Ale Yeah!

My dad’s favorite beer was Schmidt – during football games or working in the garage, that was his go-to drink of choice. Occasionally he might add some tomato juice, but more often than not it was just that simple can with a fish on the label. Camping in my twenties I often grabbed a pack of Rolling Rock or Corona, but I don’t think I started to appreciate beer until I met my husband. Born in Michigan, he was exposed to more floral notes of the hop rather than bitter. I didn’t like IPAs at all until he had me try Bell’s Two Hearted…a smile came to my face when I saw it too had a fish on the label. Not sure dad would have cared for it, but it taught me to discover I had a palate. Now drinking beer is all about trying and discovering. My local favorites are Dystopian’s Coconut Cream Ale and Georgetown’s Gusto Crema. Outside of state lines I’ve fallen for Founder’s Green Zebra as my go to gose; for a stout, Perennial nails it with their Abraxas; for a shandy, Short’s does it for me with their Soft Parade, and Riverbend kills it with their Milkshake IPAs…Hawaiian Crunch is calling my name right now! And now I know no matter where I go, I’ll find something I enjoy.

For those that can’t hit the road right now for a beer tour here are a few books to get some studying in before your beer imbibing adventure begins!

Tasting Cider: The Cidercraft Guide to Distinctive Flavors of North American Hard Cider by Erin James

Ciders were always sweet delights – hot ciders during high school football games or apple cider donuts at the pumpkin patch. Most hard ciders I had were filled with so much sugar I was guaranteed an instant headache in the morning. As more and more hard ciders started being produced, it was more the dry or English style that I enjoyed most. Finn River out of Chimicum is now my go-to with that bit of funk and twang that keeps me wanting more without my gut taking a punch. Cider has a long history and is incredibly diverse – this guide will walk you along the many flavors and ways of imbibing.

Complete IPA: The Guide to your Favorite Craft Beer by Joshua M. Bernstein

In the Pacific Northwest we love our hops…like really, really, really love our hops. We love them so much that our IPAs will often taste like someone is hitting me with a pillow filled with them. My face distorts and I forget where I am. But I think that is starting to change with more and more experimentation. I love hops, I do, but it’s their floral notes that really pull me in. Sweet and smooth is the kind of IPA I can cuddle up with. This guide will show you some of the places making some interesting changes in the IPA realm.

Craft Beer Country: In Search of the Best Breweries From the South Pacific to the Pacific Coast by Kirk Richardson

Some great breweries in the craft beer game have found their way into this guide of the Pacific Coast – I see you Georgetown! While there are tons more to discover and explore, this guide will get you started and have you trying beers you might not have tried before, although I will always encourage folks to find those back roads! Some of the best breweries I’ve found have been road trips with friends like Fort George Brewing in Astoria and Bron Yr Aur in Naches.

My Beer Year: Adventures With Hop Farmers, Craft Brewers, Chefs, Beer Sommeliers, & Fanatical Drinkers as A Beer Master in Training by Lucy Burningham

Follow Lucy’s path as she gets her beer education on! Like the sommeliers of the wine world, Lucy dived into that beer knowledge so deep in order to become a certified cicerone (sis-uh-rohn). I’m also a sucker for a good memoir, so beer plus story has me taking some pretty big sips. Hello, beer goddess, tell me all the things!

Want the beer to come to you? Just check out the many beer festivals Washington has to offer! And take a look at our Booktoberfest events!

~posted by Kara P.

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