Full Bodied and Back to the Beer Taste

Full Bodied and Back to the Beer Taste
By mattc

By Matt Coomer, PNA Communications and Membership Manager

Toasted campfire marshmallows. Bitter orange. Toffee. The 34th annual PNA Winter Beer Taste, Back to the Beer Taste, will showcase creative flavors from over twenty local breweries and cideries on Nov. 13. Their barrels of brew will bring new tastes to the community, and the lively spirit PNA Beer Tastes are known for will be back at the Phinney Center.

The PNA Winter Beer Taste series started in 1987 when a group of members wanted to try different beers from the emerging craft brewery scene and partnered with the Red Door in Fremont to host a tasting event. Today, it’s one of the longest running beer tastes in Seattle and is highly anticipated every year. “Many of the brewers themselves, in addition to other brewery representatives, come to our tasting events to see each other. The breweries love our events and we get a lot of positive feedback,” shares PNA Event Coordinator Chardell Paine. “Some embrace our beer taste themes and come in costume, and in 2017 Georgetown Brewing Company brewed a special collaboration beer for the 30th Annual Beer Taste and named it The Chardell!”

PNA staff with brewer from Georgetown Brewing Co. and a tap handle showing "The Chardell"

PNA Communications Director Ana Maria King and Event Coordinator Chardell Paine show off a custom tap handle for The Chardell with Georgetown Brewing Company Co-founder Manny Chao.

Many breweries share this excitement. Black Raven Sales Rep. Carson Lehman believes that the events bring out a passionate crowd. “I think that it’s one of the coolest beer events because it seems that Phinney Ridge has attracted a huge amount of beer geeks… Attendees come in ready to have a fun time and explore all of the different beers.” Black Raven Brewing Co. has a special treat in store for the beer geeks this year: a PNA Beer Taste exclusive cask of porter flavored with tart cherries and vanilla. “With the theme being Back to the Beer Taste, I thought it would be cool to do a cask beer, which is the traditional serving style for beer… Skinny, our special projects brewer/mad scientist, wanted to take our standard porter and achieve something akin to a cherry cordial with the flavoring. He broke out his organic cherry juice and vanilla bean and got to work doctoring up our cask of porter.”

Black Raven Brewing Company Booth at

Black Raven Brewing Co. at the PNA Winter Beer Taste in 2019.

This year’s theme was chosen because, after a year of successful virtual beer tastes, the PNA is excited to be Back to the Beer taste in person and together as a community. The yearly themes are one way the events stay fresh and that effort is appreciated. “We love the immense creativity, commitment and passion that goes into organizing and designing the PNA beer tastes. Each one is super unique and fun in their own way,” enthused Ghostfish Brewing Company WA Sales Representative Aeron Jarvis. Ghostfish is matching that energy in the beers they’ll pour. “We wanted to give folks a bit of everything – deep & roasty for a cold dark night, complex & saucy to keep everyone mov’n and groov’n, and hoppy & piney to keep the festivities going.”

Pics of 2 beers at Ghostfish Brewing Co. with a pic of a smiling woman with a beer in between.

Beers at Ghostfish Brewing Company with their WA Sales Representative Aeron Jarvis. Photos by Aeron Jarvis.

The breweries and cideries attending the Winter Beer Tastes do more than offer great drinks: each donates their beverages so that the event proceeds support the PNA’s work throughout the community. The 74th St. Ale House is a steadfast supporter of the beer tastes, sponsoring the events for 25 years, and Ridgewood Bottle & Tap is also joining the party as a sponsor. DJ’s from KBFG 107.3 give their time to keep tasters boogieing, too. The PhinneyWood community ecstatically backs the tastings as well, with the last in-person winter taste raising more than $35,000 in 2019!

Photos of brewers from around the PNA Winter Beer Taste in 2019.

Views from the 2019 PNA Winter Beer Taste, Stranger Beers.

Whether attending beer lovers, geeks, and casual observers taste Swedish Fish or fig as they sip, they’ll be in for a treat during Back to the Beer Taste on Nov. 13. And they’ll join 33 years’ worth of revelers in savoring a vibrant PNA tradition that turns strangers into neighbors and neighbors into community.



Tickets are still available to Back to the Beer Taste on Nov. 13. Ticket holders will choose 10 tastes from over 20 breweries and cideries. To keep the event COVID-19 safe, ticket sales are limited, breweries will be spread out, windows will be open, and there will be an outdoor “hanging out” area. Proof of vaccination and masks required for all attendees. For a more chill experience, come to the VIP preview tasting starting at 6 pm. The VIP tasting includes sliders and slaw!

VIP Tickets – 6 pm early entry ($25 is tax-deductible)
PNA Member $55  (Learn about PNA Membership / Sign up)
Non-Member $60
Designated Driver $25

General Admission Tickets – 7 pm
PNA Member $30  (Learn about PNA Membership / Sign up)
Non-Member $35
Designated Driver $10