Like many other beer drinkers in this town, I’m taking a little time off from major beer events after the conclusion of Seattle Beer Week. Things started with a bang at Pike on Thursday, May 7 and they didn’t let up until this past weekend with closing ceremonies at the Taphouse and an end of week BBQ at the Dray. Cheers to the Seattle Beer Collective and all of the sponsors/breweries/bars for showing us a great time. All the guys involved worked their tails off to put this thing together, and they pulled off a hell of a first year.
I’m wondering what events everyone else enjoyed, and what you might want to see added/changed for next year? Suggestions? Gripes? I’m sure the guys would appreciate any feedback. Did anyone get to make the bus tour up to Bellingham? Try the hopwurst at Schultzy’s? The number of events worked out great, in my opinion. In fact, I couldn’t imagine having many more….you can only hit so many things. I’ll take quality over quantity (suck it, Pollack!) any day. I still had to miss out on many, many events that I would love to have made it to.
Sour Fest on Thursday was a definite highlight for me. Just two of my favorites were the Drakes Port Barrel Imperial Cherry Stout & New Belgium Foedre #3 (“Love”). The New Belgium is straight from the barrels they mix with to create La Folie & other NB sours. The Drakes was an unexpected surprise from the CA brewery. There were so many great beers, though, that it’s just impossible to talk about everything I enjoyed at that fest (much of which is still on draft…including Cuvee de Tomme!??!!).
After enjoying some time down at the Cheese Festival at Pike Place Market Saturday morning (mmmm….cheese), we headed down to Schooner Exact’s grand opening at their new location, as well as stopping by Trade Route (formerly Laughing Buddha) and Baron as part of the South Seattle Breweries Open House (OK, we hit a winery while down there too…). It was great to see Schooner set up in their new location with their new (and MUCH larger) equipment. You can look forward to seeing more beer from them around town very soon. One standout beer from the visit was Trade Route’s Sweet & Sour; a lacto induced sour version of their Ginger Pale Ale. Talk about a unique take on a sour…the ginger of the base beer and a sweet/sour mixture all balance very nicely. I don’t think I could drink a whole lot of it, but I really enjoyed my small glass of it.
I couldn’t tear myself away from my BBQ and my sunny porch on Saturday evening for the closing ceremonies at the Taphouse, nor on Sunday for the BBQ up at the Dray. I planned to….just didn’t happen.
In other events, I couldn’t pass up the chance to meet Cascade head brewer Ron Gansberg on Wednesday at Uber Tavern (I missed a lot of other great SBW events to make this!). The Sang Noir, Sang Royal, Vlad the Imp Aler, Blackberry (new recipe) and Gold Yeller were all on tap, and a few special bottles were broken out as well. The Sang Noir was my favorite of the bunch…but it’s hard to choose. We did a side-by-side of Vlad the Imp Aler, Russian River Consecration and Deschutes Dissident. While they’re all very different beers, I have to say I enjoyed the Cascade & Deschutes more than the RR. For the record, the Dissident has really developed nicely since its release like 9 months ago. Thanks to Ron, Rick, Preston, Tom (awesome stouts!) & Co. for making that a great night.
I’ll be uploading some pictures in the next couple of days that I’ll make sure to post.
At some point, I’m sure I’ll start looking forward to the second year of Seattle Beer Week!!!