GABF - Pacific Northwest recommendations

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by Chin17, Sep 27, 2012.

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  1. Chin17

    Chin17 Initiate (130) Aug 1, 2009 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I am going to be a volunteer pourer at the Great American Beer Fest in Denver next month. Our team is supporting the Pacific Northwest (list below). I know the obvious breweries (Deschutes, Rogue, Elysian, etc), but was hoping to get some feedback from the BA experts. Please let me know which ones are putting out great beers, are up and coming or have cool brewmasters as they will be in attendance. Thanks.

    • 10 Barrel Brewing Co. G3
    • 7 Seas Brewing G4
    • Alameda Brewing Co. G5
    • Alaskan Brewing Company N36
    • American Brewing Company G7
    • Barhop Brewing G8
    • Barley Brown’s Brew Pub G9
    • Beer Valley Brewing G10
    • Bend Brewing Co G11
    • Blitz-Weinhard Brewing G19
    • Boundary Bay Brewery G12
    • Breakside Brewery G13
    • BridgePort Brewing Company H17
    • Cascade Lakes Brewing Company G14
    • Chuckanut Brewery G15
    • Commons Brewery, The G16
    • Deschutes Brewery H18
    • Diamond Knot Brewing Co. G32
    • Elliott Bay Brewing Co. G31
    • Elysian Brewing Company G30
    • Falling Sky Brewing G29
    • Fish Brewing Company G28
    • Fort George Brewery G27
    • Full Sail Brewing at Riverplace G26
    • Full Sail Brewing Company G25
    • Gigantic Brewing Company G24
    • Golden Hills Brewing Co. G23
    • GoodLife Brewing Company G22
    • Hale’s Ales G21
    • Harvester Brewing G20
    • Hop Valley Brewing Co. H3
    • Hopworks Urban Brewery H4
    • Icicle Brewing Company H5
    • Kulshan Brewing Company H6
    • MacTarnahan’s H7
    • Mt Tabor Brewing Company H9
    • Mt. Emily Ale House H10
    • Naked City Brewery & Taphouse H11
    • Ninkasi Brewing Company H12
    • No-Li Brewhouse H13
    • Oakshire Brewing H14
    • Omission Brewing Company H15
    • Pelican Pub & Brewery H16
    • Pike Brewing Company H31
    • Redhook Brewery Woodinville H30
    • Riverport Brewing Co. H29
    • Rogue Brewery H28
    • Silver City Brewery H27
    • Silver Moon Brewing H26
    • Snipes Mountain Brewing H25
    • Sound Brewery H24
    • Steelhead Brewing Company H22
    • Three Creeks Brewing Company H21
    • Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. H20
    • Widmer Brothers Rose Garden Brewery H19
  2. barleywinefiend

    barleywinefiend Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2007 Washington

    • Sound Brewery H24-Solid.
    • Chuckanut Brewery G15-brings the thunder and takes medals all of the time
    Kopfschuss, Lordkrystic and libbey like this.
  3. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Zealot (517) Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    Are there any breweries missing from this list? Ram-Northgate (pervious medal winner), Fremont Brewing, Black Raven, perhaps?
  4. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,664) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Breweries that I think are making good beer, but tend to fly under the radar:

    7 seas (their IPA's in particular - love the Rude Parrot)
    Gigantic (see the 7 seas recommendation)
    Silver City (their belgian style beers and barrel aged stuff)
    Snipes Mountain (the little chief is a great, low alcohol IPA).
    Harvester (their gluten free IPA is amazing - easily the best gluten free beer I've ever tasted)

  5. msubulldog25

    msubulldog25 Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2005 Oregon

    I'm an unabashed supporter of Breakside Brewery (Portland - G13) - I know for a fact that they entered 8 beers for judging this year. After sampling several of them a couple weeks ago, it wouldn't surprise me if they bring home a couple medals. If you can, meet the guys from the brewery (Ben, Jacob, Scott, Tony, Sam etc); they're all really good people and I know that pretty much all will be in attendance for GABF. If you choose them, tell them I sent you. :grinning:


    PS: A couple 'backups': The Commons (Portland) is doing terrific stuff. Bend Brewing (Bend, OR) is, too. Pick Harvester (also Portland) if you want to pour for a gluten-free brewer - probably one of the few that'll be there - their beers are solid!
    Spaceloaf likes this.
  6. checktherhyme

    checktherhyme Initiate (152) Apr 8, 2008 Washington

    Black Raven and Fremont are the best two breweries in Washington (imo). Also Bone Yard and Walking Man berwing if you can get them.
    Lordkrystic and draheim like this.
  7. MadCanadian

    MadCanadian Initiate (0) Aug 12, 2010 Washington

    Barhop Brewing G8 is a great little up and coming nano brewery in Port Angeles, Wa. The owner is a really good guy (actually a a friend of mine too) and will be there. I'm not sure what they're bringing beer wise as they're in the middle of relocating across town, but most of their beer is quite good considering their size.
  8. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (4,793) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    From your list, and depending on what everybody's pouring, I'd say the must hits are: American, Barley Browns, Beer Valley, Bend, Boundary Bay, Chuckanut, Deschutes, Diamond Knot, Fort George, Kulshan, Naked City, Silver City, Snipes Mtn.

    Other ones worth checking out would be: 10 Barrel, Cascade Lakes, Elliot Bay, Elysian, HUB, Ninkasi, Oakshire, Pelican, Silver Moon and Sound.
  9. barleywinefiend

    barleywinefiend Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2007 Washington

    I have tried to find this place three times now. Even w/ GPS I could not find it.
  10. Smurf2055

    Smurf2055 Initiate (0) Nov 12, 2011 Washington

    Chuckanut, Ft George, Sound, and Snipes have all impressed me with what I've had from them so far
  11. Chin17

    Chin17 Initiate (130) Aug 1, 2009 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for all the great feedback. Too bad I can't pour for all the sessions. More feedback is certainly welcome.
  12. muchloveforhops3

    muchloveforhops3 Zealot (573) Apr 5, 2009 Oregon

    To represent GABF, I'd say...

    These have all stood out to me in one form or another in recent months. Honorable mentions go to Bend Brewing and Fort George.

    Really surprised that Boneyard isn't on the list..
    beertunes and vkv822 like this.
  13. wonderbread23

    wonderbread23 Initiate (0) Aug 4, 2009 New York

    My List:
    • 10 Barrel Brewing Co. G3
    • Alaskan Brewing Company N36
    • Chuckanut Brewery G15
    • Deschutes Brewery H18
    • Elysian Brewing Company G30
    • Hopworks Urban Brewery H4
    • Oakshire Brewing H14
    • Pelican Pub & Brewery H19
    If I had to choose 3, I'd say Chuckanut, Pelican and Hopworks
  14. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Dec 16, 2011 Washington

    Add Fremont to this and I couldn't agree more.
  15. suncrust

    suncrust Initiate (161) Apr 17, 2011 Washington
    Beer Trader

    A lot of the breweries being suggested are not at GABF this year. Boneyard, Black Raven, Fremont, Walking Man- all not in attendance. :slight_frown:

    Here's the full list who will be there:

    I'm going to second the Commons suggestion for sure, and give a little love to Snipes as well. Not sure what they are pouring but their sour program is coming along nicely and this year's fresh hop session IPA is delicious.
  16. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Zealot (517) Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    Unfortunately, some of the best WA/OR breweries are the ones you note will not be there. That's too bad.
  17. checktherhyme

    checktherhyme Initiate (152) Apr 8, 2008 Washington

    I feel like Washington doesnt do itself a ton of favors sometimes in terms of gaining national recognition. I'm happy with that though. I have a difficult enough time getting some of the local beers as is!
  18. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Zealot (517) Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    That's exactly what I thought right after I posted. I'm happy that my local favs don't (yet) have big trade value.
  19. aedeos

    aedeos Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2007 Washington

    Frankly, I'm surprised to see Chuckanut even getting this much love from within the PNW. They certainly don't get it from up in 'Ham. For as amazing as they are, they are so under the radar.
    Kopfschuss and bgramer like this.
  20. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (4,793) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Well, the NW in general, and Bellingham in particular, is still IPA territory. I can't count the number of times I've heard locals here say something like "I don't like their beers, not hoppy enough". You try to explain that the Nut is doing different things, but it mostly doesn't sink in in a town where a bar can have 20 taps, but unless 6-10 of them are IPA's, the bar doesn't "have enough variety". Come up to Cnut some Friday night, litre steins for only $8! Their Kolsch is my favorite of their brews, but I had 7 pints of their fest bier during their Octoberfest last week.
    bgramer and Lordkrystic like this.
  21. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,664) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Well, if Boundary Bay would just stop making all those kick ass, hop driven IPA/DIPA's.... :-) Which oh by the way, I hope they NEVER do!!!
  22. barleywinefiend

    barleywinefiend Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2007 Washington

    Chuckanut will always get love from this guy. They show at every event and its always the same nice lady with a big smile on her face. Nothing wrong with liking IPAs because I am a hop whore but people need to expand their palates and horizons. Having 6 GABF medals and flying under the radar is rather scary but us true beer advocates know Chuckanut is grand!

    Terry..keep an eye for that Old Bounder :wink:
    beertunes, bgramer and Lordkrystic like this.
  23. jgrgas

    jgrgas Initiate (0) Feb 10, 2006 Oregon

    Since I work for The Commons I feel obligated to weigh in. Thanks so much everyone for recommending us.

    We're bringing the following beers:
    Urban Farmhouse Ale - simple, refreshing saison. CBC 2012 Bronze Medal.
    Flemish Kiss - Barrel aged Pale Ale with Brettanomyces
    Madrone - Amber farmhouse with west coast hops
    Blonde - Belgian Blonde Ale
    Berliner Weisse - traditional tart German wheat

    Of the others on the list I'd give hearty recommendations to:
    Chuckanut - fantastic German focused brewery.
    Breakside - extremely experimental brewery that executes almost everything they brew. Great fellas that we are very good friends with.
    Gigantic - Solid NW style beers. Very entertaining guys.
    Pelican - fantastic style driven American pub style beers.

    Wherever you end up come and say hi to me. I'll be the very tall bald guy wearing Commons apparel.
    John_M and msubulldog25 like this.
  24. aedeos

    aedeos Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2007 Washington

    Boundary Bay are awful brewers. They mash too hot, too fast. Everything is an unfermentable mess.

    I've stood by the fact that Bellingham isn't a true beer city like they think they are. They have for years forsaken quality for staples. I'm always amazed by what I can find just sitting on shelves up there. Don't take that as a complaint, though.
  25. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,664) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    "Boundary Bay are awful brewers. They mash too hot, too fast. Everything is an unfermentable mess."

    Um, gee... I hope you won't be too taken aback by this, but um, well... I don't agree. At all!

    However, you're entitled to your opinion, even if your post doesn't exactly read like an opinion. :-)
  26. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (4,793) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    But have you noticed what doesn't sit on the shelves up here? IPAs. If someone wants to sell IPAs, bring 'em to Bellingham. We sell a lot of craft beer, even in the diviest of dives (hello Ranch Room) and the sketchiest mini-marts. Sours don't hang out long either. But yeah, $12+ 22s of seasonal releases, those'll sit. We're a college town, and what jobs we have are generally not much above minimum wage, so $16 bottles of B-Bomb are here for a while. Abyss sells out almost instantly every though.
  27. MadCanadian

    MadCanadian Initiate (0) Aug 12, 2010 Washington

    Sorry it took me a few days. Barhop was brewing at the Harbinger Winery, with a tasting room on Laurel St., until last week. They are in the process of moving to 124 Railroad Ave in Port Angeles across from the Coho ferry dock. They're supposed to be opening towards the end of this month. Look for my beer on tap there in November sometime "Cutterman Kolsch". I won the Pro-Am home brew contest a while back with that.
    66jzmstr and beertunes like this.
  28. barleywinefiend

    barleywinefiend Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2007 Washington

  29. DimensionX

    DimensionX Initiate (0) Oct 1, 2010 Oregon

    Interesting to see that most of my favorite PNW breweries are not on the list this year, too much trouble or $ I suppose.

    my faves are

    Alaskan - all about the baltic and smoked porters
    Breakside - their barrel aged stuff is consistently rad
    Commons - my favorite new brewery, they seem to favor Belgian and farmhouse ales
    Gigantic - new but promising
  30. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (4,793) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Well, what did ya try, and how did ya like 'em?
  31. Chin17

    Chin17 Initiate (130) Aug 1, 2009 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Sorry for the delay. So I must say the PNW craft beer scene is pretty sweet. It was great to see a lot of the breweries supporting one another. So my first night (Thurs) my friend and I beelined to Breakside. Awesome group of guys and some tasty beer (especially the Aztec). Anyway about 45 minutes in found out that we were in the wrong section (PNW was section G & H) so we got moved over to Omission. They are gluten free and only had a lager and pale ale. It was a let down at first, but ended up being fine as we were able to sample many other beers. I will say though, my wife is gluten intolerant so I have tried my share of gluten free beer and O was by far the best and actually tasted like beer. Some other great beers we enjoyed:

    Commons Brewery: My favorite styles are sours, wild ales, etc. so I instantly gravitated to their Flemish Kiss. Awesome. Congrats on the Silver medal as well. Chatted with Josh and told him we were targeting poring for Commons on Sat night, but of course this was before we found out we were in the wrong section. Total bummer.

    Ninkasi: Tricerahops and Sleigh'r were great. Made several trips back to them.

    Chuckanut: I am not really into German styles, but they know what they are doing. Kolsch was tasty.

    Section G: There were many other great beers sampled, but cannot recall all of them. Next year will be taking photos of each booth to help me remember.

    On Saturday we poured for Sound Brewery. Score! Triple Entendre and Monk's Indescretion all night long. I was impressed that their Brewer (Mark) pured the entire night. That was not the norm on Sat.

    Looking forward to GABF 2013.
    Lordkrystic and beertunes like this.
  32. aedeos

    aedeos Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2007 Washington

    By all means, disagree. But the mash too hot, too fast ISN'T opinion. It's fact. I've talked with the brewers about this and they admit it because of their production schedule.
  33. jgrgas

    jgrgas Initiate (0) Feb 10, 2006 Oregon

    Why would they mash too hot because of a production constraints? If they're shooting for shorter mashes a lower temp would create quicker conversion.
    hopsbreath and barleywinefiend like this.
  34. aedeos

    aedeos Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2007 Washington

    your guess is as good as mine. But it leaves behind a bunch of unfermentables.
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