Three homebrewers from Federal Way will get to make their beers in professional brewpubs after being selected in the inaugural Puget Sound Pro-Am brewing competition, a run-up to the Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am competiton, where their beers will vie against other homebrews in September.
Their brews will also go on tap as seasonals at Puget Sound pubs.
Mark Emiley's English barleywine will be brewed at The Ram in Lakewood. Peter and Janice Twigg's cream ale will be brewed at Diamond Knot Brewery in Mukilteo.
The South Sound connection doesn't end with Emiley and the Twiggs. Tacoma's Harmon Brewery will brew a pale ale from a Lake Stevens homebrewer. The Powerhouse in Puyallup will brew a "recreational" beer (by a couple of guys from Lynnwood) that won't be submitted to the GABF Pro-Am.
"It tasted very nice," Harmon brewer Mike Davis said of George Hamasaki's pale ale. "It's medium-bodied with a nice balance between the malt and the hop character. It had a faint hop nose. A citrusy nose. A very drinkable beer."
Davis said he wants to start brewing with Hamasaki by no later than early August.
"He brewed 5 gallons," Davis said. "We're gonna brew 310."
That's about 20 kegs. At The Ram, Bill Smith will brew 10 kegs of Emiley's barleywine.
"Most us got our start as homebrewers," said Steve Samuelson, a brewer at The Ram in Seattle. "It's really fun to connect with those roots."
For homebrewers, it's a chance to brew with the big boys and have their beer drunk at America's largest beer festival. In addition to six 22-ounce bottles that will be sent to Denver for judging, brewers will send a keg of each beer to the festival.
"I'll be heading out to the GABF," Emiley said. "It is an annual tradition that will be even cooler with my beer being poured."
Click on the link below for the full list of pro-am brews and breweries.
Here's the list of homebrews that will be submitted to the Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am, along with the homebrewers and the breweries that selected them.
English barleywine by Mark Emiley, Federal Way; The Ram, Lakewood.
Cream ale by Peter and Janice Twigg, Federal Way; Diamond Knot Brewery, Mukilteo.
American pale ale by George Hamasaki, Lake Stevens; The Harmon, Tacoma.
Belgian ale by Colin Lenfesty and Rodney Clark, Seattle; The Ram, Kent.
Smoked by Nathan Zorich, Issaquah; Rogue Brewery, Issaquah.
Scotch ale by Ron Yabut, Woodinville; Elysian Brewery, Seattle.
"Recreational" beers that won't be submitted to the GABF-Pro Am:
Imperial IPA by Mike and Steve Brown, Lynnwood; The Powerhouse, Puyallup.
Grapefruit hefeweizen by Chris Warne, Somerville; Rogue Brewery, Issaquah.