Washington Winter Beer Fest – Day One Pics and Notes

Capacity crowd mid-fest

Just before the doors opened for the Friday session of the Washington Winter Beer Festival, Eric Radovich, Executive Director of the Washington Beer Commission, announced the fest was 30 tickets shy of sell-out prior to opening the doors, with more tickets sold in presales than last year. Once the doors opened, the capacity crowd filled the space and made it a little difficult to find your friends, if you happened to lose them. But the longest beer line we waited in was maybe five people deep, nothing like the 15 minute lines we saw at the summer festival.

Seven Seas Santa telling Ken from Port Townsend Brewing that he's been a naughty boy

 The beers, they were delicious. Too many good ones to try them all, so we didn’t even get a sip of the session’s people’s choice winner, Mocha Death from Iron Horse Brewing. So despite nursing a wee hangover this morning, and partially because we left Kendall’s phone at the post-festival dinner table at Hale’s last night, we’ll be back today for more. We’re crizazzy like that.

Janelle Pritchard of Trade Route with Richard, her trusty volunteer

Some of our favorite beers of the night:  Fremont Brewing’s Abominable B-Bomb, Flyer’s Daybreak Breakfast Stout, Boundary Bay ’09 Cabin Fever, Airways Hot Chocolate Ale, Big Al’s Peanut Butter Stout and Naked City’s French Dude. The biggest surprise for us was the newcomer, Paradise Creek Brewery from Pullman, WA, and their super malty, super hoppy dark IPA, the Hopocolypse.

Boundary Bay brought a vertical tasting of Cabin Fever. And a cabin.

 If you’re going today, you should be able to find everything on tap that we enjoyed last night, as the brewers portioned their specialty brews to serve all three sessions equally. Also check in with your favorite breweries to see if they have any special beers that didn’t make the program, we found at least two last night.

Elysian's Brewers Nativity.
Best taphandle: Le Dude is ready for the holidays too.
Pooped post-fest in the brewer's lounge: Drew from Pike and Heather from Schooner Exact.

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