Updated Jun 19, 2012 - 10:51 pm
Washington Brewers Fest Recap!
Last weekend marked the unofficial beginning of summer as brewers from all corners of the state rolled keg after keg of delicious brews to Marymoor Park and into the tasting glasses of eager drinkers. Large brewers like Elysian and Redhook shared tents with new guys like Lantern and 12 String as attendees of the Washington Brewers Festival queued up to get a taste of the latest batch.
This was the first year that the festival was held at Marymoor Park and it was a much needed improvement. Arriving, parking, tasting and departing the festival ran smoother than ever, and though Marymoor is larger than St. Edward's Park, the Washington Brewers Fest felt like an intimate afternoon among friends.
The highlight of the event was, as it should be, the fantastic beer from Washington State. There were so many excellent beers this year, it was really hard to pin down favorites. But three in particular stood out as truly fantastic.
The first stand out brew I had of the day was Pour Les Oiseaux from Black Raven Brewing. Dry, crisp, slightly sour and the lightest beer I sampled, this is a perfect summer beer. I was amazed at how many flavors were packed into such a light beer. Lemon peel, white grapes, subtle spice, farmhouse funk and wood all swirl around this saison and left me craving more in order to better examine the various levels of the Pour Les Oiseaux. And if the Black Raven line wasn't so long, I might have had another.
The second beer to really spark my taste buds was the Trip XI, a New Belgian / Elysian collaboration. This rosemary and sage farmhouse ale is a cool gold in color with a nice white head of foam. The aroma is of Belgian yeasts, coriander, rosemary and citrus. The flavor is similar to the aroma, citrus and rosemary, Belgian spice and funky farmhouse yeasts. It's a little on the sweeter side, but I don't mind one bit. Another delicious saison.
The third beer that made me take notice was the S.O.S. from Lantern Brewing in NW Seattle. This smoked, oaked and salted (S.O.S.) summer stout was a real eye opener. The S.O.S is black in color with a minimal tan head and a roasty, earthy aroma. The flavor is chocolaty, earthy, woody, with a smoky salty finish. It might sound strange, but I found the flavors of the S.O.S. to be intriguing as they blended to a smooth, creamy finish.
The 2012 Washington Brewers Fest was once again a smashing success as drinkers and brewers mingled with glasses in hand, enjoying the enthusiasm, passion and creativity found in the wonderful beer culture of Washington State.
(Post and photos by Dean Westling)
Bonneville Media encourages site users to express their opinions by posting comments. Our goal is to maintain a civil dialogue in which readers feel comfortable. At times, the comments can descend to personal attacks. Please do not engage in such behavior. We encourage your thoughtful comments which: have a positive and constructive tone, are on topic, are respectful toward others and their opinions. Bonneville reserves the right to remove comments which do not conform to these criteria.