Page 1


A Grateful Decade Celebration Festival founders take a trip down memory lane ~ page 2 ~

What to see and do at Strange Brewfest ~ page 3 ~

Who designs those iconic logos? ~ pages 4-5 ~

Supplement to the Jan. 22, 2014 edition of the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

Breweries take big risks, celebrate unexpected success ~ pages 6-8 ~

What a long, strange trip it’s been! It was a dark and stormy night. The kind of night that makes you think about family and close friends, and hope they’re all home, safe and sound. On this night, however, it was the evening before the first Strange Brewfest, and our minds rested squarely on the well-being of a 40-foot by 40-foot tent that we had erected only a few hours earlier. With sustained winds of 40-50 mph, we looked through the back window of Water Street Brewing, mostly terrified, as we watched the tent rise from the ground. First it would lift 2 feet on the south side. Then it would drop, and the north side would jump by 3 feet. It was as if the tent were dancing in the wind, and we were its audience. Finally, we decided the tent needed more than the steel spikes anchored into the asphalt of the parking lot to hold it down. We solicited friends to help, and they did. Trucks were pulled into place, and the tent was secured to the weight of the vehicles.

As luck would have it, the tent was still standing in the morning, and the tradition of Strange Brewfest began. Our vision was to create something so different from the conventional brewfest that people would actually get on a ferry and plan to spend a weekend on the peninsula in January. We also wanted to encourage the brewers – a lot of them our pals in the industry – to create something exciting and different by showcasing their knowledge and creative talents. Bizarre brews, wildly eclectic performers and patrons came together to celebrate

the “strange” results. Back in 2005, we only had a handful of breweries show up to celebrate their very strange and unique brews. But it became extremely clear as the festival progressed, from the palpable zeal of patrons, that Strange Brewfest was here to stay. Now, 10 years later, the American Legion Marvin G. Shields Memorial Post 26 in Port Townsend is carrying the torch. For the past three years, the hall at the American Legion has been the primary location to taste some of this region’s most interesting concoctions.

Wildly designed brews and local ciders highlight this one-of-akind event. We’ll dazzle you with our greatest collection of funky musicians to date. And you’ll be able to sustain yourself with delicious food brought to you by local vendors. Strange Brewfest has come a long way since that dark night, when a tent learned to dance. This year, we’re erecting almost 3,000 square feet of tent space on Water Street, in addition to the American Legion Hall. And we promise, the only thing to be dancing this year will be you and your friends. Please join us for a truly unique experience! For all of the vital details, including how to purchase your tickets in advance, visit

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Oh baby! What’s that sound? “Performing at Strange Brewfest is like being transported to another world; time and space become blurry and all you remember are impressions of smiling faces, wild dancing, and the taste of ‘strange brews’,” says Joel Ricci, aka Lucky Brown, a deepfunk pioneer and leader of The Funk Revolution. Brown has been performing at the Port Townsend festival for 10 years and credits the festival’s founders and crew with supporting the band’s growth and continued success. “Without Nina [Law], Mark [Burr], Amy [McKenzie] and their amazing volunteers, there would be no Lucky Brown,” he says. “They’ve believed in our music and message since the beginning. We’ve played some of our very first shows here [in Port Townsend] and those shows go down in history as the most fun and most memorable. The vibration and love is always so good.” Based in the Pacific Northwest, Lucky Brown and The Funk Revolution is a “deep funk and raw soul movement.” The band features Ben

Bloom (guitar), Olli Klomp (drums), Delvon Lamarr (keyboards, bass) and a three piece horn section including Brown (trumpet), Thomas Deakin (saxophone) and Mars Lindgren (trombone). “We’re really excited to perform this year’s Strange Brewfest because the energy of the festival attracts the very best people around,” Brown says. “Those people and a few hundred of their ‘Strange Brewfriends’ are descending on your town. Get ready!”

Friday, Jan. 24

Just the facts

Saturday, Jan. 25

An indoor and outdoor event, Strange Brewfest has a full lineup of brewers, food vendors and entertainers to please your palate and move your groove. All activities take place at the American Legion Marvin G. Shields Post 26, 209 Monroe St., Port Townsend. Tickets, $30, include admission Friday and Saturday, a souvenir tasting glass, four tasting tokens and fabulous entertainment. Learn more at

Your husband called. He said pick out whatever you want.

Doors open 5 p.m.-midnight DJ Frozen Fresh (5-7 p.m.) – Spinning together music and a super light show. LoWire (7-9 p.m.) - Vocalist Megan Hudson (of The Better Half ) joins dynamic duo Sean Mugrage and Frank DePalma, offering a combination of electronica, funk and rock. Swindler (9:30 p.m.-midnight) – Hailing from the Emerald City, Swindler offers a fresh take on deep pocket groove with a penchant for intricate fusion and improv magic.

Doors 1 p.m.-midnight DJ Frozen Fresh (1-3 p.m.) – Spinning together music and a super light show. Rippin’ Chicken (3-5 p.m.) – The Funk Revolution’s rhythm section stepping out.

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Since the inception of Port Townsend’s Strange Brewfest 10 years ago, one artist and designer has been instrumental in crafting the event’s iconic logos. Those symbols adorn everything the festival touches, including posters, tasting glasses and apparel. Sasha Lannon Kenny has been with the festival since 2005, but his ties to Port Townsend and the old Water Street Brewing Company go back even further. Kenny helped former Water Street Brewing owners Nina Law and Mark Burr start their business in 2004, providing graphic designs for shirts and other products. When the festival was started to give community residents and beer aficionados something to look forward to in the cold, slow month of January, Kenny came along for the ride. “I’d known Nina for quite a while before her involvement in the Strange Brewfest. I had also known Mark … in turn, they knew I did design work and I guess they thought I’d be the guy to convey the attitude and vibe of the festival they were dreaming up,” Kenny says. Burr, who along with Law has helped organize each festival, says the process of

Artist and designer Sasha Lannon Kenny has developed every one of the Strange Brewfest’s logos over the beer-lovers’ festival’s 10-year history. He’s pictured here vacationing on the Ganges River, India, in 2013. Submitted photo designing each logo is flexible and largely comes down to Kenny’s creativity. He added that together he and Law workshop several themes before sending a narrative to Kenny for a logo to be designed around. According to Burr, the results are often surprising and more impressive than anything he would have envisioned on his own.

Everyone’s favorite memento from festivals past, these tasting glasses serve as the chalice for many a strange brew. Designer Sasha Lannon Kenny, who has been with the event since year one, has created each year’s logo for use on posters, glasses and other merchandise. Photo by Tristan Hiegler


2014 Strange Brew

“It’s hard to come up with the visual,” Burr said. “You have an idea of what would be cool; rarefied people could put that concept in front of you.”

‘The whole time’

Law said given Kenny’s contributions to Water Street Brewing, his involvement was a huge boon when the festival started out. “He’s got the creativity and the mind that’s extraordinary. When it came to doing a brew festival, he was our guy,” Law said. “It was a no brainer for even that first year. We had a very nice turnout,. It’s just grown sequentially year after year after that. Sasha’s been with us the whole time.” Some tinkering is usually required to get the design to the core concept needed to center the festival’s poster, Burr added, but Kenny’s ability to modify and refine his original ideas has come in handy over the years. The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

: Bringing Brewfest to life almost absolute free rein to design the logo this year, and delivered with a nostalgic throwback to ‘60s music culture. Specifically, the logo is an homage to the 1976 Grateful Dead album “Steal Your Face.” “I was just moving the text around … manipulating the wording and sort of shaping it. Molding it, as it

were. And all of a sudden I ‘saw’ the ‘Steal Your Face’ guy staring back at me in a half-formed sort of way and I just ran with it,” Kenny said. “From there on out this design was a breeze, really. It just came around really organically … of course, honoring a classic image makes it a bit easier. I hope we did it justice.”

Eight Taps to Slake Your Thirst Sasha Lannon Kenny’s big, bold Brewfest logos are presented on some wearable merchandise. Photo by Tristan Hiegler “He is loose enough, or fluid enough, to alter his original thoughts to where we [get] to ‘yes, that is it.’ Usually he is pretty much on the money and it’s just a matter of tweaking the design.” Kenny, who was born in Germany before his parents moved to the Tacoma area, attended the Art Institute of Seattle in 1989-1991. He describes himself as a roamer, traveling from India to Costa Rica to Portland, Ore., when he isn’t manning his Seattle print shop. “All these adventures into the world … they all influence my life, which in turn influences my art, whether it’s designing an album, capturing a moment in a photo, playing music, writing or whatever,” Kenny said. “Travel begets adventure, begets stories, begets joy as far as this boy is concerned.”

Creative process

The logo designs flow more naturally, according to Kenny, thanks to his longrunning working relationship with the festival’s founders. “Approaching the designs each year has become easier, mainly due to the relationship I have with Nina and Mark and the way I’ve sort of figured out what they’re looking for,” he said. “I’ve also been to a few of these shindigs, so I’ve had plenty

The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

of first-hand experience as to what a Strange Brewfest is all about.” He said the most important thing for each logo is to embrace the surreal, freespirited nature of the event. “There were a few years (including the inaugural year) that we were just looking for that strange, fun, funny, twisted and bizarre combo that represents Strange Brewfest.” As far as a design that stands out in his mind, Kenny says, “I’d have to say I really dug the first year, as it was a bit darker than some of the others. I like that juxtaposition with the zaniness of the festival itself.” Last year’s event celebrated the end of the Mayan calendar, which inspired Kenny to produce a design he says he enjoyed. “I also really liked last year’s libation-loving Mayan calendar man. He seemed like a fun fellow. As far as trying something I haven’t been able to do yet: I gotta say that Nina and Mark give me quite a bit of free reign ... they’ve always been supportive of just about any direction I roll with. We all take the journey together each year.”

culture, though this year is an exception. Burr says this year’s theme has more to do with celebrating the festival’s 10th anniversary and sending out a message of gratefulness for all the support the event has received from brewers, volunteers and patrons. He says Kenny was actually given

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7 Seas Brewing: ‘Strange Brew ahoy!’ By Alana Linderoth Contributor 7 Seas Brewing anticipates a change in the tide at the 10th annual Strange Brewfest. Having earned three second-place People’s Choice awards at previous festivals, the crew is hoping to snag first place this year. “Brewing is about creating beer that people enjoy, so winning People’s Choice would mean more to us than any technical award,” says Bryan Lee, 7 Seas Brewing sales and events director. This year, the 7 Seas crew plans to come armed with fan favorites tested at previous Strange Brewfests, including Blue Ballz and 7 Bloody Seas. A spin off of their Ballz Deep Double IPA, Blue Ballz is dry-hopped with citrusy, juicy hop and blueberries, says Lee, while 7 Bloody Seas is a derivative of the

the night before and are back for more.”

Think tank

“...a lot of times, in order to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack you have to get a little more innovative, says Bryan Lee, sales and events director for 7 Seas Brewing. “Strange Brewfest promotes and challenges all of us local, Washington brewers to think outside the box.” Photo by Michael Foley Other Box Photography brewery’s British Pale Ale combined with Bloody Mary mix and garnished with pickled green beans. “By the next morning

people are starting to look pretty haggard,” says Lee. “A perk of 7 Bloody Seas is that it’s a good eye-opener for those who were out partying

Travis Guterson, 7 Seas brewmaster, leads the brewery’s think tank with his creative style, gathering input and new ideas for strange brews. With the 10th annual Strange Brewfest theme giving a nod to founder Mark Burr and Nina Law’s affinity for the Grateful Dead, the crew has joked about producing an “LSD beer.” Due to the illegality, this is one idea that won’t likely come to fruition, Lee says with a chuckle. “We’re coming up with some good ideas however, but we’re still throwing darts at the idea board if you will.” Founded in 2008 in Gig Harbor, Wash., by owner Mike Runion and Guterson, 7 Seas released its first brew, Cutt’s NW Amber Ale, in July 2009.

In five years, the brewery has grown to include 14 employees and has executed 30 different brews. Cutt’s NW Amber Ale remains a signature brew, but is second to their best-selling Ballz Deep Double IPA. Lee says, it was no surprise to 7 Seas that the IPA quickly became their top-seller. “We had a pretty good idea it would sell really well after doing a little research and knowing how popular IPAs are in general in the Northwest,” Lee says.

Polly want a brew?

The brewery’s Rude Parrot IPA has also risen to the top as their third best-selling brew. Lee says the signature label, a parrot with a pierced beak, has become somewhat of a staple for 7 Seas along with the brewery’s other creative names and logos. See 7 SEAS BREWING, Page 8▼

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Big Time Brewery aims to please By Christa Ayer Contributor “Not to boast, but I’ve never had to dump a batch of beer.” This surprising statement comes near the end of a conversation with Drew Cluley, head brewer at Seattle’s Big Time Brewery and Alehouse, located at 4133 University Way NE. It’s a surprising tidbit, given that during the exchange he’s described some pretty wild – and risky – beer recipes, including one containing Sugar Smacks and Cocoa Puffs, and another that’s finished with pineapple juice. Meet Cluley, and sample his Pineapple IPA, at the 10th annual Strange Brewfest, Jan. 24-25, at the American Legion in Port Townsend. Cluley’s pineapple concoction is special in a couple of ways. It’s the first recipe he’s repeated at Strange Brewfest. Also, it stands a chance of being the first Strange Brew offering to be served in the Big Time alehouse. “I’m going

against my rule of not repeating a brew, but maybe I’m onto something with the pineapple,” Cluley says. “I think it would be a great summertime IPA to have at the pub.”

Big Time backstory

Established in 1988, Big Time Brewery and Alehouse is one of Seattle’s oldest brewpubs. Reid Martin opened the brewery-eatery combo in the hopes of repeating the success of Triple Rock Brewery, which he started with his brother John Martin in Berkeley, Calif., in 1986. For Martin, finding the perfect college town was key for his next project. He got his wish when he visited the University of Washington and Seattle’s U-District, and Big Time Brewery was born. Cluley has been head brewer at Big Time since 2011. Before that, he brewed at Seattle’s Pike Brewing Company. A good friend of Strange Brewfest founders Nina Law and Mark Burr, Cluley has been making

the trek to Port Townsend almost every year since the festival’s inaugural event in 2005. When asked whether it’s the beer or the music that keeps him coming back, Cluley answers, “A little bit of both.” He adds, “I’m a huge live music fan, so when I’m not behind my booth, I’m out on the floor, boogying down with everyone else.” The festival has other attractions for Cluley, mainly Port Townsend itself. He and his wife come up early and leave late to enjoy the area. “There are a few stops we just don’t miss: The Port Townsend Brewery and the Pourhouse are two,” he says. “Those are always good places to have a beer with the industry folks who are in town.” But it isn’t all work for the brewer. “We have a spot we like to stay that’s really beautiful, and we also always try to fit in a little shopping.” See BIG TIME BREWERY, Page 8▼

Big Time Brewery and Alehouse isn’t opposed to experimenting with some wild – and risky – beer recipes, including one containing Sugar Smacks and Cocoa Puffs, and another that’s finished with pineapple juice. However, the proof is in the pint and people love these brews. Photo by Michael Foley Other Box Photography

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7 SEAS BREWING This year in particular, the crew is focused on fun and creativity, which presents the greatest challenge and the greatest appeal to participate, Lee says. “A brewery must accomplish originality, but also positively represent themselves.” “After all, there are only so many standards and styles of beer; a lot of times, in order to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack you have to


from Page 6 get a little more innovative,” Lee says. “Strange Brewfest promotes and challenges all of us local, Washington brewers to think outside the box.” The festival also provides the opportunity for breweries to collaborate and push the limits of craft brewing, Lee says. “In the craft brewing industry there’s a lot of camaraderie. Everyone enjoys the friendly

competition and pushes each other to make the best beer that we can, but largely it’s just a big community that enjoys craft beer and furthering Washington craft breweries.” He adds that brewers connect and communicate through various guilds and associations, and at times breweries will share equipment, ideas and help one another out in any way possible. “7 Seas Brewing tries to buy, sell and support locally as much as possible. Most of the brewery’s ingredients are sourced locally with malts from Vancouver, Wash., and hops primarily from Yakima, Wash.” Lee says he is optimistic about the future of 7 Seas Brewing and Washington craft beer as a whole. “Craft beer is on the rise. It has the domestic macro-breweries shaking in their boots a bit.”

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Strangest brew

Cluley says the wildest beer recipe he’s worked on is Cereal Killer Stout. “We add four different breakfast cereals to the mash tun, along with StumpTown coffee and cocoa nibs from Theo.” “It’s just a really delicious, thick, viscous beer,” says Cluley. When asked whether customers can actually taste the Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, Cheerios, and Sugar Smacks in the beer, Cluley assures that cereals add more to the mouth-feel of the beer than the flavor. “It thickens up the mash,” he says. “Even though it’s gimmicky, I think it does improve the beer.” Similarly, when describing the beer Big Time will showcase at Strange Brewfest, Cluley says, “The pineapple won’t be overwhelming.”

from Page 7

His plan is to blend several Big Time IPAs and add the pineapple in the keg. “I know not all the brewers approach the festival this way, but I like having a somewhat ‘normal’ beer at the festival,” he says. “By that, I mean something that’s really drinkable and keeps people coming back to the booth for more.” Cluley takes his brewing seriously, but that doesn’t preclude a sense of humor. Take Whiny the Complainer Triple IPA for example. Big Time introduced this beer in response to an uproar from beer drinkers when California’s Russian River Brewery pulled its Pliny the Younger Triple IPA from the Washington market. “We came up with Whiny the Complainer for all the people who were complaining they couldn’t get Pliny the Younger.”

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2014 Strange Brew

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Strange Brewfest 2014 Official Program  
Strange Brewfest 2014 Official Program  

The official program for the 2014 Strange Brewfest in Port Townsend, Wash., January 24-25, 2014.