Every year there are new surprises at the Washington Beer Commission Brewer’s Festival. This year is no different with new breweries, new food vendors, new activities and of course new Washington beers!
The big news is the move of the Washington Brewers’ Festival to Marymoor Park in Redmond. St Edwards Park was a well loved location for previous brewfests, except for the limited parking and no easy freeway access. The easy freeway access made it easy to get to the site, even during Friday afternoon rush hour. The site is not perfect, especially if you are wearing heels or need wheelchairs to get around. There were several of us in wheelchairs and it was challenging. I want to express my appreciation to all of those that offered to push me up the hills or helped me when I got stuck in a hole. If you depend on a walker or wheelchair, you will get a work out. I didn’t get to try nearly as many beers as I usually do.
Here are the highlights from the beers that I did sample.
Check out these Washington Beers
Black Raven Brewing Pina Colada IPA: This IPA almost made me believe that it was a sunny summer day at the beach. I heard some guys deriding this beer as too”girly” but I thought it was well balanced with the bitter hops off setting the sweetness of the pineapple.
Fremont Brewing The Brother Imperial IPA: Lots of buzz about The Brother at brewfest. The nose on this beer is like perfume to a beer lover and the taste is to swoon over. This is a MUST try.
Lantern Brewing Tripel: Many Belgian tripels are too heavy and dense for summer time sipping, but not this one. This tripel manages to pack the classic flavors into a golden ale that won’t weigh you down. I am looking forward to trying more of the beers from this nano brewery.
Ram Restaurant and Brewery Berry White: Looking for something light and fruity? Check out this fruit beer in their shared “saloon” with Big Time Brewery.
Silver City Brewery Ziggy Zoggy Summer Lager:bNow I KNOW summer will be coming, I got my first fix of Ziggy Zoggy!
Skookum Brewery Murder of Crows Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout: This beer was getting rave reviews from my fellow geeks. The bourbon in this stout is more understated than most bourbon barrel aged beers, making it very drinkable, even in June!
Wingman Brewers Pomegranate P-51 Porter: Once again Wingman had one of the longest lines but it was worth it for the hefty pour that I got of this pomegranate porter. The tartness of the pomegranate was a great companion to the malt sweet notes and hop bitterness.
Friday Night ONLY Beer Highlights
These are some of the great beers that you missed if you weren’t at the Washington Brewers Festival on Friday night. I love to go on Friday night because there are so many special beers available and many brewers are on hand. Next year consider attending on Friday night.
Black Raven Brewing Kitty Kat Blues: Imagine blueberry muffins and hops in the best way.
Foggy Noggin Brewing – Big Chief (Imperial Irish Red): I LOVED this amped up red ale. It was a big beer at 8.2% and I enjoyed every last drop. This beer was so tasty, I wanted another glass to end my evening with but it was all gone. Can’t wait until they make more!
Fremont Brewing Kentucky Dark Star Bourbon barrel-aged Oatmeal Stout: I got the very last glass of this keg and considered myself to be lucky indeed. A smooth sipper, this is a luxurious stout.
Snipes Mountain Brewery – Quinceanera is a barrel aged sour, blended in celebration of their 15th anniversary. Chad Thomas is making several batches of different aged sour blends to celebrate. This version was primarily crafted from the infamous Pumpkin Death and IPA.
Tips to enjoy Washington Brewer’s Festival
The Washington Beer Commission is already planning on how to level the lumpy recreation field that houses the Washington Brewers’ Festival. For this year, you will want to protect yourself. Shoes with some ankle support are best and at all costs avoid heels. I saw a couple people fall when their shoe hit a hole.
Food and Water are your friend
Lots of great beers abound at the Washington Brewers’ Festival but several of them are high octane. Bring water bottles and snacks to help you pace your alcohol consumption and to keep hydrated. In addition, there are a number of new food vendors this year to partake of. Chairs and picnic tables are set up around the grounds but many people like to bring their own chairs or picnic blankets to kick back.
If you are disabled…
The ground is really uneven, so plan accordingly. Buy a friend a beer to help you with some beer running. There are four beer tents and two are spread pretty part. Also be aware that accessible port a potties are at the far end, I hate to say it but Depends might be your best friend this weekend.
We all love a good beer or two or three but if you are planning on doing some serious beer loving at the Washington Brewers’ Festival, please use a designated driver or a taxi.