The time has come for the biggest Washington beer festival of the year. The Washington Brewers Festival kicks off tonight at Marymoor Park with a 21+ session from 4pm to 9pm, and then it continues with family-friendly sessions on Saturday from 11am to 9pm and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. The weather is looking quite nice for the weekend with temperatures in the 70s and just a slight chance of rain.
Tickets will be available at the door, but be warned that if you show up during peak times (Saturday from 2pm to 4pm) that the walk-up line may be briefly held up to allow for advance purchasers to enter first.
All of the relevant information can be found at the event website, along with a full beer list. With so many beers available, it can surely be a bit overwhelming to choose what to drink. Following are just a few of the beers that will be worth your tokens. Have fun, everyone.
For myself, I will be looking to mix in some sessionable summer beers along with some of the special releases that could be hard to find anywhere else. It’s almost a guarantee that I’ll be buying some extra tokens…
My Beer Picks (F = Friday Only)
Alpine Hefeweizen – Nothing exotic here, just one of the best examples of a traditional German hefeweizen that you’ll find in the NW. I don’t see this one on tap around Seattle very often, so if the sun is shining chances are I will have one of these. Offers plenty of flavor while staying refreshing.
Iron Goat Cap’n Kidd Scotch Ale Bourbon Barrel Aged (F) - This Spokane brewery opened last summer, and I have not had the pleasure of trying anything from them, yet. I’m a big fan of bourbon barrel brews, and I like that this one is “just” 7.5% ABV. We’ll see how it holds up.
Redhook Double Black Mocha – Last weekend I had a taste of their regular Double Black Stout, made with coffee from Caffe Vita, for the first time in a while. It was pretty fantastic. For this version, they added cocoa nibs. Sounds like a solid plan to me.
Roslyn India Pale Lager (F) – It’s quite rare to see anything other than Roslyn’s typical dark and pale lagers, so it’s a treat to try special releases from them when you see them. I love hoppy session beers, so I’ll give this 5% ABV IPL a chance. They will also have a “belgian-style ale” on Sat/Sun.
Bale Breaker Field 41 Pale, Topcutter IPA, and Bubba’s Brew – This new brewery is located in the middle of a Yakima hop field. No, seriously. It’s owned by the same family that has owned and operated the B.T. Loftus Ranches hop farms for 4 generations since 1932. They just opened their 30bbl production brewery in April, and I’ve been itching to try their beers. I hope to make a trip out to the brewery soon, but these samples will work for now.
Big Al Five Star Chili IPA – Pepper beers can often be perceived as gimmicky, but I remember loving this one a couple of years ago at the WA Brewers Fest. Sounds like this has continued to be a popular offering. Or, try their Sunshine Slowdown Session IPA. I just had a couple pints and brought home a growler of this 4.8% ABV IPA earlier this week. Great stuff.
Hale’s Toasted Coconut Bourbon Nitro Porter – I have really enjoyed what Hale’s has done with their barrel-aging over the past couple of years. I don’t plan to miss this one.
Airways Summer Rustic Saison – We don’t see nearly as many good saisons here in WA as I’d like to see on a regular basis, so I’m always willing to try new ones (new to me, at least). At 5.2% ABV, this is hopefully right in my wheelhouse.