Think You Know Beer? Think Again

shirt_14The peninsula’s January festival of beer mayhem (called Strange Brewfest) has ended. Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about making or tasting beer, dozens of WA craft brewers (and one that officially stopped being a craft brewer) put on their homebrewer caps and said, in essence, “Oh, ya? Try this!!”

The trip to Port Townsend, WA is always a scenic overkill, making you want to get out the tent, backpacks, and sleeping bags and live the wilderness life for a few days. Still relatively rural or deeply forested, the peninsula is a collection of farms, waterways and very cute, very small towns.

Poulsbo has long been the Nordic capital of the West Sound and boasts three great breweries that are radically different and uniquely supportive of one another. There are many other exceptional breweries not too far away in Port Orchard, Shelton, Bremerton, Silverdale, Gig Harbor, Port Angeles, Hood Canal, Kingston, Bainbridge Island and the destination of last weekend’s road trip, Port Townsend. No trip to Port Townsend is complete without a stop at the Port Townsend Brewery.


First up was the new brewery in downtown Poulsbo, Slippery Pig Brewing. Not that the brewery itself is new, since it has been around since 2011 originally located on, yes, a pig farm. Owner Dave Lambert creates specialty beers based on traditional styles, with a local ingredients thrown in;  thistles, rhubarb and nettles. It also has some spot on evening entertainment featuring local bands of a variety of musical styles.


Then it was on to the Strange Brewfest. Forty brewers created concoctions for your enjoyment like:

Cool As A Cucumber Saison - Island Hopping Brewing
Cool As A Cucumber Saison – Island Hopping Brewing
  • Raspberry Mint Wheat
  • Mutha Sucka
  • Mocha Imperial Red
  • Miso Beery
  • Nacho Cheese Beerito
  • No Worry Curry
  • Tree Hugger
  • Choco Likity Yum Yum
  • Fruity Pebbles
  • Seven Bloody Seas
  • Sour Stout
  • Jalapeno Mole Stout
  • Sahti Juniper Saison
  • Fennel Amber Saison
  • Pine Needle Pale
  • Skittle Brau Blonde

Oh yes, the list goes on and on.

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(Click on the collages above for larger images)

After two days of tasting some pretty remarkable beers and some great food from the Shanghai Restaurant and Khu Larb Thai there needed to be one more adventure before heading to the ferry dock for the ride home – Valholl Brewing.


Sorry to see this one end – but next weekend is Belgianfest!!!!

Bob Shoemaker

Grew up in Renton, WA. Writer. Photographer. Homebrewer. Woodworker. Beer lover. UW grad. - 14 years in Marketing and Advertising communications - 16 years in technical product support, quality, loyalty, support analyst - 12 years as communications business owner