Our picks for this year's Washington Winter Beer Fest

If this is your first beer festival then let this writer first state that this is nothing like Oktoberfest. For those who are returning for another year of costumes, Christmas lights, Santa Claus, and of course winter-inspiring beers; welcome. Now in it's [year] year, the Winter Beer Fest is your opportunity to sample beers ranging from the classic Doppelbock to the coconut infused, barrel-aged, winter ale. In between these, you'll find a cornucopia of ales and lagers that will complete your experience. But should you need a nudge, allows me to provide some suggestions based on a range of both classical and abstract styles and varieties.

Relive the winners from 2017

  • Icicle Brewing Dark Persuasion Dark Ale. Delicate dark chocolate with a whisper of coconut... You know you want it, go ahead and indulge. You can finally have German Chocolate Cake and drink it too. There's no need to be nervous, it's just wickedly deep and full of flavor and desire.

  • Mollusk Eggnogen-Weizen. Eggnog wheat beer. Using a traditional Bavarian Hefe-Weizen as the base, this beer makes the holiday classic a crushable delight. Contains diary and eggs.

  • Triplehorn Incinerator. “Holiday lager will a big malt backbone of caramel, biscuit and a hint of toasty fruits.”

Go retro with a classic style Winter beer

  • Aslan Winter Warmer. Every year we make this beer and every year we do it slightly different. It signifies the turning of the season, from fall to the onset of winter. Brewed to a higher strength to create a boozy, warming beer to help with the cold weather. It's brewed with a variety of color malts and a heavy dose of Munich, then dry hopped with Chinook. This strong, amber hued ale expresses well balanced hop character, rich malt, and a satisfyingly viscous mouthfeel.

  • Bent Bine Deputy Dawg Doppelbock. This beer has been dedicated to the Washington State Fallen Police Officers Fund. This Doppelbock was created with german pilsner malts and select roasted and crystal malts to create a flavor that will satisfy the discerning Doppelbock lover as well as the adventurous beer lover looking for something a little out of the norm. Proceeds from this beer will go to benefit the Washington State Fallen Police Officers Fund.

  • Hellbent All Spruced Up Winter Ale. The newest winter beer from Hellbent Brewing Company is All Spruced Up Winter Ale. Brewed in the style of a traditional winter beer, it’s dark amber in color with brown hues yet has a mild malty richness. The hops Citra, Chinook, and Cascade along with fresh Spruce tips add a citrus floral and “candy-like” aroma. As with most winter beers the alcohol content is high at 7.5%.

  • Kulshan Kitten Mittens. This rich, medium bodied beer elicits nuances of chocolate, dates, and figs. Balanced bitterness and playful hop aroma fit like a mitten.

  • McMenamins Kris Kingle 2018. Just in time for the holidays, the McMenamins Brewers have created another gift for your tastebuds! This year's winter warmer is a hearty and robust ale with a big and bold malt complexity. Toasty, caramel and fig flavors make up its sturdy foundation while two hop varieties added in five different additions deliver magnificent and intense hop flavor and aroma. Happy holidays!

  • Pike 2015 Vintage Old Bawdy Barleywine. Fruity and rich with more of everything: malt, hops, yeast, and hearty flavor.

  • Silver City Wonderland Winter Lager. Frightful weather is no match for Wonderland. A blend of five different malts lend a deep rich color & mild roast character refined by five weeks of lagering at near freezing temperature.

  • Stoup Winter Warmer. A full-bodied winter treat in the English tradition. This well balanced beer is loaded with rich layers of malt that are first evident in the aromas and follow through on the palate.

This year’s festival winners?

  • Icicle Brewing Dark Persuasion Dark Ale.

  • Mollusk Eggnogen-Weizen

  • Fremont Nitro Dark Star infused with Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Served on Nitro (and now available year-round!), Dark Star is a dark, mysterious yet silky oatmeal stout of grand proportions balanced by a firm hop handshake. Infused just for this festival with peppermint and hot chocolate...go ahead, enjoy the journey...Because Beer Journeys Matter!

  • Postdoc Peppermint Mocha Porter. Like a candy cane dipped in chocolate, but in liquid form.

  • Rooftop Tankride Russian Imperial Swirl. The Tank Ride infused with cocao nibs and a vanilla bean on Nitro. It is like your favorite beer and your favorite soft serve in one

That’s all we got!

If you haven’t purchased tickets, then we suggest visiting https://thestranger.boldtypetickets.com/events/59470976/2018-winter-beer-festival for tickets and other helpful information at this year's Winter Beer festival.