Northbank Beer Week Grand Finale – Brewing Bridges Collaboration Beer Festival

Holy beer Batman! The grand finale of Northbank Beer Week was a doozy, and I loved every bit of it. Brewing Bridges Collaboration Festival had a ton of great breweries; I just had one problem, I knew I would not be able to make it through all of the beers. So I brought my partner in crime along, my husband.
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My husband is the one on the right, in the blue. Also pictured, Kirk and Erik from North Jetty Brewing.
The central theme of the collaboration was that an Oregon brewer and a Washington brewer teamed up and made some great beer. And boy did they ever.

Disclaimer here, I am no expert, I just love beer. So everything stated here is opinion, no point getting mad if we don’t agree, we can get just another pint and talk it out!

Now that that is out there, I’m going to list my top three and why I loved them. I will also say that I genuinely did enjoy everyone that I was able to taste. I did have to omit one, and that was Shoug Brewing and Boring Brewing. No matter how delicious your grapefruit beer is, I am HIGHLY allergic to grapefruit and a ton of other yummy fruits that I wish I could have =(

These are all the breweries that participated:

Vancouver, WA Photographer_1033Initially, I brought along a notebook to write about each beer. But as I tasted like crazy, that plan went straight out the window. Luckily, every brewery had a pretty memorable brew. Cody and I have both agreed that we did not have a beer that we didn’t like. For some reason, these selections stood out for us.

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My Selections

#3: Dwinell and Solera – Crossfade

Farmhouse Pale Ale

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I am going to admit this straight out. When I saw the list of the brewery pairings, this was the one that made me buy the tickets for this event. Both breweries have a solid history of delicious farmhouse beers, and this one did not disappoint. A solera method, a mixed culture that was then dry hopped with Loral. A lot of good flavors going on here.

#2: Logsdon and Brothers Cascadia – Mixolydian

Sour Ale

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Going with the sour theme, this one had terrific flavor. Logsdon brought the Belgian Quad that had been sitting on second use cherries, and Brothers brought along the Golden Ale that was on second use raspberries. Blend that all together and BAM, out came this tremendous sour. I know I have said I am not a fruit beer person in the past, but sours are really becoming a favorite of mine.

#1: Grains of Wrath and Great Notion

West Coast IIPA

You know all of the talk above about loving sour beers? Forget all of it. This pair up brought Straight West Coastin’ IIPA that was my favorite. Riding the west coast IPA trend, it was a delicious crisp flavor to cut through all the other beers through the night.

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And now for something completely different!

My tastings above have a much different description than my husbands. Also, they are all entirely different to what I thought. Which is an excellent representation of what we saw at the Brewing Bridges Collaboration. So many great beers for everyone’s taste.

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A little background on his beer experience and why he sounds much more scientific than I do. Cody has been a home brewer for a little over fifteen years now. It started in our garage, and now he has a shop that he gets to play around in. He has also been part of a homebrew club with lots of collaborations, brew days, and workshops helping each other out. He’s a nerd, so of course, when I ask him a small question about beer, there will be a lecture and I better be taking notes.

He has also competed locally in brew fests and has spoken at the regional homebrew associations conference about hops.

I like to brag a little about him and his beer like he likes to pitch my photography to friends, its a thing couples do I guess?

Anyways, I cornered him the other night after he had a beer or two and asked his opinions. What follows is was I tried to interpret through that conversation.

Cody’s Favorite

#3: Walking Man and Thunder Island – No Man is an Island

Imperial Brown All with Boysenberries

Super solid, low hop, delicious malty beer. Cody didn’t have too much to say about this one; he kept repeating malty deliciousness. Vancouver, WA Photographer

#2: Heathen and Cascade – Rose City Couvée

Oak aged mixed culture sour blonde with marionberries, hibiscus, rose petals and rose hips.

So complex. Got some barrel, vanilla, tart from the herbs flavors. Not a funky taste like others that come out wood aged. Had an acid note to which was expected from a sour, so it prepared him for the sour, but it wasn’t overpowering wood aged beers like other that tend to have horse blanket aroma. (I didn’t know that was a thing, but apparently, it is.)

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#1: Brother Ass, Hopworks, and Culmination – Super Pom Pom

Pomegranate Peach IPA

Hoppy, malty, well balanced, refreshing. Nothing funky going along with it and the hop selection was perfect. It had a clean grapefruit, pepper hoppiness to it. He had this one the most when I could barely finish tasting all the beer there.

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For being an IPA guy for a long time, I was so happy that he was enjoying the sours that were there as well!

Also, I have to mention that having a magician there was pretty fabulous. Watching him performing tricks while everyone was drinking beer and spectacular at what he was doing made for great people watching!

Well, there it is, our opinions. I know, you are going to disagree, but I’m putting this out there now. You can totally comment with what your favorite beers were at the festival below. And if you keyboard warriors want to fight about it? You’ll just have to buy us a beer and convince us otherwise.


Missy Fant is a wedding, portrait, and commercial photographer in Vancouver, WA

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