Heads-up: Bellingham Beer Week runs Sept. 11-20

Wander Brewing is among the participants in Bellingham Beer Week, Sept. 11-20.
Wander Brewing is among the participants in Bellingham Beer Week, Sept. 11-20. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Drink up this week, and feel OK about it; you’re helping the beer community grow.

After all, the mission of Bellingham Beer Week, which kicks off Friday, Sept. 11, and runs through Sept. 20, is to “celebrate and promote craft beer in Bellingham and beyond, and to recognize our local craft beer producers, retailers, and consumers who positively impact this community in so many ways,” according to the Facebook page of the 10-day event (yes, it’s actually more than a week).

Jack Lamb, who founded Aslan Brewing Co. in September 2012, says it’s “the time when it’s all about the beer, and Bellingham has some damn good beer!”

During the celebration, breweries collaborate, fans of breweries are encouraged to try new things at new places, and outsiders have a reason to enjoy the unique Bellingham beer culture, he says.

Lamb is especially excited about Wear Local Day on Friday, Sept. 11, when Aslan staffers will give out discounts to anyone wearing a Bellingham brewery T-shirt. No matter if it’s their own shirt or Wander’s, Kulshan’s, Boundary Bay’s, Chuckanut’s, Menace’s, or North Fork’s, everyone gets the same discount.

“We want to show love to all fans of all local breweries,” he says. “It’s not about this brewery versus that brewery; it’s simply about Bellingham beer, which we are all a part of.”

Kate Rosengren, who works in marketing at Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro, says each brewery boasts its own persona. She sees the annual event as an opportunity for people to celebrate local companies that brew delicious beer, host dynamic community events, and impact the local economy.

Casey Diggs, operations manager at Boundary Bay, says anyone unfamiliar with Bellingham beer businesses will be surprised by their camaraderie and sense of the community.

Wander Brewing is teaming up with Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center for the second year to host a Wander to Wander 1K race, at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, starting at Johnny’s Donuts, 2201 Cornwall Ave., and ending at Wander Brew Hall at 1807 Dean St. (about a five-minute stroll).

Chuckanut Brewery will host its first all-ages Oktoberfest from noon to midnight Saturday, Sept. 12, with a German menu (available that day only); activities for kids; and live music all day, starting at 12:30 p.m. with Mr. Feelgood & the Firm Believers, the German singalong band the Happy Wanderers at 5:30, and ending with Rivers and Roads from 9 to closing

Aaron Matson, who has owned The Copper Hog for seven years, says Bellingham Beer Week is a time to show the rest of the world that Bellingham is a great beer town.

“It’s is insane how much rad beer we get per capita in Bellingham versus the rest of Washington,” he says.

Bellingham Beer Week

When: Sept. 11-20

Where: Various breweries, micropubs and restaurants in Whatcom County

Cost: Varies

Details: bellinghambeerweek.com