The nine beers I sampled were all delightful experiences. There were many more to try that sounded absolutely amazing, but the problem with festivals with a hundred beers to try is realistically you can only sample about ten and walk away under your own power. There were several people who did not understand this. Combined with the very hot weather (90°+ cloudless), the paramedics were not at a loss for business.
- C# Petatonic Pale Golden Ale – Twelve Bars Brewing – the addition of lemongrass and ginger to this five-grain (rye, oats, wheat, two types of barley) wonder was a stroke of genius.
- Strawberry Nom Nom – Odd Otter Brewing – mild hints of strawberry in the mouth and on the nose made this blonde ale an interesting treat on a hot day.
- Dreamcsicle – Fremont Brewing – fast on the rise to become Seattle’s best brewery (fans think it is already there; I’d put Pike, and Reuben’s just marginally ahead of them) – I had this dead-on version of a Creamsicle – the Wandering Wheat with orange peel and vanilla bean.
- Dark Star Stout (aged in Bourbon Barrels) – Fremont Brewing – seriously, Fremont went way overboard on their rotating tap, in addition to solid offerings throughout the day. You could have used all your tokens right here. The stout was followed by a gin barrel aged rye saison and then the Bourbon Abominable Ale.
- Steady As She Gose – Boundary Bay Brewing – they took their already remarkable gose (ghos-uh) and infused it with raspberries. So good. More! More! No, gotta try something different.
- Sommerweizen – Sound Brewery – perhaps the perfect summer wheat beer pour in expert fashion by the indomitable Mark Hood. I chose this mainly because I have their Bombshell in the beer fridge at home calling out to me.
- Poulsbo Abbey Wit – Valholl Brewing – you don’t mess with tradition with this one, and they didn’t. It was wonderful, and I am a really big fan of their Stouty series.
- Blackjack Brown Ale – Slaughter County Brewing – A dark brown ale with the typical malty sweetness and little to no hops. Brewed slightly richer, and stronger, this is a nuttier version of a traditional brown ale.
- Bavarian Hefeweizen – Silver City Brewing – Your standard hefe – with lemon wedge – very nice.
Of course for us “eastsiders,” the cool part about this festival is taking the ferry over; an hour-long joy ride of Pacific Northwest sights and delights as well as a cool breeze on a hot summer day.
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