I love the game of Washoes, a game that Tomme Arthur from the Lost Abbey introduced into the brewing community almost ten years ago. I’ve been known to play for hours, given the chance. Almost every small brewery along the west coast has a set of boards, and you see them fairly frequently at events, too. So I was thrilled to be invited to play in the first annual Russian River Invitational Washoe Tournament last night. My partner was Dave Keene, owner of the Toronado. We’ve played together on numerous occasions, but never in a tournament like this. There were nine teams playing in a round robin double elimination tournament. Dave and I — “Team Toronado” — managed to go undefeated through the first three rounds, earning ourselves a bye going into the finals. Since we hadn’t lost a game, the other team had to beat us twice in order to prevail. But we never gave them the chance, and won the first game in short order to win the tournament. What great fun. There definitely need to be more organized washoe tournaments.
To learn more about the rules of Washoes, check out Washoe Rules, a web page put up by Vinnie Cilurzo with the agreed-upon brewing community’s rules. The game exists in many variations around the country, and most likely originated somewhere in the Midwest, but this is the set of rules by which we played.
Dave Keene and me after our washoe victory.