Over the past 11 months, our blog has seen incredible growth. Our message has grown from a tossed together cauldron of beer musings to a plentiful editorial resource for beer fanatics around the world. Its been amazing to get comments and messages from readers as close as Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, all the way to Utrecht, Holland.
We continue to grow each week. As we have more readers, from a broader landscape, we are trying our best to provide you with a bounty of diverse article topics. But, its often difficult to know what works, and what does not.
To obtain better reader feedback, we have instituted a few devices. We are writing this article to plead with you to take an extra second and let us know what you think about the content, and more importantly, to let others know about the Blotter. Please check this out:
We have added a simple 5 star rating system to the end of each article. Please give us a snapshot of your response to an article by selecting the quality and relevance of the content in each of our posts.
While we strive to serve a wide audience, we still need to know whether or not the content is at least interesting! If we bore you – let us know.
Like Us on Facebook
We have also added a Facebook “Like” button to the bottom of each post. Please use this to share articles of interest (or all articles!) with your friends on Facebook.
Remember that you have friends all around the world (because you are so awesome) and we try to provide guidance for all kinds of people. Sharing is caring.
Share Us On Twitter
Along with the Facebook button, a Retweet button can be found at the bottom of articles. You can tweet our articles out to your Twitter followers with the click of one button.
Luckily for us, our Twitter button lets us know how many people thought the article was worthy enough of sharing. If you like – let us know.
Don’t Forget RSS, Comments & E-Mail
These are all old devices but I think it bears reminder that they still work! Subscribe to our RSS feed to get Beer Blotter content delivered to your RSS reader, as its published. We hope that all of you can find a way to use our feed. Its an excellent and simple way to read the Blotter.
We love comments, seriously. I wish that we would get more. One promise that I can make to you all is that your comments will always be published (absent vicious obscenity)! If you ask us a question, I promise a response. So please, use this communication device.
Finally, we love our e-mail. In fact, now Beer Blotter writers each have a personal e-mail address! Its part of the first step to launching the new website, which is due out in the next 5 weeks.
Let us know what you are thinking! We love the conversation. Thanks for all the support!
The Northwest Brewing News has rolled out its annual Reader’s Choice Poll – its time to vote. The Brewing News is a national brewing publication, severed into seven regional publications. Our good friend Geoff Kaiser writes for the Northwest edition, when he’s not manning the ship at Seattle Beer News.
Every year, the Brewing News holds a poll asking its readers to select the very best in the Northwest. Categories for best brewery, brewpub, bar, beer store, home brew shop and perhaps the most heated category – best bartender – are divided state by state. You may vote on the best Northwest beer for each style, as well.
When going through this poll, we noticed that we hit a few stumbling blocks. How do you pick between Hair of the Dog & Cascade Brewing? Is Uber Tavern a better place to grab a beer than The Dray? What the heck is down in Northern California? Don’t be ashamed to have to Rate Beer yourself a group of candidates, as long as you have actually experienced the pub, brewery or beer you intend to choose. But, if you are stuck – let us recommend a few:
Best Imperial IPA
Even with heavyweights like Russian River, Hopworks, Walking Man and Midnight Sun in the mix, and with Washington rising stars Boundary Bay and Port Townsend making their own cases – there can still be only one choice for us. Black Raven’s Wisdom Seeker licked the competition at Brouwers Hopfest. We have no reservations about this choice.
Best Strong Ale
The Northwest has always somewhat lacked in the big beer categories. But, there is no doubt that one strong ale has dominated the Northwest for many year – Hair of the Dog’s Fred. Alan Sprints has been making this beer for ages. If you have a vintage bottle laying around, you know what makes this complex ale so special. Vote with confidence.
Best Sour Beer
For years, I would probably have said that Russian River had this category killed with Consecration. But after recently tasting Cascade Brewing’s Noyeaux, I have reservations. Noyeaux was recently described in a post by our very own Timperial Stout. Check this one out before you mark down one of Russian River’s excellent choices.
Best NorCal Brewpub
We pushed Russian River out of the competition above, but here they take the cake. Backed by unprecedented selection and incredible beer food – there is no better place to grab a collection of beer and a delicious meal.
Best Washington Brewery
Some would say Boundary Bay has the history and fanfare to deserve this award. Some would say that Black Raven is the young gun that should take the title. We don’t disagree, but lets consider a 3rd choice – Snipes Mountain Brewing? You might think we are crazy but the Sunnyside, Washington brewer has been turning heads. Just about everything that brewer Chris Miller has put out of late, has shocked and awed. Food for thought.
Best Washington Bartender
Wow, we have some great bartenders up here in Seattle. We have a ton of love for Rachel up at Naked City, Natasha at The Dray and certainly Amy, down at Collins Pub. These three wonderful ladies have excellent beer IQs and care about their patrons. This gives them serious consideration.
But, to find someone who can advise, entertain, and take excellent care of you, all without being a giant asshole – priceless. Chris Cavanaugh is that guy. Chris can be found at three, count them, three amazing beer spots in Seattle. Once a fixture at Brouwers Cafe, Chris had to leave to tackle cancer. Once he returned to the bar, Chris grabbed spots at Elysian Brewing (Capitol Hill), The Stumbling Monk, and time behind the bar at Brouwers Cafe. There is one reason that he is at these three places – everyone loves him! Chris will give you great attention, wonderful advice, and excellent entertainment. Not once have we ever heard one person dislike him. Vote for this man.
So take a stab at the poll and let your voice be heard! You can access the poll by following this link. Got any other suggestions for choices, please post them in the comments below.
Thats right. You heard it here first. Today will live infamous amongst the various musings of beer writers in the Northwest. For today is……Hopfest.
Brouwers Cafe and Bottleworks both throw down today in the hoppiest way possible: by showcasing almost 70 hoppy masterpieces at their two locations. The festivities start at each location at 11:00 AM and will run until they throw you out. Both places promise to have hoppy ales on tap all through the weekend – until the keg runs dry.
Word to the wise: Bottleworks is out there lurking in the bushes. They have 9 taps now and will fill growlers. As a testament to their greatness and as a pseudo-means of crowd control, expect them to put up some pretty incredible IPAs today. Perhaps some you have never seen in Washington before.
We’ll pour out a lil hop juice (not too much) for our out of town homies, Kendall & Kim Jones, who are embarking on an epic trip to Great American Beer Fest. Follow their twitter stream to find out the amazing places that they are visiting.
See you there. Come by and tell us what you think of the beer – we really want to know what you like!
I want to take a quick moment and point to Seattle Beer News‘ latest article on Initiative 1100, the proposed bill to privatize liquor sales and deregulate alcohol sales in the State of Washington. We briefly discussed this in the past, posting an article from BreweryLaw.com.
The author at Seattle Beer News, Geoff Kaiser, wrote a think piece about the new proposition, considering the Washington Brewers Guild. The Guild recently released a presser openly opposing the proposed legislation, citing concerns that “I-1100 is the greatest threat the Washington craft brewing industry has experienced in a decade.”
I first want to applaud Geoff for his very honest portrayal of the tug and pull he is experiencing on the issue. Truly, he is correct to say that there are many arguments to be made in support of, and in opposition to, Initiative 1100.
Chiefly, Washington brewers are focusing on the fear that an open marketplace allows massive beer sellers (Costco, Binnys, MillerCoors, etc.) free reign to cause disruption to the beer market in Washington.
Of course, the Guild is correct to state that passage of deregulation opens up the market and can cause disruption. But, as an open market fan, you certainly hope that opens opportunities to all people and businesses. The key in deregulation is to find your niche, become innovative and be more efficient. You have to beat the big guys – and Washington brewers can do that!
Anyways, we are not going to tell anyone how to vote. But, please read the Brewers Guild position, because you should see both the good and the bad of I-1100 before you decide to vote. Brewers know the business and their opinion should resonate well in the beer community. But, fear can be blinding.
Tour de Fat is a celebration of bikes and beer, but its meant to call attention to a much larger concept. Years ago, New Belgium started Tour de Fat with the idea of ridding the earth of automobiles and replacing them with hip bikes. Of course, the disdain towards the automobile stems from several concerns, including depletion of natural resources, pollution, energy consumption and all around hatred for all things oil – at a time when the BP spill is in our minds.
New Belgium’s goal was simple: get people to trade in their car; we’ll give them a bike. This is the central theme behind Tour de Fat, which now has 12 stops across America.
This is from the site:
It’s when one fortunate soul hands over their car, title and keys to the Tour de Fat altar in exchange for a bike. Not just any bike, a New Belgium, fully-loaded, hand-crafted, Fort Collins-built commuter bike. There’s 13 Tour de Fat stops – surely one near you – and that’s 13 car/bike trade opportunities. It’s about weaning yourself off the petroleum teat. It’s about becoming a better, sexier person. It’s about rediscovering the cultural thrill of public transportation.
So, while Tour de Fat is a truly a party, celebrating funky and interesting bike contraptions and the enjoyment of beer – its also a burial for someone’s car. People wishing to be considered for the big trade-in, can find more information about it on their website.
This concept is of great interest to your writers at Beer Blotter. We recently traded in our car for bikes (and a little public transport of course). Its been one of the best decisions we ever made. It maximizes our beer consumption experiences, limits the risk that a catastrophic accident could happen, and keeps us in good shape. Consider the shift. At least, it saves you insurance and gas costs.
We hope to see you all at Tour de Fat. Its an amazing event, going down all day on July 31, 2010 at Gasworks Park in Seattle. The event concludes at 4 PM and will be followed by an after party at Brouwers Cafe, where you will no doubt get to drink some amazing New Belgium ales.
See you there!
Seattle’s newest bottle shop has opened up in West Seattle – bringing great craft beer across the bridge! We are very happy to announce that The Beer Junction has finally opened up in West Seattle. The new shop officially opened its doors on Saturday, July 3, 2010.
We have yet to pay a visit to the Junction, but we saw an article from Washington Beer Blog‘s Kendall Jones about the opening. Kendall’s article highlights the fact that two of our area’s best beer bloggers each will have a shelf to showcase their beer picks. A shelf will feature the picks of Seattle Beer News‘ Geoff Kaiser and Washington Beer Blog’s Kendall Jones.
Of course, we are very delighted to see area beer writers get some input. We would highly recommend that you take a look at their shelf when you visit – these guys know their beer!
Read more about Kendall’s picks by visiting his article. Seattle Beer News has yet to publish a listing of its picks – but check the website for more in the coming days.
The Beer Junction is located at:
4707 42nd Ave. SW
Seattle, WA 98116
Check them out.
Get your tickets now! One ticket will get you into Seattle International Beerfest all weekend!
Unfortunately, the $35.00 “Express Pass” is now SOLD OUT. This means that you will have to settle for the $20.00 ticket. Do yourself a big favor and go and grab one today at one of their ticket outlets. The ticket price will raise $5.00 at the event, and ticket lines are generally really bad.
We hope that the sun will make a rare appearance during this wretched beginning to summer in Seattle. Regardless, we hope to see you there with a good beer in hand.