Second annual Bellingham Beer Week kicks off Friday

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDSeptember 18, 2013 

BELLINGHAM - The second annual Bellingham Beer Week, a 10-day celebration of craft beers, brewers and beer lovers, is set to be packed with tasty events featuring local brews.

The celebration has grown tremendously in its second year, with dozens of participating beer vendors and brewers. BBW was founded by Aaron Matson, owner of The Copper Hog, and Jim Parker, after the two attended Seattle Beer Week and decided Bellingham should have its own beer week.

This year a committee, chaired by local beer enthusiast Aubrey Laurence, sought to grow the event. Laurence and fellow organizers approached every place in town they could think of that sells craft beers, asking them to participate somehow.

"I think the most unique thing about this beer week is diversity," Laurence said. "A lot of beer weeks in the country are mostly tap takeovers and brewer nights. We have those too, but the variety of this beer week is tremendous."

Kulshan, Chuckanut and Boundary Bay breweries joined forces to make a Belgian-style dark ale for this year's BBW; the Collaboration Beer will be canned at the week's kick-off Friday, Sept. 20, and will be available in cans and on tap at more than 15 locations around town.

The beer will be the first canned brew out of Bellingham's three breweries, said Rob Whitney, wholesale manager for Kulshan.

Freemont Brewing Company also brewed a special beer for the occasion: a vanilla, coconut, coffee imperial porter made with Tony's coffee. "Bellingham Beer Week #2" will be available from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, at BevX360's Freemont Brewer's event featuring food and music and again during a short film showing at Kulshan brewery from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26. It also will be available in 22-ounce bottles around town.

Other events range from brewery tours and pairings to contests, hiking and trivia night. For a full calendar, visit bellinghambeerweek.com.

"This is going to be a phenomenal, weeklong party," Whitney said.

A sampling of happenings:

Saturday, Sept. 21

• Lager Off at The Copper Hog starting at 1 p.m. Buy sausage by the foot and liters of lager. The first keg of lager killed at the event is Lager Off Champ. No cover fee.

Sunday, Sept. 22

• Free home brewing demonstration from 3 to 5 p.m. at North Corner Brewing Supply, 1220 Central Ave.

Monday, Sept. 23

• Five-course brewer's dinner at Boundary Bay Brewery starting at 7 p.m. Cost: $50 per person, must be 21 or older. Buy tickets in advance at the bar.

• Beer Trivia night at Kulshan Brewery, from 7 to 9 p.m. Cost: $2 per person. Up to six people per team.

Tuesday, Sept. 24

• "Beer Hunter The Movie," the story of beer and whiskey journalist Michael Jackson, showing at the Limelight Cinema. Starts at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $9

Wednesday, Sept. 25

• Freemont Brewer's at BevX360, featuring six Freemont beers, barbecue and music, from 5 to 9 p.m. Cost: $5, which includes six 5-ounce samples of Freemont beers, and the $5 can be taken off the price of a growler.

• Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen hosts author John Holl for a signing of his new book "The American Craft Beer Cookbook: 155 Recipes from Your Favorite Brewpubs and Breweries." Chuckanut is featured in the book, which Village Books will sell at the event.

Friday, Sept. 27

• Author Joe Wiebe launches his book "Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider's Guide to B.C. Breweries" from 3 to 5 p.m. at Elizabeth Station. Village Books will sell copies on site for the signing.

• North Fork brewer Eric Jorgensen releases two whiskey barrel-aged beers, brewed for The Green Frog. The barrel-aged scotch and porter will be released at The Green Frog starting at 6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 28

• Beers at the Bottom, a local blogging duo, leads a hike to Fragrance Lake and a meet-up at Kulshan Brewery after. The hike sets out at noon from the Fragrance Lake trailhead and should take about 31/2 hours. To park at the trailhead visitors need a Discover Pass or a day pass. Meet at Kulshan around 4 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 29

• Elizabeth Station hosts the "Last Call" benefit for the TreeHouse, a Bellingham nonprofit that supports children and families who are grieving the death of a loved one. The event runs from 2 to 6 p.m. There will be beer, wine, music, a silent auction, face painting and more. A limited number of tickets are available for $25.

Information about the Treehouse charity and who it benefits were corrected Sept. 12, 2013.

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Reach Samantha Wohlfeil at 360-756-2803 or samantha.wohlfeil@bellinghamherald.com.

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