BBW wasn't just a platform to brag about the beer produced here in Bellingham (though there is plenty to brag about) but was in general a celebration of craft beer. Many taphouses featured tap take-overs and brewers' nights from around the Pacific Northwest and beyond. One such brewery, Fremont Brewing Company of Seattle, even brewed a limited release beer honoring the event. Fremont's BBW #2 Imperial Porter featured local favorite Tony's Coffee along with strong hints of vanilla, coconut, and balanced hop flavor and aroma. This was a brew I made sure to grab an extra bottle of to break out on a dreary winter day.
Thursday, September 26th was the perfect day for a hike. After days of rain, the clouds parted in Whatcom County to reveal sunny blue skies. We met our hiking party at Artist Point and set out for Table Mountain, marveling at unobstructed views of mountains Shuksan and Baker. Our visiting writers were awed by the surrounding beauty. Upon encountering snow, one writer in particular (a certain Professional Gentleman of Leisure) could not stay off of it.
Our local book haven, Village Books, partnered with taphouses and breweries to host beer writers' book launches. There's something wildly wonderful about watching an author give a book talk with beer in hand.
Hosted at Chuckanut Brewery, John Holl brought the East Coast flavor during his reading from his new book, The American Craft Beer Cookbook which features 155 beer-centric recipes. The cookbook's structure is what makes this book unique. Some recipes come from the kitchens of brewpubs, others incorporate beers, and some just pair beautifully with a particular style. Holl also spotlights breweries from around the country, and Bellingham's dear Chuckanut Brewery is one such brewery! Chuckanut's menu and brewpub's atmosphere made for a cozy and delicious event space. Holl was also on hand to talk to attendees and sign copies after his book talk.
The second book featured during Bellingham Beer Week is one that has quickly become near and dear to Beers at the Bottom. Victoria, B.C. resident Joe Wiebe had the American release of his book Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider's Guide to B.C. Breweries at Elizabeth Station bottle shop. We were fortunate enough to spend time getting to know Joe during various Beer Week events, and while this book can never be as charming as the real deal—it comes pretty damn close. Wiebe's book covers every aspect of craft beer culture in British Columbia, touching on the history of craft beer in the province, the political landscape concerning beer, and brewery profiles which include the best beer selections. More than just a guide book, Joe's personality and opinions pepper the pages in the form of humorous and informative vignettes. Beers at the Bottom has already taken our copy on a road trip up B.C.'s Sea to Sky Highway and recommends anyone venturing to British Columbia to do the same.
Thanks to Bellingham Beer Week organizers and participants, this year's BBW went down as a resounding success. For more information on Bellingham Beer Week, check out the following: