At this year’s Washington Winter Beer Festival, you’ll discover no shortage of creativity. More than any other beer fest around here, the breweries really pull out all the stops and let their imagination run wild, but all that craziness is also balanced by some more accessible options.
The event takes place in Seattle, at Magnuson Park’s Hangar 30 on December 2nd and 3rd. One session on Friday evening and two sessions on Saturday. Get more information and secure your tickets at the event’s website.
I’ve now seen the complete beer list, featuring most of the beers scheduled to pour at the event (more may be added, and some may change). The beer list is impressive, offering a massive variety of styles to please any palate. Like a Fruitcake Winter Ale from 210 Brewing and a traditional pilsner lagered for eight weeks from Anacortes Brewery. From Figurehead Brewing’s Black Saison with Rosehips, Coriander, Pink Peppercorns, and Grains of Paradise to Reuben’s Brew’s Stay Frosty IPA.
Balance, yes, but really this beer fest is about unbridled creativity and lots of flavors. Below, I share just a few of the more imaginative and ambitious beers that caught my eye on this year’s list. You can see the entire list here.
Winter Beer Festival Beer List Highlights
Don’t worry. There are plenty of other beers that are more accessible, like IPAs and pilsners, on the list. These are just a few of the creative gems that caught my eye as I browsed the complete list. This will give you an idea of the kind of treasures that await you.
210 Brewing – Re-gift Fruitcake Winter Ale, IBU 23 IBU / ABV 7% ABV. A winter ale brewed with actual fruitcake and added spices.
Silver City Brewery – Yippykiyay Imperial Eggnog Ale, 10% ABV. An imperial strength blonde ale enhanced with spices and a bit of milk sugar, Yippee-Ki-Yay proves that you can enjoy all of those delicious Christmas flavors in a beer.
Postdoc Brewing – Gingerbread Kilty MacSporran, 18 IBU/5.7% ABV. Malt forward with flavors of gingerbread, caramel, slightly sweet, roast and dry finish. 2021 Winter Beer Fest People’s Choice 1st Place.
Ladd & Lass Brewing – Peach Gobbler, 5 IBU / 6.9% ABV. Peach Gobbler is packed full of a delightful fresh peach quality and soft acidity—balanced against a slightly sweet and creamy malt backbone. With aromas of freshly baked pie crust and pure Madagascar vanilla bliss, this beer pairs as perfectly with boisterous holiday feasts as it does nights cuddled up on the couch bingewatching the latest Hallmark holiday movies. This is everything we think a smoothie beer should be…without the cloying sweetness you often run into.Fremon
Icicle Brewing – Dark Persuasion German Chocolate Cake Ale (AKA One of Kendall’s Most-Favorite Beers), 22 IBU/6.5% ABV. Dark Persuasion is brewed with rich coconut, vanilla and cacao which evoke flavors of German chocolate cake. Dark roasted specialty malts enhance the chocolate character and Pahto hops balance the sweet, milk sugar and malty goodness.
Fremont Brewing – Coffee Cinnamono BBOMB ’22 – Barrel Aged Winter Ale, ABV: 13.5% / IBU: 50. This year’s release of B-Bomb is aged in 8–12-year-old American Oak bourbon barrels and is a blend of 9, 12, and 24-month old barrel-aged Winter Ale. This special edition adds cold brew coffee and cinnamon bark to complement the bourbon, oak, cacao, leather, toffee, and dark coffee notes achieved from its extended barrel aging and barrel blending.
Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery – Moto Gose, 5.5% ABV. Kettle-sour goes with spruce tips, blackberry, and other secrets. A recipe by co-op member Eric Blume (one of the area’s most-revered homebrewers).
No-Li Brewhouse – 12 Days of Squatch – Imperial Stout, 9.5% ABV. A big, bold Stout made with Orange, Cloves, Star Anise and Cinnamon to bring the flavors of Mulled Wine to a soul-warming holiday beer.
Reuben’s Brews – Three Ryes Men: Apple Pie– 13.7% ABV. Three Ryes Men Apple Pie is our 2022 variant. Brewed with three kinds of rye malt and aged in a blend of apple brandy barrels and cinnamon whisky barrels, this homage to a classic American pie adds notes of baking spice and caramel apple to our award-winning barley wine.
Upcoming Events – Check out our calendar of upcoming beer events around Washington.