Beer tasting at the Everett Craft Beer Fest

I attended the third annual Everett Craft Beer Fest on Saturday and it was a good time. The sun was shining, spirits were high and there were 33 different Washington breweries pouring beer (which helped with the spirits).

It was great to see the wide variety of beer this state produces. From the tiny and obscure breweries like Everett’s Beta Brewing to the experienced breweries like Boundary Bay, every level of craft beer was celebrated. Well, except bad beer. That was in pretty short supply.

With more than 100 beers to taste, the problem arises pretty quickly: Where to start? I strategically moved my way up the street toward the Everett Public Library and far from the entrance and worked my way down. Here’s a look at the beers I tried:

1. Warehouse Farmhouse Saison, Wander Brewing

Perfect for a hot summer day, this saison was light, crisp and subtly tart.

2. Mango Hopsolute, North Sound Brewing

This year’s theme was fruit beers so I thought I’d try a few. Done well, fruit beers are subtle and refreshing. This one was, though, it could have been a tad bit hoppier.

3. Huckleberry Hound Cream Ale, Foggy Noggin Brewing

Foggy Noggin is known for good, complex beers and this didn’t disappoint. Light fruit flavor with a nice finish.

4. Midnight Rider, Fremont Brewing

This was the best beer I had all day. Full bodied, strong, complex. It was everything you want in an imperial porter. It was also the longest line I waited in all day (though no comparison to the other Fremont Brewing offering at 4 p.m. More on that later).

5. Red Door Raspberry Hefeweizen, Duvall Springs Brewing

This was probably the best fruit beer I had. It was tart and fruity with notes of raspberry and honey, but also had a nice clean finish and was a full beer. I’ve been impressed with the two DSB beers I’ve had in the past month. Really an up-and-coming brewery.

6. FiFi, Beta Brewing

I can’t say I was too impressed. The beer was watered down and the carbonation was zero.

7. Fat Scotch Ale, Silver City Brewery

I can’t deny that the 9.2 percent ABV was one of the reasons I wanted to try this scotch. It packed a punch but was very smooth. Heard many rave reviews.

8. Aksel Strong Belgian Ale, No-Li Brewing

I do love a good Belgian and this Spokane brewery always puts out good stuff. This was well-balanced between the tart and malt and was a nice way to wind down the day.

9. Traverse Red Ale, Boundary Bay

Nothing against Bounday Bay, but this was our back-up option. A friend and I had waited around until 4 p.m. to try Fremont’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star, a stout aged in 15-year old Kentucky bourbon barrels that was its final rotating tap offering of the day. But the line for it at 4 p.m. was more than 100 people deep so we said nah and moved on to BB. Not a bad consolation prize. BB is consistently great and this was no exception. A good way to end the day.

Well, there’s always next year.

Cheers!

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