Festival Review (Opinion): (WA) Brouwer’s Cafe Hard Liver Barleywine Fest 2011 & Anacortes come out on top

image of three 12oz Barleywine's courtesy of our Flickr page Seattle, WA – Last Saturday at this year’s Hard Liver Barleywine Fest something interesting happened, one of the least expected breweries won.

Common thought has been it's a sure bet that a brewery that has won medals at GABF, the World Beer Cup, or consistently has the crowds attention, is the beer to win. That Saturday on the other hand it was someone that many of us did not expect to win, Anacortes Brewery.

Winning for their 2010 vintage Old Sea Bass Barleywine, Anacortes not only surprised those that were judging at the event, but everyone when the announcement was made by Brouwer’s Cafe co-owner Matt Bonney. The results weren’t without consistency as Glacier Brewhouse took home third for their 2010 Old Woody Barleywine, while Anderson Valley took home second place for their 2009 vintage Horn of the Bear.

the Hard Liver Barleywine 2011 menu and a Black Raven Old Birdbrain 2009, courtesy of our Flickr page For us we took it easy and instead ordered a few that we enjoyed in the past as well as some locals that we hadn’t tried before.

On top of the surprise first place winner Anacortes’ Old Sea Bass, we were will equally shocked at how well managed Brouwer’s felt compared to previous years. Starting with the number of people inside, one almost felt like most of the city forgot there was a festival going on inside. Top that off with a maximum of three drinks per order per person and you had the making of what appeared to be a smooth flowing festival. Heck the lines to the bar (via the server station) almost seemed non-existent.

your Whole Foods Roosevelt Square Beer Buyer Joel 'research'ing courtesy of our Flickr page The only negative mention came from one fellow attendee who was amazed at how fast the bar filled up. As for us we were content in our seat at the bar, where server Stephanie was on top of her game.

See ya next year!


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