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Co-op brew corner

Co-op Brew Corner: Best Beers and Ciders of 2017

As this year draws to a close, let’s raise a glass to your favorite craft beers and ciders. There are too many stand-outs to mention here, but here’s a list of beers you loved most in 2017:

Georgetown’s Lucille, Bodizafa & Roger’s Pilsner

#1: Georgetown Brewing’s Triple Threat

For 15 years Georgetown Brew has been making their “darn tasty beer” in Seattle. 2017 marked their first foray into canning. Georgetown has grown from a small, 15 barrel system with a handful of employees to Washington State’s largest independent brewery, with over 45 employees.

Each each their 3 styles of canned beer has a personal connection to the brew family. Roger’s Pilsner, named for co-founder Roger Bialous, is a clean-tasting, reasonably priced ($8.99 per 6pk) lager is a light, smooth and food-friendly. Lucille India Pale Ale is the brain-child of other co-founder Manny Chao. It’s made with seven rounds of Amarillo, Cascade and Centennial hops and is named Lucille for a line George Kennedy utters in the film Cool Hand Luke: “Anything so innocent and built like just gotta be named Lucille.”

Bodizafa India Pale Ale ~ 6.9% alcohol by volume ~ 80 IBU ~ $11.99 per 6-pk 12 oz cans ~

Bright and citrus-forward, Bodizafa won a Gold Medal in the American IPA Category at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival. It has flavors of mandarin orange from a bouquet of Citra, Chinook, Mosaic and Columbus hops, balanced by silky rolled oats. Perhaps the name reminds you of Patrick Swayze in the movie Point Break? That’s on purpose. Don’t fear the higher price point, take the plunge. Bodizafa is an outstanding example of Pacific Northwest craft. Pair it with: burgers, spicy Thai dishes or ramen noodles.

#2: Local Boundary Bay Cedardust

2017 was the year of the can: a rise in availability and popularity of canned beer. This past year saw several local breweries and cider companies get on board, including Boundary Bay Brewery. As one of Bellingham’s most prominent brewpubs, they began canning, as well as bottling their brew. Their first release was Cedardust India Pale Ale, later followed by seasonal Cabin Fever. Cedardust is now available year-round, but Cabin Fever is in it’s final days, so stock up now!

Cedardust India Pale Ale ~ 6.5% alcohol by volume ~ 60 IBU ~ $9.99 per 6-pk 12 oz cans ~

Brewed with four varieties of hops, Cedardust IPA is inspired by Bellingham’s iconic mountain bike trail on Galbraith Mountain. A careful balance Centennial, Zeus, Simcoe and Mosaic – to encapsulate the spirit of the adventurous Pacific Northwest. Perfect for snuggling up with nachos or taking on camping trips, enjoy this brew as the result of over 20 years of local brewing. Pair it with: Indian curries, tacos or chocolate cake.

#3: Portland Cider Company

Even though the states of Washington and Oregon are located close to each other, we don’t always share brew. There are many quality cider houses – like Tieton, 2Towns, and Anthem – across the Pacific Northwest. 2017 adds another to list: Portland Cider. This year they burst onto the craft cider scene in WA with 22 oz bottles and cans. Based on traditional dry English ciders, Portland’s line-up includes Hoprageous, a bright, herbal cider with Yakima hops. Also look for fruity options like Passionfruit and Sangria with orange, strawberry, pear, elderberry, and lime juice.

Kinda Dry Cider ~ 6.5% alcohol by volume ~ semi-dry ~ naturally gluten free ~ $6.49 per 22 oz bottle / $10.49 per 6-pk 12 oz bottles

Available year-round, Portland’s classic Kinda Dry cider is made with fresh pressed juice from Northwest grown apples. As it’s name suggests, this gluten free treat is dry and lightly carbonated. The cider ferments with a special yeast to preserve its subtle flavors. The cider then ages to develop a light, clean refreshing finish. Pair it with: smoked pork, roasted chicken, sausage or dessert.

By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.