Our good friends down at Airways Brewing in Kent, WA have a lot to celebrate these days. You may have seen our article a few weeks back about their impending expansion. If not, check it out here.
Probably the most impressive thing about that piece of news is the fact that Airways is just now turning one year old. That’s an amazingly steep growth curve they’re working with. We can only hope that in 5 years they will be taking over the world. Well, lets not get too far ahead of ourselves.
In celebration of one successful year of business, Alex and Dione will be throwing a small birthday party. Here’s the details from their site:
Join us in the Airways tap room for a small celebration from 1 pm to 8 pm on Saturday, March 12 for our first birthday. We’ll have dessert provided by Down Home Catering, giveaways including tickets to Thunderbirds Fan Appreciation Night, tickets to Cask Beer Festival, and we’re even going to let our very own DJ Wick have control of the music.Join us in the Airways tap room for a small celebration from 1 pm to 8 pm on Saturday, March 12 for our first birthday.
We’ll have the big party when we open the expanded tap room next month. But, this is a good way to thank our fans and customers for what’s been a great year.
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
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.
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.
$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??
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.
This Friday, October 1st and Saturday, October 2nd will mark the second annual Tacoma Craft Beer Fest. There’s a few really great reasons to take a short venture south on I-5 to check it out. The first three are location, location, and location. Though I have never actually been to the Foss Waterway Seaport, from what I have heard from friends and from the pictures I have seen online, it seems like a pretty fantastic locale for beer drinking. We’re talking real deal waterfront here. You can get a beer, served by a sea-lion, poured into a hallowed-out buoy, all while romping with rock stars and CEOs on million dollar yachts! Now that’s a party!
Ok, that probably won’t happen, but only because there is no possible way that a sea-lion could properly pour a beer with those weird flipper things they call hands. The TCBF will not stand for allowing any of that precious liquid to go to waste. Speaking of precious liquid, that brings me to my fourth and final “great reason” to check out TCBF this year, the beer (and really, that’s the only reason you should ever need)!
Though the website is in severe lack of detail when it comes to what will be offered, we can look at the breweries that will be in attendance and make certain assumptions about the overall quality of the event. Below you will find the complete list of breweries that will be pouring. Overall, it looks pretty impressive to me. One gripe that a die-hard beer fest goer like myself may have, about beer fest in general, is that there is a lot of brewery participant crossover from one fest to the next. In a state with such an impressive and diverse brewing pedigree, you’d think that festival curators would make more of an effort to attract some of the Northwest breweries that you don’t see at every beer fest. Because of this, I have chosen to highlight some of the new and some of the uncommon festival participants.
192 Brewing – These Kenmore, WA guys are still relatively new. If you haven’t found their product on tap at the bars and you missed them at the Fremont Oktoberfest, here is another chance. I’ll be hoping to see the Bier de Garde.
21st Amendment Brewing
7 Seas Brewing
Airways Brewing – Haven’t had a chance to try this newish Kent, WA brewery yet? Here is your chance. Check out the ESB if it’s available. I think you will find it to be a supreme example of the style.
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Big Al’s Brewing
Burris Brewing – Rhett Burris makes his beer up in Everett, but he is a Tacoma guy through and through. It is very rare to see his Jackrabbit Pale Ale on tap anywhere other than in Tacoma, but it’s growing rapidly and expansion could be right around the corner. If I’m not mistaken, he will be pouring his brand new Oktoberfest at the festival as well. Swing by his booth and be one of the first in the world to try it.
Diamond Knot Brewing
Double Mountain Brewing – This is one of my favorite newish OR breweries. I absolutely swoon over their saisons, and their IPAs are killer as well. Pretty much everything of theirs that I’ve tried has been solid. I know I’ll be stopping by their booth, no matter what is pouring.
Emerald City Beer – Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few months, you know all about Dottie, the brand new dark lager coming out of The Old Rainier Brewery space. But, just because you’ve heard all about it doesn’t mean that you’ve tried it. I know I haven’t.
Engine House #9 – If you’re not a Tacoma resident, chances are good that you are completely unaware of this brewpub. Why not check it out and see if it’s worth adding to your next Tacoma bar crawl?
Everybody’s Brewing – I always get a little chuckle out of reading this White Salmon, WA brewery’s beers off of local bar’s taplists. “Everyboby’s Brewing Daily Bread Common Ale” it would read, and I would say to myself, “…really? Why is everyone brewing a common ale? What exactly is a common ale and how is it that I seem to be the only one not brewing it? Oh, Everybody’s Brewing is the name of a brewery. Dumbass.” I see these brews on at Naked City pretty often, but in general, they are still a bit rare in these parts. Check them out if you haven’t already.
Firestone Walker Brewing – Yeah, I know, I kiss the feet of Firestone on the daily. I only highlight these guys because, for me, the willpower does not exist within to allow me to walk past their booth and not fill up my glass.
Fish Tale Ales
Full Sail Brewing
Green Flash Brewing – I’d imagine that you know about Green Flash and their near unparalleled mastery of the hop. It’s not everyday that you see these guys pouring at a Washington beer fest. One might as well take advantage, right?
Great Divide Brewing
Iron Horse Brewing
Lazy Boy Brewing
Lost Coast Brewing
Mac and Jacks
Merchant Du Vin
MT Head Brewing – These guys are from Graham, WA and have been doing the brewing thing for a little over a year now according to the website. I have never actually seen their product before, so I would be excited to get a taste. It looks like they make a brown, a pale and a red. Let’s hope the flavors aren’t as MT as their heads.
New Belgium Brewing
North Coast Brewing
Odin Brewing – A good friend and periodic columnist of Beer Blotter, Mark Leavens, recently took a job with Odin as a sales rep. He is so damn smooth that our group of friends call him “Legend”. He could be peddling the worst beer on the face of the Earth and I would still mention it here, but luckily, Odin is decidedly not making the worst beer on Earth. In fact, it’s pretty great. If they have the sour stout, don’t pussyfoot.
Ommegang Brewing – Any time this Coopertown, NY brewery with Belgian ties has a new release, I freak out. You should have seen me a few months back, asking everyone I know to keep a look out for Zuur (Flemish brown sour) bottles. “Call me if you see them,” I would say. Now the search is on for Cup o Kyndnes (Scotch ale). If they happen to be pouring either, I’ll be getting more than one.
Oskar Blues Brewing
Port Angeles Brewing – I’m not sure if this is a mistake or what, but to my knowledge PAB is no longer. If I’m wrong, I can’t wait to see how good their resurrected beers are.
RAM Tacoma (Bighorn)
Schooner Exact Brewing
Silver City Brewing
Snoqualmie Falls Brewing
Trade Route Brewing
Two Beers Brewing
Walking Man Brewing – The Columbia River Gorge breweries are really coming out in numbers for this one. We love to see it! WMB is just one of those WA breweries that we can’t get enough of. Their Black Cherry Stout and Homo Erectus IPA can be found in the Seattle market with a reasonable regularity, but that’s about it. I’ll be hoping to see some of their other fantastic brews. Give me that Jaywalker!
If anyone has any information about specific beers that will be available at the fest, please let us know. Also, if you feel like me glossed over something special, drop us a line.
Week 19 of 52
6644 S. 196th St, #T-100
Kent, WA 98032
Type of Establishment: Brewery Taproom
BEERS ON TAP (at time of visit) —>
T-Tail Blonde Ale
Jet City ESB
First Class IPA
FOOD OPTIONS: I was very surprised to see anything other than a bowl of peanuts or hard pretzels, but they do offer landjager and soft pretzels.
BAR OPINION: Roughly 17 miles south of the Beer Blotter home base, in a beautiful (haha) business park in Kent, WA, lies a brewery that we have never before visited. On this day, we changed that.
South-Enders rejoice, there is a new brewery taproom in Kent, WA! And it doesn’t suck!
You must admit, Kent is a very strange place to be… for any reason. I would imagine that owners Alex (brewer as well) and Dione (taproom manager as well) Dittmar got a pretty good deal on the brewery/taproom space. Lucky for the Kent residents I guess (what are there, like 27 of you?). Well, at the time of my visit, it was packed, so either every single Kent resident was there or there were a few travelers, like myself. If they got the impression that I did, it was well worth the visit for all in attendance.
Once within the doors of Airways Brewing, the look and feel of the place bares a shocking resemblance to that of Black Raven Brewing’s taproom in Redmond, WA. The bar area is just slightly off to your left as you enter, with seating in an “L” shape, creating a square area against the left and rear walls for the bartenders to roam and serve. The merchandise, mostly t-shirts, are hanging on the far left wall. Then there is a fairly small open area opposite the bar, on your right as you enter, that contains a few tables. Then there is a bathroom and a backdoor leading to the brewery (or so I assume, I didn’t get a tour). With the exception of Airways small outdoor seating area, and the lack of a backroom (additional seating), the space is identical to BRB’s. Must be a fairly generic architectural schematic for the Seattle outskirt’s business parks, but that’s quite alright, the small space works just fine. In fact, it seems to lend itself to relatively large social gatherings at strange hours of the day.
I say this because my visits to both occurred in the early afternoon on a weekday. Both times, there was sizable attendance. Both times there was a great bit of socializing amongst bar-top strangers. Both times I had a blast and drank good beer with good people. Nigel at Black Raven and Greg at Airways are both great barkeeps, both with tangible abilities to include everyone at the small bar into one single conversation. It’s a microcosm of big city bars, in a microcosm of a big city, and it’s just right for me.
I had the distinct privileged of meeting and chatting with Dione. I just missed Alex. After questioning Dione about the size of their brewing system, I was answered with the stunning words, “1/2 barrel”. This means that they can brew one keg at a time. 15.5 gallons. My friends, that is the definition of nanobrewery. Nan-frickin-o!
My dismayed look prompted an explanation. Airways has a great deal of their production contract brewed by a local brewery with a 7 barrel system. Now that makes a lot more sense. I must say, I was relieved. I’d love to be able to get more of their beer without having to drive down to Kent.
This brings us to the beer. Airways’ four standard offerings are clearly English influenced. They are well constructed and easy to drink. I ended up ordering a full pint of the IPA after my sampler, but it wasn’t an easy choice. The blonde was a bit too subtle for me at the time, but each of the others could easily have been chosen. Everything was reasonably priced as well, which is always appreciated. Like I said before, they have t-shirts for sale, as well as pint glasses and growlers to go.
One of my favorite parts about Airways Brewing is the imagery that they use. It’s really simple, but it’s cleaver… and sleek. It reminds me of the mind-blowing opening credits to the movie Catch Me if You Can. I had to take a pint glass home with me.
Airways was at last weekend’s Washington Brewers Fest. They had a Triple Chocolate Stout that I was unfortunately unable to acquire. I did, however, get to meet Alex. These guys are really kind and we are proud to support them as one of the newest breweries on the block.
Take a trip down south of the city and take a gander, drink a beer, and enjoy.