The fourth annual Issaquah Winter Micro Brew and Blues Festival will be a benefit for Artbeat, a nonprofit organization that brings the performing arts to venues in Everett. Last year, Artbeat presented the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Tannahill Weavers and the Seattle Men's Chorus, among other notable performing artists.
David Shaw, organizer and founder of Artbeat, says about 18 to 20 breweries will tap about 50 different kinds of beers. Among the breweries will be the Issaquah Brewing Company, Bear Creek Brewing Company, Pacific Rim Brewing Co., Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Co., Bridgeport Brewery, Orchard Street Brewery, Hales, Full Sail, Pike Brewing Company, Mendocino, Anacortes Brewhouse, Mac and Jack's Brewery, Hood Canal Brewery and Spire Mountain Cider.
Serving the food will be the Wildfire Ranch Barbecue, a restaurant in Issaquah's Gilman Village. And, for emphasis on atmosphere, Shaw has booked one of his favorite blues bands, Watertown Blues, to perform throughout the two-day festival held in the Pickering Barn.
Shaw said that the event will be dedicated to the memory of Bert Grant, noted as one of the founders of the American Craft Brewers movement. Grant, who died recently, began his career in commercial brewing in Eastern Canada, but came to the Northwest and helped launch a movement that has become a Northwest tradition.
Winter brew festivals are also becoming a fixture in the Northwest; winter season 2000 saw three of them, in Everett, Issaquah and Bellingham. These three events were organized by Artbeat as the "Winter Brew and Blues Festivals." The Everett one, January 7-8, was the sixth annual fest, held at Howard Johnson's Plaza, with support from Scuttlebutt Brewery, Flying Pig Brewing, Diamond Knot Brewery, local distributors, homebrew suppliers and homebrewers associations. Issaquah's fest, the second one in that city, was held January 21-22, with sponsorship from Issaquah Brewery and others, in the fine Community House at Vasa Park. With any luck, early recipients of this edition of the Celebrator will still have time to get on up to Bellingham for its first fest in this series, February 4-5.
Participating sponsors include Boundary Bay and Orchard Street breweries. More information can be obtained from David Shaw at Artbeat