The Great American Beer Festival crowned Seattles Cloudburst Brewing as The Brewery and Brewer of the Year. Cloudbursts Steve Luke (above) is Seattles hop whisperer, says Lester Black.
The Great American Beer Festival crowned Seattle's Cloudburst Brewing as "The Brewery and Brewer of the Year." Cloudburst's Steve Luke (above) is "Seattle's hop whisperer," says Lester Black. LESTER BLACK

Bunches of state troopers and employees are suing Gov. Inslee over his COVID-19 vaccine mandate: In early August, Inslee ordered most state employees, contractors, and volunteers to get fully vaccinated by October 18 or hit the road. The mandate does not allow a testing alternative, although there are some religious and medical exemptions. In protest, 53 State Patrol employees alongside firefighters and healthcare, ferry, and Department of Correction workers filed a lawsuit against Inslee last Friday. The plaintiffs claim the religious exemption in Inslee's mandate is too narrow and that the governor has used an unreasonable use of power during his ongoing COVID-19 emergency declaration. An Inslee spokesperson told the Seattle Times that Inslee's requirements “are in full compliance with the law" and that they "look forward to responding in court."

Cloudburst is a winner, baby! Denver's Great American Beer Festival named Seattle's Cloudburst Brewing this year's best brewery and brewer. The seven-person brewery won in the small brewery category, notes Tan Vinh at the Seattle Times, and won alongside other winning Seattle breweries, like Stoup Brewing (their Stoup NW Red won silver in the American Amber/Red Ale competition) and Fremont Brewing (their Brew 4000 won silver in the Old Ale or Strong Ale or Barley Wine competition).

In his reporting for The Stranger, Lester Black frequently called Cloudburst's head brewer and founder Steve Luke a "hop whisperer," noting how "he can give an IPA such strong notes of watermelon or cherry or creamy coconut or flowers or pine that it can seem like he is artificially flavoring his beer. But he’s not; he just treats hops with the same care and attention to detail that a great winemaker treats grapes."

Cloudburst during less tragic times.
Cloudburst during less tragic times. Lester Black

Happy Met Gala to all who celebrate: After taking a year off due to Ms. COVID, the fashion world's wildest evening is back. The theme this year is "American Independence," which is obviously not as fun as 2019's "Camp: Notes on Fashion" or 2013's "Punk: Chaos to Couture" or 1999's "Rock Style" or, hey, call me a traitor but 1976's "The Glory of Russian Costume" sounded glitzy.

Biden inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, actor Timothée Chalamet, tennis legend Naomi Osaka, and Billie Eyelash served as the Met's co-chairs for this year's clusterfuck, which, in case you easily forgot, is a way of promoting the latest exhibit curated by the Met’s Costume Institute and also raising a shit-ton of cash. But the only reason to pay attention to this thing is for the costumes and gowns, which we'll review at the bottom of this evening news round-up.

The Met required all its guests to be vaxxed, which doesn't sit well with Nicki Minaj. The award-winning rapper and, yikes, anti-vaxxer revealed this evening over Twitter that she got COVID-19 while prepping for last night's VMAs—and also that she isn't vaccinated, and if she were going to get vaccinated, it wouldn't be for the Met.

Nicki, the research is out there!!!

An update from the frontlines: Call them the Washington State Department of MURDERRRR*.

*We should agree on a new name for these little killers.

Joe Manchin's Senate is back: Lawmakers are in DC after their August recess and they're facing a logjam of work, work, work, work, work, work, reports CNBC. (Having just returned from vacation to over 2000 emails, I can at least partially relate.) After holding a 9/11 remembrance ceremony this morning, the Senate returned to session, and everyone has too much to pass with too little time. Mmmm, government.

Coming up for the lawmakers: The House needs to vote on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill, there's a House abortion bill, a big-big-ass (AKA ~$3.5 trillion) reconciliation bill, something about the debt ceiling, and another government shutdown to avoid. Wheeeeeeee!

Palisades Tahoe is the new name for Tahoe's famous ski resort, Squaw Valley.

King County is still investigating the cause of the three-alarm fire that wrecked the Locker Room Tavern in White Center early this morning. As of this afternoon, West Seattle Blog reports that early investigating shows the fire was not deliberately set, according to a King County Fire District spokesperson. If you're reading this and feeling deja vu, you're not alone—Matt overviewed the street's string of recent fires in Slog AM this AM.

ICYMI: Capitol Hill will get an affordable housing development for queer seniors—118 units if you're wondering—sometime in early 2023. The building, named Pride Place and located next to Neighbours on Broadway, broke rainbow-colored ground on Friday. (There was gay sand!) Capitol Hill Seattle Blog has pics.

While we're talking about homes:

An NPR investigation finds that the homes [the Department of Housing and Urban Development] sells are disproportionately located in flood-prone places, compared with Zillow records of all homes sold in the United States. The agency does not fully disclose the potential costs and dangers of living in harm's way, and some of these transactions have happened as local governments are buying out properties in the same areas to mitigate flood risk.

HUD's sale of flood-prone housing is a big issue in Florida, New Jersey, and particularly Louisiana, where "more than one-fifth of homes sold by HUD... were in flood plains," reports NPR.

And in Louisiana, another storm is on its way.

People want to know: Can you get a COVID-19 booster and a flu shot at the same time? And the answer is: Yes! The CDC previously recommended people wait 14 days between vaccinations, but they updated the guidance after additional research. “The pro is pretty obvious, you go once and you’re done and it’s over with," a Johns Hopkins physician told WaPo. Cool! But no one should be allowed to say "done and it's over with" anywhere near "COVID-19."

Let's end the day by looking at rich people and their clothes: Starting with...

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez! Her dress says Tax the Rich in what appears to be Dr. Seuss font.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez! Her dress says "Tax the Rich" in what appears to be Dr. Seuss font. Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Dan Levy showed up wearing David Wojnarowicz's famous "Fuck You Faggot Fucker" piece but reimagined as some kinda floofy monstrosity: Wojnarowicz cried out the name of the piece from his grave.

Love Slog AM/PM?

That said, I do love a swerve and a miss!

Gabrielle Union wore Dutch designer Iris van Herpen, who recently featured Seattle artist Casey Curran's "kinetic crowns" on the runway.

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

I'm having a hard time finding the "American Independence" theme across these looks but I'm having fun.

Kim Petras brought a horse.

All American Horse Girl.
All American Horse Girl. Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Browse and giggle here. There's a lot to process.