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Drinking in a winter wonderland

Post by News Tribune Staff on Nov. 29, 2006 at 10:58 pm | No Comments »
November 29, 2006 10:58 pm


WHAT: Washington Brewers Guild’s Winter Beer Festival

WHEN: Saturday, noon-10 p.m.

WHERE: Hale’s Ales Brewery & Pub, 4301 Leary Way NW, Seattle.

HOW MUCH: $20 at the door for a tasting cup and six 3-ounce tastes, or $20 advance for a tasting cup and 10 3-ounce tastes. Designated driver admission $8 at the door. 21 and over only, with valid ID. Tickets at some guild member pubs or at TicketWeb.

WHAT ELSE: Brewers in Santa costume, music, hot cider, holiday gift shop and Hale’s pub grub.

Some brewers will dress up like Santa at Saturday’s Winter Beer Festival, sponsored by the Washington Brewers Guild at Hale’s Ales Brewery in Seattle.

I won’t be sitting on any brewer’s knee, but I’ll be lined up for a taste of everything from Diamond Knot‘s Industrial Ho! Ho! to Lazy Boy‘s Mistletoe Bliss.

More than 30 breweries from Anacortes to Woodinville will pour their winter warmers – robust and boozy holiday ales that celebrate the season and showcase brewers’ festive spirits.

What’s in the kegs? Lotsa hops? Spruce tips? Spices? Roasted malts like chestnuts on an open fire? Could be any of those things. Could be all of those things. That’s the joy of winter warmers.

(I have no idea what the Seattle Ram‘s Jacked-up Dawgsled is all about, but if you don’t like it, it’ll make a great name for a band, as would its brewer, Beaux Bowman).

I’ve only snuggled up with a few glasses of what’s on tap Saturday: Elysian‘s Bifrost Winter Ale, Sierra Nevada‘s Celebration Ale and Hale’s Ales‘ Wee Heavy Winter Ale. I’ve actually drunk way more winter warmers than that lately, from Belgian strong ales to West Coast barley wines.

But now’s not the time for those details. I’m interested in what you’re drinking and thinking.

My winter beer taste test (held at Heads Up Brewing on a snowy night in Silverdale) will publish in the newspaper next Wednesday. That same day, I’ll post a questionnaire on this blog. You’ll have the opportunity to share your tastes in winter warmers.

It won’t cost anything to play, and there’s nothing to win. Beer purchase necessary, at your local pub or market. Come back here next week with your tasting notes.

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