A day to give thanks for great beer – International Beer Day

Happy International Beer Day! Cheers, Salute, Prost, Sláinte and Op uw gezondheid!

August 5th is International Beer Day. Big thanks go out to our fellow beer blogger, BrewDad, for first pointing this out to us. According to the organizers, one of the purposes of International Beer Day is to show our appreciation for the good people who provide us with beer–a chance to say thank you to the brewers, publicans and everyone else who delivers unto us the divine libation that we all so love.

Sadly, no official International Beer Day events have been planned around the Seattle area, but I’m not going to let that stop me from sharing the love.

I want to thank the owners, managers and servers at Washington’s better beer bars and bottle shops. From the Green Frog in Bellingham to By the Bottle in Vancouver, from Bob’s Keg and Cork in Yakima to Peaks Pub in Port Angeles, from the Viking Tavern in Spokane to 99 Bottles in Federal Way, we have great places to buy and consume good beer. Cheers to that!

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Around Seattle, I especially appreciate the efforts of publicans like Bob Brenlin, Gary Sink, Seth Howard, Silas Reynolds, Jay Fischer, Matt Vandenberghe, and the two Dons at Naked City. Along with the many others that I am failing to mention, they have a serious commitment to great beer that benefits our community as a whole. Seattle is a great beer town largely because of their passion for beer. Cheers to that!

Of course we all owe a big round of thanks to the incredible brewing industry here in Washington. Whether it be nationally recognized Rockstar Brewers like Elysian’s Dick Cantwell or young up-and-comers like Grove Street’s Adam Orrick, we have a community of brewing professionals who are dedicated to wowing us with great beer. Cheers to that!

I would be remiss if I didn’t show some love for the Washington craft beer enthusiast. Cheers to us! Each year the Washington Brewers Festival attracts between 10,000 and 20,000 people. The Washington Cask Beer Festival sells out regularly. In January the first-ever Belgianfest sold out. If it has to do with beer in Washington, it is growing. That’s because of us–the Washington beer lover.

Our passion for great beer is nationally recognized. Why do you think so many out-of-state breweries have flocked here in recent years? They recognize that we know a thing or two about beer. We have one of the most vibrant craft beer cultures in the country. Maybe, in the entire world. Cheers to us!

The Washington Brewers Guild, which fights to protect the political interests of the industry we love, deserves a round of applause. Shoestring budgets and purely volunteer efforts power everything they do. You may not always agree with them, or fully understand their positions, but I think we all appreciate their efforts to keep the Washington brewing industry healthy and growing. Cheers to that.

Not to be confused with the Brewers Guild, the Washington Beer Commission has a less political mission and is authorized by the Washington State Legislature to promote Washington-brewed craft beer. It is the only commission of its kind in the country. No other state has a beer commission. In Washington today, just as we were back in the early 1980s when Bert Grant, Paul Shipman, Will Kemper and the other founding fathers of the craft beer revolution got this whole thing started, we are pioneers. Cheers to that!

And then there are those of us who strive to keep you informed and entertained–Geof Kaiser at Seattle Beer News, the three minds behind Beer Blotter, Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard at Northwest Beer Guide, and Mike Besser at BrewDad. That’s naming just a few of my fellow bloggers. We cannot forget the more traditional media contributors like Don Scheidt of Celebrator Beer News, Jeannie McWilliams and the entire crew at the Northwest Brewing News, and Megan Flynn of Beer Northwest. There are many other people working to keep you informed. If there is a fraternity of local beer writers, I am honored to be part of it.

So cheers to all the great people who bring us beer. Raise a glass to the hop farmers outside Yakima and to Larry at Larry’s Brewing Supply in Kent. Hoist a cold one for the guy washing kegs at Georgetown Brewing and for Boundary Bay’s Ed Bennett who drives a van full of Washington beer to Denver every year for the Great American Beer Festival. Clink your pints in appreciation of the guy sanitizing the taps at Uber Tavern and everyone else who helps make good beer happen.

Happy International Beer Day.

Cheers!