If you didn't make it to last week's Great American Beer Festival, where The Ram/Seattle won a silver medal for its Slapshot Stout and a bronze medal for its Rambeaux strong Scotch ale, you can get a taste next week.
Slapshot Stout and Rambeaux will be among more than 60 cask-conditioned beers from Washington, Oregon and California pouring at The Washington Brewers Guild's Cask Beer Festival Oct. 14 at Fisher Pavilion in Seattle Center.
Many are brewed in small batches exclusively for the festival. Here are some highlights:
Blueberry Porter, Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Co.: Brewer Janelle Pritchard adds pasteurized blueberry juice (from berries she grows in her back yard) as the priming sugar to casks of Steam Train Porter. The result is said to be a dark beer with a berry aroma and coffee/chocolate flavors enhanced by berry notes.
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X Anniversary Ale, Silver City Restaurant and Brewery: There'll be just one cask of the Imperial Porter that celebrates the Silverdale brewery/restaurant's 10-year anniversary. It contains 10 different malts and 10 different hops. It's said to resemble Silver City's award-winning Imperial Stout.
BraveHeart Heather Ale, The Harmon Restaurant and Brewery, Tacoma: A cask-version of the brewery's Scottish ale "hopped" with 22 pounds of heather tips. I've tried the non-cask BraveHeart. It's herbaceous and floral.
XXXIPA, Diamond Knot Brewing Co.: If Diamond Knot's Industrial IPA isn't hoppy enough for you, these kegs are dry hopped with a megadose of Columbus hops – and a bag of oak chips that were aged in Port wine. Can you say hoppy, malty and oaky?
South Hill Saison, The Ram Restaurant Brewery, Puyallup: Another one casked for the festival. This farmhouse ale is inoculated with brettanomyces lambicus. There's only one keg.
Double Herbert's, Hale's Ales Brewery, Seattle: I tried this one at the Craft Brewers Conference. Double hopped and double malted, it was big and bold, fitting of its namesake, Yakima brewer Bert Grant (I interviewed him once. He gave me an education in hot pokers and pumpkin ales.) The Brewers Guild says this is the last keg of Double Herbert's left.
$35 advance/$40 day-of gets you into one of two four-hour sessions (12 p.m.-4p.m. or 6 p.m.-10 p.m.) Tickets are available at your favorite online vendor (with service charge), at some pubs, and at washingtonbeer.com. Designated drivers pay $5.
WINTER BEER FESTIVALWashington Brewers Guild is also sponsoring its 2nd annual Winter Beer Festival. More than 30 breweries will pour their winter beers while Hale's pub dishes grub.
The festivities happen Dec. 2, noon-10 p.m. at Hale's Palladium, inside Hale's Ales Brewery Pub, 4301 Leary Way NW, Seattle.
Tickets and tasting cups are $20. Designated drivers pay $8. Visit washingtonbeer.com for more information.