Mmmmmm….craft beer. Lucky for Bellingham beer lovers, local production of our favorite malty, hoppy beverage is on the rise, so we don’t have to go far to find a craft brewery in Whatcom County.
As breweries continue to multiply here, it’s fitting that the Bellingham craft beer community dedicates a week to celebrating craft beer. I’m super excited about Bellingham Beer Week, which is coming up September 20 – 29 (it’s so good it needed a few extra days). While local brews will be a main focus, BBW also shows the love to a few regional breweries.
This year marks the second annual BBW, where brewers, pubs, bottle shops, alehouses, taphouses, restaurants, bars—even our local independent theater—offer the thirsty hordes multiple opportunities to taste, learn about, and celebrate beer, and to enjoy Bellingham’s unique beer culture.
What’s really cool about BBW is that our hometown breweries teamed up to brew a special collaborative beer. I can’t wait to try Bellingham Beer Week Belgian-Style Strong Ale, developed by brewmasters at Boundary Bay, Chuckanut and Kulshan breweries, and brewed and canned by Kulshan Brewery. It will be on tap all over town, and available in cans for the kickoff of BBW on the 20th.
And that’s not the only limited-edition brew you can enjoy during BBW. Our friends to the south, at Seattle’s Fremont Brewing Company, are also brewing up something special. Fremont’s contribution to Bellingham Beer Week is an Imperial Porter, brewed with Tony’s Coffee, vanilla and coconut, also available on tap or in cans. Sounds delicious!
I asked Casey Diggs, Operations Manager at Boundary Bay Brewery, what excited him the most about Bellingham Beer Week. “To me, the most exciting thing is that Beer Week represents all of the breweries collaborating on one goal: to make sure that everybody knows our little brewing district here is putting out great beer,” he said. “It’s a lot of hard work, but I believe that five years from now, Bellingham Beer Week is going to be huge. I just hope I have some hair left by then.”
Or, what about tasting fall beers while taking in the gorgeous scenery of Bellingham Bay on a San Juan Cruises Oktoberfest brews cruise? Want to learn how to brew your own beer? Attend the homebrew demonstration at North Corner Brewing Supply. Of course, there are the requisite behind-the-scenes tours at all the local breweries, and this being Bellingham, a beer and bike tour is set for September 29.
The list of events is long, and while it’s difficult to choose among them, I’ll do my best to achieve a well-rounded experience. Check out the chock-full-of-fun event calendar.
To wet your whistle, I’m including a partial list of events below. My goal is to at least make each of the events in bold. Mark your calendars, work up a good, honest thirst, and join me in celebrating all things beer in Bellingham!
Friday, September 20
- 9:00 am Canning of the Collaboration Beer at Kulshan Brewery
- 4:00 pm Special Happy Hour at Grand Ave Alehouse
- 5:30 pm Schooner Exact Brewer Night at McKay’s Taphouse
Saturday, September 21
- Beer & Chocolate Pairings at Boundary Bay Brewery
- “Grabbers” showings at the LimeLight Cinema
- 1:00 pm Beer Can Derby presented by North Sound Brewing at The Green Frog
- 2:00 pm Ayinger Oktoberfest at Elizabeth Station
Sunday, September 22
- 12:00 pm Beer Garden at The Bite of Bellingham
- 12:00 pm Chuckanut Brewery Tour
- 1:00 pm Firestone Walker Polish Horseshoes Tournament at The Copper Hog
- 3:00 pm Homebrew Demonstration at North Corner Brewing Supply
Monday, September 23
- 22% off all 22-ounce beers at Dashi Noodle Bar
- 11:00 am Washington vs. Oregon & California IPA Challenge at The Copper Hog
- 7:00 pm 5-Course Brewer’s Dinner at Boundary Bay Brewery
- 7:00 pm Beer Trivia Night at Kulshan Brewery
Tuesday, September 24
- 5:30 pm Silver City Brewer Night at McKay’s Taphouse
- 6:00 pm 12 Percent Imports Night at The Copper Hog
- 6:30 pm Beer Hunter The Movie at the Pickford
Wednesday, September 25
- 5:00 pm Fremont Brewers Night at BevX360
- 6:00 pm Ninkasi Night at Bayou On Bay
- 7:30 pm Chuckanut and Village Books host beer author John Holl
Thursday, September 26
- 9:00 am Cans vs. Bottles at Elizabeth Station
- 4:00 pm Oktoberfest at Boundary Bay Brewery
- 4:30 pm Fremont coffee beer and short movie at Kulshan
Friday, September 27
- 4:00 pm Special Happy Hour at Grand Ave Alehouse
- 5:00 pm Firestone Walker Tap Takeover at Elizabeth Station
- 6:00 pm North Fork Barrel-Aged Release at The Green Frog
- 6:30 pm Bellingham Bay Oktoberfest BREWS Cruise
Saturday, September 28
- 9:00 am Blind IPA Trials at Elizabeth Station
- 12:00 pm BBW Hike-Brewery Meet-Up hosted by Beers at the Bottom
- 4:00 pm Beer-and-Cheese Pairing Specials at Old World Deli
- 4:00 pm Chuckanut Oktoberfest
- 6:00 pm Laurelwood Total Tap Takeover at The Copper Hog
Sunday, September 29
- 12:00 pm Beer & Bike Tour departs from Boundary Bay
- 1:00 pm Cornhole Tournament at Kulshan
- 2:00 pm Block Party Benefit for Treehouse at Elizabeth Station
If you are traveling to Bellingham for this event and looking for a place to stay check out the options on bellingham.org.