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Beer Blotter’s Guide to WA Brewers Fest 2010

June 17, 2010 1 comment

A major highlight at this year's WA Brewers Fest

This coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday is the WA Brewers Fest.  You should go.  Support our great state’s breweries, both new and old.

Very few states in this great US of A have so many exciting breweries.  Unless you are some sort of professional brewery visitor and all you do from Monday through Friday is travel from brewery to brewery, trying everything available, there is no way you have tried all of the beers available at this fest.  Get out, educate yourself, have fun, challenge your palate, and be responsible.

The following is the complete list of beers available for taste throughout the weekend.  Well, I guess they won’t all be available throughout the weekend, some are Friday only (indicated with **).  I’ve chosen to steer clear of these, for the most part, for several reasons.   The biggest reason being that most of these beers have rarely been seen before, if at all, and thus I have very little information about them.  If they sound good, and most do, and you are able to get a pour, sip it down and let us know what you think.

Of the remainder, I’ve highlighted the ones that I feel are most worth checking out.  If you know about something special that I glossed over, please feel free to contact us.

Washington
192 Brewing*- Kenmore, WA
Granny’s Apple Ale (Fruit Ale)
Shticky Blonde (Blonde Ale)
Bier de Garde (Farmhouse Ale) - Timperial Stout loves saisons and is in a constant search for the world’s fairest.  A recent visit to The Dray allowed for our taste buds to experience the exquisite nature of Double Mountain Bonne Idee.  FL’s St. Somewhere probably makes one that’s even better.  How will this new brewery’s offering compare?
Shed Light (Light Ale)

Vanilla Stout** (Stout)

7 Seas Brewing*- Gig Harbor, WA
British Pale Ale (British Pale Ale)
Rude Parrot IPA (Spring/Summer Seasonal IPA)
Ballz Deep Double IPA (Double IPA)

Airways Brewing- Kent, WA
First Class IPA (IPA)
Jet City ESB (ESB)
Triple Chocolate Stout (Stout)Airways keeps eluding me.   The name of this brew alone makes my mouth water.  A must try for me.

Alpine Brewing- Oroville, WA
Alpine Pilsner (Pilsner)
Alpine HefeWeizen (HefeWeizen)- Alpine and Chuckanut are always battling it out for German style superiority.  A hefe is one of the very best styles for outdoor summer drinking.

Anacortes Brewery*- Anacortes, WA
Belgian Dubbel (Belgian Dubbel)
Mai Oh Maibock (Maibock)
IPA (IPA)
Hefeweizen (Hefeweizen)
Cask IPA** (Cask IPA)

Baron Brewing/Three Skulls Ales*- Seattle, WA
Three Skulls Blood Orange Wit (Witbier)
Three Skulls Amber (American Amber Ale)
Baron Pilsner (German Pilsner)
Baron Schwarzbier (Schwarzbier)
Hop the Plank IPA (IPA)

Big Al Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Summer Lager (Helles)
Big Al Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
Belgian Tripel (Tripel)
Brougham Bitter (ESB)
5 Star Chile IPA** (Chile IPA)

Big Time Brewery- Seattle, WA
Wheat beer (American Wheat)
Trombipulator (Belgian Tripel) - In case you didn’t know, bb.com has a strong affinity for Belgian ales.  Big Time is quite possibly Seattle’s best brewery, but it often slips under the radar with its U-District hideout and lack of bottle distribution.  I’ll take a little slice of Europe in the Emerald City any chance I get.
Ave Rat Malt Liquor (Malt Liquor)

Black Raven Brewing*- Redmond, WA – Ummm… I’d say it’s pretty safe to say that Black Raven isn’t messing around.  Every one of these is worth a try.  Wisdom Seeker is WA’s greatest effort to date for world hop supremacy.  Not to be missed.  Coco Jones won gold at the most recent World Beer Cup for “Herb and Spice Beer”.  A true rarity.
Wisdom Seeker (Double IPA)
Malt & Vine 3rd Anniversary (Sour Mash Rye)
Jerked Brown Porter (Herb & Spiced Ale)
Splinters (Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch)
Coco Jones** (Coconut Brown Porter)

Boundary Bay Brewery- Bellingham, WA
German Tradition Single Hop Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
IPA (IPA)
Peach Blonde Ale (Blonde Ale)
Dunkles Bock (Dopple Bock)Silver medal winner at this year’s World Beer Cup.  Drink some suds from the nation’s largest brewpub.

Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen- Bellingham, WA
Kolsch (German Ale)
Pilsner (German Pilsner) - It is extremely rare that I recommend a lager of any kind, especially a pilsner, but chances are good that you will find no better brew in the style than that of Chuckanut.

Diamond Knot Brewing*- Mukilteo, WA
Industrial IPA (Imperial IPA)
Scottish Ale (Scottish Ale)
Whip Ale (American Pale Ale) – This is Michael “Whip” Wilton of Queensryche’s beer.  Lazy Boy Brewing made it first, now it’s DK’s turn.  Let’s see if it has been improved.
Mystery Cask (changes daily)

Elliott Bay Brewing- Seattle & Burien, WA
Demolition Ale (Strong Pale Ale)
Wit von Boorian (Belgian Wheat Beer)

Elysian Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Loser Pale (Pale Ale)
Avatar Jasmine IPA (IPA)
Mens Room Original Red
Valhalla

Fish Brewing*- Olympia, WA
Fish Tale Organic IPA (IPA)
Fish Tale Organic Blonde Ale (Blonde)
Leavenworth Whistling Pig Hefeweizen (Alpine Style Hefeweizen)
Spire Mountain Pear Cider (Pear Cider)
Starfish Imperial Red Ale** (Imperial Red Ale)

Flyers Restaurant & Brewery*- Oak Harbor, WA
Pacemaker Porter (Robust Porter) - I’ve never had this one before, but a very reputable source once told me that this is the best porter in WA.
Afterburner IPA (Northwest IPA)
Humbles Blonde Ale (Blonde Ale)
Barnstormer Brown Ale (English Dark Mild)
Afterburner Mach II IPA** (IPA)

Foggy Noggin Brewing*- Bothell, WA
Bit O’ Beaver (English Bitter)
Christmas Duck (Porter) - Here is a good chance to check out one of our newest breweries.  At the very least, these guys seem to know how to name a beer.  I’m simultaneously hungry and thirsty right now.
Kastrated Dawg** (Strong Ale)

Fremont Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Universale Pale (Pale Ale)
Interurban IPA (IPA)
Solstice (Summer Ale)
Mystere de l’ete (Mystery beer) – We really like Fremont Brewing.  Whatever this ends up being, it should be tasty.
Scary Monster Double IPA** (Ridiculous IPA)

Gallagher’s Where U Brew- Edmonds, WA
Magnum PI…A (IPA)
Citra Blond (Blond Ale)
Eric the Red (Red IPA)

Georgetown Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Manny’s Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
Lucille (IPA) – Those of you who read our work with any regularity know that we have done some gushing about this one.  Timperial has yet to try it.  It will be sampled.
Roger’s Pilsner (Pilsner)
Cask Porter** (Porter)

Hale’s Ales Brewery*- Seattle, WA
Supergoose (IPA) – Chances are good that you have had this one before.  Its presence on the market is very strong.  If by chance you haven’t, please do yourself a favor.  This beer is really good.
IX Gold on Sour Cherries (Belgian Strong Golden)
Kolsch (Kolsch)
SBW (Double IPA)
Saizon** (Saison) – Another saison for us to try.  Let’s see how a Fremont brewery interprets the farmhouse style.

Harmon Brewing*- Tacoma, WA
Pt. Defiance IPA (American IPA)
Scott’s Puget Creek Vanilla Porter (Flavored Brown Porter)
Rajah’s Royal IPA** (IPA)

Hood Canal Brewery*- Kingston, WA
Dabob Bay (IPA)
Big Beef (Oatmeal Stout)

Iron Horse Brewery*- Ellensburg, WA
Quilter’s Irish Death (Dark Smooth Ale)
High Five Hefe (Ginger Honey Wheat) – A recent bb.com trip to Ellensburg solidified our opinion that all things Iron Horse are worth drinking.  This hefe packs a punch, but should fit in very well at this outdoor festival.
Loco Imperial Red Ale (Big Hoppy Red)
Biere de Garde (French Ale)

Issaquah Brewhouse- Issaquah, WA
White Frog (Wit Bier)
Brutal IPA (IPA)

Chili

Beer

Plus

Lazy Boy Brewing*- Everett, WA - This is what they call “shameless self promotion”.  But seriously, all of these beers are delicious.  If for no other reason, get the chili beers so that all of the pain Shawn and I go through manually chopping those peppers is worth it.  Dry, cracked brewer hands + Scoville units = burning for days!

Nacho Pilsner (Dry Hopped Chiles/Pilsner)
Lazy Boy Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
Oscuro Con Chiles** (Infused/Porter)

Mac & Jack’s Brewing- Redmond, WA
African Amber (Amber)
IPA (IPA)
Black Cat Porter (Porter)

Maritime Pacific Brewing- Seattle, WA
Double Dry Hopped Imperial IPA (Imperial IPA) – Just read the name.  ‘Nuff said.
Maybock Lager (Helles Style Lager)
Nightwatch Dark Amber Ale (Amber)
Special Aged Portage Bay Pilsener (Northern European Style Lager)

McMenamin’s Brewery*- Seattle, WA
Terminator Stout (Stout)
Herd of Eagles IPA (IPA) – OK, this beer is called Herd of Eagles.  I need it.
Whiskey Barrel Aged Terminator Stout** (Cask Stout)

Naked City Brewery*- Seattle, WA
Yankee Drifter (Pilsner)
Fleur d’ Elise (Saison) – Oh look, another saison.
Hopacalypse Now** (Double IPA) – Yes, this is a **, but bb.com had an extensive discussion with Don Webb about this brew a few weeks back and let me tell you…it’s a labor of hop love.  Strongest possible recommendation.

Northern Lights Brewing*- Spokane, WA
IPA (IPA)
Solar Winds (Strong Pale Ale)
Blueberry (Fruit Ale)
Chocolate Dunkel (German Style Dark Ale)
Cask IPA** (Cask IPA)

Odin Brewing- Seattle, WA
Odin’s Gift (Ruby Red)
Freya’s Gold (Kolsch)

Old Schoolhouse Brewery*- Winthrop, WA
Ruud Awakening (IPA)
Blazing Amber (American Amber)
Epiphany Pale (American Pale)

Pike Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Dry Wit (Belgian White Beer)
Naughty Nellie (Golden Ale)
IPA (IPA)
Kilt Lifter (Scotch Style Ale)

Port Townsend Brewing*- Port Townsend, WA
Hop Diggidy (IPA)
Brewer’s Surprise 1 – Ohhh I like surprises.
Brewer’s Surprise 2 - See above, number 2.

Pyramid Breweries*- Seattle, WA
Haywire (Hefeweizen)
Outburst (Double IPA)
Curveball (Blonde Ale)
Thunderhead (IPA)

Ram Restaurant & Brewery*- Seattle, WA
Barefoot Wit (Belgian Style White Ale)
Black Sheep IPA (IPA)
Cat Tread Red (Red Ale)
Cloudburst Cream Ale (Cream Ale)

Redhook Ale Brewery*- Woodinville, WA
Copperhook (Copper Ale)
Rope Swing (Summer Pilsner)
Big Ballard Imperial IPA (Imperial IPA) – Much respect for acknowledging those Ballard roots.  Plus, “imperial” is in the name.

Rock Bottom Brewery*- Seattle, WA
Raw City Red Ale (Irish Red Ale)
Saison au Printomps (Farmhouse Ale) – Ok, I think you get the point.  Looks like you could make a day of the saisons alone.  We likie.

Rock Bottom Brewery*- Bellevue, WA
Hop Bomb IPA (IPA)
Pretty N Pink (Raspberry Wheat)
Uberwit (Belgian Wit)
Milk Stout (Milk Stout) – I’m hoping to make a milk stout in the near future at Lazy Boy.  Every brewery should make one.  Sweet, creamy, delicious.

Roslyn Brewing- Roslyn, WA
Roslyn (German Style Dark Lager)
Brookside (German Style Pale Lager)

Schooner Exact Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Seamstress Union (Raspberry Wheat)
Gateway Golden (Golden Ale)
Gallant Maiden (Hefeweizen)
3 Grid IPA (IPA)
Imperial Project #2: Virgil Gamachinator** (IPA)

Scuttlebutt Brewing*- Everett, WA
Tripel 7 (Belgian Tripel)
Mateo Loco (Imperial Red Ale)
Homeport Blonde (Blonde Ale)
Cask Oaked Porter** (Cask Porter)

Seattle Beer News/Big Al Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Passive Aggressive Wheat (Hoppy American Wheat Ale) – Props to our buddy Geoff Kaiser over at Seattle Beer News for making this happen.  “Hoppy” and “wheat” rarely tangle together.

Silver City Brewery*- Silverdale, WA
Ridgetop Red (Irish Red Ale)
Fat Scotch Ale (Scotch Ale)
Whoop Pass IPA (Double IPA)

Skookum Brewery*- Arlington, WA
Off Kilter (Scottish Style Wee Heavy)
Olde Tom (American IPA)
Katspaw (Blonde Ale)
Mammoth Jack** (American Double IPA)

Snipes Mountain Brewing- Sunnyside, WA
Dos Borracho’s (Pilsner Lager)
IPA (IPA)
Cask IPA (Cask IPA)
Cask Twangzister Sour Cherry Stout** (Barrel Aged Sour)

Snoqualmie Falls Brewing*- Snoqualmie, WA
Summer Beer (Alt Style Pilsner)
Wildcat (IPA)
Haystack (Hefeweizen)
Black Frog (Nitro Stout)
Sunstroke** (Imperial Pilsner)

Trade Route Brewing- Pacific, WA
Midnight Ale (Brown Ale)
Chieftan Amber (Amber Ale)
Jetstream Lager (Lager)

Two Beers Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Crooked Belgian Wit (Belgian Wit)
Immerson Amber (Amber)
Evo IPA (IPA)

Alaska
Alaskan Brewing- Juneau, AK
Alaskan Amber (Alt Style Amber)
Alaskan Summer Ale (Kolsch Style)
Alaskan IPA (IPA)
Smoked Porter (Rauchbier) - This is a perennial favorite.  If you like liquid smoke, join in on the fun.

California
Firestone Walker Brewing- Paso Robles, CA
Double Barrel Ale (English Style Pale Ale)
Pale 31 (California Style Pale Ale)

Sierra Nevada Brewing- Chico, CA
Summerfest (Lager)
Southern Hemisphere Harvest (IPA)

Stone Brewing- Escondido, CA
Stone Lieviation Ale (Amber)
Stone IPA (IPA)

Colorado
New Belgium Brewing- Fort Collins, CO
Ranger IPA (IPA)
Trip VI (Spring Citrus Pale Ale) - In case you have been living under a rock for the past few years, the Trip series is a collaboration with Seattle’s own Elysian Brewing.  These rarely strike out.  Spring Citrus sounds really refreshing.

Oskar Blues Brewery- Lyons, CO
Dales Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
Old Chub (Scotch Ale)

Delaware
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – Milton, DE
Festina Peche (Berliner Weisse) – I don’t think that we could possibly talk up DFH any more.  These guys poop gold.  A low abv, peach flavored sour beer…are you kidding me!  The pinnacle of spring/summer drinking.
Indian Brown Ale (Brown Ale)

Hawaii
Kona Brewing- Kailua Kona, HI
Longboard Lager (Island Style Lager)
Wailua Wheat (Wheat Ale)

Illinois
Goose Island Beer Co. – Chicago, IL
Matilda (Belgian Style Ale) - I’m kind of amazed that these guys are going to be at the fest.  They are clearly quite serious about pushing into the WA market.  That’s very fortunate for us.  Goose Island makes killer brews and Matilda is no exception.

Missouri
Boulevard Brewing – Kansas City, MO
Unfiltered Wheat (American Wheat Beer)
Single Wide IPA (IPA)
Zon (Belgian Style Witbier)

Oregon
BridgePort Brewing- Portland, OR
BridgePort IPA (IPA)
BridgePort Hop Czar (Imperial IPA)

Deschutes Brewery- Bend, OR
Twilight Sumemer Ale (Light Ale)
Hop in the Dark (Cascadian Dark Ale) – CDA is another way of saying black IPA, or balanced to the extreme.  You can never go wrong with Deschutes.

Double Mountain Brewery- Hood River, OR
Kolsch (Kolsch)
India Red Ale (Hoppy Red Ale)
Hop Lava (Northwest IPA)
The Vaporizer (Pale Ale)

Ninkasi Brewing – Eugene, OR
Total Domination IPA (IPA)
Rudiant Seasonal Ale (Pale Ale)

Widmer Brothers Brewing- Portland, OR
Drifter Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
Widmer Hefeweizen (Hefeweizen)
Sun Burn (Blonde Ale)

2010 Washington Brewers Fest WABL Beer
Three Tree Imperial Porter by Elliott Bay Brewing
Available exclusively to WABL members at the WABL/Merchandise Booth

So that’s the list.  Very impressive if you ask me.

If you happen to be at the fest early on Saturday or late on Sunday, swing by the Lazy Boy Brewing booth and say hi.

A Brisk Bar Tour of Wenatchee, Washington

A tall tasty pint of Deschutes Hop Henge at Applewood Grill

I am going to be honest: Do not expect to go to Wenatchee and have an earth shattering tour through beer. It will not happen. In most instances, you probably won’t even be happy. But, I want to make sure that I stress that before diving into this article. You should have zero expectations for Wenatchee – zero. If you start with that point of view, this article will be a bit uplifting.

Wenatchee, WA is a town of roughly 28,000 people situated on the absolutely beautiful confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia Rivers. In fact, Wenatchee is actually situated on the west bank of the Columbia River with several nice park access points in the city.

Wenatchee is the apple capitol of earth. Seriously. Every single place you look – apples. Apple farm, apple stand, apple cider mill, apple candy store, apple toppings for everything on the menu. You cannot avoid the apple influence on Wenatchee.

Wenatchee is absolutely and undoubtedly gorgeous. One of the most shockingly diverse topographies that I have ever witnessed. The landscape at times looks Amazonian; rolling hills covered in green and shaded by low-flying clouds of moisture. We were most amazed by the contrast of snow-capped mountains with lush jungle-like hills in the foreground. Very amazing.

But the beer – its about the beer on this site. Well if you go to Ratebeer and Beer Advocate you will not find much. Luckily, one chap put up an interesting link to a place called McGlinn’s Public House on Ratebeer. After a brief background check on the place, we noticed an impressive food menu and chatter that they have several house beers. We put them on the list.

Other than that – we just went. We had no other places on the docket. Recent economic woes led to the closing of the only brewery in the vicinity – Cashmere Brewing. Another, Leavenworth Beers, was purchased by Fish Brewing many years ago. Though a new brewery is in the cards for Leavenworth – currently nothing is in the area.

So, we headed to Wenatchee. Weaving along curvy road, through heavily wooded areas and still snowy mountaintops, we found our way to the town in about 3 hours from downtown Seattle.

We first sought out a place to eat lunch. We had to go to the Wenatchee Conference Center for an event later that afternoon, so we had parked the car in the lot and noticed that a wondrous woody scent filled the air. We gazed about the area and located the source: Applewood Grill.

The Applewood Grill kind of looks like your run of the mill family friendly establishment in any small town. Except the fact that an intoxicating aroma emanates from within large stone walls that lay some 100 meters from the banks of the Columbia River. We had to go.

Upon entering we found that the decor was inviting and that they had a sizable bar. Behind that bar lay the glory – roughly 20 taps of micro-brewed ales. Much to our surprise, the bar had an impressive collection of Deschutes Ales, including roughly all year-round releases, plus premium drafts Jubel 2010 and Hop Henge Imperial IPA. Also on the tap were Kona  FireRock Pale Ale, Leavenworth Dunkelweiss, Big Al Pale, Big Al Amber and several other enticing beers.

We strolled outside to the patio as the sun was blazing at a scorching 75 degrees. After ordering some Hop Henge we settled on their fish taco and chipotle grilled chicken panini. No lies – really good food. To our surprise, the “fish taco” was actually just one taco. But, the tortilla was massive and it was stuffed with about 1/3 lb of well seasoned fish. The chicken panini was incredible. The applewood grilled chicken was moist, seasoned and delicious.

We returned to the Applewood Grill later that night after finding little else to do. During our return trip, we found that the staff at the place was great. We enjoyed some more Hop Henge, some Jubel 2010 and some of Leavenworth’s delicious dunkelweiss. The owner explained to us that their taps were so heavily saturated with Deschutes beer due to an affiliation with Columbia Distributing. Nice work.

We stayed after the place closed down and enjoyed another round with the bar staff. We really enjoyed this place a lot.

The only other place we visited was McGlinn’s Public House. McGlinn’s had been cited on several reviews as having a bevy of microbrews on tap at all times. Additionally, they boast wood fired over perfect fro crafting amazing pizza.

We headed to McGlinn‘s for dinner at around 6 PM. The place was packed. Luckily, the people waiting all wanted to sit at a table. Ha! who sits at a table when the bar seats right in front of the taps are open!? We nestled up to the bar and took a gander at the list. Its pretty good, offering three house selections brewed by Washington breweries.

The house beers are impressive. First, was a pale ale created by Boundary Bay Brewing – I ordered this one. The other two are a Lager created by lager pros Roslyn Brewing and an amber ale made by Pyramid Brewing.

The beer list at McGlinn's Public House

The rest of the list (which is seen in an image to the right) included three beers from Elysian Brewing, Bear  Republic’s Racer 5, and Boundary Bay’s IPA, along with another 10 or so.

The menu is comprised of several wood fired items. Its extremely difficult to choose where to begin. For the first 20 minutes, I was convinced I was getting the ribs, then I wanted the whole chicken, then I wanted the pizza. We settled on the right thing to do – pizza.

But, first we started out with an order of their famous beer bread. Wow. They use a hefeweizen to make the dough and add just a bit of additional sugar to make this the best bread and butter I have ever had. Do not miss out on this item – its like $1.

Next, we grabbed some wood fired nachos! Smothered in lots of great greenery, these nachos were also the best I had had in a long time. Usually we steer clear of nachos – not this time. We weren’t disappointed.

Our pizza was magical. The pepperoni is essentially a fatty smoked canadian bacon. It was absolutely mouth-watering. The crust is wheat, which I typically do not enjoy. Fortunately, the wood fired over seemed to maximize its taste and it served the pizza right.

We ended up remaining here for about 3 hours. The staff, food, beer and atmosphere make this an absolute must if you are in Wenatchee. Today they rolled out a new beer menu too! The new menu features beers from Twisp, WA brewer Methow Brewing. This brewer has always alluded us, but we hear that their beer is quite tasty. Stop in and give it a try.

All in all, we successfully made a beer drinkers trip out of Wenatchee. I hope you will try as well. If you get out there and discover any hidden gems – give us a shout and post a comment!

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