Bellingham Beer Week

Tapping into a good time

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Heads up: The third annual Bellingham Beer Week (BBW) is approaching fast, and it will run for a glorious 10 days—from Fri., Sept. 12 through Sun., Sept. 21.

Last year’s BBW saw more than 50 unique events at 20 different venues featuring two dozen breweries, and organizers expect this year’s BBW to be even better, with many more participants and lots more beer.

Events will include tap takeovers, brewer nights, beer-and-food pairings, a beer documentary at the Pickford Film Center, many special beer releases, beer trivia, author and brewer visits, brewery tours, the Barleywood Squares game show, a huge sour ale festival and so much more.

The main event will be the Bellingham Oktoberfest happening Fri., Sept. 19 at the Depot Market Square, benefiting the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County, which will feature food, music and beers from more than 30 breweries.

“We are beyond excited for this year’s Bellingham Beer Week,”  Paul Christiansen of McKay’s Taphouse & Pizzeria says. “All of the bars and breweries seem to push the limits every year. New beers are released, and more breweries get excited to be part of this amazing event.”

McKay’s will have many events during Bellingham Beer Week,  including an Elysian Brewing Co. Tap Takeover, which will feature a whopping 54 Elysian beers on tap. “Elysian is a huge supporter of BBW,” Christiansen says, “and they’ll be bringing one-offs, barrel-aged beers and many pumpkin beers.”

Bellingham Beer Week also will coincide with other beer-related events featuring local breweries, including the Bite of Bellingham (happening Sun., Sept. 14), Sustainable Connections’ Eat Local Month (taking place throughout the month of September), the Bellingham Traverse (Sat., Sept. 20) and the 5Point Film Festival (also on Sept. 20).

Of course, beer is the highlight of BBW, and beyond tap takeovers and other events, attendees will have many opportunities to try new, rare and limited-release beers, including (but not limited to): Whatcom Wheat, a collaboration beer made by all of Whatcom County’s brewers; Bellingham Beer Week No. 3: Cowiche Canyon Hop Lab No. 3, the second BBW beer made by Fremont Brewing of Seattle; Bellingham Crush Berliner Weisse by 10 Barrel Brewing of Bend, Ore.; Wander Brewing Tripel (a play on the third BBW) made with three malts, three hops and 9 percent alcohol by volume (3 squared); and Local Malt Alt by Chuckanut Brewery, which was brewed with malt from the new Skagit Valley Malting Co. (see photo).

The mission of Bellingham Beer Week is to celebrate and promote craft beer in Bellingham and beyond, and to recognize our local craft beer producers, retailers, distributors and consumers who positively impact this community in so many ways. Bellingham Beer Week is a not-for-profit, collaborative effort run by passionate members of the local beer community. Cheers!

SVCR Don McLean
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