The Seattle beer-drinker’s calendar is filled with festivals and dinners, but this weekend’s Washington Beer Open House is one of the more unassuming (but highly enjoyable) annual traditions on the brew circuit. Saturday, February 25 is only the second go-round for the open house, which essentially consists of more than 40 breweries across the state welcoming the public for a visit between noon and 5pm. Some places are releasing special beers, or offering tastes not usually available in the taproom. Others have tours, food pairings, music and general access to places not usually open to the public.
Last year I happened to stop into Georgetown Brewing during the inaugural open house to fill a growler for someone as a birthday present. The taproom was packed, special tastes were flowing, and for many beer aficionados this was just one stop of many. The vibe was almost like caroling, except nobody has to sing—and you get beer.
Bonus: The Washington Beer Commission created a handy map to guide you in your beer-related endeavors. The map lists all the participating breweries, and additional details on some of the activities. Like, say, the vertical flights of Hoppy the Woodsman happening at Schooner Exact, or the firkin tapping and chocolate pairing going on at tiny Valhöll Brewing in Poulsbo. The map is also an inspiring reminder of all the tantalizing breweries just a short drive outside Seattle.