This is how you know you’ve thrown a heck of a beer festival: you forgo a closing party because even the hard-core bar-hoppers are pooped out by the end of the second weekend.
Seattle Beer Week (May 8-18) boasts 240 beer-dinner pairings, meet-the-brewer nights, contests and tasting events. After a similarly packed 10 days last year, “we realized that … everyone was kind of haggard. Everyone had one beer and wanted to go home,” said Ian Roberts, one of the organizers of the sudsy extravaganza.
The beer event to end all beer events is back. Remember when Seattle Beer Week was a casual get-together among brewers and their friends six years ago? You stumbled to one Capitol Hill bar one day and hit another the next day and saw the same 50 people. About a dozen bars and breweries participated then.
Now brewers from across the country come to Seattle to sponsor tastings or parties.
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It feels more like the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) — overwhelming with events from morning to night, with venues on both sides of the bridge. Beer Week now has about a dozen events on the Eastside, along with festivities as far north as Mill Creek and as far south as Tacoma.
Restaurants such as Lloyd Martin, RN74 and Quinn’s now host beer-pairing dinners. (Check the website seattlebeerweek.com under “Events” for complete listings.)
The best way to tackle beer week is to approach it the way movie buffs look at SIFF.
Study the lineup and figure out what you want to know more about or what you love to drink. Below are a few samplings of events.
6-9 p.m. Friday, May 9: Check out what those garage-size operations are brewing during Nano Brewery Night at Naked City Brewery, 8564 Greenwood Ave. N., https://nakedcitybrewing.com.
Noon-6 p.m. Saturday, May 10: One of the stars to emerge in our microbrewery scene last year, Reuben’s in Ballard, 1406 N.W. 53rd St., hosts a Rye Beer Fest, www.reubensbrews.com.
6-11 p.m. Sunday, May 11: The first event to sell out last year: Pine Box, 1600 Melrose Ave., brings back its beer-pairing dinner, with acclaimed chef Scott Carsberg preparing a menu to go with beers from 10 Barrel Brewing. $135 per person, https://squareup.com/market/the-pine-box/barrel-carsberg-dinner.
2 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday, May 12: Here’s the answer to all those who hate that Seattle Beer Week doesn’t feature just local brews. Beveridge Place Pub, 6413 California Ave. S.W., hosts “This is Washington Dammit!” featuring 36 local beers for only $3 a pint, www.beveridgeplacepub.com.
5-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 13: On tap for the first time in the United States: Brasserie Du Bocq’s Blanche de Namur during Meet the Brewer Night at Malt and Vine, 16851 Redmond Way, www.maltandvine.com.
Noon-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 14: Traditionally one of the most popular festival events, Elysian on Capitol Hill, 1221 E. Pike St., hosts “Firkin-Firkin” showdown, featuring 16 kegs competing for “Best in Show,” www.elysianbrewing.com.
11 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday, May 15: “Sourfest” at Brouwser’s Café, 400 N. 35th St., returns, showcasing sour beers from across the country. Fans will come from as far as Everett and Tacoma for this event, http://brouwerscafe.blogspot.com.
4-7 p.m. Friday, May 16: “SoDo vs. Ballard” brings together breweries from two of the hottest microbrewery ’hoods in Seattle. Held at Downtown Spirits, 2300 Seventh Ave., http://downtownspirits.com.
2-6 p.m. Saturday, May 17: For parents who can’t make those 21-and-over events, Barking Dog Alehouse, 705 N.W. 70th St., in North Seattle hosts a family-friendly venue with a children’s play area with face painting and games for your kids while you throw down a few, http://thebarkingdogalehouse.com.
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, May 18: One of the biggest parties, The Dray in Ballard hosts an annual barbecue in its parking lot. Expect lots of interesting and cult beers. Come early or carpool if you need a parking space, http://thedray.com.
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle