Conor Byrne launches monthly brewers night

Tonight is the inaugural “Conor Byrne Brewers Night” at the Ballard Ave pub featuring Fremont Brewing. “Most of the time micro-brewers will only get one tap handle in a bar at a time, on brewers night they will have three to four taps, keeping 2 for the rest of the month,” general manager Diarmuid Cullen tells us. “I thought it would be fun to bring some of their experiments out of the brewery along with their staples, and into the bar.” On tap tonight will be Fremont Brewing’s Universale Pale, Abominable Winter Ale, Bourbon Barrel Aged Abominable Ale, and a special infusion of their Interurban IPA.

So far Cullen has Fremont Brewing, Big Al Brewing in White Center and Two Beers Brewing Co. in Sodo lined up, but his talks continue with other brewers. “I guess I should clarify that local means I can get in the car and drive to the brewery without worrying too much if there is enough gas in the car, 20 minutes or less,” Cullen tells us.

The Conor Byrne Brewers Night will be held on the first Monday of each month.

Ballard’s newest nano-brewery now open

NW Peaks Brewery is small. Very small. It’s called a nano-brewery, which is smaller than a micro-brewery. “I’ve been a homebrewer for a long time and people kept telling me my beer was as good as most stuff out there,” owner Kevin Klein tells us,”So I decided to take the plunge and move to the next step up, a nanobrewery.”

Kevin Klein pouring his beer at the PNA Summer Beer Taste.

For the last year and a half, Klein has been working to find a good location and get through the permit process. Once the nano-brewery was ready to go, he turned to his friends for a little help. “I started the endeavor, but friends have been helping out with their expertise. It’s amazing who will work to help out a friend and of course, for beer,” Klein says. For the last few months, Klein has brewed about eight batches of beer.

Copyright photo used with permission

The philosophy of NW Peaks Brewery is a little different than some. There won’t be a “flagship” beer. Instead, Klein has decided to start with the standard styles as “sessionable” beers and will begin with a little more experimentation once he gets the process down. For now, the first two beers are Sahale (a pale ale) and Vesper (a bitter). Coming in January he’ll brew a winter beer called Snowfield and a full-bodied brown called Magic. “And yes, those names stem from names of mountains I’ve climbed in the NW,” he says.

Klein is starting a growler program called the “MountainBeers” which is like a beer-of-the-month club. “It’s a subscription program where you get one or more growlers a month and just exchange your empty growler every month for a filled one,” Klein explains. “Hey, and tis the season, it’s a great gift idea for a beer enthusiast in the area!”

The nondescript entrance to the brewery

NW Peaks Brewery is at 4912 17th Ave NW Suite B. The entrance is through the wooden fence of the Fuller-Anderson roofing/Swedish Contractors building. “We’re working on getting much better signage, but don’t have that yet,” Klein tells us. Check their website for hours, which change weekly.

Bike corral installed at Jolly Roger Taproom

After months of harassing the Seattle Department of Transportation, a bike corral is being installed at the Jolly Roger Taproom (1111 NW Ballard Way.)

George Hancock, the owner of Maritime Brewery and the Jolly Roger Taproom, tells us that they first talked with SDOT about installing a bike corral earlier this year when they were trying to figure out bike parking at their new location. A bike corral replaces one car parking spot on the street and allows about a dozen bicycles to lock up. “As part of the Bicycle Master Plan adopted by the City of Seattle in 2007, the Seattle Department of Transportation will continue to install On-Street Bicycle Parking in Seattle,” the SDOT website states. The department plans to install six of these facilities around the city this year. (Thanks Chris for the tip!)

Seattle Beer Week kicks off on Thursday

If you like to imbibe a cold one, Seattle is your town. In fact we’ve got an entire week (actually 10 days) dedicated to beer. Seattle Beer Week officially kicks off on Thursday at Hale’s Brewery (4301 Leary Way.) The inaugural tapping of a cask will be at 5 p.m.

A dozen or more beer-related events are each day through May 23rd. Although the official kick off is Thursday afternoon, the first event is the Old Town 15th Anniversary with $3.oo Big Time Brewing drafts starting at 11:30 a.m. Old Town Alehouse will host several events at the 5233 Ballard Ave NW location.

Other local spots celebrating Seattle Beer Week are The Leary Traveler (4354 Leary Way NW) with New Belgium Trivia Night on May 15th. Mike’s Chili Parlor (1447 NW Ballard Way) with the Iron Horse Brewing Night on May 15th, The Barking Dog (705 NW 70th St) with The Double Dog Dare Night on May 17th, Maritime Pacific Brewing (1111 NW Ballard Way) with the Jolly Roger Vertical featuring ’04, ’07, ’09 Jolly Roger and a special cask rumored to be from the ’90s. , Delancey (1415 NW 70th) with the Chuckanut Brewers Dinner on May 18th, The Dray (708 NW 65th St) with several events.

The festivities take place all over the city, but they end up back where they began, at Hale’s. On May 23, from noon to 5 p.m., beer connoisseurs can taste brews from 22 different Washington breweries.

Redhook releases new beer with Ballard brew ha-ha

“Ya Sure Ya Betcha” reads the label of Redhook’s newest beer. The popular microbrew giant is honoring its past with its new “Big Ballard Imperial IPA.” It’s no coincidence that Redhook decided to name the beer after our neighborhood, the popular microbrew giant got their start in an transmission shop in Ballard nearly 30 years ago.

To celebrate the new brew, Redhook is throwing a release party on Thursday evening at The Old Pequliar (1722 NW Market St) from 4 to 7 p.m. There will be happy hour prices, music and give-aways, including the chance to win $1,000 Redhook Ale Brewery gift certificate. If you can’t make it to the party, Big Ballard Imperial IPA will be available in 22 ounce bottles and on draught in the Western U.S. beginning late April.

Redhook remembers Ballard with new brew

Redhook Brewery, who now has a large brewhouse over in Woodinville, comes from humble beginnings right here in Ballard.

The popular microbrew giant got their start in an transmission shop back in 1981 and to honor their Ballard past, Redhook will release the Big Ballard Imperial IPA next month. “Ya Sure Ya Betcha!” the label reads. The new beer is inspired by one of their originals, the Ballard Bitter IPA which was first brewed in 1984.

According to the Washington Beer Blog, The official Big Ballard Imperial IPA release party is scheduled for Wednesday, April 14th at the Elephant and Castle in downtown Seattle. Once released, the beer will be available on tap and in 22 oz. bottles. (Thanks Timothy for the tip!)