2017-18 Reuben's Crew mug club accepting new members Sept. 9!

Want to join our Reuben's Crew mug club? Your chance is coming soon! A limited number of spots for the 2017-18 Crew will available beginning Saturday, Sept. 9 at 11 a.m. in the taproom.

We created the Crew as a way to say thank you to our loyal taproom customers. Based on the feedback from this year's members, we added a few new membership perks for the year. The benefits for the year starting Sept. 1 (new or updated benefits in bold) include:

  • Larger pours in exclusive, members-only glassware: 20oz pours for beers up to 7% ABV, and 15oz pours for beers 8% ABV or higher, as well as sour beers and other special releases that are poured in 12oz sizes 
  • Receive 6 tasters for the price of 5. The tray of tasters must be ordered at one time and must be for Crew member's consumption only. 
  • $3 off of every full growler you buy, $1 off of every 32oz growler
  • Special party exclusively for Reuben's Crew members. This event is a thank you to crew members throughout the year and will entail samples of beer, tasty bites, and great company with the other awesome members of the crew and the team at Reuben's! 
  • Receive a 10% discount for every 6-pack or 4-pack of cans or 22oz bottle bought at the brewery (excludes barrel aged or reserve series bottled beers, but includes all special release cans).
  • Receive a 10% discount on all merchandise purchases throughout the year
  • No deposit required when you purchase beer by the keg (party pump deposits still required, maximum one keg outstanding at any one time)
  • Brand new design Crew-exclusive t-shirt 
  • Annual membership card
  • Bottle reservations for ALL barrel aged or reserve series beers. In prior years reservations for only three bottle releases were guaranteed, but now this benefit covers all small batch bottle releases at the taproom. This benefit excludes special release cans.
  • Right of first refusal for next year’s application  

These benefits are for the named person on the crew membership and are not transferable to any other person.

The cost is $109 plus tax for a one-year membership and the benefits will commence immediately upon joining.

Current Crew members should have received a renewal notice via email. To keep your spot, you'll need to renew by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31

New memberships are only available for purchase in the taproom. We can only accept applications physically received and paid for in person beginning Sept. 9. No email applications can be accepted. The sign-up period for memberships will close when all spots are filled.

 

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5th Anniversary Party! August 5, 2017

It's hard to believe that we opened nearly 5 years ago! The time has flown by - it's been an amazing journey! 

We will have two special, one-off beers released on Saturday to celebrate. Dark, Strong and Proper is a Belgian Dark Strong Ale aged in red wine barrels and will be available in 22oz bottles, maximum 2 per person. Anniversary-Style Juice will be in 16 oz four-pack cans.

As Reuben's Brews hits our 5 year mark and going forward, we want to create anniversary beers that help reflect our past, that tie to how we got to where we are - beers that have meaning and context to who we are. Here's the background on these two special beers.

Dark, Strong and Proper
We owe a lot of credit for getting to where we are today to a number of people that helped us on our craft beer journey. We wouldn't be here without the help of a number of amazing people. An important group of people to me are the members of the home-brew club I brewed with for years, the Homebrewers Guild of Seattle Proper (HGSP). While a very small club - with about 8 members maximum - it is a powerhouse group of brewers. Back in the last year I was "officially" a homebrewer, in 2012, HGSP was one of the top 10 homebrew clubs in the country since a number of us had done well in national competitions - pretty amazing for our small size! I learned a lot from the club personally, and working with those great brewers helped me improve immensely in a short period of time. So when the HGSP and I were talking about a collaboration, it seemed the perfect opportunity to wrap it into an anniversary release. 

We decided our collaboration was to be a Belgian Dark Strong, or Quadrupel as it is also called, after our club did a blind tasting of a number of Belgian Dark Strong beers. A number of us called out some of the very best in the list as almost Imperial Altbier-esque. My favorite ones were wonderfully complex beers, with relatively limited Belgian yeast character, but a lot of dark fruit and malt complexity. Not alone in this preference, we decided as a group this would be a fine beer to collaborate on and brew!

The keys to a BDS recipe are twofold - yeast strain, and candi-sugar. The style calls for Pilsner base malt, and dark candi-sugar that adds the strong elements of dark fruit that are central to the style - such as plum, raison, and prune. We decided on a blend of dark candi-sugar to add some extra complexity into the beer. For yeast, we selected a strain that could handle the high ABV of the beer while providing a balanced ester and phenol profile. We propagated up the yeast by using it to brew a smaller beer at first, our Belgian Table Beer that you may have had earlier this year in the taproom.

After fermentation we managed to source some freshly emptied red wine barrels from a Washington winery. We felt the red wine notes would meld wonderfully with the dark fruit of the BDS. We aged the beer in these barrels for a number of months until we felt the balance of the barrel, red wine, and base beer characters were all melded and in harmony. Two of the four barrels that we filled with the beer passed our blending tests, and we back blended with a little of the base beer to get them where we wanted. (The two remaining barrels will be aged on some fruit for a future release, but that's for another day.)

We are proud of the beer we created. and in homage to the HGSP homebrew club that collaborated on the beer, we call it "Dark, Strong and Proper", It is a Belgian Dark Strong / Quadrupel aged in red wine barrels.  It comes in at 10.5% ABV and 25 IBUs. Rich and complex dark fruit notes of plum, raison, and grape meld with the red wine character from barrel aging. Caramel notes come through mid palette with a full creamy mouthfeel, wrapped up by a dry finish.

Anniversary-Style Juice
The advent of 'hazy' or 'Northeast-style' IPAs in 2017 has certainly been a significant development on the Northwest beer scene. We started our rotating hop hazy IPA series back in October 2016, and have been releasing new versions on a monthly basis. It seemed fitting that we should also brew a special batch for our 5th anniversary.

One of the hops I experienced for the first time in 2017 was X331, a hop that now is known as Strata. (Hops usually have a code number before they're deemed successful enough to be named!) I had it first in a single hop beer at Fort George and thought it was remarkable. Almost like tropical fruit punch, it brings well-rounded tropical fruits with a full, juicy character. I liked it so much after I first tried it that I got some to play with!

I really wanted to use X331 for the first time in our Anniversary IPA, especially as we first came across it in the last year. When we use new hops, we trial them by doing very small mock up dry hop tests. A number of the team then try the dry hopped beer, and we blend it with a number of other dry hopped samples to get a view on what we want to dry hop the full batch with. Often, rubbing a hop is very different to how it reacts in the beer itself - which is why we find it essential to do this small experimental testing. For Anniversary-Style Juice we felt that X331 needed a little more "punch" - more aromatics - than it could provide by itself. So our final blend for this beer is mostly X331, with a healthy dose of Mosaic in support. The malt bill is relatively consistent throughout our Crush / Juice series, with a similar malt bill to our recent Latona Crush and International-Style Juice.

We're going to can some cases of Anniversary-Style Juice in 16oz cans available only in the taproom. We're hoping to get some of the beer in draught around the Pacific Northwest, so if you can't make it into the taproom at least you can try it too.

Of course we're going to pull out all of the stops at our 5th Anniversary Party, including live music, delicious food and some friendly competition with our neighbors in the Brewers Triathlon. But we got into this whole crazy brewing world for the beer, and we thought it worth sharing with you how and why these special anniversary beers came to be. 

Thank you to everyone for your support over the past 5 years! We hope to see you Saturday.

Cheers, 

Adam Robbings
Co-Founder and Brewmaster

NEW FACES AND NEW ROLES AT REUBEN'S BREWS

Happy summer! It’s been a busy start to 2017 at Reuben’s Brews! Over the past several months we’ve been working on increasing production, creating exciting new beers and expanding distribution. To make all of this possible, we created a few new roles and welcomed some new team members to the Reuben’s Brews family.

 

BREWERY

In April, James McDermet joined us as our new head brewer! He comes to us from down the street at Fremont Brewing. His experience at a fast-growing brewery will be incredibly valuable for us as we continue to grow with a focus on brewing the highest-quality beers.

James leads the production and is responsible for the quality of all our beers at both brewhouses. With him in place, Adam and Mike made a few changes to their own roles:

  • Adam’s main focus is developing new beers and planning the brewery's future. Innovating new beer styles keeps us fresh and relevant as a brewery. Adam is now able to do what he does best and what got us started in the beer industry – create exciting new brews. He’ll also be able to get out and about to spend more time with our customers and distributors.
  • Mike has officially taken on the role of production manager. He manages the brew and shipment schedules and inventories. He also brews once or twice a week and serves in the taproom once a week since he still loves brewing and chatting with regulars in the taproom.

Khris Lloyd recently joined us as a new full-time cellar person. He has worked and volunteered at a couple of local breweries and really has passion for beer and a thirst to learn!

 

TAPROOM

Michael Hilborn joined us in March as our new taproom manager! He returned to the Pacific Northwest after several years at Fall Brewing in San Diego. His experience running other busy taprooms will help us focus on taking excellent care of our customers while offering fun events for the wider community.   

With Michael H. taking over the running of the taproom, Thor Stoddard, our previous taproom manager, has taken on a new role. He’s now focused on helping Adam manage all of our new beers – particularly the development of the sour and brett program. Thor will have a hand in the brewing process, experimenting with infusions and our cask program. He’ll also hold a tight grip on the key to our separate sour-dedicated facility. 

If you’ve been in the taproom lately, you’ve probably noticed a few new faces. We’re excited to welcome Dave Patania, Jess Keller, Matt Ellis and Ashley Hermosillo to the team!

Dave is a long-time Reuben’s Brews regular turned professional beertender! He brings a lot of enthusiasm – for bike riding, video making and beer loving – to the taproom. We love having him on this side of the bar now!

Jess has a lot of experience in the service industry, most recently at the Burgundian. She is an expert and an avid beer lover, creating beer-focused blogs and podcasts. We’re thrilled to have her help build a community for beer lovers in the taproom.

Matt E. came to us with many years of service experience in multiple states. He’s been focused on the beer industry in recent years, most recently at Flatstick Pub and at Uber Tavern. It’s great to have him on the team!

Ashley showed up as a customer on our opening day and she hasn’t left us since then! There’s no doubting the dedication of this woman who has volunteered for us at beer festivals, made sales calls and stepped up to help in various ways over the years. Ashley has expanded her part-time role in the taproom to a full-time position, and we’re incredibly happy to have her officially on our team.

That’s a lot of change in the taproom team! While the majority of people who left the taproom over the years have moved into other positions in our brewery, some have left in search of new adventures. Preston Rock has moved fully into a packaging and cellar role, Matt Chan has moved into an assistant brewer role, and Thor Stoddard has started a new role developing new and sour beers (mentioned above), all at Reuben’s Brews. Thank you to Jane Solvie and Ally Hatley for taking great care of the taproom and those in it, and we wish you all the best in your new positions elsewhere!

 

Although she’s always had a hand in things behind the scenes, Grace Kim Robbings (aka Reuben’s Mama), officially joined the team this month! She left her teaching position at Bellevue College to focus more on the business side of the brewery. She’ll be managing the taproom and administrative teams, running communications, and building a sustainability program at the brewery. She will continue her work on tax compliance and running our charitable programs, in particular the Thank You Thursday program.

 

We’ll be writing profiles of all of our new team members in the coming weeks so you can learn more about the team and their work. Thank you again for all of your support and we hope to see you soon!

 

 

 

T-SHIRT DESIGN WINNER ANNOUNCED!

Earlier this year, we asked you to send us your designs for our first-ever t-shirt design contest and you didn’t disappoint. We were really impressed with everyone’s talent and creativity! The Reuben’s team reviewed and voted on the entries and we’re pleased to announce our winner – Danny Haymond, Jr. of Tacoma!

May the 4th.jpg

Danny’s a graphic designer by trade and a big Star Wars fan. Since we’re releasing the t-shirt today, May 4, incorporating some element of “the Force” only seemed appropriate.

“I know I wanted to do an epic scene that fans would instantly recognize,” says Danny. “I put together a few scenes from my favorite Star Wars movies and did some thumbnail drawings. I've always thought the ‘r’ logo looked like a rope or something, so the tow cable was almost too obvious once I had that idea in my head. I've seen a few other artists online go with the idea of using the tow cable to spell something out so I adapted it for a beer setting. I took all the mechanical greebles from the AT-AT and converted them to being beer specific.”

We printed Danny’s design on charcoal grey t-shirts, which are available exclusively in the taproom while supplies last. We are donating $2 to the charity of Danny's choice, which is the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center.

Congratulations to Danny and a huge thank you to everyone who entered!

2017 Seattle Beer Week

Seattle Beer Week 9 kicks off this week! This is one of our favorite times of year. We get to put on fun events, brew some creative beers, and meet even more beer fans from around the state (and country!).

It’s also a celebration of the industry. Over the last few years, the local beer scene has grown at an incredible rate, adding even more breweries to our amazing community. We’re looking forward to getting out to attend some events around the city and hosting some of our colleagues in our taproom.

Last year was such a fun beer week – we introduced Daily Pale as the official beer of SBW8 and hosted events like our annual Rye Fest and the new Coffee Beer & Donuts. This year, will be even better and we’re bringing some of our friends along for the ride!

Rye Fest and Coffee Beer & Donuts will be back and bigger than ever. We’ll tap the winning beer from our inaugural Hop Idol Homebrew Competition, debut a collaboration of historic proportions, welcome some of the best breweries on the West Coast, a couple of bands will rock the taproom, and much more! And if that’s not enough, we’re throwing in a number of special beer releases.

Here's the list of our taproom events for you to mark your calendars!

THURSDAY MAY 4
We're kicking off SBW with two great releases:

  • Our exclusive Seattle Beer Week t-shirt! We put out the call for you to send us your designs and you did not disappoint! The entire Reuben’s team reviewed and voted on the entries. Limited-edition t-shirts with the winning design will be available from May 4  in the taproom.  $2 per shirt will get donated to the winning designer's charity of choice.  Look for the winning announcement on Thursday!
  • Lock Solid IPA is a collaboration beer created with our friends Stoup, Lucky Envelope and Populuxe, making this a true neighborhood collaboration. Lock Solid IPA features four hops, four malts and four brewers. Each brewery contributed a raw ingredient used in the first beer the breweries produced professionally, making the Lock Solid IPA a true collaborative effort. The beer will be tapped at opening!

MAY 5: HOP IDOL RELEASE PARTY

Last January, we crowned the winner of our first Hop Idol Homebrew Competition. As part of his prize, homebrewer Jonathan Cooper joined with the Reuben’s team to brew his IPA creation at our brewery. Now you can taste it for yourselves! We’ll officially tap the keg at 5 p.m. It will also be available in a limited 22oz bottle run in the taproom and expect to see it in stores around Washington.

Imperial Mole Stout. But we haven’t forgotten that it’s also Cinco de Mayo. We’re also releasing bottles of Imperial Mole Stout! We took a Russian Imperial Stout and added Peruvian single-origin cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon, and a blend of Ancho, Guajillo and Chipotle Morita chilies. This big, rich beer has notes of chocolate spice, roast and a slight sweet heat. It clocks in at 9.8% ABV. We’ll have a limited amount of bottles available for $10 each with a limit of three per person, per day.

MAY 6: 5th ANNUAL RYE FESTIVAL

Celebrate all things rye with more than 17 rye beers on tap! We also have a few other special rye releases up our sleeve:

Rye Crush: Get ready for the latest in our Crush IPA series. We added some flaked rye into the recipe to provide body and spice complexity to the malt profile. This batch is dry hopped with Kohatu, Citra and Ekuanot hops to give this brew a big tropical fruit profile on top of a soft, pillowy body. This tasty brew comes in at 6% ABV, and 50 IBUs. A limited amount of 12oz cans will available at the brewery.

Sauvignon Blanc Saison: We took our Rustic Saison and aged it in Sauvignon Blanc barrels, giving it light notes of stone fruit, delicate oak, white wine, and floral sweetness. This tasty brew comes in at 6.9% ABV. We’ll have a small batch available in 22oz bottles for $10 each. Limit three per person, per day.

Breakside Collaboration:  On Rye Fest we'll also be releasing our brand new collaboration with our friends at Breakside.  We brewed a rye imperial porter - a 9.3% ABV porter with lots of rye in the malt profile, and added some cinnamon and 4lbs per barrel of plums.  A rich, decadent malt base with subtle Sri Lankan cinnamon and plum notes supporting in the background.

MAY 7: BALLARD BREWERIES PUTT-PUTT & BEER CRAWL

We’re joining our friends at Lucky Envelope Brewing, Populuxe Brewing, and Stoup Brewing to host the Inaugural Ballard Putt Putt & Beer Crawl to benefit Bellwether Housing.

All of the team spots are full, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had! Come grab a pint of Lock Step IPA and watch the foursomes try to navigate the hole we designed. Representatives from Bellwether Housing will be on hand selling raffle tickets for some great prizes! And at 5 p.m., we’ll host the tournament awards ceremony.

MAY 10: r&R PILS PARTY

Rainier is one of the “founding fathers” of the local beer industry. We couldn’t be more honored that they chose us for the first collaboration in their 138-year history. Our little “r” joined their big “R” to create the r&R Pils, a hop-forward version of the classic German-style beer. And every good party needs a band, so we’re thrilled to announce that Deep Sea Diver will be playing live in our taproom! The fun kicks off with the tapping of a one off randall at 6 p.m., and for the first 100 r&R Pils pints bought after 6pm you will receive a free r&R Pils commemorative glass! (Limit one per person.)

MAY 11: PUGET SOUND PRO-AM

This event is near and dear to Adam’s heart. As a homebrewer, he brewed a batch of American Brown at Anacortes Brewery after winning Best of Show at the 2011 Skagit County Fair. Since then, he does whatever he can to give back to the community that supported him and help other brewers get the same opportunities. Join us for a celebration of pro-am beers from brewers around the state!

MAY 13: REUBEN AND FRIENDS INVITATIONAL

We’re super excited to host our first invitational festival! Fifteen of the best breweries on the West Coast will be here and they’re bringing some hard-to- find brews with them. Planet Fly will be here with some soul/funk tunes for your grooving pleasure, and we'll have a food truck on site as we expand the event into the parking lot behind the brewery. Come meet the brewers and/or owners from our participating breweries:

Alvarado Street Brewing
Bale Breaker
Black Raven
Chuckanut
Cloudburst
Fort George
Firestone Walker
FunkWerks
Great Notion
Iron Goat
Melvin
pFriem
Standard
Three Magnets
Wander

The taplist and other details are still being finalized, so stay tuned for more information!

MAY 14: COFFEE BEER AND DONUTS

We’re closing out SBW with the breakfast of champions! It’s two great things that go great together - our coffee-infused beers paired with mini Mighty O donuts. This event was so popular last year that we’re opening the parking lot behind the brewery so we can accommodate even more!

And we can’t let SBW go without one last special bottle release:

Air of the Night with bourbon barrel aged coffee. We added Columbian coffee beans to a bourbon barrel and aged them for a number of months. The beans picked up notes of bourbon, light oak and stout from the barrel. When we thought they were ready, our friends at Kuma coffee roasted them for us. We took our Baltic porter base and hot brewed coffee brewed from the aged beans, creating a complex beer with notes of black currant, dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, bourbon and coffee. It comes in at 9.1% ABV. A limited number of 22oz bottles will be available for $10 each. Limit three per person, per day.