With more than a dozen 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 is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
“There is great beer being made on the peninsula, no doubt about it,” agreed Mike Montoney. His hops-forward Rainy Daze Brewing is expanding and moving to Poulsbo, where it will be the fourth craft brewery in a town of about 10,000 people.
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.
“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.”
One 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. Check here in early 2017 for the schedule and 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
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