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All about the beer: First-time Hopstock kicks off in Kitsap
A new event in Kitsap is celebrating the county's growing beer scene. The inaugural week-long, peninsula-wide series of events is called Hopstock, and brewers and bar owners alike are hoping for a healthy turnout.
"We have an exploding population of fantastic brewers," said Tammy Mattson, owner of Tizely's Europub, a downtown Poulsbo pour house. "It's bringing a lot to our area, not only in notoriety, not only in new choices for residents, but also as an economic increase."
Hopstock begins Saturday, June 19, and the fresh pours continue through Saturday, June 26. Events honoring local beverages will be held at different locations throughout Gig Harbor, Port Orchard, Bremerton, Silverdale, Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island.
The lineup is well-suited to local brew aficionados: They include pairing beers with food, a home brewing demonstration and two grand openings, at Der Blokken Brewery and Silver City Brewery, both in Bremerton.
Kitsap is home to a burgeoning brewery community, said Kurt Larson, Silver City Brewery's sales manager.
"It's not just a local phenomenon, it's a national phenomenon," he said, adding that last year, there were nearly 1,600 breweries counted in the U.S. That's the highest number since before the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s and 1930s.
"There's a lot of better beer happening on this side of the water," Larson said. Silver City Brewery will celebrate a cask release at 3 p.m. Monday, June 21. The brewery, at 206 Katy Penman Ave., began production little more than two months ago.
Hopstock week also rings in the start of a partnership between Silver City, Der Blokken and Kingston's Hood Canal Brewery and Kitsap Tours, which will offer a tour between all three for visitors to the peninsula.
Hood Canal Brewery owner Don Wyatt liked the idea of Hopstock, it being a venue for Kitsap brewers other than Seattle, where most events are held. Wyatt opened Hood Canal Brewery in the front yard of his Lofall home in 1996. In 2003, he opened his Kingston brewery and tasting room; his brews can now be ordered in 33 different towns and cities throughout the region.
"It's a nice concept," he said of Hopstock. "The different breweries have increased so much in the past couple years in Kitsap County that we're actually able to do something like this."
From 3-8 p.m. Thursday, June 24, Hood Canal Brewery will offer a home brewing demonstration visible from the tasting room.
A Poulsbo pub crawl begins at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 23. Nine downtown restaurants, all in walkable distance to one another, will host local brews. The activity fits a phrase Mattson likes to share, as it encourages putting spending money to work in one's own economy: "You're drinking good while doing good."
Learn more about Hopstock at Hopstock.eventbrite.com. WU
Update: The time and date for the Silver City cask release have been corrected. The brewery held it's grand opening June 7.