Friday afternoon we headed out to the Seattle International Beerfest (SIB). Sure, the weather could have been better, but we survived. The Friday crowd was relaxed, a bit younger than we’re used to seeing at beer festivals, and did not seem to mind a few raindrops.
We arrived pretty early in the game and we even had the opportunity to help them work out some of the early bugs. At one tent, we ordered an IPA and were poured a Rauchbier. Obviously, we can tell the difference. When the volunteer told us, “No, we’ve heard that comment from other people and I’m telling you that’s just the way the beer tastes,” we tried not to be offended. Instead, we made sure the festival organizers were aware of the problem. In the end, yes we were right. I mean, really, a Rauch is a Rauch and an IPA is an IPA. Although we were not compensated for the $3.00 mis-pour, the problem was resolved and that’s all that really matters.
At this festival, don’t step up to the tent expecting the person pouring the beer to be an expert. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, just telling you to recognize that your server is a volunteer working for a free ticket. I really don’t mean for that to sound like a knock on this festival. It’s not. It’s just the reality of the situation. As long as you know what to expect, it is not a problem.
Obviously, there is a lot of great beer for you to sample at SIB. I mean, seriously. A lot of really, really good beer. That’s the point. In case you’re heading to the festival today or tomorrow, here are some of our favorites.
- Hopworks Urban Brewery – Rise Up Red, American Pale Ale.
- New Old Lompoc Brewery – C-Note IPA.
- Stone Brewing – Cali-Belgique, Belgian IPA.
- Shelton Bros. Importers – Cantillon Iris, Belgian Lambic. Use this beer to cleanse your palate halfway through your tasting day. It is astringent, with a strong grapefruit characteristic. It will rest your palate nicely.
- Shelton Bros. Importers – Jandrain-Jandrenouille IV Saison. One of the best Saisons I’ve ever tasted. Smells like flowers, tastes like heaven.
- Shelton Bros. Importers – Kerkom Bink Bloesem. Sweet, fruity, with an apple-honey characteristic that Mrs. Beerblog loved. A very floral nose.
- Shelton Bros. Importers – Mikkeller I Beat U. An American IPA from Denmark. Noticably different than an American IPA, still very familiar. A very good, big IPA.
- Beer Valley Brewery – Leafer Madness Double IPA. Solid, delicious, almost overwhelming hop characteristics in a beautiful sort of way.
- Ninkasi Brewing – Maiden the Shade, American Heavy Metal Strong Ale. My tasting notes simply say, “Fu#* Yes!”