Last month, Washington State lawmakers pushed an initiative to tax beer from breweries that produce more than 60,000 barrels a year.
Fine by me! Tax the goofy hipsters who settle on out-of-town nastiness like Rainier and Pabst. If I'm going to damage my liver, I'd rather do so with local, delicious beers whose production runs are limited enough to be exempt from the tax.
That's the kind of beer you'll find all over Seattle Beer Week, now in its second year of celebrating the region's massive microbrew scene. The festivities kick off tonight at Hale's Brewery in Fremont, where every beer snob in town will arrive at 5 p.m. to tap SBW's official 2010 beer. This year's official brew is a double IPA whose lovingly written description will set off any hop-head:
Our final batch incorporated Columbus and Magnum in the bittering, Chinook, Cascade and Centennial in the late hop additions, and Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo, Chinook and Simcoe in the dry hop.
I can already smell it.
The 10-day "week" includes a number of brewer events, food-and-beer tastings, and themed nights; Brouwer's in Fremont, in particular, will host its "Back In Black" stout selection on Friday. If you turn your nose up at the PNW's obsession with hoppy beer, that's the Beer Week event for you. Check the full calendar, make a list, and pace yourself—these beers typically average out at 8% ABV.
While I'm at it, I'd like to recommend Naked City in my home base of Greenwood. Barely a year old, the bar has finally gotten the proper permits to crank out its own huge selection of beer. They'll have a dozen homemade brews on tap tonight, including fan favorite The Big Lebrewski, an imperial stout whose mocha overtones and subtle creaminess do The Dude justice.