Seattle Beer Week, the best of Washington

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seattle beer week

Below I list Seattle Beer Week events devoted to Washington beer.

Seattle Beer Week is a celebration of our local beer culture. It is not, as I have heard some embattled individuals in the local beer industry assert, an excuse for out-of-state breweries and their distributors to get a toehold in, or further assert their dominance over, the Seattle beer market. Sure, Seattle Beer Week provides an excellent opportunity for out-of-state breweries to make advances in America’s second largest craft beer market*, but that is not why Seattle Beer Week exists.

Seattle’s magnificent beer culture is the reason that Seattle Beer Week exists. It just so happens that breweries in faraway places like California and Colorado want to send their rockstar brewers up here to help us celebrate. Somewhere between the much-ballyhooed Stone, New Belgium, and Firestone Walker events, Seattle Beer Week offers beer-lovers some great opportunities to show their appreciation for Washington-brewed beers and the other things that make Seattle’s beer scene the envy of the nation.

Compared to most cities in America, the Seattle metroplex is replete with amazing pubs devoted to craft beer, whether it be local or imported beer. What’s more, we enjoy a wide variety of craft beer choices because our politicos have not built a fence around the state to keep out-of-state competition at bay. And while those things help to create and maintain our vibrant craft beer culture, it is the breweries of Washington, funneling great beer into Seattle, that truly make this such a great beer town. At least that’s my opinion. We started the American craft beer revolution back in the 1980s and our brewers and pub owners have never slowed down and never looked back.

The following events provide a chance for us homers to show a little love to our local breweries. These are just some of the Washington-focused beer events happen during Seattle Beer Week—the Washington beer events about which I am most excited. What Washington beer events have piqued your interest? Leave a comment.

Note that I did not include individual brewers night events or individual beer dinners: there are just too many of those. Check with the official Seattle Beer Week calendar of events for the complete skinny.

Speaking of the great Seattle-area pubs that helped get this whole craft beer thing started, and that keep it thriving today, Cooper’s Alehouse will feature all local Seattle beers all week. What an appropriate thing for one of Seattle’s original great alehouses to do for SBW. Along the way, they are hosting a couple of brewers nights featuring Georgetown Brewing (Monday, May 23) and Hale’s Ales (Wednesday, May 25).

THURSDAY, MAY 19

Seattle is the Naked City
3:00 – Close
Naked City Brewery and Taphouse

There are 24 taps at Naked City. On this night, 12 taps will be dedicated to Naked City beers. The remaining 12 taps will be dedicated to beers from Seattle breweries. The official SBW Kick-Off Party stops by Naked City at 9:00.

Seattle Cask-O-Rama
6:00 – Close
Beveridge Place Pub

A night featuring all Seattle-brewed cask beer. This self-explanatory event will see Firkins lined up on the bar for your enjoyment. If you like cask beer, and you appreciate Seattle breweries, this is the event for you.

SATURDAY, MAY 21

World Class Brewers Reunion
2:00 – 5:00
Pike Pub and Brewery

You could argue that Washington has exported more great brewers than it has great beer. That said, Pike Brewery has pumped out a lot of great beer and a lot of great brewers over the years. Many of those brewers are still here brewing locally; others have moved out of state. This event is a reunion of the many great brewers to come through the Pike pipeline. People like Skip Madsen, Bill Jenkins, Fal Allen, Dick Cantwell, Kevin Forhan, Janelle Pritchard, Shawn Loring and many, many others. It’s quite amazing. This is your chance to mingle with greatness.

SUNDAY, MAY 22

Iron Brewers Triple Header
5:00 – 8:00
Beveridge Place Pub

Have you been to a Beveridge Place Pub Iron Brewers event yet? They are awesome. Similar to the television show, Iron Chef, two breweries are given two secret ingredients (not so secret, in this case) that they must use when brewing a beer. Imagine two different beers incorporating wasabi and satsuma, for instance. The beers face off in a head to head battle. The people choose the winner. On this day, six Washington breweries will compete in three different Iron Brewer competitions. This year’s theme includes Japanese-influenced ingredients, with a portion of proceeds going to earthquake relief organizations.

MONDAY, MAY 23

This is Washington, Damn it!
All Day
Beveridge Place Pub

All 24 taps at the Beveridge Place will be dedicated to Washington beer. As if that isn’t awesome enough, the beer will only cost $3.00 per pint. The Bev is an ardent supporter of Washington beer. On this day, they really prove it.

TUESDAY, MAY 24

West Sound Brewers Night
6:00 – 10:00
Naked City Brewery and Taphouse

See what’s brewing on the other side of Puget Sound. Enjoy beers from favorite westsiders like Silver City, Port Townsend, and Hood Canal. Also, some newcomers: Der Blokken, Sound, Slippery Pig, Valholl, Slip Point and more. Try some new beer and get some cool schwag!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 25

Firkin-Firkin Throwdown
3:00 – 8:00
Elysian Capitol Hill

Washington brewers battle against Colorado brewers in a cask throw down. Sixteen breweries will compete in eight different styles. The public will vote for the winners. BOW DOWN TO WASHINGTON!

THURSDAY, MAY 26

New Brewers Night at the Park
6:00 – 10:00
The Park Pub

A celebration of Washington’s best and brightest new brewers. The brewmasters from Emerald City Beer, North Sound Brewing and American Brewing Company will be pouring three of their finest craft brews and supplying plenty of schwag.

FRIDAY, MAY 27

Night of the Living Nanos
7:00 – 11:00
Fiddler’s Inn

Three of Washington’s nano-breweries get together at Fiddler’s Inn. It’s a big celebration of the state’s most diminutive breweries.

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*Seattle is the second largest craft beer market per capita in the USA. According to the Brewers Association, 24 percent of the beer consumed in Seattle is craft beer. Portland consumes 29.9 percent and San Francisco consumes 20.3 percent.  Those are the only three American cities over 20 percent.  In fact, Denver is the only other city in double digits (14 percent).

3 Responses to Seattle Beer Week, the best of Washington
  1. Alan Moen
    May 19, 2011 | 8:33 am

    Thanks for the rant, Kendall. I absolutely agree. Unlike Portland, Seattle (and Washington in general) is usually not chauvinistic enough about its own beers. But what have they got that we ain’t got?

    The same thing happened for years in the wine industry in Washington. We were making world-class wines, while the Seattle media, restaurants and retailers were happily promoting, pouring and selling Oregon Pinot Noir instead. Thank God those days are over now, and with a vengeance!

    I’m going to Seattle Beer Week to drink Washington, and specifically Seattle, beers. This is not the time to be cosmopolitan in your beer choices, as Seattleites so frequently are. Celebrate your local beers — they’re worth it.

  2. Linda
    May 19, 2011 | 8:53 am

    No wonder I’m so spoiled and disappointed when drinking beer abroad. Seattle is BEER HEAVEN! Thanks for keeping the juicy facts flowing, Kendall!

  3. Jim
    May 21, 2011 | 7:21 am

    I have taken many trips up to the Northwest in the last few years and I always leave amazed at the craft brew scene… I’ll have to make it up for beer week next year.