Strange Brewfest has been on my “Seattle bucket list” since I relocated to Seattle from Ohio. I finally made it out to the 14th year of the event in Port Townsend and it did not disappoint. Rain, wind or shine – everyone there was in good spirits and fully embraced the oddities of both beerfest goers and the unique craft beers.
Many beers have complimentary garnishes that bring out the flavors in whatever base brew is used, whether it be pickled brine, gooey gel noodles, Sour Patch Kids, Cool Ranch Doritos, or just about anything else you can dream up that you might want to experiment with when brewing a uniquely-flavored beer.
A few of my favorites actually came from Bushel & Barrel Ciderhouse – they had a Coconut Curry Saffron Cider that had a complex and rich taste – almost like traveling to another country. They also had a PB&J Farmhouse Apple Cider (garnished with a small peanut butter cookie) and Hot Horchata Cider (with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top) which was a very welcome treat because it was rather cold and windy near the water that day.
Some other standouts included:
- Bainbridge Brewing – I’m Pickle Rick (a Kölsch with pickle brine and garnished with a dill pickle)
- 7 Seas Brewing – 7 Bloody Seas (essentially tasted like a very well-flavored Bloody Mary)
- Dungeness Brewing – Raspberry Basil IPA (had a very refreshing flavor)
As beer festivals go, this one is a winner and in my top 5 favorite beer festivals within driving distance of Seattle. The quaint, neighborhood feel of Port Townsend mixed with the vibe of the brewfest goers and creativity that the brewers bring to the event with such unique brews definitely makes for an enjoyable experience. I’d also like to add that the American Legion (which hosts the event) makes you feel welcome (and they know how to grill a solid hamburger to soak up all that booze as well).