Catch the Snohomish Brewery Hops and Seeds at the State Brewers Festival

It’s been two years since the Washington Beer Commission hosted its annual Washington Brewers Festival.

Around this time, the local craft beer world was turned upside down. New breweries have opened while others have closed, head brewers have come and gone, and owners and managers have made significant changes to their distribution and distribution strategies.

All the while, the beer kept flowing and most of the local breweries scrambled and survived – some even thrived.

This weekend’s 15th Annual Washington Brewers Festival will be a great opportunity to catch up with brewers to see how they’ve weathered the pandemic while trying out some of their latest creations.

A new brewery to check out is Snohomish’s Hops & Seed Brewery. Opened in May 2021, Hops & Seed is owned and operated by JM Cellars owners John and Peggy Bigelow. The brewery shares production space and a tasting room with the cellar at The Vault facility in Maltby.

Dru Seed, who worked for JM Cellars as a cellar master, is the head brewer of Hops and Seed. He is a graduate in viticulture and oenology from Washington State University and a lifelong home brewer.

Seed said it focuses on making hopped beers and lagers. Due to the extra space in the winery production facility, Seed was able to brew beers during the required 12-16 week wait time. For the upcoming Washington Brewers Festival, Hops and Seed will be offering four beers, including its Sunglow Pilsner, Big Mitch Imperial IPA and multi-guild collaboration Hazy IPA. The fourth beer will be the brewery’s anniversary beer: an imperial stout aged 10 months in JP Trodden bourbon barrels. Anniversary 1 Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout features toasted coconut and vanilla beans.

Hops & Seed focuses on hoppy beers and lagers. (Caleb Smith)

Here are some other local beers to try at this weekend’s festival:

Crucible Brewing: New Beginnings, a low calorie and super dry IPA made in collaboration with Bellevue Brewing. Made with citra and simcoe hops and kviek yeast.

Stevens Lake Brewery: Carolina Reaper Infused Dried Lager is made with Carolina Reaper peppers, the reigning king of the hottest peppers in the world at the 1.1 million scoville scale.

Meatheads Beer Works: Moose and Squirrel Rauch Lager is a smoked lager brewed in a traditional German style.

Sound2Summit Brewery: Sound to Cerveza Mexican Lager is a light and smooth lager brewed with pilsner malt, Vienna malt, a touch of flaked corn and a small amount of Mandarina Bavaria hops until the boil is finished.

Brewing of three bulls: Toasted Marshmallow Porter is brewed with chocolate, roasted and smoked malts and combined with infused marshmallow.

Brewing Watts: Apian West Coast IPA is part of Watts’ rotating range of IPAs and features a different blend of hops on a crisp, dry bed of pale malt.

White side brewing: Wheezing the juice hazy IPA is made with a blend of Cascade, Chinook, Citra and Simcoe hops.

Washington Brewers Festival

When: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; noon to 8 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday

Where: Marymoor Park, Redmond

Tickets: $35 online; $40 at the door. Admission includes a 5-ounce souvenir tasting glass and eight tasting tokens.

5 daddy’s rights and drafts: Marysville’s 5 Rights Brewing is hosting its annual Dad’s & Drafts event June 17-19 at the brewery. In addition to 5 Rights beers, there will be beers from six other breweries, including Breakside Brewing, Moonraker Brewing, No Drought Brewing, Reuben’s Brews, Scuttlebutt Brewing and YaYa Brewing. Tickets are $22 and include a tasting tray of all guest beers and a souvenir mug. Tickets can be purchased at the brewery.

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