CONTEST NOW CLOSED. WINNER HAS BEEN NOTIFIED.
We are giving away another pair of tickets to this Saturday’s Belgian Fest. The event takes place at Seattle Center and features Belgian-inspired beers brewed by Washington breweries. To enter the drawing, leave a comment here or on our Facebook page (find the post about this story). We will pick a winner at random Friday, January 24th at noon.
There are two sessions: afternoon and evening. For more info about the festival, including time, tickets, location and more visit the official event website at https://washingtonbeer.com/festivals/belgianfest.php.
What Piques my Interest at This Saturday’s Belgian Fest? Here are just a few things from the beer list that caught my eye. I’ve included the breweries’ description. For a complete list of all the beers pouring at Belgian Fest, see our previous post.
Here are Ten Picks, presented in no particular order:
Boundary Bay Brewery, collaboration with North Fork Brewing – It’s A Sleeper (ABV 8.7% ABV / IBY 20). The fact that these two Whatcom County breweries teamed up to make a beer is enough for me. The description also sounds intriguing. “When North Fork and Boundary Bay brew together it’s likely to get a bit crazy! With the final gravity falling below the density of water, this experimental Belgian-style ale is no exception. Meld in aromas of stonefruit and light cherry, flavors of biscuity and light chocolate maltiness and an extraordinarily dry, brandy-like finish, and you’ve got yourself a taste of madness!”
Fremont Brewing, collaboration with Almanac Brewing – Farm Fractals (ABV 6.4% / IBU 38). As if Fremont isn’t a great enough brewery on its own, they teamed up with Alameda, California’s Almanac Brewing, which is renowned for its farm to table, barrel-aged beers. I see no way that this can be a bad beer. “Collab with Almanac Brewing, this is our take on a Belgian Pale Ale. Fermented in oak puncheons and finished with Brett.”
Black Raven Brewing – La Petite Mort (ABV 8.5%). This beer never disappoints and has been one of my favorites since it was originally introduced years ago. When “the little death” is available, I always make sure I get some! “La Petite Mort means a little death in French. What’s a little death if it comes in this form? Well worth it we think. This Belgian inspired strong abbey dark ale is brewed with a Belgian Ardennes yeast strain, and a generous four month cellar aging mellows and matures this fine ale. This additional time brings out flavors of dark fruit such as plums and raisins, deep caramel notes, and wonderful earthy tobacco tones.”
Elliott Bay Brewing – Brandy Barrel Tripel in Still Water (ABV 7.9%). I like to explore beers aged in less-common types of barrels, like brandy barrels, gin barrels, cognac barrel and so on. In recent years Elliott Bay has earned a reputation for its funky, wild, and barrel-aged beers. “Slightly boozy sweet flavor and slight drying tannins from the barrel. Aroma of candied peaches and stone fruit from the Belgian yeast and charred oak barrel. 8 months in a barrel.”
Paradise Creek Brewing – Huckleberry Pucker. People on the western side of the state may not realize it, but huckleberries are kind of a big deal on the eastern edges of Washington. This might be your only chance to try one without a roadtrip. “Our flagship Huckleberry Pucker Berliner Weisse is kettle-soured to make a clean tart base. The addition of just the right amount of Huckleberry makes it a crisp, refreshing and pucker-worthy beer. One try and you’ll be hooked for life!”
Reuben’s Brews – All Of Them. No that’s not a beer name, but everything they’re bringing to Belgian Fest sounds good to me. I am especially excited to try the one they call Windsor. Not long ago I paid a visit to Jolly Old England and took a stroll through Windsor Castle, so I got that going for me. “Windsor (ABV 6.4%) Foeder aged rustic saison Brettanomyces. We use rye, oats, and wheat to give a big, smooth body. The rye adds a spicy character that compliments the saison yeast.”
Stoup Brewing – Foeder Beer (ABV 6.8% / IBU 17). Stoup Brewing doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, but seeing as how this one is the first beer to come out of their new foeder, I better go check it out and make sure they didn’t screw it up. Yeah, right. As if. “The first beer to come out of our beautiful new foeder was brewed with locally grown barley, wheat and spelt malts, fermented with one of our favorite Belgian yeast strains and conditioned on Brett. The beer greets you with an aroma of pineapple and tropical fruit followed by subtle spiciness on the palate and balanced acidity.”
Wander Brewing – Nelson Sauvignon Blanc: Wood Fermented Wine Ale (ABV 8.0%). This one is another collaboration beer. I like those. I also like Nelson Savin hops. I also like Sauvignon Blanc. These newfangled hybrid wine-beer things are starting to get some attention. I want to see what it is all about.
“A wine-inspired brew in collab with Field House Brewing in Abbotsford, BC. Bursting mango and ripe apricot notes met with force by the unmistakable dankness of New Zealand hops. Ultra-dry, grape forward, and uniquely wine-like.”
Lantern Brewing – Cabaret Sauvage 2019 (ABV 7.0%). Yep, for some of the same reasons I mentioned above, this one made my list. I rarely admit it, but I’m a bit of a wine nerd as well as a hopeless beer geek. “Our unique hybrid wine grape ale, mixed culture fermentation in oak on Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes grown in the Yakima Valley AVA.”
Lantern Brewing – Citranox (ABV 5.3%). Two beers from one brewery? Yep. Lantern Brewing of Seattle does a really good job with these kinds of beers and I don’t visit their taproom nearly as much as I should. A barrel-hopped anything sounds right up my alley. “Barrel hopped bière des saisonniers, whole fresh Citra and Ekuanot hop flowers barreled for 4 months with our medium saison base for a delicious twist on a fresh hop ale.”
I hope this gives you some direction if you need it. Otherwise, just go enjoy the festival knowing that you are certain to find a lot of things you like.