Seattle Beer Week is going to be amazing this year. Either you’ve been living in a cave or you know that May 13th through May 23rd is the second annual Seattle Beer Week. There are way too many events for us to talk about (they’re all listed on the SBW events calendar). Below, we have created a list of events that are Washington-focused. This is, after all, the Washington Beer Blog. There are dozens of great events going on and this list is totally subjective. These are the events that sound the best to us.
In the coming days, we’ll be posting information that is specific to particular bars to let you know about the events happening at some of Seattle’s most beloved beer destinations. In the meantime, here is our list of Seattle Beer Week’s best Washington beer events.
Seattle Cask-o-Rama. The Beveridge Place Pub Cask-o-Rama is always a great event, drawing huge crowds to sample the finest cask-conditioned offerings. On this evening, to honor the kickoff of Seattle Beer Week, the focus will be entirely on Seattle-brewed beers.
Bob’s Brown Ale Kickoff Party at the Nickerson Street Saloon, 6:00 p.m. Georgetown Brewing cooks up a batch of Bob’s Brown Ale once a year to honor their friend Bob Hirsch, who lost a valiant battle with cancer. Proceeds from this beer benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Last year, they raised $45K. The Nickerson will donate every penny from every drop of Bob’s that you can consume. Consider it a challenge.
Over the Mountains We Go. Naked City Taphouse will be opening at 12:00. All day long they will be serving up a selection of brews from the other side of the mountains—beers that rarely make it over here to the wetter side of the state. For example, they’ll be pouring Ben’s Brown Ale, the award winning beer from Golden Hills Brewing (Airway Heights, WA). I’m quite certain you haven’t had that beer before.
Dreams on Draft at Big Al Brewing – a benefit for Children’s Hospital (2:00 – 6:00). Your $15 admission gets you a commemorative glass and 4 tasters. There will be live music from Afraid of Figs and food venders. Come try Big Al’s year-round lineup as well as several rare seasonal offerings.
Cyclops Olympics at Elysian Capitol Hill (2:00 – 6:00). A vertical tasting of Elysian’s Cyclops barleywine (’04, ’05, ’06, ’08, ’09). There will also be fun and games, like “Pin the Eye on the Cyclops” and the “Peasant Toss.”
Iron Brewer, Times Three at the Beveridge Place Pub (4:00-8:00). It’s like TV’s Iron Chef, only different. The Beveridge Place chooses the special ingredient(s), then the brewers make the beers, then you decide the winner. Three separate match ups, featuring six of Washington’s best breweries: Hales vs. Snoqualmie Falls, Black Raven vs. Big Time, and Snipes Mountain vs. Naked City.
Old Wooly and Jolly Roger Vertical Tastings. Big Time Brewing’s Old Woolly is one of Seattle’s most beloved barleywines. Maritime Pacific’s Jolly Roger is one of Seattle’s most beloved winter brews. They should have dubbed this a single event and called it the Route 44 Tasting Adventure. The Big Time opens at 11:30 a.m., where you can sample 5-6 years worth of the Old Woolly all day long while supplies last. Down in Ballard, starting at 4:00 p.m., Maritime Pacific will be doing a Jolly Roger vertical tasting that will feature ’04, ’07 ’09 vintages as well as a special cask rumored to be from the 90’s. Get there early. Metro Route 44 will get you from one place to the other safely.
This is Washington, Dammit! Beveridge Place Pub (3:00 p.m. – close). All of the Beveridge Place Pub’s taps will be pouring beer from Washington brewers. Twenty-four beers from 24 different breweries and all of them served for just $3.00 per pint. Can’t beat that!
Kickoff of Washington Beer Week at Pillagers Pub (3:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.). All week long, Pillagers Pub will be pouring Washington beers by tap and by cask. They will go through 50 beers in all. Avast, ye scurvy dogs, drink some Washington beer!
Brewers Mingle at Elysian Fields (2:00 – 5:00), featuring an A-Z of who’s in town, including their beers. This is not necessarily a Washington-focused beer event, but even we cannot ignore the fact that an impressive array of great brewers from out of state (and even overseas) will be in Seattle this week. We don’t know exactly who will be at this event, but if you look at the official SBW calendar of events, there are some serious rock star brewers in town. Don’t be shy, introduce yourself. Take pictures. Collect autographs. Drink beer.
Firkin-Firkin Throwdown at Elysian Capitol Hill (3:00 -11:00). Last year, the Firkin-Firkin Throwdown pitted the beers of Washington against the beers of California. Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA walked away the winner. This year the throwdown will feature Washington’s best in head-to-head battle with the beers of Oregon. The event features eight breweries from each state with eight styles. All of it in firkins. For example, in the IPA category Elysian Prometheus IPA will be facing off with Double Mountain Hop Lava IPA. You choose the winner.
Beer and Brats at the Ballpark (Safeco Field, 5:00 p.m.) Thanks in part to Odom Distributing, this season you can actually get more good Washington beer at Safeco Field than in years past. Your ticket (a view reserve seat) includes access to a Washington beer prefunctionary party out in the Bullpen Landing—the party includes unlimited access from 5:00 ’til game time to the bratwurst buffet and four taps from Skagit River Brewing, Dick’s Brewing, Fremont Brewing, and Lazy Boy Brewing. Not many tickets remain, get them here: www.mariners.com/seattlebeerweek.
Local Cask Festival at the Latona Pub (6:00 – 11:00). Local beers served the way God intended. No details on exactly which beers they’ll be pouring that night, but knowing Bob Brenlin and his crew at the Latona, there will be a lovely selection of delicious firkins lined up on the bar.
New Belgium Dinner at the Corson Building (6:00 – 10:00). We said we’d focus on Washington beer events, but we aren’t stupid. The Corson Building’s renowned chef Matt Dillon, and sommelier Marc Papineau, will work their magic with a special selection of New Belgium’s limited-availability Lips Of Faith beers. They did an amazing Belgian-style beer dinner back in February (read our review of that amazing dinner). We are betting that this event will also include orgasmically good gastronomical delights. Actually, New Belgium is licensed to brew beer in Washington, so I guess we aren’t stepping too far out of bounds.
Big Time IPA Festival (all day) – For over 20 years the Big Time Brewery has been wowing us with amazing IPAs. Off the top of my head: Bhagwan’s Best, Scarlet Fire, Perspective, Meerkat, and I think there was one called Firecracker. And that’s just scratching the surface. Hopmaster Bill Jenkin will certainly have an amazing lineup of lupulin-laced creations for you to enjoy.
Seattle Beer Week comes to a close with the official closing ceremonies at Hale’s Palladium. Actually, it’s a Washington beer festival. Read our complete post about the event, including ticket info.