Barleywine Season Is Almost Here – UPDATED


There seem to be a lot of high alcohol beers around lately.  With Barrel Junction wrapping up at The Beer Junction (lots of high ABV, barrel-aged beers – a few are still on tap) and the Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow right around the corner (starting this Thursday at Brouwer’s Cafe and running through the 14th at various locations), we really have to pace ourselves.  That can be difficult to do, however, when even more high alcohol beers are right around the corner.

Each year, as Spring approaches, I look forward to the annual return of Barleywines from all around Washington State and all across the U.S.  Two of the biggest and best local events for enjoying all those wonderful Barleywines are returning soon.  I’m talking, of course, about the Barleywine Bacchanal at Beveridge Place Pub and the annual Hard Liver Barleywine Festival at Brouwer’s Cafe.



Coming up first, starting on Thursday, February 18th is the 14th Annual Barleywine Bacchanal at Beveridge Place Pub.  Beveridge Place will have 30 of their taps dedicated to barleywines and over 70 different barleywines ready to pour in all as the event continues through February 21st (and likely a bit longer depending on how long it takes the rest of the barleywines on tap blow).



The full details of which barleywines will be at this event have not yet been revealed, but Beveridge Place will be making some special announcements soon regarding any rare verticals that might be available.  I will update this article when the tap list becomes available.  Taster trays are definitely encouraged for this high octane event, so that you can try as many different barleywines as possible.  If you plan on enjoying more than just one taster tray, however, a designated driver (or Uber) might not be such a bad idea.  Beveridge Place opens at 2 pm on the 18th.

UPDATE 2/16/2016:

Beveridge Place Pub has announced special features for each day of the Bacchanal:

Thu, Feb 18 – Vintage Barleywines from 2011-2013
Anacortes, Anchor, Hopworks, Laurelwood, Naked City, & more!

-7 Seas Old Wheelchair ‘13
-Anacortes Old Sebastes ‘12
-Anchor Old Foghorn ‘12
-Beer Valley Highway to Ale ‘11
-Boulevard Harvest Dance ‘12
-Denali Old Mad Dog ‘13
-Dicks ‘12
-E9 Thunder Buddies ‘13
-Elliot Bay Portside ‘12
-Elysian Monocle ‘12
-Epic #13 ‘13
-Evil Twin Freudian Slip ‘13
-Highwater Old & in the Way ‘13
-HUB Noggin Floggin ‘11
-Laurelwood Old Reliable ‘11
-Naked City Old Proper ‘12
-Ninkasi Critical Hit ‘12
-North Sound Vertigo ‘11
-Oakshire ‘13
-Port Townsend Smoked Old Man ‘11
-Southern Tier Backburner ‘12
-Speakeasy Old Godfather ‘12
-Triplehorn Bygg Vin ‘13
-Two Beers Long House ‘13

-Beardslee Old Growth ‘15
-Big Time Old Wooly ‘14
-Boundary Bay ‘14
-Ecliptic Orange Giant ‘15
-Foggy Noggin Duck’s Ass ‘15
-Reuben’s Auld Heritage ‘14

Fri, Feb 19 – Barrel-aged Barleywines
Black Raven, Firestone Walker, Lost Abbey, Pelican, & more!

-Almanac Heirloom Pumpkin
-Bainbridge Oaked Toe Jam
-Black Diamond Dried Up Old Geezer
-Black Raven Old Birdbrain
-Bridgeport Oaked Old Knucklehead
-Burnside Whiteout
-E9 Barrel Thunder Buddies
-Evil Twin/Westbrook Cognac
-Firestone Walker Sucaba
-Fish 10 Squared
-Laurelwood Santa’s Woody
-Left Hand Oaked Widdershins
-Lost Abbey Brandy Angel’s Share
-Pelican Mother of all Storms
-Pike Old Bawdy Dry Fly Whisky
-Sound Elijah Craig Scoundrel
-The Bruery White Oak
-Three Magnets Old Skook in the Woods
-Triplehorn Barrel Bygg Vinn

Sat, Feb 20 – Three-year Verticals:

Old Bawdy ’11, ’12, ‘13
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot ’12, ’13, ‘14
Great Divide Old Ruffian ’12, ’13, ‘14
Avery Hog Heaven ’13, ’14, ‘15
Stone Old Guardian ’14, ’15, ‘16

Sun, Feb 21 – Kill The Keg
Get the last glass of any barleywine, get a BPP t-shirt!



Then, just one week later as usual, is the 14th Annual Hard Liver Barleywine Festival at Brouwer’s Cafe.  Brouwer’s is set to have more than 50 different barleywines and old ales on tap for this event.  Things will get under way when they open their doors at 11 am on Saturday, February 27th and will continue through the 28th and beyond.

A Few Tasters From Hard Liver 2012

A Few Tasters From Hard Liver 2012

I haven’t figured out yet if I enjoy this festival more or less than the Bacchanal at Beveridge Place.  At the Hard Liver Fest, it can sometimes be a bit more challenging to try all the barleywines you want without needing a stretcher for you to be carried out on when you’re done, since all 50+ barleywines go on tap at the same time.  How long each lasts on tap obviously depends on its popularity, so many people do their best to try as many as possible before the taps start to run dry.  Sitting with some friends and coordinating your ordering to avoid doubles can help.  Also, since Brouwer’s offers 3, 6 or 12 ounce pours, sticking mostly to the 3 ouncers will let you try more.

UPDATE 2/24/2016:

Brouwer’s Cafe has posted the draft list for this year’s Hard Liver Festival:

1. 21st Amendment Lower De Boom ’15 (11.5%) San Francisco
2. 3 Magnets Old Skook in the Woods Barleywine ’15 (12.1%) Olympia
3. Alaskan Barleywine ’11 (10.7 %) Anchorage
4. Alesmith Decadence ’14 Wheatwine (10%) San Diego
5. Anacortes Old Sebastes ’15 (9.9%) Anacortes
6. Avery Hog Heaven ’16 (9.2%) Boulder
7. Bainbridge Island Bbl-Aged Old Toe Jam ’14 (9%) Bainbridge
8. Ballast Point 3 Sheets Barleywine (10%) San Diego
9. Beachwood Annihilator ’12 (12%) Long Beach
10. Big Sky Old Bluehair ’12 (12%) Missoula
11. Big Time Old Wooly ’15 (9%) Seattle
12. Black Raven Old Birdbrain ’13 (12.2%) Redmond
13. De Molen Bommen & Granaten Barley Wine-ish (15.2%) Bodegraven
14. Deschutes Mirror Mirror ’14 (11%) Bend
15. Destihl Antiquity Rye Wine (12.1%) Bloomington
16. Dieu du Ciel! Solstice d’Hiver Barleywine (10.5%) Montreal
17. Double Mountain Off the Wagon Belgian Barleywine ’14 (11.8%)
18. Ecliptic Orange Giant Bbl-Aged Barleywine ’15 (13.8%) Portland
19. Elevation Arête Barleywine (12.5%) Poncha Springs
20. Engine House #9 Claret Bbl-Aged Barleywine (10.4%) Tacoma
21. Evil Twin Freudian Slip Barleywine (10.3%) Stratford
22. Firestone-Walker Abacus ’10 (12.5%) Paso Robles
23. Firestone-Walker §ucaba ’13 (12.5%) Paso Robles
24. Fremont Brewing Batch 1000 Barleywine 2015 (11.6%) Seattle
25. Full Sail Bourbon Barrel-Aged Wheatwine (9.5%) Hood River
26. Goose Island Bourbon County Barleywine ‘15 (12.1%) Chicago
27. Great Divide Old Ruffian Barleywine ’12 (12.7%) Denver
28. Green Flash Barleywine (10.9%) San Diego
29. Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws ’14 (11.5%) Portland
30. HUB Noggin Floggin Barleywine ’15 (11%) Portland
31. Lagunitas Olde GnarleyWine ’11 (10.6%) Petaluma
32. Laurelwood Santa’s Woody Barleywine (9.5%) Portland
33. Lost Abbey Angel’s Share ’12 (12.5%) San Diego
34. Machine House English Barleywine Cask (10.5%) Seattle
35. Midnight Sun Artic Devil ’13 (13.7%) Anchorage
36. Midnight Sun Bore Tide Bbl-Aged Wheatwine (10%) Anchorage
37. Mikkeller Big Worster Barleywine (17.3%) Copenhagen
38. New Belgium LoF Blackberry Barleywine ’15 (10%) Fort Collins
39. Ninkasi Sasquatch Legacy Wheatwine (9%) Eugene
40. Nøgne-Ø Batch #100 Barleywine (10%) Grimstad
41. Oakshire Vintage Barleywine ’13 (10.1%) Eugene
42. Old Schoolhouse Brewer’s Reserve Barleywine ’13 (10.5%) Winthrop
43. Perennial Vermillion Barleywine (10.5%) St. Louis
44. Pike Old Bawdy Barleywine ’12 (9.9%) Seattle
45. Sierra Nevada Bbl-Aged Big Foot Barleywine ’14 (9.6%) Chico
46. Seven Seas Barrel-Aged Old Wheelchair ’13 (11.5%) Gig Harbor
47. Snipes Mountain Roza Reserve Barleywine (9.2%) Sunnyside
48. Stone Pekko Dry-Hopped Old Guardian Barleywine (11%)Escondido
49. Wander 3 Ton Barleywine (11.6%) Bellingham

Which ever event you decide to attend or even if you attend both (they are a week apart, after all), the large tap list for each event means you’re sure to find at least a few barleywines you’ll enjoy.  Apologies in advance to your liver.

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.

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