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These local breweries offer a view behind the taproom during Washington Beer Open House

Michael Toomes, a brewer at Chuckanut Brewery, answers questions to a small group during an open house Feb. 23, 2013. Eight of the 14 breweries in Whatcom County have announced plans to participate Washington Beer Open House Saturday with tours, food, tastings and other fun.
Michael Toomes, a brewer at Chuckanut Brewery, answers questions to a small group during an open house Feb. 23, 2013. Eight of the 14 breweries in Whatcom County have announced plans to participate Washington Beer Open House Saturday with tours, food, tastings and other fun. The Bellingham Herald file

Just in case you missed the endless stream of social media posts this week, researchers in the 90+ Study by the University of California Irvine found people who drink moderate amounts of beer or wine, along with two cups of coffee, increase their chances of living a long life.

Sounds like reason enough to knock back a couple of cold ones this weekend, but just in case you need another excuse, Saturday, Feb. 24 marks the Eighth Annual Washington Beer Open House. Governor Jay Inslee has even proclaimed it Beer Day in Washington.

Eight of the 14 breweries in Whatcom County have announced plans to participate in the event, which will take place from noon to 5 p.m.

The statewide event invites patrons to look behind the scenes of Washington’s most innovative and creative craft breweries, talk to the brewers, discover new breweries, try unique craft brews and hang out with some other craft beer-loving friends.

The event has 137 breweries scheduled to participate, many offering rare barrel tastings, new seasonal beers, finger food, full brewery tours, brewer conversation, unique beer samples, growler sales, live music and other “beer related” fun. A full list of participating breweries is available here.

Here’s what the local breweries have on tap:

Aslan Brewing: (1330 N. Forest St., Bellingham) Aslan will be offering self-guided tours with one of the owners and head brewer Frank Trossett available to answer any questions. Participants are invited to check out Aslan’s newly upgraded brew house and take home an exclusive Aslan Brew Process sheet. Perhaps you can even talk the Aslan folks into showing off their unique Olympic curling skills:

Atwood Ales Farm Brewery: (4012 Sweet Road, Blaine) Atwood will provide tours of the brewery and farm at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and will offer a tasting and bottle sales. Atwood’s Instagram post says tours are available by reservation:

Chuckanut Brewery: (601 W. Holly St., Bellingham) Chuckanut will be open from noon to 3 p.m. at both breweries – the North Nut Kitchen in Bellingham and the South Nut Tap Room in Burlington (11937 Higgins Airport Way). Free tours will be held at noon and 1:30 p.m. at both locations. The brewers will be available to meet, and the kitchen in the Bellingham opens at 11 a.m.

Illuminati Brewing Company: (3950 Hammer Drive, Bellingham) Illuminati will offer tours of the brewery/winery facility at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The brewery also says it will release its first barrel-age beer, “Hammer of the Gods” Scotch Ale aged in Highland Scotch Whiskey barrels.

Kulshan Brewing: (2238 James St., Bellingham and 1538 Kentucky St., Bellingham) Both Kulshan taprooms will have beer tastings, food, games, giveaways and brewery tours. Learn about small-batch beers at the Sunnyland location and canning and production at the Roosevelt location.

Stones Throw Brewery: (1009 Larrabee Ave., Bellingham) Stones Throw owner Jack Pflueger and Tony Luciano will take beer lovers on free tours around the unique brewery built in shipping containers at noon, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 p.m. In addition to stories about the disreputable history of the property, the sustainable building process and how they make their beer, tours will end with tastes straight from the tanks for anybody who purchases a $2 taster.

Wander Brewing: (1807 Dean Ave., Bellingham) Wander will offer a tour of its brewery and barrel den at 2 p.m.

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