Seattle’s Fremont Brewing announced today that they have tested their first run of cans. Guess what? The beer was delicious.
This has been interesting news for almost 1 year now. Back in April 2010, we ran an article about Fremont’s purchase of a used canning line. At the time of the article, we knew they weren’t ready but hoped that something would get cracking by Summer 2010. But Fremont went the appropriate route and focused on developing their beers and creating a public image. Now, the small brewer is one of the most recognizable faces in Seattle beer.
With some progress made, the team at Fremont has decided to give the canning line a go. They announced on Twitter today that the first batch of Interurban IPA had been test canned and that samples came back tasting great. While there is no official release date in the works, you might expect to begin seeing Interurban IPA and perhaps Universale Pale, in the near future.
A good canned IPA is just what the market needs. 21st Amendment’s Brew Free or Die IPA is just about the only readily available IPA in a can on the market. Maui Brewing’s Big Swell and 7 Seas Ballz Deep Double IPA are both out there, but harder to find.
In other news, I have been meaning to post the new Fremont Brewing promo video for some time now (Sorry Matt). The team put together a few excellent videos that accurately depicts their collective spirit and attention to details. One is below, but check the site for more.
Looking forward to cans, coming soon!
Seriously, what am I supposed to drink? Is the only way for me to enjoy (“enjoy” being a very key word) an Irish style ale to drink one that was brewed here in America? This can’t be right.
I think almost everyone thinks of Guinness first and foremost when they ponder Irish beer. Oh the power of advertising. This just in – Guinness is gross! If it wasn’t for the fact that very few beers are poured on nitro in this country, Guinness would have absolutely no legs to stand on. It’s crazy thin and flavorless. Ok, maybe the fact that it just barely has more calories than water may appeal to some, but I highly doubt there are many craft beer aficionados out there that choose how they spend their beer money based on calories. It’s flavor that we want and Guinness has none.
What else do we have?
Both Murphy’s and Beamish are superior to Guinness when it comes to Irish stouts, but I don’t even know if they are distributed in Seattle. I don’t remember seeing them. Murphy’s is owned by The Netherlands based Heineken anyway, so I don’t know… are they still considered Irish?
I don’t even feel the need to discuss Harp, Smithwichs, Killians, etc. They are mass marketed atrocities existing only in the murky underbelly of where big business marketing meets fizzy yellow “beer”. No thanks.
So again I probe, where’s the Irish craft beer?
Apparently it does exist, we just don’t see it. Back in 2005, Ireland enacted a new bill that gave tax breaks to small breweries. Since then, several have popped up, very few of which are currently big enough to distribute out to us here on the West Coast of the U.S.
I have seen a few kegs of Porterhouse hit the Seattle market lately, but they may have been samples from the distributor or something because that seemed to be a one and done thing. Unfortunately I was unable to sample.
My research led me to a great source – www.irishcraftbrewer.com. They are stewards of the scene and have a great directory of craft breweries. I’ve used their site and a few others to compile a nearly complete list of Irish craft breweries. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for these guys and let’s hope that we see them in the states in due time.
Hilden Brewery (technically Northern Ireland)
Galway Hooker (amazing site, a must visit)
Portland’s Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) has released its new 2011 version of Ace of Spades. Hold on to your butts.
Ace of Spades is the former GABF Gold Medal winning Imperial IPA that blew the socks off Seattle back in 2009. During Brouwers Cafe’s Hopfest 2009, a keg of Ace of Spades spun my head around, made me Google HUB, and plan a trip to see more. Since then, HUB has been producing some of our favorite NW IPAs, as well as one of our favorite stouts – Survival Stout.
HUB released Ace of Spaces again last year, when it became a bit more accesible in bottle form. Beer Blotter ran a review of that beer back in December, which you can view by visiting this link. We cannot wait to try it again this year!
Here is the HUB press release. Be sure to look for it next time you are at the supermarket:
PORTLAND, Ore. – Hopworks Urban Brewery’s (HUB) award-winning Organic Ace of Spades Imperial IPA is now available on tap and in 22 oz. bottles at select bars, restaurants and stores across the Northwest. The limited release beer won a gold medal at the 2009 Great American Beer Fest in the Imperial IPA category and is an annual favorite with beer enthusiasts across the region.
Named in honor of rock n’ roll icon Lemmy Kilmister and his band Motörhead’s popular song and album, Ace of Spades prominently features Amarillo, Cascade and Centennial hops, added at every point of the brewing process: mash tun, first wort, kettle, and dry hop. All of the hoppy green goodness results in a beer with a huge citrus hop aroma, flavor and deep, clean bitterness.
Ace of Spades Imperial IPA is 9.5% ABV and more than 100 IBU.
Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) is Portland’s first Eco-Brewpub. HUB offers an assortment of award-winning, world class beers made from organic malts and locally-sourced hops on draught and in bottles across the Pacific Northwest. HUB incorporates a range of sustainable practices in the production of its beer and brewpub operations and makes every effort to protect “our” future with a thoughtful alternative. The 20-barrel brewery produces 6,400 barrels a year and provides the SE Portland brewpub with ten different HUB organic beers on tap and two cask ales at all times. In early summer, Hopworks will open its second location, Bike Bar in North Portland, expanding the company’s love of beers, bikes and the environment.
HUB is located at 2944 SE Powell Blvd. and is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. For more information, please visit Hopworks online at www.HopworksBeer.com or follow on Twitter @HopworksBeer.
Upright Brewing is one of the Northwest’s brightest young talents (to put in a sporting vernacular). In just 2 years they have managed to gain a much coveted spot on ratebeer.com‘s annual Top 100 Brewers In The World List (92 position) and they came in at number 14 in the top 50 breweries to visit list. I’m fairly confident that if rate beer had made a top 50 list of best beer labels in the world that Four Play label over there would be highly ranked as well.
Needless to say, these guys are doing some really fantastic things. They’ve effortlessly coupled innovation with pristine quality and impressive craftsmanship. If you’ve had any of Upright’s beers and you’ve visited their basement brewery, I know I’m preaching to the choir. It’s mostly just exciting that they have been acknowledged so quickly, especially since so many amazing NW breweries go under the radar.
For me, being a huge fan of saisons, Upright has become a brewery that I would rank very highly in my own list of most exciting breweries, either new, old or in between. Their use of open fermentation is something that is most intriguing to me. I still don’t know much about it, but it’s clearly working very well for these Portland fellows. There is no doubt that Upright Brewing is a great inspiration to me and should be to anyone that has a dream of opening a brewery.
This anniversary party ranks up there in excitement levels (for me) with such recent Portland area events as the opening of the Cascade Barrel House and the opening of the Hair of the Dog Tasting room. The prospect of getting a few bottles of Four Play and Apricot Anniversary Ale are what cellar dwellers dream of. If anyone else is going down there let us know by adding a comment. Maybe we can hook up and chat beer.
Here’s the details from Upright:
Oregon’s only farmhouse inspired craft brewery Upright Brewing is turning 2 years old and celebrating with a party on Sunday March 20th from 1-6pm at the Tasting Room. The party will also mark the return of perhaps the breweries most anticipated annual release Four Play a sour farmhouse cherry wheat beer aged in Pinot Barrels.
About Upright Brewing
During the last two short years the small production brewery just east of the Broadway bridge has been devoted to producing some of Portland’s most diverse range of beers, focusing on a French/Belgian inspired farmhouse-style, but brewing without inhibition as evidenced by their historic takes on English Old Ale and Oyster Stout or their authentic German Gose and Engelberg Pilsener.
Upright recently added three new tanks, using one to produce a year-round hop forward German-style pilsener for draft only. It’s called Engelberg Pils, a nod to Mt. Angel where all of the brewery’s hops are sourced. The other two tanks will enable the brewery to produce more one-off draft beers and also allow production of at least eight annual seasonal bottled batches throughout the year. As always, the numbered beers that Upright has focused on since the beginning will continue to be fermented in our unique open-top tanks. The new year has also brought expanded distribution for Upright’s beers with Lime Ventures now bringing the bottles and occasional draft beer to the Northern California market adding even more west coast cities that include north to Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.
About Four Play
In celebration of the brewery anniversary, it’s becoming tradition to release Four Play, a very Belgian-esque beer based on Upright’s wheat beer (named Four) but barrel-aged for a year with cherries, souring yeasts and bacteria. Four Play is blended from former pinot noir barrels that yield a rosy looking sour ale with wonderfully complex aromas and flavors. It’s always a limited release and the 2011 batch is represented by only 67 cases and 3 kegs, all of which the brewers believe is their finest and suitable for cellaring up to 5 years.
About the 2 Year Anniversary Party
In addition to the extremely rare Four Play one of only 3 kegs on draft Upright will also be releasing something even more rare in bottle, last years Apricot Anniversary Ale aged in Ransom Spirits Old Tom Gin Barrels of which there are less than 3 cases of 750ml bottles. To top it off look for a special cask of this years edition of the World Beer Cup award winning Gose stuffed Dry Hops and extra Salt.
Follow Upright Brewing:
Just a last second notice to everyone that you can drink beers and support the Japan relief effort, tonight. Two of Ballard’s watering holes will be donating their proceeds to tsunami victims.
If you have a moment, stop by King’s Hardware or Sunset Tavern tonight to pitch in. King’s will be donating 100% of their proceeds from tonight’s sales of beer, burgers and more to victims. The Sunset is putting on a special show this evening, featuring 3 bands. All proceeds will be donated the relief effort, as well.
While you are visiting King’s Hardware, be sure to tell them to stop charging $8.50 (seriously) for their cans of Oscar Blues Gubna. That way you can drink more and help the cause.
Below, check out the more specific news from My Ballard, a neigborhood blog:
Updated: The Sunset Tavern (5433 Ballard Ave NW) will also be raising money on Tuesday. Tonight, all door proceeds will go to relief funds for Japan.
Show starts at 9:30. $6 cover (for Japan relief) 21+
9:30p – Danielle Henry
10:30p – Wind-Up Bird
11:30p – Barry Sebastian
Earlier: Although the Japan earthquake and tsunami were half way around the world, people right here in Ballard are doing what they can to help. Mike Leifur, the general manager at King’s Hardware emailed us about their fundraiser. On Tuesday, March 15th, 100 percent of the proceeds from King’s (5225 Ballard Ave NW) will be donated to the International Medical Corps.
If you know of other businesses raising money for Japan earthquake and tsunami relief, post it in comments below.
And…here it is…your week in beer.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
$10.00 Tuesday Tasting – IPAs- New York, New York
7:30PM-9:30PM @ Jimmy’s No.43
Come try 6 different craft IPAs. Learn about the what makes these beers bitter and variations between them. $10 gets you a small taste of each beer and into the information session.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Irish (Inspired) Ale Class: Chicago, Illinois
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Whole Foods Market – Lincoln Park
Come one, come all and join our resident Beer Geek Sean Reilly as we explore the wonderful world of Irish and Irish Inspired Ales. It’s the eve of St. Pat’s and what a great way to usher in the evening. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through Customer Service or http://www.active.com
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Happy Firkin St. Pattys Day: West Chester, Pennsylvania
4:00PM-10:00PM @ Rams Head Bar And Grill
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In celebration, stop by Rams for some Victory brews. They will be tapping a firkin of Victory’s newest beer Headwaters Pale Ale at 4 pm and there will be live music from local musician Pete Groch.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Firkin Friday Featuring Brewdog: Atlanta, Georgia
6:00PM-2:00AM @ The Porter Beer Bar
Brewdog is known for making beers that push boundaries. Tonight, try their Paradox Islay, an imperial stout.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Fairfax Brewfest: Fairfax, California
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Faifax Pavillion
Beer Festival which will have 16 Breweries as well as a Cider maker. Unlimited drinks for $25 if you pre-order and $30 if you show up. Breweries include: Iron Springs (hosting), Marin Brew Co, Moylans, Lagunitas, Anderson Valley, and Speakeasy, and many other that you cannot find anywhere else, but Marin. LAsts from 1 PM until 5 PM.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Upright’s Two Year Anniversary: Portland, Oregon
1:00PM-6:00PM @ Upright Brewing Co.
bb.com is going to this- Upright rocks and today they are relasing a sour cherry barrel aged version of the Four. A cask of the upcoming Gose with extra salt and dry hops will be poured. Get there early to get your hands on a bottle of their first anniversary apricot ale aged in gin barrels. Only three cases are available.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Oskar Blues Spring Beer Dinner: Stamford, Conneticut
7:00PM- 9:00PM @ Coalhouse Pizza
The menu will include …. sweet potato & beet chips with homemade tzatsiki sauce, an organic mixed green and fresh fennel salad, homemade split pea soup, a goat cheese & asparagus pizza, lamb tenderloin with a miso-chili sauce served with spring vegetables, and our homemade stout ice cream. Each dish is paired with an Oskar Blues brew – Mama’s Little Yella Pils, G’Knight IPA, Dale’s, Old Chub and of course, TenFidy. Two members from the band “Keltic Kick” will be joining us for the evening. Tickets on sale now ~ $60 per guest. Visit our website for more information – http://www.coalhousepizza.com or give us a call directly: 203-977-7700.
If you go to an event, want us to post an event or want to share something about beer- leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
***This post was originally published on the Brewery Law Blog, an alcoholic beverage law blog administered by Reiser Legal LLC. The office’s Doug Reiser provides Beer Blotter with regular legal and legislative commentary.***
A fairly wide-spreading marketing effort took over this past week. You can now see an out-pouring of support from Senators across all parts of the U.S. With each passing day, it appears more likely that this bi-partisan effort will pass through the Senate.
As of today, both Sen. Maria Cantwell and Sen. Patty Murray have stepped up to provide assurance that they will back the BEER Act. In total, The Wall Street Journal counts 17 senators as co-sponsors. But, reports last week showed that there are closer to thirty that have expressed support for the bill.
If you want to learn more about the BEER Act, read our earlier post. In that post, you can find summary information, as well as links to the language, courtesy of the Brewers Association. The Act itself is incredibly brief.
We will continue to track progress of the bill, here at Brewery Law Blog.