Here in the Northwest, we take a lot of pride in our craft beers. While we recognize that there are excellent craft beers available from around the nation, most of us have a special place in our hearts (or is it livers?) for beers made in Washington State.
That’s why I’m always glad when Spring arrives and the Washington Beer Commission brings back their annual Washington Brewer’s Festival. Set this year for Friday, June 15th through Sunday June 17th at Marymoor Park in Redmond, there are a few changes you’ll want to be aware of regarding how drink tokens will work at this year’s fest.
This coming Saturday, February 24th is the date for Washington Beer Open House. Hosted by the Washington Beer Commission, this celebration of Washington State’s beer industry invites you to get out and visit a few of the more than 130+ craft breweries operating all across Washington State.
Several local breweries have events planned for the 24th, including Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor). They’ll have the brewery opened up for tours, with brewery staff on-hand to answer any questions you may have and will also be releasing their extremely popular Wisdom Seeker Double IPA.
As I get a bit older (Nooo!), I’m not as much of a fan of Winter as I used to be, but I am indeed a fan of several of the craft beer festivals that come around in the Winter months. Just last month was the Big Wood Fest at Brouwer’s Cafe and, of course, the IPA Cask-O-Rama at Beveridge Place Pub. Also coming up next month is the 16th Annual Hard Liver Barleywine Festival at Brouwer’s and the Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow – coming to multiple locations. I’ll provide more info on those events as they draw closer.
Before indulging in all those barleywines and triple IPAs, however, how about a quick trip to Belgium? I’d love to take a real trip to Belgium but, for now, I’ll settle for attending the 9th Annual Belgian Fest, which is coming to Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion on Saturday, January 27th. Presented by the Washington Beer Commission.
With so many collaboration beers around, it seems like it would be a great idea to have a festival where you could sample several different collaboration beers all in one place. Well, luckily for us, just such a festival is happening at the end of this week. Coming up this Saturday, August 19th, is the 2017 Washington Beer Collaboration Festival, presented by the Washington Beer Commission.
It’s that ‘Dads and Grads’ time of year. I hope you’ve found the perfect Father’s Day or graduation gift for that special beer lover in your life. If not then perhaps they’d enjoy a visit to the Washington Brewer’s Festival. Hosted by the Washington Beer Commission and presented this year by Total Wine & More, the Washington Brewer’s Festival kicks off this Friday, June 17th and runs through Sunday the 19th at Marymoor Park in Redmond.
This all-ages festival is a celebration of craft brewing in Washington State and features over 110 Washington State breweries pouring over 500 different craft beers for you to enjoy. Whether you attend just one day or all three, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy. Feeling extra adventurous? Starting this year, there’s a Washington Beer 5K on Sunday the 19th. There’s also a full lineup of food trucks, live music, a brewer’s keg toss, a kid’s play area (Saturday & Sunday only), and even a Rootbeer garden.
Nobody likes to see craft breweries fighting with each other. Unfortunately, however, disputes occasionally arise between breweries over beer names, label designs and other issues relating to intellectual property rights. Craft breweries are businesses after all, and must sometimes act to protect themselves. Thankfully, most of the time these disagreements are resolved amicably rather than through litigation and, in some cases, have even led to craft breweries collaborating with each other to produce a new beer.
Now, collaborative beers are everywhere. Avery Brewing and Stone Brewing gave us Collaboration Not Litigation (a strong, dark Belgian ale they collaborated on after discovering they had both named a beer ‘Salvation‘), Elysian Brewing did collaboration beer with The Bruery and Stone Brewing called La Citrueille Céleste de Citracado (an Amber Ale with pumpkins, yams, rye, toasted fenugreek, birch bark, and lemon verbena) as well as a whole series of collaborative beers dubbed the ‘Trip‘ series with New Belgium Brewing, and Fort George Brewing has had great success with their 3-Way IPA series, collaborating with different breweries for each iteration.
Are you planning to attend this year’s 10th Anniversary Washington Brewer’s Festival, coming on June 19-21? How would you like to attend the festival for free? Are you on Instagram? If not, get yourself an account today and start snapping those photos. The Washington Beer Commission is launching an Instagram campaign. It’s a photo contest where the grand prize is 4 free tickets to this year’s very special 10th Anniversary festival.
All you have to do is follow the Washington Beer Commission on Instagram (@Washingtonbeer), start snapping photos of Washington beers that show off our beautiful state, and tag each one with #DrinkWaBeer.
There’s never a shortage of craft beer festivals here in great Northwest. The Washington Beer Commission hosts several different craft beer festivals throughout the year in various locations around the Sound and one of my favorites, Belgianfest, is right around the corner. I love a good Belgian beer, but often don’t seem to get enough of them. Dubbles, Triples, Abbey Style, Saisons, Lambics, etc., I love them all and Belgianfest is a great way to sample a wide variety of locally-brewed Belgian style beers all in one place.
Set for next Saturday, January 31st at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center (Pier 66), Belgianfest will be held in two sessions: noon – 4 PM and 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM. Tickets will run you $35 in advance or $40 at the door – separate tickets are required for each session. I don’t suggest taking your chances with buying your tickets at the door, however, since Belgianfest usually sells out before the doors open. Tickets have been on sale since mid November, but the festival isn’t sold out quite yet. Don’t delay.
Pour, Pour, Pour – The Beers
(Sung to the tune of Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds)
♫ To everything – pour, pour, pour
There is a season – pour, pour, pour
And a time for every craft beer under heaven ♫
Right now it’s Winter beer season. And I couldn’t be happier with this year’s lineup of great Winter beers. There is just so much wonderfully dark, rich, woody, bourbony, delicious goodness out there with the likes of Hoppy Holidays & Hoppy The Woodsman (Schooner Exact Brewing), Winter Bock (Silver City Brewing), Creepy Monkey Bourbon Barrel-Aged Brown (North Sound Brewing), The Abyss (Deschutes Brewing), Bindlestiff (Naked City Brewing), Jolly Roger Christmas Ale (Maritime Pacific Brewing), Bifrost Ale (Elysian Brewing), Bourbon Barrel Abominable Ale (Fremont Brewing) and many, many more. For anyone who is a fan of these darker, often barrel-aged, complex and delicious Winter delights, this is a great time of year to be a beer drinker.