Bale Breaker releasing Smitty’s Surprise this Wednesday in Ballard

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I love it when a beer has a good backstory. Like this one. On Wednesday, April 5th Bale Breaker Brewing releases Smitty’s Surprise IPA at its Seattle taproom. They’ll tap the beer at 3:00, with things getting underway at 5:00.

Backstory: I first met Kevin Smith many years ago, say 11 or 12 years ago. I forget. Back then, he was working as a brewer at Two Beers Brewing in Seattle. At that time, he was getting his first pro brewing experience with the intention of opening his own brewery, which he eventually did along with his sister and his brother-in-law. Bale Breaker Brewing was born ten years ago.

Back then, two of the people in the brewing industry that Kevin admired were Jamie Floyd (Ninkasi Brewing) and Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River Brewing). Eventually, Kevin became more than a fanboy, he became a colleague, though he never brewed collaboratively with his two idols. Until now.

Not long ago, Kevin’s business partners tricked him into going on a trip to Eugene, Oregon. There, Jamie Floyd and Vinnie Cilurzo surprised him with the news that they were going to brew a Rad Collab with Bale Breaker. This Wednesday Bale Breaker releases that beer, Smitty’s Surprise IPA, at the taproom in Ballard.


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“This collaboration west coast IPA comes in at 7% ABV,” said a statement on social media. “Medium gold, highlights tropical, peachy, and berry notes from the four types of hops used to brew the beer. Brewed and packaged by Ninkasi in Eugene, OR – available for a limited time at our taprooms.”

The gang from Bale Breaker Brewing will be there, as will the folks from Ninkasi and Russian River Brewing. Rumor has it, Pliny might make an appearance as well. Join them all at the Bale Breaker + Yonder taproom in Seattle (826 NW 49th St, Seattle, WA 98107).


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Head over to Bale Breaker’s Instagram feed to see a video of Kevin Smith sharing the story of how this beer came to be.

For more news about recent beer releases, visit the Washington Beer Blog’s New Beer Releases page.

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Check out the Washington Beer Blog’s events page for more beer-related events around Washington.



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