Here's our take on The Session #93: Beer Travel.
There are of course all the obvious and practical reasons for going straight to the brewery. Yes, the beer is freshest at the source. Not to mention many breweries offer small batch seasonals and cask conditioned brews only available on-site. These beers are special—brewed for an occasion, or innovative in their ingredients. One of our new favorites this year is Fremont Brewing's Cowiche Canyon Fresh Hop, which we tasted for the first time at Bellingham Oktoberfest. We recently went down to the brewery to get some more, and they had three variations on tap!
Beer loves a good home.
There's something magical about peering at all that stainless steel in the actual brewhouse; smelling the deep yeasty carmelization of wort on brew day. I love nothing more on a dreary day, than a chewy winter warmer, feeling damn near snuggled by the warm woodwork and earth-tone walls found at so many Pacific Northwest brewery taprooms.
Thriving breweries serve up good beer and often more to their patrons. Live music, trivia competitions, cask nights: beer is a good-time drink. One of our favorite home-town breweries, Boundary Bay, has introduced the community to some amazing bands through its summer beer garden concert series.
Beer loves a good location.
On-trend here in the PNW is sustainability. More often from breweries I'm seeing a concerted effort to go green—reducing carbon footprints, or choosing to partner with local suppliers. These acts of conservation seem to be directly linked to a love for the natural environment. We love our mountains and our glacier-fed rivers! The great outdoors are creeping into our beers too. We recently attended a Beers Made By Walking tap night, showcasing beer selections directly inspired by area hikes. Spruce tips! Wild mountain huckleberries! Blending together with malt, water, hops, and yeast to taste like a pint of liquid Washington beauty.