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Washington Beer Open House 2011
This Saturday, all across the state, Washington brewers will open their breweries for the first-ever Washington Beer Open House. More than 30 breweries are involved. Beer lovers will have the opportunity to tour breweries, chat with brewers, and sample special beers.
I’ve visited many different breweries over the years. More than I can count. There is only one constant. Beyond the fact that they all brew beer, and posses the equipment necessary to do so, there is just one thing that all breweries have in common: boots. Another thing I’ve learned as a professional beer adventurer is that you are unlikely to find an actual brewer working on a Saturday. This Saturday will be different around Washington.
Sure, on a typical Saturday afternoon you may get to sample beers in the taproom and learn about the brewery from whoever happens to be working, and they might even be willing to give you a quick peek into the brewery, but you don’t get the nitty-gritty. When you do visit a brewery on a weekday, and they’re gracious enough to let you in, you are an interruption in an otherwise busy work day. In that regard, Washington Beer Open House provides you with a rare opportunity: meet the brewers, see the breweries on a Saturday afternoon.
The complete list of participating breweries is at the end of this post. You should also check out the official website. The Washington Beer Commission has even mapped it all out for you (click here to see the map and plan your route).
Each participating brewery will be doing something special. Here are three examples of what to expect at breweries across the state this Saturday:
- In Redmond, Black Raven Brewing will tap one keg only of the award-winning 2009 Old Birdbrain barleywine (First Place at 2011 Great Alaskan Barleywine Festival). It will pour until empty or 4:00 p.m., whichever comes first. They will also offer (for a nominal fee) a cheese pairing plate to go with the barleywine. The brewery will be opened for tours and the brewery staff will be there to answer questions.
- In Mukilteo, Diamond Knot Brewing invites you to visit their production brewery (not the pub). They will pour a few special vintage beers, including the 2010 Vienna Ale and the 2009 Pumpkin Ale, plus a special release of the Dirty Bourbon Belgian Blonde Ho!Ho!. Diamond Knot’s B2 Brewery is located at 4602 Chennault Beach Rd, Mukilteo, WA.
- Anacortes Brewery/Rockfish Grill will run brewery tours and happy hour prices on beer all day. Also, they’ll be pouring some specialty beers, including Belgian Dubbel, Trippel, Saison, Marzen, Klosterbier and a special cask.
I have some advice. After all, I am a professional brewery tourist.
- A good breakfast and some exercise to start the day. Get the blood flowing, get the metabolism pumping.
- Designate a driver. Buy him/her dinner at the end of the tour.
- Plan a route. Start “away” and work your way back towards home, or wherever you intend to end the adventure.
- Be at the first stop at noon. Hit the road early.
- If you happen to own a pair of XtraTufs, wear them. Why not?
- Bring snacks and water. Nourish and hydrate between stops.
- Ask questions and have fun.
- Tweet using the official hashtag – #WAbeerOH
Central and Eastern WA
- C.I. Shenanigans Brewery, Spokane
- Iron Horse Brewery, Ellensburg
- Palouse Falls Brewing, Pullman
- Yakima Craft Brewing, Yakima
North and East of Seattle
- American Brewing, Edmonds
- Anacortes Brewing, Anacortes
- Black Raven Brewing, Redmond
- Boundary Bay Brewing, Bellingham
- Chuckanut Brewery, Bellingham
- Diamond Knot Brewing, Mukilteo
- Foggy Noggin Brewing, Bothell
- Gallagher’s Where U Brew, Edmonds
- Redhook Brewery, Woodinville
- Scuttlebutt Brewing, Everett
- Snoqualmie Falls Brewing, Snoqualmie
- Big Time Brewery, U District
- Fremont Brewing, Fremont
- Maritime Pacific Brewing, Ballard
- Naked City Brewing, Greenwood
- Pike Brewing
South and West of Downtown Seattle
- Big Al Brewing, White Center
- Elliott Bay Brewing, W. Seattle
- Epic Ales, SODO
- Georgetown Brewing, Seattle
- Schooner Exact Brewing, SODO
- Three Skulls Brewing, South Park
- Two Beers Brewing, SODO
- M.T. Head Brewing, Graham
- Trade Route Brewing, Pacific
- The Ram Brewery, Puyallup
- The Ram Brewery, Tacoma
- 7 Seas Brewing, Gig Harbor
- Der Blokken Brewing, Bremerton