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Foggy Noggin nabs brewery awards

  • Written by Shannon Michael, Features Writer

Foggy Noggin awardsFoggy Noggin Brewing, nestled in a quiet neighborhood east of Bothell’s Canyon Park, collected several more regional awards recently for their craft beers.

Northwest Brewing News, in its December-January issue, announced the 2013 Readers Choice Awards for breweries in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and Northern California. Foggy Noggin won in several categories, including selection as Best Nano Brewery in Washington. It is their second consecutive win.

What is a nano brewery exactly?

"Nano Brewery is really not an official term, but often used when talking about small breweries. I think the most common acceptance of this term is batch sizes [of] 3BBL (93 gallons) or less. Foggy Noggin is way under the top side, as we brew 1/2BBL (15.5 gallon) sized batches," Foggy Noggin brewmaster and manager Jim Jamison wrote in an email interview. BBL stands for barrels, and a 1/2BBL is the equivalent of a keg used for parties.

"Foggy Noggin may be a very small brewery, but [we] definitely have the very best loyal customer/fan base," Jamison wrote, adding, "The support we get is amazing and these awards are more for our customers/fans than anything else. We love to make great English Ales and really enjoy serving it to our customers."

In addition to winning the Best Nano Brewery award, they also were chosen best overall in five of the 30 individual categories, starting with Best Brown Ale for their Butch’s Brew, an English Nut Brown ale.

This seasonal ale, currently available, celebrates the fall harvest by employing fresh roasted hazelnuts grown in the Pacific Northwest that have been added to the mash. It was Foggy Noggin’s first win in this category.

Taking Best Cream Ale was their Foggy Noggin Cream. The cream ale is a forgotten English-styled ale. "When my daughter Stephanie was making wedding plans in 2012, she asked me to brew a Cream Ale to be served at her reception. I had never done this before, but set out to create the best Cream Ale," Jamison wrote.

He plans to brew and offer it annually to mark his daughter and son-in-law’s anniversary each May.

Big Rufus won the Best Imperial IPA, but Jamison calls it an Imperial English Pale Ale. He describes Big Rufus as big, bold and very aggressive, but balanced in a very English manner. "Make sure you are holding on to something when you sip this one," he wrote, adding that its only been brewed twice but will make another appearance this summer.

Kastrated Dawg won for Best Strong Ale, the third consecutive win for Foggy Noggin in this category. A seasonal offering which is currently available, is described on the brewery’s website as "aggressively bold, while gentle and smooth. A big malt forward flavor is well balanced with an aggressive hop bitterness."

The Readers Choice Awards also had an Other category, and that’s right where Foggy Noggin’s Wasky Burton Ale fit the bill and took home the prize. This style of ale was very popular in the 1700s, and so the brewery set out to recreate this beer’s tradition from England. This is the second consecutive year Foggy Noggin has won the category with Wasky Burton Ale. Originally brewed in the Burton on Trent region of England, where the water profile has a unique high mineral content, Jamison needed to duplicate the water and source the same ingredients used in the 18th century. The result is rich, sweet malty flavors that transform to a wonderfully warming bitter dryness that lingers long, Jamison explained. "This beer style pre-dates the IPA," he wrote, adding that brown sugar and black strap molasses are also added to the boil during production.

Long fermentation and two-week dry hopping result in a beer that is uniquely different and one you will never forget. Wasky is bottled and available in the brewery’s tasting room.

Open since 2010, Foggy Noggin’s Tasting Room is available for tasting, pint sales, and purchasing 64-ounce growlers most Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Foggy Noggin Brewing is located at 22329 – 53rd Avenue SE, Bothell. For updated information on tasting room hours, visit their blog, foggynogginbrewing.blogspot.com or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Because they are in a residential neighborhood, the brewery requests all visitors obey the local speed limits and not block any neighboring driveways.

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Courtesy Photo. Foggy Noggin Brewery, located in Bothell, recently won several awards in Northwest Brewing News’ 2013 Readers Choice Awards.

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