Gearing Up for Another Bacchanal

They say that it comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. At the Beveridge Place Pub, March certainly does come in with a roar. Once again, the Bev is getting ready for the annual Barley Wine Bacchanal, a weeklong celebration of not-so-weak brews. The festivities begin on Friday, February 27.

Some years back, someone at the Beveridge Place Pub had a crazy idea – a barley wine festival. Whereas most pubs are hard-pressed to have a single barley wine on tap, Gary Sink –Bev Place Publican– envisioned several of them tapped at once. It is a decadent idea, so instead of calling it a festival they decided to pay homage to Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and intoxication, by calling it a Bacchanal. (Dionysus to the Greek, Bacchus to the Romans.)

Barley wine is not for the faint of heart. Some people might think that the beer drinking public is not burly or passionate enough to embrace a barley wine festival. Think again. This has become a very popular event. Beer geeks from far and wide make the pilgrimage to West Seattle and line up at the altar to order barley wine samples. Generally, each sample is about 3 ounces. They add up, so we recommend that you use responsible caution.

This year the Barley Wine Bacchanal will feature 20 taps dedicated to the mission, pouring no less than 40 different barley wines all told. Barley wine ages especially well, so there is no telling what will get pulled out of the cellar for this year’s event. There is a wide variety of approaches to barley wine. Some drive a hoppy spike through your brain. Others envelop you in a rich caramel blanket of malty goodness. The Barley Wine Bacchanal offers you a rare opportunity to try a bunch of them side by side until you find the one that suits your taste.

By definition, a bacchanal is as a drunken or riotous celebration. At the Beveridge Place Pub’s Barley Wine Bacchanal, they will not be sacrificing any goats at the altar or running naked through a fire, but it is sure to be a memorable week of memorable beers.

The Barley Wine Bacchanal runs from February 27th thru March 7th. We recommend you go sometime during the first weekend.