The 11th Annual Hard Liver Barleywine Festival


Seattle’s premiere barleywine festival, Hard Liver, is coming back to Brouwer’s Cafe next Saturday, March 23rd.  Held each year since 2002, this annual celebration of the best barleywines the craft beer World has to offer actually started its life before Brouwer’s Cafe even existed.  The first couple of Hard Liver festivals were held at the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Association, long before Brouwer’s Cafe opened their doors and then the fest moved to Brouwer’s the year they opened.

Along with Hopfest, Big Wood Fest and Sour Fest (also held at Brouwer’s) Hard Liver is definitely one of my favorite annual beer festivals in Seattle.  The popularity of the Hard Liver fest also seems to grow each year, as evidenced by the long line that is always present an hour or more before Brouwer’s even opens their doors at 11:00 AM.

Brouwer’s just recently released a tentative tap list for Hard Liver 2013, to give us some idea of what to expect.  This list is, of course, subject to change:

  • 21st Amendment Lower da Boom 2012
  • Alaskan Rough Trade Barleywine 2009
  • Anacortes Old Sebastes 2012
  • Anchor Old Foghorn 2012
  • Anchorage Deal with the Devil
  • Avery Hog Heaven 2012
  • Beachwood Annihilator 2012
  • Beer Valley Highway to Ale 2012
  • Big Al Ol #1 2012
  • Big Sky Old Bluehair 2012
  • Black Diamond Dried up Old Geezer 2012
  • Black Raven Old Birdbrain 2012
  • Boulder Kiler Penquin 2011
  • Boulder Mortimer Barrel 2012
  • Boulavard Harvest Dance Wheatwine 2012
  • Boundary Bay Old Bounder 2012
  • Dick’s Barleywine 2012
  • Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine 2012
  • Driftwood Old Cellar Dweller 2012
  • Elysian Death Star 2013
  • Emilliese Jack Daniels Aged Barleywine 2012
  • Epic Brewing Barleywine 2012
  • Firestone Walker Abacus 2011
  • Firestone Walker Sucaba 2013
  • Fish Tale Leviathon Barleywine 2012
  • Fremont Old Bridge Rider 2012
  • Full Sail Old Boardhead 2012
  • Glacier Old Woody
  • Great Divide Old Ruffian 2010
  • Great Divide Old Ruffian 2012
  • Green Flash/Cigar City Candela Rye 2012
  • HOD Doggie Claws 2012
  • Lagunitas Gnarleywine 2007
  • Lagunitas Gnarleywine 2009
  • Lagunitas Gnarleywine 2010
  • Lagunitas Gnarleywine 2011(x2)
  • Laurelwood Barrel Aged Old Reliable 2012
  • Lompoc Old Tavern Rat 2012
  • Lost Abbey Angel’s Share 2012(Bourbon?)
  • Mad River John Barleycorn 2011
  • Moylan’s Old Blarney Barleywine 2013
  • Naked City Old Proper
  • Ninkasi Critical Hit Barleywine 2012
  • Ninkasi Wheatwine 2012
  • Pelican Stormwatcher
  • Pike Old Bawdy 2011
  • Port Townsend Old Man Barleywine 2011
  • Rogue Old Crustation 2012
  • Sam Adam’s Griffen’s Bow Blonde 2012
  • Scuttlbutt Ol’ #1 2011
  • Seven Seas Old Wheelchair 2012
  • Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 2011
  • Snipes Fifth World Apocalypse 2012
  • Stone Old Gaurdian 2009
  • Uinta Cockeyed Cooper 2012

Brouwer’s will update this list & provide more information as it becomes available.  As with all of their festivals, Brouwer’s will also have some special food options available for Hard Liver 2013.  The special food options on Brouwer’s menu for last year’s Hard Liver fest included:

Hard Liver Frites:
Medium pommes frites dusted in dry malt, herbs and sea salt with a side of barleywine-bacon mayo.

Hard Liver Charcuterie Plate:
“Hard liver pate” barleywine and cherry infused pork liver pate, house-cured salami, crackers, stone ground mustard, cornichons.

Hard Liver Mussels:
Steamed mussels with chorizo, shallots, smoked paprika and tomatoes in a spiced barleywine-cream sauce.

Chef’s Cut:
Kobe beef, barley, and barleywine stew, roasted baby carrots and red potatoes, puff pastry.

Barleywine Cheesecake:
With Chambord-cherry sauce.

Last year I was fortunate to be selected as a judge for the Hard Liver festival, which is quite an honor.  I hope to enjoy that same privilege again this year, but will be at the festival either way and I know I’ll have a great time.  I hope to see you there.

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.

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