Tapping the annual suds fest, day by day. The glorious 11 days of Seattle Beer Week are upon us, with 200 events and counting.
The glorious 11 days of Seattle Beer Week are upon us, with 200 events and counting. (The tally seems to tick up everyday on its events page.)
Unlike the early years, there’s a number of tastings and events on both sides of the bridge, and as far north as Everett and as far south as Tacoma.
For the first time, the official brew for Seattle Beer Week was made outside the Emerald City. Silver City Brewery in Bremerton made a special light lager with Northwest hops for the seventh annual festival.
“We almost have to call it Greater Seattle Beer Week,” said festival co-founder Ian Roberts. “When I first moved here, it was not a lot of great beer establishments outside of Seattle. Now, they keep popping up in every city.”
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In addition to the beer tastings, many chefs will host beer-pairing dinners.
But when it comes to beer festivals, we must lead the nation in pairing beer with recreational events: beer and mini golf, beer and kayaking and a couple of organized bar hopping on bikes including “Tour de Pints” on Saturday, May 9.
The festival, ending May 17, is overwhelming. The best way to navigate the maze is pick what to focus on. IPAs? You’ll have no problem finding those events. For something different, there’s a Lager Fest, Stout Fest and Sour Fest. Belgian beer events are always big hits. Brews aged in oak barrels are trendy this year.
Check seattlebeerweek.com to make sure the event isn’t canceled or sold out. Some are ticketed events while others, you order from the bar like any happy hour. Plan accordingly. It will take longer to hail a cab or get Uber at a popular venue.
Below are some recommended events.
Some of the nanobreweries’ stuff is amateurish home-brewing, but these garage-size breweries also make some of the most interesting beers these days. They, more than the big boys, think outside the box and take more risks. Naked City Taphouse in Greenwood devotes an evening to two dozen nanobreweries including the cult favorite, Standard Brewing, 6-9 p.m.
Noble Fir in Ballard features a tap lineup of some of the best breweries from the Midwest such as Boulevard and Goose Island breweries, 4 p.m.-midnight.
Chef Mike Easton from the pasta paradise Il Corvo does a five-course pairing dinner with Pfriem Family Brewing from Hood River. Seating at 6:30 p.m. $150.
Or how about a pub crawl through Tom Douglas’ joints? Black Raven Brewing Co. organizes a beer-and-food pairing for $75 starting at Hot Stove Society, then on to Cantina Leña, TanakaSan, Seatown and Dahlia Lounge before ending at Brave Horse Tavern with a barbecue spread. Starts at 2 p.m.
Or maybe you’re more into a simple shot and a beer. Bell + Whete European Kitchen + Lounge hosts a Redhook and Westland Distillery whiskey pairing. Check out Redhook’s flagship ESB aged in oak barrel, which gave it a nice almond note, 7-10 p.m.
Celebrate Mother’s Day at Prost in West Seattle, with a complimentary barbecue spread. Donations to the West Seattle Food Bank is suggested, 3-8 p.m.
For those who complain Seattle Beer Week isn’t local enough, this event is for you:
“This is Washington Dammit” features 36 local beers, $3.50 a pint. At Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle.
Pike Brewing Company hosts the fourth annual Women in Beer event, featuring 35 breweries and cider houses. Pike Brewing will also feature two limited releases, 6-9 p.m. $35.
Arguably the best beer-pairing dinner last year, Quinn’s, the stellar gastro pub on Capitol Hill, does seven courses paired with Trappists beers. Seating at 6:30 p.m. $185.
Or if you’re on a budget, Reuben’s in Ballard, one of the rising stars in the local brewery scene, partners with nearby Giddy Up Burgers and Greens for a burger-and- beer pairing, 6-8 p.m.
The dinner that has created the most buzz this year, Burgundian in Tangletown hosts a seven-course pairing with beers from the esteemed Hair of the Dog Brewing in Portland. Expect foie gras and duck breast, 6 p.m. $150.
Naked City Taphouse features an all-star lineup of beers from Oregon. Many brewers will bring their wood-aged and other special brews, 6-9 p.m.
One of Seattle’s most anticipated beer events, Brouwer’s Cafe’s annual Sour Fest, features some of the world’s best sour beers. Starts at 11 a.m.
American Brewing Company in Edmonds will release some special batches for the night, 5-8 p.m.
Noble Fir in Ballard features some rare releases from two of the heavyweights: The Lost Abbey and Stone Brewing Co., 4 p.m.-midnight.
Mammoth on Eastlake hosts a night of just lager beers, 5-11 p.m.
For parents who love beers, Barking Dog Alehouse in North Seattle will baby-sit your kiddos while you enjoy a beer or three from Firestone Walker Brewing Company. (Bratty kids won’t be rejected.) Face painting and games for children. Noon-3 p.m.
The stellar Malt and Vine in Redmond celebrates its eighth anniversary by rolling out a special tap list with food from Campfire BBQ. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Fremont Brewing hosts the aptly named “My Liver Hurts Free BBQ,” 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
First off, you’re still drinking? Well then, head to Chuck’s Hop Shop in the Central District, where brewers and beer geeks, the ones still standing, will hang out. Expect some surprise beers featured among the 24 taps, noon-5 p.m.