It’s time to get ready for Strange Brewfest 2016. My approach to Strange Brewfest is the same every year. Step one: determine if I can actually go to the event and, if so, secure my hotel room. Step two: tell everyone else about Strange Brewfest. Step three: go to the event and try to behave. If you want to go, I suggest you find a room sooner than later. The entire town sells out, usually.
Step one has been completed so I am now free to remind everyone about Strange Brewfest, the annual celebration of wierd beers that happens in Port Townsend. In 2016, the event takes place on January 29th and 30th (Friday and Saturday). The event features 35 breweries pouring more than 70 beers. For more info go to the official website. For tickets, go here.
To oversimplify things, I’ll just say that Strange Brewfest encourages creativity. The beers range from slightly interesting to totally bizarre, from unexpected to ill-advised. Last year, for the second year in a row, the Peoples Choice award for best beer went to 7 Bloody Seas, a spicy tomato beer brewed by 7 Seas Breweing. Sort of like a Bloody Mary, but not really, because it’s a beer.
Strange Brewfest defies definition. It’s a beer fest, sure, but it is also a lot more. It’s an experience. It kind of always feels like something really weird is about to happen. Sometimes it does.
Who knows what the brewers have in store for us this time around. Over the years, some of my favorite strange brews included: Grand Salami, from Anacortes Brewing, which actually tasted like a salami sandwich; Almond Roca Brown Ale from Flyers Brewery; Chocolate Orange Degenerator from Port Townsend Brewing; and, of course, the 7 Bloody Seas from 7 Seas Brewing.
Strange Brewfest Details
American Legion Hall, Port Townsend
When: Friday, January 29th, 5pm-Midnight, Saturday, January 30th, 1pm-Midnight
What: Wildly entertaining Brew Festival with amazing music and entertainment
$30 gets you a souvenir tasting glass, 4 tasting tokens, and a wristband to get you in for both days. Additional tasting tokens $1.50 – BUY TICKETS NOW!
Vitals: This is a 21 and over event. No dogs, sorry!
This is an indoor-outdoor affair that takes place at the Port Townsend American Legion hall. Outside, you’ll find big tents full of beer, food vendors, other vendors (selling strange gear), and chainsaw carvers. Inside, more beer! And music.
One of the best things about Strange Brewfest is the music. For whatever reason, they seek and attract outstanding musicians for this event.
LoWire – Friday
Lowire is a power duo made up of the rhythm section from Port Townsend party band, Lucius Clay. Sean Mugrage on bass and vocals, and Frank DePalma on drums create multi-layered funk and rock grooves. This dynamic jam band blends traditional instrumentation with electronica for a truly unique sound.
Swindler – Friday
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, a sound that blends an innovative fusion of funk, groove, jazz and rock that is, undeniably Swindler. Featuring Seattle veteran guitarist Mike Saskor (Olympic Sound Collective, Rai, Altered States of Funk, Salem, Toadstool), jazz keyboardist Willow Goodine, drummer Chris Martin and bassist Rob Cochran, Swindler is able to bring the dance floor alive, while also leading listeners through an amazing collage of improvisational creativity during each show. The band members draw a wide array of musical influences to the mix, which allow listeners of all ranges to draw rave reviews of the band.
Swindler has been increasing their fan base with an extensive touring schedule around the Northwest, Alaska and beyond. Besides performing in the club and public festival circuit, Swindler is also coveted for many private festivals and performances, due to their ability to create musical journeys that captivate the audience from the first note to the last. 2015 promises to be another big growth year for the band with a new studio release in early 2015, new line of merchandise and continued touring and writing of new material which is sure to captivate fans, old and new.
Joy In Mudville – Saturday
The boys from Joy In Mudville (featuring members of Deadwood Revival) are Jason Mogi on clawhammer banjo/guitar, Paul Stehr-Green on bass guitar, and Colin Leahy on bodhrán/djembe. They blend layered rhythms and tight harmonies with a touch of jam-band goodness to their mix of old-time, bluegrass, jam-band, rock, funk & blues.
Rippin’ Chicken – Saturday
Formed from deep within the Westsound Union, Rippin’ Chicken plays a greasy brand of funky, bugaloo and soul jazz, executed with creative ease by 3 funky brothers from different mothers who LOVE to play together. After performing and recording together for the better part of a decade in groups such as, The Funk Revolution, The Lucky Mystery Now Orchestra, and The Bucks (all under the direction of the great Lucky Brown), Rippin’ Chicken presents this power-house rhythm section as the center of attention, playing the music they wanna, in a style that is all their own. “A soul-food Organ trio gone Rippin”.
Snug Harbor – Saturday
8 piece funk-soul revival group from Bellingham, WA. Original compositions to classic covers, Snug Harbor is raw, high-energy soul music and each live show contains elements of improvisation over heavy funk grooves.
Lucky Brown & the Super Premium Chiefs – Saturday
Lucky Brown is the name of an archetype conceived by composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Joel Ricci. Assisted by The Funk Revolution, Ricci’s project conjures a funk symbol from the past to bring to life real, authentic, earthy human emotion. Gritty modern funk with an impeccably dusty vibe….dancing is a must!