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Washington Brewers Fest – Day One

Georgetown Brewery Lisa's Chocolate Stout

Georgetown Brewery Lisa's Chocolate Stout

The lines to enter the first night of the Washington Brewer’s Fest were long but the beer was worth it. There was a number of special Friday only casks of Washington beer that were truly special.

Georgetown Brewery, was selected by WABL members to brew the WABL-only beer for this festival. They made a tasty chocolate stout called Lisa’s the sun is trying to kill me stout. It was full bodied with bitterweet chocolate flavor. This stout is a dark and chewy brew that finishes smooth. The tag line on the beer is almost as good as the brew -“This beer is for all you video game-loving, sun-hating beer geeks” Jeramie, this beer is for you!

That sun on their banner is the only sun that we saw this evening. About 90 minutes in the the festival, the sky opened up and it POURED. This was no gentle Seattle drizzle, this was a drenching downpour. I scurried to a canopy but by the time I got there, the water was streaming down my face, making it difficult to even see. Good thing I managed to keep my beer relatively undiluted under my jacket!

Washington Brewfest Rain storm

Washington Brewfest Rain storm

Even soaked to the skin the crowd was good tempered and weathered the worst of the rain reminiscing about other rainy beer events. After about 10 minutes, people bravely ventured out in full rain gear or in dripping T-shirts in pursuit of beer!
Some of the Friday night highlights:

Sweet & Sour from Trade Route- This is one of my favorite beers of the summer. I first tasted it during Seattle Beer Week at Beveridge Pub Bodacious Beverage night and on Sour Beer Night at Brouwer’s Cafe. I have been looking for it ever since! They told me it is just a special seasonal beer for events, but this is my favorite Trade Route beer by far!

Herberts from Ram Brewery. This was the absolute last cask of this fantastic beer that was brewed for the Cask festival last winter. We enjoyed it at the Ram Brewery a few months ago and it was a real treat to drink  it again tonight!

High Five Hefe from Iron Horse Brewery was a great sunny summertime kind of beer. A nice refreshing wheat beer with a bit of ginger bite to balance the touch of sweetness imparted by the malt.  It was a ginger kind of night for me and I really enjoyed this beer. I tasted it for Mikey, I wasn’t particularly drawn to the wheat beers in the rain but was so glad that I did.

Matt of Scuttlebutt talking about his Cask Black Pilsner

Matt of Scuttlebutt talking about his Cask Black Pilsner

Matt from Scuttlebutt was pouring his Cask Black Pilsner. This is NOT your dad’s pilsner = Budweiser type of beer. It had a distinct resin bite to the hops, so unusual in a beer of this color.  This beer was getting a lot of buzz and was going fast.

The most divisive beer of the night appeared to be Baron’s Rausch Sour Double Bock. People loved this beer or hated it. I didn’t talk to anyone that was neutral about this brew. Now I love me some sour beer but I admit that the first sip of this beer did make me scrunch up my mouth. This is a beer that needs two or three sips to make the transition from the lighter beers available at the brewfest. By the third sip, I was really savoring the smoky-sour complexity of this beer. If you are not a sour beer fan, you will find other beers much better suited to your palate, go straight to those. But, if you can appreciate a good sour brew, give this one a try, at least two sips!

A very special kudos to Handful of Luvin, the musical entertainment tonight. They went on in the midst of the downpour and encouraged people to get “dancing in the rain”. They kept the atmosphere upbeat despite the rain.

I will be returning tomorrow with the beer tasting crew. I am looking forward to enjoying great Washington beer and good friends tomorrow, come rain or shine!

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