The leaves are changing colors, the rain has returned and soon the calendar will be turning to Skooktober.
That’s right, in these parts, this time of year is officially called Skooktober. Arlington’s Skookum Brewery is hosting its third annual Skooktoberfest on Saturday. The Oktoberfest-inspired celebration features beer from Skookum and three other highly acclaimed Washington breweries, wine from Quilceda Creek Winery, oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farms and cigars from San Juan Cigars.
Fittingly, the show-stopper beer from Skookum will be its Petrichor marzen-style lager. Named after the smell of fresh rain on dry ground, Petrichor is made with four different German malts — Vienna, Pilsner, dark Munich and Munich — and lagered for seven weeks. This year’s version also has a small amount of wheat added to give it an even softer mouthfeel.
Skookum is also releasing Double Pineapple Clouds, the latest edition to its Clouds … er, hazy IPA collection. Double Pineapple Clouds is a double IPA brewed with oats, lactose and more than 400 pounds of pineapple puree. It’s then conditioned on whole vanilla beans to give it that depth of sweetness. Hops include Citra, Mosaic and Denali.
Like every year, Old Schoolhouse Brewing will be part of the celebration and will be bringing K’POWW, its annual collaboration with Skookum. Brewed at Old Schoolhouse’s facility in Winthrop, K’POWW is an IPA brewed with all five hop variants, including hop kief, hop pellets, hop oil, wet hops and whole cone hops. Hop kief is the hop resin collected in the process of turning fresh hops into pellets.
Another brewery that will be pouring beer on Saturday is Sunnyside’s Varietal Beer Co. Skookum Brewery and the brewers at Varietal have forged a strong relationship over the past few years and Skookum took part in Varietal’s Goatfest back in May.
Varietal will be pouring two very different beers at Skooktoberfest. First is a special keg of Varietal’s whiskey barrel-aged imperial stout The Philosophy of Time Travel. Another is a hazy IPA featuring two experimental hop varieties from Yakima’s John I. Haas, one of the world’s foremost hop suppliers and research institutes. The beer, Who Haas 2 Thumbs and Loves Beer, features HBC 630 and HBC 692 hops and Citra Incognito hop extract. Haas’ Incognito products are highly concentrated hop product that looks almost like syrup and gives brewers more efficiency in hopping their beers.
The third brewery bringing beers to Skooktoberfest is one of the most buzz-worthy breweries in the Pacific Northwest. Beer nerds from across the Puget Sound regularly line up to purchase bottles from Seattle’s Holy Mountain, which offers a diverse lineup of dark, hoppy and funky beers. I reached out to Holy Mountain to find out what they’d be bringing Saturday, but they were still figuring out what kegs would make it north. My advice: Get there early because whatever they bring promises to be something rarely seen on taps outside the Seattle metroplex and to go fast.
Along with everything scheduled to be on tap, Skookum Brewery head brewer Hollis Wood said there might be a few surprises in store for customers as well, including bottles of Skookum’s barleywine/wheat wine hybrid Heavy is the Head That Wears the Crown.
Here’s a look at some other Oktoberfest celebrations taking place this weekend:
Edmonds Oktoberfest: The inaugural Edmonds Oktoberfest is Sept. 20 and 21 at the Frances Anderson Center, 700 Main St., Edmonds. The Edmonds Oktoberfest features more than 30 beers from local craft breweries, live music and food trucks. The sessions are 4:30 to 10 p.m. Sept. 20 and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 21.
Tanktoberfest: The second annual Tanktoberfest is from noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum, 3407 109th St. SW, Everett. There will be beer from more than 15 local breweries, tank and rare vehicle demonstrations and food trucks. Tickets are $50 for beer drinkers and $30 for designated drivers.
Oktoberfest at The Hop and Hound: Bothell’s The Hop and Hound taproom is hosting Oktoberfest 2019 from Sept. 20-22 at the taproom, 18116 101st Ave. NE, Bothell. There will be brats, pretzels, oom-pah music and of course authentic German-style festbiers.
Fremont Oktoberfest: Billed as Seattle’s largest beerfest, the annual Fremont Oktoberfest is Sept. 20-22. The festival entrance is at 3503 Phinney Ave., Seattle. There will be more than 100 German-style beers pouring, including beer from Everett’s Crucible Brewing. Tickets are $20-$30.