Well, that sure was fun. The 6th annual Seattle Beer Week kicked off with a bang back on Thursday, May 8, and it just wrapped up yesterday with several relaxed events around town. I did a fair job of hitting events this year, making it to 8 different events over 6 days. I’m sure plenty of you hit quite a few more events than I did, but I’m also quite happy to report I made it through without a single hangover. Now, that is an accomplishment. Regardless, I’m excited to lay low this week and plan to give the liver a bit of a rest.
As I said, I “only” hit 8 events out of the 200+. But, following are some memorable moments from my 2014 Seattle Beer Week.
– We stopped by The Sixgill on a whim last Saturday before heading to Hale’s for the bluegrass fest, and we sure were glad we did. They had their Farmhouse Night going on with several farmhouse-style offerings from the likes of Logsdon, Black Raven, E9, Populuxe, The Commons, Upright, Telegraph and more. Our favorite was the Peche n’ Brett from Logsdon…just a wonderful (but strong) beer. I can’t say it’s a surprise, but the best part of the visit to Sixgill might have been the dinner. We really enjoyed everything we got, including house-made ricotta w/ spinach, roasted garlic & baguette, roasted asparagus w/ a runny egg & Parmesan, a cold octopus salad and some heavenly smoked wings. The food at Sixgill is certainly impressive these days.
– Back in Black at Brouwer’s is always one of my favorite events and didn’t disappoint this year (Surly Darkness was a nice surprise). Afterwards, we decided to head to The Pine Box to check out a few sours from Anderson Valley at their Pallin’ round with Fal Allen event. Fal brought some special sour beers to the event that were a pleasant surprise. I had just done a tasting panel for the Northwest Brewing News earlier that week that included goses, so I couldn’t pass up trying the 4.2% “The Kimmie, The Yink & The Holy Gose”. I thought it was a pretty stellar example of the style, and I just saw that Pine Box still has this listed as on tap; go get some. Their Rosy Barl Sour was also a solid effort with quite a bit of tart fruit flavors.
– There were many worthy beer dinners you could have attended for this year’s Seattle Beer Week, and we settled on the “Family Style” throwdown at Le Petit Cochon. Brothers Dustin, of Art of the Table, and Derek, of Le Petit Cochon, Ronspies teamed up with pFriem Family Brewers and Double Mountain Brewery of Hood River, OR for this 6 course dinner. The food & beers were good across the board, and the pairings worked quite well. Highlights from the dinner for myself were the duck gizard fried rice with a cilantro mint salad, served with the pFriem Wit, and then the bowl of asparagus, udon, dashi broth, cilantro, pickled carrots and ginger oil paired with the Double Mountain Molten Lava DIPA. So good….
– I think that Firkin Firkin at Elysian has been the only event that I’ve gone to every single year since beer week started in 2009, and with good reason. The crew at Elysian always does a great job of procuring special casks of beer not just from local breweries, but from well-known breweries around the country, some of which don’t typically distribute to Washington. This year’s highlights included the Kneel Before Zod Double IPA from Peekskill Brewing in New York, Dayglow IPA from Elysian (please make this a year-round beer), The Horror Black IPA from Devil’s Backbone Brewing in Virginia and Mongo Double IPA from Port Brewing in California.
– For past beer weeks, I’ve never had the energy/desire to go to any of the closing day events. But, this year I took better care of myself and wasn’t all that burnt out by the last day. So, Jeanne and I headed over to Fremont for their “3rd Annual My Liver Hurts Free BBQ”. What we thought was going to be a rainy day actually turned out to be beautifully sunny (until late afternoon at least), and Fremont’s newly expanded patio was the perfect spot to enjoy it. Beer week can be taxing for many of the brewers and organizers who make the events possible, so it was great to see the whole Fremont crew there hanging out, many with friends & family.
Cheers to all involved for another successful Seattle Beer Week! As always, I’ll look forward to next year.