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Beer Camp Across America is practically craft beer nirvana in a box. Sierra Nevada teamed up with 12 different craft breweries across the US to make 12 different brews. Then they went on tour and partied, inviting local craft breweries to serve their brews at the festivals.

What a great idea! It’s really fun to see the collaborations, and to anticipate trying out all of these brews. Be sure to watch the video trailer on their site: Beer Camp. 

Unfortunately for us, the Beer Camp party sadly neglected the Northwest as far as the festivals went. Ninkasi Brewing out of Portland was one of the collaborators, but the closest festival was in California. As much as we wanted to drop everything and head off there, it wasn’t possible. If a collaboration/party like this ever happens again, I hope they will stop in Washington, as we have some of the best craft breweries in the country (I’m not at all biased, though).

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Wanting a flavorful, yet light summer beer to enjoy in the warmer weather? We’ve found a new seasonal that fits the bill nicely.

We stopped by Airways Brewing in Kent this weekend and came home with a 4-pack of the PSA Summer Ale, which we enjoyed during our first cookout of the year (we just got a new grill!)

PSA Summer Ale Description

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Ray and I had been looking forward to attending the Washington Brewer’s Festival for months, and it certainly lived up to the hype. The Brewer’s Festival was held Father’s Day weekend at Marymoor Park in Redmond, and featured over 300 different beers from 88 different Washington breweries.

We attended on Saturday, and got in line for entrance around 11 am. The line went fast, but the wait was at least 20 minutes. Next year, we’ll try to get there a little earlier.

WABL Brewers Festival 2014 Front Gate

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Pacific Northwest Cider Awards (PNWCA) held their first annual cider competition and three day festival this last weekend at The Woods, Seattle Cider Company’s tasting room. Ray and I attended the event and volunteered on Saturday and Sunday. We ended up volunteering at a pouring station, and had a blast!

The cider competition judging was held on Thursday, and the results of the judging were posted at the festival. Best in Show was awarded to the Schilling Cider “Ginger”. This is a crisp cider with a burst of ginger flavor. Really nice!

List of PNWCA Winners here.

PNWCA 2014 Festival Winners

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Three Pepper Cider is one of the specialty ciders from Seattle Cider Company. It’s a limited edition cider made from dessert apples (Granny Smith, Fuji, Red and Golden Delicious, Gala) and three kinds of peppers – Poblano, Habanero, and Jalapeño.

We were lucky enough to enjoy some on draft at The Woods, the tasting room for Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing.

Seattle Cider Three Pepper Cider

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Firebird Smoked Hefeweizen is a seasonal brew by Gigantic Brewing Company from Portland, Oregon. It’s #18 of their “endless series of Limited edition artist and artisan beers” with a label designed by Heiko Müller.

Gigantic Brewing Label designed by Heiko MüllerThe description on the bottle reads “A refreshingly complex wheat beer. Aromas of clove and banana intermingle with light smoke imparted from German malt kilned over beechwood fires.” The bottle also has a quote from Douglas Adams “Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” As I love both the art and Douglas Adams, I was already appreciating this beer.

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Seattle Beer Week – 10th Day

We took a day off from Seattle Beer Week to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. We had some friends over with lots of food and, of course, beer. As detailed in an earlier post, we brewed a special Anniversary IPA to hand out to our guests.

A bottle of our brew is pictured below. Our friend Kyle awesomely photobombed the pic taken by his wife, Nicole.


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On the evening of Day 9 of Seattle Beer Week, we made a last minute decision to trek on up to The Noble Fir in Ballard for the last hour and a half of the Midnight Sun Night event.

Midnight Sun Brewing Company is from Anchorage, and the event had some specialty beers not usually available on tap outside Alaska. We were too late to meet the brewers, but were able to taste all six of the Midnight Sun beers.

Ray’s first words to the server were “There’s nothing under 6.9% ABV, but they must need it to keep warm up there.” The beers were poured in 13 and 6 ounce pours. We shared a small plate of cheese and bread, and commenced with the tasting.

A standout to me was the Arctic Devil Barley Wine. It has a sweet honey taste with a bourbon alcohol finish. This reminds me of a dessert wine that I once tasted at a California winery and bought a case of because I liked it so much.

Arctic Devil Barley Wine Midnight Sun

Arctic Devil Barley Wine

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