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Airways Brewing Continues To Put Kent, WA On The Beer Map

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Bigger and better things

Good friend to Beer Blotter and head honcho down at Airways Brewing contacted me yesterday with some really exciting news.  If you have been following them on Twitter (@airwaysbrewing), you’d know that they have been subtly hinting at a coming big announcement.  It has finally arrived.

Check out the official press relief below, because I sure as hell couldn’t have said it better.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Airways Brewing to Expand Current Location and Open Second Location in
Downtown Kent Historic District

Kent, WA (02/14/11) – Airways Brewing Company, Kent’s Brewery, today announced the
expansion of its North Kent production facility and tap room, as well as a new location in the Downtown Kent Historic District.

The brewery’s current location, in the North Kent industrial area, will expand from 1,200 to
2,400 square feet. The larger space will feature a larger tap room and a new 10-barrel
brewing system. The tap room expansion is expected to be open in early April, while the new
brewing system should arrive in early summer.

Airways has also leased space in the Downtown Kent Historic District for the Airways
Brewing Company Beer & Bistro. The location will feature a full food menu, as well as an
extensive tap beer lineup. The new location is expected to open in early June.

“We planned this expansion from the beginning, so it’s exciting to see it become reality,”
said Alex Dittmar, the company’s founder and brewer. “The larger brewing system and
expanded tap room at our current location will help us more efficiently serve our customers
and allow us to introduce some new special beers.”

“We are equally excited to announce our second location in the Downtown Kent Historic
District. Being Kent’s Brewery, we knew we eventually wanted to end up downtown. It took
us about six months to find the right place, and we think people will really enjoy the location,
as well as what we’ll have to offer.”

Founded in spring of 2010, Airways Brewing Company is located in Kent, Washington. The
brewery produces five standard beers, Starliner Stout, First Class IPA, Jet City ESB, Sky Hag
IPA, and T-Tail Blonde, and features casks and special-edition beers in its Kent tap room.
Airways distributes its beer to fine microbrew specialty bars and taverns in the greater
Seattle/Tacoma area.

Contact:
Alex Dittmar
alex@airwaysbrewing.com
Ph: 253-200-1707
###

That really is a big announcement!  I couldn’t be happier for the Dittmar’s, two amazingly cool and gracious people in the local beer community.  I’m sure that they are relieved and excited to finally have their own serious brewhouse in Kent.  All you crazed beer junkies probably know that Airways has had production assistance from the very beginning (only last year) from SoDo’s Two Beers Brewing.  With the help of those facilities, Alex has been pumping out some seriously tasty and well balanced ales and often, some of the most exciting beers offered at local brew fests.  This is going to be a good thing, no doubt.

Come late summer, when all of this is in full swing, It’s going to be really exciting to go on a South End beer tour featuring the likes of Trade Route Brewing, Dog & Pony Ale House and, of course, Airways and Airways Part Deux.

New Belgium Celebrates 20th With Unique & Rare Take On Fat Tire

Solid as a rock.

New Belgium Brewing has been around for 20 years now.  Wow!  They have surely come a long way.  So long, in fact, that they find themselves sitting in the number 3 position in the rankings for top craft breweries (sales) .  There is very little doubt that their Fat Tire Amber has played a massive role in their great success.

In celebration, and in tribute to the beer that acted as a stepping stone for so many of us beer geeks into the world of better beer, New Belgium has packaged up the old classic in a new and exciting manner – unfiltered, dry hopped, and in cask format.  From what Seattle Ranger Todd told me yesterday, 6 total firkins were sent to the Seattle area, each dry hopped with a different hop variety.

This has never been done before at New Belgium and each tapping is going to offer a very rare and unique take on the beer that put the brewery on the map.  If I were you, I’d keep your ear to the ground (or your eyes on beerblotter.com) and do your best to attend as many of these special tapping events as possible.  It’s not only an opportunity to celebrate with NBB, but it’s a chance to thank them for all they have done for the craft community and, obviously, to have some tasty and rare beer in the process.  For me, it most exciting to get the chance to take in what each hop variety can lend to an amber ale.  It will be educational, without a doubt.
So when is the first tapping?  What hops will be featured first?  Tell me. tell me, tell me!!  Don’t fret, I have your answers!

This Thursday, February 10, the first two firkins will be tapped, simultaneously, across town from each other.  One in Magnolia, at Mulleady’s Irish Pub and the other in Green Lake, at Latona Pub.  Both are planned to be tapped around 5pm, for happy hour, and should be pouring for several hours.  This will give you ample opportunity to maneuver between the two and make a night of it, without completely destroying all hope of being productive on Friday (not that you ever are you crazy slackers).

The Mulleady’s cask will be spiked with one of the “Three Cs” – Centennial.  This is a moderate to high alpha hop that is very similar to Cascade and completely kicks ass!  It’s pungent, citrusy, and mildly floral.  Yum!  The Latona cask will feature the uber-high alpha and somewhat rarely seen Bravo hop.  This is surely a treat!  This one has the potential to be a bit harsh and is often described as having an earthy spice, herbal, fruity and floral essence.  Giddy-up.

Airways Brewing Releases Sky Hag IPA

I am afraid of her, yet strangely allured...

This just in: one of beerblotter’s favorite new WA brewery upstarts has really exciting news to share.  The following press release pretty much tells you everything that you need to know, so I won’t blabber on to extensively, but it’s worth noting that, if you saw our 52 Weeks article about the taproom, you know what we really enjoy all of their offerings, and clearly, we love double IPAs, so this is going to be more than worth a trip down to Kent.  Do it!

Kent, WA (10/25/10) – Celebrating the bitter women of the air who refuse to retire, Airways Brewing Company, Kent’s Microbrewery, is proud to announce the official release of Sky Hag IPA™ as the newest addition to its regular roster of beers. This is the first Double / Imperial IPA to come from the brewery and the first change in its standard lineup since opening in March of this year.

“With this beer, we set out to celebrate a true American icon of aviation. One that I feel we’re all united in knowing, the Sky Hag,” says Airways Brewing Company founder and brewer, Alex Dittmar. “With a 7.8% alcohol level and bitterness of over 99 IBUs, this beer is definitely as bitter as she is.”

Sky Hag IPA is made with Pacific Northwest grown malted barley and all Columbus Hops from start to finish. A generous dose of “dry hops” give the beer its distinctive citrus aroma.

“We released this beer as a test batch during the summer in our tap room, and our customers loved it,” says Dittmar. “I’m thrilled to be able to add Sky Hag IPA to our regular tap room lineup, and to be able to distribute it as well.”

To celebrate the beer’s release, the Airways tap room in Kent will feature Sky Hag IPA on tap, on cask, and a special oaked version Thursday, October 28, 2010.

Founded in spring of 2010, Airways Brewing Company is Kent, Washington’s microbrewery. The brewery produces five standard beers, Starliner Stout, First Class IPA, Jet City ESB, Sky Hag IPA, and T-Tail Blonde, and features casks and special-edition beers in its Kent tap room. Airways distributes its beer to fine microbrew specialty bars and taverns in the greater Seattle/Tacoma area.

52 Weeks: NW Sausage and Deli, Centralia, WA

Beer and Sausages

Week 17 of 52

NW Sausage and Deli

5945 Prather Rd

Centralia, WA 98531

Rank: 4/5

Type of Establishment: Country Style Deli with Brew Pub and Butcher Shop tendencies.

BEERS ON TAP (at time of visit) —>

All of the following are from Dick’s Brewing

-Golden Ale

-Pale Ale

-IPA

-Irish Ale

-Best Bitter

-Brown Ale

-Danger Ale

-Porter

-Cream Stout

-Winter Ale

-Imperial IPA

BOTTLE OPTIONS: Almost all regularly bottled Dick’s beers.

FOOD OPTIONS:  Meat.

Both cold and hot sandwiches of many varieties including hoagies, pastrami, corned beef, prime rib, BBQ pork, burgers, brats, etc.  Steaks and chicken for dinner.  Need protein?  Best vitamin shop in Centralia.

BAR OPINION:

How have I never been here before?  Seriously.  All, and I mean all of my future trips south will include a stop at NWS&D.  If you are going to Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR or anywhere somewhat significantly south of Seattle along I5, you’d have to be either in one serious rush or legitimately brain-damaged not to stop here.

Sound a bit hyperbolic?  It isn’t.  We are talking about a detour of about 5 miles at most.  10 driving minutes, tops.  A very, very small price to pay for great beer and food.  And talk about getting your goods right from the source.  All sausages are smoked right on the premises.  All beers are made practically right down the street.  And it’s all mind blowingly yummy!

Believe it or not, it gets better.  I give the staff an A+.  Since this was a stop on the way to camping at Seaquest State Park, we thought we would have the whole group in tow (13 people).  This could have been overwhelming to any establishment, so we called in a warning of our arrival ahead of time.  Upon arrival,  we found a huge grouping of tables that was marked “reserved” for us.  In the end, we were only 6 strong.  The rest of the group was impatient and found lunch in Olympia (dummies).  Was this a problem?  Of course not.  The staff simply laughed it off and served us with a smile.

I guess it didn’t hurt that we had explained to the receiver of our call that we had a $100 gift certificate and planned to spend it all on lunch and meats to go.  A big thanks to friend of the Blotter, Stasia Cymes, for providing said gift certificate and her generosity in sharing it.  Lunch for all was covered, with change to stare for even more meat and cheese to go.  In fact, to trace it back just a bit further, a large thank you is due to Brian from Ninkasi who unselfishly passed his winnings of the Brewer’s 9 Ball Tournament at the Tap House Grille along to Stasia.  Brian felt bad taking the winnings of his own event and figured that Stasia was a worthy recipient, considering that her team was knocked out of the tournament before she even had a chance to play.  Thanks Brian and Ninkasi!  Awesome event too by the way.

Spouts flowing Dick's

Not only was the tap selection lengthy and impressive, but any bottle could be purchased and opened at the table at no additional charge.  This allowed for all of our extreme beer pleasures to be indulged simultaneously.  We ordered the Imperial IPA off the draught, the Tripel, the Grand Cru, and the Imperial Stout all at once.  Others at the table enjoyed the Bitter, Cream Stout, Danger, Winter…lets just say that we had some good liquids to accompany our lunch.  All brews were solid, some inspired “Oh my God!”.

Lunch was sandwich heavy, something that will never bother me.  My Trio Deluxe was stacked so high that it easily garnered “Scooby Doo Sandwich” status, yet another thing that will never bother me.  I don’t really remember what the others at the table had.  I was too transfixed on my own happiness in the moment.  Good beer, good food, good service, and most importantly, good company.

Though all appetites were surely fulfilled at meal’s end, no one was leaving without some meat to go.  After all, there would soon be a camp fire to cook on.  Pepperoni, andouille, jerky, BBQ pork, garlic franks, and various cheeses were all acquired.  Lest we forget, beer was procured as well.  We were fully and completely covered for camping.  We made tents out of the empty beer bottles and sleeping bags out of the sausage casings (no we didn’t).  It was an amazing!

Seattle’s Lost Grog Spots: 3 Pubs, 1 Brewery and 1 Bottleshop

The inviting inside of Black Raven Brewing Company in Redmond, WA (photo by Lee Killough)

Sunday, November 29, 2009 marked Beer Blotter’s adventure to beer bars unknown and a brewery worth the trip.  This trip refers to a 25 minute drive from downtown Seattle to Redmond, Washington. “What is there besides Microsoft in Redmond?”  Well, that is why we are here, to stimulate your brain and your taste buds.

Stop #1 Black Raven Brewing Company

Known for their Trickster IPA (which won Beverage Place Pub‘s year round IPA tap spot), Black Raven Brewing Company’s brew pub is part of a commercial park.  Inside, the space is warming and welcoming.  We immediately walk up to the bar, order the sampler (and an extra Wisdom Seeker Double IPA) and take a seat at a wooden top table. Sunlight, well what Seattleites consider sunlight, streamed through the windows.  The bartender and bar regulars were very passionate about beer and Black Raven. Beer blotter would like to thank Lee Killough for the pictures and insider facts about the brewery.  Aside from the two IPAs, the Brown Porter and Second Sight Scotch Ale come highly recommended. The porter is surprising light for the style and is nutty with caramel undertones.  This brew was an experimental recipe when the brewery first opened and they got it right the first time around!

Black Raven is located at 14687  NE 95th Street, Redmond, WA 98052. Beware: This brewery might have great brewing equipment (which you can sit near in the back room) but they do not serve food. Menus are placed at every table for delivery option to the brewery.

Stop #2 Malt and Vine Bottle Shop

After a great time at Black Raven, we decide to stick around Redmond for a little while longer. This provides us with a great opportunity to visit the local bottle shop, Malt and Vine.  Like so many establishments in Redmond, Malt and Vine is located in a strip mall off of Redmond Way and my dear beer lovers, it is worth the stop in every way, shape and form.  Not only does this bottle shop have approximately 15 taps flowing at any given time, (Lets take a moment for some name dropping: New Belgium Love, Lost Abbey Angel Share) their bottle selection is amazing and the refrigerators are organized by brewery, not by style. This approach to organizing your beer coolers, in our humble opinion, makes bottle shopping easier and that much more enjoyable.  The only negative about this bottle shop is that the area in which one might enjoy one of these profound beers is not very welcoming and is reminiscent of a high school cafeteria.  If only high school cafeterias sold rare beer and had an amazing tap list…the world would be a better place….or not… But during our time spent at Malt and Vine, the world did seem a bit better or at least bearable.

Malt and Vine is located at 16851 Redmond Way, Redmond, WA 98052. Less than 5 miles from Black Raven Brewery.

Stop #3 Wedgewood Ale House

We had heard such great things, had such high expectations.  Maybe that was our problem.  A cold November day, we were looking for a place to walk into, to warm our hearts and fill our souls. The only thing warm about the Wedgewood Ale House was the Boundary Bay Brewing Cabin Fever and Port Townsend Winter Ale on nitro.  Although it was too cold and the wings were too small, Wedgewood Ale House has the quintessential bar menu and they support Washington breweries. With only Washington breweries on tap, the BB Cabin Fever is perfect for the winter/holiday season. It tantalizes your taste buds and tickles the back of your throat with hops and vanilla. The Port Townsend Winter Ale was inviting and spiced well with a malt balance.

The Wedgewood Ale House is located at 8515 35th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115

Stop #4 Fiddler’s Inn

Fiddler’s Inn has a hidden rustic quality upon first sight with a comfortable, “home for the holidays” atmosphere  inside.  Stuffed from our previous stops, no food was ordered, but the menu boasted pizzas and what we would call Italian fare. But food isn’t really why were are hear as the tap list and wall mounted taps prove their passion for the punch. A taste of this so-called “punch” included New Belgium Wild Ale, Anchor Steam Christmas Ale and Fremont Brewing Co. Little Woody Pale Ale. A quick side note about New Belgium Wild Ale, it is brewed with schisandra berries. WAIT! Keep reading.  This berry is known as the “5 flavored berry” presenting notes of sweet, sour, salty, spicy and bitter. This beer is all that rolled into one.

Fiddler’s Inn is located at 9219 35th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98115.

Stop #5 Pub at Pipers Creek

The space is awkwardly open and if you decide to take a seat that is not at the bar, your very far away from the only light that brightly shines. Taps form a crescent shape in the middle of the bar. At this point, food was the last thing on our minds, so we are sticking to what we know and love, beer. Big Al Brewing Winter Warmer had stout like qualities and was spicy, somewhat creamy and delicious.  We were all pleasantly surprised by Elysian’s BiFrost which has an undeniable hop presence as well as Dick’s Brewing’s, Silk Lady.

Pub at Pipers Creek is located at 10527 Greenwood Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98133

We met some friends along the way, tried some great beers, bought some bottles and beat the Sunday blues.  Let us know if there are other Seattle or Washington State beer bars for us to try. Hell, we will even leave the state or the country if need be.

Leave a comment or email your bar idea to beerblotter@gmail.com.



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