Festival Preview: WA: Washington Beer Commission’s Belgianfest is coming 2/4. Our thoughts, Part 1 of 2

image courtes of our Flickr page Obviously you survived the inches of snow and ice, followed by the occasional flood. So why not reward yourself with a visit to Belgianfest, at the Bell Harbor on the pier.

Historically Belgian-style / Belgian beers have remained an acquired taste for many. But those who have moved past their inhibitions have been rewarded as Belgian ales provide taste and aroma unmatched by any other style.

Now before you start moving that mouse cursor over to comment this isn't a case where we’re putting American-style / English-style beers like Porters, Stouts, or India Pale Ale on trial. Rather we simply wish to remind people that when you aren't craving a Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Diamond Knot India Pale Ale, or Snoqualmie Black Frog Stout; you consider a Belgian-style beer like Elysian Bete Blanche, or even Green Flash Le Freak.

So with this in mind we encourage you to visit the Pier the first Saturday in February as Washington brewers line up to remind you that they too can make a great Belgian-style Dubbel, Tripel, Blonde, or Wild Ale.

Saturday February 4th, 2012 Session One 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM $30 Advance Tickets
Belgianfest at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center
2211 Alaskan Way, Pier 66 Seattle, WA 98121

Saturday February 4th, 2012 Session Two 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM $30 Advance Tickets
Belgianfest at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center
2211 Alaskan Way, Pier 66 Seattle, WA 98121

But with so few ticket what is a consumer to try? Good question. And we would like to reward you with our list of must-try beers that will be featured at this year's festival.

American Brewing Company

  • Big Pucker, Wood Barrel aged Sour Beer. “Double Flanders Sour Ale aged in a used, oak Cabernet Franc Barrel.”

Our Thoughts. Pucker Up!.
With a deep roots in the Northwest Skip Madsen has proven that he can make a mean beer. From his days at Boundary Bay, Pike, and Water Street; it’s a safe bet that this beer will wow pucker fans around.

Anacortes Brewery

  • Sour Red. “Red ale soured with lactobacillis and brettanomyces aged in a bourbon barrel passed between multiple breweries.”

Our Thoughts. Sip and repeat.
This brewery isn’t often recognized for their Wild ales so we think that it’s worth the investment to see what they came up with.

Big Time Brewery

  • Jack Candy Grand Cru. “Jack Candy is a pale Belgian style strong ale fermented with both Westmalle and Achouffe yeast strains. Saaz hops lend bitterness and spiciness. The name was inspired by a Walkabouts Song. 9.3% ABV”
  • “Trombipulator Belgian Tripel. “A nearly 1-year-old 1/4 bbl keg of our Trombipulator Belgian style Tripel features Fuggle hops, and Westmalle yeast. This was original brew #666 1st brewed in 1994 - named after the Parliament Album Trombipulation. 9.0% ABV:

Our Thoughts. Try Both.
Got some tickets burning a hole in your pocket? Start with the Jack Candy Grand Cru. Call us nostalgic but this seems like something head brewer Drew would make. If you are still vertical after this go with the classic Trom’.

Black Raven Brewing

  • Belgian Style IPA. “Northwest IPA that has been through a secondary fermentation with brettanomyces. Dry hopped with calypso, nugget, citra and Chinook. 7.3% ABV”
  • Bourbon Barrel Aged La Petite Mort. “Belgian style strong abbey brown aged in bourbon barrels. 8.8% ABV”
  • Cask Saison. “Four grain saison with brettanomyces. 6.6% ABV”

Our Thoughts. Put a bird on it.
Start with Belgian Style IPA. During the festival there will be three different breweries featuring a Belgian-style India Pale Ale. Call us curious but after this we are moving straight to the Bourbon Barrel aged La Pette before rinsing out with a taste of the Saison.

Elliott Bay Brewing Co.

  • Batch 1000 Sour Blend
  • Long Black Veil
  • Nitwit Imperial Wheat (cask)
  • Brandy-barrel-aged Fuerte Strong Ale
  • Saison de la Chance Redux

Our Thoughts. Curious.
Honestly we don’t have a clue what we have in store for us but we can only assume based on the names that both the Long Black Veil and Batch 1000 Sour Blend are must try from the folks from West Seattle / Burien.

Elysian Brewing Co.

  • Yuzu's Belgian-style Golden Ale. “Yuzu’s is made with 100% pale malt, Turbinado sugar and Belgian Golden ale yeast. Bittered with Magnum and finished with Styrian Goldings hops. Organic dried lemon peel is added at the end of the boil, and yuzu juice is added both pre- and post-fermentation. 4.5% ABV”
  • Krokus Saffron Sour Wheat Ale. “Brewed with pale, malted wheat, flaked wheat and wheat flour and hopped with Hallertauer and U.K. Fuggles. Infused with American saffron and fermented with the 4th generation sour tank collection of yeasts and bacteria. 6% ABV”
  • Ferme noire Cascadian Dark Sasion. “Our dark and hoppy ale fermented with a Saison yeast. The resulting beer adds a bone-dry, barnyard twang to an already slightly roasty and moderately hoppy beverage. Malts: pale, dark Munich, aromatic, and Carafa III Sugar: 50 lbs of Demerara Hops: Chinook, Amarillo, Cascade 8.2% ABV”
  • Backhanded Compliment Belgian IPA CASK. “Backhanded Compliment Cask version dry-hopped with Citra. Brewed with organic pale, Munich, Cara-Hell and Cara-Vienne malts and bittered with Chinook and finished with Amarillo and Citra hops. Fermented with Westmalle yeast. 6.2% ABV”
  • The Prefessor. “With plums and brettanomyces, Marris-Otter pale, Munich and wheat, and East Kent Goldings to bitter and finish, at the Tangletown brewery.  4.65% ABV”

Our Thoughts. Sessionable ale with a side of brett’
Whether you start with the Yuzu or end with it, we definitely think this will be one of your lightest beers you can try at the festival. From there you can play it safe with the Krokus or take your chances with the Ferme noire Cascade Dark Saison. Yum.

Engine House No 9 Brewery

  • Love child Kriek. “5.9% ABV Ruby in color with a pink head. Aromas of cherries and oak. With a cherry and slight sour flavor finishes bright and clean.”
  • Bourbon Saison. “7.8% ABV Traditionally brewed saison, aged in bourbon barrel. With aromas of oak, bourbon, vanilla, clove and hints of sour. Giving way to flavors of banana, cloves bourbon and hints of sour finishing clean and dry.”
  • Belgian White. “5.0% ABV Grainy spicy wheat aromatics with hints of coriander and orange. Pleasant malt sweetness with zesty citrus, coriander and subtle spicy hop flavors. Finishes with a slight wheat tartness”

Our Thoughts. No Clue.
This is definitely a brewery we will be checking out for “research”. Although this writer has a soft spot for wild ales, its the Bourbon Saison that has my interest. Let us know if you try them and what you think,

Fremont Brewing Co.

  • The Lamb. “Saison aged in French Oak wine barrels with brettanomyces lambicus.”
  • Return of Blood Funnel.

Our Thoughts. Both Sound Good

Georgetown Brewing Co.

  • Waldman. “Modeled after an English Ordinary Bitter with a few decidedly Belgian stylings, Waldman is brewed with Northern Brewer hops and 36 lbs of Belgian Candi Sugar then fermented with a Belgian ale yeast. We finish with Brettanomyces "Wild" yeast strain and a heavy does of dry hops. The Brett is carried over to the bottles where Waldman continues to develop complex flavors throughout the bottle conditioning.  ABV 6.1%, IBUs 35”

Our Thoughts. Take a chance.
Known throughout Seattle and Washington for their Manny’s you can’t pass up this chance to try something different. Plus it’s one of the few breweries that are serving out of bottles.

Hilliard's Beer

  • Hilliard's Saison. “Simple beer, complex taste and aroma.  A special yeast and unique fermentation profile give this beer hints of coriander, orange peel, and maybe a bit of pepper. Castle Malting Pilsner Malt and Golding Hops, no spices added.  7.4% AVB”

Our Thoughts. Say hello to your neighbor.
Whether you live in Fremont or Wallingford, you have probably seen this brewery’s cans on shelves at specialty beer stores select restaurants. Stop over, spend a ticket, and try what Saison means to these guys.

Want more ideas, check out Part 2 of our thoughts here.

Festival Preview: WA: Washington Beer Commission’s Belgianfest is coming 2/4. Our thoughts, Part 2 of 2

See ya at the festival!

Cheers

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