A Few of My Favorite Things #7

We continue sharing a Few of Our Favorite Things: our list of beloved places, beers events, people and other beer-related fun stuff.

I won’t bore you with history, but early settlers in the region referred to Port Townsend as the “City of Dreams.” They were convinced that Port Townsend would end up being the largest and most prosperous seaport on the west coast. They were wrong. We are glad.

Although we still mourn the loss of the beloved Water Street Brewery, today we declare Port Townsend to be one of our favorite things. Port Townsend: wild, blustery and always sunny. Port Townsend: city of dreams unrealized but not lost or forgotten; builder of boats; magnet of hippies; lover of artisan cheese and cider; roaster of coffee; and racer of kinetic sculptures.

Port Townsend, we adore you. We treasure your views of both the sea and the mountains. Sweetly haunted by the memory of your buoy bells and fog horns, we are beckoned forever westward. When we grow weary of big city life and need to escape the torrents of traffic and the maelstrom of humanity, we always feel safe in your harbor.

The bar at the Water Street. How I miss you, my old friend.

The Dream Within the Dream

Oh, and they have a brewery there, too. Can’t forget about that.

We do miss Water Street Brewing something awful, but that does not detract from our love of Port Townsend Brewing. First off, I think most people who read this blog are aware of the quality of the beer produced by Carter Camp and the crew at Port Townsend Brewing. Have you tried the Glasskisser Imperial IPA yet? Oh momma!

Yes, we love the beer, but it is the pulse of Port Townsend Brewing that we truly adore. The beer garden and tasting room attract the most eclectic mix of humanity we can imagine. Whether you are a custom jeweler, a boat builder, a fisherman or an attorney, Port Townsend Brewing welcomes you. People from vastly different walks of life share tables, beers and interesting conversation. The owners of Port Townsend Brewing, Guy and Kim Sands, have created an institution that embraces the very core of what makes Port Townsend such a special place—its people.

Embracing the Strange

Of course no discussion of Port Townsend’s inclusion on our list of Favorite Things would be complete without mentioning Strange Brewfest—one of our favorite beer festivals of the year. Once centered around (and organized by) Water Street Brewing, Strange Brewfest challenges the creativity of the local brewing community. At this festival, the unusual, the imaginative and the truly strange are rewarded. A beer made with Kimchi and celery root? Why not?

Strange Brewfest of old. Even in January, it's always sunny in Port Townsend.

We also love the fact that Strange Brewfest seems to give our local brewers an opportunity to have fun and really let their hair down. And our local brewers have a lot of hair to let down, both literally and figuratively. Although the Water Street Brewery survives only in our memory (for now), Strange Brewfest lives on.

Not long ago we received the news that Strange Brewfest was going to happen in 2011. Once we’d secured our hotel reservation, we shared the information with all of you. The upcoming Strange Brewfest will be hosted by the American Legion and takes place January 28-30 just a stone’s throw from the old Water Street location. They’ve added a Friday session, but the details are not yet clear. Visit the official website for details.

For your shops, your beaches, your parks, your quirky festivals, your beer and your people, Port Townsend you are one of our favorite things. Every visit ends the same way: another discussion about how we can amend our lives and make Port Townsend our home.