We’re diverting from our regular wine post today to highlight some of the West Sound’s top breweries and the recent recognition by the North American Brewers Association of some of their brews. And with the Bremerton Summer BrewFest slated for Saturday in downtown Bremerton, we figured now’s the perfect time to switch gears.
Back in the day when I was peddling wine, I also sold beer. I learned the easiest transition for a wine lover/beer disliker to a wine lover/beer liker was to recommend a Belgian-style beer called Lambic. It’s made by those crazy Belgians and is really more like champagne than beer.
For centuries the Belgians have made Lambics with fresh fruit and wild yeasts. “Framboise” was often the best transition beer for many former beer haters — just open a bottle, the whole room will smell of fresh raspberries.
For all you wine lovers who have previously turned your noses up at beer (I’m looking at you Brynn!) you better get ready because beer is permeating the wine industry. Beer is offered alongside booths pouring wine at well attended tasting events like Taste Washington and the Kitsap Wine Festival — so suck it up and stick out your pint.
Beer and wine have interesting parallel histories. Both have origins dating back more than a million years. Records show both were in serious production around 500 B.C. Later clergy, monks, priests and nuns brewed or fermented these beverages, and operated the hospitals. At the time it was believed water was dangerous to drink if it wasn’t fermented or brewed first.
The clergy’s connection to beer’s early beginnings explains why today you’ll often see “saint” or “hospital” in the names of many ancient breweries or wineries. For example: Trappist, Morey Saint Denis, Saint Aubin, St. Julien, Vereinigte Hospitien, Hospice de Beaune and Bières d’Abbaye.
So where are we, the two women on a wine mission, going with this?
Because Saturday marks the the Washington Beer Commission’s Bremerton Summer BrewFest, which brings thousands of visitors to Pacific Avenue in Bremerton to taste Kitsap microbeers, we think it’s only fitting to highlight some of our local brewers’ recent accomplishments.
Kitsap County breweries have garnered more North American Brewers Association (NABA) medals than any other county in Washington. That’s more than King County, which has close to 50 microbreweries — some of them quite well known.
Pretty impressive, don’t you think?
Since its start 15 years ago, Silverdale’s Silver City Brewery has received more than 60 medals from NABA, the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and the World Beer Cup.
Hood Canal Brewery in Kingston has also received a number of medals over its 15 years and medals awarded to Poulsbo’s newbie breweries Sound Brewery and Valhöll Brewing Co. have helped push Kitsap to become the top county in the state for beer in just three short years.
Other newcomers to the scene, Bainbridge Island Brewing Company, Rainy Daze Brewing in Silverdale, Port Orchard’s Slaughter County Brewing Company and Poulsbo’s Slippery Pig Brewery are producing quality beers that are putting Kitsap on beer lovers’ maps.
There’s some pretty good microbrews in Kitsap, and the best chance to check them out — and compare them side by side — is to attend this weekend’s summer brewfest. The event runs from 12 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Admission includes five tokens, each good for a 5 oz. taste. Visit the Washington Beer Commission site for more information or to buy tickets.