The Year in Beer

Where to go, what to drink.

If you missed Hops on Equinox, shame on you. But you have two-thirds of 2005 to make up for it. April 13–15: Hard Liver Barleywine Festival at Brouwer's Cafe (400 N. 35th St.; www.hardliver.com). This used to be a one-night event at the Phinney Neighborhood Center. Now, it's a weeklong affair at Fremont's specialty cafe for Belgian beers and more. June 17–19: NWSource.com Summer Brewfest at St. Edward Park. This Father's Day weekend brewfest is the successor to a festival that started years ago at the old Herb Farm location near Carnation. St. Edward Park is a lot closer to town. Arrive early, it's popular. On the Web, www.washingtonbrewfest.com/summer/ index.html will tell you all about what is usually a great way to kick off the summer. July 1–3: Seattle International Beerfest at Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre. This one used to be near the end of the month, but this year, no schedule conflicts will arise with the likes of the Oregon Brewers Festival. Web site www.seattlebeerfest.com will get you there, and if you miss out, the Portland International Beerfest (same Web site) is just a couple of weeks later. Great lead-in for the Independence Day holiday. July 22–29: All About Beer Hubbard Glacier Alaska Brew Cruise. Yes, a floating beer festival. Prices start at $1,179 per person. E-mail: travel@magichappens.com or call 800-824-4968. July 28–31: Roll on down the road (or take the train) to Portland for the Oregon Brewers Festival, the granddaddy of all Pacific Northwest brewfests. Absurdly popular. Check www.oregonbrewfest.com for more information. Aug. 2–6: Not feeling totally crushed while the dollar nose-dives against major world currencies? Great! British Airways flies nonstop from Seattle to London, home to the Great British Beer Festival. This is one of the world's greatest events of its kind, and www.camra.org.uk will tell you more—click on "Beer Festivals" on the left, then click "2005, " then "August." You'll get there eventually. Sept. 9–10: Great Canadian Beer Festival, Victoria, B.C. If you're even thinking of going to this one—and you should be—get your tickets as soon as possible. Check www.gcbf.com for on-sale dates (hint: July) and where to get 'em (more hints: the Elysian on Capitol Hill, Bever-idge Place Pub in West Seattle). Don't show up without a ticket. This one sells out early. Sept. 16–18: Fremont Oktoberfest. This date might be subject to change; check www.fremontoktoberfest.com for updates. Sept. 29–Oct. 1: Great American Beer Festival, Denver. Huge. More beer than you've ever seen in one place. You have to drink it 1 ounce at a time, but you get as many 1-ounce pours as you want. Friday and Saturday night sessions are also known as "amateur hour." For more information: www.beertown.org/events/gabf/index.htm. Oct. 29: Washington Cask Beer Festival. The date is subject to change; check for the actual date on its Web site at www.washingtonbrewersguild.org/news_events-caskfest.htm. Not to be missed, featuring an abundant selection of cask-conditioned beers, and with the demise of Chicago's Real Ale Festival (sob), one of the best beer fests in the country. Nov. 12: Phinney Neighborhood Association Beer Taste. Exceedingly popular annual indoor beer festival, and best of all, the PNA's building was once a school. Drinking in school? How subversive. Proceeds benefit the PNA, too, so here's to beer drinkin' for a good cause. It's on the Web at www.phinneycenter.org/events/beer.shtml.

 
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