This Friday and Saturday, the brand new Washington Beer Collaboration Festival debuts on the South Lake Union Discovery Center's lawn, showcasing 25 different collaborative beers, each created by a pair of Washington brewers who put their minds and mugs together.
Standard Brewing in the Central District and SoDo's Seapine Brewing teamed up to create a basil saison, but this process was about more than just the beer. "Brewing is kind of an ongoing study," says Justin Gerardy, owner and head brewer of Standard Brewing. "There's a lot to learn, and seeing somebody else's processes and ideas is always inspiring."
Other brewers, like Brad Benson of Stoup Brewing, see this as an opportunity to "show all our customers how tight knit we really are as an industry." Yes, all these beer companies are competing with each other, but there's a respect for one another notes Benson. They're basically showing each other their trade secrets, all to make a great beer.
Stoup and its collaboration partner, Western Avenue newcomer Cloudburst Brewing, have something special to share at the event. When YCH Hops (a Yakima hop supplier) found out these two were participating in the event the company offered some experimental hops to use. Hops that are "a little difficult to get your hands on" as Benson would put it. With these hard-to-get hops Stoup and Cloudburst have put together a strong pale ale.
The festival will run from 4:30–8:30pm. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. With each ticket purchase festival goers will receive a 4oz tasting glass and eight tasting tokens. And for those who draw the short-straw, don't fret; designated drivers only have to pay $5 at the door, and their purchase includes a soda or water (hey, at least they're thinking of you).