Jake Silva – Brewing Artist

Jake Silva was introduced to art at a young age by his grandmother, an artist.  “Drawing and painting have always interested me, so my grandmother would show me tips on how to paint, and she expressed interest in my art,” said Jake. He has also taken several art classes in college to improve his skills.  Jake uses his creative talents in brewing beer as well.

Jake, Skagit Farm to Pint, and Skagit PUD unite water conservation, breweries, and art to raise funds for the non-profit Viva Farms.

Craft Brewing Program

When Jake was finishing up a degree at Skagit Valley College, his adviser Sally Dixon, asked if he was interested in learning how to make beer. “I’ve always wanted to own a bar and restaurant one day, so why not learn to make beer,” said Jake. Part of the Craft Brewing Academy requirements is to intern at a brewery.  Jake picked Skagit River Brewery.  After completing the Craft Brewing Program, Jake was determined to work for Skagit River brewery as an assistant.  But as it turned out, Jake was faced with an opportunity to be the head brewer. “I was a bit shaky at first but excited,” said Jake. Then the pandemic hit.  Skagit River Brewery closed, and Jake learned some new skills at La Conner Brewery.  When Skagit River Brewery re-opened, Jake was invited back to rebuild the entire line-up of beers.  “Being the former brewer at Skagit River Brewery, I was excited to bring back some classic beers and new styles,” said Jake.

Approach to Brewing

Jake gravitates toward American Ale styles, but he is broadening his skill set with European style ales. Jake’s approach is hands-on when it comes to brewing day…and working hard preparing all week beforehand. “I am very meticulous during my brewing process, and if I am making the same beer again, I repeat the process perfectly,” says Jake.  And that doesn’t mean Jake isn’t afraid to adjust a recipe if it needs improvement.  “I always want to try new things and different styles to broaden my range,” said Jake.  Brewing is the most fun part of the job for Jake, but he also loves to create new recipes and practice his skills in creating exciting and fun beers.  Jake attends beer festivals to be inspired by all the different styles of beer other brewers are making.  Consistency is essential in the brewing world.  “I strive to keep my consistency when repeating a beer recipe as closely as possible and make sure everything is clean, so I can prevent any funky flavors from developing,” said Jake.

Art and Beer

Jake’s inspiration for the rain barrel design was Skagit River Brewery, Mount Vernon, and the Skagit Valley. Jake painted the newest version of the Skagit River Brewery logo on one side, but instead of filling the inside with a Valley, Jake decided to draw the Mt Vernon bridge under the daytime and nighttime sky. “I had to throw some tulips in there and put the year our brewery was established,” said Jake.   Jake incorporated the logo into a waterfall and included oars to hold up the Skagit River Brewing banner. “I chose oars because they were in the original Skagit River Brewery logo,” said Jake.

Skagit River Brewery

Founded in 1995, Skagit River Brewery is located in historic downtown Mount Vernon.  Besides having 24 taps and cocktails, Skagit River Brewery is a full-service restaurant with specialties such as smoked pulled pork, brisket, sandwiches, and pizza.  Skagit River Brewery is family-friendly, and your furry friends are welcome on the covered deck.

Jake’s creativity extends to the spent grain as well. “I like to give away my spent grain to a local farmer I know through the La Conner fire department, which he uses to feed his pigs,” said Jake. And what is Jake looking forward to in 2022?  “I’m excited to try the different types of beers I have planned to make this summer, and I’m excited to get into some brew fests this year and see what everyone thinks of our beers.”



Anacortes Brewery Happenings for May 2022

The Anacortes Brewery partners with Deception Pass State Park to celebrate the Park’s 100th Anniversary with this refreshing, golden ale featuring Skagit Valley Malt and earthy citrus notes from dry hopping with Simcoe.  Come on in and taste the Deception Pass Pale Ale coming in at ABV 5.4%  /  IBU 40.

Upcoming Anacortes Brewery Events

Anacortes Music Project Punk Rock Prom – 7PM Sat 5/21, Buxton’s Anacortes

Rockfish Grill Entertainment Calendar

5/4 – Conrad Gruener (6PM)

5/7 – The Atlantics (7:30PM)

5/11 – Whistle Lake Jazz (6PM)

5/14 – Polly O’Keary and the Rhythm Method (7:30PM)

5/18 – The Colonel (6PM)

5/21 – Joe Cook Blues Band (7:30PM)

5/25 – Fidalgo Swing (6PM)

5/28 – Billy Appleton Band (7:30PM)

Preview: 6/4 – Cardova (7:30PM)

Skagit Cider Fest 2022

The Skagit Cider Fest 2022, a Viva Fundraiser hosted by Farmstrong, was a great success with a sold-out crowd! With over 16 Cideries, live music, tasty food, and sunshine, we couldn’t ask for more!

Rain Barrel Competition – Farmstrong Brewing

Did you know that beer is 95% water?  Skagit Farm to Pint has united water conservation, breweries, art, and Viva Farms altogether to create the Skagit Farm to Pint Roadshow Rain Barrel Project!  Skagit PUD donated and delivered the rain barrels to the participating breweries before the beginning of the Skagit Farm to Pint Roadshow, artists painted the rain barrels, and Viva Farms will be displaying the rain barrels at the Port of Skagit after the Roadshow ends.

Meet Farmstrong Brewing Artist Laura Childs

Laura Childs has been working at Farmstrong for over a year and volunteered her time to work on the rain barrel and contribute to the non-profit Viva Farms.  Laura is a Studio Art major at Western Washington University with a focus in mixed media arts which means she has a lot of art interests! “I enjoy drawing, painting, collaging, and most recently I have enjoyed spending my time doing ceramics,” says Laura.

Laura drew inspiration from many authentic aspects of Farmstrong Brewing including the Farmstrong chickens (which always manage to escape the coop) and Farmstrong’s famous Truck Shows.  Just last weekend, the Truck Show featured live music during the Skagit Cider Festival which was a fundraiser for Viva Farms.

When owner Todd Owsley asked the team if anyone would be interested in doing the painting, Laura knew this project was meant to be.  “I had so much fun designing and painting the water barrel, and I am super excited to see what the other barrels look like,” says Laura.

Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Major

Major in Organic & Sustainable Agriculture and gain the knowledge and experience to become a professional in organic and sustainable food production. Organic and sustainable food production systems integrate cultural and biological practices to promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity.

Becoming a professional in organic and sustainable agriculture emphasizes an understanding of plant and environmental sciences as well aspest/disease management, marketing, and food science. The growth of organic food production and marketing, especially in the U.S., Europe, and China, has created a need to train students to provide expertise, research, product development, and other services for farmers and the food industry at home and worldwide

WSU Everett is a transfer institution providing upper-division courses to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Organic and Sustainable Agriculture. You can fulfill the majority of WSU’s general education (UCORE) and the pre-program acceptance requirements at any college (2 year or 4 year), then complete your Organic and Sustainable Agriculture degree at WSU Everett.

Chuckanut Brewery Celebrates May Day 2022

Many European cultures have their own May Day or spring festival every May 1st. Chuckanut Brewery will have their celebration of May Day (May first) by highlighting Morris dancers and Maibock beer. Sound and Fury Morris Dancers from Seattle will be at South Nut in Skagit Valley at the Port of Skagit dancing up the sun from 1-3 pm, and at P.Nut in Portland, OR, Bridgetown Morris Dancers will make their appearance 2-3 pm.

Celebrating May in Germany is the release of Maibock (German for May bock) every spring. This year both Chuckanut locations will be tapping aged Maibock 2021 and Maibock 2022. Lots of other special activities will be added in during the day including special tappings, beer garden games, food trucks and more. Return of the popular food truck Poblano Pepper will be parked at P.Nut for hungry celebrators!

Maibock is often represented by the goat and has a long tradition in Bavaria for its strong rich flavors. This golden lager is usually released in May in Bavaria. It has a moderate bitterness that balances out the slightly sweet, full-bodied palate packed with rich, ripe fruit aromas. A lengthy lagering period of over 3 months smooths out the Maibock’s malty, high alcohol strength with a clean smooth finish. Maibock received a Gold Medal from GABF (Great American Beer Fest) 2020 and is a great match with any rich foods or desserts. The 2021 Maibock is very limited and you’ll find even smoother than 2022 Maibock. You won’t find this beer on tap for long so if you see it, try it, you won’t be disappointed!

Maibock will be available on draft in selected accounts around Puget Sound and the Portland area. Bottles of Maibock are only available at the Chuckanut P. Nut (Portland) Beer Hall and South Nut (Skagit Valley) Tap Room. Wherever you find bottles get some as supplies won’t last long! And you can easily age this beer for a smoother finish.

Skagit Valley Malting Wins Major Award

Skagit Valley Malting is proud to announce its Bronze at The 2022 RMI Brewing Supply Awards. These awards recognize excellence in the supply of malt products to the brewing industry through transformative innovations, sustainability initiatives, and supply chain agility.

The award was given for Category B:

“Maltsters who have an operational plant capable of outputting less than 50KT of malt annually and who have implemented over the past 3 years projects and/or programs which have either essentially transformed the agricultural, manufacturing and/or sales & distribution characteristics of the malting industry as recognized by their customers & industry peers.”

Highlighting increased diversity in product line-up by offering Gluten-Free Malts while working towards full Gluten-Free certification, along with a deepened commitment to sustainability. By adding on-farm anaerobic digesters, and increasing the number of Salmon-Safe, Organic, and other third-party certified growers, Skagit Valley Malting generated very positive feedback from the panel of judges.

Combining new processes and diversified sustainability practices, Skagit Valley Malting was the only American malthouse and the only member of the Craft Maltsters Guild, to be honored at the awards gala that took place on March 30th, 2022 in Antwerp Belgium. Other award winners included – Category A: Muntons, Bairds, Malteurop; Category B: Castle Malting, The Swaen/Birdies.

Dave Green, CEO of Skagit Valley Malting on the award, “It means a lot to our team to be recognized for the work they’ve put in over the past couple of years, as we’ve made changes to our company and moved toward a more sustainable supply chain. We’re also proud to be held up alongside these other companies who are helping to move our industry in a great direction.”

Skagit Valley Co-Op Supports the 2022 Roadshow

The Skagit Valley Food Co-op has been community-owned for almost 50 years, working toward providing healthy, high-quality food to their communities at good prices—for shoppers and producers. And while our local Skagit Valley Food Co-op is still a little quirky and crunchy, our Co-op isn’t just for hippies anymore. The Co-op is simply the best grocery store in town where you can find fresh, local food and popular organic brands, too. In fact, they were recently named Mount Vernon’s Business of the Year! The Co-op is not an exclusive club; everyone can come in and shop or browse any time. No membership required!

From 4% Friday donations to carrying Viva Farms produce, the Skagit Valley Food Co-op has supported Viva Farms in many ways over the years. So, supporting the Skagit Farm to Pint ROADSHOW just makes sense. Plus, we’re huge fans of local craft beers.

Partnering with local farms and producers is a big part of what makes the Co-op so much more than a grocery store. When you shop locally (aka: drink a local beer made with local malt and wheat from a local farm), not only are you sipping on something delicious, you’re putting your hard-earned dollar back into the local economy and supporting the dreams of real people who live here. It feels good to shop local. It feels even better to shake the hand or give a high-five to the folks who grow our food, mill our grains, brew our beers, and happen to live just down the road.

Breweries, bottle shops, and neighborhood taphouses abound in our neck of the woods. What sets Western Washington breweries apart is that many of them source their malt from Skagit Valley Malting, who partners with local farmers to process barley grown right here in our own backyard. The same farm that supplies the Co-op with world-famous Skagit strawberries also produces grain for a unique, hyperlocal malt. It’s safe to say we’re not in Kansas anymore. Cheers to drinking beer from here!

Skagit Farm to Pint Roadshow Pairings

Drumroll please!  Announcing the 2022 Skagit Farm to Pint Roadshow Pairings!

Roadshow Menu Pairings 2022

Port of Skagit Champions Local Ag Industry

“Skagit Valley is a special place. Surrounded by natural beauty and rooted in a deep agricultural heritage, Skagit is home to some of the best beer, locally-grown ingredients, and skilled brewers and makers around. We think that’s something worth celebrating, and that’s why we host the Skagit Farm to Pint Roadshow every year!” says Michael Frazier, Viva Farms Executive Director.

The Port of Skagit has long been a champion of the local agriculture industry, and has been home to Viva Farms’ original Farm Business Incubator since 2009. The Port nurtures partnerships like the one with Viva Farms to enhance the local agricultural industry, promoting innovative approaches that combine research and technology producing new jobs and a robust economy centered on the valley’s rich agricultural resources and heritage.

In 2013, the Washington State Department of Commerce designated the Skagit Valley as an Innovation Partnership Zone, focused on Value-Added Agriculture. The Port of Skagit quickly became a leader in the partnership initiative and has invested significant resources in infrastructure and business recruitment to support local agriculture.

Nearly 200 jobs and 20 businesses at the Port are directly related to value-added agriculture, including Skagit Farm to Pint ROADSHOW partners Chuckanut Brewery, Cardinal Craft Brewing Academy, Garden Path Fermentation, Skagit Valley Malting, Skagit Landing and Water Tank Bakery. The Port of Skagit also helped create the Genuine Skagit Valley™ brand, a federal certification mark designed to increase consumer awareness and consumption of Skagit Valley agricultural products and services.

With the Port’s focus on the agricultural vitality of our area, it is easy to understand why they are such a dedicated supporter of Viva Farms, and the Skagit Farm to Pint ROADSHOW.

Viva Farms started with just five beginning farmers farming on eight acres in the Port in 2009. Since then, they have educated over 1,000 beginning farmers (350+ Spanish speakers) in sustainable organic farming and business management. Today, they are one of the largest (in acreage and sales) and most comprehensive farm incubator programs in the country. They are currently incubating 35 farm businesses on 119 acres of organic farmland across four sites in Skagit and King counties of Washington. Together with their farmers, they grew, marketed and distributed over $2.1M of organic produce in 2021.

The Skagit Farm to Pint Roadshow is their biggest fundraising event of the year. The money raised will help fund their Farm Business Incubator for the 2022 season.