An epic 2010 Seattle Beer Week is in the books. Lots of outstanding beer was drank, and fun was had by many. I could fill up several posts with reviews from the week, but I figured I’ll just summarize a few of my thoughts here. I’d love to hear some of your thoughts as well, as I’m sure the organizers would.
- Seattle Beer Week took a big step in its second year. Most nights had several worthy events to hit, and local businesses really got to shine. It seems like events were better-attended than last year, and the general drinking public got more involved. I met quite a few people out just to have a good time and check out the scene. The majority of people voting in my poll reported that they attended from 1 – 5 events (58 out of 91 votes), and a minority attended 11 or more (16 out of 91 votes). Sounds like a nice focus on people just seeing what the week was all about.
- Brouwer’s definitely deserves its reputation as one of the world’s best beer bars. I was trying to hit events at as wide an array of venues at possible, but I kept finding myself back here. It sets itself apart with the combination of its everyday lineup of great beers, a unique modern beer hall atmosphere, an impressive food menu, and most importantly, a slate a of kick-ass festivals, such as this past week’s Back in Black and Sour Fest. There are plenty of other beer bars that manage to put on impressive special events, but none of them do it like Brouwer’s can with their 60+ taps and their pull around the industry to get special beers. My only complaint used to be the lackluster service, but I haven’t had an issue with that in a long, long time, even during the packed festivals. We’ll let Asheville or Portland, or wherever, take the title of Beer City USA, and we’ll just go down to Brouwer’s and grab a beer.
- While world-class beer dinners are nothing new in Seattle, this past week opened many people’s eyes to the possible combinations of good beer and good food. The Monday of Seattle Beer Week was highlighted by no less than four or five dinners I would have loved to attend. I ended up at the Sean Paxton/Firestone Walker 8-course dinner at Brouwer’s, and it was easily the best beer dinner I have ever experienced. I heard similar reports from several of the other dinners on the same night. Next year, spread these dinners out more; there was way too much I wanted to do on Monday.
- Elysian’s Firkin Firkin, where cask beers from Oregon and Washington competed in style categories and customer voting declared WA the landslide winner, is a fun event and had some great cask beers this year. But, I’d love to see something next year similar to what Concordia Ale House does for their Beer Brawl down in Portland. They let team captains from each state choose a lineup for several style categories, and then customers can order blind tasting flights of draft beers throughout the week and then blindly vote for their favorites. I’d think if a bar offered that, it would be a big draw throughout the entire week.
- Two of my favorite events from the week were the Beers & Brats event at Safeco Field and the 9 Ball Tournament at the Taphouse Grill. Why? Both of these events were focused on something other than the beer but had great beers to go along with the event. Sure, I like to sit around and geek out about crazy beers, but I usually just want to hang out with friends and have a good time while drinking good beer. These events were perfect opportunities to be a part of Seattle Beer Week in a laid-back atmoshpere, and just hang out and meet some people.