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Big Week at the Brewery!

February 26, 2013
Flying Monkey Sticker

VARIANT LABEL (condensed version)

Wed., 2/27
5 PM

Flying Monkey Dogfight Pale Ale

We are starting the celebration of our 2nd Anniversary a few days early this year!  Join us Wednesday for the “Official” launch of our newest brew.  We’ll have hot dogs and some exciting AND limited edition merchandise on hand.  Don’t wait!


  • Limited Edition Flying Monkey Glass Growlers
  • Limited Edition Flying Monkey Aluminum 32 oz Growlettes
  • Flying Monkey T-Shirts
  • New American Brewing Company 32 oz Glass Growlettes
  • New American Brewing Company Hoodies (releasing on Saturday)


Look for the Flying Monkey in 22 oz bottles starting this week. We bottled thousands of them with the main label but here’s the twist…approximately 1000 of them were with a Variant Label that was also autographed by Skip Madsen, our master brewer!

If you are lucky enough to purchase one of these exclusive bottles AND are one of the first 150 to bring it to the brewery, you will receive a limited edition poster designed by Emerald City Comicon.


Limited Edition Poster


Current members PLEASE renew by this Thursday, February 28th.  If you can’t make it in to the brewery, just email me and let me know you want to re-up for another year,, and we’ll hold your mug for you.


Then you better jump down to the brewery this Friday, March 1st at 3 PM.  All unclaimed mugs will be released to the public and they will go FAST!  Don’t wait!

Saturday, March 2
1 pm – 11 pm

Open to the Public (21 and older)

FUNDRAISING EVENT – bring in donations for the Edmonds Food Bank and receive raffle tickets and a chance to win cool new ABC SWAG!

Cheers to all of our friends and supporters, we can’t thank you enough for your continued patronage!

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Flying Monkey, Comic Books and Beer!

February 13, 2013

Emeral City Comicon logo

Who doesn’t like to drink beer while reading their comic books?  Well, okay, maybe not the originally intended audience of youthful readers, but there is a whole other generation of comic book lovers of a more mature age who still relish the artistic side of their comic book collections and often do so while sipping a beer…or two.

So what does this have to do with American Brewing Company? Well, let’s start with Founding Mug Club Member Brian Meredith (aka “Micro Brew”).  He’s been one of our original members, along with “Dizzy” his girl, since their first visit to American Brewing just a few months after our opening in February of 2011.  Brian also happens to be the Special Projects Manager of  Emerald City ComicCon the largest comic book and pop culture convention in the pacific northwest!

Last fall Brian approached us about the possibility of brewing an exclusive beer for the 2013 convention which takes place on March 1-3, 2013 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. This event will draw an attendance of over 65,000 people. He couldn’t have picked a more compatible brewery since owner, Neil Fallon, is a long time comic book collector.  A perfect match!

And just like that, the creative team behind Emerald City ComicCon (ECCC) and our own creative team of Skip Madsen and Dan Payson got to work.  We created an incredible new Pale Ale that is a bright and deep golden color with a deliciously citrus nose.  Slightly hop forward but incredibly well balanced with a light, biscuity malt body and a dry finish. At 5.7% ABV this is an excellent session beer.

Now that we had a beer brewing, what should it be called?  In early ECCC brainstorming sessions Brian mentioned Flying Monkeys  but it was shelved because of the connection to the Wizard Of Oz.  While they don’t mind people thinking the convention was named after the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz, it was actually a nod to the City of Seattle’s nickname…Emerald City. Early ideas for names were “March Forth” or “Crusader” but those just didn’t resonate well.  Eventually, Flying Monkey was brought back to the table and everyone involved loved it.

From there the Flying Monkeys and their evolution started to take shape.  And boy, what a shape they took.  Below you will see some of the artwork that was created by James Klauser, the Creative Guru from Bullseye Creative. James, a semi-frequent visitor to American Brewing Company, went through various concept ideas for the artwork, starting with a superhero monkey ALA The Greatest American Hero, before finally settling on a cigar chomping aviator pilot.  The resulting artwork is truly incredible.  Here’s a look at our hero…

Flying Monkey head in color

James created artwork that will be used on 22 oz bottle labels, growlers, t-shirts, and coasters.  We will be bottling this beer mid-February and bottles and kegs will be heading out to the market place enforce. Many of them in the area surrounding the Convention Center (see below for partial list of locations).



Main Label for Flying Monkey Dogfight Pale Ale

An added twist that the ECCC have added to this marketing blitz  is the inclusion of 1000 “Variant” bottle labels. These rare labels will also be hand signed by our brewer, Skip Madsen, or our owner, Neil Fallon. If you are lucky enough to purchase one of these rare bottles and are one of the first 150 people to bring it to the convention you’ll receive a print from one of the artists at Comicon!


Limited Edition Label

If attending this year’s convention is not on your “to do” list.  Then plan on joining us at our 2 Year Anniversary Celebration, Saturday, March 2 from 1 pm – 11 pm.

We will have all of the Flying Monkey Dogfight Pale Ale paraphernalia for sale throughout the day as well as some new American Brewing Company swag.

We will also be collecting non-perishable food for the Edmonds Food Bank at our party.  Bring donations for the food bank and receive raffle tickets for a chance to win some of this new, cool swag!   See our website for additional information about the Anniversary Celebration and our location.

The initial release of the Flying Monkey Dogfight Pale Ale will be concentrated around the Emerald City Comicon Convention.

Look for it on tap at such places as:  Gameworks, Daily Grill, Tap House Grill, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Metropole and Elephant and Castle   (who will also have bottles).

Bottles will be sold at area hotels including: Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Crown Plaza Hotel and Sheraton Hotel Seattle.


Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Limited Edition Label


October 31, 2012

A lot goes into crafting our beer: Skill, equipment, quality inputs, time – the list goes on. But one unaccounted-for ingredient is camaraderie. It takes a tight team to get beer from hop to hand, and we’ve got just that.

The ABC staff [+friends] celebrated the Halloween season in style last night, with homemade lasagna, pumpkin carving, and of course — our masterful brew. No knife fights broke out, only three beers were spilled, and at the end of the evening, we carried our lit pumpkins into the walk-in cooler  — lights off  — see the creations in all their glowing glory.








Clearly, we get along rather well.



PS — Don’t forget to stop by the tasting room tonight for our Spooktacular extravaganza. I heard a rumor about a special Halloween beer, and I am certain that German sausages will make an appearance. Most important of all, our pumpkins will be on display – how can you say no to that?

Happy Halloween from your ABC team!

Great American Beer Festival: Take 2.

October 20, 2012


The ABC crew with Brewers Association president Charlie Papazian (center)


We’ve done it again.

American Brewing Company won the bronze at this year’s Great American Beer Festival – this time, for the Baltic-style Polska Porter. Bronze might sound like third place, but in competition with upwards of 4,300 beers in 83 categories, it feels just like gold.

Brewers Skip Madsen and Dan Payson, along with Mike Ryman and ABC tasting room manager Janna Taylor, accepted the award on the grandstand stage of the GABF, held at the Colorado Convention Center.

“It was an epic moment,” said Payson. “It says that we put a lot of care into what we brew.”

Epic is a fitting word for the event, the largest commercial beer festival in the world. 666 breweries were represented at this year’s gathering, held every October in Denver. GABF is Mecca to beer pilgrims nationwide, brewers and drinkers alike.

For Madsen, this is not his first trip – or his first win. Last year’s GABF ended with a Bronze for ABC’s Brave American Brown, and previous years the master brewer — entered either solo or with other breweries – came home with bronze, silver, and gold across myriad categories.

However, the repeat experience has not put a damper on his excitement.

“I was stoked!” said Madsen. “I thought the Baltic was going to win. And it did.”

Awards, recognition, and growth are a boon to any new microbrewery, but such a rapid rise can compromise quality. Not true of ABC, says Payson: “We’re getting a lot of demand and production keeps increasing, but we continue to take the time to taste the beers at all stages and make sure it’s ready to be sent out for distribution.” Although laborious to do so, the ABC brewing team keeps quality as its first priority.

The award-winning brew is sold exclusively in our tasting room, and it’s limited – come in for a pint before it’s gone!

A Hoppy Honor for Skip Madsen

September 29, 2012

Hops are no laughing matter – but Skip Madsen, American Brewing Company’s acclaimed head brewer, is laughing anyway. Not at hops, necessarily, but jovial as he is, it is hard to catch him with a straight face. And this week, he had something notable to smile at: the opportunity to participate in the exclusive 12-person Hop Selection team, held in Yakima, WA – to determine this year’s best product for Washington distribution.

This honor is held high, and awarded only to those with special skill and expertise. Madsen has it, and then some. “Hops are my middle name!” said Skip, and they really almost could be: with 20+ years of brewing under his belt and over 200 signature beers to his name, not to mention myriad awards and accolades, this guy knows his stuff.

Hops, which give beer (especially IPA) its slightly bitter, floral bite, play a major part in brewing – for both taste and, traditionally, stability properties.  Washington beers are known for their extensive use of the Humulus lupulus plant; nearly 75% grown on American soil come from the Yakima Valley, and the combined production of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho produces over 50 million pounds annually. “Hops are essential to beer. They’re like the spice in your soup,” said Madsen, whose signature beer, ultra-hoppy Breakaway IPA, uses Washington varieties such as Citra and Amarillo.

This year’s selection session was held at Hop Union, a grower-owned supplier, and the results of the judging will in part determine what (and from which Washington farms) buyers will be able to choose from in the coming year.

And the prospect of next year’s Hop Selection team? “It was a great honor; I learned a lot,” said Madsen. “I would love to do it again!”

Craft Beer + Food

September 26, 2012

This is an event to mourn having missed. Acclaimed craft breweries in WA, along with eleven pairing restaurants, went to town – with a wall-to-wall lineup of chefs and brewers alike, each bringing to the table a beer and a dish to form nearly a dozen happy unions of culinary nirvana. Gourmands and beer snobs rubbed elbows at the sold-out event, held at The Yacht Club on Lake Union, with a late summer sun silhouetting nearly 200 attendees, tasting goblets in hand.

American Brewing Company featured our Piper’s Scotch Ale, a copper-red malted ale with roasted barley and a light hand on the hops. New-kid-on-the-block (and Craft Beer + Food surprise vendor) Radiator Whiskey partnered with us to create an ale-braised beef tongue slider, trimmed with arugula and beer-infused mustard, all piled on a Macrina Bakery potato roll. The toothsome, savory beef made for a stellar contrast against the sweet, malty Scotch Ale – like they were made for each other.

In addition to the American/Radiator team, other notables included The Triple Door’s banana leaf salmon with Elysian’s Backstage Pale Ale. A standout seasonal offering came from Emmer & Rye, who featured a squash roast with ancient grains, paired perfectly with Pike Brewing’s Harlot Harvest Pumpkin Ale. On a sweet note, microbrewery/creamery Bluebird self-paired a stout ice cream with the stout itself, served up as a (irresistible) grown-up float.

Eleven total venders contributed to the event, from which all proceeds go to support The Garden Project. Backed by Seattle Tilth, The Garden Project promotes urban gardening, community, and food-system awareness in King County. However, it isn’t just charity that drives hosts Kendall and Kim Jones – they have high aims in aiding the craft beer community as well.

“It’s important to have events like this to showcase that great beer can be paired with great food,” said Jones. “As the craft beer industry grows, they’re making all these interesting flavored beers, and we need to challenge our chefs to think about pairings. We need to challenge people to think about it. It’s important to push the craft beer industry to the next level – to get it out of the taverns and into the restaurants.”

If you missed it this time around, don’t despair. A repeat is likely; keep watch on for next year’s gala – or come in and console yourself with a pint of our malty-delicious Scotch Ale.

Seattle brewers, watch out – Dan Payson is getting dangerous.

September 11, 2012

Brewing in the (rather substantial) shadow of brewmaster Skip Madsen is no easy thing – especially if you studied architecture, not chemistry. But Madsen’s right-hand-man Dan Payson is up to the task – and more than that, is stepping out this week with his debut beer, the Peloton Saison. It’s certainly not his first independent brew, but it is the first one you get to try – if, that is, you’re lucky enough to live near American Brewing Company’s tasting room. And let me warn you: Payson brews incredible beer.

A Chicago native, Payson moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2006 for a job with an architecture firm in Seattle. While creative, detail-oriented work was his passion, a confining office job was not. To alleviate the drain of computer screens and cubicles, he purchased a 5-gallon home brewing kit and made his very first batch of beer in the apartment he shares with girlfriend Cara in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.

“I brewed the wort on the electric stove top, and fermented the whole thing in our hall closet,” said Payson of his humble beer-brewing beginnings. “It was very satisfying to see the product happening right in front of you. With architecture, it might take two years to see your end product; [with beer], what you make takes two weeks.”

This new-found love for brewing got Payson thinking about a career change, but it wasn’t until 2010 that something fortuitous occurred: while enjoying a few pints at Piper’s Creek Pub, he had his first run-in with Skip Madsen’s signature Breakaway IPA.

“I saw the hockey stick tap handle, and as a hockey player, I had to try it. I knew it was an excellent beer and whoever made it loved hockey.”

This discovery put him on a search for the hockey-loving brewer who made what Payson described as “the best IPA I’ve ever tried.” After finding Skip Madsen at American Brewing Company, he became a regular customer, and was soon spending his spare time volunteering in the brewery. When a job offer came, Payson couldn’t say no. “Sure, I took a pay cut. But there are so many benefits – all the beer I could ask for, and the opportunity to create my own recipes and share those with the community.”

Along with the Peloton Saison, which is a Belgian-style farmhouse ale, Payson has Cascadian Dark Ale in the works – it’s easily the best beer I’ve tried all year. It’s a bit hoppy, a little roasty, and not too sweet – sure to round out October better than a pumpkin. Stay tuned and visit the ABC website for upcoming releases and specials from Mr. Dan Payson!

Ashley Davidson, Marketing & PR @ American Brewing Company

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