It's not the first time I've visited the new location of the Bellingham Brewery Structures, on Holly. It was the first time I have gone in there when it wasn't insanely busy. It gave me an opportunity to really look at the place and soak in the vibe that the brewery owners are trying to create. I realized with some astonishment that the space is set up with a weirdly Western vibe and the outside seating area is akin to a corral. I used to frequent the State street location pretty regularly, but always thought the rustic vibe was more of a DIY thing than a specifically Western look they were going for. I understand that this is probably obvious to most people from the get-go, but every other time I have been to this location, it really has been so full of people that I was more focused on my personal space remaining intact than on what was hanging on the walls (dead animal skulls, for the most part).
This time, while I was there, I was able to drink three beers. I drank them along with my burger, chips and a kale salad that was not too bad. Rusted Gold, their newest release, was nice and fruit forward with just enough bitterness to the finish to rid my palate of any sweet notes. The Spacewolf was outstanding, an IPA dry hopped with Citra (my favorite), and Idaho 7. I could really taste the ruby red grapefruit. Just delightful. The Fresh Wave was a bit disappointing, but that's to be expected from a Fresh Hop so late in the season. I'm sure it was good when it was actually fresh. Still, not too bad.
In general, Structures is a favorite because their beers are interesting, different, and actually, pretty inventive. I love the music they usually play, as it tends towards a heavier, metal or punk-forward type vibe, and the service is also good-straight forward without being too clingy. Generally, I suggest this brewery every time someone from out of town asks. But I do mention that the original location has more of a uniquely Bellingham feel while the new locations is well....for the newer people...in town.
Regional Beer and Brewery News
Gigantic and Great Notion have released yet another hazy IPA called, fittingly, Big Idea. Want some? It's available at all of Gigantic's tap rooms and select bottle shops and bars in the Portland area. So that's something, I guess.
Double Mountain just released Sweet Nothings Blonde Coffee Stout. Cocoa Nibs and coffee added at the end of the process instead of Barley, and once again during fermentation..sounds more like a mocha to me, but...
Washington Beer Awards announced winners on November 3rd. I'm not one for awards, it's an honor just to be nominated and those medals certainly don't effect the quality of the beers. You can find the list of winners here.
Foggy Noggin, out of Bothell, WA, and by far my most favoritest name for a brewery, has just released House Ale Batch #33, aged in Hungarian Oak. Hungarian Zemplen Oak, to be specific, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
National Beer and Brewery News
Dogfish Head, out of Delaware, has just released a few new beers in time for the Holiday season. t World Wide Stout, Crimson Cru and Pennsylvania Tuxedo, and the debut of a new Winter Variety Pack featuring a special, exclusive brew, The Perfect Pairing.
New Belgium's Voo Doo Ranger Imperial IPA is the number one craft beer in stop-and-robs across the US. I think its because of the name and the art, personally. I could be wrong.
Workers at Anchor have launched a WeFunder campaign to bring the brand back. You can go here to help them out with that.
Evidently, Short's out of Michigan provided housing in a nearby Inn for their staff to keep up with the busy summer season. I guess it's not easy to find a place to live anywhere anymore...even in Northern Michigan.
International Beer and Brewery News
Russian authorities have escalated the conflict against Carlsberg Beer. You'd think that dude Putin would have his hands full trying to forcibly take Ukraine, but oh no....
Heineken has surpassed Corona to become the most valuable beer brand in the world, (note, not the best tasting, or the highest quality) which is not surprising given the exchange rate.
Due to a dramatic increase in construction materials, Asahi has delayed the opening of its new brewery by three years. In order to keep the beer a-flowin', Asahi will keep its Hakata brewery in Fukuoka on the northern shore of Japan’s Kyushu Island running until the end of 2028, extending its original closure date of 2025.
In the category of "how hateful can beer drinkers possibly be", we have the case of Bud Light partnering with Dylan Mulvaney, and shortly after, watching the value of the brand sink quickly as the organization dismissed several of the decision makers behind the move. "Bud Light was dethroned this summer as the top-selling beer in the US by Mexican import Modelo, which came months after Mulvaney’s April 1 Instagram post showing off a custom Bud Light can the Anheuser-Busch brand sent her to celebrate “365 Days of Girlhood.” Bud Light sales still down 30% six months after Dylan Mulvaney disaster, drinkers ‘lost forever’. In the immediate wake of Mulvaney’s controversial posts, the brewer said it put Alissa Heinerscheid, Bud Light’s marketing VP, and group VP of Anheuser-Busch’s mainstream portfolio, Daniel Blake, on a leave of absence. However, a current regional head of marketing told the Daily Caller that Heinerscheid and Blake were actually “gone gone,” and the brand just didn’t want to use the word “fire” — an allegation Anheuser-Busch has denied. Since Mulvaney’s fateful posts, Bud Light and its parent company have hemorrhaged billions of dollars since the partnership went live."
That's all for this week. Sorry to end on such a hateful, sour note, but it's my belief that craft beer fans would most likely celebrate such a partnership, and if anything would see a steady rise in value of whatever brand she partnered with. But that's craft beer, not the swill that is Bud Light.