Beer lovers prepare for Seattle Beer Week

Have you heard about next month’s Seattle Beer Week celebration? Well, I’m here to tell you that Seattle Beer Week is a total fallacy. The title is simple enough, consisting of three words with which we are all familiar; however, the celebration reaches beyond the borders of Seattle and lasts for more than a week. As for the beer part of the equation, they’ve hit that one right on the head. In fact, there’s so much beer that it could not be contained within Seattle city limits or within a seven day week.

Gird thy liver!

Around Seattle, craft beer enthusiasts are preparing their livers and clearing their schedules. The second annual Seattle Beer Week is less than one month away. For ten glorious days (May 13th – 23rd), a variety of events around the Seattle area will celebrate the region’s vibrant craft beer culture.

Other than the official kickoff parties, this celebration isn’t really about “official” Seattle Beer Week events. Instead, it is a series of events sanctioned as part of Seattle Beer Week. At a minimum, 45 different venues will host approximately 100 different events. This is an opportunity for pubs, bars and restaurants around Seattle to stop pulling punches and celebrate what we do best: brew and drink worldclass beer.

Seattle Beer Week events include special beer dinners, mini-beer festivals, special tasting events, and more. There’s even a Rock’em Sock’em Robots tournament, where local brewers and brewery workers pit their robot boxing skills against all-comers. While the vast majority of the events take place in Seattle, there are also events taking place in Redmond (the Malt and Vine) and in Bellingham (Chuckanut Brewery Kitchen).

Dick Cantwell - a world-renowned brewer at Elysian Brewing and a vintage toy aficionado. (Last year's Rock'em Sock'em Tournament.)

A small group of local beer industry insiders hatched the idea 15 months ago after seeing other cities organize similar celebrations—most notably San Francisco and Philadelphia. Last year, by official proclamation of then-mayor Greg Nickels, Seattle Beer Week was born. Although organizers threw together the first Seattle Beer Week in a matter of weeks, it was an unquestionable success. This year the plans are better fermented, with more and better events on the agenda.

The official proclamation was on display at last year's kickoff event.

Beer dignitaries from across the country and around the world will descend upon Seattle for this year’s celebration. Events throughout Seattle Beer Week afford you the opportunity to mingle with people like: Gumer Santos, head brewer at Rochefort Trappist Brewery (Rochefort, Belgium); Steve Wagner, brewer and founder of Stone Brewing (Escondido, CA); Jamie Mastin, co-owner of New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, Colorado); Rob Tod, head brewer and founder of Allagash Brewing (Portland, Maine); and Adam Avery, brewmaster and founder of Avery Brewing (Boulder, Colorado).

It goes without saying that our local brewing community will be well-represented during Seattle Beer Week. Local breweries will be participating in a number of different events all week long. Specifically, look for brewers night celebrations with the likes of Boundary Bay Brewing, Chuckanut Brewing, Lazy Boy Brewing, Port Townsend Brewing, and other local favorites.

Some of the events require no planning whatsoever, others require a bit of forethought. Each day, Seattle Beer Week will have something to fit your mood. Below, we list a few of the highlights. Go to the Seattle Beer Week Web site to view the complete calendar of events. Be aware that some of the brewers dinners will require reservations. If there is something that sounds especially interesting to you, it would be wise to make contact and see if reservations are required.

Get out there and do something!

Remember, these are just a few highlights. Go to the Seattle Beer Week Web site for details about all of the events and the venues.

Thursday, May 13

  • Opening night official kickoff parties: (Hale’s, Schultzy’s Sausage, Naked City Taphouse.)
  • Seattle Cask-O-Rama: A generous helping of cask-conditioned beer, all from Seattle breweries. (Beveridge Place Pub)

Friday, May 14th

  • Back in Black Stout Fest: A night of the biggest of the big, and the blackest of the black. (Brouwer’s Cafe)

Saturday, May 15th

  • Brewers Dinner with Firestone Walker: Five beers, five courses. (Collins Pub)

Sunday, May 16th

  • Iron Brewer Competition: “My uncle” has chosen the secret ingredient, THEY brewed the beer, and now YOU choose the winner. Reigning champion Hale’s Ale Brewery takes on challenger Snoqualmie Falls Brewing, plus a second bout with Black Raven Brewing taking on Big Time Brewing, and a third with Naked City Brewing against Snipes Mountain Brewing. (Beveridge Place Pub.)
  • Allagash Night with Rob Tod: Founder, Head Brewer, and all around cool guy Rob Tod will be on hand to tell tall tales of the creation of Portland Maine’s Allagash Brewery. (Whiskey Bar)

Monday, May 17th

There are a number of brewers dinners going on Monday the 17th. They all sound really good. Check with the Seattle Beer Week Web site.

Tuesday, May 18th

  • Five Guys, Burgers and Fries at Brouwer’s: Five great brewers under one roof at the same time for one night only in Seattle. Each of these brewers will be bringing along some goodies for us to drink and each one designed a special burger for the evening. The five brewers are: Tomme Arthur (Port Brewing / Lost Abbey, California), Adam Avery (Avery Brewing, Colarodo), Sam Calgionne (Dogfish Head Brewing, Delaware), Rob Tod (Allagash Brewing, Maine), and Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River Brewing, California). (Brouwer’s Cafe):

Wednesday, May 19th

  • Savor the Market: Beers from Pike Brewing paired with food by chefs from around the Pike Place Market. This is a Market Foundation fundraiser. (The Pike Brewery Pub)
  • IPA Fest and Frito Pie Chowdown: Come try some of the rarest IPA’s from Washington and beyond. Also, a Frito Pie contest. Bring your best version of Frito Pie to be judged by two Frito Pie experts and representatives of Seattle Beer Week.

Thursday, May 20th

  • Stone Brewers Night: Featuring rare and hard to find Stone beers. Steve Wagner, founder and original brewer, will be in attendance. (Naked City Taphouse)
  • Sour Beer Fest: Over 40 Sour Beers all on tap from your favorite brewers from near and far. (Brouwer’s Cafe)
  • Cask Fest at the Latona: Celebrate with some of your favorite local breweries with REAL casks on the bar. (Latona Pub)

Friday, May 21st

  • Brewers Brunch: Join some of the best brewers in the world for breakfast and beers. A great way to start the day. Scheduled brewers from Stone, Full Sail, Pike, New Belgium and more. (Porterhouse Pub)
  • New Belgium Beer Dinner: An exceptional night of food and beer, as renowned chef Matt Dillon, and sommelier Marc Papineau, work their magic with a special selection of New Belgium’s limited-availability Lips Of Faith beers. (The Corson Building)

Saturday May 22nd

  • Pig Out at the Palace: A lunchtime event, they’ll roast a pig and then fashion it into tacos. They’ll be serving award winning beers from Silver City Brewing to wash ‘em down.
  • Big Time IPA-fest: All IPA, All Day! A hop lover’s dream. Can you name all the IPA’s Big time has brewed? (Big Time Brewing)
  • Chuckanut Brewers Night: Award winning beers from Bellingham’s own Chuckanut Brewery. Will Kemper (of Thomas Kemper fame) creates outstanding German-style lagers–a nice diversion from a week of ale drinking. (Naked City Taphouse)

Sunday May 23

We assume there will be a closing party, which has yet to be announced. Otherwise, it is time to relax, recover, and reminisce.


  1. South-sounders, don’t fear! Seattle Beer Week extends into South King county at 99 Bottles. On our calendar so far is:

    Saturday, May 15, 10AM-NOON
    Beer and D’Oh-Nuts! Try three beers paired with a fresh donut, breakfast of champions. $3.50 per person, $2.50 per 99 Bottles Club Member

    Sunday, May 16, 2-4PM
    Brewer’s Afternoon with Trappistes Rochefort. Meet head brewer Gumer Santos, export agent Alfons Vandermolen, importer representative Jhon Gilroy. More info TBA!

  2. Tiffany, you bring up a good point: I think there are so many events that the SBW guys don’t have them all on their Website yet. Be sure to check in with as we get closer to the dates. Also check with your favorite local drinking establishments, they are all announcing events as well.

  3. Let me just say, if you want to enjoy a rousing experience at a number of the participating establishments in Seattle, don’t miss out on the 2nd annual Tour de Pints:

    The bike ride between the various establishments is pleasant and surprisingly un-hilly given Seattle’s topography, and it has the added benefit of “clearing the palate” for the next stop.

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