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Posts Tagged ‘Schooner Exact’

Seattle Winter Beer Fest: Its time to get jolly!

December 8, 2010 2 comments

First it was harvest season and in celebration we indulged in glorious IPAs, then it was Halloween, so we attended a Pumpkin beer fest. Now, the first snow has fallen (sending Seattle into a state of disbelif, terror and general panic) and it is time for Christmas brews and Winter ales.

This year’s Winter Beer Fest will not dissapoint. Here are the details:

2010 WINTER BEER FEST


DATES & HOURS

Friday, December 10th, 2010 5:30-9:30 pm
(WABL* Hour: 5:00-5:30 pm)

Saturday December 11th, 2010 12-4 pm + 5:30-9:30 pm
(WABL* Hour: 11:30-12 pm)

*Open exclusively to WABL members.

LOCATION

Hale’s Palladium
4301 Leary Way NW
Seattle, WA
MAP

ADMISSION


$23 advance/$25 at the door.
Admission includes a tasting cup and six 5 oz. beer tastes.
Additional tokens are available at $1.50 each.

Designated driver admission is $5 and available at the door only.
We accept cash and check only. Sorry, no credit cards!

Admission and token sales will end at 45 minutes before the end of each session and taps will close with 20 minutes left in each session.

This is a 21+ only event

Space is limited so get your tickets early!

Advance tickets are available online now.

Advance ticket sales end at 5:00 AM on Friday, December 10th, or whenever tickets allocated for advance sale are sold out. There will be additional tickets available at the door during the event.

 

 

Beers to look out for (and by look out for, I mean drink)-

 

7 Seas Saison

Airways Hot Chocolate Ale

Big Al Penut Butter Stout

Big Time Yulefest Winter Ale

Black Raven Old Birdbrain Barleywine

Black Raven Bourboun Barrel la Petite Mort

Boundary Bay 2008, 2009 and 2010 Cabin Fever

Elysian Bifrost Winter Ale

Flyers Brewery Daybreak Breakfast Oatmeal Stout

Fremont Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Abominable

Naked City Bing Spiked Cherry Ale

Schooner Exact Hoppy the Woodsman

Silver City Brewing Old Scrooge Christmas Ale

There are so many amazing beers being poured at this event- check out the full list here!

What beer puts you in the holiday spirit??

The Brewers: Schools Out, Beers In for Schooner Exact

They've come a long way since Activ Space - Schooner Exact Brewing

***Today’s post comes to us from our good friend Mark Leavens, former brewer from the Gilligans Brewing outfit. Though Gilligans has shut down, Mark still home brews on a large scale and is planning some big things for the future. Mark has been invited to share beer stories on occasion at BeerBlotter.com.***


If you were listening closely enough on June 17th you would have heard Alice Cooper’s voice wailing, ‘Schoooooollls out for EVER’ at Schooner Exact Brewing Company.  Minus black eye liner, fake blood, and necks being constricted by boas, this marked the day Schooner Exact owners Heather and Matt McClung officially ended their teaching careers to focus solely on brewing beer to share with us thirsty folk.  But just because they are through with teaching, don’t expect Schooner Exact to stop schooling us with their beer!

After three and a half years of bouncing from an ActivSpace (f@#! them, see history of Gilligan’s Brew Co. and Two Beers Brew Co.) garage, to a shared warehouse space with Trade Route Brewing Co. in South Park, Schooner Exact has finally landed their own space in the SODO district of Seattle and upgraded to a 15 barrel brewing system!

A couple of friends and I had the opportunity to stop by their tap house/brewery the other day to congratulate Heather and Matt for quitting their day jobs.  I assure you though, the kids will be fine.  I’m a substitute teacher.

Located just south of the West Seattle Bridge/Spokane St. on 1st Ave. S., and just north of the bridge over the train tracks, Schooner Exact is admittedly not an easy place to reach for those of us living north of downtown.  However, with sandwich boards labeled ‘BEER!’ set up out front, we knew exactly where to steer our bikes.

A huge loading dock covered with picnic tables provided ample outdoor seating and an appropriate entryway to beer school.  With the 12’ tall loading door open, the brand new taproom seemed massive and yet very welcoming, especially with Heather at the helm behind the bar.

The tap list consisted of the Schooner Exact classics 3-Grid IPA, Regrade Pale Ale and Gallant Maiden Hefeweizen, which were accompanied by their Gateway Golden, King St. Brown, Seamstress Union Raspberry Wheat, and the infamous and award-winning Hoppy the Woodsman rounding out the lot.  Teacher approved, these tap handles formed a superb single file line down the hallway of awesomeness.

Not wanting to jump right into the 9.6% ABV bourbon barrel aged Woodsman, I decided to start light and crisp with the easy drinking Golden Ale.  If proposed with the proposition, I would have gladly consumed this pint of gold heaven all night long while partying at the moon tower, but there were more options to douse my taste buds that day, so it was time to move on to the malty rich Brown.  Comprised of a blend of chocolate and special Belgian malts, this silky smooth ale slithered down the pipe while leaving a satisfyingly sweet finish with the palate.

Speaking of pipes, apparently if one is adventurous enough or at least willing to try something once, Heather and Matt will gladly serve up the ‘Shocker.’  This concoction is two parts pink (Raspberry Wheat), one part Brown and will leave you all tingly inside.

I didn’t get shocked or do any shocking this particular day, but I probably wouldn’t tell you that much about my personal life anyhow, so I’m just going to change the subject and let you decide whether or not to pull out, or should I say, put in the ‘shocker.’  By the way, the raspberry wheat was as thick and delicious as a wheat beer should be and had a strong fruity aroma.

So anyway, to contrast the sweetness it was time to part the cheeks, er, I mean open the mouth and hop away.  3-Grid IPA.  Exceptional!  This well-balanced brew is one of my favorite IPA’s being brewed in Seattle right now.  It’s a must try for someone who prefers an IPA where the bitterness doesn’t destroy your sense of what anything else tastes like.

But for those hop heads out there, let it be known that Matt and his new brewing partner Dave ‘Hutch’inson (formerly of the Rogue Issaquah brewery and Georgetown Brewing) are putting out a series of experimental Imperial IPA’s, with the most recent one being called the ‘Virgil Gamachinator.’ Brewed with a ton of citrusy Amarillo hops, this behemoth rounds out at 87 IBU’s and 9% ABV!  Find it and drink it.

To remind us again that beer school was still in session, Matt brought out the bourbon barrel aged Hoppy the Woodsman.  Enter ‘giddy like a little school girl’ line.  First introduced to me at the 2008 Winter Beer Fest, this brew has won 1st and 3rd place in back-to-back years of pouring at Hale’s.  It has officially put the former high school chemistry teacher and Schooner Exact on the brewing podium while putting their beer on tap all over Seattle.

Go see and taste for yourself.  You WILL be schooled!

Top 5 Lists: Washington Brewers Fest 2010

The line at Black Raven.

I’ve decided to use the “Top 5 Lists” column to go ahead and give a brief dissertation on the Washington Brewers Festival. WaBF happened this past weekend out in Kenmore, Washington. We went out and had a blast.

As you might remember, we typically use this column to discuss our five favorite places for a beer in cities across the globe. There are quite a bit of cities – we travel often.

We plan on discussing the event more this week, but the time being, I wanted to share my five favorite places to have a beer at WaBF. This is a bit strange, considering its really all one place – a tent in one big field. But the column is more about the five great situations that I experienced at WaBF, and why I think they are significant.

Again, lets revisit the rules and disclaimer:

First, the rules: (these are the normal Top 5 rules, but they basically apply the same way here. I have edited briefly though)

  1. We go places because we want, not because someone asked. I cannot stress this enough. We were never enticed to these places by promises of freebies, attention, pats on the back or back room happy endings – we just went because we heard the word.
  2. We cannot be everywhere. Typically when we visit an event, we have limited time. This severely limits what we can visit. If there is a critically-acclaimed otherworldly thing to do that we did not make it to, we will try and asterisk it in the Top 5 list so that you know it exists.
  3. We are not millionaires. Wow, bet you could have guessed that one. We cannot purchase the best of the best all of the time. This limits what we might get out of a particular event. Just want you to know.
  4. We like all types of things. These lists are not “beer nerd” centric – far from it. In fact, you may find things that make you shake your head. But, if they have the total package of beer, character, service, food and aura – they get the mark.
  5. We try to poll our choices, but sometimes there is bias. This one doesn’t apply today – I am taking over.

Ok, now that we are through with the rules, lets move on to the Top 5 list for the Washington Brewers Fest.

Washington Brewers Festival

  • Visits: Every year since 2007. This year, I attended on Friday, June 18, 2010.
  • Area Brewers of Note: Probably every brewer in the great state of Washington (though not likely) and a few specials from out of state (Dogfish Head and Goose Island, among others). But this even included tiny nanobrewers 192 Brewing and Foggy Noggin Brewing.
  • Festival Favorite: Look at the line above – Black Raven Brewing Co. In a short time of just over a year, this brewery had won the heart of locals and the attention of outsiders. I even had a discussion about them with the owner of Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, FL! They are making waves.
  • The Top 5…..

#5 – The Bloggers – Geoff Kaiser and Kendall Jones

Well we have to pull for our own, don’t we? Beer blogging is becoming a popular form of art. As more and more people become intrigued by the craft beer world, more and more local breweries find market share. This forces more and more localization of beer for the public, with even tiny nanobrewers finding a place to sell their goods.

All of this lends to one thing – a need for local beer communities. The local beer community in Seattle has spawned several beer-centric bars, craft bottle shops, micro and nanobrewers and now even local beer bloggers. Most bloggers do what they do because they simply love beer – and they recognize the need for a local resource. Believe me, no blogger thinks that they are the source, but if we can shave some time of your adventure through beer, steer you towards the great venues and give you a head’s up on happenings – we are lending a hand to the beer community.

When I saw that the two most read (probably) beer bloggers in Washington state had booths at WaBF, it made me proud to be a blogger. Seattle Beer News and Washington Beer Blog are written by Geoff Kaiser and Kendall Jones, respectively. Both of these guys do an excellent job writing about beer in Washington state. I tip my hat to each of them for their commitments to great material.

But, now they are even be accepted into the brewers world. WaBF is a festival for the brewers and it was a bit touching to see that Washington Beer Commission was willing to include both these great resources. Kudos to the event; kudos to Geoff and Kendall for jumping in.

#4 – The Nanobrewers

Some time ago, I wrote an article on BeerBlotter.com about some of the nanobrewing spots that you could visit around Seattle. Later on, the focus of that story, Gilligan’s Brewing Company, became the center of a story by magazine, All About Beer.

Its funny to look back at that article now and think: those guys were nanobrewers?! Yes, I might have played down the extent of brewing operations over at Seattle brewers Big Al Brewing, Two Beers Brewing, Schooner Exact Brewing, and Fremont Brewing. Big Al can be found all across Washington state, Two Beers is the house IPA tap at many of my favorite bars, Schooner Exact recently opened a tap room with over 10 beers, and Fremont Brewing is now in the process of canning! These guys are no longer the little guys on the block.

But, there have emerged a new breed of nanobrewers in the greater Seattle area. One of my favorite things to see at this years event: the little guys having a place to pour.

My favorite might be 192 Brewing, who is doing what they do – all in a 192 square foot space. This is what its all about. It doesn’t take $500,000.00 to get started, it doesn’t require a warehouse. All you need is some love and a few good test batches to make a tasty beer that the public can enjoy. 192 has the right idea.

Similarly, Foggy Noggin made my little eyes weep. These guys are making beer on a 1/2 barrel (15 gallon) gravity system, similar to the one that BeerBlotter.com brews on. I was so proud to see these guys, without all the wonderful equipment of its surrounding brewers, put out some good brew. It does a homebrewer proud.

I hope to see more of this over the next year. It doesn’t take much to add another tent or two to WaBF (I assume). Maybe we’ll even see some home brewers involved in the next few years.

Old Schoolhouse - bringing flavor from up North.

I was just out in Wenatchee and made a quick stop in Leavenworth for some cheese and brats at the Munchen Haus. When we were down in the Cheesemonger, tasting some damn good cheese, we saw some bottles from Washington brewers – brewers we had never heard of.

What we saw were bottles from Old Schoolhouse Brewing. This brewery and pub is located out in little ole Winthrop, Washington – in the south end of the Okanogon National Forest. We met the owner and brewer, a father and son, respectively, and were utterly impressed with their kind demeanor and their tasty beer. Our favorite: the Imperial IPA (coming in at 9.6% ABV!).

Old Schoolhouse was just one of many rural brewers that us city folk down in Seattle do not regularly get to try. Because of a dense brewer population in the greater Seattle area, its difficult for a rural brewer to find tap space at your bar. So WaBF is one of those great events where you finally get to try some of their concoctions.

Other rural brewers of note were Skookum Brewery, out in Arlington, WA, Snipes Mountain Brewing, down in Prosser, WA, and Flyers Restaurant & Brewery, up in Oak Harbor, WA. Each of these brewers showcase wonderful ales, including top notch IPAs from Skookum and Snipes, and a potentially best in show porter from Flyers. If you get a chance to try their beers – grab one, its not everyday you see them.

#2 – The Crazy Beers

After awhile, you’ve just had too many IPAs. You want something a bit different don’t you? You want something that makes you go – What the &%$((%$?!

In the past few years, we have seen the emergence of more creative recipes, a larger presence of wood-aging, and yeasts we cannot pronounce. Most of this shift is due to the success of sour beers, higher alcohol beverages, and fearless brewers like Dogfish Head, Lost Abbey, Jolly Pumpkin and Avery Brewing.

In my three years at this event, I have never seen more than a few “off-the-cuff” beer titles on the list. This year – the list was littered with unknowns. Some of the most mind-boggling:

Airways Triple Chocolate Stout (Stout)

Three Skulls Blood Orange Wit (Witbier)

Big al 5 Star Chile IPA (Habanero Hot)

Black Raven’s Malt & Vine 3rd Anniversary (Sour Mash Rye), Jerked Brown Porter (Herb & Spiced Ale) & Coco Jones (Coconut Brown Porter)

Foggy Noggin Christmas Duck (We just like the name)

Fremont Brewing Scary Monster Double IPA** (Ridiculous IPA)

Hale’s IX Gold on Sour Cherries (Belgian Strong Golden)

Harmon Scott’s Puget Creek Vanilla Porter (Flavored Brown Porter)

Lazy Boy Nacho Pilsner (Dry Hopped Chiles/Pilsner) & Oscuro Con Chiles** (Infused/Porter)

Snipe’s Cask Twangzister Sour Cherry Stout** (Barrel Aged Sour)

I also very much enjoy the slow emergence of more and more French and Belgian Farmhouse style ales. I have never seen so many, Biere De Garde, Saison and general white and wheat ales. I was very impressed with Double Mountain and Rock Bottom saisons.

Its a welcome change. Lets keep it up brewers.

No more messing around. Crown them.

#1  – Black Raven’s Unprecedented Showing

You’d think I’d spend the most time talking about the #1 place on the list. But, this is a bittersweet love. As much as they deserve #1 – the place was inundated with a line that was no less than 10 times the length of any other line at the fest. Kudos to Black Raven for arriving on the scene – and blowing it to smithereens.

Black Raven is the best beer producer in Washington state. Its settled, there can no longer be a debate. The buzz behind everything they do can no longer be silenced, can no longer be inhibited. They are officially playing the role of the most popular brewer in the state.

Well, its not just a fad. Its really good beer, creative beer, inventive beer, flavorful beer and selective beer. They showcased several titles at the WaBF – every single one was impeccable. The Wisdom Seeker Double IPA is perhaps the best in the nation at its style. The bourbon barrel scotch ale was my #2 beer at the event. The Coconut Porter and the Malt & Vine 3rd Anniversary are both Top 20 beers as well.

Look – we know they are good. Beer bloggers are helping to create this following with our perpetual ogling over all that they do. But, that being said, we cannot stop. No matter how big the buzz, we continue to peg them at the top of the list. Nothing changes over here at BeerBlotter.com. Black Raven rules Washington beer.

*****

Live in Washington Beer Festival? Know the event? Hate something we wrote? Let us know below in our comments, or by sending an email to beerblotter@gmail.com.

The Beer Blotter Guide to Beveridge Place Pub’s Bacchanal 2010

February 24, 2010 1 comment

The facade of Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle - the site of the Annual Bacchanal of Barleywines

Beveridge Place Pub’s 7th Annual Barleywine Bacchanal kicks off this Friday, February 26th, with over 40 barleywines pouring for a week straight from 24 taps.  That’s a lot of big bold brews to choose from.  Since there is clearly more beers than taps, there will be a constant rotation of kegs a flowin’.  As one blows, another will replace it, and so on.

The folks over at the Washington Beer Blog were kind enough to post the complete list for all to slobber over. Below you will find the entire list.  Clearly, all are barleywines, and thus, all are going to be packed with copious quantities of both malt and hops.  All will be fairly high in alcohol, and chances are good that all will taste pretty darn good.  Your main fear should be a harsh, young vintage.  Sometimes these fellas just need some time to mature and mellow out.  Too much bitterness and not enough sweetness can make your barleywine experience akin to being strangled by a hop vine.  There is no question, if you read this site with any regularity, that Beer Blotter holds great respect for Father Time and his agile hand at improving beers of many kinds, especially barleywines.

For Beer Blotter, the older the vintage, the more excited we are to try it.  Both rare and refined, these pours should improve your evening no matter who brewed them.

So our first overarching tip to you, “age is all the rage”.

But we need more detail than that.  Let’s dig deeper.

The biggest challenge of the Bacchanal is the barrels-to-taps ratio.  The rotation system will make it difficult to have a clear game plan for your visit, whatever day you choose to attend.  You will never really know exactly what to expect, which, granted, offers its own brand of excitement.  Your best bet is to pre-create a list of b-dubs that you’re most excited to taste, and chances are that no matter what day you decide to venture out to West Seattle there will be at least a few of them available.

Perhaps a look at the Beer Blotter list could assist you in creating your own list.  Below, as promised, is the unadulterated list.  Below that, the Beer Blotter list.

Complete List:

Alaskan, Barleywine ‘06, ‘07,’08

Anacortes, Old Sebastes ‘07

Anchor, Old Foghorn ‘06, ‘07, ‘08

Anderson Valley, Horn of the Beer ‘09

Avery, Hog Heaven ‘09

Big Sky, Old Blue Hair ‘06

Boulder, Killer Penguin ‘09

Boundary Bay, Old Bounder ‘09

Deschutes, Mirror Mirror ‘09

Diamond Knot, Icebreaker ‘09

Dick’s, Barleywine ‘05, ‘09

Dogfish Head, Olde School ‘09

Elliott Bay, Old Portside ‘09

Elysian, Cyclops ‘09

Fish, 10 Squared ‘08, ‘09

Fish, Leviathan ‘06

Flying Dog, Horndog ‘09

Full Sail, Old Boardhead ‘06

Full Sail, Old Boilermaker 98 (yes, 1998)

Hale’s, Rudyard’s Rare ‘06, ‘09

Hopworks Urban Brewery, Noggin Floggin ‘09

Hood Canal, Breidablik ‘06, ‘07, ‘09

Lagunitas, Old Gnarleywine ‘04, ‘06, ‘07

Laurelwood, Old Reliable ‘09

Left Hand, Oak Aged Widdershins ‘07

Lucky Lab, Old Yeller ‘09

Mad River, Old Barleycorn ‘07

New Old Lompoc, Old Tavern Rat ‘08

North Coast, Old Stock ‘07, ‘09

Pike, Old Bawdy ‘07, ‘08

Port, Angel’s Share ‘09

Port Townsend, ‘09

Rogue, Old Crustacean ‘08

Schooner Exact, Old Sinking Ship ‘09

Scuttlebutt, Old #1 ‘06, ‘08

Sierra Nevada, Bigfoot ‘08

Skagit River, Shiver Me Liver ‘09

Speakeasy, Old Godfather ‘09

Stone, Old Guardian ‘07, ‘08, ‘09

Three Skulls, Wreckage ‘09

Victory, Old Horizontal ‘09

Walking Man, Old Stumblefoot ‘08

Beer Blotter List:

Alaskan, Barleywine ‘06, ‘07,’08

-This is a “must” if offered at the time of your visit.  A Northwest Masterpiece.  Alaskans know how to warm up with Barleywine.  This guy ranks very well in any festival that it is involved in.  In the last 5 years this brew has placed in the top 3 at Brouwer’s Hard Liver Barleywine Fest 3 times, and the ’07 vintage was number 1 last year.  A warning though…chances are high that these will only be available on Monday, March 1st or Tuesday, March 2nd when verticals are offered.  To try all three vintages side by side would truly be a treat.

Lagunitas, Old Gnarleywine ‘04, ‘06, ‘07

-In Beer Blotter’s humble opinion, there is not many Barleywines being made in the world better than Gnarleywine.  The ’08 vintage was awarded 3rd place in this years Toronado Barley Wine Festival, and chances are, the older the better.  Do not skip this one, any vintage.  Another warning: 3 years offered…look to vertical night for these.

Speakeasy, Old Godfather ‘09

-Though this is young, the ’06 got second place last year at Brouwer’s.  Expect this one to be high in alpha…it’s the Speakeasy way.

Stone, Old Guardian ‘07, ‘08, ‘09

-If you read Timperial’s review of the ’07 vintage you would know, this beer is sickly good.  Astounding balance, even through time.

Victory, Old Horizontal ’09 & Dogfish Head, Olde School ‘09

-With the exception of a few CO representatives, these are the only 2 offerings that aren’t from the West.  Reason?  They are astounding beers made by two of America’s best breweries.

Fish, 10 Squared ‘08, ’09 & Leviathan ‘06

-Both of these beers are incredible and hard to come by, even in their home state.  10 Squared was probably my personal favorite from last years Hard Liver Fest and old vintages of Leviathan, like this ’06, are pretty much legendary.  The barrel-aged version of Leviathan is in the top 10 on ratebeer.com’s list of barleywines.

Port, Angel’s Share ‘09

-It would be silly of me to leave this one out since it is literally one of my favorite beers of all time.  Number 9 on ratebeer.com’s barley wine list.

New Old Lompoc, Old Tavern Rat ‘08

-Beer Blotter recently had this from the always-impressive taps of Uber Tavern and really enjoyed it.  Very nutty if you’re into that.

Boundary Bay, Old Bounder ‘09

-Seattle does not see enough Boundary Bay.  Maybe if we drain this keg quickly the “will of the people” will change that depressing fact.

That’s a pretty healthy list for you, and honestly, I could go on an on.  There is A LOT of really good stuff on this list, and even a few that Beer Blotter has never had and looks forward to trying (like Lucky Lab, can we please have more of their beers in Seattle?).

Anyone and everyone within striking distance of Seattle should never, EVER miss events like this.  We are so lucky to have beer bars that put so much time, effort and money into aging beers for years and organizing such exciting festivals.  Beer Blotter sends a massive hug to Gary and The Bev for making this happen year after year.

Find us in West Seattle, raise a glass, it’s barleywine season!

Events for the week of December 21, 2009

December 21, 2009 1 comment

The Old Toad, a British Pub in Rochester, NY

The countdown to Christmas Day is in full effect, so one can only imagine the lack of beer events to unveil.  In place of events, this post will provide more information on what will be on tap leading up to Christmas Day.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Extreme Winter Beers: New York, New York

5:00 PM- until close @ Rattle N’ Hum

A continuation from last week, this event wraps up tomorrow night.  This tap list is top notch and full of Christmas beers and “Winter Warmers.”  Start your holiday week off with the spirit of Christmas in liquid form: Corsendonk Christmas Ale, Elysian Bifrost, Troegs Mad Elf, Heavy Seas Winter Storm and many many many more. For a full list, visit ratebeer.com.

Lagunitas Tasting: Portland, Oregon

5:00 PM-8:00 PM @ The Beermongers

Join the Beermongers for a special Lagunitas Tasting Event and Holiday “Give the Gift of Beer” Sale. Although a list is not posted on the venue’s website, expect to taste brews such as Lagunitas Brown Shugga and Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Extra and the brewery’s seasonal Cappuccino Stout.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Give a Pint, Get a Pint: Escondido, California

10:00 AM- 5:00 PM @ Stone Brewing Co.

Today and tomorrow, come by Stone Brewing Co., donate a pint of blood and enjoy a great tasting beer in your brand spanking new pint glass.  This event is just one of the many thing Stone Brewing Co. is doing this holiday season to help others in need.  Bring your canned goods down to the brewery for their annual food drive and/or participate in the Toys for Tots program by bringing in a new toy(s).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Special Kegs!: New York, New York

4:00 PM @ Blind Tiger

For the past month, you have been running around buying gifts for everyone in your life.  Today is the day to buy yourself the gift of beer.  This NYC beer bar is cleaning out the cellar and there will be specialty kegs of the following beers (plus others), Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout (GET THIS!), Allagash Victor, Scaldis Noel, Great Divide Fresh Hop and Stone 13th Anniversary. We can only hope that some of these beers will last through the weekend, as we will be in the Big Apple for the Christmas holiday.

Brown Bag Night: Hollywood, California

6:00 PM- 10:00 PM @ Blue Palms Brewpub

Just in time for the new year, Blue Palms Brewpub is holding a blind tasting with a theme of “The Best of 2009.” Price of admission? Just a bottle or two of your favorite beers of the year, that you bring in for the occasion. Any beer of your choice, provided you think it is “worthy” of “Best of 2009″ consideration. If you’re bringing a 22 oz. or 750 mL bottle, one should be enough. If it’s a 12-ounce bottle or can, please bring two (if possible– if you only have one, just bring the one).

Give a Pint, Get a Pint: Escondido, California

10:00 AM- 5:00 PM @ Stone Brewing Co.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Ale Extravaganza: Rochester, New York

4:00PM- 2:00PM @ The Old Toad

Tonight ends the the range of Christmas/Winter beers on tap at The Old Toad.  Featured beers include, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Ommegang Adoration, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Vintage 08′, Avery Old Jubilation and Sierra Nevada Celebration.

Rare Draft Revelry: Seattle, Washington

3:00 PM- 2:00 AM @ The Beveridge Place Pub

It is the night before Christmas and Beveridge Place Pub is tapping some very special brews: Avery Samael’s, Deschutes Abyss, Schooner Exact Bourbon Hoppy Holidays, ‘t Smisje Catherine the Great Imperial Stout, Dubuisson Cuvee des Trolls, and a mystery bottle…Get a few pints and get home before Santa arrives!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Make sure there is plenty delicious beers to taste and have a very Merry Christmas!

From: Beer Blotter

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Brewery Tours: Brooklyn, New York

1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM @ Brooklyn Brewery

The tours are informative and approximately 20 minutes long which leaves patrons plenty of extra time to taste all of the 8 beers on tap.  The brewery is open from 12:00 PM until 6:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays and pints are only $4.00!

Boxing Day Beer Festival: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

8:00AM (oh yes) – close @ the Memphis Taproom

Starting bright and early, the Memphis Taproom will be featuring a rotating tap list of some of the following seasonal beers: **Lost Abbey Angel’s Share, **Port Brewing Older Viscosity, Lost Abbey Gift of the Maji, Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper and Ommegang Adoration. In keeping with the tradition of Boxing Day, a British holiday, the bar will be collecting canned food and gently used winter coats and warm blankets for donation to two local organizations that distribute to families in need.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Winterfest ’09 Beer Tasting: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1:00 PM- 4:00 PM @ World Cafe Live

Space is limited to 250 tickets for this winter beer tasting. Get your spot reserved and enjoy a variety of Stouts, Porters, Winter Seasonals, and Special Holiday Brews.  What beers will be there? Ommegang Three Philosophers, Bells Expedition Stout, Left Hand Milk Stout and Rogue Chocolate Stout, just to name a few that pop. All of the selections are subject to availability.

Between Christmas and all these great beers on tap around the country, beer lovers should be pretty busy this week.  Make sure to check your favorite beer bar’s hours of operation this week, as they might be limited.  Beer Blotter leaves this Wednesday for New York City and we have a ton of stuff planned, so check back this weekend for an update on our beer excursions.  Merry Christmas to all, and to all who go to an event that we listed or know of one worth attending, please leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com.

Events: Week of November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Bar Great Harry in Brooklyn, NY is hosting the Winter Blackout Stout Night Tomorrow!

The first week of December brings Christmas cheer and Christmas beer around the country. What better way to bring people together than through beer events? Check out the list of events for the week of November 20, 2009 through December 6, 2009.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Jolly Pumpkin 2009 Noel de Calabaza Release Party: Ann Arbor, Michigan

4:00PM- 6:00 PM @ The Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery

Free to get in, this event offers a first taste of Jolly Pumpkin’s Christmas Ale to those in attendance. Get it while its hot and before its distributed!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Winter Blackout: Night of the Big Stouts: Brooklyn, New York

6:00 PM- 10:00 PM @ Bar Great Harry

This is an event not to be missed. Not only are there free meats and cheeses, but you have big players in attendance such as Brooklyn Brewery’s Mystery Stout, Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout and Southern Tier’s Jah-Va Imperial Coffee Stout. Great line up!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2009 Holiday Ale Festival: Portland, Oregon

2:00PM- 10:00 PM @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Come one, come all to this Holiday Ale Festival! Beginning on December 2, 2009, this event runs through the 6th of December and features beers such as Alaskan Brewing Company’s Barley Wine, Cascade Brewing Company’s Drie Zwarte Pieten “Sang Noir 2009″ and Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout, among many many more. For a full list of beers, visit the 2009 Holiday Ale Festival’s website.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Big Wood Festival: Seattle, Washington

11AM- until @ Brouwer’s Cafe

Those friends and followers of Beer Blotter know that the countdown to this day, to this event has been going on for quite some time. We’ve gone around Seattle recruiting fellow beer lovers to join us at this event. The more the merrier and the more beer to be ordered. This event will feature wood altered beers and provides the public with a wide range of styles. For more information on Big Wood Festival and the process of barrel aging visit our website and check under events! Big Wood lasts through the weekend. For a full list, visit Brouwer’s Cafe’s blog.

2009 Holiday Ale Festival: Portland Oregon

11:00 AM- 10:00 PM @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Anniversary Cask Fest: New York, New York

3:00 PM- until @ Rattle -n- Hum Bar

This event presents cask beers from around the world featuring England’s very own Darkstar Brewing Company. Named the best brewery in England, Darkstar will showcase approximately a dozen beers. Other beers to get your hands on during this event include Cigar City’s Jai Alai IPA, Moylans’ Dragoons Irish Stout and Oskar Blues’ Old Chubb. For a list of full beers, visit Rattle-n-Hum Bar’s blog page.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Big Wood Festival: Seattle, Washington @ Brouwer’s Cafe

Continues on starting at 11:00 AM until close

2009 Holiday Ale Festival: Portland, Oregon @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Continues on starting at 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM

Anniversary Cask Fest: New York, New York @ Rattle -n- Hum Bar

3:00 PM- until ???

Winter Beer Festival: Seattle, Washington

5:00 PM- 10:00 PM @ Hale’s Ale Brewery

$23.00 in advance and $25.00 at the door, this two day long festival is worth saving your energy. The ticket price includes a tasting cup and 6 5.5oz pours with additional tokens available for $1.50/each.  Last year, Hoppy the Woodsman by Schooner Exact Brewing won the Gold and our friends at Gilligan’s Brewing Co. tied their Chamomile Ale for second place with Pike Brewing Co’s Pike Entire. This year features beers such as, Water Street Brewing Company’s Chocolate Oatmeal Stout and Black Raven Brewing Company’s Second Sight Scotch Ale. For a complete list visit the Washington Beer Commission’s website.

13th  Annual San Diego Strong Ale Festival: San Diego, California

4:00 PM- 11:00 PM @ Pizza Port

Over 75 beers over 8% alcohol on tap & some cask conditioned ales at the Bottle Shop area next to Pizza Port Carlsbad. $30.00 gets you admission plus six 4 oz tasters.  Know your limits! They didn’t call this one “strong” for nothin’.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

2009 Holiday Ale Festival: Portland, Oregon @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Continues on starting at 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM

Winter Beer Festival: Seattle, Washington @ Hales Ale’s Brewery

Continues on starting at 1:00 PM until 10:00 PM

13th  Annual San Diego Strong Ale Festival: San Diego, California @ Pizza Port

11:00 AM- 11:00 PM 

Anniversary Cask Fest: New York, New York @ Rattle -n- Hum Bar

3:00 PM- until ???

Big Wood Festival: Seattle, Washington @ Brouwer’s Cafe

Continues on starting at 11:00 AM until close

Firestone Walker 13th Anniversary Release Party: Scottsdale, Arizona

1:00 PM-3:00  PM @ AJ’s Fine Foods

It is free to get up close and personal with this new release by Firestone Walker Brewing Co. An ale with sweet aromas and tastes, it is not to be missed!  Get to AJ’s Fine Foods for the two  hours that it will be poured!

Iron Horse Brewery’s 5th Anniversary Party: Ellensburg, Washington

6:00 PM- 10:00 PM @ Iron Horse Brewery

Come celebrate Iron Horse Brewery’s 5th Birthday! 5 is a landmark year and yes there will be a heated tent outside, live music and FREE appetizers. $12.0o gets you in the door, a beverage of choice and a glass to keep. Save $2.00 if you arrive sporting Iron Horse apparel.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

2009 Holiday Ale Festival: Portland, Oregon @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Continues on starting at 11:00 AM until 7:00 PM

Big Wood Festival: Seattle, Washington @ Brouwer’s Cafe

Continues on starting at 11:00 AM until close

Anniversary Cask Fest: New York, New York @ Rattle -n- Hum Bar

3:00 PM- until ???

And that is this week’s line up of events. So much to look forward too with the winter season in full swing. Beer Blotter can be there for all, so if you attend an event that we haven’t listed or want to share your opinions about your favorite beers at the various events, leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com.  Cheers!

Tasting Rooms Abound! Places to Grab Nanobrews in Seattle

November 25, 2009 2 comments

Gilligans Brewing rests in peace.........but not forever!

Nanobrew? What the hell is that? Well I am using it. I like the term and I think it applies to several of Seattle’s once-garaged-up breweries.

There are several breweries in the Seattle area that produce beer on a very small scale. These breweries typically serve beer at tasting rooms in the area and rely upon retail sales at their tasting rooms, as much as they rely upon their limited keg sales to local bars.

Its tough to be small and make it, so these breweries are the hardest working out there. They distribute directly – on their own; they sell growlers to make sure their beer gets taken home; they print swag to make sure their name is on the breast of the public.

Visiting a Nanobrewery is one of our favorite things to do. You really get face time with the brewers (who are often the only employees) and the aura of brewing (as you are typically corralled amongst the brewing equipment).

Here are some favorites in the area, who have tasting rooms that you need to visit:

Big Al Brewing

Big Al is located down in South Park and they are generally known for their Irish Red, Smoked Porter and interesting seasonals (check out Brown Brother’s Scotch Ale)

These guys have a beer garden of sorts that is great in summer. But you can visit them year round:

big al brewing, inc.

Address – 9832 14th ave sw, seattle, wa 98106 – map

Phone – (206) 453-4487

Their tasting room is open 3:00-9:00 PM Monday through Thursday,
3:00-10:00 PM Friday, 1:00-10:00 PM Saturday, and 2:00-7:00 PM Sundays.

Two Beers

Since we work down in SODO – we like their location. They are on the cusp of SODO and Georgetown and have a tasting room that is open two days a week. Stop in for beer and pretzels to fill you growlers.

Address – 4700 Ohio Avenue South Unit A, Seattle WA 98134.

Phone – (206) 491-1439

The Tasting Room is open 3:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

From the site:

Come down for peanuts, pretzels, $3 pints, and HD TV on our 46′ LCD TV. Interested in renting the tasting room for a private party email us for rates and availability.

Schooner Exact

Where are these guys!? Luckily we just asked the same question. Hopefully we will get a response soon, but for now a little back story. Schooner Exact makes some damn tasty IPAs. Their use of the Randall (a fresh hop infuser) over the past year has made them one of my personal favorites.

They used to be located over in West Seattle, but have recently released information about their move to……..you guessed it – SODO! The only information that we have seen is that they will be located on 1st Avenue S, close to the West Seattle bridge (so are we – YES!).

So for now, we will stay tuned……

Baron Brewing

Aw schucks! They closed down their South Park commercial garage a few months back. But this was good news, as they have now moved into their new spot in Greenwood, Pillagers Pub. Though this place no longer has the tasting room feel – you can still get plenty of great beer. TRY THE RAUCHBIER!

Address – 8551 Greenwood Ave N Ste 5, Seattle, WA 98103

Phone – (206) 706-2779

The Pub is open from 3:00pm – 12:00am Monday – Thursday and 12:00pm – 1:00am Friday – Sunday.

Fremont Brewing

These guys really stepped it up quickly! Former attorney Matt Lincecum turned an old warehouse in Fremont into a beer mecca. He has hired Matt Lincoln, formerly of Goose Island Belgians fame, as head brewer, and Aaron Golston, from Thirsty Bear in San Fran (we’ve been there!), as an assistant.

Because of the wealth of brewing experience between these three (Matt is also an avid home brewer) they have been able to turn out a plethora of beers in just a short time. Though only Universale Pale and a few versions of their IPA have made the taps, they have a wealth of small production beers you can get at the tasting room or for instance at Brouwers’ Big Wood Festival and their previous Hopfest (their IPA was in my top 15 for its unique quality).

Plans are underway to open a second floor beer garden, but this place is very cool as it stands right now. Take an afternoon and check it out:

Address – 3409 Woodland Park Avenue North, Seattle, 98103

Phone – (206) 420-2407

The tasting room is open Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Gilligan’s Brewing

This was a major part of our life. We have some great connections with Gilligans and the people who work there. But, due to changes in ActivSpace policies, they were forced to move out of their amazing place on the Burke-Gilman Trail in Fremont. But, do not fret, we spoke with owner Seth Gilligan over the weekend and plans are underway for the re-emergence of GBC in early 2010.

GBC will be using a brewpub format and serving up delicious food and grog. Stay tuned for more details….

Again – we aint geniuses and we are certainly missing some true tasting rooms. If you know of some – please continue the dialogue below with some comments!

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