Cascadia Weekly: Bellingham Beer Week

Food

Pint Party

Bellingham Beer Week

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What: Bellingham Beer Week

Where: Locales throughout Bellingham

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WHEN: April 19-28

Cost: Entry to most events is free

Info: http://www.bellinghambeerweek.com

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The fourth annual Beer Olympics happening from 5pm-10pm Fri., April 19 at Kulshan Brewery serves as the official kickoff for this year’s Bellingham Beer Week, but don’t let the title of this particular gathering fool you.

While it’s true 22 teams will compete in eight games for bragging rights and bronze, silver and gold medals during the course of the evening’s festivities—which will also include spectator games, beer specials and fare by the Hot Mess food truck—the spirit of the nine-day celebration of craft beer focuses more on collaboration than competition.

The partnerships for the pint party focus first on fellow breweries sharing the love via multiple tap takeovers, joint beer releases and an aptly titled “Collaboration Celebration” taking place Tues., April 23 at Deming’s North Fork Brewery. But a closer look at the crowded events calendar for Bellingham Beer Week reveals the breweries and tap houses taking part will also be looking to share the love with the community that supports them.

For example, Earth Day work parties will be hosted by the likes of Boundary Bay Brewery and Wander Brewing to help clean up nearby streams and trails. Additionally, funds raised Sat., April 20 during Boundary’s Cedar Dust Alley mountain bike festival happening behind the brewery will go to the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition in their efforts to preserve and enhance non-motorized trail access in Whatcom County through stewardship, education and advocacy.

At Kulshan’s K2 Brewery, a Bellingham Handmade Pop-Up Market will draw attention to the works of 10 different makers from Bellingham Handmade who will showing and selling beer-themed items (think botanical infusions with hops, ceramic handmade growlers, and earrings made out of beer cans). And a free Block Party occurring throughout the day and into the night on Sat., April 20 at Stones Throw Brewery will provide live music, food trucks, games and all-ages fun for the masses as well as raise money for the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Foundation. Collaboration-wise, they’ll also offer fare from Bellingham Cider Company as well as release a new beer, Dark Side of Bellingham.

Trivia gatherings, a beer dinner at Ciao Thyme, bar games and cornhole tournaments, an Easter keg hunt, Barre at the Bar, a Party for the Planet, Walk for a Paws, book signings and discussions, a funk forum, hops planting, a paper airplane contest, multiple tastings, an IPA challenge, and Barleywood Squares are also on the roster, meaning you’ll have to make some difficult choices when it comes to planning your time.

By the time April Brews Day brings Bellingham Beer Week to a close, you might feel as if you’ve completed your own Beer Olympics. But please remember, it’s not a competition.

Alan Doyle

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