” Peaks and Pints scored free tickets to the Washington Brewers Festival. Below are the two winning shots

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Hitting the Eugene Ale Trail

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Close you eyes. Now think about your favorite beer being poured into a glass vessel at the right, chilly temperature. Think about the first sip, the touch of frothy head and rush of effervescence, the flavor balanced between sweet and bitter notes. Now, open your eyes. You’re in the brewery where this beer was brewed. Bags of grain are piled in the corner and bottles are stacked in another. In front of you, a stainless steel tank holds thousands of gallons of this precious liquid. You can hear the light gurgle of liquid fermentation. There are posters promoting their Tuesday

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Dick’s Brewing Belgian Tripel

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Dick’s Brewing Raspberry Tripel Pull up a map of Europe on your screen. It’s almost evenly split into wine and beer. South of the Alps, where fruit grows better than grain, wine is the fermented beverage of choice. North of the Alps, it’s beer. In a few places, fruit and grains both grow well, and things get weird. Belgium is in between them, which is why the beers there can be so like wine — barrel-aged, wild yeasts, blends of different fermentations and, sometimes, with fruit. Every spring Dick’s Brewing in Centralia centers on Belgium and

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Peddler Brewing opens its beer garden

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More than a hundred new breweries have opened in Washington state over the past two years, and on a warm summer day, there’s no finer place to be than on one of their patios. There’s no finer place to be on a perfect summer night, either. Peddler Brewing, the bicycling-beer enthusiast’s dream brewery in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, officially opened its new beer garden today, a week after the backyard beer garden’s soft opening. What once was no-man’s land is now strings of white lights, outdoor taps, gravel floor, food trucks and enough picnic tables to seat 400 people. It has,

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