It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Bellingham Beer Week is September 9th through the 18th 2016, at venues all over town. Now in its fifth year, BBW has become one of Whatcom County’s most anticipated annual events—and for good reason. We Bellinghamsters love our craft beer and the people who make it for us. We love celebrating how beer brings people together, and we love trying out new styles to spice up our daily doses of Pale Ales, IPAs, Reds and Scotches.
Bellingham Beer Week events range from the silly (Barleywood Squares, anyone?) to the serious (a beer expert book signing and discussion). So grab your fellow beer lovers (and a Bellingham Tap Trail Map) and plan your week with this guide. You’ll find brewery tap takeovers, a lively Oktoberfest, Boundary Bay Brewery’s 21st birthday and lots more to ensure your Bellingham Beer Week celebration is complete!
Friday, September 9
In celebration of the Summer Olympics, the inaugural Kulshan Beer Olympics will kick off the 2016 Bellingham Beer Week. Four person teams are invited to compete in a series of games for a gold, silver and bronze medal. Don’t be surprised if you see an obstacle course, human sized jenga and a dizzy bat competition.
Aslan Brewing Company will host the 10 for 10 event, giving 10 percent of the beer proceeds to 10 local non profits. They are also saying, ‘Thank You” by offering $3 pints to everyone (21+, that is) who wears a local brewery shirt. Doesn’t matter if it says Aslan or not, Boundary, Chuckanut, Wander, Kulshan, North Fork, Stones Throw, Gruff, Menace, Structures and Subdued shirts all qualify, so wear your local heart on your sleeve and get a bargain pint in return. Really, $3,You won’t see a pint of Aslan’s organic goodness at that price again anytime soon!
Elizabeth Station will host Silver City Brewing’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, with lots of rare brews on tap, like sours and barrel-aged beers from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The new Bellingham Tap Trail maps will be out at locations all over the city. Pick yours up and start stamping to win some great swag and maybe even some ca$h.
Saturday, September 10
Chuckanut Brewery will host an Oktoberfest celebration at the brewery from noon until midnight. A full day of fun, food, live music and of course, plenty of the authentic German-style beers Chuckanut is famous for. Kids are welcome, too, and there will be a bouncy house and face-painting to keep them occupied. Dig up a dirndl or your lederhosen and practice your yodel—you could win a prize if you’re judged the best.
Boundary Bay Brewery will host the 10th Annual Cribbage for a Cause Tournament in support of the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center. Come for mimosas in the morning, Shimmering Tava Food Truck in the afternoon and live music and raffles all day long. The tournament goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday, September 11
At 11 a.m., meet at Johnny’s Donuts at 2201 Cornwall Avenue to start the 3rd annual Wander to Wander 1K “race.” A $20 registration fee includes a donut to get you started and a pint at Wander Brewing, along with a medal to mark your achievement (if you’re one of the first 150 to sign up). All proceeds go to the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center. Register online or at the event, starting at 11 p.m. Costumes are encouraged, all ages and abilities are welcome and pets can join in the fun, too! At just over a half mile, this is one race nearly anyone can handle.
Extremes Sports Grill and Pizzeria will host Hales Brewing for a Seahawks tailgating party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mike Hale is driving the Hales Brewing double-Decker bus up to Bellingham for the Hawks season opener. There will be no better place to celebrate.
Monday, September 12
Elizabeth Station will host Fremont Bewing for a night of InCANity from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Participate in the Build Your Own Can Derby, Freemont Heron Coloring Contest and get some sweet duds! Oh and of course, drink some amazing Freemont Beer.
Tuesday, September 13
No one knows better than Mckays Taphouse that pizza and beer are meant for each other. That’s why they’ve decided to pair their delicious pies with the world class beers of Georgetown Brewing Company. Head to McKays from 5 to 9 p.m.
Wednesday, September 14
Boundary Bay will host the third annual femALES event to celebrate the women of Bellingham beer. For just $10, you can taste great beers from Aslan, Chuckanut, Boundary Bay, Menace, North Fork, Stones Throw and Wander, eat delicious snacks and meet some of the awesome women who make the Bellingham Beer scene what it is. All proceeds benefit The Pink Boots Society, a nonprofit seeking to empower women beer professionals to advance their beer industry careers through education.
Reuben’s Brewing will head to the Local to try six of their world class beers with the Locals world class Reuben from 4 to 10 p.m.
Elizabeth Station has the honor of hosting both Melvin Brewing and the Crooked Stave in one night. Try both and see what you prefer!
After a long week of beer drinking, sometimes you need to kick back and relax. That’s why Aslan is hosting the Brewshed Alliance, a non profit that works to create healthy waterways, which creates better beer. They will be showing DamNation, a 2014 documentary shedding light on the ecological cost of building dams in the U.S.
Thursday, September 15
Take a sunset sail on the Schooner Zodiac, and enjoy some Aslan Organic brews while you’re out there! The two-hour cruise gets underway at 5:15 from Fairhaven at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. More info and tickets here.
Beer hall meets Bingo? Yep! The Annex is hosting its first-ever bingo night. Channel your inner 97-year-old with a cold brew and a good game of bingo.
Friday, September 16
Happy Birthday to Boundary Bay! Bellingham’s original craft brewery is turning 21 years old today and you know they’re going to have a proper celebration! Join in the fun on Railroad Ave. as they close down the street for the biggest block party Bellingham has ever seen. You’ll find live music, of course, amazing beer, of course, and food trucks, of course. But I’ve also heard rumors of a zip line, entertainers and a rock wall. Should be a blast!
Here’s another great Elizabeth Station event you won’t want to miss. Try a bunch of Firestone Walker beers with a Tap Takeover that starts at 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 17
Also on Saturday, head downtown to Boundary Bay to cheer on the teams competing in the Bellingham Traverse. Try this year’s yummy Traverse Red IPA and enjoy live music. The multi-sport race starts at noon and teams finish from around 3 to 5 p.m. The sidewalk beer garden brings you right into the action!
Start stretching, and loosening up your corn hole arm, because Aslan and Schweinhaus are hosting a joint corn hole tournament starting at noon. The final game will be played at Aslan at 7:30 p.m. for Beer Week Glory. Be sure to bring your A-game, your best costume and of course, top notch dance moves. Head to www.aslanbrewing.com/ to sign up your two-person team.
Saturday is a BIG day for Bellingham Beer Week! Plan accordingly.
Sunday, September 18
The Sunday Fun-day to end it all. Kulshan will cap off this fantastic week with a Brewers Boutique, complete with live music from Mustafa, food trucks and local vendors and craft artists selling their handmade goods.
Check out the full BBW 2016 event calendar here.
I’ll see you out there! Have fun. Drink beer. Walk, ride your bike or take the bus. Enlist a designated driver or call a cab. Be safe, beer lovers!