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Washington Brewer Festival – Our Top Picks

This weekend in Redmond, it’s time once again for the big daddy brewfest: The Washington Brewers Festival. Below are my top picks. These are some of the beers that I’m interested to try for the first time or am happy to revisit. Note that some of the beers piquing my interest are “Friday Only” beers. Consider bookmarking this page on your phone.

The Washington Brewers Festival represents the single largest gathering of Washington breweries of the year. In all, 88 breweries will offer in excess of 330 different beers at the festival this year. It’s a daunting task and my list is intended to help you navigate the sea of Washington beer. There are plenty of great beers NOT on my list, to be sure.

WA_brewers_fest_largeWe will not have an information booth at the festival this year. Since we will not be onsite to offer you advice, we offer it here. We might return next year if we figure out something worthy: something more that we can add to the festival experience, thus making it worth putting Kendall in a booth for the entire weekend.

Of course, we’ll be at the festival, just in a much less official capacity. Find Kim and me in the crowd and say hello. We love talking to people about beer. Ping us on Twitter: @beerblog and @seattlekim.


American Brewing
Captain Munson IPA
– This beer has earned the nickname Kaptain Kendall. One of my favorites.


Anacortes Brewing
Imperial Flanders
– Wine barrel aged version of a  sour red ale, clocks in at 9.5 %.

Bale Breaker Brewing
Raging Ditch Dry-Hopped – If it’s from Bale Breaker and it has anything to do with hops, it’s gotta be good. Can’t wait to see what they do with a dry-hopped blonde ale.

Black Raven Brewing
Kentucky Coco Jones – Bourbon-barrel coconut porter? Shut up.
Line-Stander Incredibly Patient Character-Building Barrel-Aged Whatchamacallit – I just made that up, but I’m sure it will be there again this year.

Dick’s Brewing
Raspberry Tripel (Friday Only) – A triple Framboise? This, I gotta see.

Duvall Springs Brewing
Any/Alll of the beers. I rarely get to drink beer from this brewery. Usually only at festivals.

Elliott Bay Brewing
Cascadia White IPA – Had this recently at the West Seattle brewpub. It’s one of the best beers of this style I’ve had in a while.

Fremont Brewing
In addition to what the program says, they’ll have special rotating beers all weekend: the rare stuff. Expect barrel-aged goodness.

Georgetown Brewing
La Coq Rouge Saison
is just one of the many beers from Georgetown that you’ve probably never tasted. Also, don’t miss Eddie IPL (limited supply of both beers).

Heathen Brewing
From Vancouver, Washington, this brewery is just now breaking into the Seattle market. Lots of stuff I want to try from Heathen.

Iron Goat Brewing
On Friday, they’ll offer four different beers aged in Dry-Fly whiskey and gin barrels.

Justice Brewing
Charging Hippo Zombie Jesus Imperial Porter. Charging Hippo is a “brewery in waiting” that hopes to open soon. In the meantime, Charging Hippo is making beer at Justice Brewing. Any beer called Zombie Jesus is worth a try.

Naked City Brewery
Belgian-Style Tafelbier
– I don’t know what it is, so I’ve got to try it.

Orlison Brewing
– One of the best of this style I’ve had. Unlike other IPLs, this aint no session beer.
RYE IPL – Dry it out with some rye, can’t be bad.
Orlison is one of Washington’s few “lager-focused” breweries. Rapidly earning a reputation.

Ramblin Road
From the far east (Spokane) come these Belgian-inspired beers. Rarely do we see this brewery west of the mountains.

Riverport Brewing
The brewery is located in Clarkston, Washington. That’s south of Pullman and East of Walla Walla. In other words, the chances of me making it to Clarkston are slim. So, I drink the beer where and when I can.

Redhook Brewery
Cask-conditioned Big Ballard Double IPA
– Don’t you judge me! I luvs me some Big Ballard.
Bourbon-Barrel Blackhook – a firkin of it, on Friday only. Back before some of you were even born, Blackhook was one of my favorite beers. I remember buying it “to go” in pickle jars at the Up & Up Tavern in Bellingham for $6 a gallon. No kidding. I’m old. 

Reuben’s Brews
– Big, huge, hopilicious triple IPA from one of Seattle’s best breweries. Blimey that’s bitter!
Rotating brews, daily barrel-aged selection, more reasons to visit Reuben’s Brews.

Schooner Exact Brewing
Brown Raspberry Sour (Sunday Only). ‘nuff said. Usually you need to know the secret handshake to drink this beer.

Silver City Brewing
Gold Mountain Pilsner –
 Yep, a Pilsner from Don Spencer, and it really is as good as I expected.
(Friday Only) Barrels Stuff – Whoop Pass, Le Fat, and Fat Woody.

Skookum Brewery
Hopinoscopy Imperial IPA
– I’m telling you about it now, so consider this early detection. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

Stoup Brewing
Citra IPA
– A delicious, crisp IPA made using, you guessed it, Citra hops.

Strong Arm Brewing
Denunciation Triple IPA
– One of my favorites at the Hop Mob Roadshow Triple IPA Fest.

Twelve String Brewing
Tequila Barrel Drop-D  Stout – Who ages beer in Tequila barrels? Gotta try it.
Tequila Barrel Imperial Mango Mambo – Who does that? Gotta try it.


  1. Drinking a captain munson,’s IPA as I read this. Looking foreword to Saturday!

  2. For various reasons, I’m limiting myself to 10 or fewer beers. Of this list, what would be the top 10 beers?

  3. Rob, Top Rung was a late addition to the festival and didn’t make it into the program. That was one of my favorite beers of the festival.

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