Every year year, I say Friday night is the best night for beer at the Washington Brewers’ fest and I am (almost) never wrong.  If you can get off work early on a Friday, get a baby sitter for the kids and you want bragging rights to tasting some pretty special Washington beer, Friday nights are for you. Although there are fewer brewers on opening night, there were still so many that I could not make it to all of the brewer tents much less all of the brewery booths, it was closer to 20 percent. So if I missed tasting so many beers Friday night… Here is what you missed Friday June 13, 2014:

Port Townsend Brewing : Glasskisser Imperial IPA

Port Townsend Brewery Glasskisser Imperial IPA

Port Townsend Brewery Glasskisser Imperial IPA

The Glasskisser Imperial IPA could be called an “Ode to Simcoe”.  This hop monster of an imperial IPA is an aromatic bouquet of fruity piney goodness.  The Simcoe dry hop is the star here and it plays second fiddle to no one. That being said, this is still a balanced beer.  The briefest kiss of malt after the initial hop assault smooths the way for the big guns of bitterness bringing up the rear. This Washington beer almost teeters on the edge of too much hops, threatening to steal my palate for the rest of the night. Yet, I find myself raising my glass to my lips again and again, searching for that kiss of sweetness to sooth before the next bitter blast.

Paradise Creek Brewery: Cougar City Sour

To be honest, I almost spit out the Cougar City Sour after my first sip. You don’t want to taste this delicious sour right after a malty beer!  Each sip, my love affair with this tasty beer grew and grew. It had some nice pucker power but not so much that your whole face had the scrunchies. I was really curious as to how this beer would pair with food, I imagine it would be amazing!

Iron Goat Dryfly Gin Barrel Headbutt IPA

Iron Goat Brewing

Iron Goat Brewing

Subtle nose on this Washington brew belies the one-two punch that this IPA delivers. The Headbutt IPA is truth in advertising, it can knock you on your back down on your butt. It drinks higher than the 90 IBU. The hops are big up front with the first whopper punch, then the paired gin barrel notes of juniper and graphite ground your palate for the second pow of hops. You may be head butted to the ground but you will be there with a smile on your face.

Iron Goat Dryfly Whiskey Barrel Cap’n Kidd Aged Scotch Ale

Iron Goat boasted not only FIVE beers aged in Dryfly Distilling barrels, but the longest lines at the beer fest. For once, there was virtually no line at the Black Raven beer booth as festival goers flocked to the Friday night only barrel aged beers from Iron Goat. (Saturday and Sunday the lines at Black Raven returned to their expected serpentine madness.  Another argument to attend the Washington Brewers’ fest Friday night?) Back to the beer that made the line worth the wait. We had the chance to taste Cap’n Kidd Aged Scotch Ale from a friend’s glass and decided one sip was not enough.

Vivian states:

“The nose is very inviting and makes promises that it keeps. The richness of their good scotch ale is enhanced by the whiskey barrel from start to finish. Delightful!”

Dick’s Brewing: Raspberry Tripel Belgian Ale

Dick's Brewing Raspberry Tripel

Dick’s Brewing Raspberry Tripel

This is a classic spring spring release. We stop by Centralia every year on our way to Hood River to pick up a growler of this delicious beer bursting with fresh raspberries. Until now, that was the only to enjoy this seasonal Washington beer unless you called Centralia your home.  We were ecstatic to find out that Dicks Brewing did a limited bottling of this delicious tripel belgian style beer.  This is no summer session slam dunk beer but the intense real berry flavor bursting in your mouth is a lets you  know SUMMER IS HERE!  Sip and savor this Washington beer in sun and shade. Enjoy your summer!