Monday, February 21, 2011

Washington Beer Open House this Saturday

When planning an afternoon of beer/brewery touring, the first thing you have to do is figure out where you're going and figure out who is going to be open to receive visitors. This Saturday things will be a bit different as breweries across the state open their doors and invite you to visit. The brainchild of the Washington Beer Commission, this is the first-ever Washington Beer Open House.

The Washington Beer Open House takes place this Saturday (February 26th) from noon - 4:00. More than 30 breweries across the state will be ready and waiting for you. What's more, they'll have some sort of special treat in store for you. Maybe a vertical tasting experience or the debut of a new beer. Maybe some other special treat. It will vary from brewery to brewery.

This is a great opportunity for you to get out there do some beer touring. Visit the official event website for updated details.

As of Monday, February 21, here is the list of participating breweries. If you need to map things out, visit our Washington Breweries page.


  • C.I. Shenanigans Brewery, Spokane

  • Iron Horse Brewery, Ellensburg

  • Palouse Falls Brewing, Pullman

  • Yakima Craft Brewing, Yakima


  • American Brewing, Edmonds

  • Anacortes Brewing, Anacortes

  • Black Raven Brewing, Redmond

  • Boundary Bay Brewing, Bellingham

  • Chuckanut Brewing, Bellingham

  • Diamond Knot Brewing, Mukilteo

  • Foggy Noggin Brewing, Bothell

  • Gallagher's Where U Brew, Edmonds

  • Redhook Brewery, Woodinville

  • Scuttlebutt Brewing, Everett

  • Snoqualmie Falls Brewing, Snoqualmie


  • Big Time Brewery, U District

  • Fremont Brewing, Fremont

  • Maritime Pacific Brewing, Ballard

  • Naked City Brewing, Greenwood


  • Pike Brewing


  • Big Al Brewing, White Center

  • Elliott Bay Brewing, W. Seattle

  • Epic Ales, SODO

  • Georgetown Brewing, Seattle

  • Schooner Exact Brewing, SODO

  • Three Skulls Brewing, South Park

  • Two Beers Brewing, SODO


  • M.T. Head Brewing, Graham

  • Trade Route Brewing, Pacific

  • The Ram Brewery, Puyallup

  • The Ram Brewery, Tacoma


  • 7 Seas Brewing, Gig Harbor

  • Der Blokken Brewing, Bremerton

American Brewing Announces Grand Opening

Back in October we introduced you to American Brewing Company, the new brewery coming to Edmonds. (Read our previous story.) Today we announce the grand opening. The event will take place on Saturday, February 26th at the brewery and tap room near the waterfront in Edmonds. Along with great beer, there will be live music, food and even wine for the non-beer drinker in your life.

Below, Skip Madsen and Neil Fallon.

While we are always excited about new breweries, we are particularly jazzed about American Brewing Company's opening because it represents the return of Skip Madsen, one of our local rockstar brewers, to the beer scene. Along with Neil Fallon, owner of American Brewing, Skip has been busy the last few months building out the brewery. We cannot wait to taste what he's been cooking up. When looking for a brewmaster with which to partner, Neil could not have made a better choice.

The American Brewing grand opening coincides with Washington Beer Open House - a day that will see a number of breweries across the state open their doors to local beer lovers. We'll have more info for you about Washington Beer Open House in the coming days.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Washington Beer Open House - Sat. Feb 26

It's still coming together. Breweries are still signing up and we will certainly have more information for you as it becomes available. For now, save the date: Saturday, February 26th, from noon - 4:00.

What exactly are we talking about? Well, the Washington Beer Commission is planning the first ever Washington Beer Open House, a chance for you to go visit a bunch of breweries. The exact format will be wide open: breweries can do what they want with it. Maybe they'll be tapping something special that day. Maybe they'll have some other sort of other treat for you. Who knows? It's all still coming together.

Like we said, exactly which breweries will be involved remains to be seen. We anticipate that many breweries across the state will choose to participate in some way. For now, save the date: Saturday, February 26th.

Strange Brewfest - Follow Up and Pictures

by Kendall Jones - Washington Beer Blog

First off, given all that has happened over the past couple of years with the closing of the Water Street Pub and Brewery, it was awesome to find that Strange Brewfest is alive, kicking ass, and doing better than ever.

We wondered how many brewers would show up and how enthusiastically strange their creations would be. Well, I counted 22 breweries (I heard 24, but counted 22). There were literally too many beers. You could not try them all without sharing with friends.

Below: Nut Warmer - Peanut Butter Winter Warmer from Big Al Brewing

We wondered if the crowd would return. What were we thinking? Of course they did. This has turned into a very, very popular festival. From what we could tell, there were no rooms available in Port Townsend on Saturday night. The entire town was crawling with beer geeks.

Strange Brewfest Axiom 1

I'm not going to say that all of the beers were delicious. There were beers that I adored, beers that I tolerated, and beers that I dumped. You cannot make an omelet without breaking some eggs. This is a Strange Brewfest axiom: creative success is built on the shoulders of creative failure.

In Seattle, the old Deja Vu (a strip club on Denny Way) had a sign that said, "50 Beautiful Girls, and 3 Ugly Ones?" That sign beckoned us to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Strange Brewfest makes me think of that sign.

This is another Strange Brewfest axiom: beauty is in the hand of the beer holder. You will dump beers that other people adore. They will dump beers that you adore.

The beers were not only creative and strange, but they were delicious. The first time I attended this festival, several years ago, I was very impressed with the "strange factor," but less impressed with the "good factor." I have nothing against a beer being strange, or even down-right odd, but I really do prefer it to be good. This year, the beers were delicious. Creative, strange, and yummy.

Below: So many people have asked, this is now posted on the front door of what used to be the Water Street Pub and Brewery.

My Beer Sandwich

There are too many favorites for me to name. I have an idea. Here's a mythical sandwich I created out of just a few of my favorite beers.

To start with, you'll need two slices of Redhook's smokey-rye beer, which they referred to as Ham on Rye. Next, add some 7 Bloody Seas from 7 Seas Brewing. This spicy, tomato-infused beer simulated a Bloody Mary magnificently. What sandwich would be complete without meat? Add some of Anacortes' Grand Salami: a beer that made me laugh out loud when I first drank it because it actually did taste like Salami. Awesome.

Maybe next year someone will make a beer with Gouda or Gruyere. I can hope.

For dessert, I suggest an Almond Roca Brown Ale from Flyers Brewery.

Other beers that impressed the heck out of me included Big Al's Nut Warmer (Winter Warmer with peanut butter); the Naked City Sour Patch Citra Ass Down IPA; the Silver City Imperial Pepper Stout; and the Chocolate Orange Degenerator from Port Townsend.

So many more. If you were there, help me out. What were your favorites?

Oh the Humanity!

Okay, I would be irresponsible if I didn't talk about the crowd. Some people were annoyed, some were frightened, others simply melted comfortably into the swarming mass of humanity that was Strange Brewfest 2011. This was the first year at this venue and I am sure the festival organizers learned a lot.

It was packed. No denying that. I did not find it intolerable at all. Just crowded. Though navigating the crowd was a bit challenging at times, I rarely had to wait for a beer. Let's stay focused on what's important.

The music was amazing. All day and into the night, one outstanding band followed another. I like the band that kicked things off on Saturday, though the name escaped me. They had a cool Tom Waits vibe going on. I also really dug Tuba Luba: an all-brass funk band which performed later in the day on Saturday. No Bootsy Collins on bass guitar, just some fella blowing his mind out on a tuba.

The event staff did an amazing job. Seriously, it was a turbulent sea of humanity but the people in the red shirts never let things degenerate into a maelstrom. They kept things under control. It was busy, but it ran like clockwork. For the most part, anyway.

We had a blast. As usual, we were too busy having fun to take many good pictures. Perhaps we were having too much fun to take pictures well. Anyway, here are some pictures.

Below: Don Spencer (Big Daddy) of Silver City Brewery leads a group toast at Sirens Pub. That's how we kicked things off at Strange Brewfest this year.

Below: Packed house at the American Legion.

The outside portion of the festival was packed as well.

Below: Mike Runion (7 Seas Brewing) sports a had made from 7 Seas cans.

Below: Fellow blogger, Mike Besser (

Below: I wish these were loons. They're cormorants. I just like the picture, taken Saturday morning before the doors opened.

Below: Saturday morning, before the doors opened, the Big Al Brewing "time share condo" was parked across the street. Good thing they weren't drinking or serving any beer out there. That would be wrong.