This year’s Seattle Beer Week is just over a month away. There are nearly 100 different events listed already, and that number will only increase before the evening of big kickoff events gets under way on April 8th, starting at Elysian Brewing on Capitol Hill, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start celebrating now.
Six Degrees of Collaboration, the official Seattle Beer Week 6 beer, went on sale yesterday, April 1st, at six select locations around Seattle. No fooling! I’ll give you just one guess as to where those six locations might be. That’s right. The six different breweries who collaborated on this year’s SBW beer will be, at least at first, the only places you can buy this beer. Only Elysian had it yesterday, April 1st, as it was just shipping out to the other breweries, but be on the lookout for it soon at Black Raven, Pike, Schooner Exact, Naked City and Georgetown as well any day now – and in local bottle shops very soon.
I attended the brewing of this special beer a few weeks back at Elysian Brewing’s Georgetown brewing facility, along with brewers/representatives from each collaborating brewery. You can see a few photos from that day here on Facebook. Brewed with six different malts, six different hops (added, in combinations, at six different times during the boil) and fermented with six different ‘house’ yeasts (one from each participating brewery), Six Degrees of Collaboration even comes in at 6% alcohol.
According to Elysian Brewing’s latest newsletter:
The craft brewing movement is a collaboration without historical precedent, and almost nowhere as much as in the Seattle area. On Saturday, March 6, six local brewers got together at Elysian Brewing’s Airport Way facility to brew the sixth Seattle Beer Week beer, together. Sixes were definitely wild. Six malts, six hop varieties added in artful combination at six different times, and–get this–six different house yeasts as well were added, taking the collaboration down to a whole new level–the microscopic.
In addition to the crew at Elysian, participating breweries were Georgetown, Black Raven, Naked City, Schooner Exact and Pike. The beer, called Six Degrees of Collaboration, is a session IPA that should weigh in at around 6% alcohol. The first 60-barrel brew will go entirely into 22-ounce bottles for sale in advance of Seattle Beer Week (May 8-18) at stores throughout the area. The second will go into kegs to be served throughout the week.
Sixth Sense? Six Appeal? Six to the Sixth? 666 (Mark of the Yeast)? House (Yeast) Party? These were other names considered before Six Degrees of Collaboration was settled upon, especially appropriate in that not only among this little crowd of six, everyone in the brewing industry knows each other anyway.
Head Brewer and Founder, Elysian Brewing
AVAILABLE :: APRIL 1
Draft & 22oz bottles
Limited Edition :: Available in Seattle only
I’ll be picking up a few bottles myself soon. I actually tried to grab a few yesterday at Georgetown Brewing and Schooner Exact Brewing, but they had not yet received their shipment from Elysian. If you’d like to get your hands on some too, before you can try it on tap during SBW that is, don’t wait too long. 60 Barrels is a lot, so I wouldn’t expect it to sell out in just a day or two, but I wouldn’t expect the it to stick around for too long either. Lots of people want to get their hands on some.
If you haven’t started planning for SBW6 yet, you might want to start looking over the events schedule now. Many of the pre-sale and dinner events sell out quickly, so don’t miss out by waiting too long on those. Don’t get too over-ambitious either. The sheer number of events each day during SBW is pretty amazing. Don’t expect to be able to hit them all – or even half of them. The best most people can do is pick an event or two per day; and after a few days straight you might find you need a day or two off. So choose wisely and hope you don’t suffer the dilemma of finding two events you really want to attend happening at the same time (and, Murphy’s Law, likely on the other side of the city). I’m working on my plan of attack now. Watch for an article with my SBW6 picks later this month.
UPDATE: Please note. Georgetown Brewing has informed me they may not be able to sell these bottles at their location, due to their lack of a license to sell beer from other breweries on their premises.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.