Last weekend, I had the honor of playing beer and coffee tour guide to a group of friends from all over the country. Stephanie, from Seattle by way of Praha, Czech Republic. Ben, from Indiana/Raleigh, back from Praha and on his way to Beijing. And Dave, from Chicago/LA, on his way to Macedonia. Needless to say it was an epic weekend of drinks, travel stories and multiple languages.
Being the only local of the group, we spent a lot of time at some of my favorite water holes. Including Hopworks, Gigantic, Burnside and Bridgeport. But we also made is across the river to Vancouver, Washington for the Summer Brewfest. I’ll admit, this was my first time ever going to downtown Vancouver. It was a pretty fun afternoon of beers and sunshine.
That being said, my only “peeve” of the day was the $25 entrance fee. This seems a little steep for a new beer festival and goes again common (er, Oregon) beer festival practices. In which case, there is free entrance to the festival and you have to pay to drink. This includes the price of a cheap plastic mug (usually $5) and drink tickets ($1/taster).
One of the biggest take aways from this event was there were a lot of common beers (and breweries) present. However, I did find some new breweries to check out. Like Heathen Brewing, Loowit Brewing Company, Mt. Tabor Brewing and West Highland Brewing all out of Vancouver, WA. And Pale Horse Brewing Company and Phat Matt’s Brewing Co. out of Salem and Bend, Oregon, respectively.
Here is what we tried:
- Swill Beer by 10 Barrel Brewing (Note: Despite the name, this beer was surprising good and my favorite at the Festival!)
- Indulge Amber by Heathen Brewing
- Transcend IPA by Heathen Brewing
- Wailua Ale by Kona Brewing Co.
- Big Wave Golden Ale by Kona Brewing Co.
- Shadow Ninja IPA by Loowit Brewing Company
- Vandalia Summer Ale by Loowit Brewing Company
- Graceful Wheat by McMenamins
- Mango Tango Pale by McMenamins
- P5 Pale Ale by Mt. Tabor Brewing
- Faded Roots Honey Blonde by Mt. Tabor Brewing
- Mama’s Little Yella Pils by Oskar Blues Brewing
- G’Knight Imperial Red by Oskar Blues Brewing
- Hillbilly Blonde by Pale Horse Brewing Company
- Hopyard Dog IPA by Pale Horse Brewing Company
- Surfer’s Summer Ale by Pelican Brewery
- Silverspot IPA by Pelican Brewery
- Kolsch by Phat Matt’s Brewing Co.
- White IPA by Phat Matt’s Brewing Co.
- Na Zdravi by Southern Oregon Brewing Co. (Note: This was hands down Ben and Stephanie’s favorite beer. “Na Zdravi” means “Cheers” in Czech.)
- Holy Water by Southern Oregon Brewing Co.
- Razz Wheat by Vertigo Brewing
- Friar Mikes IPA by Vertigo Brewing (Note: As the only IPA fan of the group, this was Dave’s favorite beer of the Festival.)
- Mango Moon Ale by West Highland Brewing
- Westie Strong Scottish Ale by West Highland Brewing
- Citra Blonde Summer Brew by Widmer Brothers
What is your favorite summer brew?
[In the spirit of full transparency, my entrance to the Vancouver Summer Brewfest was provided by Zzoom Media.]