What is Explore Your Craft?

Widmer Brewing and DRAFT Magazine host a series of educational beer/food pairings around the country. On Thursday (Nov 15) they held the Seattle session in SODO Park.

Widmer brought 11 different beers for us to sample with suggested food pairings from The Swinery, The Cheese Cellar and Herban Feast. We all received a very nice tasting glass, a full program and a pen for making notes as we went along. Music was provided by Danny Godinez and we got to watch artist John Osgood create a work of art for the silent auction.

First off, let me say thank you for everyone who put this together. It was a fantastic experience, and not your normal sit down chef dinner or one visit pre-selected pairings. You could partake of the suggested pairings, or create your own.

The people at the stations were very knowledgeable about the beers and the food being served – and very friendly. It was more like a party than a beer tasting event. Since the event was sold out, many of my readers will want to know more about this fine event.

First off, the food choices were excellent (although the black & blue sliders and chicken mole tostadas were a bit on the lukewarm side). Suggested pairings for those were the Pitch Black IPA and the SXNW Dark Ale (very good). The Swinery had a huge tray of assorted cut meats, each paired with one of the beers. Theoretically you would go grab a beer of choice and return to try the sliced meat suggested as a good pairing. I chose to step out of the box and tasted all the meats with whatever beer I happened to have in my hand at the time. Let me tell you, it was a perfect match.


If you aren’t a meaty person, you might have found joy in the Crying Tiger Endive Leaf Spoons or the many varieties of hard and soft cheeses brought by The Cheese Cellar.

I mentioned two of the beers so far – both good and recommended. My favorite beers of the evening were the Milk Stout, Alt, Brrr, Barrel Aged Brrrbon ’12, Hefeweizen and Pacific Gem IPA.

The three others – I did not try – so I cannot say if they were good or not; Falconer’s IPA, Drifter Pale Ale, and Nelson Imperial IPA.

There was plenty of non-beer fun there too. You could watch artist John Osgood paint, or try your own hand at the mural. You could sit and relax with your favorite brew, or stand at a handy table as you scouted out the next portion of your gastric gallopenation.


It is clear that people were having a great time. Here are a few images of random folks enjoying themselves. Click on the thumbnails to see a larger version of the picture.



Watch for this event next year. It is truly a fun, and educational experience.


Photography and content by Bob Shoemaker (bobshoemaker@hoppytrailsbeernews.com)
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