By Ashley Stewart Herald Writer
After a successful run at last year’s inaugural Everett Craft Beer Festival, breweries at Saturday’s event have been asked to experiment a little.
There will be the same number of breweries pouring the same amount of beer, but with an extra boost.
The Washington Beer Commission has asked breweries to infuse extra flavors into beers using a randall — a double-chamber filter that is connected to a tap and filled with flavor-enhancing ingredients — to create flavored beers you can’t buy at a grocery store.
Matt Stromberg, head brewer at the Everett-based Scuttlebutt Brewing Co., will pour Golden Mariner Oatmeal Pale Ale infused with smoked apple chips.
“It already has a golden delicious apple flavor, so it should marry really well with the smoke from the chips,” he said.
“That’s the neat part about going to something like this. There’s going to be a lot of unique beers poured that you just can’t get anywhere else.”
The second annual festival, which runs from noon to 7 p.m. at Hoyt and Hewitt avenues in downtown Everett, features 30 breweries from around the state, including Snohomish County natives such as Diamond Knot Brewing in Mukilteo, American Brewing Co. in Edmonds and McMenamin’s Mill Creek.
Brewers will pour more than 60 beers in total. About 20 of those will be infused with extra flavors.
But don’t expect to find anything too adventurous; organizers have asked brewers to stick to fruit or extra hops.
People can taste special beer selections and find out how they were made.
“That’s one of the unique things about our commissioned beer events,” WBC executive director Eric Radovich said.
“The people pouring the beers are the brewers themselves, so you can find out more about how it’s made, where it comes from and about the brewery itself.”
The festival is one of six created to help promote the state’s craft beer industry, which includes more than 170 craft breweries, according to the WBC website.
“We’re trying to expose different regions to Washington craft beer,” Radovich said. “It’s still a young, burgeoning industry.”
Until three years ago, there were only three craft beers festivals in Washington and all of them were in the Seattle area.
Then, Radovich and the WBC added three more festivals; the first started three years ago in Spokane, next was Bremerton the following year and, finally, Everett in 2012.
And the newest of the commissioned festivals will be the first to implement the use of randalls.
“It’s a great weekend to be in Everett and to quench your thirst with a Washington beer,” Radovich said.
You won’t be able to buy beer at the festival; it’s tasting only. But breweries can provide information on where to find their beer. Many breweries don’t bottle the drafts, but they’ll tell you where to find it on tap when you’re really craving a glass.
Tickets are $15 online or $20 at the door. Each ticket includes five tokens, each good for one 5-ounce taste. Additional token are $1.50 each or four for $5.
The festival will have food from Dante’s Inferno Hot Dogs and live music throughout the day.
For more information, visit www.washingtonbeer.com/everett-craft-beer-festival.
Ashley Stewart: 425-339-3037; firstname.lastname@example.org.