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Belgium Fest 2011- Get Your Tickets ASAP

January 6, 2011 1 comment

One of several beer fests in Seattle throughout the year, Belgium Fest is the first in 2011. On January 22, 2011 this festival, run by the Washington Beer Commission will begin. Due to the high demand of this event, the venue has been moved to Magnuson Park (it will be heated, do not worry).

Word on the street is that tickets are already being sold at an alarming rate, so go online NOW and secure your spot. This is a festival that requires some advance commitment. Waiting until the day of might not be the best idea. $30.00 advance and $35.00 at the door, if available. As always, the designated driver ticket is $5.00 and only available at the door- includes free water and soda.

You pick one of two sessions on Saturday, January 22, 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

Now for the important stuff. The beers. For now all I have are the breweries, but hope to have a list of all the beers in the next week or so.

Breweries expected to participate:
Anacortes Brewery
Baron Brewing
Big Al Brewing
Big Time Brewery
Black Raven Brewing
Boundary Bay Brewery
Der Blokken Brewing Co.
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

Its going to be a doozy!

Nothing To Do in Seattle Tonight? Hit The Bev For Pumpkin Beer, While You Still Can

Drink, but not that much.

October is nearly over, and you know what that means right?  It is pretty depressing, so I’m not surprised if you are having a hard time answering.  Yeah, it means that we will soon be saying goodbye to the fall seasonals until next year.  Oktoberfests are pretty much already gone.  Fresh Hops, you still might be able to find some, if your really search, but they are nearly gone.  Pumpkin Ales…oh good god, please don’t say it…sorry but, almost gone.

Sure, if pumpkin ales were all of a sudden available year round, they would probably lose their luster after a while.  I kind of like it the way it is, though I wouldn’t mind if I could hoard some bottles and crack them open at some other time in the year, where the mood to strike.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s really hard to find bottles of the good stuff.  It seems like the moment they hit the shelves, you blink and they’re gone.  This element seems to add to the excitement around finding pumpkin ales on tap.  You really have to keep your eyes and ears open and pounce when the opportunity presents itself to sip on that nectar of the great gourd.

Lucky for us here in the Seattle area, we have Elysian Brewing, kings of pumpkin mashing, right in our backyard.  We get to attend The Great Pumpkin Beer Fest at their Capitol Hill location (read our review here), which is indeed great.  But, it still doesn’t fulfill my unrelenting hunger for pumpkin and spice.  I even made a batch at home this year…still want more.

In steps Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle, to provide that one last dance of the season.  Tonight they will be tapping five pumpkin beers for their Plethora of Pumpkin celebration: Elysian Night Owl and Dark o the Moon, Southern Tier Pumpking, Schooner Exact Gutter Punkin, and Snipes Mountain Pumpkin Death.  These gems will be available all day and night, and they’re happy to pour taster trays of all 5.

If you are like me, and your hunger for pumpkin is not unlike a zombie’s hunger for brains, lurch and groan, with arms outstretched in front of you, over to West Seattle’s finest beer bar and feed on the flesh (of a pumpkin please).

This Weekend: Elysian Brewing’s Great Pumpkin Festival

October 11, 2010 2 comments

Great scott! Its Great Pumpkin.

No doubt – this is a Top 5 Seattle beer event. Each of us, over here at Beer Blotter, agree that Elysian Brewing‘s Great Pumpkin Beer Festival is one of the can’t miss events we have here in Seattle, each year.

Elysian Brewing puts on this years celebration of all things pumpkin from October 16-17, 2010. The event begins each day at 12:00 PM and goes on through the evening.

What should you expect from this event? How about 40+ pumpkin-styled beers!

Elysian will roll out 3 or 4 beer trucks and set them up in the back lot. Each truck will pour several beers, from brewers all around the country. Here is the preliminary lineup, but remember that Elysian always holds a few names back as a surprise:

 

From Elysian: Night Owl Pumpkin Ale, The Great Pumpkin, Dark o’ the Moon Pumpkin Stout, Hansel & Gretel Ginger Pumpkin Pilsner, Kaiser Kurbis Pumpkin Hefeweizen, PK-47 Pumpkin Malt Liquor, Mr. Yuck Sour Pumpkin Ale, and a few surprises including a new brew and treats from the Elysian Cellar.

Guest Beers From: Big Time, Silver City, Snipes Mountain, Naked City, Elliott Bay, Schooner Exact, Rock Bottom, Fremont, Diamond Knot, Anacortes, Ram-Puyallup, Rogue-Issaquah, Allagash, Russian River, Iron Hill, Cambridge, Nodding Head, Jolly Pumpkin, Dogfish Head, Stewart’s, Beer Valley & Laurelwood!

 

We hope that you caught some of these names and did a double take – we did. Jolly Pumpkin!? Russian River?! Iron Hill!! These are some of the greatest brewers around. You can expect to see some other surprises, throughout the festival.

One other thing. Did you see that gigantic pumpkin on the Elysian webpage? Dick and the guys over at Elysian brew a beer in one of these massive gourds each year. I am hopeful that this trend continues on this year.

Don’t miss this event – It’s one of a kind!

 

Pick The Best of the NW In The Northwest Brewing News Reader’s Choice Poll

The Man, the myth. Chris Cavanaugh (Photo: ElysianBrewing.com

The Northwest Brewing News has rolled out its annual Reader’s Choice Poll – its time to vote. The Brewing News is a national brewing publication, severed into seven regional publications. Our good friend Geoff Kaiser writes for the Northwest edition, when he’s not manning the ship at Seattle Beer News.

Every year, the Brewing News holds a poll asking its readers to select the very best in the Northwest. Categories for best brewery, brewpub, bar, beer store, home brew shop and perhaps the most heated category – best bartender – are divided state by state. You may vote on the best Northwest beer for each style, as well.

When going through this poll, we noticed that we hit a few stumbling blocks. How do you pick between Hair of the Dog & Cascade Brewing? Is Uber Tavern a better place to grab a beer than The Dray? What the heck is down in Northern California? Don’t be ashamed to have to Rate Beer yourself a group of candidates, as long as you have actually experienced the pub, brewery or beer you intend to choose. But, if you are stuck – let us recommend a few:

 

Best Imperial IPA

 

Even with heavyweights like Russian River, Hopworks, Walking Man and Midnight Sun in the mix, and with Washington rising stars Boundary Bay and Port Townsend making their own cases – there can still be only one choice for us. Black Raven’s Wisdom Seeker licked the competition at Brouwers Hopfest. We have no reservations about this choice.

 

Best Strong Ale

 

The Northwest has always somewhat lacked in the big beer categories. But, there is no doubt that one strong ale has dominated the Northwest for many year – Hair of the Dog’s Fred. Alan Sprints has been making this beer for ages. If you have a vintage bottle laying around, you know what makes this complex ale so special. Vote with confidence.

 

Best Sour Beer

 

For years, I would probably have said that Russian River had this category killed with Consecration. But after recently tasting Cascade Brewing’s Noyeaux, I have reservations. Noyeaux was recently described in a post by our very own Timperial Stout. Check this one out before you mark down one of Russian River’s excellent choices.

 

Best NorCal Brewpub

 

We pushed Russian River out of the competition above, but here they take the cake. Backed by unprecedented selection and incredible beer food – there is no better place to grab a collection of beer and a delicious meal.

 

Best Washington Brewery

 

Some would say Boundary Bay has the history and fanfare to deserve this award. Some would say that Black Raven is the young gun that should take the title. We don’t disagree, but lets consider a 3rd choice – Snipes Mountain Brewing? You might think we are crazy but the Sunnyside, Washington brewer has been turning heads. Just about everything that brewer Chris Miller has put out of late, has shocked and awed. Food for thought.

 

Best Washington Bartender

 

Wow, we have some great bartenders up here in Seattle. We have a ton of love for Rachel up at Naked City, Natasha at The Dray and certainly Amy, down at Collins Pub. These three wonderful ladies have excellent beer IQs and care about their patrons. This gives them serious consideration.

But, to find someone who can advise, entertain, and take excellent care of you, all without being a giant asshole – priceless. Chris Cavanaugh is that guy. Chris can be found at three, count them, three amazing beer spots in Seattle. Once a fixture at Brouwers Cafe, Chris had to leave to tackle cancer. Once he returned to the bar, Chris grabbed spots at Elysian Brewing (Capitol Hill), The Stumbling Monk, and time behind the bar at Brouwers Cafe. There is one reason that he is at these three places – everyone loves him! Chris will give you great attention, wonderful advice, and excellent entertainment. Not once have we ever heard one person dislike him. Vote for this man.

So take a stab at the poll and let your voice be heard! You can access the poll by following this link. Got any other suggestions for choices, please post them in the comments below.

 

Nothing To Do in Seattle Tonight? Hit Some New Belgium Events

October 5, 2010 3 comments

A look inside Whiskey Bar, Seattle, WA. Photo creds: sortuv.com

New Belgium Brewing is holding a few events this evening, in Seattle. If you have nothing going on, there is no reason to miss out on the opportunity to taste some very rare NB offerings.

The Colorado brewer has been very active in the area of late. We assume this is in part related to the ongoing collaboration with Seattle’s Elysian Brewing, with whom New Belgium recently released the sixth installment of its Trip series of beers. Check out Jess’ article on the series by following this link.

Tonight you can catch New Belgium at either of these two fine events:

New Belgium Brewers Night @ The Whiskey Bar

Wow. So glad that I heard about this event. New Belgium’s Brewer’s Night features New Belgium-Elysian Trip VI Fresh Hop IPA, Lips of Faith Sahti, NB-Elysian Trip III Sour brown, Lips of Faith Fall Wild Ale (Dubbel w/ Brett), 1554, & Lips of Faith Matty’s Dunkelweiss.

All of these beers are incredible. Most of these beers are a hard find in Washington. I am most intrigued by the Lips of Faith Sahti, the latest addition to this absolutely mouth-watering collective of beers. The Sahti is rumored to feature much of the flavors found in Trip IV, which is one of my favorites. The brewery stated that it will almost mimic Trip IV with “maybe a slight tweak in percentages but same grain bill for sure.” That means juniper, rye, and amarillo magic. Don’t miss it.

You probably also want to try the Dunkelweiss and the Trip III, before its gone for good. Oh yeah – the Fresh Hop will be pouring as well.

The Whiskey Bar is at 2000 2nd Ave # 101, Seattle, WA. Get there at 7:00 PM, when this event kicks off!

New Belgium/Elysian Brewing Trip VI Firkin @ The Hopvine

Its Harvest Beer Week at the Hopvine! Tonight, Oct. 5th is Cask Night at the bar. They will be rolling out a firkin of New Belgium-Elysian Trip VI Fresh Hop IPA.

This is the last remaining cask of this amazing beer! You will not want to miss a chance at tasting this off the cask.

Hopvine is at 15th Ave E., Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA. The event kicks off at 6:00 PM.

A Quick GABF Review: Washington Shows Up, Pizza Port Destroys.

September 20, 2010 2 comments

The results are in. Washington takes 7 medals.

Well, the results are in. GABF 2010 is officially over and the results have been tabulated. Thanks, Pizza Port, for not taking all of the medals.

While Washington put up a reasonable fight, the show was stolen by several Southern California brewers, who swallowed up all of the best brewpub awards this year at the GABF.

Here is what we see.

 

Washington shows up.

 

Washington appears to have turned in a respectable finish, earning a total of 7 medals (well, if you count Pyramid). Out of the total 237 Medals, Washington will take 1/34th of the medals. But, in a year where the event seems to have been dominated by San Diego brewers, its an ok finish.

Washington award winners include the following:

 

Hales Ales – Kolsch Ale  – Gold Medal

 

Chuckanut Brewing – Vienna Lager – Gold Medal

 

RAM Tacoma – Total Disorder Porter – Gold Medal

 

Elysian Brewing – Dark O The Moon – Silver Medal

 

Pyramid Brewing – Apricot Ale – Silver Medal

 

Boundary Bay Imperial Oatmeal Stout – Bronze Medal

 

Chuckanut Brewing – Pilsner – Bronze Medal

 

San Diego is on fire.

 

This was the year for So. Cal. San Diego brewers, Port Brewing/Lost Abbey/Pizza Port, Ballast Point, Karl Strauss and Stone Brewing, took home a total of 14 medals. Los Angeles brewpub, TAPS, took home three medals, as well.

Pizza Port Carlsbad is the big winner with a total of 6 medals (almost matching Washington state). The brewpub is one of several brewpub locations for the retail line of Port Brewing/Lost Abbey. The Carlsbad location is headed by brewer Jeff Bagby, who took home the Best Large Brewpub of the Year, for the second straight year.

Pizza Port’s San Clemente pub took home the Small Brewpub of the Year, while also collecting the Gold Medals in the two most hotly-contested categories – American-Style IPA and Imperial IPA. We cannot wait to get a taste of these ales during San Diego Beer Week.

One other note: Fathead’s Brewery took home the Silver Medal in the American-Style IPA category. This is the same IPA that floored us during a recent trip to the Cleveland brewer’s pub. Try to get this if you ever visit.

Check out the complete list of winners by following this link. Start planning your trip for next year’s September event!

 

52 Places: Delicatus, Seattle, WA

If you are walking through Pioneer Square and you spot that sign...go in and eat...no matter what.

Week 23 of 52

Delicatus

103 1st Ave. S.

Seattle, WA 98104

Rank: 4/5

Type of Establishment: Delicatessen

Visit: A Monday without work provided a great opportunity to get lunch at this very new sandwich shop in Pioneer Square, aka – The New Sandwich Center of Seattle.

BEERS ON TAP —>

None

BOTTLED/CANNED BEER:

Scuttlebutt Brewing Tripel 7 Belgian Ale

Hale’s Ales Pale Ale

Elysian Brewing Immortal IPA

Pike Brewing Tandem Double Ale

Pike Brewing Pale Ale

Kostritzer Schwarzbier

Bitburger

Terminal Gravity ESG

Full Sail Session Lager

Full Sail Session Black

FOOD OPTIONS:

This is a Deli.  They have sandwiches here.  Amazing, amazing sandwiches!

BAR OPINION:

The lower dining area at Delicatus

Just a mere hop, skip,and jump down 1st Ave, south of the Beer Blotter home base, lies a lunch dream that we have never before visited.  On this day, we changed that.

Allow me to quickly state, right from the onset, that this is not a Seattle beer destination.  This is, however, a serious Seattle culinary destination.  If you like sandwiches, this place is a MUST visit.  I think, after reading this article, you will be very willing to take my word for it.

Luckily for us, they offer a few local craft beers to sip on whilst chewing.

Let’s get down to business.  I’m an East Coast guy.  I grew up just south of Philadelphia.  There is nothing that I miss more about home, other than a few superior humans, than sandwiches.  Breakfast sandwiches from street vendors, Tony Luke’s and John’s Roast Pork, Italian hoagies from Sarcone’s, Cheesesteaks from Jim’s.  I’m getting emotional just thinking about it.  I am totally serious when I yell you that the last time I went to Philly, my absolute first stop, before seeing family or friends was Sarcone’s for an Italian, everything sweet.  That was shortly followed by a trip to Philly Soft Pretzel Factory.  Food is even above beer for me when I go home, and that is surely saying a lot.

In Seattle, Tat’s is my savior.  I can get a 12″ Italian hoagie there and all that is required to make it authentic is to request oil over the menu subscribed mayo.  For those that don’t know, the piece of the puzzle that is very rarely attained in the West is the bread.  Philly has good Italian bread…period.  It makes the sandwich.  Tat’s has the bread.  Tat’s also had Tastykakes, but I won’t get into that now or this will be far too long of an article.

Most sandwich joints worth while in Seattle have good bread as well, just different from the bread of Philly.  Many seem to use baguettes, which seems to work quite well most of the time.  It is the opinion of this writer that there is no better sandwich in Seattle than the Cuban delights of Paseo.  Just as an example of how highly I regard Paseo, I offer the following insight.  My father is coming to town in a few weeks.  He has never been to Seattle.  My top-three list of non-nature related destinations to take him to, in order, are Pike Place Market, Brouwer’s Cafe, and Paseo.  If I had to pick one place in Seattle to eat every meal of the rest of my life, it would be Paseo.

Moving on… Salumi is amongst my favorites, as is Tub’s and Honey HoleBuffalo Deli is on my list of places to go, as is Homegrown.  Delicatus, though I have only been there this one time, has been added to my list of favorites.  I feel confident in doing this, not only because of the quality of the sandwich I had, but of the genius behind the available sandwich offerings.  I implore you to brief the menu online, you will begin to salivate.

The only negative thing I have to say about Delicatus is that choosing a sandwich from the menu is impossible.  I wanted everything.  I initially narrowed my search to “spicy” sandwiches, I guess because I was in a spicy mood.  The Pavo Diablo and the Fire of 1889 became my finalists, and the braised pork won me over in the end.  Fire of 1889 it was.  This little firecracker consists of spicy braised pork (as I just mentioned), jalapeno-lime aioli sauce, shredded cabbage, shaved and pickled red onions, hot peppers, and cilantro on a toasted Italian roll.

Fire of 1889

I can honestly say that I have never had a sandwich quite like this one.  A unique marriage of flavors that worked ever so well.  The cabbage gave a bit more of a crunch than your average run-of-the-mill lettuce.  The aioli and cilantro mingled like royalty and reminded my of the special sauce of Paseo.  Hot peppers have me the kick that I needed and the picked onions fought through all that stood in their way to shine but not overpower the flavor.  The shaved pork, though not all that spicy, was still shaved pork, which is awesomely delicious.

I chose a beer that would wash a bit of the heat down but not overpower the flavors in the sandwich.  Hale’s Pale worked wonders.  The carbonation and light floral hopiness sliced just the right amount of heat out of the jalapenos in the aioli and the hot peppers on top.  This was a Monday moment to remember.

As much as I find it a bit embarrassing that I speak so enthusiastically about sandwiches and have yet to hit all of the most respected spots in the city, it’s places like Delicatus that continually stand in my way.  Once I find a place that I know I like, and they have a massive menu of mouth-watering, bread flanking treats to ingest, all I can think of is conquering the menu from front to back.

Something tells me that I’ll make it back for the Pavo Diablo sooner than later.

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