Image courtesy of Washington Brewer's Commission

Seattle, WA - Earlier this month while wandering Hales Palladium for Winterfest I spotted posters and flyer’s for the next WABC sponsored festival . Dubbed Belgianfest and located in the Georgetown neighborhood at “The Engine Room”, the event heralds a beer style not often produced from Washington brewers.

The Washington Beer Commission announces a new event showcasing a wide variety of Belgian style beers at the inaugural Belgianfest on Saturday, January 23rd, 2010, in at Georgetown Studios at The Engine Room located in South Seattle. There will be more than twenty Washington breweries on hand .serving many of the classic Belgian brews as well as some very unique adaptations created by Washington’s finest brewers. In all, more than 50 Belgian style beers will be on tap.

2010 Belgianfest will host two sessions on event day, noon to 4pm and 6pm to 10pm. Admission is $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Admission includes a tasting glass and ten 4oz tastes. Separate tickets are required for each session and space is limited with only 400 tickets available for each session. Tickets are available online at www.washingtonbeer.com/belgian.htm and at select ticket outlets. This is a 21+ only event.

Belgium has a long history of beer making and is arguably one of the most distinguished brewing countries in the world. While there are different theories about what qualifies as a “Belgian” beer, in general the term “Belgian” beer can only be applied to a beer brewed in Belgium according to the specifications owned by a Belgian brewery. Beers brewed outside Belgium in the similar manners are commonly referred to as “Belgian style” beers. For the Washington Beer Commission’s Belgianfest the brewers were asked to brew with Belgian yeast which often contributes to the distinctive spicy, pungent characters of Belgian style beers.

Belgian (style) beers have become increasingly popular in the U.S. in the recent years. “It’s been a gradual growth over the last several years thanks to those pubs who were willing to serve something different to help raise awareness among beer drinkers,” says Rob Linehan, the owner of the Stumbling Monk, a specialty beer bar in Seattle that focuses on Belgian beer. According to Linehan there were very few Belgian style beers available in the Seattle market in the late 90’s and hardly any of them were made locally. Today it is not difficult to find a Belgian beer or two at a local pub or even at well-stocked grocery stores, and more and more Washington breweries are making Belgian style beers. Belgianfest hopes to contribute to this exciting trend by educating consumers and encouraging the brewers to brew more Belgian style beer. In fact some of the participating breweries are making Belgian style beers for the first time specifically for this festival.

In addition Belgianfest will partner with the Corson Building to present a Belgian beer dinner scheduled for the week leading up to the festival. The Corson Building is a renowned restaurant located in the Georgetown neighborhood known for its innovative cuisine using fresh local ingredients, The dinner will be expertly paired with some of the beers featured at Belgianfest and promises to be as pleasing to the palate as a trip to Belgium without leaving Seattle..

2010 Belgianfest Fact Sheet

DATE & HOURS:Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 Session 1: Noon to 4pm Session 2: 6pm to 10pm

LOCATION: Georgetown Studios at The Engine Room
5890 Airport Way S, Seattle, WA 98108

ADMISSION: $30 advance tickets or $35 at the door Admission includes a tasting glass and ten 4oz tastes Designated driver admission is $5 and available at the door only Must be 21+ years old and have a valid ID

Tickets are on sale online at www.washingtonbeer.com/belgian.htm and at select outlets

BEERS:
The event will highlight the fascinating beer culture of Belgium by showcasing more than 50 Belgian style beers all brewed by Washington breweries. Featured beer styles include Tripels, Dubbles, Saisons, Wits, Abbeys and Lambics. All of the beers will be brewed using Belgian yeast.

“BELGIAN BEER ME!”
A Belgian beer expert, Stu Stewart of “Belgian Beer Me!” will be on hand during Belgianfest to answer questions regarding the beer, history, culture and everything and just about anything related to Belgium. “Belgian Beer Me!” also offers Belgian beer appreciation classes in Seattle and organizes Belgian beer tours every year.

BELGIAN BEER DINNER:
Belgianfest is excited to partner with the nearby Corson Building, a renowned restaurant in Georgetown, to present a Belgian beer dinner. The dinner will be expertly paired with some of the beers featured at the Belgianfest. The dinner is scheduled for the week leading up to the event. Please call or email for additional details and media participation information.

WABL ADVANTAGES:
WABL (WAshington Beer Lovers) members will get to try the 2010 Belgianfest WABL Beer. WABL Beer is brewed by a different Washington brewery for each Commission festival and is available exclusively to WABL members. Learn more about WABL at www.washingtonbeer.com

BENEFICIARY:
The Belgianfest is a fund raiser for the Washington Beer Commission, the first commission of its kind in the United States. Established in July 2007 the Commission represents more than 110 breweries in Washington State. The Commission’s mission is to ensure that more beer enjoyed in Washington state is made by its own craft brewers, using ingredients primarily from Washington State’s agricultural industry.

As more details roll out (ticket locations, beer list, etc.) we will update you with information.

Cheers

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