En route to the Tacoma craft beer festival earlier this month, I stopped off in Woodinville to call on one of the new breweries I missed in June: Twelve Bar Brews. It is located at the back end of a dead-end, pothole-laced road that serves a small business park.
The fifteen-barrel system behind the tasting room stays busy, keeping up with demand for Kirk's music-themed ales (Wicked Riff IPA, Pentatonic Pale, etc.) and also serving for neighbor Brickyard Brewing's beers until they get their own system in. I tried a taste of Turnaround Red and the IPA, but liked the Pentatonic best and sipped a pint of that (4.5% abv, 40 IBU, nice balance).
Just one pint: the traffic of I-405 had to be navigated, then a few miles of I-5 before the Tacoma exits appeared. This year the festival organizers moved the event into Cheney Stadium, where the Tacoma Rainiers, the Mariners' AAA farm club, play through Labor Day. Seventy-some breweries set up their stands all along the outfield fences while bands rocked a stage set up over second base. Down the left field line (a spot that afforded a fine view of Mt. Rainier over the right field stands), Chuckanut was flying the Bellingham flag and staying busy. Next to Chuckanut, a Colorado brewer called Base Camp was showing the new 22-oz aluminum containers they had developed with canmaker Ball Container. An interesting alternative to the 22-oz glass bomber for brewers big enough to order that can stock in carload lots.