Monday, May 16th, 2016

2016 Gig Harbor Beer Festival recap

Ron Swarner

Share

By now, everyone knows the fifth annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival wasn’t the sunny sudsy day in years past. It was a gray and damp Saturday afternoon, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time. A little weather didn’t halt enthusiasts from standing together to enjoy some of the finest craft beers in Washington state. The Gig Harbor Beer Festival brain trust promised this would be the biggest and best festival yet, and they didn’t disappoint.

Although the festival footprint grew, it was still a push to the beer. With 28 breweries representing, we came prepared with a “must drink” list with wiggle room. Valholl Brewing’s Barrel-aged Firkin Hammer Belgian Style Quad and Walking Man Brewing‘s Black Cherry Stout were two of the bigger beers to make our list, and they didn’t disappoint. 7 Seas Brewing came through with a fruity, hoppy Summer Pale Ale. Slippery Pig Brewery’s minty Mojito Wit, Lazy Boy Brewing’s Blueberry Kolsch and Wet Coast Brewing‘s Mosaic Single-Hop IPA were crowd favorites.

Rainy Daze Brewing’s brought its 2014 and 2015 Gig Harbor Beer Festival “Favorite Brew” Mind Funk. Drink, stare at glass, drink, stare at glass, drink, stare at glass … a delicious stout that looks like a pale.

We applaud Harmon Brewing Company’s surprise Black Tartan IPA appearance — a perfect sipper for The Rusty Cleaver’s punkgrass performance. Tacoma cidery Tilted Tree was also a surprise. Its P&T Peaches n Heat has a delightful touch of habanero.

Speaking of cider, Fish Brewing brought its Spire Mountain Spiced Apple Cider, which fit the weather with its cinnamon, allspice and cloves.

We had seconds of Ghostfish Brewing’s easy drinking 9.4% ABV Peak Buster Double IPA and Narrows Brewing’s Aprisour Berliner Weiss.

Festival producer John Fosberg can chalk up another success. The rain held off, delicious beer and a very happy, fun crowd — the sixth annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival will be a no-brainer.