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Brewers’ Fest 2011 Beer Review – Day one

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Chilling at Brewfest

Last night was a great time to be drinking beer in the park, especially when we are talking the opening night for the Washington Brewers Festival at St Edwards Park. The sun was shining, the beer was cold, except for the cask conditioned brews :-P, and the crowds were big enough to give it a party like atmosphere but small enough that most of the beer lines were manageable. Friday nights are known to catering to beer geeks and the brewers did not disappoint.

Beer Buzz

Wingman line

Wingman line

It was no surprise that Black Raven Brewery had one of the longest lines most of the evening. The Wingman Brewers rivaled the Black Raven beer line, it took me about 15 minutes to get through the line. But for every person that I heard say

“Look at that line! No beer is worth that wait”

There would be two to three people immediately disagree saying

“Oh My God this beer is AMAZING!”  “You are going to be so happy that you waited in line, it is so worth it”

WingmanLast night Wingman Brewers had a very special Friday only Bourbon barrel aged P-51 Porter that was tall dark and handsome. Smooth drinking, this porter was enhanced by the time in barrel instead of being overwhelmed by it. I didn’t get a chance to try the Pin Up Pale Ale but it was getting rave reviews as well.

Black Raven is a young brewery but well respected. I think you can rest assured that you made your mark in the beer world when you start hearing comments like

“I like Brother even better than the Black Raven Wisdom Seeker!” “This reminds me of Wisdom Seeker!”

Double IPA

Double IPA Smackdown: Brother vs Wisdom Seeker

So of course I had to try the Fremont Brewing Brother Double IPA, garnished with a fresh hop. Several of us tried the two IPAs side by side and the consensus was that the two beers are very similar, the biggest difference being the mouth feel. The Wisdom Seeker had more body and was more plush. The Brother Double IPA was crisper and tasted very fresh. I kept thinking echo, that the Brother echoed the aromas and flavors of the Wisdom Seeker in a great way. Which do you prefer: Bold and plush or Crisp and fresh? Try them both and let us know.

Ziggy Zoggy

Summer in a glass

Looking for something unusual to sip on this summer? Look no farther than the Silver City Brewery Ziggy Zoggy unfiltered lager. This is a Kellerbier,
a German style beer tailor made for spring and summer sipping, this beer might become your favorite summer session beer!

Other beers that stood out on Friday include:

  • Skookum Brewery Murder of Crows was an inky black stout with the nuance of oak chips soaked in Crow whiskey. Surprising light in body for this style, this was infinitely drinkable with the whiskey and oak notes adding intrigue without taking over the show.
  • Redhook Brewery Dunkelweizen – banana popsicle in a glass, in the best possible way!
  • Black Raven Brewery and Ram Restaurant Coconut Porters. This version of the Black Raven Coco Jones was bourbon barrel aged giving it some richness and the coconut takes it time to show itself whereas the Ram Coconut Porter introduces you to the coconut right up front.
  • Ram Restaurant and Brewery Bretthead Blonde was my kind of beer. Lip puckering sour up front it tames a  bit as you sip. Summertime bright it is almost like sunshine in a glass. At only 4% ABV I could drink this all day long!
  • Emerald City Whiskey Lager. I am loving the number of Washington lagers at this event.

Washington Brewers Festival continues Saturday and Sunday, tickets available at the gate.

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