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Craft Beers Vs Microbrews

Craft Beers vs Microbrews-EasyMonkeyTaphouse

While some of your friends stick to beers that can be found at your local grocery store while the rest order small-batch uniquely flavorful beers and ales, and you find yourself wondering about the difference in taste and preference. It all just sounds so complicated.

“This one is more hoppy.”

“This one is made with more malt.”

“This one has a spicy kick – they put habanero in it!”

“This one’s more traditional, but it’s aged in bourbon barrels, so you get a hint of that.”

“This one is sweet, with a hint of tropical fruit.”

Maybe you’re new to the beer and ale scene, or maybe you’re just a creature of habit. If you’ve decided to branch out, out of pure wonder or curiousity, you’re probably unsure of where to begin. There are, after all, hundreds of craft breweries turning out thousands of unique varieties of fermented grain. Different methods, different tastes – it’s all new to you, so how do you decide?

You dive in. Craft beer makers and microbreweries specialize in breaking the mold and thinking outside the box, trying to breathe new life into something that is already pretty amazing – American brews. That’s what craft beers and microbrews are all about – building on the already great traditions and methods that have turned out the best beers, but giving those beers a little bit of a personal twist. Before you decide what you might like to try, there are some things you should know.

So, what’s the difference between a “craft beer” and a “microbrew”?

While some people might use the terms interchangeably – and the two do have some elements in common – there are some notable differences, and it all starts with where and how they’re brewed.

A “craft brewery” is independently owned and limited to brewing no more than 2 million gallons per year; there are also some strict guidelines on the techniques used to produce the beer. Additionally, beers from craft breweries contain at least half malt rather than barley.

A “microbrewery,” is limited to 15,000 barrels (or 460,000 gallons) per year; three-quarters of the beer produced in a microbrewery must be sold outside of the brewery. A microbrewery is not limited to using certain techniques or ingredients.

So, simply put:

  • Craft breweries can make approximately four times as much beer as microbreweries
  • Craft breweries are limited in their techniques and ingredients (microbreweries are not).
  • Craft breweries can sell their brews outside of the brewery, microbreweries have mandates they are supposed to follow regarding the amount they’re allowed to sell within the brewery.

Each type of brewery uses their limitations to their advantage by creating niches; unique specialties that make their particular beer, brand, and brew more intriguing to consumers. Craft breweries, for example, take pride in using the finest, sometimes only local ingredients in their beers. Some use specialized equipment, including barrels previously used for whiskey or bourbon, so that it takes on a bit of the whiskey or bourbon flavor.

The Huffington Post says that craft beers must have three qualities in order to call themselves “craft,” namely: (1) The brewery produces a small amount of beer, (2) The brewery is independently owned; and (3) The majority of what the brewery produces is done in a traditional way.

At Easy Monkey, you can try some of the greatest varieties of Seattle’s locally crafted beers and ales. From IPAs to Porters, Stouts, and Blonde Ales, you’re sure to find something that you love enough to keep you coming back for more. We believe in supporting our local economy and brewers; we feature beers and ales from American Brewing, Big E, Dirty Bucket, Georgetown, Hellbent, Salish Sea, and Two Beers.

You may be a newbie now – unfamiliar with all of the wide variety options available to you (there’s a whole new world out there!) – but if you want to expand your horizons, break out of your shell, and try something new… you’re always welcome to try Easy Monkey Taphouse. We have tons of local varieties of craft and microbrews on tap.

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Autumn Beer and Blues: Finding the Pairings for Shows at the Monkey

Autumn beers bluesGood music and good beer – it’s a natural combination. Over the summer, we broke down the perfect beer to artist pairings for some of our upcoming shows. With fall officially here and even more great shows on the docket, we’re back again with another breakdown of autumn beers and blues to enhance your show going experience at Easy Monkey.

Band: Power House

When: November 10th

Beer: Two Beers’ Sodo Brown

A powerful band deserves a powerful brew. Two Beers Brewing Company’s Sodo Brown has the boldness to match the beastly playing of Billy Stapleton and his cohorts. The malt-forward brew features notes of chocolate, raisins, and toffee – a flavorful punch to your taste buds that echoes the excitement in Power House’s music.

Band: Annie Eastwood with Kimball & The Fugitives

When: November 11

Beer: Dirty Bucket’s Dirty Blonde

The parallels between this beer and artist go far beyond Eastwood’s hair color. This crisp and smooth brew is not unlike her music. When she gets on stage, she’ll put a spring into your step and have you remembering the freeness of summer.  

Band: Red House

When: November 17

Beer: Dirty Bucket’s Sicyne IPA

When you’re listening to Red House, you need a red beer. This clean drink with a light caramel taste and earthy hops is the perfect blend to match the undeniable enthusiasm of Red House’s music. Just as the band plays a variety of genres from blues, jazz, and R&B, you’ll get a whole spectrum of flavors as well.

Band: Nick Mardon Blues Trio

When: November 24

Beer: Hellbent’s Hop & Oats Pale Ale

A blues trio deserves a trio of hops. Made with Mosaic, Simcoe, and Cascade hops, Hellbent’s Hop & Oats trio is as smooth as they come. And with Nick Mardon being a skyrocketing young talent in the city, you need a beer that can keep up.

Band: Mark DuFresne

When: November 25

Beer: Georgetown’s Lucille IPA

Mark DuFresne is a favorite of Easy Monkey, frequently making stops through to share some of his blues harmonica wizardry with our audience. For a classic like Mark, you need a faithful beer. Georgetown’s Lucille IPA is about as consistent as you can get. No matter the occasion, this IPA always hits the mark. Why not pair one sure thing with another?

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3 Reasons to Love Pumpkin Beer

pumpkin beerOne of the best parts of the fall season is the return of pumpkin beer. As pumpkin spice everything has continued to gain in popularity – from coffee and teas to even Salmon and dog treats – it’s easy to throw in pumpkin beer as a novelty. But in actuality, it has a rich flavor that’s worthy of the hype. There’s a lot to love about pumpkin beer, but let’s look at just a few of the reasons.

It’s the Perfect Fall Brew

The whole pumpkin spice craze started with the association of pumpkin with autumn weather, namely pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. The crisp air and crunchy leaves need the right flavor. There are plenty of different drinks that will serve you well on a fall day, but there’s something classic about having a little pumpkin zest in your drink to really bring out the flavor of the season. It’s comforting, especially coming in from a rainy day to huddle together with your friends and some pints.  

Distance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

One of the pains and joys of seasonal beers lies in their name – you can only have them a certain type of year. That scarcity of your favorite flavor and brew can be frustrating, but oh man when it comes back in season it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the excitement. As they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder. If you’re a pumpkin beer fanatic, there’s nothing quite like that first sip after making it through the pumpkin drought of spring and summer.

Honestly, It Just Tastes Great

It’s a simple answer, but it’s true. Pumpkin beer may not be for everyone, but if you like it then chances are you love it. The rich and fragrant taste stimulates your taste buds. It’s a perfect mix of savory and sweet. Just the aroma alone can be intoxicating. A great pumpkin beer captures all the nuance and subtleties of the flavor, much more complex than what you’ll get from a trendy pumpkin spice novelty item. Pumpkin beer goes down easy, making it a great drink to nurse while you catch up with some pals or just some solitary time with a book at your favorite pub.

At Easy Monkey Taphouse we keep Two Beers Brewing Co.’s Pumpkin Spice Ale on tap. With notes of cinnamon, clove, allspice, and ginger all complementing the pumpkin flavor, it’s a truly dynamic brew. Mouth watering yet? Come in and try a pint for yourself and maybe even grab a growler to go. Fall’s a time to get cozy with your beer of choice. We’ll have the pumpkin spice ale and a whole selection of other local brews waiting for you.

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Well Drinks That Will Serve You Well

well drinksWe love beer – clearly. But sometimes the mood calls for a different kind of drink. When you want something a bit more intense than a beer but don’t want the stiffness of a cocktail, well drinks are the way to go. But which will you go with? The beauty of well drinks is in their simplicity and their variety. With very little, you can get a wide array of flavors. Consider some of these well drinks next time you stop through Easy Monkey.

Rum and Coke

Rum and coke is an absolute classic. It’s a go-to drink for many people out on the town. The rich smooth flavor of rum paired with the carbonated goodness of soda feels absolutely made for each other. It’s a great way to get a bit of a kick without being overwhelmed by the bite of the alcohol. If you want to add a little bit extra pizzaz to your drink, have your bartender throw in a lime and turn it into a cuba libre.

Gin and Tonic

Possibly one of the most refreshing well drinks you can grab, gin and tonics are also a great way to keep it classy. Complete with a lime wedge, a gin and tonic is a great way to cool down at the end of the night or ease into the evening. It’s a perfect summer beverage, but not exclusive to the season. While the grey clouds come rolling in the fall, having a gin and tonic in your hand can transport you back to those sunny days – at least in your mind.

Screwdriver or a Salty Dog

Like a bit of citrus flavor in your drinks? Mix some vodka and orange juice together and you’ve got yourself a delicious screwdriver. The orange juice helps dilute the harshness of the vodka, giving you a fruitful fruit flavor that you’ll love sipping on all night. In a similar vein, a salty dog takes the same model but replace the orange juice with grapefruit juice. It’s a bit tangier, which might just be the kick you’re looking for.

Well drinks come in all sorts of varieties and these are just the tip of the iceberg. What’s your drink of choice? Now that Easy Monkey is selling spirits, your favorite well drinks are all at your disposal. Staying true to our mission, we use products exclusively from local distilleries. Come on down and try some today.

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An Autumn Day in Seattle

Summer may be officially over, but we’re now fully heading into one of the best seasons in Seattle: fall. If you’ve been born and raised in the Northwest, there’s a big chance you’ve learned to love the cozy rainy days, the crunchy leaves on the ground, and the brisk air filling up your lungs. This year is another chance to experience everything fall in the city has to offer. Consider doing some of these things to give yourself the perfect autumn day in Seattle.

Get Some Coffee to Fuel Your Day

Seattle gets a reputation around the globe as a coffee town. It’s a stereotype that’s really hard to deny. Beyond just the massive popularity of Starbucks, Seattle has some of the most exciting coffee shops you’ll find anywhere. Stop into Slate Coffee for a deconstructed latte or find a neighborhood Cafe Vita or Caffe Ladro to get yourself a cup of joe to start your day. The smell of the roasting beans emanating from the shop alone feels quintessentially fall. Plus, you’ll need the caffeine boost as you get ready to take in everything Seattle has to offer.

Go For a Walk Around Town

Is walking really much of an activity? In Seattle, it definitely is. It’s one of the simplest pleasures you can take in with the city. Whether it’s Downtown exploring Pike’s Place Market or making your way through the nooks and crannies of Fremont and Capitol Hill, there’s nothing better than a little bit of window shopping with your warm cup of coffee in your hand. There are plenty of parks to explore too! Head over to Discovery Park or Gas Works Park and take in the scenic views and the smell of the water coming in with the breeze.

Explore Book Shops and Record Stores

Good books and good music are a must for any fall day. Take some time to explore some of the local bookstores and record shops to get the right mix of both for the season. More than just finding something to buy, the ambiance of these shops just feels like the coziness of fall. You’ll already be imagining yourself curled up by the fireplace as you rummage through all the albums and novels.

Cap it All Off With a Show and a Fall Beer

Seattle isn’t just a coffee town – it’s a beer town too. With a plethora of microbreweries in and around the city, you have plenty to choose from. Make your way over to Easy Monkey Taphouse in Shoreline and we’ll show you our extensive selection of local brews. Whether it’s a pumpkin spice or an IPA, we’ve got you covered. To celebrate Seattle’s rich music scene, plan your day around a Friday or Saturday and we’ll have some of the best blues music in the state waiting on our stage. It’s hard to go wrong with any of these activities. Make the most of this autumn, we’ll have the beer ready for you.