Even though I knew it was coming, Seattle Beer Week (SBW) kind of snuck up on me this year. I can’t believe it kicks off in just 2 days! There are a few events that happen each year that I usually attend so I’m set there. However, I didn’t find much time until this past weekend to look over the rest of this year’s SBW events and choose which ones I’d either like to attend myself and/or that I’d like to suggest to you. I’m here to fix that.
How about you? Have you found the time to look over the ever growing list of events on the official Seattle Beer Week website? If not, don’t worry. I took the time to read through the details of every event that’s been posted for this year’s festivities, and I’m here to give you my suggestions for the best events to pick from for Seattle Beer Week #11. Here we go!
March is here. That’s a big deal to college basketball fans. Not that I’m a big college hoops fan, but you’d have to be in a coma to now know what March Madness is. Traditionally, however, March doesn’t mean much of anything special to craft beer drinkers.
Machine House Brewery wants to change that and give craft beer drinkers a different reason to be excited for March. Back again this year is their annual March Mildness event, taking place at a number of craft beer locations around the Sound. Drink up plenty of Machine House’s Dark Mild and win prizes.
Even though I’m a big fan of craft beers, I do enjoy the occasional craft cider as well. I sometimes head to one of my local watering holes fully intending to sample some ciders, but then I look at the tap list and I’m like, “Oh look! Three new craft beers I haven’t tried yet!” As a result, I’m far less experienced and knowledgeable about craft ciders than I am craft beers.
Despite this inherent bias I have towards beer over cider, however, I definitely still appreciate a well made craft cider and usually do manage to try a few when I see something new and interesting. So I’m a intrigued by the arrival of Louis Raison French Cidre, France’s #1 selling cider, which is set to make their U.S. debut this week. There are five events happening around Seattle between August 15th and August 26th, where you’ll be able to sample their ciders and see what you think.
Do you love taking your four legged friend(s) along with you when you go out for a few beers? Seattle is a very dog-friendly city and many local breweries and craft beer bars (particularly those that don’t serve their own food) allow your well behaved dog(s) to accompany you when you visit.
One such dog-friendly establishment is Optimism Brewing Company on Capitol Hill, and they’re preparing to host a series of special dog-friendly events with K9 Natural and a special K9 Natural’s Bone Appétit dog menu.
It seems these days, there’s a ‘National’ day of… well, just about anything. We’ve got National Rotisserie Chicken Day (June 2nd), National Golf Lovers Day (October 4th), heck there’s even a National Day The Music Died day. It can be difficult to keep track of all those ‘National’ days out there but, if you’re a craft beer lover like me, there’s only a few you have to worry about.
One of the big ones that should be on your radar is National Beer Day, which takes place in just over one week on Friday, April 7th. Breweries and craft beer bars around the nation will be celebrating, and I’m here to tell you about a few selections coming your way from Elysian Brewing Company for this special day, as well as the return of a Seasonal favorite: Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale.
New breweries are popping up in Seattle with such frequency, that I still haven’t been able to visit all of them yet. One of the newer kids on the block I still need to get to is Optimism Brewing Company on Capitol Hill. Founded by the husband and wife team of Troy Hakala and Gay Gilmore, Optimism wants to battle the pretension and snobbish ‘beer geek’ trends that have crept their way into some parts of the craft beer World and, as such, they don’t like to categorize their beers in to styles.
As Optimism puts it: “We do not use style names to describe our beers. Part of this is because we don’t brew beers to fit a style, we brew them to taste the way we want them to taste. Moreover, we believe that beer is “the every(wo)man’s drink”, not something that should be intimidating, pretentious or expensive. For this reason, we try to make beer approachable to everyone by describing our beers in ways that everyone can understand without beer-geek jargon. Most beer-drinkers do not even know that beer styles even exist, let alone have all 120+ memorized. We believe using flavor descriptors and a photo is the best way to encourage people to try beers that they otherwise wouldn’t have tried. Wine can be pretentious and filled with esoteric jargon to maintain an elitist status. Beer doesn’t need that.”
Today, Monday May 16th, is day number 5 of Seattle Beer Week #8, which means we’re about halfway through. Things kicked off last Thursday at Reuben’s Brews with the official tapping of the first keg of the official Seattle Beer Week beer: Daily Pale, followed by the opening night pub crawl. I had to drop by Reuben’s, of course, for the kickoff and then found my way to Beveridge Place Pub for stop #3 on the crawl.
I’ve been a fan of great craft beer ever since having my very first craft beer (a Red Tail Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company, if memory serves). However, I didn’t really immerse myself into the Seattle Craft Beer scene until sometime in 2010. Before that I was, of course, still enjoying craft beer, but my journalistic focus was geared more towards the console video game market. I used to operate a couple of console gaming review sites (focusing mostly on Xbox), which are now closed down.
That means I haven’t been attending Seattle Beer Week for as many years as some of you out there. The first time I attended a Seattle Beer Week event (and actually knew that I was doing so), was back during Seattle Beer Week #4 in 2010, and the first Seattle Beer Week I ever wrote about was Seattle Beer Week #5 in 2011. Right now, that sure seems like a long time ago.
Now, with 2016 upon us, we’re just one week away from the kickoff of Seattle Beer Week #8. That means it’s time once again for me to give you my picks for what sound like the best events at this year’s Seattle Beer Week, just as I’ve done each year since 2012.
I don’t always get to each of these places as often as I’d like, which is unfortunate. The two I tend to make it to the most often are The Beer Junction and Beveridge Place Pub, both in West Seattle. With only a minor detour, both places are basically on my way home from work. Don’t get me wrong though. Convenience is not, by any means, the only reason I frequent these two places. In fact, Beveridge Place is regularly named one of Seattle’s best pubs on many ‘Best Of’ lists and The Beer Junction was just awarded Best Bottle Shop In Washington for the 4th year in a row from Rate Beer.