Monday, April 10th, 2017
Your Guide to Bellingham Beer Week 2017
Brandon Fralic

It’s April, and Bellingham is bursting at the seams with beer buzz. Bellingham Beer Week 2017 takes place April 21 – 29!

Official Bellingham Beer Week 2017 Commemorative T-Shirt design. Can you guess where we got the inspiration?

Posted by Bellingham Beer Week on Saturday, March 25, 2017

For those confused by Beer Week’s move to April (it was held in September for five years), read Tap Trail’s explanation. The idea is to position our Beer Week neatly between other regional beer events — like Victoria Beer Week and the upcoming Seattle Beer Week — while bookending our local festivities with big happenings like Earth Day and April Brews Day. This year will feature dozens of events, three collaboration brews, and way more beer than you can consume in a week. It’s a lot to take in, I know. But don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

First, the beer.

CollaBEERation

In previous years, there have been one or two collaboration beers made by local breweries for Bellingham Beer Week. Last year, Kulshan and Wander teamed up to create Raspberry Lager. Whatcom Women in Beer came together to create FemAles Fresh Hop Pale. Good times were had by all.

This year, there will be a record three collaboration brews — the result of six paired breweries:

Melvin, Wander and Elizabeth Station – 20 Days of Beer Week

Bellingham’s Wander Brewing will team up with Melvin Brewing of Jackson, WY (opening a location in Bellingham soon) to release 20 Days of Beer Week, a hoppy Imperial Red Ale. The name is derived from adding Bellingham Beer Week’s 9 days to Seattle Beer Week’s 11, and it will be available in both cities. In Bellingham, find 20 Days of Beer Week at Elizabeth Station and Wander Brewing, from April 14th till it sells out. Hint: it will sell out fast! Only 210 cases of this beer will be produced.

Boundary Bay and Gruff – Neighborhood Watch

#TapAlert Neighborhood Watch: 7.2°P OG | 15 IBU | 3.7% ABV Being a good neighbor includes keeping a watchful eye and, in our case, brewing delicious craft beer! To unite our neighborhood for Bellingham Beer Week week we collaborated with @gruffbrewing to create this dry-hopped sour pale ale with tropical fruit puree is brewed with local malts from Skagit Valley.Kettle-soured with a blend of bacteria including contributions from Gothberg Farm's Greek yogurt & Breadfarm’s sourdough. With an addition of Ekuanot Lupulin powder and a bountiful bouquet of hops (NZ Motueka, Mosaic and Citra hops) This collab is a super tropical explosion! #CraftBeer #Cheers #Collaboration #UpperLeft #PNW #BellinghamBeerWeek #Neighbors #Bellingham #bounderOn #Sour #Beer

A post shared by Boundary Bay Brewery (@bbaybrewery) on

As Boundary Bay and Gruff Brewing are literally neighbors, this collaboration comes as no surprise. But this dry-hopped sour pale ale sounds totally wild — in a good way. Made using ingredients sourced from Bow and Skagit Valley Malting, this beer is “kettle-soured with a blend of bacteria including contributions from Gothberg Farm’s Greek yogurt & Breadfarm’s sourdough.” And at just 3.7% ABV, you can easily sink more than one.

Kulshan and Menace – Belgian Pale

They solemnly swear they're up to no good: a little collab brew with the Menace boys…keep an eye out! #drinklocal #collaboration

A post shared by Kulshan Brewing Co. (@kulshanbrewery) on

Head brewer Ben Buccarelli of Menace Brewing joined team Kulshan to create this Belgian Pale. Expect a refreshing, sessionable spring beer available at both breweries and various locations around town. This one straddles the line between high and low ABV at a balanced 5.5%.

2017 T-Shirts

It’s already too late to pre-order Bellingham Beer Week t-shirts, but you should be able to find them for sale around town during the week.

The Events

With several events going down every day for nine days, what’s a beer lover to do? Surely you can’t be everywhere at once. Fortunately, many of the events (like Boundary Bay’s Grumpy Hour) are recurring. Others — like McKay’s Taphouse Brewers Nights — are happening nearly every day of Beer Week so you should be able to squeeze a couple in when time allows.

To narrow it down, I’ve selected my top two events per day. These events are the meat and potatoes of Beer Week — everything else is gravy. Bon appetit!

Friday, April 21

Elizabeth Station BBW Kickoff

Elizabeth Station is kicking off Beer Week with the re-release of Fremont Brewing’s Bellingham Beer Week #2 Beer: Midnight Rider Imperial Porter. I remember adoring this beer back in 2013, and can only imagine that it has improved with age.

Kulshan Beer Olympics

20 teams will compete in 10 games at K2 in the 2nd annual Beer Olympics. Enough said. 

Saturday, April 22

Aslan and Boundary Unite for Two Events: Beers & Gears and Earth Day Block Party

Aslan and Boundary Bay are throwing down hard for Earth Day. Join the two breweries for a Railroad Avenue Block Party in partnership with the Bellingham Farmers Market and Sustainable Connections. Proceeds from Aslan’s Captain Planet IPA and Boundary’s Cedar Dust IPA will be donated to Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association and Washington Trails Association. Meanwhile, Bayou on Bay will be joining the fun and donate proceeds to The Hub Community Bike Shop. Pick up a Beers and Gears stamp card at any of the three locations, and fill it up to qualify for a raffle. This event encourages car-free travel.

Earth Day Block Party

Aslan and Boundary Bay’s Beers & Gears

  • Saturday, April 22 ALL DAY
  • Three locations to get Beers & Gears stamp cards: Boundary Bay, Aslan and Bayou on Bay

Stones Throw Earth Day Hop Planting

Plant some hops for Earth Day at the Fairhaven Community Garden with Stones Throw.  

Sunday, April 23

Boundary Bay: Cedar Dust Alley

This one is for the mountain bikers among us. And get ready to have Galbraith Mount brought down to you, with the alley behind Boundary being turned into a mountain bike playground. There will be exclusive beers, bike demos and competitions, live music from Polecat, and more in the alley behind Boundary Bay

Aslan Brewing Cornhole Tournament

Who doesn’t love cornhole? Combine a friendly tourney with the chance to check out Aslan’s new barrel aging location and you’ve got a winning event. There will be 32 teams competing for five rounds. 

Monday, April 24

Chuckanut Lecture Series with Joe Wiebe

This one takes me back to the good old days of Bellingham Beer Week 2013 when Thirsty Writer Joe Wiebe presented at Elizabeth Station. Hailing from Victoria, BC, Joe is the author of Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider’s Guide to BC Breweries. He’ll be discussing the BC Ale Trail, and a raffle will be held to benefit Max Higbee Center. If you’re interested in learning about our beery neighbors to the north, don’t miss Joe’s presentation.

Boundary Bay: Let it Rain Beer

Did you miss out on sold-out VIP tickets to April Brews Day? Here’s your chance to win some at their pre-funk fundraiser for April Brews Day.

Tuesday, April 25

BeerMarket Sweep

A race for beer at the Community Food Coop  — inspired by the Supermarket Sweep game show. Competitors will have to put their beer-thinking caps on and use their speed and competitiveness to run up and down the beer aisle to match the best beers to the given categories. 

Chuckanut Lecture Series with Skagit Valley Malting

Learn about Skagit Valley Malting from the people who know it best, Susan Welch and Adam Foy. Taste, hear and discuss this new kind of malt. A raffle in support of the Max Higbee Center (producers of April Brews Day) will happen during the talk.

Wednesday, April 26

Chuckanut Lecture Series with Whatcom Symphony Orchestra – Classical on Tap 

Join the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra at Chuckanut Brewery to listen to and chat about classical music over a few beers.

Stones Throw Beer Tasting Panel

Tonya Cornett, an award-winning brewer from 10 Barrel Brewing, and her protege Ian Larkin (who won awards while brewing for Bend Brewing Company) will be conducting a tasting panel with Stones Throw brewer Tony Luciano. Bend meets Bellingham.

Thursday, April 27

Boundary Bay: Walk For Paws

Enjoy a scenic walk along Boulevard Trail with your pup (or cat!)  in support of Whatcom Humane Society. Participants will gather at 5 p.m. at Boundary Bay Brewery, where humans will get to enjoy complimentary root beer and celebrate our new Dog-Friendly Beer Garden. At 5:30 p.m., participants will walk as a group along the Boulevard Trail to Fairhaven’s new Paws for a Beer. Once they arrive at Paws for a Beer, their furry friends will receive a swag bag. 

Tap Trail Challenge at Whole Foods

Participate in a blind tasting of local beers. Guess correctly to advance to the next round! Participants will need to RSVP before they attend. 

Friday, April 28

Kill The Keg, Plant a Tree Block Party at Stones Throw

Another big ol’ block party with music, games, food trucks, and more. Kill the keg! The first 100 people to purchase a beer at the Block Party will receive a free potted tree sapling to take home and plant, in honor of Earth Day.

Elizabeth Station Bellingham Beer Week Grand Finale

Join Elizabeth Station for their annual Bellingham Beer Week Grand Finale with friends from Firestone Walker. Yes, please.

Saturday, April 29

Beer and Yoga at Aslan Brewing

The morning begins with an hour long, all levels, yoga practice. Then it’s time for a beer!

And of course,  The 16th Annual April Brews Day

Beer Week’s culminating event, the 16th annual April Brews Day is a massive celebration featuring over 60 breweries from around the Northwest. With over 120 beers to try, there’s more than enough to go around.

For the full schedule of Bellingham Beer Week events, visit bellinghambeerweek.com.

Also see our Beer page for more posts about Bellingham Craft Beer.

 

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About the Author:

Freelance writer Brandon Fralic has called Bellingham home since 2006. He writes about the outdoors, travel, and craft beer for a variety of regional publications. In 2013, Brandon co-founded Beers at the Bottom to highlight trails and ales in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.