Aubrey Laurence

About Aubrey Laurence

Aubrey has been a craft beer fanatic since the mid '90s and he has written about beer for a wide variety of publications in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado for well over a decade. He has judged beer in multiple competitions, plus he has rated and taken notes on thousands of beers from all 50 states and 68 countries -- visiting 16 of those countries on 6 continents. He is also a Certified Beer Server with the Cicerone Certification Program, an avid homebrewer, and a hop grower. In 2013 & 2014, he spearheaded Bellingham Beer Week. When he’s not drinking beer, he’s probably climbing a mountain somewhere. He lives in Bellingham with his wife and three cats. Follow him on twitter @AubreyLaurence.

Current discussions in craft beer: Green bottles, the death of growlers, and the ‘craft’ term

I have recently come across some thought-provoking and somewhat controversial topics in the beer world that I wanted to share. The three topics below seem to challenge accepted rules, trends and definitions. Included are links with more background information. After reading, please let us know your thoughts at the bottom of [...]

2018-10-18T13:22:59-07:00

Beer Style Profile: Lambic and Spontaneously Fermented Ale

No beer is more romantic or more connected to Mother Nature than Lambics and spontaneously fermented ales. These unique beers are defined by geography, techniques, ingredients and local microorganisms. Lambic is spontaneously fermented beer from Brussels and the Pajottenland region (also Payottenland) / Senne Valley (also Zenne) of Belgium. Lambic is more of [...]

2018-10-18T13:23:00-07:00

Landbier now on tap at Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen

Former Chuckanut brewer Kevin Davey (who is now getting ready to open Wayfinder Beer in Portland) recently collaborated with the Chuckanut brewers to make a Landbier, and it’s now on tap at Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen. When Wayfinder Beer opens this spring, it will also have Chuckanut Landbier on tap, and it will [...]

2018-10-18T13:23:02-07:00

Denver’s Spangalang Brewery and North Carolina’s Fullsteam Brewery make Super Bowl beer wager

Even though the Seahawks won't be in this year's Super Bowl, here's a fun wager that will add some interest to the game: The Spangalang Brewery of Denver, CO, and the Fullsteam Brewery of Durham, NC, have entered into a wager on behalf of their respective NFL teams, the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers. The [...]

2018-10-18T13:23:03-07:00

Wander Brewing’s Barrel Project expands with new foeder

Wander Brewing recently increased its Barrel Project capacity by 620 gallons, after it purchased and installed a brand-new, 20-barrel foeder. This new vessel adds to Wander’s growing arsenal of more than 80 barrels. A foeder (pronounced FOOD-er, and also spelled foedre or foudre) is a large oak vat that is often [...]

2018-10-18T13:23:04-07:00

Looking back on the 2015 hop crop, toward the future

  In a recent release, Hop Growers of America (HGA) deemed the 2015 hop crop “good” overall. Despite climatic challenges, this year’s harvest exceeded 2014’s by 11%, and most hop contracts are expected to be fulfilled by U.S. growers and merchants. (Some reported numbers vary slightly because some reports reflect acreage and [...]

2018-10-18T13:23:15-07:00

Beer brewers becoming coffee roasters

My two favorite beverages on earth are beer and coffee, and I even like them when they’re combined. Fortunately, many Bellingham breweries have produced coffee beers, including Aslan Brewing’s Java Lava Red Ale, which was made in collaboration with Bellingham Coffee Roasters; Chuckanut Brewing’s Bean Stop Porter, made in collaboration with The Bean [...]

2018-10-18T13:23:19-07:00

Holiday gift guide for the beer lover on your list

Christmas is rapidly approaching, but there’s still time to get that perfect gift for the beer lover on your list. Check out these ideas: DRINKING JACKET Hoodies are huge in the Pacific Northwest, but none of them are as functional as TV host Zane Lamprey’s Drinking Jacket (2.0), which is custom designed [...]

2018-10-18T13:23:23-07:00

Five ’92 Adventure Packs’ of Kulshan IPA to be raffled tonight

  If you bought a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of five 92 Adventure Packs of Bastard Kat IPA from Kulshan Brewing, the drawings will be held tonight (12/10/15) from 5 to 8 p.m. at K2 (1538 Kentucky St.). A few weeks ago, we told you about Kulshan’s [...]

2018-10-18T13:23:26-07:00

U.S. brewery count reaches all-time high of 4,144, plus other beer news

Dec. 2, the Brewers Association announced that as of the end of November the U.S. had reached an all-time high of 4,144 breweries, topping the historic high of 4,131 breweries in 1873. “This is a remarkable achievement, and it’s just the beginning,” said Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association. [...]

2018-10-18T13:23:30-07:00

Winter warmers and holiday beers of Bellingham and beyond

Last weekend, after recovering from my Thanksgiving Day food coma and then my Black Beer Friday beer session, I woke up to my neighbor hanging Christmas lights. It’s official, I thought, ’tis the season for winter warmers and holiday beers. As the pumpkin beers, fresh hop beers and other seasonal offerings [...]

2018-10-18T13:23:31-07:00

Black [Beer] Friday

Forget all the traffic, stress and madness this Black Friday. Instead, I propose we spend the day celebrating inky-black beers, including porters, stouts, imperial stouts, Belgian-style quads, black IPAs, etc. Regardless of how Black Friday originally came to be, let’s stay home, whip up some holiday recipes, and drink in the Dark [...]

2018-10-18T13:24:00-07:00

Sierra Nevada Brewing starts Alpha Hop Society membership program

Similar to many other beer membership programs at breweries across America, Sierra Nevada Brewing has just invited people to join its 2016 Alpha Hop Society, which is a one-year membership that gets you 12 750-ml bottles of small-batch, barrel-aged beers, a t-shirt, a growler, access to vintage and other exclusive beers, and [...]

2015-11-23T10:17:39-08:00

Thoughts on PicoBrew’s Pico beer brewing appliance

After reading Ariana’s post about the PicoBrew Pico homebrew system, I became intrigued by the machine, and I even considered purchasing one. When PicoBrew released the Zymatic in 2013, I found it interesting, but I didn’t even consider buying one because it was too expensive (roughly $2,000). PicoBrew’s recently released Pico, [...]

2018-10-18T13:24:10-07:00

Smaller is Better: The benefits of small-batch homebrewing

The most common homebrew batch size is 5 gallons, which results in about two cases of beer. 5 gallons became the standard for a variety of reasons. Supposedly, glass carboys of this size were readily available when homebrewing took off decades ago. Nowadays, 5-gallon glass and plastic carboys and food-grade buckets [...]

2018-10-18T13:24:18-07:00

Sierra Nevada’s first German-American collaboration Oktoberfest

The last two times I spoke with my mom, she raved about Sierra Nevada’s new, special-release Oktoberfest, and she badgered me to try it. I love a well-made Oktoberfest or Festbier as much as the next beer lover, such as Chuckanut’s delicious Festbier for example, but so many breweries these days [...]

2018-10-18T13:24:25-07:00

Beer stops to make before or after your mountain adventures

Nothing beats a good beer after an adventurous day of hiking, boating, skiing, biking or whatever you like to do in the mountains. Just remember to bring enough growlers, bottles or cans of beer for your campsite, RV or hotel. Regardless of which route you take into the Cascades, from Mount [...]

2018-10-18T13:24:26-07:00

Beer Style Profile: Imperial Stout

The imperial stout, also known as Russian imperial stout, is the granddaddy of stouts. Typically, these intensely flavored beers are mahogany-brown to inky black (SRM 35+), very strong (7-12+% ABV), heavily hopped (50-100 IBUs), full bodied, and very complex. Common flavors and aromas include dark chocolate/cocoa, caramel/toffee, coffee/espresso, and dark fruits [...]

2018-10-18T13:24:44-07:00

Rinsing beer glasses, and why it’s a good practice

In some beer bars and brewpubs, you might have seen a bartender flip a glass upside down and press it down on a water sprayer, just before dispensing beer into it. This isn't just for show, and it’s not a trendy gimmick. It actually serves many purposes. Quickly blasting the inside of [...]

2018-10-18T13:24:48-07:00

Boundary Bay Brewery turning 20, throwing massive block party

Boundary Bay Brewery turns 20 on Wednesday, Sept. 16, and it will be celebrating with the “biggest, baddest block party Bellingham has ever seen!” This milestone happens to fall right in the middle of Bellingham Beer Week, which makes it even more special. Admission is free and all ages are welcome. [...]

2018-10-18T13:27:32-07:00

Homebrewers: Don’t miss the AHA Rally hosted by Boundary Bay Brewery

Calling all homebrewers and those wanting to get into the rewarding hobby of homebrewing: Here is a great opportunity to join the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), have fun at Boundary Bay Brewery and meet local beer enthusiasts. On Sunday, Sept. 13 (during Bellingham Beer Week), from 1 to 4 p.m., Boundary Bay Brewery (1107 [...]

2018-10-18T13:27:33-07:00

Oktoberfest! The Munich event, the beer style, Chuckanut’s upcoming event

Oktoberfest in Munich Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, runs from the second-to-last Saturday in September through the first Sunday in October. It began more than 200 years ago as a wedding reception – featuring a horse race – after the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Over time, the [...]

2018-10-18T13:27:33-07:00

Pub Ride benefit for injured firefighter this Saturday

This Saturday, Sept. 5, join the Bellingham Pub Ride to benefit Daniel Lyon, a 25-year-old firefighter who was badly burned in an accident while fighting a fire near Twisp. Sadly, three other firefighters were killed in the same wildfire. Even though Lyon received third-degree burns on more than half of his [...]

2018-10-18T13:27:34-07:00