I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a pretty crazy last week or so leading up to Seattle Beer Week #8. Between being busy at work (both of them), still mourning a bit for our dog, Bailei, and trying to plan out my Seattle Beer Week 2016 schedule (picking from, literally, hundreds of events), I’ve barely had time to breathe.
The event list for Seattle Beer Week seems to get a bit bigger each year. There are always a few days where there are at least 2 or 3 different events all happening at the same time on opposite ends of town, so you have to make a choice. Hitting every single event is absolutely impossible (and severe liver abuse!), so you have to pick your battles (or is it bottles?)
Now, it’s here. Seattle Beer Week kicks off this evening at Reuben’s Brews in Ballard. They’ll be open at noon today, but the official opening ceremony for Seattle Beer Week won’t take place until 5 pm. The first keg of Daily Pale, the official beer of Seattle Beer Week #8, will be tapped and the Mayor’s Proclamation will be read.
From there, the opening night pub crawl kicks off with stops at Brouwer’s Cafe (6:15 pm), Beveridge Place Pub (7:30 pm), The Pine Box (8:45) and ending up at Naked City Brewery & Taphouse (10:00 pm). If you’re planning to hit all the stops on the opening night pub crawl, and unless you’re one of the lucky few to be on the Seattle Beer Week (SBW) bus that goes from stop to stop, designated drivers, Uber or taxis are encouraged.
On Friday, things really get rolling right off the bat with one of my favorite SBW events, the Underberg Back In Black Stout Fest (11:00 am) at Brouwer’s Cafe. Later, I’m trying to decide between a 2nd visit to Cask-O-Rama (6:00 pm) at Beveridge Place (which will be taking place there tonight as well during the opening night Pub Crawl), or heading over to The Pine Box for Dick & Friends (6:00 pm) with Dick Cantwell.
Saturday brings an event I’ve attended several times over the past few years: The Pine Box Beer Can Derby (4:oo pm). It’s not about who wins. It’s about enjoying some great beers with some great people in a great atmosphere. It’s about building your racer on the spot (which I think is more fun that pre-building at home), and have a great time watching the races. Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend this year due to work, but if you’ve never been to this event I encourage to you check it out.
Two of my favorite breweries, Firestone Walker and Holy Mountain (7:00 pm), are getting together on Sunday at The Pine Box. The lineup for this evening looks amazing (see my article Craft Beer Monger’s Picks For Seattle Beer Week 2016 for the list). Also on hand will be Jeffers Richardson, Directer of Firestone Walker Brewing’s Barrelworks, and the gang from Holy Mountain Brewing for a night of Barrels.
I won’t be able to attend any events on Monday due to work, but there are several great things going on including: This Is Washington Dammit! (2:00 pm) at Beveridge Place Pub. They’ll have thirty-six Washington beers from thirty-six different breweries, with all pints just $3.50. Then there’s Lost Abbey With Tomme Arthur (5:00 pm) at Chuck’s Hop Shop in the Central District. This event has a great lineup including, but not limited to their House Sour, C-9 Experimental Barleywine, Double Red Poppy, Double Cuvee de Tomme, and Road to Helles.
Tuesday brings another great event at The Pine Box: Can You Handle My Randall (4:00 pm). Don’t know what a Randall is? Basically, it’s filter, but not the kind of filter that removes things. This filter adds them. Whatever goes into the Randall gets infused into the beer being poured through it and The Pine Box can get pretty creative with what goes into those Randalls – 12 of them to be exact. As The Pine Box puts it: “The Twelve Randalls return again to have you asking, “what the F*** did you put in my beer?””
A bit later on Tuesday is Wood Aged Washington (6:00 pm) at Naked City. This event brings you “the finest wood aged beers brewed in all of Washington State, from border to border to border, and everywhere in between.” If you’re a fan of wood-aged beers, then this is one event you’ll want to check out.
The preliminary lineup for this event includes:
- Breakside Brewery Sweet Potato Brown w/cacao nibs, vanilla, cinnamon bark and papilla chiles
- Crux Fermentation Project Hook a Chinook IPA w/mango, papaya, guava, and min
- Ecliptic Brewing Zenith Grapefruit Gose w/fruits, tangerines, grapefruit
- Fort George Brewery Cavatica Stout W/Madagascar vanilla beans, alongside whole stumptown coffee beans
- Gigantic Brewing Company The Business w/resh cuties (tangerines) and crystal hops
- GoodLife Brewing TBA…
- Machine House Brewery TBA…
- Reuben’s Brews Daily Pale with….
- Schooner Exact Brewing Co. Jawja Peach Sour to be run through Citra Hops & fresh peaches
- Seapine Brewing Company Mosaic Pale Ale randalled through some tropical fruit
- Standard Brewing TBA…
- Stoup Brewing Citra Pale with whole leaf Hops
I’ll have to sit out Wednesday as well this year, but here are few events you might want to check out. First off is Nothing But Hops (9:00 am) at Stogies N Hops (CBM Sponsor) up in Lynnwood. Ever had what’s known as palate fatigue after too many hoppy beers? You will after this lupulin rich event. Another great option is Cloudburst/Bale Breaker Date Night (4:00 pm) at Cloudburst Brewing Company. Cloudburst is a popular newcomer and rightfully so. Founder and head Brewer, Steve Luke, has been putting out some great beers, including lots of different and delicious IPAs.
I hope you enjoy waiting in lines a bit, because Thursday brings one Seattle Beer Week event that always draws a huge crowd with a line that starts hours before they event open. That event is Sourfest (11:00 am) at Brouwer’s Cafe. Sour beers can be an acquired taste but, in my humble opinion, it’s a taste that is definitely worth acquiring. When done right, sour beers can be some of the most complex, distinctive and downright delicious beers out there and Brouwer’s always does an excellent job of putting together a stellar tap list for this annual event that will keep your lips puckered. The full, preliminary tap list for this festival can also be found in my Picks For Seattle Beer Week 2016 article.
On Friday, a return to Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle would be in order for the annual Bodacious Beverages Fest (2:00 pm). As they describe it: “Twenty-five rare & unusual beers! Barrel-aged brews, sour beers, fruit & spice beers, and more! Taster trays & designated drivers encouraged!”
Also on Friday is Heavy Metal Beer Night (6:00 pm) at Toronado. This sounds like a really fun event. New Belgium Brewing’s Jamie Mastin will spin the vinyl while you hang out and enjoy brews with Jason Yester (Saison Man) of Trinity Brewing, Eric Salazar of New Belgium Brewing and Nick Nunns from Trve Brewing. You are encouraged to bring your own heavy metal vinyl albums to this event for Jamie to play!
Still standing? We’re almost home. Saturday brings the Naked Beardslee Washers Tournament (2:00 pm) at Naked City. Form a team and compete for glory (and likely a few prizes). You must play with a beer in hand or your shot doesn’t count! Also on Saturday, you might want to head back to The Pine Box yet again for the Melvin Brewing Kung Fu Olympics (5:00 pm). “Melvin is back again but with more Ninjas, more Kung Fu, & more Wu.” The tap list for this event is still evolving, but should include: Drunken Master, Hop Shcocker, Killer Bees, 2×4, Hubert, and Melvin.
Sunday is recover day. I recommend a late but hearty breakfast at Reuben’s Brews with Coffee Beer And Donuts (12:00 pm). Reuben’s will be pouring 4 coffee-infused beers paired with local donuts. Will you dare to dunk? If donuts aren’t your thing, then perhaps you’d prefer some BBQ? No problem. Head over to Fremont Brewing Company for the 6th Annual My Liver Hurts BBQ (12:00 pm). Enjoy delicious Fremont Brewing Company beers and free BBQ, while it lasts.
It’s going to be a crazy week, folks. I hope to see you out there at many of these great events. Just remember to pace yourself. 10 days is a long time. Try not to get burned out. It’s happened to the best of us. Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter for updates during the week.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.