Monday, April 16th, 2018
Your Guide to Bellingham Beer Week 2018
Brandon Fralic

It’s April, and Bellingham is bursting at the seams with a beer buzz. Bellingham Beer Week 2018 takes place April 20th – 28th!

Bellingham Beer Week 2018.

The 7th annual Bellingham Beer Week will feature everything from special beer releases and author events to a paper airplane contest and dog walking. With 14 breweries in Whatcom County, 2018 is set to be the biggest Beer Week ever. It’s a lot to take in, I know. But we’ve got you covered.

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

Friday, April 20

BBW Kickoff at The Local

Interested in trying the unique one-off and collaboration brews available only during Beer Week? Make this your first stop. The Local is lining up every special beer week beer they can get their hands on for this kickoff event.

Kulshan Beer Olympics

Kulshan Beer Olympics. Photo: Tap Trail.

For this, 20 teams will compete in eight games (like keg toss, trivia, and corn hole) at Kulshan’s second location, K2 in the 3rd annual Beer Olympics. Enough said. 

Aslan Beer Dinner Pairing

Aslan is teaming up with Ciao Thyme for a 5-course beer dinner, hosted by head brewer Frank Trosset. This special event will explore Aslan’s new portfolio of barrel aged beers.

Saturday, April 21

Cornhole Championship of the Universe at Aslan Depot

Music, beer, costumes, and cornhole. That’s what you can expect at this happenin’ event, taking place at the new Aslan Depot space in Downtown Bellingham. Who will be the champion?

Signups for the teams are full, but I would recommend still stopping by and checking out the festivities.

Book Signing: Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest at Kulshan Brewery (K2)

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Beer Release Party with North Fork Brewery also at Kulshan Brewery (K2)

A two-for-one event. Yours truly, along with my co-author Rachel Wood, will be signing copies of our new book Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest at K2. Come on down and say hi! Our event overlaps with Kulshan’s barrel-aged black sour (BABS) beer release — a collaboration between Kulshan and North Fork Brewery.  Both breweries are featured in the book.

Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest. Photo: Helvetiq.

  • Book Signing: Saturday, April 21 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Beer Release: Saturday, April 21 from 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 22 – Earth Day

Stones Throw Hop Planting at the Chuckanut Center

Plant some hops for Earth Day at the Chuckanut Center, a community garden on Old Fairhaven Parkway with Stones Throw.  Hops planted during this event will be used in a community hopped beer in the fall. 

Boundary Bay: Cedar Dust Alley

Cedar Dust Alley. Photo: Tap Trail.

This one is for the mountain bikers among us. Get ready to have Galbraith Mountain brought down to you, as Boundary Bay turns their alley into a mountain bike playground. There will be exclusive Galbraith Mountain Series beers, bike demos and competitions, live music from Hot Damn Scandal at 2:30, and more in the alley behind Boundary Bay.

Inaugural Wander Paper Airplane Contest

This one’s a little different. Did you know that Wander Brewing’s logo is a paper airplane?

In celebration of their mighty icon, Wander is hosting an all-ages paper airplane building and launching contest. They’ve got a big, lofty space for it too. Go float some planes in support of Blue Skies for Children at the Brew Hall.

Earth Day at Aslan!

Hang lose all day with Aslan Brewing.

Captain Planet IPA will be released in honor of Earth Day, with 10% of its sales donated to the Surfrider Foundation. At 4 pm, Aslan and the Surfrider Foundation are hosting a beach cleanup at Locust Beach — you can drive there, or meet at the brewery at 3:30 for a free ride on the Baker Bus! Then it’s back to Aslan at 6 pm for a celebration of Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Restaurant Initiative, featuring surf films and a special presentation.

Monday, April 23

Boundary Bay & Lost Giants Graff Release at Elizabeth Station

Turns out it’s not all about beer at Beer Week — there’s room for cider, too! Boundary Bay is teaming up with Bellingham’s newest cidery, Lost Giants Cider, to produce a Graff. What’s a Graff? A mix of cider and beer, of course. In this case, a light Boundary Bay ale blended with Dessert blend cider. Join reps from the brewery and cidery at Elizabeth Station for this collaboration release.

Chuckanut Lecture Series with John Holl

Chuckanut Lecture Series. Photo: Tap Trail.

This one takes me back to the good old days of Bellingham Beer Week 2013 when beer writer John Holl delivered an informative presentation about cooking with beer. This year, John is back to present on “Craft Beer: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going?” Hailing from New Jersey, John brings a national beer perspective to Bellingham. 

Tuesday, April 24

A Night with Charles and Rose Ann Finkel

Grab a tulip at Aslan Depot. Photo: Tap Trail.

Nearly 30 years ago, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel founded Pike Brewing in Seattle. They’ve managed to stay relevant in the ever-changing craft beer landscape over the years — as evidenced by Pike’s continued success. Join the Finkels for an open forum on beer history and where the industry is heading at Aslan Depot.

Chuckanut Lecture Series with Jeff Alworth

Another night, another lecture at Chuckanut Brewery! Join beer author and podcaster Jeff Alworth for a presentation about his book, “Secrets of Master Brewers.” Jeff comes to us from Portland, Oregon where he runs the Beervana blog.

Wednesday, April 25

Walk For a 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 the Dog-Friendly Beer Garden. At 5:30 p.m., participants will walk as a group along the Boulevard Trail to Fairhaven’s Paws for a Beer. Once they arrive at Paws for a Beer, their furry friends will receive a swag bag. 

Wednesday, April 25

Whatcom Symphony Orchestra – Classical on Tap

Whatcom Symphony Orchestra. Photo: Tap Trail.

Join the director and members of the Whatcom Symphony at Chuckanut Brewery to listen to and chat about classical music over beers.

Thursday, April 26

Brewers Dodging Balls

If I didn’t know better, I might guess that this event was completely made up.

But it’s for real. And it’s exactly what it sounds like. Head down to Boundary Bay’s Mountain Room for an evening of brewer dodgeball, followed by (of course) a screening of the movie Dodgeball. “If you can drink a beer, you can dodge a ball!”

Friday, April 27

April Brews Day: Pre-Party

Since discovering Overflow Taps in Barkley Village, I’ve been looking forward to their Beer Week event. This April Brews Day Pre-Party supports Max Higbee Center, with $0.25 per pint sold donated to the organization. Expect live music, cornhole, and beer-a-flowing at this Barkley block party.

Elizabeth Station Bellingham Beer Week Grand Finale

Elizabeth Station. Photo: Tap Trail.

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

Saturday, April 28

Beer and Yoga at Menace Brewing

Katie at Menace Brewing. Photo: Tap Trail.

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

And of course,  The 17th Annual April Brews Day

April Brews Day 2017, photo courtesy of April Brews Day.

Beer Week’s culminating event, the 17th annual April Brews Day is a massive celebration featuring over 70 breweries from around the Northwest. With hundreds of 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.