Andy Burkhead of Seattle attends his fifth Port Townsend Strange Brewfest with friends and family, all dressed as Vikings. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Strange brews at Port Townsend festival include doughnut, Doritos and ghost pepper flavors

PORT TOWNSEND — Offering tastes from doughnuts to Doritos, the 13th annual Strange Brewfest in Port Townsend didn’t disappoint, with brewers from throughout the Pacific Northwest bringing plenty of strange beer flavors to sample.

“It’s really amazing to look out and see this whole place just full,” said Janet Emory, one of the organizers of the two-day Strange Brewfest held at the American Legion Hall.

“We couldn’t ask for a better weekend.”

Thirty breweries offered more than 60 beers and ciders to taste Friday and Saturday.

The event brought in plenty of new faces, but many of those who attended the kickoff celebrations Friday were return customers.

“This is our fifth time, and we love it,” said Kevin Gleim of Puyallup, who was in the middle of drinking a doughnut-flavored beer complete with maple frosting.

“I think the most interesting beer I’ve ever had is this one, but the most striking was the ghost-pepper-flavored one.”

There was no shortage of creative beers at this year’s event. Fish Brewing Co. out of Olympia came in with two very popular beers.

Their doughnut pale ale was topped with maple frosting, bacon bits and colorful sprinkles. They also had a cotton candy sour topped with pieces of cotton candy for a sweet-and-sour combination.

Not to be outdone on the toppings, 7 Seas Brewing from Tacoma brought a Mexican cupcake stout topped with whipped cream and spices.

Bainbridge Brewing brought back an old favorite, its Cool Ranch Beeritos, a Doritos-flavored beer.

Bainbridge Brewing has been known for bringing some of the strangest brews to the annual Strange Brewfest.

“They did a stout from soba noodles once,” said Andy Burkhead, returning to Port Townsend from Seattle for his fifth brewfest.

“That one is the strangest thing I’ve ever had, both in taste and presentation.”

Dungeness Brewing Co. stayed true to its name, returning with the Crabby Stout, which is literally boiled with Dungeness crabs and Old Bay seasoning during the brewing process.

Plenty of Peninsula Breweries also attended. Alpenfire, EagleMount and Finnriver cideries all brought creative creations. Finnriver went above and beyond with ciders boasting high alcohol content and combinations with apple cider vinegar.

Port Townsend Brewing brought three beers to this year’s event: the OK Stupid, a chocolate cherry stout; the Blacked Out black current black IPA; and the Trop’Diggidy, a coconut pineapple IPA.

The festivities were topped off with live music from local bands such as LoWire, Snug Harbor and Joy in Mudville as well as fire dancers.

“I love this festival, and I come every year with my brother and sister,” said Burkhead, dressed like a Viking for Friday’s festivities. “Port Townsend is awesome in general, and this is a good reason to come back.”

Participants say the festival is not only a good time but also a boost for Port Townsend’s businesses in the normally slow winter season.

“We came in this morning and checked into our hotel, did some shopping, hiked at Fort Worden and now we’re here,” Burkhead said. “Not a bad day.”

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at[email protected].

Kevin Gleim of Puyallup samples a donut-flavored beer, complete with maple icing, at the Port Townsend Strange Brewfest on Friday night. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

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