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Beer, it's my opinion! June 25, 2012

  • Written by Toren Heald, Owner/ Broker Wedgewood Realty and beer lover.

The 2012 Washington Brewers Festival happened over Father’s Day weekend!  That’s right, you missed it, but I managed to find some time to go.  Even though this event goes from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon I was only able to attend on Friday.

A little disappointing because there were so many breweries that I wanted to see but weren’t there on Friday or as you can imagine just not enough time to make it to all the ones that were there.

In years past this event has been at Saint Edward Park in Kenmore, but this is the first year they have been at Marymoor Park in Redmond.  This new location seems to be better suited for the large crowds and parking availability.  Also, they seem to have more food vendors then last year.

This was a perfect 75-degree sunny afternoon (which we haven’t seen too many of yet this year) and the beer was cold and I found some great ones in the limited amount of time spent there. Unlike last year I decided to try other brews instead of all IPAs but I found a few of those as well.

One of the most unusual and delicious beers was an Oaked Hazelnut Goosetown Brown from North Sound Brewing out of Mount Vernon.  It had a wonderful roasted hazelnut nose but then you take the first  sip and WOW! Hazelnut right in the kisser. It was slightly sweet and a nice balance of roasted chocolate and dark Munich malts give this beer a delicious flavor. I think this was a limited batch just for Brewer’s Fest and that, my friends, is why we attend.

North Sound also had their 101 Imperial IPA that was truly exceptional.  With 10.1 percent ABV and the 101 IBU’s and the $101 worth of dry hopping (hence the name 101), it was surprisingly smooth with a refreshing fruitiness.  Warning — only for the hoppy at heart. They do have this one on tap but it is a limited release.

Emerald City Beer in Seattle is bringing back the lager. This is only one of a couple brewers that even do lagers,  and by the way they do it well.  I tried their — wait, say it out loud with me  — Ivana Pale Lager; me too, please. Nice easy drinking beer with just the right balance of hops that makes my tongue say yum.

I am thinking about moving to Bremerton so I can have Silver City Brewery be my local pub. Everything they have on tap was superb. I think I have written about their beer in every article about beer events when they attend.

I tried all their taps: Ridgetop Red (Irish Red Ale), Saint Florian (IPA), Ziggy Zoggy (Summer lager) and the famous Whoop Pass Double IPA.  If you have never tried them, it might be worth the trip across the Sound to give them a try.

The coolest presentation of serving beer has to go to my local brew pub, Redhook.  One of their brewers came up with an inline hop infuser. They literally had a canister with a basket of hops in the Long Hammer IPA tap line infusing extra hops into each beer as it was poured — how cool is that?   I haven’t seen this party favor out in the public house so I’m guessing you will have to find the next beer event that Redhook attends and hope they bring their toy.

Great affair put on by Washington Beer Commission.   If you like beer and have never attended one of their functions, it is a must! For upcoming events, go to www.washingtonbeer.com.

To your health!

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