Words & Photos: Day One of the 2014 Washington Brewers Festival

By Ron Swarner on June 14, 2014

Woot! Day One of the Washington Brewers Festival is in the history books; a glorious affair nestled between a bumpy field and cloudy skies. The state's granddaddy of beer festivals has returned to Marymoor Park in Redmond, with 88 breweries pouring 330 different beers, plus a lot of free bags of Tim's Cascade Chips.

If you're not a member of Washington Beer Lovers, a community craft beer organization, join on-site. A taller glass and extra tokens are an immediate payoff.

Warning, Marymoor Park's field is full of dips and mounds - it's a good excuse.

The Clise Mansion is closed to the public, but its front covered patio is a lovely spot for reflection and Instagram wrangling.

Like a South Sound dork, I aimed my drinking toward familiar faces. First of all, the South Sound produces mighty fine beer. Secondly, I needed a plan. If I wandered aimlessly, I would end up drunk and confused. I speak from experience.

Dick's Brewing's Friday night only Raspberry Triple Framboise didn't disappoint: tart, intense and plenty of personality.

I heard rave reviews of Wingman Brewer's Peanut Butter Cup Porter in three different waiting lines. It tastes like a freakin' Peanut Butter Cup, with bitter dark chocolate and nuttiness.

7 Seas Brewing CDA is my go-to beer: a smooth Northwest dark ale that pairs well with the Skillet food truck's grass fed beef burger. Veraci Pizza's mushroom slice is a winner, too.

Last minute addition Top Rung Brewing had its Good Jake CDA on tap. It's a must with hop-forard taste and dark roasty malts.

The RAM Brewery's Paradisi Pale is a sipper. The wheat pale incorporates grapefruit peel and citrusy Citra and Chinook hops for a heavy citrus aroma, fruity flavor and pine.

I enjoyed Silver City Brewing's Gold Mountain Pilsner while watching all-female AC/DC tribute band Hell's Belles rattle the crowd's four-ounce tasters. Easy drinking with a touch of lemon.

The longest line, by far, was the one in front of Iron Goat Brewing from Spokane. Six different beers aged in Dry-Fly whiskey and gin barrels kept them busy. Its Whiskey Barrel Cap n' Kidd Scotch Ale is malty, toasty tasty.

Day Two of the Washington Brewers Festival kicks off at 11 a.m. at King County's Marymoor Park in Redmond. It's an all-ages affair the next two days. At noon today, the Washington Beer Awards will be doled out, followed by live music and the BevMo! Brewers Keg Toss. Oh, and approximately 250 different beers will be on tap. Enjoy.

LINK: More photos from Day One of the 2014 Washington Brewers Festival

LINK: Vikings of the 2014 Washington Brewers Festival