HE SAID about the Second Annual Brew Seattle:
Seattle Magazine’s 2nd Annual BREW Seattle event at the Fremont Foundry is in the books! While beer events are popping up everywhere these days, BREW Seattle is the only beer event of it’s size to feature only breweries within the Seattle city limits. This years line-up had a robust 27 breweries, including some of the iconic Seattle players such as Elysian, Hales, Fremont, Pyramid, and Georgetown. Of course no beer festival worth it’s salt in Washington would be complete without the “bathtub” breweries who have popped up in the past year or two such as Populuxe, Standard, Stoup, and Peddler Breweries!
Overall BREW Seattle seemed to be an event that even the old dogs were determined to prove they could still show off new tricks. with a diverse selection of brews that spanned the range of sublime to bizarre, depending on your perspective of course. The classic old school breweries were going toe to toe with the newbies instead of just pouring their standby IPA’s and Pale Ales! Beers like Elysian’s “Punkuccino Pumpkin Ale” was battling to be as unusual as Bluebird’s “ Habanero Pumpkin Porter” . Epic Ales “Fungal Pale Ale” was even made with fresh mushrooms! Who could get most creative seemed to be the theme of the night!
In the end, my favorites were not necessarily the most unusual, but those I could imagine drinking more than just the 4 oz sample taste available at BREW Seattle. This came down to the most balanced and delicious of what I was able to try of the many beers available, including Lantern Brewing’s “Triple Golden Ale (9.2%!), Naked City’s Crossfire IPA and Seapine Brewing’s NW Pale Ale.
SHE SAID about the Second Annual Brew Seattle:
Not much of a beer aficionado yet, I approached my attendance at this 2nd Annual BREW Seattle with two goals in mind – find some original brews from the nano guys and, since a lot beers are available in kegs only, not in bottles with labels (which is how a lot of girls choose wines, from the labels), I wanted to try ones with intriguing names. Here are my three most memorable Seattle beers of the night:
Epic Ales – Fleur de Ble
The name, Fleur de Ble, “Flower of the Wheat” is a bit deceiving. Although this is a nice wheaty beer, the distinct flavor of orange on the finish is what really stands out in this beer. And it is not a sweet orange flavor but more like the bitter orange of the rind which marries well with the overall bitterness of the beer. This Seattle beer from Epic Ales is a nice transition from summer to fall with this orange-wheaty bridge of flavors. Makes me want to savor it on a deck in the fall sun, wearing a warm wool sweater.
Peddler Brewing Co. – Velohoptor Imperial IPA
I like my beers like I like my wines – well rounded flavors from start to finish. The Velohoptor has a nice balance of hops and yeast to keep it alive from hitting the lips to that moment that the beer has been swallowed but the flavor lingers pleasantly for just a few seconds longer with a bit of perfect beer-bitterness at the end. This hoppy Seattle beer would go great with a hearty hunk of cheese and some wheat crackers – yum!
Populux Brewing – Beer Snob Brown
I’m not a dark beer drinker but could not resist the name as “beer” and “snob” are not often heard together as snob is more synonymous to wine drinkers. I was pleasantly surprised by this one, though. Rich but not overly heavy, it has the definite flavor of fine brewed coffee, espresso even, with hints of sweet tobacco and dark chocolate. This could definitely replace the weekend cup o’ joe, sipped slowly by a roaring fire while reading the Sunday New York Times. Definitely worthy of its name!
There were many other cleaver names given to brews at this year’s event – Schooner Exact’s Snowpacolypse, McMenamin’s Bad Influence ESB, and Spinnaker Bay Brewing’s High Heel Imperial IPA to name a few. And, like pretty wine labels, they grabbed my attention to try some things I normally would not have and was very happy I did. Goals complete!
It was super fun and I met a lot of great people plus tasted some interesting beers I never thought I would!
Seattle Magazine’s 2014 Brewery of the Year is…
Pike Brewing! Guests at BREW Seattle helped choose Pike Brewing as the Brewery of the Year.
Celebrating their 25th year, Pike Brewing is the epitome of Seattle brewers with their brewery located in the center of Pike Place Market. The four beers Pike poured for BREW Seattle included : Wood Aged Kilt Lifter 8.5%, Space Needle Golden IPA (58 IBU’s), Entire Wood Aged Stout 9.5%,60 IBU), and Harlot’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale.
We are delighted to have our wine-centric friends do a special guest post on BREW Seattle. What a great introduction to the Seattle beer scene than through people in the beverage industry exploring beer side of the street for a change. If you tend to stroll on the wine side as well, maybe their experience will encourage you take a stroll on the wild side.