Craft Beer Monger’s Top Picks For Seattle Beer Week #9

Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like the past year has flown by so quickly.  Seattle Beer Week #8 almost feels like it was just a few weeks ago.  Yet here we are, with Seattle Beer Week #9 kicking off in just two days.  Have you had an opportunity to look over the ever-growing list of events on the official Seattle Beer Week website?  With so many events to choose from, many of which happen on the same day or even at the same time, you may have to make some difficult choices regarding which events to attend.  Here are my top picks for Seattle Beer Week #9.

Things get under way with the Official Seattle Beer Week Kickoff this Thursday, May 4th.  There are  5 stops on the Seattle Beer Week (SBW) kickoff tour.  Things start off at 4:30 pm at the new Flatstick Pub location in Pioneer Square.  The other stops on this year’s kickoff tour include: Beveridge Place Pub (6:30 pm and Cask-O-Rama will be going on), Brouwer’s Cafe (7:45 pm), Naked City Brewery & Taphouse (9:00 pm), with the evening closing out at The Pine Box (10:30 pm).

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The Vera Project Hosts Elysian’s Search Party This Summer

We’re fortunate in the Seattle area to have such a plethora of craft beer festivals to attend, pretty much year-round.  In addition to being a great way to enjoy and share our love of craft beer, many of these festivals also serve to benefit various non-profit organizations and other worthy causes.  Well, get ready for one more festival in town as Elysian Brewing Company prepares to host the first ever Search Party this July at the Seattle Center.

This one-day festival will be a celebration of beer, food, music and the arts, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting The Vera Project.  With music and the arts no longer part of the core curriculum at many schools, it’s more important than ever to find other ways to cultivate a love of music and the arts in young people and to provide the necessary skills to pursue careers in those fields. That’s what The Vera Project does.  According to their Mission Statement: “The Vera Project fuels personal and community transformation through collaborative, youth-driven engagement in music and art.

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Discover New Tastes At The Cheese And Meat Festival

Meat and cheese.  Cheese and meat.  They go together like bread and butter, like rhythm and blues, like Kayne West and being a douche.  If you agree, then you’ll definitely want to check out the Cheese And Meat Festival, coming to McCaw Hall (321 Mercer St.), this coming Saturday, April 29 from 7 – 9 pm.  

This celebration of charcuterie and artisan cheeses paired with local wines, ciders and beers features several local artisans, including Salumi, Jellyfish Brewing, Mollusk, FinnRiver Cidery and many, many more.

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Beer Camp Across The World Kicks Off In June

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was one of the first craft breweries I discovered years ago when I made the switch from bland, mass-produced lagers to the wonderful World of craft beer.  They’ve been at it since all the way back in 1979 – just one year after homebrewing became legal again at the Federal level in the U.S. (Thank you very much Jimmy & Billy Carter!)

One of Sierra Nevada’s biggest annual events these days is their popular Beer Camp, which first made it’s debut back in 2014. Dubbed the largest craft beer celebration around, Beer Camp 2017 is going Worldwide this year.  They’ve collaborated with 6 U.S. based craft breweries and 6 overseas craft breweries. Now, they’re preparing to take it on the road.  They’ll be hitting 8 major U.S. cities starting on June 3rd and ending with a bang in Seattle on June 30th.

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Seattle’s First Cheese And Meat Festival Arrives In April

CraftBeerMonger.com is, of course, primarily about craft beer.  Of course, you can’t have craft beer without food and what are two types of foods that go great with craft beer?  Cheese and meat.  In addition to being a huge fan of great craft beer, I’ve always appreciated the artistry surrounding the practices of both cheese-making and charcuterie.

Coming up on Saturday, April 29th, McCaw Hall will host Seattle’s first ever Cheese and Meat Festival as a way to celebrate the fine arts of cheese-making and charcuterie.  The Cheese and Meat Festival has also partnered with Food Lifeline for the inaugural Seattle event and proceeds from the Cheese and Meat Festival ticket sales will go directly to Food Lifeline.

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Bale Breaker Selected to Brew the Official 2017 Seattle Beer Week Beer

Winter is still upon us (it was damn cold out last night!), but Spring is right around the corner.  We’re even starting to see some early Spring Seasonals returning.  That means Seattle Beer Week can’t be far off.  In fact, there’s less than 2 months until the start of Seattle Beer Week 2017, which runs from May 4th through May 14th, 2017.

Each year, a different brewery (or breweries) are selected to brew the official Seattle Beer Week beer. This year, that honor falls to Bale Breaker Brewing Company from Yakima, Washington.  Get ready to enjoy plenty of Fresh Off The Farm IPA. Packed with farm-fresh hops, of course, Fresh Off The Farm IPA will be available in cans and on draught throughout Washington for the 9th annual Seattle Beer Week (SBW9).

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The Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow Returns Next Month

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A few years back, IPA fans in Washington were dismayed to discover that Russian River Brewing would no longer be distributing their beers to Washington State.  That meant no more Pliny The Elder or Pliny The Younger for Washington (among many other great Russian River beers).  That drought of Pliny (and the over-the-top clamoring for it during the years when we could still get it here) led many Washington breweries to start crafting their own Triple IPAs.

The first two Triple IPAs I recall seeing, which were intended partly as a joke due to the insanity surrounding Pliny releases, were Big Time Brewing Company’s ‘Whiny The Complainer’ and Naked City’s ‘Cry Me A River’.  Super strong and over-the-top hoppy, I was an instant fan of both.  Since that time, more and more Washington breweries started crafting their own Triple IPAs and soon after the Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow was born.  That first year, just 14 Washington breweries participated.

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2017 Old Birdbrain Barleywine Arrives This Weekend From Black Raven

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Barleywine season is almost here.  The 15th Annual Hard Liver Barleywine Festival is coming up next month at Brouwer’s Cafe and the 15th Annual Barleywine Bacchanal will happen at Beveridge Place Pub in March.  With these and other barleywine festivals on the way, local breweries are working hard to get their 2017 barley wines ready to go.

To that end, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is just about ready to release their 2017 Old Birdbrain Barleywine, which has been a multiple award winner at the annual Great Alaskan Beer & Barleywine Festival. This year’s vintage will arrive this coming Friday, Jaunary 27th.

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Belgian Fest 2017 Happens Next Month

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Each year, the Washington Beer Commission puts on several different festivals to celebrate the diversity and excellence of Washington craft beer.  These festivals are a great way to discover new Washington breweries and to explore different craft styles that you may not be as familiar with.

It may still be a full month away, but tickets are already on sale for one of my favorite Washington Beer Commission hosted festivals: Belgian Fest 2017.  Set for 2 sessions on Saturday, January 28th, Belgian Fest 2017 will feature well over 100 different Belgian style beers from over 40 different Washington State breweries.  Featured beer styles include Tripels, Dubbels, Saisons, Wits, Abbeys and Lambics. In keeping with this unique style, all of the beers are brewed with Belgian yeast.

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The Eleventh Annual IPA Cask-O-Rama Starts This Thursday

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One month ago, on September 29th, Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle (one of Seattle’s best local craft beer bars) kicked off their annual ‘Hoptoberfest’.  More than just a celebration of Washington-brewed IPAs, this month-long festival is their way of selecting their House IPA for the next year.

If you’re a regular at Beveridge Place Pub, then you know how this works.  For the uninitiated, Beveridge Place whittles down over 48 Washington IPAs to just 3 finalists based on your votes. Today and tomorrow is your last chance to vote on those 3 finalists, which must be done by blind ballot.  Order a taster try with all 3, and vote for your favorite without knowing which is which.  This year’s 3 finalists are: Reuben’s Brews‘ Crikey IPA, Georgetown Brewing‘s Bodhizafa IPA and Counterbalance Brewing IPA.  Visit Beveridge Place Pub today or tomorrow to have your blind tray and cast your vote.  I’ve already voted once, but I’ll probably go back and cast one more vote before the end of tomorrow.

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