Friday, October 16, 2015

Pike Sells In And Moves Up

Pike Brewing Company expands ownership to key employees
and prepares to expand brewery.
Courtesy of Pike Brewing Co
Seattle, WA – October 16, 2015:

A letter from Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, Founders and Owners of The Pike Brewing Company:

Today, on the eve of our 26th anniversary, we’re excited to announce that we’re ensuring that Pike Brewing remains an independent and local company by expanding ownership to three key employees plus expanding our footprint right here in Seattle.

We are proud to announce that we’ve expanded ownership of The Pike Brewing Company to include three key and long term employees. Each individual has helped us build the company. They are Drew Gillespie, Vice President Operations; Patti Baker, Vice President Controller; and Gary Marx, Executive Chef.  Collectively they have been at Pike for 45 years and we have long considered them as family in this family owned brewery. Each one has taken on key projects and responsibilities, showing the same commitment to Pike as we do. By formalizing them as owners alongside us we are ensuring that Pike Brewing remains independent and continues to grow organically.

Speaking of organic growth, we are also happy to announce that we are expanding our footprint and brewing capacity by moving up. We will occupy an additional 5,500 square feet space directly above The Pike Pub on the atrium level with direct access from First Avenue and The Pike Place Market Atrium. The entire space will be remodeled in the Pike style with antique breweriana, an extension of Pike’s Micro Brewery Museum.

If we could update Germany’s Reinheitsgebot, beer purity law, for these times we’d add independence as a fifth ingredient, right alongside malt, water, hops and yeast.  At Pike Brewing, our management team decides what to brew based on quality, taste and sustainability, not dictated from outside sources! When we founded the brewery in 1989 we dared to dream that our creativity and investment would establish a brewing company that would endure in perpetuity. Our role models were the storied European breweries that we represented as sole U.S. agents. Now, 26 years later, that dream has taken another step towards becoming a reality.  

When we began our craft beer journey in 1978, the whole of America had only two craft breweries. Currently there are almost 4,000!   No matter the landscape, in almost 40 years in beer, we have never been so excited about our company’s momentum and growth potential. We love our work at Pike Brewing, our new partners: Drew, Patti and Gary; and our team of dedicated brewers, bottlers, warehouse people, sales and marketing professionals, cooks, managers, servers and front-of-the-house staff! We are ecstatic about spending the remainder of our careers as a part of this team.


Charles and Rose Ann Finkel

More about Pike Brewing Company’s ownership and building expansion

The Pike Brewing Company was founded in 1989 by craft beer and wine pioneers, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel. Starting with a four barrel copper gravity flow brew house, demand exceeded supply from the very beginning and the brewery moved to its current home in 1996, adding The Pike Pub. In 1997 their larger beer importing company, including the burgeoning brewery, was sold and the Finkels took a sabbatical. Missing their little baby, Charles and Rose Ann re-acquired Pike Brewing in 2006.

Now, 26 years after its founding, Pike Brewing continues to handcraft its beers under the tutelage of Charles and Rose Ann. As hundreds of new brewers have entered the scene and the largest brewers are either offering their own “crafty beers” or buying up independent brewers, Pike Brewing Company is formalizing its commitment to stay independent and local by expanding ownership to include three key employees.

In addition to the Finkel Family, the new owners are Drew Gillespie, Vice President Operations; Patti Baker, Vice President Controller; and Gary Marx, Executive Chef.  Drew, who has deep roots in Washington’s Okanagan valley, began as a line-cook in The Pike Pub’s kitchen in 1998 and has held more positions than anyone else at Pike. These include bartender, general manager and currently vice president operations.  Patti, born in Oak Park, IL and raised in Stanwood, WA was hired in 2006 as a bookkeeper and office manager. It soon became clear that she had the organizational and financial skills to lead all of Pike Brewing’s finances and human resources. She was promoted to Vice President Controller in January 2015. Chef Gary Marx, from Auburn, WA has been at the helm of The Pike Pub’s kitchen since shortly after it opened in 1996. He has built a culture in Pike’s kitchen that seeks out local and sustainable ingredients for its menu. Under his leadership The Pike Pub has been consistently recognized as a prime dining spot for locals and visitors alike.

Moving up, Pike Brewing will occupy an additional 5,500 square feet space directly above The Pike Pub with a dedicated entrance on First Avenue and direct access from The Pike Place Market. Construction on the expanded space will begin in late 2015 with an estimated completion in the spring of 2016. Current plans for the space include six additional 60 barrel fermenters, a new bright tank and an exciting restaurant concept. This expansion will allow the brewery to meet the primary goal of supplying an ever-increasing demand from customers in the Pacific Northwest at the same time allowing Pike’s talented brewers to introduce more new beers of different styles.

Courtsey of Pike Brewing Co
About Pike Brewing Company: The Pike Brewing handcrafts beers of character in our gravity flow, steam powered brewery in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market neighborhood. Our year-round offerings include Pike Pale Ale, Pike IPA, Naughty Nellie Golden, Space Needle Golden IPA, Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale, Monk’s Uncle Tripel, and XXXXX Extra Stout. Seasonal and limited release offerings include Harlot’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale, Old Bawdy Barley Wine, Auld Acquaintance Holiday Ale, Derby Lager, Saison Houblon, Octopus Ink Black IPA and more. Pike made history in June of 2015 when Pike Locale, Skagit Valley Alba, the first varietal beer was introduced. Pike Locale is a collaboration of Washington State University Bread Lab, local farmers, Skagit Valley Malting Co. and Pike. The Pike Pub is known for delicious local, sustainable and seasonal pub fare paired with Pike and other local, craft drinks. Pike’s world-famous Micro-Brewery Museum illustrates 9,000 years of beer history. Pike Brewing’s annual festivals include Pike Chocofest, benefiting Puget Sound Keepers; Women in Beer, benefiting Planned Parenthood; and Piketoberfest, benefiting The Pike Place Market Foundation. In addition, it is the company’s mission to contribute to local charities throughout the year. The Pike Brewing Company is family and independently owned.

Bridgeport Brewing Releasing New Year Round Beer "STUMPTOWN CandyPeel IPA"

Courtesy of Bridgeport Brewing Co
As Unique as the City That Inspired it, STUMPTOWN CandyPeel is a Fresh Twist on an IPA
PORTLAND, Ore. – October 16, 2015 – BridgePort Brewing Company, Oregon’s oldest craft brewery, proudly announced today the newest brew in their year-round portfolio, STUMPTOWN CandyPeel IPA.
Portland, the city that started it all for BridgePort Brewing Company, was once known as Stumptown and is now the inspiration behind this new, bold recipe. Brewed with three types of hops, Styrian Golding, Centennial, and Crystal, this is a hop-forward, full-flavor IPA. Styrian Golding hops, the cornerstone of this brew, are added at the end of boil to capture the candy-orange quality and aroma. This flavor-profile is complemented with a dash of orange peel. Vienna malt is used to add a slightly sweet taste and perfect balance providing your taste buds with a fresh-twist to the traditional IPA.
“We’re the oldest brewery, not just craft brewery, in Oregon. With that in mind, we are creating a new line of beers that take us back to our roots as brewers of bold, unique beers,” stated Brewmaster Jeff Edgerton. “STUMPTOWN CandyPeel IPA delivers that true IPA flavor with a twist of citrus. Using three different types of hops, Vienna malt, and a hint of orange peel, this brew is complex, well balanced, and perfect year-round”. 
STUMPTOWN CandyPeel Stats
IBUs: 65                    ABV: 6.5%               OG: 15.7                                    Color:  Copper
STUMPTOWN CandyPeel is available in draft, 22 oz. bombers, 12 oz. bottles, and six-packs where BridgePort Brewing is sold. For more information, please visit

About BridgePort Brewing Company

Oregon's oldest craft brewery continues to evolve from a microbrewery to a regional leader committed to producing high quality craft ales. Lead by Brewmaster Jeff Edgerton, the team of BridgePort brewers prides itself on using hops from an hour away and clear glacial water from Mount Hood. The BridgePort family of ales includes the Conviction Pale Ale, IPA, Hop Czar Imperial IPA, and Kingpin. BridgePort Brewery is located at 1313 N.W. Marshall. For more information, call 503-241-7179 or visit                                                                      

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Loowit Brewing Celebrates 3rd Anniversary This Saturday

Courtesy of Loowit Brewing

Vancouver,WA - Loowit Brewing will be celebrating it’s 3rd Anniversary this Saturday, October 17th at the brewery and tap room from 4pm to 10pm. Special guests Three for Silver will be providing live music and Esoteric BBQ will be providing food for the event. Loowit’s tap room will be expanding it’s tap line up for the day as well as offering some special beers such as cask conditioned Shadow Ninja with an Amarillo dry-hop and will also unveil its limited and rare release of Super Ninja Triple IPA in 22oz bottles. Super Ninja IIIPA will also be available on draft.

Founded in 2010 by longtime friends and Vancouver residents Devon Bray and Thomas Poffenroth, Loowit Brewing Company is the latest significant addition to underpin a revitalized downtown Vancouver, Washington. Loowit began brewing commercially and opened it’s doors in October 2012 and has since been recognized for excel- lence with several awards for it’s beers. The company specializes in brewing small batch, hand crafted ales that are developed with a thoughtful approach balanced by a Pacific Northwest flair.

Loowit Brewing Co
Loowit Brewing Co FB
Loowit Brewing Co Twitter
Loowit Brewing Co Instagram


Block 15 Introduces Bottle Conditioned Series with Autumn Farmhouse Ale

Courtesy of Block 15 Brewing Co
New series features seasonal rotation of bottle conditioned beers, available bottled and draft around Oregon.

Corvallis, OR — This Friday, Block 15 Brewing Company will release Autumn Farmhouse Ale, the first installment in its new Seasonal Bottle Conditioned Series. Keying off of seasonal styles, each new beer in the series will be available bottled and on tap at bottle shops and tap houses around Oregon. Artfully bottle conditioned with honey from Queen Bee Apiaries, using Block 15’s new custom-fabricated mixing tank, Autumn Farmhouse Ale is designed to be enjoyed both freshly bottled and cellared.

About Autumn Farmhouse Ale:
Autumn Farmhouse Ale is a harvest celebration of Pacific Northwest regional farms, brewed with organic Northwest base malts, organic oats from Green Willow Grains, Willamette Valley hops, and honey from Queen Bee Apiaries. This locally inspired ale features aromas of fruit and spice and a refining smoothness that balances a rustic hop finish.

Grains: Organic Pilsen, Organic Pale, Rolled Oats, Monastique, Vienna Hops: Willamette Valley Sterling & Cascade
Adjunct: Bottle-conditioned with local honey Yeast: Belgian Saison

ABV: 6.85%
IBU: 28
OG: 1056
FG: 1004

Autumn Farmhouse Ale is available in 500mL bottles, featuring artwork from local artist Patricia Smith.
Courtesy of Block 15 Brewing Co
 About Block 15 Brewing Company
Offering unique hop forward ales, crisp lagers, barrel-aged rarities and one of the Northwest’s most extensive wild & sour programs, Block 15 produces a range of ambitiously crafted beers, brewed with a nod toward fresh ingredients and fresh thinking. Brewer owned, established in 2008.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Left Hand Brewing's Fade to Black Returns Following 3rd Gold Medal

Courtesy of Left Hand Brewing
Winter seasonal return of 3x Gold Medal winning Foreign Export Stout

LONGMONT, CO • October 14, 2015Fade to Black, that time of year when the skies turn dark, ushering the return of Left Hand’s Foreign Export Stout for the winter season. Fade to Black is a style-leader with a cult following - winning its third Gold Medal, in the three years it has been entered, just weeks ago at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival

Courtesy of Left Hand Brewing
Brewed for the darkness, Left Hand’s seasonal stands out from the holiday fare, pouring deep black with notes of licorice, espresso bean, and molasses. The brewing team hand-smokes malt, smoking 2550kg over several weeks with pimento wood from Jamaica. The crafted addition gives Fade to Black its distinct smokiness and roasted character. Fade to Black is available in six packs and draft across Left Hand’s 35 state distribution & DC.
Courtesy of Left Hand Brewing

Courtesy of Left Hand Brewing Co
About Left Hand Brewing Company
Celebrating twenty-two years of brewing a well-balanced portfolio of craft beers, Left Hand Brewing Company is located at 1265 Boston Avenue in Longmont, Colorado. Left Hand is one of the most honored and recognized breweries in the state, with over 27 Great American Beer Festival medals, 9 World Beer Cup awards, and 7 European Beer Star awards. Famous for their Nitro series, Left Hand Brewing was the first craft brewery to release a bottled nitrogenated beer.  Left Hand’s collection of perennial and seasonal beers are available in 35 states & DC. “Sometimes you’re not in the mood for what everyone else is having.”

Distribution: AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI

No-Li Brewhouse Awarded 2015 Brewery of the Year and Announces New Born & Raised IPA Can

Courtesy of No-Li Brewhouse
No-Li Brewhouse salutes the great City of Spokane, distributor business partners and announces its first-ever 12 oz. 6-pack CAN!

Spokane, WA…No-Li Brewhouse believes in the City of Spokane, distributor business partners and bringing the beer enthusiast what it wants…a Born & Raised IPA 6-pack CAN!

NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser said, “No–Li Brewhouse has demonstrated a remarkable ability to work closely with their distributors, working hand-in-hand in their local communities and truly treating the relationship like a partnership. The frequent collaboration, education and communication between No-Li and their distributor network makes them a deserving recipient of 2015 Brewery Partner of the Year. No-Li treats their distributor partners as an extension of their brewer family.”

John Bryant of No-Li Brewhouse said, “We are proud as a team to earn the trust and confidence of the National Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association and each of our distributor business partners.  Part of a great partnership is listening to what the beer enthusiast is asking for, a Born & Raised IPA 12 oz. 6-pack CAN.  We hear it and we are ready!”

Introducing…the new Born & Raised IPA 12 oz. CAN!

Courtesy of No-Li Brewhouse
About No-Li Brewhouse

Born & Raised in Washington’s Inland Empire, No-Li Brewhouse is an internationally award-winning brewery, crafting Spokane-Style beers with No Boundaries: innovative beers brewed with locally sourced ingredients. No-Li has won sixteen international awards, including a gold medal from the 2012 Great American Beer Festival.  For more information about the beers, brewery and the pub, visit, or follow them on Facebook/Twitter/Insta
gram @nolibrewhouse.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Redhook Brewery Announces Annual Haunted Brewery Bash 2015

Courtesy of Redhook Brewery
Woodinville brewery will host two floors of spooktacular entertainment, a costume contest, live music and more

SEATTLE— October 12, 2015—Redhook Brewery will host its annual Haunted Brewery Bash on Saturday, October 31, beginning at 8 p.m. in Woodinville. This spooktacular evening will feature two floors of scary fun, including a Halloween costume contest, photo booth, live music, dancing, food and of course beer on tap.
Courtesy of Redhook Brewery
Redhook Brewery will serve its signature seasonal Out of Your Gourd Pumpkin Porter on draft, along with classics like ESB, Long Hammer IPA, Blackhook Porter and Winterhook Ale. This year, pub exclusives like Big Ballard, Wisecracker Wit, Copperhook, Raspberry Kolsch and Bourbon Barrel Blackhook will make a special appearance for the All Hallows’ Eve celebration. Wine, cocktails and a late night pub menu will also be available throughout the evening.

Guests will enjoy live music from Marty McFly and the Deloreans in the Redhook pub and DJ Kemal upstairs in the Zombie Apocalypse Lounge. Those awarded for the best costumes of the night will win prizes, including Redhook memorabilia, gift cards and more.

Tickets are available for prepurchase ($15) at, at the brewery in Woodinville or at the door ($20). This is a 21 and over event — no minors will be permitted.

WHERE: Redhook Brewery, 14300 NE 145th Street, Woodinville, WA 98072

WHEN: Saturday, October 31, 2015
-          Party starts at 8 p.m.
-          Costume contest at 10 p.m.
-          Food and beverages served until 11 p.m.
-          Event will conclude at midnight

Courtesy of Redhook Brewery
About Redhook
Redhook was born out of the energy and spirit of the early 1980s in the heart of Seattle. While the term didn’t exist at the time, Redhook became one of America’s first “craft” breweries. From a modest start in a former transmission shop in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard, to the current breweries in Woodinville, Wash., and Portsmouth, N.H., Redhook has become one of America’s most recognized craft breweries.

While Redhook has “grown up” over the past 30 years, one thing has never changed — Redhook is still brewing great beers like ESB, Longhammer IPA, Audible Pale Ale and a variety of seasonal beers. Most importantly, Redhook has fun doing it. Redhook beers are available both on draught and in bottles around the country. For more information, visit

Twitter and Instagram: @Redhook_Brewery

Three Magnets Brewing Company Begins Bottling

OLYMPIA, October 12, 2015Three MagnetsBrewing Company begins bottling, will release product in Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle markets.

About the Bottle Releases

Three Magnets Brewing will start their bottle releases with three beers from their Fresh Hop Series, one beer from their Farmhouse Series, and one beer from the Olympia Coffee Roasters Series. In months to come, Three Magnets will also introduce a Barrel Aged Series and a Chef Series, in which Head Brewer Pat Jansen will craft beers with Executive Chef Kyle Wnuk.

About the Series

The Wet Hop Series

Our 2015 Wet Hop Series releases consist of beers made with the same yeast and malts, but with different hops fresh off the bines from Washington farms.

The Farmhouse Series

Our 2015 Farmhouse Series uses our house saison yeast strains of Dupont, Fantome and Brett Drei, and consists of fresh beer releases and aged beer releases.

The Olympia Coffee Roasters Series

Our 2015 OCR Series is an ongoing partnership between two award winning craft beverage makers to make the most delicious coffee beers in the world.

About the Beers

El Dorado/Amarillo Wet Hop Pale Ale - 60IBU | 5.9%ABV

Just like the fruit bowl on the table, this beer has aromas of ripe fruit such as peach, and grapefruit. Subtle vinous flavours are noticed on the tongue and are quickly followed by the alpha acid zing from copious amounts of fresh, wet hops.

Mosaic Wet Hop Pale Ale - 60IBU | 5.9%ABV

Aromas of mango and apricot fill the sinuses. A touch of malty sweetness primes the palate for a slight citrus pithiness that lingers on the tongue, and serves as a delicious reminder of the hop juice you just tasted.

Citra Wet Hop Pale Ale - 60IBU | 5.9%ABV

Candied citrus coupled with a mild grassy dankness reveal itself to the nose. Grape and berry aromatics are also waiting to be revealed. Sweet citrus flavours wash the palate with flavor to be savored. Fresh Citra flowers are the star of the show here.

Dry Hopped Grisette Style Farmhouse Ale - 40IBU | 5.9%ABV

This modern spin on a Wallonian Grisette is made with barley, oat, wheat, rye and is fermented with our house saison and bret strains. The four malt profiles provide a smooth texture and silky mouthfeel. It is then dry hopped with Brewers Gold and Santiam hops for notes of lemon and spice respectively.

Olympia Coffee Roasting Big Truck Stout - 31IBU | 5.2%ABV

We start the series with perfectly brewed Big Truck Organic Espresso and Brimley Stout. We dreamed of the best stout you’ve ever had combined with the best coffee you’ve ever had. We created Big Truck Stout.

Bottle Release Events

Olympia Bottle Release Party at the Brewery - Saturday Oct 17, 2015, 2pm to 6pm

600 Franklin St SE, STE 105

Olympia, WA 98501

During the bottle release, all beers will be 10% off bottle purchases, and 20% off of case purchases (can be mixed and matched). There will be an exclusive presale for Supporters Club members between noon and 2pm, with a Supporters Club Exclusive beer.

Seattle Bottle Release at Bottleworks - Saturday Oct 17, 2015 at 11am

1710 N 45th St #3

Seattle, WA 98103

Meet the brewer - Head Brewer Pat Jansen will be in attendance to talk about the beers.

About Three Magnets Brewing Co.

In 1898, Sir Ebenezer Howard wrote the book Garden Cities of To-Morrow, in which he took aspects of Town living and Country living to create the concept of a utopian city that lives harmoniously with nature (Town-Country). Three Magnets Brewing celebrates his way of thinking, which is exemplified in the Pacific Northwest with our close connections to nature, commitment to sustainable living, abundance of quality meats and fresh seafood, and embracement of community supported agriculture.

Three Magnets Brewing Company is a 15 barrel brewery and restaurant located in the heart of Downtown Olympia. Opened in November of 2014, in less than a year the brewery has quickly developed a reputation for clean beers in a variety of styles. The barrel program is set to have its first releases in late 2015.

Where to Find Three Magnets Beer


Beer Junction, Beveridge Place, Bottleworks, Brave Horse, Brouwers Café, Duck Island, The Masonry, The Pine Box


The Copper Door, Engine House #9, Pa
rkway Tavern, Pint Defiance, The Red Hot, The Swiss

Beerwerks, Brotherhood Tavern, Darby’s Café, Dillingers, Eastside Club Tavern, Gravity Beer Market, Oly Taproom, Vic’s Pizzeria

Sunday, October 11, 2015

GABF 2015 Recap

The Blue Bear peeking into the Denver Convention Center where GABF is held.
Its been a couple weeks now since Emily and I returned from our first time attending GABF. First off I should say that with 800 breweries and 3500 beers to taste at GABF and all the ancillary beer events going on in and around Denver during the week of GABF, this is a bucket list event that all craft beer lovers should attend.

Hopefully you followed along with us via Twitter and Instagram as we packed so much in during our quick trip to Denver/GABF that social media really tells the story......tasting beers....tasting beers...little bit of food....tasting beer...tasting event...tasting beer....etc.

Prior to heading to the Thursday session we did get a chance to checkout a bit of downtown Denver, and were able to stop in for an Upslope Brewing tap takeover at the Grand Hyatt at 11am ...yeah they had beer events basically everywhere and at all times of the day.

Upslope Brewing tap takeover at the Grand Hyatt Denver.

We then made the trek over to the famous Falling Rock Tap House with our good friends Jeff and Chris who run the Colorado beer blog, Bottle Makes Three. We missed visiting Falling Rock Tap House on our last trip to Denver and I'm glad we finally made it this year. I can see why the Falling Rock Tap House is legendary in the beer world. The beers/selection they had on tap was pretty amazing. And it was basically ground zero for everyone going to GABF. A must visit when you go to Denver.

Finally visited the legendary Falling Rock Tap House
Going into our first GABF we decided not to have a plan as with 800 breweries and 3500 plus beers, we really just wanted to experience the event. Waiting to get into our first session on Thursday night it was a bit shocking to see the line of folks lined for general admission; the line wrapped around the convention center. Thanks to the folks at GABF/Brewers Association we were allowed media passes for both Thursday and Friday which granted us access to the GABF event 15 minutes early, and (thankfully!) via a different entrance. Walking in to the convention center for the first time you really get the enormity of the festival as basically as far as you can see in all directions are rows and rows of booths offering samples of beer.
Brewer/Media line for Thursday Session. Inside GABF/Convention Center. Paradox Brewing booth & first pours
Once inside we got about 15 minutes to walk around before the main crowds were let in, which was nice as newbies to GABF we had a chance to get our bearings on what the plan was. Emily is a big fan of Paradox Beer Company, so that is where we headed for our first of many 1-ounce pours.

The rest of Thursday night's session for us was almost a blur..a lot of walking around taking in all that GABF is, and lots of 1-ounce samples.

Day 2 -

Emily and I were up early for a full day of media events prior to our Friday evening session. Thanks to Samuel Adams we were invited to its annual Samuel Adams GABF Brunch where we had the chance to grab some food....and yes beer... and listen to Jim Koch talk about  his up coming new book "Quench Your Own Thirst",  the new line of Samuel Adams Nitro canned beers; the winners of  the 2016 Brewing the American Dream Craft Brewer Experienceship; and the Winners of the Samuel Adams American Homebrew LongShot competition.
Jim Koch speaking at the Annual Samuel Adams GABF Brunch. Full pint of KMF (Kosmic Motherfunk)
Next up for us was the Brewers Association Media Luncheon. The luncheon consisted of four courses paired with four different beers, with the menu and pairings designed by Executive Chef of the Brewers Association, Adam Dully.
Beers paired with the 4 courses during the Brewers Association Luncheon.
 During each course, we heard from an industry speaker.  These were members of the Brewers Association's various committees and Jake Keeler, of the American Homebrewers Association. We also heard from Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association, Julia Herz, Brewers Association Craft Beer Program Director, and Bart Watson, economist with the Brewers Association. The Brewers Association is doing a great job promoting craft beer and helping steer the business of craft brewing in the right direction. Please checkout the Brewers Association and also checkout the Brewers Association Statistics page. It's pretty amazing how well craft beer is doing as it grows across the United States.
4 courses paired with the above beers
After the Brewers Association media luncheon, Visit Denver took the media on a brewery tour of a couple of new Denver breweries.

Our first stop was Beryl's Beer a new brewery open a little more than a year that specializes in barrel-aged beers and is located in the hot River North (or RiNo) district.

Beryl's Beer Co
Beryl's was very gracious and had many of their beers out for us to sample, even offering us an option of  pouring our own pint from a kegerator. They had very solid beers, an impressive feat for a brewery only a bit older than a year.

Eric Nichols, Brewer at Beryl's Beer, speaking to media among an  impressive number of barrels for aging beer
Next up was a visit to Factotum Brewhouse. Factotum Brewhouse is a new brewery, also open a little more than a year, which is housed in a former auto garage.

Factotum Brewhouse
Factotum has an interesting business model.  They allow home brewers to come in and brew on their 7bbl brew system with the help and recipe formulation of owner Chris Bruns.  After the beer is ready, the home brewer gets to take a keg home and then the rest is sold at Factotum. The brewery generally throws a release party for the home brewer's friends and family at the taproom. We think this is a  pretty cool business model. Factotum was very gracious and allowed us to try all of the beers on tap, which once again were impressive beers for a young brewery.

Factotum Brewhouse owners brother & sister Chris/Laura Bruns (top)
Servers at the ready at the Factotum taps (bottom)
After the brew tours we were back to GABF. During the Friday session, we tried to see a bit more of  the new areas that GABF added this year. We stopped in and checked out the State Brewery Guilds, Beer X.The Experience, The Brewpub Pavilion, and (my favorite stop) the Beer and Food Paviliion.

The Beer and Food Pavillion was the setting for a number of interesting organized events.  These included talks given by brewery representatives, cheese and beer pairings, and so on.  On Thursday attended an Asian food and beer pairing event.  It was a little more "foodie" than Emily generally likes, with small bites of things like ceviche and pate, but the pairings were great. On Friday we stopped in to checkout the Sam Adams and Red Robin Burger pairing, and what a score that was! Based on Thursday's event, we assumed we would maybe get some sliders but were surprised that we got a full-size Red Robin Uber burger with fries and unlimited samples of Sam Adams Oktoberfest (see pic below). A giant burger and fries later in session 2 was exactly what we needed to finish the evening strong.

Brewery merch booth, GABF crowds,  Beer & Food Pavilion, Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer & Red Robin Uber Burger
The GABF Friday Session was the end of our trip to Denver and GABF. Saturday morning we flew back to Washington so weren't there for the awards.  We followed a few of our favorite craft beer bloggers on Twitter to see who the winners were.  Thank you fellow bloggers for keeping us up to speed!

GABF was quite the experience. All the the media events and the public beer events around Denver during GABF were great, but most of GABF was just awesome. It was everything we figured it would be and did not disappoint!

Emily and I hanging out at Beryl's Beer