In celebration of Deception Pass State Park turning 100 years old, nine different breweries in the state, including two on Whidbey Island, are creating brews specifically for the occasion.
All of the specialty beers will be available at the park’s celebratory community picnic on July 23.
Mary Jane Feller is one of the board members of the Deception Pass Park Foundation who played a role in planning the event.
“I wanted a beer garden, selfishly,” Feller said with a laugh.
She reached out to breweries in Skagit and Island counties to see if they would be interested in making something special for the occasion.
“Each brewery had a choice of what they wanted to brew and they had a choice of how they wanted to market it,” she said.
Penn Cove Brewing Company in Coupeville created the Admiralty Amber Ale for the centennial celebration.
“It coincidentally happened to coincide with the 100th batch of beer that we did at our brewhouse here in Coupeville,” said Erick Adam, head brewer at Penn Cove Brewing.
Penn Cove is releasing the Admiralty Amber Ale the Wednesday before the community picnic on July 20 at the Coupeville taproom. The ale has elements of caramel and toasted graham cracker with a floral and piney aroma. Adam described it as “well-balanced, easy drinking and good for summer in the Pacific Northwest.”
All the beers made by Penn Cove Brewing are named after local landmarks.
“We try really hard to be as much a part of Whidbey and ingrain Whidbey into our sort of corporate ethos as much as we can,” Adam said. “There’s very little that’s more Whidbey Island then the Deception Pass Bridge.”
Wicked Teuton Brewing Company of Oak Harbor brewed up a beer called Bridge Envy which is “aggressively hopped with centennial and cascade hops,” according to Wicked Teuton brewer Alex Neff, who said it seemed pretty appropriate to include centennial hops for the beer.
Bridge Envy is another brew that is perfect for summer. It is available on draft at Wicked Teuton.
The beer garden will be open from 1:30-9:15 p.m. at the community picnic on July 23.
Two Beers Brewing Company, a Seattle brewery, is the sponsor for the beer garden and is donating some of the sales of their centennial brew, the Deception Pass Pale Ale, back to the park. The pale ale was released a couple of months ago and is now available in stores in Anacortes and Mount Vernon, Feller said.
“They’re just phenomenal, what they’ve been doing with us,” she said. “And we’re just blown away with how they’re helping us.”
Two Beers has helped with creating the beer garden, as well as marketing and design.
“We kind of have this brand ethos of ‘drink beer, go outside, be happy,’” said Maura Hardman, the PR and marketing manager for Two Beers.
Hardman said company officials wanted to help promote Deception Pass park and its 100th anniversary celebration.
“We had an opportunity to kind of share a little bit more visibility because we have placements in stores,” Hardman said. Information about the event is on the packaging of the ale in order to publicize the event beyond Whidbey Island.