WA Winter Beer Fest. It’s all about the light, as well as the dark



Something for everyone this year. The event on December 15th and 16th offers a lot of darkness, but also a glimpse of the light. We provide a guide to finding some of each.

As you’d expect, this year’s Washington Winter Beer Fest will offer festivalgoers ample opportunities to enjoy the big, rich, dark, and oft-potent beers of winter, but that’s not all. This year the beer list includes several lighter beers spanning a range of styles, like pilsners, Mexican-style lagers, and helles lagers. Also, several winter-theme lagers of other variations.

Of course, the list of beers also includes several barrel-aged beer options. No doubt, many festivalgoers will head straight for the biggest barrel-aged beers on the list. Makes sense. These beers are often available in limited supply.

Washington Winter Beer Fest takes place in Seattle at Magnuson Park’s Hangar 30. The event spans two days: Friday, December 15th, and Saturday, December 16th. You can get tickets and all the details here.


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Below I provide two lists. The first features lagers that you can expect to find at Winter Beer Fest, along with an accompanying wintery beer choice from the same brewery. Also, I provide a list of the barrel-aged beers that sound of particular interest to me.

No doubt, my list is not comprehensive. Of course, as with any festival like this, what beers a brewery chooses to bring is subject to change. You can view the complete list here.

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The Lagers and Their Plus-Ones

  • Anacortes Brewery – Lager: Tulip Valley Pilsner. Wintery choice: Broadsword Strong Scottish Ale.
  • Aslan Brewing – Lager: Pilsner (a collab project with Bitburger). Wintery choice: Satan’s Airport Imperial Milk Stout with Coffee.
  • Bale Breaker Brewing – Lager: Brewed In Ballard, Money Pit Pils. Wintery choice: High Camp Winter IPA.
  • Beardslee Public House – Lager: Timburrr Winter Lager. Wintery choice: Peppermint Russian Imperial Stout.
  • Boundary Bay Brewery – Lager: Soko Lager (Japanese-style lager). Wintery choice: Cabin Fever.
  • Bosk Brew Works – Lager: Krampus Holiday Lager. Wintery choice: 1402 Dark Czech-Style Lager.
  • Hellbent Brewing – Lager: Vienna Lager. Wintery choice: Everglow Winter IPA.
  • Kulshan Brewing – Lager: Kulshan Especial (Mexican-style lager). Wintery choice: Kitten Mittens.
  • Lowercase Brewing – Lager: Lorien Helles. Wintery choice: Keller Door (collab w/ Stillwater).
  • Obec Brewing – Lager: Czech Christmas Lager. Wintery choice: Barrel-aged Czech Christmas Lager.
  • Single Hill Brewing – Lager: Festbier. Wintery choice: This Little Guy.
  • Talking Cedar Brewery – Lager: Pilsner. Wintery choice: Winter IPA.

The Barrel-Aged Behemoths

  • Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery – Baranof, a 9% barrel-aged Baltic porter. Aged in whiskey barrels.
  • Georgetown Brewing – 18 LBS Porter. An imperial-strength porter aged in barrels from Westland Distillery and Heaven Hills. 12.5%.
  • Fremont Brewing – Brew 6000. English-style barelywine aged in bourbon barrels for 16 months. 11.9%.
  • Icicle Brewing – Barrel-Aged Dark Persuasion. One of my personal favorite beers, but this version is aged on Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans, cocoa nibs, and coffee, then barrel-aged for a year in whiskey barrels. 9.9%.
  • Kulshan Brewing. 2022 Barrel-Aged Kitten Mittens. Because kitten mittens.
  • Matchless Brewing – Gin Barrel-Aged Sour. A blonde sour ale aged in gin barrels and then conditioned on gin botanicals. 5.6% Not exactly a big, dark beer, but yum.
  • Obec Brewing – Barrel-Aged Czech Christmas Lager. It’s like the beer mentioned above in the lager section, but this version was aged in Oola Gin barrels. Very limited supply. 7.9%.
  • Old Stove Brewing – Quiet Eon. A barrel-aged imperial stout conditioned in bourbon barrels for over a year. And look out, 14%.
  • Pike Brewing – Long Dark Barrel-Aged Stout. As advertised, this one spent a long time, 36 months, in the barrel. 13.3%.
  • Postdoc Brewing – Demon Star Imperial Stout. This year’s version of the bourbon-barrel Imperial Stout clocks in at 10.6%.
  • Rooftop Brewing – S’mored Barrel Ride. Imperial stout aged on Amburana Wood and marshmallow. 10.5%.
  • Silver City Brewery – Bourbon Barrel Old Scrooge. The brewery’s classic, award-winning barleywine aged in bourbon barrels. 9.9%.

There are many others that I did not mention, but that list should get you started and will probably finish you off, too. See the complete beer list, and secure your Winter Beer Fest tickets here.

Check out the Washington Beer Blog’s events page for more beer-related events around Washington.

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