|March 15, 2008|
The 6th annual Hard Liver Barleywine Fest took place — as it has for the past four years — at Brouwer’s Cafe at the corner of 35th and Phinney in Seattle, Washington.
Across the street from Brouwer’s.
A sign in front of the door announces the festival.
Inside, patrons are greeted to a replica of the Manneken Pis, as if there isn’t enough water falling on Seattle.
Having arrived to judge a little before opening time, there were only a few people downstairs.
Upstairs was another matter as the judging was in full swing. Dr. Bill and I shared a plate of frittes waiting for the final judging.
Phil Farrell is always taking photos of other people with his rubber chicken, so I thought it only fair to reciprocate.
Matt Bonney at the end of the table (with chicken) with the six judges on the final panel, as we tried to choose the top three from twelve that made it through the preliminary rounds.
There was a nice range of colors for the final dozen barley wines.
Matt Bonney and Matt Vandenberghe (a.k.a. Bonney and Vern), co-owners of both Brouwer’s Cafe and Bottleworks, after we finished judging.
From the balcony, Matt Bonney read the list of the winners to the crowd below.
Which had been packed since shortly after opening.
People sat around everywhere enjoying the atmosphere, food and great beer, especially barley wines.
The bartenders were kept busy all day long.
As groups of people sampled all 45 of the available barley wines.
Drew Cluley, head brewer from Pike Brewing.
Apparently having mouse ears is no impediment to getting served.
Alan Shapiro, from SBS Imports, and Don Scheidt, who writes about Washington beer for the Celebrator Beer News, among others.
Ian Roberts behind the bar.
Where some people did their tasting.
From up on the roof, across the street is the old building that once housed Redhook Brewery on Phinney Avenue.
A lonely beer sits on the roof with the neighborhood skyline behind it. You can see the skylight down to the cafe below to the right of the glass.
Shooting through the double-paned skylight is mostly reflection of me taking the photo, but look closely and you can see people sitting at tables two stories below.