Sunday, August 21st, 2016

Despite blistering heat, Everett Craft Beer Festival delights

Ron Swarner

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The Everett Craft Beer Festival, held three inches from the sun yesterday, offered 100-plus craft beers from more than 30 breweries — actually held in downtown Everett. While I quickly regretted my decision to knock back a bourbon barrel-aged winter ale (11%) in the hot concrete enclave, I did remain alive long enough to enjoy a smattering of delicious craft brews.

The Nitro Brown Ale with Hazelnut and Praline from Mukilteo-based Diamond Knot Craft Brewing was my personal fave, even though it was a chocolate brown ale on a hot day. It was like drinking liquid chocolate. I drank two as I watched the concealed rotating power fans destroy hairdos.

Battling Fremont Brewing for the longest line of the day, Everett brewery Crucible Brewing poured five of their tasty beers. The Pineapple IPA and Pink Drink Raspberry Kettle Sour showcased the local outfit’s ability to craft well-balanced beers. Many of the beer purveyors had their brewers onsite with each taking the time to answer questions.

The Washington Beer Lovers, or WaBL, booth did well on hat sales. As always, it’s always worth a stop at the booth for the members-only craft beer, which was Crucible’s delicious Putin’ Out Stout (9%). I know, I know, I did drink plenty of IPAs, Pales, Saisons and Sours in the heat. Did I mention it was a warm day?

Speaking of Fremont, the Seattle brewery had the most photogenic beer of the day. They infused their Summer Ale with strawberry, lime and rum-soaked wood, named it the Strawberry Daiquiri Summer Ale complete with a tiny umbrella skewering a sliced strawberry and lime.

Scuttlebutt brewer Matt Stromberg poured me his Mateo Loco Imperial Red Ale. He claims it’s his desert island beer. I’m down with that as the well-balanced, robust beer has tons of resinous hops followed by just enough dry caramel malt. Tasty.

Aslan Brewing celebrated National Lemonade Day by pouring their delicious Disco Lemonade Berliner Weisse.

Sumerian brewer Tyson Schiffner poured his Eruption Double IPA instead of the scheduled Narcissism IPA. One of my favorite Double IPAs, Eruption is a light, fruity IIPA with Cascade and Centennial as the base with a double dose of Citra and Mosaic during dry-hopping. So balanced.

Farmstrong Brewing’s Mostapfel Gose was most apple with mild sweetness and salty tart gosiness goodness.

The 2016 Everett Craft Beer Festival was a well-run event with a wide variety of beer styles, great barbecue and Sugarbush frontman Leif Cole adding to the crazy heat.