Washington Beer Open House: Info, Advice, Itineraries

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WA Beer Open House Feb 25 2012

Updated on Tuesday, Feb 21. See bottom of the post for updates.

On Saturday, February 25th from noon until 5:00 p.m., breweries across the state will open their doors to the public as the Washington Beer Commission presents the second annual Washington Beer Open House. Below, we provide a regional breakdown of participating breweries as well as some advice on how to approach Open House.

Some breweries will offer special releases others will do barrel tastings. Some will provide food/beer pairings, others will offer vertical tastings of beers from the cellar. It’s up to each brewery to decide what Open House means. If any breweries want to chime in and leave comments, we’d love to know more about what you have planned for Open House this year.

On Twitter, use the official Open House hashtag: #WaBeerOH.

There’s a mAP for that

Currently there are 42 breweries signed up for Open House. I would suspect more breweries will sign-on this week so be sure to keep an eye on the Open House map, which you can find at the official Washington Beer Open House website. It is a Google map and the Commission provides a QR code (tag) on the website and the posters which are displayed at all participating breweries. We have included it here for your convenience. You can snap the tag and have the map on your phone. Or you can simply click here to view the map.

Advice

  • Look at the map and devise an itinerary that moves you from far to near. Start the day away. End the day closer to home.
  • Big breakfast; carbohydrates and proteins.
  • Work out, go for a walk, or otherwise get some exercise after breakfast. That will get your metabolism cooking.
  • Start early. Be at your first destination when the doors open at 12:00.
  • Bring water and stay hydrated between stops. Drink water between stops, not beer.
  • Snacks. Lots of snacks. Enough said.
  • Growlers. You never know what you might run into so it is always a good idea to have a growler or two with you, especially considering the next piece of advice.
  • Designate a driver. Buy your DD dinner at the end of the night. Fill a couple of growlers for them along the way. Incentivize the adventure for your driver.

Be safe. Have fun.

Itineraries, Geographic Listings

West Sound:
Highway 16 and Highway 3 make this an easy adventure. If you’re coming from Seattle, consider driving across the Narrows Bridge and working your way north, then take the ferry home from Winslow. Enjoy having dinner at the Harbour Public House in Winslow before you head back across the Sound (nice tap selection and not far from the ferry terminal in Winslow).

7 Seas Brewing, Gig Harbor
Silver City Brewing, Bremerton
Valholl Brewing, Poulsbo
Slippery Pig, Pouslbo
Sound Brewery, Poulsbo

Tacoma Area:
Breweries, yes, but mix in a stop at the Red Hot (blog sponsor) and/or the Parkway Tavern to make this a real Tacoma beer adventure.

Wingman Brewers, Tacoma
Harmon Brewing, Tacoma
7 Seas Brewing, Gig Harbor (also on the W Sound tour)

South Seattle:
(South of the stadiums.) I expect this to be a busy one. Why not? Great breweries. Comparatively close together.

Odin Brewing, Seattle
Two Beers Brewing, Seattle
Schooner Exact Brewing, Seattle
Epic Ales, Seattle

Seattle, Downtown – The Pike Street Brew Tour:
You can easily walk this one. All three stops are on Pike Street (essentially) and if you start at Elysian it’s downhill all the way. Consider parking downtown, taking the bus up to Capitol Hill (route 2, 10, 25, and others), and then walking back downtown. You should have plenty of time if you do not dawdle.

Elysian Brewing
McMenamins Six Arms
Pike Brewing

Seattle, North of the Ship Canal:
This one is prolific. If you can make it to all the stops on this itinerary, I’ll buy you a beer. Don’t even try. Choose three, maybe four of these destinations and enjoy. Don’t rush.

Big Time Brewery (12:00 -  2:00 only)
Fremont Brewing
Maritime Pacific
Hillard’s Beer
Naked City Brewing
Elliott Bay Public House and Brewery (Lake City)

Everett and the North End:
Another prolific tour. Same advice applies.

Scuttlebutt Brewing, Everett
Lazy Boy Brewing, Everett
Diamond Knot Brewing, Mukilteo
McMenamins, Mill Creek
American Brewing, Edmonds

East of Lake Washington:
Those of you on the Eastside need not cross the lake this year. I don’t know what, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Redhook had something interesting up their sleeve. You should never overlook Washington’s oldest craft brewery.

Snoqualmie Falls Brewing
Black Raven Brewing, Redmond
Redhook Brewing, Woodinville
Foggy Noggin Brewing, Woodinville

Extra North Brew Tour:
Consider this a challenge. It is possible to make it to all of these if you are determined. You will probably want to start at Birdsview at exactly 12:00. If you start in Bellingham, you might not make it out of Bellingham. That would not be a disaster. If you try to do it all, be vigilant.

Birdsview Brewing, Concrete
Anacortes Brewing, Anacortes
Chuckanut Brewery, Bellingham
Boundary Bay Brewing, Bellingham

East of the Mountains:
This is more like a listing than a suggested itinerary. Many miles between each.

Icicle Brewing, Leavenworth
Iron Horse Brewing, Ellensburg
Yakima Craft Brewing, Yakima
Snipes Mountain Brewing, Sunnyside
White Bluffs Brewing, Richland

The Extreme East:
Again, more of a listing and less of an itinerary. It’s just the nature of the expansive eastern half of our state. Divided into two, it is much more manageable.

Paradise Creek Brewing, Pullman
Pallouse Falls Brewing, Pullman
Twelve String Brewing, Spokane Falls
Norther Lights Brewing, Spokane

Honorable Mention:
A little something for the extreme south end. Our beer loving brothers and sisters can get involved in Open House with a quick trip across the river.

Mt. Tabor Brewing, Vancouver

UPDATES

We will add information below as we get it. Here are some of the things that Washington breweries will be doing for Open House this year:

McMenamin’s Six Arms

Stop in and say hello to Six Arm’s own Kyle Jungck who will pour you some fine samples and show you the innermost secrets of this small but mighty brewery. Also note that from 12 noon until 5pm at Six Arms you can purchase an empty McMenamins logo growler for $2.00. This is a one day deal, and you must fill your $2.00 growler up with any Six Arms beer that day to get the deal!

Kyle’s featured ale:

Juniper Infused Firkin of Hammerhead
This rich chestnut colored gem is a model of harmony between hops and malted barley. Hammerhead’s signature Cascade hop nose and intense hopped flavor blend nicely with the caramel tones from the crystal malt. This special firkin has been cask-conditioned and dosed with Juniper Berries.

OG: 1.056
TG: 1.010
ABV: 5.93%

Malts: Great Western Two Row, Great Western C75
Hops: Cascade
Special Adjuncts: Juniper Berries

Schooner Exact Brewing

Sample some beers direct from the barrels. Also, get a sample of Schooner Exact’s Sour Brown Ale.

American Brewing Company

American Brewing Company releases Skip’s newest brew…a SCOTCH ALE!
“A smooth, malty sweet treat! A beautiful, clear, coppery red color.  You will enjoy the rich mouthfeel of this ale which allows the malty flavors to linger on your tongue.  A subtle hint of the Peat Malt and Roasted Barley add some deeper complexities to its flavor.  The overall hop characters are very low, which highlights its malty sweetness.”
ABV: 6.0%   IBU:32

NEW MERCHANDISE…going on sale this Saturday!  Be the first to buy the American Brewing Company black, pullover hoodie sweatshirt  $40.00.

More info coming as it becomes available. Brewers, send us an email and let us know what you have planned for Open House this year.

4 Responses to Washington Beer Open House: Info, Advice, Itineraries
  1. Dave Stevens
    February 18, 2012 | 3:08 pm

    On the Extra North tour don’t forget North Sound and Skagit in Mt. Vernon and Flyers in Oak Harbor. Also, if you go to Birdsview you could take Highway 9 from Sedro-Wooley to Highway 542 and hit the North Fork for beer and Pizza. ya gotta try their Barleywine!

  2. Dave Stevens
    February 18, 2012 | 6:02 pm

    BTW, Boundary Bay will having a limited release of their Imperial IPA inn 22oz bottles. Brewery only, 4 per person limit.

  3. Kendall Jones
    February 19, 2012 | 9:30 am

    Dave, I opted to only include those place that had signed up to be part of Washington Beer Open House. Not all have done that. Yes, the places you mention are there. For a more complete tour, see our Northwest Interior beer travel page.

  4. Kendall Jones
    February 19, 2012 | 9:53 am

    Snoqualmie Falls Brewing is now on board for WA Beer Open House. You could add them as a starting point or finish point on your Eastside tour. As with all the other breweries, keep an eye on their website, Facebook page, etc for details.