WA Cask Beer Fest – Follow Up and Photos

We attended the second of the two sold out sessions at last Saturday’s Washington Cask Beer Festival, held at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion. Once again, they pulled off a great event. The crowd was large but manageable. The place was packed but you rarely had to wait in line for beer. The brewers themselves deserve heaps of credit, as does Lisa Miyashita and the rest of the crew that organized and ran the event. Because there are two separate sessions, with a two-hour break between, this is a particularly long day for the brewers and everyone who works the festival. We appreciate their efforts.

Tom Munoz (Silver City Brewing) pours a Big Daddy ESB.
Tom Munoz (Silver City Brewing) pours a Big Daddy ESB.

The Washington Cask Beer Festival attracts a beer-savvy crowd with an eclectic palate. Cask-conditioned beer—served at room temperature with no real recognizable carbonation—is not for the faint of heart. If the People’s Choice awards at this year’s Cask Fest were any indication, the crowd wanted to be wowed by something different.

For the first session, the People’s Choice first place award went to Call Me a Cab from Water Street Brewing. It was a blend of three distinctly different beers (IPA, Stout and Barleywine) that was aged in a Cabernet Sauvignon barrel for six years. It sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? Surprisingly, it was very good and, given that it weighed in at over 10%, it was frighteningly drinkable. It likely would have won first place in the second session as well, but the cask ran dry and many festivalgoers did not get to try it. Second and third place went to the Fat Scotch by Silver City Brewing and the Groovy Toasted Coconut Porter by the Northgate Ram.

In the foreground, Carter Camp (Port Townsend Brewing) chats with a festivalgoer. In the background, Ed Bennett (Boundary Bay Brewing) hands over the goods to a thirsty fan.
In the foreground, Carter Camp (Pt. Townsend Brewing) chats with a festivalgoer. In the background, Ed Bennett (Boundary Bay Brewing) hands over the goods to a thirsty fan.

For the second session, the people chose Ram Northgate’s Toasted Coconut Porter as their favorite. Second and third place went to the Vanilla Porter by Harmon Brewing and the Ginger Pale Ale by Laughing Buddha.

One out-of-state brewery at the fest. Laughing Dog from Sand Point, ID.
One out-of-state brewery at the fest. Laughing Dog from Sand Point, ID.

Ginger, vanilla, coconut? Carbernet barrels? Are you beginning to see a trend? I happened to be standing with a local brewer when they announced the winners of the second session. Half jokingly, he said, “Next year we’ll use pomegranate and chai tea.”

Thats Big Al (Alejandro Brown) from Big Al Brewing giving us a thumbs up. Apparently, its all good.
That's Big Al (Alejandro Brown) from Big Al Brewing giving us a thumbs up. Apparently, it's all good.


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2 comments

  1. I’m sad I didn’t try any of the 6 beers that won, but at the same time that’s a testament to how many great beers they had there. I tried around 20 beers, all excellent and creative, yet those 20 didn’t even include any of the top 6 (admittedly part of the reason is they ran out of Call Me A Cab, and I don’t like the Ginger Pale Ale).
    By the way, 20 4oz samples gets you pretty drunk – even though they’re only 4oz samples many of the ones I had were 8 to 10%.

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WA Cask Beer Fest – Follow Up and Photos

We attended the second of the two sold out sessions at last Saturday’s Washington Cask Beer Festival, held at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion. Once again, they pulled off a great event. The crowd was large but manageable. The place was packed but you rarely had to wait in line for beer. The brewers themselves deserve heaps of credit, as does Lisa Miyashita and the rest of the crew that organized and ran the event. Because there are two separate sessions, with a two-hour break between, this is a particularly long day for the brewers and everyone who works the festival. We appreciate their efforts.

Tom Munoz (Silver City Brewing) pours a Big Daddy ESB.
Tom Munoz (Silver City Brewing) pours a Big Daddy ESB.

The Washington Cask Beer Festival attracts a beer-savvy crowd with an eclectic palate. Cask-conditioned beer—served at room temperature with no real recognizable carbonation—is not for the faint of heart. If the People’s Choice awards at this year’s Cask Fest were any indication, the crowd wanted to be wowed by something different.

For the first session, the People’s Choice first place award went to Call Me a Cab from Water Street Brewing. It was a blend of three distinctly different beers (IPA, Stout and Barleywine) that was aged in a Cabernet Sauvignon barrel for six years. It sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? Surprisingly, it was very good and, given that it weighed in at over 10%, it was frighteningly drinkable. It likely would have won first place in the second session as well, but the cask ran dry and many festivalgoers did not get to try it. Second and third place went to the Fat Scotch by Silver City Brewing and the Groovy Toasted Coconut Porter by the Northgate Ram.

In the foreground, Carter Camp (Port Townsend Brewing) chats with a festivalgoer. In the background, Ed Bennett (Boundary Bay Brewing) hands over the goods to a thirsty fan.
In the foreground, Carter Camp (Pt. Townsend Brewing) chats with a festivalgoer. In the background, Ed Bennett (Boundary Bay Brewing) hands over the goods to a thirsty fan.

For the second session, the people chose Ram Northgate’s Toasted Coconut Porter as their favorite. Second and third place went to the Vanilla Porter by Harmon Brewing and the Ginger Pale Ale by Laughing Buddha.

One out-of-state brewery at the fest. Laughing Dog from Sand Point, ID.
One out-of-state brewery at the fest. Laughing Dog from Sand Point, ID.

Ginger, vanilla, coconut? Carbernet barrels? Are you beginning to see a trend? I happened to be standing with a local brewer when they announced the winners of the second session. Half jokingly, he said, “Next year we’ll use pomegranate and chai tea.”

Thats Big Al (Alejandro Brown) from Big Al Brewing giving us a thumbs up. Apparently, its all good.
That's Big Al (Alejandro Brown) from Big Al Brewing giving us a thumbs up. Apparently, it's all good.


Cheers to our sponsors, like...

  1. I’m sad I didn’t try any of the 6 beers that won, but at the same time that’s a testament to how many great beers they had there. I tried around 20 beers, all excellent and creative, yet those 20 didn’t even include any of the top 6 (admittedly part of the reason is they ran out of Call Me A Cab, and I don’t like the Ginger Pale Ale).
    By the way, 20 4oz samples gets you pretty drunk – even though they’re only 4oz samples many of the ones I had were 8 to 10%.