Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Washington Beer Collaboration Festival recap

Ron Swarner

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Washington state brewers best friends forever. Cloudburst Brewing and Stoup Brewing traded hugs. Top Rung Brewing and Fish Brewing joked. Georgetown Brewing and Two Beers Brewing worked on a broken keg together. Three Magnets Brewing and Triceratops Brewing touched foreheads. Last night and throughout today Washington breweries didn’t ponder Budweiser making fun of craft beer-loving hippies or Trappist monks sending cease-and-desist letters or Dutch beer companies buying California craft beer companies or breweries suing each other. Any animosity in the craft beer world was dispelled with a little bit of collaboration over, of course, many 4-ounce pours.

Thankfully, here in Washington state, brewers are keen on camaraderie. For evidence, look no further than the Washington Beer Commission Collaboration Festival on the South Lake Union Discovery Center’s lawn, which is tented due to rain. The inaugural festival will wrap up tonight at 6 p.m., when the 50 Washington state breweries will pack up their kegs and swag and, most likely, have a beer together.

We dropped by last night’s version of the Collaboration Festival. Sadly, there was no way we could drink all 25 collaboration beers, let alone the two to three other beers each brewery poured. But we did try quite a few, and they were almost all good. Really good. In fact, one of the common themes we kept hearing from other people at the fest was how solid all of the beers were, which was amazing, considering that most were experiments and had never been brewed before. The variety was amazing as well, and ran the gamut from light lagers and delicate saisons to hoppy IPAs, many gose and Ghostfish Brewing’s Gluten Free Graff with Seattle Cider Co.

Once the doors close today these beers may never be seen again. It would be sad not to enjoy another amazing Cloudburst Brewing and Stoup Brewing Fist Bump Strong Pale, or a Bale Breaker and Reuben’s Brews India Pale Lager, or a Georgetown and Two Beers Juicy Hop Bomb Double IPA, or a Cash Brewing and Valhöll Brewing Kitsap Tangerine IPA, or a Diamond Knot and Scuttlebutt Thai Me Up Lager, or a Seapine Brewing and Standard Brewing Basil Saison or a fourth(!) Postdoc Brewing and Resonate Brewery Blackberry Going Going Gose.

We do know were to find more of the South Sound India Red Lager that Fish Brewing and Top Rung Brewing poured and the Three Magnets and Triceratops Brewing’s Big Dumb Face Session Triple IPA.

Day two of the Washington Beer Collaboration Festival kicks off today from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $35 at the door for a 4-ounce tasting glass and eight tasting tokens. The South Lake Union Discovery Center is at 101 Westlake Ave. N. in Seattle.