It’s really pouring out there, but I’m not talking about the weather. It’s raining craft beer events; enough to keep your liver plenty busy between now and the arrival of Spring. Get you calendar out, because I’m going to tell you about 8 local craft beer festivals and other events coming your way between now and March 20; the first day of Spring, 2016.
Most of these upcoming events are free to attend. The amount you’ll spend only depends on how many beers and how much food you decide to purchase. The other two are ticketed events, where you’ll want to get your ticket(s) in advance to make sure you can attend.
(Please note – this is not a comprehensive list of ALL local events happening between now and March 20th. I’m merely highlighting some of the events I think my readers would be most interested in.)
First up are the two ticketed events and the first is one I’ve already given you details on: the 7th Annual Belgian Fest, presented by the Washington Beer Commission. Tickets for Belgian Fest are still on sale, but this event has sold out in the past. If you’re a fan of Belgian styles, don’t miss this one. Get your tickets today.
Also coming up fast is a great event for anyone looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day a little early: Pike Brewing Company‘s annual Chocofest. My wife, Lynn, and I have attended this event several times in the past and had a wonderful time.
I’ll let Pike give you the details on this one:
This culinary evening described as “foreplay before the big day” celebrates Valentine’s Day in Seattle and is a romantic food and drink lovers delight. Over 65 of the area’s premiere breweries, wineries, distilleries, restaurants, cheese makers, bakers and chocolatiers will fill the Pike Brewing Company and entice you with delicious bites and tastes. The evening includes a cask beer festival, with rare cask beers, many featuring chocolate, from the Puget Sound’s top brewers. Best of all, Pike Chocofest benefits Puget Soundkeeper, who is protecting and preserving the waters of Puget Sound.
For even more details on this event, including the full list of breweries, wineries, distilleries, restaurants, cheese makers, bakers and chocolatiers that will be there, check Pike’s events page on Facebook. Chocofest takes place on January 31st.
This next event (actually a series of events) is only in its third year, but has become quite popular for all the hopheads out there, and we certainly have plenty of hopheads in the greater Seattle area. What I’m referring to, of course, is the 3rd Annual Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow. This celebration of super strong and super hoppy IPAs is set to kick off at Brouwer’s Cafe on Thursday, February 4th. Then, following the kickoff at Brouwer’s, there will be 10 more Hop Mob events around the Sound, concluding at Der Hinterhof out in Leavenworth on February 14th. For further details about all of this year’s Hop Mob Roadshow stops, check the official Washington Hop Mob website (link above).
Here is the preliminary list of participating Washington breweries for this year’s Hop Mob Roadshow:
- Aslan Brewing
- Bainbridge Brewing
- Bale Breaker Brewing
- Beardslee Brewing
- Big Time Brewing
- Boundary Bay Brewing
- Cloudburst Brewing
- Counterbalance Brewing
- Diamond Knot Brewing
- Dirty Bucket Brewing
- Epic Ales
- Foggy Noggin Brewing
- Fremont Brewing
- Geaux Brewing
- Georgetown Brewing
- Hale’s Ales Brewery
- Kulshan Brewing
- Naked City Brewery
- Populuxe Brewing
- Postdoc Brewing
- Rainy Daze Brewing
- RAM Restaurant and Brewery
- Reuben’s Brews
- Silver City Brewery
- Slaughter County Brewing
- Snipes Mountain Brewing
- Standard Brewing
- Stoup Brewing
- Strong Arm Brewing
- Tacoma Brewing
- Three Magnets Brewing
- Wander Brewing
If you can tear yourself away from the Hop Mob Roadshow, this next event is for one of Seattle’s newer South end breweries. Coming up on February 6th is the 1st Anniversary Bash at Counterbalance Brewing Company. If you’ve never visited Counterbalance, you’re missing some great beers. I particularly enjoy their Bad Wolf Dark Ale, Kushetka Russian Imperial Stout (especially the bourbon barrel aged version) and their Tabletop Supernova Imperial IPA.
The Anniversary Bash starts at 2 PM on the 6th and in addition to delicious beer, there will be prizes, great food from Wood Shop BBQ, special beer releases, and discounted growler fills for that little football game the next day.
Counterbalance has provided a bit more information about what beers will be on tap for this event:
Counterbalance’s first barrel-aged beer release, half-price growler fills all day, as well as the current featured beers, American Brown Ale with cocoa nibs, Tabletop Supernova Imperial IPA, and Samsparilla Stout brewed with sarsaparilla and vanilla bean.
Get out your party masks and colored beads for this next event at Geaux Brewing in Bellevue. Set to coincide, of course, with Fat Tuesday in New Orleans is their annual Mardi Gras celebration, which goes from 3 pM to 10 PM. Geaux Brewing promises this will be their best Mardi Gras party yet. They’ll have some rare beers on tap, food and will also be releasing Rex, their Orange Saison. For further details as this event draws closer, be sure to check out the event page on Facebook.
If you’ve survived the Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow and your liver is still intact, then you might just be ready for these next two events coming up mid to late February. Leading off is the XIVth Annual Barleywine Bacchanal at Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle. As Beveridge Place Puts it: “Celebrating the biggest, boldest brews from around the world and down the street. Don’t miss this annual debaucherous festival!” The Barleywine Bacchanal kicks off on Thursday, February 18th and runs through Sunday the 21st.
Next up, just one week later, is the 14th Annual Hard Liver Barleywine Festival at Brouwer’s Cafe, which is set to take place on February 27th and 28th. This over the top festival features more than 50 different barleywines on tap from around the country and the World.
Here are a few more details about this year’s Hard Liver Barleywine Festival from Brouwer’s Cafe:
Now in its 14th year Hardliver Barleywine Festival is a celebration of this amazing style of beer. As February draws to a close, the days are getting longer but its the perfect time to be inside getting warm while drinking beer. We will have over 50 Barleywine/Old Ales on draft starting at 11 am on Saturday, February 27th. We will offer all beers in 3, 6 and 12oz sizes. 3 at a time per person. There is usually a line for this much anticipated event.
Usually? No. There is always a line for this much anticipated event. The only line I’ve seen that’s usually longer for festivals at Brouwer’s is the line for their annual Sour Fest during Seattle Beer Week.
Last but not least on this list of events to close out your Winter season is the 2016 Washington Cask Beer Festival, presented by the Washington Brewer’s Guild. I told you all about this festival just last week, so I’ll let my article from then do the talking for me on this one. It may not be until March 19th, but tickets are on sale now.
I certainly won’t be attending all of these events; I still have at least a bit of respect for my over-worked liver, but I should see you at Belgian Fest, at least one stop on the Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow and the Hard Liver festival at Browuer’s Cafe for sure. I hope to also attend the 1st Anniversary celebration at Counterbalance Brewing and I’ll likely enjoy a taster tray of barleywines sometime during the Barleywine Bacchanal at Beveridge Place Pub. Whichever event(s) you decide to attend, I know you’ll find some great beers to enjoy.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.