With more than 20 craft breweries on tap, the Kitsap Peninsula is a hops-lover’s heaven and one of the best spots in Washington for a microbrew tasting tour.

“We’re building a great brewing community here,” said Don Spencer of Silver City Brewery, which was established in 1996.

“There is great beer being made on the peninsula, no doubt about it,” agreed Mike Montoney. His hops-forward Rainy Daze Brewing, now in Poulsbo, where it is the fifth craft brewery in a town of about 10,000 people.

Kendall Jones, who writes the Washington Beer Blog, said outstanding Kitsap Peninsula brews abound, including Sound Brewery’s Belgian-style beers and Silver City’s traditional German-style lagers.

The judges of the Washington Beer Awards are also fans of peninsula potables. They recognized six Kitsap breweries with medals in 2016, including gold to Der Blokken, Silver City and Bainbridge Island Brewing. Check out the 2018 winners which includes a number of Kitsap Peninsula breweries.

“These beers are great and people recognize it,” said Mike Hale. His Seattle-based Hale’s Ales recently opened a barrelhouse and tasting room in Bremerton, which serves 23 beers on tap, including a half-dozen local guest brews. “There are unique and lovely beers on the Kitsap Peninsula and they have very individual styles.”

“Every brewery in this county has their own ideas, their own vision,” noted Spencer, Silver City’s brewmaster. “There’s a lot of variety. It’s a good reason to visit every one.”

There’s nothing more refreshing after a day of hiking, mountain biking or kayaking the peninsula than a nice craft beer, said Dan Frantz, Silver City’s marketing director.

It’s also a great way to get to know the area, said Spencer. “If you want to get a sense of the community you’re visiting, there’s no better place to visit than a place where fresh local beer is made and you can meet the brewers and talk and visit with patrons.”

And, said Hale, it’s a good deal. “You can get an excellent beer that is carefully made for $5 and it will be smooth, delicious, tasty and fresh.”

static1.squarespaceOne of the easiest ways to sample several Kitsap breweries in one trip is by leaving the driving to Peninsula Brew Tours. Owner Jeremy Hicks sets up customized weekend excursions for groups of eight to 14 people for $35 per beer-lover. Tours usually visit three breweries.

The Kitsap Peninsula is one of seven sites in the state that hosts a Washington State Beer Commission Open House each year. Click here to create your own personalized peninsula brewing tour.

The Kitsap brew scene is constantly evolving, but here’s a current-for-the-moment list of Kitsap’s finest, according to the Washington Beer Commission:

Hood Canal Brewery, Kingston

Downpour Brewing, Kingston

Valholl Brewing, Poulsbo

Sound Brewery, Poulsbo

Slippery Pig Brewing, Poulsbo

Rainy Daze Brewing, Poulsbo

Bainbridge Island Brewing

Silver City Restaurant and Brewery, Silverdale

Cash Brewing Co., Silverdale

Der Blokken Brewery, Bremerton

LoveCraft Brewing Co., Bremerton

Dog Days Brewery (formerly Wobbly Hopps), Bremerton

Silver City Brewery and Taproom, Bremerton

Slaughter County Brewing, Port Orchard

7 Seas Brewing, Gig Harbor

Harmon HUB at Gig Harbor