March is loaded with birthdays I would do well to remember. Darryl Strawberry…Paul Kantner… Dr. Seuss… the list goes on. Around these parts, a trio of noteworthy brewing operations also are lighting some anniversary candles and I’m taking this opportunity to offer up my best wishes to the following folks who are always there for me when my thirst for hops gets the upper hand. Cheers one and all!

Laurelwood Brewing Brawny-but-balanced brews like Workhorse IPA and Free Range Red have provided me with countless hours of inspiration and merriment. To celebrate 10 years in the beer biz, Laurelwood will be throwing a birthday bash this Friday at the Laurelwood Pub & Brewery (5115 NE Sandy) from 5-11. Laurelwood brews will be a paltry $2.50 a pint and lucky attendees can look forward to a taste of two spanking-new beers from head brewer Chad Kennedy. The "Big O" Organic Pale Ale (named for the great Oscar Robertson, perhaps?) and the Imperial Workhorse IPA (just like the excellent Workhorse IPA—but bigger!). Cheers to Kennedy and owner Mike De Kalb.

Upright Brewing Brew master Alex Ganum and his hardworking colleagues are marking their second anniversary with a party at the Upright tasting room (240 N. Broadway, Suite 002) this Sunday from 1-6. The star of the show will be Four Play, a sour farmhouse cherry wheat beer that’s been aged in pinot barrels. Brew believers, do not miss this one; it’s based on Four, Upright’s awesome wheat beer that’s been barrel-aged for a year with a load of cherries. Also making an appearance will be the guest of honor from last year’s soiree, the Apricot Anniversary Ale, aged in Ransom Spirits Old Tom Gin barrels. In fact, it’s safe to say you’ll have a barrel of fun!

Redhook I’ve been knocking back Redhook long before the term craft beer was bandied about. Back in my rock ‘n’ roll days we referred to such tasty titles as Ballard Bitter (now called Long Hammer IPA) and spicy seasonals like Winterhook as "microbrews" (it seems almost quaint now). True, this long-running operation is based in Seattle, but it was the first microbrew to gain national distribution and thus helped pave the way for others to follow. In honor of its 30th anniversary, Redhook has unveiled it’s "back-to-basics" stubby-neck 12 oz. bottle along with some new packaging and color-coded label design. Soon to come from Redhook will be a pilsner style and its Copperhook will be available in cans.