This year will mark our third year attending HopScotch- a beer and scotch festival at Fremont Studios in Seattle. Although I do not go for the scotch (or tequila), the vibe is always great, the beers are flowing and you are guaranteed to have a good time. What more could you ask for?
Oh you want some information? Below are some festival facts from the HopScotch official website:
Hop Scotch Spring Beer & Scotch Festival is a premier beer, Scotch, wine and spirit tasting experience benefiting the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). On April 1 and 2, Fremont Studios transforms into a swanky beverage tasting lounge featuring over 80 libations to swirl, sniff and sip.
Entrance includes tokens to sample beer and wine. For an expanded tasting experience, optional spirit samplers of Scotch or tequila may be purchased as well as an hour-long Scotch Seminar with the Master of Whisky. Develop your sense of taste at the stylish indoor setting of Fremont Studios on April 1st and 2nd, 2011 at Hop Scotch Spring Beer and Scotch Festival.
Hop Scotch is a benefit for the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). SIFF’s mission is to create experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world. It is through the art of cinema that we foster a community that is more informed, awake and alive.
Hours are Friday, April 1 from 5PM-12AM and Saturday, April 2 from 1PM-12AM. Admission is as follows:
- $30 General Admission: Admission, 5 oz. commemorative tasting glass and five beer/wine tasting tokens. $25 in Advance
- $35 Grand Admission: Admission, 5 oz. commemorative tasting glass and ten beer/wine tasting tokens. $30 in Advance
- $15 Non-Tasting Admission: Admission and four tickets good for water or soda redeemable at the Hop Stop booth. Available at the door and online in Advance
Most importantly what breweries will be there- I have bolded and starred the ones to go for.
#1 Heineken | Lager
A horizontal fermentation process results in unsurpassed clarity and brightness, and makes Heineken’s characteristic taste as good on draught as it is in a bottle. The smooth, full-bodied lager has a complexity that balances between fruity notes and a distinctive bitter taste.
#2 Heineken Light | Lager
Heineken Light is a light-tasting, refreshing beer that maintains the subtle cues of the original Heineken signature flavor. With only 99 calories and 6.8 grams of carbohydrates per bottle, it represents the perfect opportunity to up-sell to domestic light beer drinkers.
#3 Dos Equis Lager | Lager
Dos Equis Lager is a crisp, golden, and refreshing beer. It is brewed with pure malt, hops, and water to deliver a unique taste with a dramatic, bracing quality.
#4 Newcastle Brown Ale | Brown Ale
Golden brown in color, with rich, full-bodied flavor, Newcastle is a dark beer unlike any other: an unparalleled combination of character and drinkability.
21st Amendment Brewery
At the 21st Amendment, they celebrate the culture of the great breweries of old, making unique, hand crafted beers, great food, and providing a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere that invites conversation, interaction and a sense of community.
#1 Back in Black | Black IPA
Brewed like an American IPA but with the addition of rich, dark malts, this beer has all the flavor and hop character you expect with a smooth, mellow finish.
#2 Bitter American | Pale Ale
Our extra Pale Ale has lower alcohol but all the flavor and hop aroma you expect from a much bigger beer.
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska has a rich history of brewing. From the explorers of the 1700s through the Gold Rush, many a thirsty Alaskan has been able to enjoy locally made beers. In 1986, 28-year-olds Marcy and Geoff Larson reignited that tradition when they opened the Alaskan Brewing Company, the 67th brewery in the country and the first brewery in Juneau since Prohibition. Alaskan beers reflect many of the same characteristics of beers that were brewed here during the gold rush era. From the historically based Alaskan Amber recipe to alder-smoked malts and Sitka spruce tips, Alaskan beers reflect Juneau’s local brewing history and innovation.
#1 Alaskan Summer Ale | Other Ale
Alaskan Summer Ale is a Kolsch style ale that balances a softly malted palate with the clean freshness of hops. In the tradition of the style, neither overpowers the other. Both hops and malt come together to refresh and renew the palate. The straw-gold color and easy drinkability are an enjoyable way to celebrate summer.
#2 Alaskan Imperial IPA | IPA
Rich in color and full in flavor, Alaskan Imperial IPA is Packed with Northwest hops over a sturdy malt body. The Latest from our “Pilot Series” is brewed in small batches.
BridgePort Brewing Co
Oregon’s oldest Craft Brewery. BridgePort means: “Bridges of Portland.”
#1 BridgePort KingPin | Double Red Ale
Triple hopped, Double Red Ale that has the unique flavor of rye malt.
#2 BridgePort Café Negro | Coffee Infused Porter***
The perfect blend of Porter with a bold flavor of roasted coffee. Rich and creamy.
All natural hard apple cider. Made from fresh pressed Northwest fruit, not concentrate.
#1 Crispin Cider
A classically styled, but untraditional hard apple cider. Fruit forward, with a fresh, crunchy appley nose and a deliciously creamy, refreshingly crisp mouth feel. Gluten Free. Where to Buy: Whole Foods, QFC, Marketime Foods
#2 Fox Barrel Pear Cider
This delicately balanced cider is like biting into a ripe pear. The hand crafted subtlety of this 100% natural beverage pays homage to finer French ciders. Our remarkably versatile Pear Cider is consistently awarded gold medals at national and regional competitions. Gluten Free. Where to Buy: Fred Meyer
Deschutes Brewery, located in Central Oregon along the banks of the wild and scenic Deschutes River, has brewed a family of handcrafted ales since 1988. Starting out as a small brewpub in the heart of downtown Bend, Deschutes’ first beers were Black Butte Porter, Bachelor Bitter and Cascade Golden Ale.
#1 Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale | Pale Ale
Red Chair NWPA is named after the oldest operating lift at Mt. Bachelor here in Central Oregon. As a debut Northwest Pale Ale, it’s an adventure all its own. It has a plush body with satiny caramel flavors derived from seven varieties of malt. Yet, despite it all, it remains a hop-forward ale with that distinctive citrusy punch. Just minus any mouth-puckering bitterness. Where to Buy: Grocery Stores that Sell Craft Beer
#2 Hop Henge Experimental IPA | IPA***
Several pounds of Centennial & Cascade hops are in each barrel with a heavy dry-hop presence to top it off. A blend of crystal, pale and carastan malts creates an overall biscuity characteristic that is dense and muscular, building the alcohol base to support the monstrous hop profile. Where to Buy: Pubs and Grocery Stores that Sell 22 oz. Bottles
Diamond Knot Brewing Co.
Since our humble beginnings in 1994, Diamond Knot has seen huge growth thanks to our loyal fans. We’re known for our Northwest-style IPA’s, but we also produce everything from a light Blonde Ale to a Dry Irish-style Stout. We currently offer four retail locations, three in Mukilteo and one on Camano Island, for patrons to enjoy fine food and our handcrafted ales.
#1 Diamond Knot India Pale Ale | India Pale Ale***
6.2%, IBU: 40
Copper-colored with a malty character up front. Intensely bitter with hints of grapefruit and cedar imparted by heavy-handed additions of Galena and Columbus hops. Where to Buy: Pubs and Groceries Throughout the Puget Sound
#2 Slane’s Irish-Style Red Ale | Irish-Style Red
6.6%, IBU: 30
A sweet, caramelly aroma gives way to a distinct malty flavor and a smooth, creamy finish that will leave you thirsty for more! Where to Buy: Pubs and Groceries Throughout the Puget Sound
Firestone Walker Brewing Company
At Firestone Walker Brewing Co. we integrate traditional brewing discipline, a fascination with wooden barrels and a passion for the craft to create some of the most awarded pale ales in the world. We believe our commitment to balanced and unique beers has helped fuel the revolution in taste that is sweeping across America.
#1 Double Barrel Ale | Pale Ale
We’ve honored the traditions of the great British Pale brewers of Burton-on-Trent using our patented Firestone Union oak barrels. You’re left with a mild blend of vanilla and toasted oak flavor touched with an elegant hint of English noble hops. DBA is the flagship of our company and wildly popular. Where to Buy: Whole Foods
#2 Union Jack | IPA***
Union Jack is the recipient of numerous awards including back to back wins at the Great American Beer Festival. Bold citrus and pineapple aromas meet savory malt flavors resulting in a truly balanced effort. A beer true to its origins; deeply hopped and bolstered for a long voyage. Where to Buy: Whole Foods and Local Liquor Stores
Flyers Restaurant and Brewery
Full Restaurant and Bar. The restaurant features a fresh menu with everything from soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches to steaks and seafood. The bar has 14 taps with several rotating guest beers to compliment Flyers’ house brews and a full bar with premium spirits and cocktails. There are over 100 seats available with both inside and outside seating.
#1 Pacemaker Porter | Porter
Robust Porter in style, this dark, full bodied ale has notes of roasted barley, coffee and bitter sweet chocolate. Fast becoming Flyers’ flagship beer. Where to Buy: On Tap and in Bottles in WA, OR and ID.
#2 Afterburner IPA | IPA
A hop lover’s delight! Our I.P.A. is loaded from start to finish with five hop additions and balanced by English and German malts. Where to Buy: On Tap and in Bottles in WA, OR and ID
Fremont Brewing Company
We are a small, family-owned microbrewery founded in 2008 to brew small-batch artisan beers made with the best local ingredients we can find. We use barley from the Okanogan Valley in British Columbia, hops from a 4th generation hop-growing family in the Yakima Valley and water from the Cedar River Watershed in the Cascade Mountains. Located in the historic Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, you can drink our beer at our Urban Beer Garden, on draft at many fine bars and restaurants in the area — or pick up a keg or growler to go.
#1 Universale Pale Ale | Pale Ale***
Fremont is the self-proclaimed “Center of the Universe” and Universale, our flagship product, honors the namesake of our unique location. Universale Pale Ale offers a distinctive Northwest twist on the classic pale ale, using a select blend of Gambrinus pale roasted malt and Old World malts balanced with classic Northwest hops to achieve a heavenly beer of rich malt flavor and subtle hop spice. This is beer. Enjoy. Where to Buy: Brewery, Seattle, Spokane, Bellingham, Tacoma
#2 Interurban IPA | IPA***
Named after Fremont’s most famous outdoor sculpture, Waiting for the Interurban, Interurban India Pale Ale offers the adventurous beer lover a warm embrace of Gambrinus roasted pale malt swirled with a hand-selected blend of flavor malts and filled with the rich spice of Chinook, Centennial and Cascade hops. Interurban India Pale is a session beer, eminently drinkable throughout the year. Where to Buy: Brewery, Seattle, Spokane, Bellingham, Tacoma
Georgetown Brewing Co.
Founded by Manny Chao and Roger Bialous in September 2002, Georgetown Brewing Co. is located in south Seattle’s historic Georgetown neighborhood. We are a true, local craft brewery, with all of our ingredients coming from the Northwest.
#1 Manny’s Pale Ale | Pale Ale
5.3%, IBU: 38
A careful selection of Northwest hops, premium barley, and our unique yeast give this ale a rich and complex malty middle with a snappy hop finish. It’s truly a micro that finishes crisp, clean, and smooth. Where to Buy: On Draught at Local Pubs
#2 Lucille IPA | IPA***
6.9%, IBU: 85
Columbus, Centennial, Amarillo and Cascade hops. Floral, citrusy and awesome. Anything so innocent and built like that just gotta be named Lucille. Where to Buy: On Draught at Local Pubs
Kona Brewing Co.
In 1994, Kona Brewing Co. became the first craft brewery to take root on Hawaii (the Big Island). Since then, Kona Brewing Company has been committed to making handcrafted ales and lagers of uncompromised quality.
#1 Longboard Lager | Island Style Lager
Longboard Lager is a beer originally introduced by Kona Brewing Company in Hawaii. It is a crisp and moderately hopped pale lager, with an exceptionally smooth after flavor. Longboard takes over four weeks to ferment and cold condition, more than twice the time of Kona’s ales.
#2 Koko Brown | Brown Ale
5.5%, IBU: 28
Is there anything more iconic of the lush tropics than the coconut? The delicious heart of this island treasure has a nutty, toffee flavor and aroma that sends you straight to the beaches of Paradise. Kick back with a Koko brewed with real toasted coconut and savor the mahogany color and smooth, roasty malt taste.
Lagunitas Brewing Company
From our earliest days of striving to make consistently good beer, and instead making beer that ranged from vile, to barely drinkable, to wonderful, to elegant, to questionable-at-best. From being castigated by our West Marin neighbors to finally suffering an ‘eviction’ by our West Marin septic system. From landing in the welcoming arms of Petaluma, and actually getting our beer into bottles, onto the streets, and into the hands of sympathatic beer geeks, to steadily losing less money each month. From all this and more, Lagunitas Brewing Company is emerging as a battle-tested brewery capable of making great beer out of goat’s milk, brambles, and asphalt on the surface of the Moon, if need be.
#1 Little Sumpin Wild | Other Ale****
7.8%, IBU: 65
Another Big Sister of the Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale…. Loads of Malted Wheat for a Curious Malt Foundation and a Light Color, But Our Belgian Yeast Leaves a Huge Flavor and Complexishness. Where to Buy: Your Friendly Neighborhood Grocery Stores
#2 Brown Shugga | Other Ale
How Come you Taste So Good?? Boatloads of Pure Brown Sugar in Each Batch, That’s How! The Rich, Roasty and Mysteriously Drinkable Ale might best be described as… Irresponsible. It Leaves a Lot of Stories in it’s Wake. Where to Buy: Your Friendly Neighborhood Grocery Stores
Lazy Boy Brewing
Lazy Boy is a small family owned brewery. We pride ourselves in using the freshest ingredients to create delicious products.
#1 Lazy Boy Bavarian Hef | Hefeweizen
German style hef that boasts the traditional flavors of banana and clove. Refreshing and delicious. Where to Buy: Local QFCs and Markets
#2 Lazy Boy Dry Hop IPA | IPA***
This is new for us and has been well recieved. IPA infused with aromatics from dried oranges and corriander. A wonderful blend of hops and citrus. yum yum. Where to Buy: At the Brewery
Mac and Jack’s Brewery
We are a draft only brewery located in Redmond Washington.
#1 Two Tun IPA | IPA
Mac & Jack’s IPA is a refreshing, smooth, & balanced India Pale Ale. Using a variety of specialty malts and plenty of locally grown Yakima valley hops, we have created an IPA that has great hop flavor without being bitter. Pale roasted malts give our IPA a deep golden hue, and solid malt backbone, which nicely compliments its crisp hop finish. Copious quantities of hops are added very late in the boil giving the beer its floral aroma and hop forward character. Where to Buy: Bars & Restaurants
#2 Serengeti Wheat | Hefeweizen
A crisp, refreshing American style Hefeweizen that is brewed with the best ingredients the Northwest has to offer. We use 50% locally sourced two-row pale malt and 50% locally grown northwest malted wheat well above the required 30% wheat additions to be called a wheat beer. This Northwest style Hefeweizen is unfiltered for a “cloudy” appearance and brewed with plenty of Yakima valley hops yielding a wonderful citrus finish, delicious with or without a lemon garnish. Where to Buy: Bars & Restaurants
Mad River Brewing Company
Mad River Brewing Company is located in the beautiful small town of Blue Lake, California in the heart of Humboldt County. Now in our third decade we continue our commitment to producing award winning fine ales combining the most traditional brewing methods with an environmentally sound approach.
#1 Steelhead Double IPA | IPA
Malty, hoppy and strong, Double IPA is dry hopped with Amarillo hops for a fresh piney and citrus flavor and aroma. Aggressive, but perfectly balanced.
#2 Jamaica Red Ale | Amber
Our legendary red ale. This mahogany hued ale brings an intense spectrum of spicy aromatic hop character balanced by a full-bodied caramel richness.
New Belgium Brewing
Employee owned and 100% alternatively powered, New Belgium Brewing was started in the Basement of Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan back in 1991. Fast forward a few decades and now New Belgium brews are sold in 26 states and are about to celebrate it’s 20th anniversary.
#1 Ranger IPA | IPA***
6.5%, IBU: 70
This clear amber beauty bursts at the starting gate with an abundance of hops: Cascade (citrus), Chinook (floral/citrus), and Simcoe (fruity) lead off the beer, with Cascade added again for an intense dry hop flavor. Brewed with pale and dark caramel malts that harmonize the hop flavor from start to finish, Ranger is a sessionable splendor for all you hopinistas. Where to Buy: Major Chain Stores and Bottle Shops
#2 1554 Brussels Style Black Lager | Other Lager
5.6%, IBU: 21
1554 Enlightened Black Lager uses a light lager yeast strain and dark chocolaty malts to redefine what dark beer can be. In 1997, a Fort Collins flood destroyed the original recipe our researcher, Phil Benstein, found in the library. So Phil and brew master, Peter Bouckaert, traveled to Belgium to retrieve this unique style lost to the ages. Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and mouthfeel.
#1 Mac’s Amber | Amber
One taste of Macs and you’ll taste the tradition of a true Portland Original. Since the beginning of the craft beer revolution, MacTarnahan’s has been producing bold and flavorful brews . MacTarnahan’s is a deep copper-hued Amber Ale balanced with fresh Cascade hops from the great Northwest. Distinct, Bold and Original It’s hard to beat a Mac. It is damn good beer! Where to Buy: Everywhere
#2 Sling Shot | Pale Ale
You always know better, but sometimes you just don’t care. Mischief is just creativity stretching its legs. Sling Shot is a seasonal Extra Pale Ale for the spring with rich golden color. Its lively hopped flavor makes for a mischievously good and refreshing ale that “hits the spot!”
Ninkasi Brewing Co.
Oregon’s Ninkasi is one the nation’s fastest-growing breweries, thanks in large part to an unsubtly named beer (Ninkasi was the ancient Sumerian goddess of brewing)-Total Domination, a potent, aggressive IPA with pungent hops and flavors of citrus rind and carmel.
#1 Total Domination | IPA***
Multiple hops collide in balanced perfection, dominating the senses, achieving total satisfaction. Where to Buy: On Draught and in 22 oz. Bottles
#2 Spring Reign | Pale Ale
Notes of toasted malt up front, with a bright and crisp Northwest hop finish, it’s a session beer that everyone can enjoy! Where to Buy: On Draught and in 22 oz. Bottles
The Seattle Alehouse, our original location, offers a world of extraordinary tastes waiting to be explored on draft including our year-round beers, rotating seasonals, as well as a few unique Pyramid offerings you won’t find anywhere else. Enjoy a pint, explore a Pyramid Sampler, or order a growler of brewery fresh beer to go. Pair your brew with a tasty selection off of our full menu of classic brew house cuisine.
#1 Live Wire | Hefeweizen
The first in the Series, Live Wire, is a bountiful Imperial Hefeweizen that takes Pyramid’s gold medal Haywire® Hefeweizen to impressive new heights. The gratifying result delivers a rich and full-bodied wheat character, robust hop balance, and punched-up alcohol content. Where to Buy: Pyramid Ale House and Local Restaurants, Bars and Stores
#2 Curve Ball | Blonde or Golden
Our deceptively drinkable golden summer seasonal is a crisp, clean-tasting, cold lagered ale. This frosty thirst quencher is the perfect accompaniment to summer adventures. Where to Buy: Everywhere
Redhook Ale Brewery
Redhook has been brewing quality beers for 30 years! From its humble origins in Seattle’s Ballard & Fremont neighborhoods to a state-of-the-art brewery in Washington, Redhook continues to deliver outstanding craft beers to consumers. In July 1994, Redhook completed its Woodinville WA brewery, just 20 miles east of Seattle. The beautiful facility features expansive grounds and the Forecasters Public House, where you can sample all of the Redhook brews and pub-style meals. Forecasters Pub is open daily please see our website for detailed hours.
#1 Redhook Pilsner | Pilsner
5.3%, IBU: 25
May not look it but has a dark side. Redhook Pilsner is brewed in a traditional Czech style. It offers a very soft palate and malt flavors that are offset by a medium dose of distinct Czech hops to bring out its authentic flavors. Available year round beginning March 21, 2011.
#2 Redhook Wit | Other Ale
5.2%, IBU: 12
Made with ginger but still has his place in his heart for Mary Ann. Redhook Wit is a twist on the traditional Belgian brew. A balanced mixture of spices, orange peel, coriander and ginger give this wheat beer a smooth yet distinct flavor. It is brewed with Kolsch yeast, and we decided to steep the spices in the whirlpool for 15 mins just prior to cooling and fermentation; similar to a finishing hop addition. As with cooking, this method keeps the spice flavors and aromas intact, and soft/subtle.
The Boston Beer Company began in 1984 with a generations-old family recipe that Founder and Brewer Jim Koch uncovered in his father’s attic. After bringing the recipe to life in his kitchen, Jim brought it to bars with the belief that drinkers would appreciate a complex, full-flavored beer, brewed fresh in America. That beer was Samuel Adams Boston Lager®. Today, the Company brews more than 21 styles of beer. The Company uses the traditional four vessel brewing process and often takes extra steps like dry-hopping and a secondary fermentation known as krausening.
#1 Samuel Adams Wee Heavy | Wee Heavy
Was inspired by both traditional Scotch ales and Scotch whiskies, for a combination of deep roasted flavor and earthy smoke character. Traditional Scottish ales vary in intensity with the strong ales known as Scotch Ale or “Wee Heavy”. To create our own version of the style we added peat smoked malt to bring the unique flavor of Scotland to this complex and satisfying brew.
#2 Samuel Adams Rustic Saison | Saison
An incredibly complex yet refreshing beer in the classic style of Belgian farmhouse ales, traditionally brewed to quench the thirst of farmers throughout the summer months. The unique character of our brew comes from its Belgian yeast that imparts floral, fruity, and estery flavors. These flavors are layered with slightly sweet herbal notes and a citrusy hop character for a bright and satisfying summer brew.
#1 Seattle Weekly Voracious Brew | Imperial Red Ale
Brewed by Lazy Boy Brewing, the Voracious Brew is an Imperial Red made exclusively for the fine people at the Seattle Weekly. Lazy Boy has used four different kinds of malts to brew this bodacious beer. The hop flavors are a combination of Palisades and Magnum in the dry hopping stage. This 8.2% beverage is powerful yet remarkably smooth to drink. Enjoy!
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Founded in 1980, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is one of America’s first craft breweries and is highly regarded for their use of only whole-cone hops, and for the spirit of quality, and craftsmanship in everything they do. This pioneering spirit continues though their decades of innovation in the brewhouse, and through advances in environmental sustainability. Sierra Nevada sets the standard for artisan brewers worldwide with their broad line of beers including their iconic flagship Pale Ale.
#1 Pale Ale | Pale Ale
5.6%, IBU: 38
Inspired by the Sierra Nevada mountains, we created a unique beer highlighting the bold flavors and piney-citrus aromas of whole cone hops. Today, our all natural, bottle conditioned Pale Ale is recognized worldwide as a classic. Where to Buy: Just About Anywhere Beer is Sold
#2 Summerfest | Other Lager
5%, IBU: 28
Summerfest is a Pilsner-style lager brewed for your enjoyment on a warm summer days-featuring a slight malt sweetness, delicate spicy and floral hop flavor, and a crisp, refreshing finish. Where to Buy: Just About Anywhere Seasonal Beer is Sold
Silver City Brewery
Silver City Restaurant & Brewery is the Kitsap Peninsula’s premier destination for award-winning, handcrafted beers, outstanding food, excellent customer service, and great memories in a fun, friendly environment. Silver City was started in 1996 by Co-owners Steve & Scott Houmes, and it remains a locally owned and operated family establishment. Silver City Brewery’s award-winning, handcrafted beers are available at more than 350 Puget Sound area bars, restaurants, and grocery stores throughout Kitsap, Jefferson, King, and Pierce counties.
#1 Whoop Pass Double IPA | IPA***
8.5%, IBU: 85
Without a doubt the boldest and hoppiest mother of a brew Silver City has ever created. More than 50 lbs. of Washington State Columbus and Cascade hops are infused, injected or otherwise inflicted upon a single 15 barrel batch. Welcome to hop country! Where to Buy: Whole Foods
#2 Fat Woody Scotch Ale | Other Ale***
What happens when Silver City brewers take a world class beer like Fat Scotch Ale and age it for over a month on American white oak? A completely unique and wonderful beer emerges. The slight peaty, intensely malty scotch ale and the complex vanilla character of the oak meld over time to create an exceptional beer.
Snoqualmie Falls Brewing
Proudly making fine, hand crafted ales in Washington since 1997.
#1 Wildcat IPA | IPA
6.7%, IBU: 77
The balanced hop monster! This is one IPA with enough malt backbone to stand up to its 77 IBU’s from 100% Columbus hops. Where to Buy: Select Grocery Outlets
#2 Triskaidekaphobia | Other Ale
8.6%, IBU: 36
There is no need to be afraid of the number 13, we have actually created this Belgian style tripel in celebration of our 13th anniversary. Triskaidekaphobia is a great balance of crisp clean malt, lemony hops and spice. Unfiltered but clear to the eye, Trisky is made from 100% German pilsner malt, Belgian candy sugar, 100% Czech Saaz hops and Belgian ale yeast. Where to Buy: Select Grocery Stores in the Seattle Area
Stone Brewing Co.
#1 Arrogant Bastard Ale | Other Ale
This is an aggressive beer. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. Where to Buy: Most Stores
#2 Stone IPA | IPA***
6.9%, IBU: 77
An “India Pale Ale” by definition is highly hopped and high in alcohol – you’ll find our Stone India Pale Ale to be true to style with a huge hop aroma, flavor and bitterness throughout. If you’re a hop-head like us, then you’ll love our Stone India Pale Ale! Medium malt character with a heavy dose of over the top hops! Generous “dry hopping” gives this beer its abundant hop aroma and crisp hop flavor. Where to Buy: Everywhere
Trade Route Brewing
Trade Route Brewing was established in 2007 to explore the beer frontier. Their taproom in Pacific, WA pours beer for the adventurous made with a bounty of ingredients from around the world.
#1 Joker Ale | Pacific Northwest Amber
6%, IBU: 40
This bold amber is hoppy and unfiltered in the classic Pacific Northwest Style. We combine premium pale and crystal malts to form a pleasant malty base, then add enough Cascade and Centennial hops to create a balanced beer with a citrusy hop finish. This beer is easy to enjoy by itself and pairs well with most foods. Where to Buy: On Draught in Washington
#2 Mango Weizen | Wheat Beer***
5%, IBU: 3
A refreshing beer with the subtle aroma and flavor of mangos. We use 50% wheat malt in the brew, along with premium barley and a touch of Saaz hops. Fresh mango puree is added after fermentation to create a beverage great when enjoyed by itself or paired with your favorite barbecue. Where to Buy: On Draught and in 22 oz. Bottles in Washington
Widmer Brothers Brewing
“I quit!” In 1984, brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer, in the midst of dual quarter-life crises, decided to quit their jobs, follow their dreams and devote themselves to their true passion—brewing beer full-time. To this day, that rebellious spirit and love for all things beer define Widmer Brothers Brewing. Prost! to doing what you love.
#1 X114 IPA | IPA
6.2%, IBU: 50
Named for the experimental hop that came to be known as Citra, this aromatic IPA balances perfect proportions of big fruit and citrus flavor with hints of peppery spice, caramel malt sweetness and a bitter, but smooth finish. It’s one experiment that bears repeating. Often
#2 W’11 Russian Imperial Stout | Stout***
9.3%, IBU: 65
An extremely rich and complex beer with tremendous body and mouthfeel. Spicy hop aromas are apparent. As well as Chocolate and Coffee aromas. The generous use of roasted barley and other specialty malts, such as Midnight Wheat result in a deep opaque black beer and thick brown beer foam. Well hidden in this complex beer is nice layer of alcohol.
It is a blast every year. Expect some solid IPAs at this event. Enjoy! Cheers!
Seattle’s Fremont Brewing announced today that they have tested their first run of cans. Guess what? The beer was delicious.
This has been interesting news for almost 1 year now. Back in April 2010, we ran an article about Fremont’s purchase of a used canning line. At the time of the article, we knew they weren’t ready but hoped that something would get cracking by Summer 2010. But Fremont went the appropriate route and focused on developing their beers and creating a public image. Now, the small brewer is one of the most recognizable faces in Seattle beer.
With some progress made, the team at Fremont has decided to give the canning line a go. They announced on Twitter today that the first batch of Interurban IPA had been test canned and that samples came back tasting great. While there is no official release date in the works, you might expect to begin seeing Interurban IPA and perhaps Universale Pale, in the near future.
A good canned IPA is just what the market needs. 21st Amendment’s Brew Free or Die IPA is just about the only readily available IPA in a can on the market. Maui Brewing’s Big Swell and 7 Seas Ballz Deep Double IPA are both out there, but harder to find.
In other news, I have been meaning to post the new Fremont Brewing promo video for some time now (Sorry Matt). The team put together a few excellent videos that accurately depicts their collective spirit and attention to details. One is below, but check the site for more.
Looking forward to cans, coming soon!
Written by Jess R.
It has been awhile since I had the time and energy to consistently contribute to bb.com. I am back. For the past three weeks, my day job has taken priority. As a fundraiser for Plymouth Housing Group, a local non-profit, I have been working overtime to get us ready for our annual gala, Seattle Dances!
Seattle Dances! is not your oridinary auction/fundraiser. Yes, we do have an auction but we also provide the guests with a Dancing with the Stars inspired entertainment. This past Saturday night, 8 local, Seattle “celebrities” partnered with professional dance instructors from Century Ball Room in Capital Hill to compete for votes and the Judge’s Choice Award. The dancers did an amazing job raising money for Plymouth Housing Group and promoting our mission to end homelessness.
One of the available auction items was a brewery tour of Seattle. 6 lucky individuals will enjoy a tour of three breweries located in Fremont/Ballard– NW Peaks Brewing Co., Fremont Brewing Co., and Maritime Brewing Co. All three breweries were more than willing to donate their time and beer to this worthy cause.
NW Peaks Brewing Co. is the new kid on the block and is considered a nano- brewery. Owner and brewer, Kevin Kline works a 9-5 job then tends to his new and growing brewery. Located in Ballard, NW Peaks operates out of a small space and is open for limited hours. However, this brewery represents the beginning of something great as a new addition to the local craft beer scene.
Kevin began a membership program, accepts inquiries to assist him in brewing and has the mentality of someone who wants to share his beer with the world. Just stop by and you’ll know exactly what I mean. Go to NW Peaks’ website for hours and other information (such as what beer is pouring, most importantly).
Fremont Brewing Co. is quickly becoming a very popular brewery in Seattle with quality brews and a space that beckons local visitors. I love breweries who have wide open tasting rooms with the brewing equipment glistening in the backdrop. There is something very grassroots about this set-up. Fremont is just that.
Many words come to mind when I think of this brewery–community, environment, innovation and sustainability. I love that Fremont dry hops their IPA with various hops and ingredients, such as grapefruit, thai basil and orange. These dry hopped IPAs are only available at the brewery- just another reason to visit.
To round out this tour, the last stop is Maritime Brewing Co. The largest and most established of the three, Maritime Brewing Co. has been a staple in Seattle’s craft brewing industry for over twenty years. Owner, George Hancock is an advocate of great beer and of Washington brewers. Just over a year ago, Maritime opened the doors to the new Jolly Roger Taproom and Brewpub.
At the Jolly Roger, beer drinkers can get a taste of all that Maritime has to offer from their regular line up to cask conditioned ales and seasonal favorites like the Jolly Roger Christmas Ale. Stop by and don’t forget to take a peak at the menu- try the onion rings and the mahi sliders!
Thanks to Timperial Stout and DSR who have picked up my slack while I work away at my day job. More so, thank you to NW Peaks Brewing Co., Fremont Brewing Co. and Maritime Pacific Brewing Co. for bringing us great beer and giving back to the community!
One of several beer fests in Seattle throughout the year, Belgium Fest is the first in 2011. On January 22, 2011 this festival, run by the Washington Beer Commission will begin. Due to the high demand of this event, the venue has been moved to Magnuson Park (it will be heated, do not worry).
Word on the street is that tickets are already being sold at an alarming rate, so go online NOW and secure your spot. This is a festival that requires some advance commitment. Waiting until the day of might not be the best idea. $30.00 advance and $35.00 at the door, if available. As always, the designated driver ticket is $5.00 and only available at the door- includes free water and soda.
You pick one of two sessions on Saturday, January 22, 2011-
Session 1: 12:00-4:00 p.m.
Session 2: 5:30-9:30 p.m.
The Workshop at Magnuson Park
6310 NE 74th St., Seattle, WA
Now for the important stuff. The beers. For now all I have are the breweries, but hope to have a list of all the beers in the next week or so.
Breweries expected to participate:
Big Al Brewing
Big Time Brewery
Black Raven Brewing
Boundary Bay Brewery
Der Blokken Brewing Co.
Elliott Bay Brewing
Hale’s Ales Brewery
Lazy Boy Brewing
Naked City Brewery
Paradise Creek Brewery
Redhook Ale Brewery
Snipes Mountain Brewery
Snoqualmie Falls Brewing
Silver City Brewery
Two Beers Brewing
Its going to be a doozy!
Did you make it out to Winter Beer Festival 2010? Hope that you did. We heard they poured some damn good beer.
The Washington Beer Commission has gone ahead and released the results for the attendants’ voting. I was very happy to see Fremont Brewing win for their Bourbon Abominable – an absolutely delicious beer.
It was no surprise that Black Raven Brewing walked home with a few awards, including the best booth decoration. Check out the official voting results below:
Winter Fest 2010
Thank you to all of you who came out to the 2010 Winter Beer Festival at Hale’s Palladium this past weekend. 34 Washington breweries from across the state poured a diverse sampling of amazing winter seasonal beers. This year’s People’s Choice Awards winners included:
Friday, Dec. 10
1) Iron Horse Mocha Death
2) Big Time Holy Molë
Saturday, Dec. 11 Session #1
1)Fremont Bourbon Abominable Ale “B Bomb”
2)Black Raven Festivus IPA
Saturday, Dec. 11 Session #2
1) Black Raven Bourbon Barrel Petite Mort
2) Two Beers 20:20 Blonde
Booth Decoration Winner:
First it was harvest season and in celebration we indulged in glorious IPAs, then it was Halloween, so we attended a Pumpkin beer fest. Now, the first snow has fallen (sending Seattle into a state of disbelif, terror and general panic) and it is time for Christmas brews and Winter ales.
This year’s Winter Beer Fest will not dissapoint. Here are the details:
2010 WINTER BEER FEST
DATES & HOURS
Friday, December 10th, 2010 5:30-9:30 pm
(WABL* Hour: 5:00-5:30 pm)
Saturday December 11th, 2010 12-4 pm + 5:30-9:30 pm
(WABL* Hour: 11:30-12 pm)
*Open exclusively to WABL members.
$23 advance/$25 at the door.
Admission includes a tasting cup and six 5 oz. beer tastes.
Additional tokens are available at $1.50 each.
Designated driver admission is $5 and available at the door only.
We accept cash and check only. Sorry, no credit cards!
Admission and token sales will end at 45 minutes before the end of each session and taps will close with 20 minutes left in each session.
This is a 21+ only event
Space is limited so get your tickets early!
Advance tickets are available online now.
Advance ticket sales end at 5:00 AM on Friday, December 10th, or whenever tickets allocated for advance sale are sold out. There will be additional tickets available at the door during the event.
Beers to look out for (and by look out for, I mean drink)-
7 Seas Saison
Airways Hot Chocolate Ale
Big Al Penut Butter Stout
Big Time Yulefest Winter Ale
Black Raven Old Birdbrain Barleywine
Black Raven Bourboun Barrel la Petite Mort
Boundary Bay 2008, 2009 and 2010 Cabin Fever
Elysian Bifrost Winter Ale
Flyers Brewery Daybreak Breakfast Oatmeal Stout
Fremont Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Abominable
Naked City Bing Spiked Cherry Ale
Schooner Exact Hoppy the Woodsman
Silver City Brewing Old Scrooge Christmas Ale
There are so many amazing beers being poured at this event- check out the full list here!
What beer puts you in the holiday spirit??
Each and every time that I have perused the beer aisle or strolled into a bottle shop over the past few weeks I have noticed more and more winter beers on the shelves. I guess it’s officially that time of the year. The days are getting shorter, the trees are shedding, there is a nip in the air… we will soon be required to warm ourselves with thicker clothing, crackling fires, and most importantly, robust beers.
Yeah it’s true, the pumpkin and fresh hop beers will soon be gone for the year. As quickly as they come, they go, but let’s relish in it…enough with those hoity-toity additives…lets soak in the depths of the true beer ingredients, namely, malt, lots and lots of malt.
Winter beers are all about fending off the cold. It’s like a thick chowder that coats the inside of your belly, warms the innards, adds fat, and preps you for a lengthy hibernation. The booze levels often push boundaries, the sugar levels pose similar inner quarrels as that far to common holiday season overindulgence on cookies. It’s hearty through and through. Santa’s belly, not excluded.
And there exists not that boisterous Ho, Ho and inevitable Ho in the Seattle area without the annual Winter Beer Fest at Hale’s Ales. This year, the indulgence falls on the weekend of December 10th and 11th. One can only hope that WA’s finest will be in attendance. If you, personally, are not amongst the present, it’s quite clear that you care not about sustenance and suspension through the cold months, and you should, sooner than later, except your fate as a fallen entity…one existing only as a human icicle. Say your good-byes now.
Whether you prep for hibernation or not, attend winter beer fest or not, any beer drinker with pride for the local and the slightest holiday spirit should do their very best to seek out Washington’s finest Winter Beers.
Here is a list of some of the Washington brewed Winter Ales to keep an eye out for (note: all descriptions presented are commercial unless not supplied. Those not supplied are notated with a “*” and are provided by beerblotter):
Boundary Bay Cabin Fever – A strong ale or “Winter Warmer” with dark red-brown color and a very rich malty flavor. Dry-hopped lightly with Cascades for a pleasant aroma and slightly spicy hop finish. This big beer is deceptively strong, yet tastes very smooth thanks to extra long cold conditioning. Original Gravity: 1.072.
Fremont Abominable Winter Ale – tasty winter ale, limited release. Dark, roasty, chocolaty, malt flavors balanced by Noble hop aroma and subtle hoppy spice. Warm up to it. Don’t be Scared to be Abominable.
Lazy Boy Mistletoe Bliss – A new brown ale on steroids! Stock up now to warm those cold winter nights. ABV 7.5%, Grains: Pale, crystal, Munich, brown, Vienna, chocolate. Hops: Ahtanum.
Maritime Pacific Jolly Roger Christmas Ale – * This rich malt bomb has a dark red hue and flavors of dried fruits.
Diamond Knot Ho! Ho! Winter Ale – A robust, ‘Winter Warmer’ ale, ruby brown in color with a slightly sweet, fruity nose. Very hoppy, yet balanced with a residual sweetness.
Elysian Bifrost – Style: Winter ale, Body: Medium to Sturdy, TASTING NOTES: Pours golden with orange highlights. Smells alluringly sweet like caramel apples with a little spice and orange zest. Taste is bold and balanced with a good amount of citrus and earthy hop bitters to offset the bready, sweet malt character. Finishes dry with a bit of fruit. MALTS: Pale with small amounts of Munich and Crystal, HOPS: Bittered with Centennial, finished with Amarillo and Styrian Golding, ABV: 7.5%, IBU: 55.
Pike Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale – A winter treat (Wassail) dating from pre-Christian times. Celebrates the winter solstice. Festive and flavorful with delicious hints of orange peel, coriander, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Pyramid Snow Cap – Deep mahogany in color, our full-bodied winter warmer is brewed in the spirit of British winter ales. Crafted with a flurry of roasted chocolate and caramel malts, and generously hopped, it delivers a smooth finish that makes this beer the perfect cold weather companion. Original Gravity: 17.3, Alcohol by Volume: 7.0, IBU: 47, Malts: 2-Row Barley, Caramel 80L, Chocolate Malt, Hops: Nugget, Willamette, East Kent Goldings.
Redhook Winterhook Winter Ale – The 2010/2011 Winterhook Winter Ale is a rich, full-bodied beer with a red chestnut color. It combines imported and local Caramel, Vienna, Pils, Chocolate and NW 2-Row Malts for a complex profile balanced by four hop varieties added in the brewing to emphasize the end hop character (flavor and aroma). Beautifully balanced, the flavors meld to create an overall complex profile with no single ingredient out of harmony. ABV: 6%, Malts: Caramel, Pils, Chocolate, Vienna and NW 2-Row, Hops: Cascade, Willamette, Northern Brewer and Centennial, Bitterness Units: 42 IBU, Original Gravity: 15 degrees plato.
Schooner Exact Hoppy the Woodsman – Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Ale. Need you say more? A big brother to Hoppy Holidays, this winter ale has gained a level of complexity and intrigue during those months luxuriating in its bourbon barrel haven. Chocolate malt and a healthy dose of hops help maintain balance.
Scuttlebutt 10 Below – Style: imperial dunkelweiss, Aroma: crisp citrus, Taste: medium body with a rich chocolate finish, Hops: mt. hood & american saaz, 22 ibu’s, 7.4% alcohol by volume.
Silver City Old Scrooge – If Old Scrooge can’t get you in the Holiday spirit nothing can. A rich amber ale, ripe with fruit and spice, Old Scrooge’s character will fully develop as it warms. Intriguing notes of apple, cherry and apricot occur naturally as a result of its unique fermentation and extended aging – 9% ABV.
Hale’s Ales Wee Heavy – * This style is Scottish and piles on thick like a marching calvary of bagpipers. There’s malty ales of the old world, and then there’s wee heavys.
Port Townsend Winter Ale – Our winter ale is made from a blend of pale and crystal malts, roasted barley and Belgian aromatic malts. Cooler fermentation and a longer aging time adds further complexity to this Old Ale style. Original Gravity:1.072 Alcohol by Volume: 7.4%.
Two Beers Winter Hop – Winter Hop – The sun doesn’t shine much in winter around here. It’s darker, more subdued and subtle. If you enjoy this about winter, then there is a pretty good chance Winter Hop will find comfort with you. It’s darker, its slightly chocolate-y and dry-hopped with Amarillos. Cheers! IBU’s: 67, OG: 1.068, Hops Used: Amarillo, Galena, Magnum.
Ram Sleigher – * Brew pub chain…don’t make exciting beers…? You’re wrong folks, this is one of the best winter beers I have ever had.
Dick’s Double Diamond Winter Ale – Northwest style seasonal with massive amount of grain and several healthy additions of hops.
Fish Tale Winter Fish – Here is the full-bodied seasonal ale that brings meaning to “Winter Warmer”. With a snappy hop character, this isn’t just another brown beer masquerading as a seasonal. This is hearty fare brewed for the season of celebrations. Enjoyed at ease with friends and food, Winterfish will put a glow in the cheeks and warmth in the veins. Pale and honey malts provide an abundantly deep foundation. Then, for bittering, flavor, and aroma, we use 100% Yakima Chinook hops in the kettle. For additional flavor and aroma, it’s more Yakima Chinooks in the hop-back. Perfect for festive feast, this is the hoppiest winter ale we know of! Savor a pint and you’ll know why Northwesterners agree: An ice-cold Winter never sounded better! 7.5% alc/vol 1.071 O.G. 70 IBUs.
Last weekend we embarked on what might be the greatest “hike-in” beach camp spot in all of the Northwest. Our trip to Shi Shi Beach in the Makah Indian Reservation (Neah Bay, WA) was beyond epic. Many a new terms were coined, wooden implements fashioned, pasty foods consumed, ocean plunges taken, driftwood bonfires lit and even a few articles of clothes smoked for that take home campfire flavor (see SmokedJorts.com).
But like many of you, I was stumped by how to perfectly plan for 50+ hours in no man’s land, sans cooler and additional space for my brethren – beer. Food was a stumble, but doable. Equipment seemed to fit without excess weight. Even multi-weather clothing seemed to be a cinch. But Beer – not exactly.
The Dilemmas of Beerpacking
Here are some of the dilemmas:
- (1) Weight - The ratio for alcohol to weight in beer is grossly disproportional. For most of us, its part of the reason we love it so very much. It allows us to consume various types and flavors over a long period of time. But for the camper (not you, car campers!) its a pain in the ass.
- (2) Shape & Proportion - Our common vessels are the bottle, growler, keg, party pig and can. Lets toss kegs, growlers and party pigs pretty quickly. Unless you have constructed some amazing carriage that allows multiple people to share the weight, a three mile hike up and down cliffs will not facilitate these receptacles. That leaves us with smaller vessels, such as cans and bottles. Of course, bottles are glass and would need to be separated or wrapped to prevent breakage. Not enticing. This leaves the common can – but many of you are still weenies about drinking from a can. Get over it. I’ll discuss more below.
- (3) Cooling - I bet you aren’t going to carry your cooler three miles down the trail eh? Excited to have ice last for about 2 hours? There is no great solution to the cooling challenge. Ice packs add unnecessary weight for the duration that they last. Soft pack coolers are a decent try, if they fit in your pack.
A Good Set of Rules to Live By
So, I thought long and hard about these things. We did some things right – and some wrong. Lets discuss the goals:
- (1) Cut Weight & Volume Usage With Cans - We all want to drink beer when camping. Liquor just can’t satisfy the mountain man inside. Here’s the solution: Get cans. Unless you have been living in a cave, you probably know that many of our nation’s finest brewers can their beer. Here are a few of the best: Oskar Blues, Big Sky, 21st Amendment, Anderson Valley, New Belgium, 7 Seas, and soon to be – Fremont Brewing. Canned beer is great! Newer cans keep beer fresher, reduce transit costs and are better for the environment. Its the easiest to pack in and to pack out, reducing in size to easily recycle. This one is a no-brainer. Get yourself a few sixers of canned beer.
- (2) Forget the Chilling Vessel – Use Nature - I realize that this one might apply only us in the high north. In Washington state, all of our water is cold! Whether you are by the sea or in the mountains, a fresh supply of frigid water will await you. Hauling around any type of chilling device, whether it be an ice pack or a soft cooler is probably a waste of space. It will not protect your treasured ale from the sun and humidity. Find a water source early in the trip and something to lodge your beer beneath the water’s surface to keep it from the sun’s heat and light. A good choice is that good old bear canister that you are most likely required to have in order to camp in the vast NW. Once the sun retreats, pull your canister, drink up, seal off food for the night and repeat the next day.
- (3) Pace Yourself & Conserve - Unfortunately, you need to leave your Saturday city drinking behind. Do not expect to have the same epic consumption schedule you typically fly through each weekend. Be a grown up and consume at a reasonable pace. Remember, nothing is worse than spending some time on an amazing beach and knowing that you are out of ale. Always keep a few in the cooler and educate your friends on properly preparing. Otherwise, they’ll be hounding you to pass one over.
Suggestions From Beer Blotter
If you decided to go can and on-site cool – here are some pointers:
- (1) ABV is King – Think about ABV when you are planning. In our instance we wanted the best ABV to price ratio. The golden rule in my opinion was a perfect 1 : 1 of ABV % to 6 Pack price (i.e. 8% for $8). This led us directly to Oskar Blues Old Chub, which rings in right at the sacred 1 : 1 ratio (actually I paid $8.99, but close enough). While you might be tempted to go for that Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, Gordon or Gubna, remember that a 6 pack might take you into the $20-$24.00 range. Yikes! Look for the 7%-8% grogs; they seem to have the best value.
- (2) Flavor Should Match Your Surroundings - Here is where I admit my first error. Beach camping requires a specific type of beer. Old Chub, a scotch ale with complete caramel maltiness was not our best choice. Instead, 21st Amendment’s Brew Free or Die was our best selection. The IPA matched all weather conditions, was refreshing, and still maintained an acceptable flavor at air temperature. Unfortunately, we had a small 6 pack supply. Remember to look out for Fremont Brewing’s potential IPA release soon in the future. Another great choice would absolutely be 7 Seas Ballz Deep Double IPA, which comes in 16oz cans at 8.4%!!!! Wish we could have found a few of those for the trip.
- (3) Suffer the Weight, Not the Beer-less Moments - Nothing is worse then getting to your site and knowing that you could have handled another 6 pack in your pack. You will want that 72oz of greatness! Pack as much as you can possibly muster without injuring yourself. Remember that the trek back will be a heck of a lot lighter!
From all of us at BeerBlotter.com – Have a hell of summer!
I’ve decided to use the “Top 5 Lists” column to go ahead and give a brief dissertation on the Washington Brewers Festival. WaBF happened this past weekend out in Kenmore, Washington. We went out and had a blast.
As you might remember, we typically use this column to discuss our five favorite places for a beer in cities across the globe. There are quite a bit of cities – we travel often.
We plan on discussing the event more this week, but the time being, I wanted to share my five favorite places to have a beer at WaBF. This is a bit strange, considering its really all one place – a tent in one big field. But the column is more about the five great situations that I experienced at WaBF, and why I think they are significant.
Again, lets revisit the rules and disclaimer:
First, the rules: (these are the normal Top 5 rules, but they basically apply the same way here. I have edited briefly though)
- We go places because we want, not because someone asked. I cannot stress this enough. We were never enticed to these places by promises of freebies, attention, pats on the back or back room happy endings – we just went because we heard the word.
- We cannot be everywhere. Typically when we visit an event, we have limited time. This severely limits what we can visit. If there is a critically-acclaimed otherworldly thing to do that we did not make it to, we will try and asterisk it in the Top 5 list so that you know it exists.
- We are not millionaires. Wow, bet you could have guessed that one. We cannot purchase the best of the best all of the time. This limits what we might get out of a particular event. Just want you to know.
- We like all types of things. These lists are not “beer nerd” centric – far from it. In fact, you may find things that make you shake your head. But, if they have the total package of beer, character, service, food and aura – they get the mark.
- We try to poll our choices, but sometimes there is bias. This one doesn’t apply today – I am taking over.
Ok, now that we are through with the rules, lets move on to the Top 5 list for the Washington Brewers Fest.
Washington Brewers Festival
- Visits: Every year since 2007. This year, I attended on Friday, June 18, 2010.
- Area Brewers of Note: Probably every brewer in the great state of Washington (though not likely) and a few specials from out of state (Dogfish Head and Goose Island, among others). But this even included tiny nanobrewers 192 Brewing and Foggy Noggin Brewing.
- Festival Favorite: Look at the line above – Black Raven Brewing Co. In a short time of just over a year, this brewery had won the heart of locals and the attention of outsiders. I even had a discussion about them with the owner of Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, FL! They are making waves.
- The Top 5…..
#5 – The Bloggers – Geoff Kaiser and Kendall Jones
Well we have to pull for our own, don’t we? Beer blogging is becoming a popular form of art. As more and more people become intrigued by the craft beer world, more and more local breweries find market share. This forces more and more localization of beer for the public, with even tiny nanobrewers finding a place to sell their goods.
All of this lends to one thing – a need for local beer communities. The local beer community in Seattle has spawned several beer-centric bars, craft bottle shops, micro and nanobrewers and now even local beer bloggers. Most bloggers do what they do because they simply love beer – and they recognize the need for a local resource. Believe me, no blogger thinks that they are the source, but if we can shave some time of your adventure through beer, steer you towards the great venues and give you a head’s up on happenings – we are lending a hand to the beer community.
When I saw that the two most read (probably) beer bloggers in Washington state had booths at WaBF, it made me proud to be a blogger. Seattle Beer News and Washington Beer Blog are written by Geoff Kaiser and Kendall Jones, respectively. Both of these guys do an excellent job writing about beer in Washington state. I tip my hat to each of them for their commitments to great material.
But, now they are even be accepted into the brewers world. WaBF is a festival for the brewers and it was a bit touching to see that Washington Beer Commission was willing to include both these great resources. Kudos to the event; kudos to Geoff and Kendall for jumping in.
#4 – The Nanobrewers
Some time ago, I wrote an article on BeerBlotter.com about some of the nanobrewing spots that you could visit around Seattle. Later on, the focus of that story, Gilligan’s Brewing Company, became the center of a story by magazine, All About Beer.
Its funny to look back at that article now and think: those guys were nanobrewers?! Yes, I might have played down the extent of brewing operations over at Seattle brewers Big Al Brewing, Two Beers Brewing, Schooner Exact Brewing, and Fremont Brewing. Big Al can be found all across Washington state, Two Beers is the house IPA tap at many of my favorite bars, Schooner Exact recently opened a tap room with over 10 beers, and Fremont Brewing is now in the process of canning! These guys are no longer the little guys on the block.
But, there have emerged a new breed of nanobrewers in the greater Seattle area. One of my favorite things to see at this years event: the little guys having a place to pour.
My favorite might be 192 Brewing, who is doing what they do – all in a 192 square foot space. This is what its all about. It doesn’t take $500,000.00 to get started, it doesn’t require a warehouse. All you need is some love and a few good test batches to make a tasty beer that the public can enjoy. 192 has the right idea.
Similarly, Foggy Noggin made my little eyes weep. These guys are making beer on a 1/2 barrel (15 gallon) gravity system, similar to the one that BeerBlotter.com brews on. I was so proud to see these guys, without all the wonderful equipment of its surrounding brewers, put out some good brew. It does a homebrewer proud.
I hope to see more of this over the next year. It doesn’t take much to add another tent or two to WaBF (I assume). Maybe we’ll even see some home brewers involved in the next few years.
I was just out in Wenatchee and made a quick stop in Leavenworth for some cheese and brats at the Munchen Haus. When we were down in the Cheesemonger, tasting some damn good cheese, we saw some bottles from Washington brewers – brewers we had never heard of.
What we saw were bottles from Old Schoolhouse Brewing. This brewery and pub is located out in little ole Winthrop, Washington – in the south end of the Okanogon National Forest. We met the owner and brewer, a father and son, respectively, and were utterly impressed with their kind demeanor and their tasty beer. Our favorite: the Imperial IPA (coming in at 9.6% ABV!).
Old Schoolhouse was just one of many rural brewers that us city folk down in Seattle do not regularly get to try. Because of a dense brewer population in the greater Seattle area, its difficult for a rural brewer to find tap space at your bar. So WaBF is one of those great events where you finally get to try some of their concoctions.
Other rural brewers of note were Skookum Brewery, out in Arlington, WA, Snipes Mountain Brewing, down in Prosser, WA, and Flyers Restaurant & Brewery, up in Oak Harbor, WA. Each of these brewers showcase wonderful ales, including top notch IPAs from Skookum and Snipes, and a potentially best in show porter from Flyers. If you get a chance to try their beers – grab one, its not everyday you see them.
#2 – The Crazy Beers
After awhile, you’ve just had too many IPAs. You want something a bit different don’t you? You want something that makes you go – What the &%$((%$?!
In the past few years, we have seen the emergence of more creative recipes, a larger presence of wood-aging, and yeasts we cannot pronounce. Most of this shift is due to the success of sour beers, higher alcohol beverages, and fearless brewers like Dogfish Head, Lost Abbey, Jolly Pumpkin and Avery Brewing.
In my three years at this event, I have never seen more than a few “off-the-cuff” beer titles on the list. This year – the list was littered with unknowns. Some of the most mind-boggling:
Airways Triple Chocolate Stout (Stout)
Three Skulls Blood Orange Wit (Witbier)
Big al 5 Star Chile IPA (Habanero Hot)
Black Raven’s Malt & Vine 3rd Anniversary (Sour Mash Rye), Jerked Brown Porter (Herb & Spiced Ale) & Coco Jones (Coconut Brown Porter)
Foggy Noggin Christmas Duck (We just like the name)
Fremont Brewing Scary Monster Double IPA** (Ridiculous IPA)
Hale’s IX Gold on Sour Cherries (Belgian Strong Golden)
Harmon Scott’s Puget Creek Vanilla Porter (Flavored Brown Porter)
Lazy Boy Nacho Pilsner (Dry Hopped Chiles/Pilsner) & Oscuro Con Chiles** (Infused/Porter)
Snipe’s Cask Twangzister Sour Cherry Stout** (Barrel Aged Sour)
I also very much enjoy the slow emergence of more and more French and Belgian Farmhouse style ales. I have never seen so many, Biere De Garde, Saison and general white and wheat ales. I was very impressed with Double Mountain and Rock Bottom saisons.
Its a welcome change. Lets keep it up brewers.
You’d think I’d spend the most time talking about the #1 place on the list. But, this is a bittersweet love. As much as they deserve #1 – the place was inundated with a line that was no less than 10 times the length of any other line at the fest. Kudos to Black Raven for arriving on the scene – and blowing it to smithereens.
Black Raven is the best beer producer in Washington state. Its settled, there can no longer be a debate. The buzz behind everything they do can no longer be silenced, can no longer be inhibited. They are officially playing the role of the most popular brewer in the state.
Well, its not just a fad. Its really good beer, creative beer, inventive beer, flavorful beer and selective beer. They showcased several titles at the WaBF – every single one was impeccable. The Wisdom Seeker Double IPA is perhaps the best in the nation at its style. The bourbon barrel scotch ale was my #2 beer at the event. The Coconut Porter and the Malt & Vine 3rd Anniversary are both Top 20 beers as well.
Look – we know they are good. Beer bloggers are helping to create this following with our perpetual ogling over all that they do. But, that being said, we cannot stop. No matter how big the buzz, we continue to peg them at the top of the list. Nothing changes over here at BeerBlotter.com. Black Raven rules Washington beer.
Live in Washington Beer Festival? Know the event? Hate something we wrote? Let us know below in our comments, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.