Hop Scotch Spring Beer and Scotch Festival: or How I Spent My 5 Tokens

Fremont Studios is the place to be on Saturday, April 24th, if you would like to sample not just beer but also scotch, wine & tequila, and at the same time support SIFF, the Seattle International Film Festival. The Hop Scotch Spring Beer & Scotch Festival kicked off yesterday and I was the sixth person through the door anxious to get inside and take pictures before it became too crowded.  As a beverage blogger, I was invited to attend by Bold Hat Productions and given 5 tokens along with a small unbreakable, but recyclable, plastic glass to sample the event.

The  layout was brilliant in its simplicity and very clearly presented a conundrum.  Of all the vendors lining the outer edges in the large rectangular room which 5 do I choose?  I bypassed the scotch and tequila sampling area that was quite popular giving a nod to the tasty anejo and reposado style tequilas.  Focusing on beer and wine, I left the spirits to others.  Where shall I spend the first token?

Five tokens.

I began by talking with Small Lot Co-Op and sampling Eleven Pinot Gris, a refreshing, light white wine from Bainbridge

Small Lot pouring wines from five Washington wineries

Island with a bit of citrus on the nose and palate.   Excellent to sip while pelleting the pourer with too many questions about their business model.  Small Lot Co-Op is located in Woodinville and provides sales, marketing and storage services to Washington wineries producing less than 2500 cases a year.  Such small wineries tend to get overlooked by the regular distributors and must promote their wine themselves.   Enter Small Lot Co-Op, an idea put in motion less than a year ago.  Membership is limited to 20 and a winery must be voted in by the other members.  Keep an eye out for Small Lot and sample their offerings when you have the opportunity.

Four tokens.

Couple at Hop Scotch tasting and sharing beer samples

Couple sleuthing through Hop Scotch to find tasty beers.

Snoqualmie Falls Brewing was pouring a seasonal brew that I could not ignore, Spring Fever Belgian Style Grand Cru Ale.

The pour was golden, not white, with a nose and palate that included coriander and the slightest bit of fruit.  As I was enjoying this spicy brew I was joined at my tall table with other note takers.  The couple had started their day at a Woodinville winery and were continuing their discovery of tasty beverages at Hop Scotch.  Each had a different porter and were exchanging thoughts and swapping their glasses back and forth.  Their main goal was to discover new beers they could enjoy, and ultimately, pair with food.

Three tokens.

192 Brewing Company is less than a year old and brews in 192 square

Robert Crawford of 192 Brewing presenting Granny's Apple Ale

feet in Kenmore, WA, thus the name.   I left the choice to the brewer and found myself sampling Granny’s Apple Ale.  This is a very light beer with a bit of apple cider mixed in along with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg.  It is a beer first, not an apple pie.  The hint of apple happens in the finish and is tart, not sweet, with the edge mollified by the tiniest presence of the spice.  The brewer recommends pairing this beer with a wood-fired Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza.  My imagination agreed.

Two tokens.

Fremont Brewing Co., also a young brewery, poured me a tasty Universal Pale Ale.  I am not a hophead so I overlook the IPA’s and ESB’s welcoming pale and amber ales.  This one was enjoyable.  The brewery is located in Fremont and open several days a week.  They serve up pretzels with their beer and encourage customers to bring in their own food.  Sounds like a great way to spend an evening meal or a Saturday lunch.

One token.

Mac & Jack Blackcat Porter drew me in.  The couple I met earlier had recommended it and porters are a favorite style of mine.  The nearly black beer has a medium body with notes of malt, chocolate, coffee and a bit of fruit.  Suddenly I was beckoned by something behind me.  Yes, Theo Chocolates was calling out. “Try the porter with chocolate”.  The chocolately siren song was not to be ignored.   I tasted each sample with the Blackcat discovering what matched and what did  not.  My recommendation is Bread and Chocolate and, especially, Coconut Curry.  Before walking away from the table, but definitely last because it will affect your palate, try a nibble of the Spicy Chile with the porter.

All five tokens were spent deliciously.  Now it was time to say goodbye.  For those of you desiring more than five samples additional tokens are available for purchase to extend your palate pleasure.

3 Responses to “Hop Scotch Spring Beer and Scotch Festival: or How I Spent My 5 Tokens”

  1. Robert Crawford says:

    I am glad that you enjoyed the apple ale. And thanks for taking the time to present the event the way you did. I am sure we will see you again soon at another festival, or better yet when it comes time to get a nice slice of Pizza and some Apple Ale. 🙂

  2. Andrea says:

    Trying to wrap my brain around Granny Apple Beer but the Porter sounds tasty!

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