Winter Beer Festival Starts Tonight

December 4th, 2009 · No Comments · Events, Washington Breweries

See you at the Winter Beer Festival this weekend! Since WABL sent out such a nice summary of the festival, I’m going to cheat today and post their info (long night…busy day). Check out the website for a full beer list, and if you still aren’t a WABL member you should become one (you can sign up at the festival)!

Now that Thanksgiving is over it’s time to get ready for the Winter Beer Fest! The Winter Fest is happening this weekend on Friday, December 4th & Saturday, December 5th at the Hale’s Palladium at Hale’s Ales Brewery. 

There will be 34 Washington breweries serving over 80 beers. The Winter Beer Fest is sponsored by our friend, 99 Bottles and you can pick up many of the winter seasonals featured at the event at the 99 Bottles store! You can view the list of beers online. And here are some highlights:
Winter Warmers/Scotch Ales-it’s no wonder when the temperature outside drops we all long for something a bit stronger and more robust. That’s why there are many winter warmers to help us get through the cold rainy season. They are typically dark, rich and high in alcohol. Some of the classic winter warmers available at the Winter Fest are Pyramid Snow Cap and Super Snow Cap, Diamond Knot Industrial Ho!Ho!, Snoqualmie Falls Avalanche and Hale’s Wee Heavy.
Realm of the Darkness-many winter beers are best characterized by their deep, dark color with assertive maltiness. The types and amount of malt used during the brewing process are primarily responsible for the dark hues and contribute to the pronounced malty flavors often found in winter seasonals. Try Rock Bottom Black Diamond Stout, 7 Seas Port Royal Export Style Stout, and Chuckanut Dunkel Lager which recently won a gold medal at the prestigious Great American Beer Fest.
Chocolate & coffee beers-this year’s festival features Chocolate Box and Caffe Vita sampling their fine chocolates and espresso drinks that are perfect accompaniments to winter beer. Obviously the brewers agree because there will be quite many beers with chocolate or coffee flavors. For chocolate lovers there will be Lisa’s Chocolate Stout (Georgetown), Chocolate Dunkel (Northern Lights) and Chocolate Oatmeal Stout (Water Street), as well as Mocha Death (Iron Horse), Mocha Stout (Northgate Ram– WABL Beer) and Jive Espresso (Two Beers) for those who prefer coffee in their beer.
Graceful aging-Thanks to the high alcohol content many winter beers age very nicely. They are often put in oak, bourbon, whiskey or other types of barrels and take on the flavors during the long aging process. Several breweries will bring their vintage gems including Diamond Knot Industrial Ho!Ho! (07 & 09), Elysian Bye Bye Frost (08), Northgate Ram Mall Walker and Dawgsled (08 & 09), Snipes Mountain Pumpkin Death (cask bourbon 08 & 09) and Boundary Bay who will showcase three versions of their Cabin Fever (09, 08 and oak-aged 08). For barrel aged beers try Schooner Exact Hoppy the Woodsman, Pike Entire and Black Raven‘s mystery beer appropriately called “Surprise from the Barrels.”
Holiday feast-looking at the Winter Beer Festival beer list is like looking at a holiday dinner menu, with lots of spices and seasonal ingredients. There are many beers with holiday twists that show the brewers’ true creativity. Try Diamond Knot Pumpkin Ale, Trade Route Ginger Pale Ale, Pike Auld Acquaintance and Lazy Boy Mistletoe Bliss, both with orange peel and cinnamon. For dessert Naked City will be serving Bing, a Belgian Dubbel with cherries and cinnamon.  
Mystery beers-there are several breweries who like to be mysterious and they are not revealing the detail on some of their beers they’re pouring. So make sure to check out the “mystery” beers from the following breweries: Black Raven (“Surprise from the Barrels“), Fremont (“Mystere d’Hiver“), Schooner Exact & Scuttlebutt (a mystery cask). Plus some brewers always like to bring something that are not listed to keep things exciting! 
This year’s theme is beer, chocolate & coffee. Caffe Vita will be on site and serving up free espresso drinks and handing out samples of their THEO blend which is used in this year’s WABL Beer, Mocha Stout by Northgate Ram. Then Chocolate Box will bring a variety of chocolates to go with the beer. They will bring delicious chocolates from Cater’s Chocolates, Theo Chocolate and Moonstruck Chocolate, plus cupcakes from Look Cupcake. Be sure to try the special Winter Beer Fest Cupcake made with Iron Horse’s Mocha Death!
As usual WABL members will receive some special perks at the Winter Beer Fest:
  • WABL Hour*- Friday 4-5pm & Saturday 12-1pm (regular Winter Fest tickets required)
  • TWO WABL Beers- Mocha Stout by Northgate Ram & a homebrew WABL Beer “Overindulgence“, a Belgian Dark Strong by Colin Lenfesty. While supply lasts.
  • Bonus two tokens (no promo code needed. Just show your passport at the WABL Booth)
    *WABL Hour is open to the current WABL members only except for designated drivers. Make sure your membership is current! 
Advance tickets are sold out online but most ticket outlets should still have tickets to both days but call them to check availability. If you miss your chance to buy advance tickets not to worry. There will be plenty of additional tickets available at the door during the event. But with an advance ticket you not only save $2 but your wait will be minimal if the event reaches the capacity. A very good reason to buy advance tickets!

2009 Winter Beer Festival
Friday, December 4th, 5-10pm (WABL Hour: 4-5pm)
Saturday, December 5th, 1-10pm (WABL Hour: 12-1pm)
Hale’s Palladium @ Hale’s Ales Brewery
4301 Leary Way, NWSeattle, WA  98107

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