10/17/2018 12:59:00 PM Brew on the Slough offers Northwest flavor
More about brews this Saturday
With more than 360 craft breweries in the state of Washington, beer making is an art form that has skyrocketed into a growth industry. From Bellingham to Snohomish and Sedro Woolley to the San Juans there are approximately 54 companies brewing Ales, IPA’s, Porters, and Stouts. This number increases every day. And this is only north of Seattle. Many of these brewers turn to Skagit Malting Company for dependable quality malts, including many of the twelve breweries attending this weekend’s Brew on the Slough, at Maple Hall from 6-9 p.m. Saturday. The grains used are locally grown, farmer-direct and yield a superior flavor which can be sipped over good conversation while listening to good music, like the CC Adams Band playing live for this Octoberfest celebration. To begin a conversation about beer, either with a friend or to test out the brew master’s knowledge, try these questions on for size: What is malted at the beginning of the brewing process? What is the process called of separating the wort from the solid remains? What is the final step in the brewing production? What is “skunked” beer? Lager comes from what German word and means? Guinness is famous for what kind of beer? Which grain makes a “Weiss” beer? During fermentation in the brewing process, the sugars are turned into alcohol and what else? True or False; The oldest known recipe is a recipe for beer. Life doesn’t get much better than local brews, live music and an evening on the Swinomish Slough with old friends and maybe some new ones, too. Answers here next week.
“It is a growing process. You can’t just like beer. You have to start somewhere and learn the different flavors.” – Isaac Hanson. This weekend, kick back and sample the different flavors of 12 regional craft breweries, while enjoying the perfectly paired bluesy, funk rhythms of local favorite Mary Ellen Lykins & the CC Adams Band. Yes, it is that time again, for the 4th annual Brew on the Slough this Saturday at Maple Hall. The La Conner Chamber of Commerce organizes this brewfest, bringing together local breweries, merchants and entertainment for one fun filled night. The initial downtown beer walk has become a community event. A drive through Skagit valley, maybe on the way to the festival, underscores not only a breathtaking landscape, with Mt. Baker looming over lesser Cascadian peaks and also a sustainable and viable way of life – its farmland. The golden crops carpeting these fields may be a variety of wheat or barley used by the Skagit Malting Company to turn malt into “a unique and flavorful part of your craft beer.” By partnering with local growers, they help promote sustainability by keeping it local, while raising the bar on craft brewing. Start early Saturday: Skagit Malting Company offers a seminar on “Skagit’s Amazing Craft Brew Industry” at the Skagit County Historical Museum, 1-3 p.m. Take in their talk, meander to La Conner for dinner, then jaunt over to Maple Hall for Brew on the Slough, where these craft beers are waiting to be sampled. There are twelve breweries ready to share their wares, beginning with LaConner Brewery and three other Skagit based ale houses: the 129 Brew Pub in Mt. Vernon, Bastion brewery in Anacortes and Chuckanut Brewery, in Bellingham, but with a southern outpost at Skagit Regional Airport. Many varieties of brews from these crafters sprouted from the partnership between Skagit Malting Company, local farmers and breweries. Beyond our borders, breweries participating from south of Skagit County include Scuttlebutt, Everett; Pike, Reuben, and Hales Ales from Seattle; and rounding it all off are Fort George Brewery and Pfriem Family Brewery from Oregon. Two cideries offer an alternative to the hoppy brew. Portland and Swift Cidery complete the lineup. The brewmasters from these dozen breweries and cideries will be answering questions and pouring from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $25 for 10 tastes. Purchase them at lovelaconner.com Valley Hand Pies will have their food truck outside. The first 200 ticket holders will receive a complimentary tasting glass. Here is to merrily meeting and raising a pint. Cheers!