We all know it’s out there. Is that a threat or a promise? It’s hard to tell. Maybe it’s both. Looming on the horizon like a two-ton heavy thing, it will not be denied. It is beautiful, frightening, decadent, demanding, exhilarating and exhausting. Hang on tight. No eternal reward will forgive us now. Out here we is stoned immaculate.
I’m talking about Seattle Beer Week 2012. The citywide carnival of beer runs from Thursday, May 10 through Sunday, May 20. Each year Beer Week challenges the stamina of Seattle’s heartiest beer drinkers with a ten-day barrage of beer events–a relentless onslaught of beer dinners, special tastings, brewers nights, and other beer-related hoopla. To survive you must choose your battles carefully.
Below I provide a list of the events that I find most interesting and most noteworthy. (I should mention that I’ll be updating the list as more information comes in and new, interesting events are added to the Beer Week calendar.) It is just my opinion. It is very likely that your opinion is different. This year Beer Week includes well over 100 events. I do not intend for my list to be comprehensive. Leave comments. What events interest you? What are my most glaring oversights?
In the coming days I will also publish a list telling you what some of my favorite Seattle beer places (pubs, etc.) are up to for Beer Week: a different, albeit worthy, tactic for conquering Seattle Beer Week.
I strongly advise that you spend some time browsing the Seattle Beer Week Calendar.
Intentionally and Unintentionally Excluded
You should also know that some of the coolest events are already sold out. If I know it is already sold out, I don’t bother mentioning it here. For example, the Trappist Dinner at Quinn’s. Sorry. There are countless brewers night celebrations at countless pubs around town. I did not bother mentioning them. Sorry if that seems lazy of me. Not every event is listed on the official Seattle Beer Week events calendar. At least not yet. Plans are still being drawn.
Here is some advice, for what it’s worth. If there is a ticketed event that you want to attend, do not delay. Many of the best events sell out. Don’t over extend yourself. This is about beer and it is supposed to be fun. Don’t feel obligated to go out and do the coolest thing every night. Pick a few “must do” events and make your plans. The rest of the time, just go with the flow. Or don’t go at all. There is no trophy awarded to the person who attends the most Seattle Beer Week events. Don’t stress. Drink beer. Have fun. Be safe.
Kendall’s Picks for Seattle Beer Week 2012
SBW Kickoff Party. Starting at 5:00 and moving from place to place across the city. It starts at Elysian Brewing on Capitol Hill, then moves on to Pyramid Alehouse in SoDo, Naked City in Greenwood, and ends at the Pine Box on Capitol Hill.
Seattle Cask-o-Rama, 6:00 p.m. – midnight at the Beveridge Place Pub (blog sponsor). Twelve casks on the bar. All of them from Seattle breweries. Including: Georgetown Lisa’s Chocolate Stout, Pike Space Needle Anniversary Ale, Schooner Exact Manhefe, Big Time Iccubus IPA, Elysian Split Shot Espresso, Maritime Double Dry-Hopped Imperial IPA, Odin Dry-Hopped Pale, Two Beers Heart of Darkness CDA infused with plum and habanero, Elliott Bay Riot Ale, Hale’s Pikop Andropov, Big Al Hi-Yu Bru, Naked City/Oakshire Collaboration, and others.
Friday, May 11
All day – Back in Black at Brouwer’s Café. Only the biggest of the big, and the blackest of the black Stouts. Love big, black beers?
Seattle Cask-o-Rama cont., 6:00 p.m. – midnight at the Beveridge Place Pub. See above.
Saturday, May 12
Quinn’s Pig Roast and Homebrew Competition, 11:00 a.m. Quinn’s Pub is teaming up with Fremont Brewing for its 3rd Annual Pig Roast. This time they’re stepping up the game a bit: live music, special casks from Fremont Brewing and a homebrew competition. The beers will be judged by Fremont Brewing’s expert staff and the winner will get to spend a day inside the brewery. Your ticket gets you beer and all the pig you can eat. $30 plus tax presale. $35+ at the door. For details, reservations or to sign up for the homebrew contest, contact the restaurant at (206) 325-7711. Homebrew entries and space are limited.
Laurelwood Brewers Dinner at Burgundian. Time TBD. Purchase your tickets now for $65. Only 30 spots available at the dinner, where five courses will be paired with Laurelwood beers. Call 206-420-8943 to reserve your spot.
Sunday, May 13
Iron Brewers Triple Header, 5:00 p.m. at the Beveridge Place Pub. Six breweries in head to head battle. The Bev selects the not-so-secret ingredients then each brewery creates a beer. They brew the beer, you pick the winner. This year’s matchups: Black Raven versus Odin, brewing with blackberry and lavender; 7 Seas versus Port Townsend, brewing with coconut and lemongrass; Silver City versus Airways, brewing with apricot and almond.
Mothers Day Brewers Dinner, 5:00 p.m. at Naked City. A very special brewers table on Mother’s Day with Head Brewer Don Webb, featuring the beer-soaked cuisine of Naked City’s Head Chef, Tessa Roberts. Ticketed event, 30 seats available. Features seven paired courses of beer and food. Get tickets by stopping by Naked City or calling them during business hours.
Monday, May 14
All day – This is Washington, Damn it! Beveridge Place Pub. Enjoy 24 different beers from 24 different breweries, all of them from right here in Washington. During Seattle Beer Week a lot of attention gets paid to out-of-state breweries. On this day, the Beveridge Place Pub reminds us that we make really good beer right here in Washington, damn it!
Anniversary Night at the Latona Pub (blog sponsor), 8:00 p.m. with Anacortes Brewing. The 25th Anniversary celebration continues at the Latona Pub. They’ll be pouring a special anniversary brew concocted especially for the Latona along with a number of other delicious Anacortes brews.
Tuesday, May 15
New Brewers Night, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Park Pub. Celebrate some of Washington’s newest breweries. The Park Pub will be hosting Churchkey Can Company, Hilliard’s Beer, NW Peaks Brewery, and Twelve Bar Brews for a night of beer, giveaways, and hanging with the brewers.
Northwest Women in Beer, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. Pike Brewery Pub. This event will feature multiple beers brewed by women. Enjoy a celebration of role women play in the craft beer industry. Women-owned food businesses will be on site serving up bites. This event is not just for the ladies; guys are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Wednesday, May 16
Big Time IPA Cask Fest, 11:30 a.m. at Big Time Brewery. Featuring five cask conditioned quarter barrels of five different India Pale Ales. Including Scarlet Fire IPA, Bhagwan’s Best IPA, Homegrown IPA, Solo IPA and Icculus IPA. The casks will be tapped when they open at 11:30 a.m. and will pour until the beer is gone.
New Belgium Sour Beer Symposium, 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at Stumbling Monk. Join New Belgium’s Eric Salazar as he explains their process of creating and blending New Belgium’s sour barrel-aged beers. After Eric’s presentation and slide show, you’ll learn about and taste from four different firkin kegs which were filled directly from New Belgium’s barrels. Create your own blend that you can take home in a growler. Growlers will be provided at the event.
Firkin-Firkin Throwdown, 3:00 – 10:00 p.m. Elysian Capitol Hill. Eight casks from Seattle breweries in head-to-head battle against eight casks from San Diego breweries. You be the judge. Who has the most kickass casks.
West Coast Beer Dinner, 6:30 p.m. at Brave Horse Tavern. Three Breweries. Nine Beers. Four Courses. Cause there ain’t no dinner like a West Coast Beer Dinner with Anderson Valley, Chuckanut and Hopworks
Sean Paxton’s Firestone Dinner, 8:00 p.m. Brouwer’s Cafe. This is the big one everyone raves about. If you can stomach this much food (and the ticket price) do not miss this event. Get tickets now. A closed door beer dinner with the beers of Firestone Walker. Eight courses and a dozen beers. Food and pairings designed by the renowned “Homebrew Chef” Sean Paxton and Brouwer’s own chef. Think English Pub food meets Brouwer’s Cafe meets Firestone Walker Beer. Tickets are $125 each. Tax and gratuity included.
Thursday, May 17
Sour Fest at Brouwer’s, All Day. No explanation needed. If you like sour beers, this is the best event of the year. Period.
Friday, May 18
Barrel Tasting at Fremont Brewing, 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. A special night of tastings from Fremont Brewing’s Barrel Room. Including, B-Bomb, Kentucky Dark Star, The Lamb (Brett Saison), Flanders Red and Lambic. Try these beers before they are ready for commercial release and learn how they mature and change over time.
Saturday, May 19
Elysian/New Belgium Collaboration BBQ, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Fiddler’s Inn. It’s no secret that Elysian and New Belgium have teamed up to make some amazing collaboration beers. Come enjoy a selection of some of the best collabeerations along with some BBQ food and live music
Sunday, May 20
No Regrets BBQ at Fremont Brewing, noon until 3:00 p.m. The 2nd Annual “Oh My Gawd, What Have I Done to My Liver!” free BBQ. Come to Fremont Brewing’s Urban Beer Garden between noon and 3:00 p.m. for free BBQ and tasty beverages (not free). Celebrate surviving Seattle Beer Week 2012.