The city’s biggest beer festival kicks off Thursday, May 12. Here is where to drink during these glorious 11 days.
Seattle Beer Week is here. If past experience is any indication, some will feel like they need to go through a cleanse or to go cold turkey afterward; others will be hungover by Day 4.
But those are consequences. No one thinks about consequences during Beer Week.
It’s the city’s biggest beer festival, with 200 tastings, dinner pairings and other events.
Acclaimed brewer Tomme Arthur of The Lost Abbey is scheduled to attend. So will Melvin Brewing in Wyoming, the hottest IPA in the region. And a few cultish and acclaimed out-of-state brands will debut their suds, including Trve Brewing Company in Denver, Belching Beaver Brewery in San Diego, Jester King in Austin, Texas, and Monkish Brewing Co. in Torrance, Calif.
To the uninitiated, Seattle Beer Week is a misnomer; it’s actually 11 days, and it’s more a celebration of beer rather than just local microbrews.
The usual advice — pace yourself, hydrate and get a designated driver — hopefully, is obvious.
Check seattlebeerweek.com to make sure events aren’t canceled or sold out. The schedule and prices are subject to change. Beer lineups are in flux as more kegs or rare bottles get delivered. Some events are ticketed, while at others you order from the bar like any happy hour. It will take longer to hail a cab or call an Uber at a popular venue, so plan accordingly.
The best way to tackle the festival is to approach it the way movie buffs look at the Seattle International Film Festival: study the lineup and figure out what you want to know more about or what you love to drink.
Here are some of the best events:
At Reuben’s Brews in Ballard, organizers kick off the festivities at 5 p.m. by tapping a keg of Daily Pale, the official beer of the Eighth Annual Seattle Beer Week. There’s also an organized bar crawl on a bus that begins at Reuben’s, then gets to Brouwer’s Cafe in Fremont by 6:15 p.m., crosses the bridge to Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle at 7:30 p.m., then heads to The Pine Box on Capitol Hill at 8:45 p.m. and — you still with us? — ends up north in Greenwood at Naked City Taphouse, around 10 p.m. Most, though, will drive separately and hit just one or two bars that night. Remember: you’ve got 10 more days of this.
Reuben’s Brews; 5010 14th Ave. N.W., Seattle; reubensbrews.com
There’s a large Seattle following for The Lost Abbey beers such as the Cuvee de Tomme and The Angel’s Share Grand Cru. See for yourself what all the hype is about when this Ballard bar devotes a night to the California brewery.
The Noble Fir; 4 p.m.-12:30 a.m.; 5316 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle; 206-420-7425 or thenoblefir.com
Support the mom-and-pops. About 30 nanobreweries across the state get their own night. Some of the most original brewers and biggest risk takers are these garage-sized operations.
Naked City Taphouse; 6-9 p.m.; 8564 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle; 206-838-6299 or drink.nakedcity.beer
The acclaimed Ballard brewery hosts a day dedicated to rye beers, at least 16 of them, including its own Earl-Grey-tea-infused rye IPA and a sour beer with rye and flaked corn.
Reuben’s Brews; noon to 10 p.m.; 5010 14th Ave. NW, Seattle; 206-784-2859 or reubensbrews.com
Masonry, the popular pizzeria in Lower Queen Anne, features a day just for beers from Holy Mountain Brewery and Tacoma-based Engine House No. 9. Some of their most sought-after beers as well as their special brews will be tapped.
Masonry; 11:30 a.m.-midnight; 20 Roy St., Seattle; 206-453-4375 or themasonryseattle.com
Remember the old Gastropod? It’s back for one night. Beers from the Gastropod cellar are coming out, including a sour cask that’s been aged for 3.5 years, and Chef Travis Kukull will take you down memory lane with some old favorites such as duck prosciutto on coffee French toast drizzled with bourbon maple syrup.
Mollusk; 4:30-10 p.m.; reservations recommended; 803 Dexter Ave. N., Seattle; 206-403-1228 or molluskseattle.com
Dog-friendly Bothell bar The Hop and Hound has squirreled away some rare IPAs and other beers for this day. Hang with your dog in the beer garden. The Seattle Barkery dog treat truck and Tokyo Dog food truck (get it?) will be serving from noon-5 p.m. There’s a prize for the best dog-and-beer photo.
The Hop and Hound; 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; 18116 101st Ave. N.E., Bothell; 425-486-2337 or thehopandhound.com
To all those who protest that Seattle Beer Week should focus just on local breweries, this West Seattle pub features 36 beers from 36 different local breweries. All pints are $3.50, making this one of the cheapest events.
Beveridge Place Pub; 2 p.m.-2 a.m.; 6413 California Ave. S.W., Seattle; 206-932-9906 or beveridgeplacepub.com
One of the hot tickets, Burgundian hosts a seven-course meal paired with two acclaimed breweries on the West Coast: Hair of the Dog Brewing Company from Portland and Firestone Walker Brewing Co. from Paso Robles, Calif. Each course is paired with two beers, including some rare and new releases from Hair of the Dog. $150 includes tax and tip.
Burgundian; 6-9 p.m.; 2253 N. 56th St., Seattle; 206-420-8943 or burgundianbar.com
Tom Douglas’ team will do a six-course pairing with Reuben’s Brews including butter-poached Alaskan King Crab with the official beer of Seattle Beer Week, the hoppy Daily Pale, and cocoa-nib rubbed venison with a bourbon-barrel aged Imperial Stout. $85 per person, including tax and tip.
Brave Horse Tavern; 6-10 p.m.; 310 Terry Ave. N., Seattle; 206-971-0717 or bravehorsetavern.com
Are those beer-dinner pairings too rich for your wallet? Try a taco pairing instead. Cloudburst Brewing, the best new brewery to debut this year in Seattle, will feature five beers to pair with five different tacos at The Yard in Greenwood.
The Yard; 4-6 p.m.; 8313 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle; 206-588-1746 or theyardcafe.com
A dozen breweries from Oregon and Washington duke it out to see who can create the best and wackiest brews. Brewers will infuse kegs with odd ingredients. In years past, that included Skittles, bacon, ham bits and whiskey-soaked oak chips. Some were tasty, said The Pine Box co-owner Ian Roberts. Others? Eh, not so much.
The Pine Box; 4-9 p.m.; 1600 Melrose Ave., Seattle; 206-588-0375 or pineboxbar.com
Woods tasting room at Two Beer Brewing Co.; 3-7 p.m.; 4700 Ohio Ave. S., Seattle; 206-762-0490 or twobeersbrewery.com/the-woods
Naked City Taphouse; 6-9 p.m.; 8564 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle; 206-838-6299 ordrink.nakedcity.beer
Gather around the communal table. The staff gets all dressed up to host a medieval-themed feast with confit turkey legs paired with some cask beers including a pale ale with nettles. Chef Kukull has also deboned a pig and stuffed it with sausage to make a porchetta.
Mollusk; 4 p.m.-midnight, last call for food is 10 p.m.; 803 Dexter Ave. N., Seattle; 206-403-1228 or molluskseattle.com
One of the most anticipated beer events in Seattle every year, Brouwer’s Cafe showcases 60 sour beers from around the world. Expect to see stellar sours from the much loved Allagash Brewing Company in Maine as well as other favorites from Europe. Go early to avoid the mayhem.
Brouwer’s Cafe; 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; 400 N. 35th St., Seattle; 206-267-2437 or brouwerscafe.blogspot.com
It’s a night devoted to the august Goose Island Brewing in Chicago. Psst, The Sixgill stashed away several rare bottles and kegs for this event, including Halia, a farmhouse ale aged in wine barrels and Gillian, a Belgian-style farmhouse ale. Have you tasted the Bourbon County Brand Stout? It’s a party of chocolate, coconut and whiskey on the palate.
The Sixgill; 4 p.m.-12:30 a.m.; 3417 Evanston Ave. N. No. 014, Seattle; 206-466-2846 or thesixgill.com
Not many breweries do lagers and pilsners well in Seattle. Here’s an evening devoted to those European-style brews. It’s bocce and beer, with a free commemorative glass.
Rhein Haus; 6-9 p.m.; 912 12th Ave., Seattle; 206-325-5409 or rheinhausseattle.com
Around 30 barrel-aged beers, from imperial stouts to saisons, will be tapped at this Greenwood beer shop. (The two-day event ends May 21.)
The IPAs from Melvin Brewing are what all the cool hop heads in Seattle drink these days. The Pine Box brings those Wyoming boys and their hoppy brews to party. Expect the unexpected. At last year’s beer fest, “they came dressed as ninjas, caused a ruckus and left,” said Roberts, co-founder of Seattle Beer Week.
The Pine Box; 5-10 p.m.; 1600 Melrose Ave., Seattle; 206-588-0375 or pineboxbar.com
A lot of beer geeks on a bus making lots of beer stops. What could go wrong? For $60, a bus shuttles you to four German pubs. Start at Prost! in Phinney, then Feierabend in South Lake Union, Die Bierstube in North Seattle then cross the bridge to Prost! in West Seattle and back to the Prost! in North Seattle. Yes, there’s a bathroom on the party bus. It’s Oktoberfest in May. Or something like that. The $60 ticket covers food, beer and the ride.
3-10 p.m.; Seattle; More info at brownpapertickets.com/event/2542467
Seriously, you’re still drinking? Well, this aptly named party is for you. Free barbecue including pulled pork, chicken and veggie burgers.
Fremont Brewing Company; noon to 3 p.m.; 3409 Woodland Park Ave. N., Seattle; 206-420-2407 or fremontbrewing.com
Like above, only on the other side of the bridge. Free barbecue with lots of Rainier mimosas.
Malt & Vine; 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; 16851 Redmond Way, Redmond; 425-881-6461 or maltandvine.com