image sourced from Brouwer's Cafe's Hard Liver Barleywine FestivalUber, Lyft, Yellow Cab  (206) 622-6500.

I'm putting the previous URLs and phone number at the top of this story for a reason. This coming Saturday, in the Fremont neighborhood,  Brouwer's Cafe is hosting Hard Liver Barleywine Fest. Known as the largest, single-day, barleywine festival in Seattle, Hard Liver is one to plan for.

What’s a Barleywine?

Rather than re-hash the same explanation, regarding the definition of a Barleywine, I'm posting the information at the bottom of the page. I think if you are visiting this story via a search engine, you will see there are several versions of this story on our site – each with an explanation on Barleywines / Barley Wines.

imageNOW! A few suggestions.

Eat something!

I cannot stress this enough! If you don't consume a fair amount of food, you WILL become a hopeless (alcohol-fueled) wreck. Personally I only hope it's the "time to take a nap" wreck. Regardless the drunk, you can delay the effects of consuming 13% and above beers, by eating a hearty breakfast. This won't make you immune to alcohol, but it will delay it's effects.

Drink something!

Unless you’re a sadist, you will want to consume water before, during, and after Hard Liver. Or you can ignore my advice, drink a shit-load of beer, and wake up in the morning with raging mass of pain, buried in your skull.

NEXT! Have a beer (or two, three, .... )

Look I don't have the answers. I can only make suggestions based on previous winners and beers that or may not have been featured at Beverige Place Pub's Bacchanal. Without delay the winners are:

  • Alaskan Big Nugget ’09
  • Alaskan Big Nugget ’10
  • Anchor Old Foghorn ’10
  • Anderson Valley Horn of the Beer
  • Avery Hog Heaven ’13
  • Bear Republic Old Scoutners
  • Big Sky Old Bluehair ’12
  • Big Sky BBl Old Bluehair’13
  • Firestone Walker Abacus ’10
  • Firestone Walker Abacus ’11
  • Great Divide Old Ruffian
  • Hales BBl Barleywine
  • HUB Bbl Noggin Floggin
  • Lagunitas  Gnarlewine ’10
  • Lagunitas  Gnarlewine ’11
  • Laurelwood Old Reliable Barrel Aged ’13
  • Lost Abbey Angel’s Share ’12
  • Midnight Sun Arctic Devil ’13
  • North Coast Old Stock Ale ‘ 12 or 13
  • Oakshire Barleywine  (10.1%) ’13
  • Moylan’s Old Barney Barleywine ’13
  • Pelican Stormwatcher ’13
  • Pike Old Bawdy ’10
  • Pike Old Bawdy ‘ 11
  • Rogue Old Crustacean
  • Sierra Nevada Big Foot
  • Snipes Rosa ’13

Then again you might have a cluster of friends, a table for six, and the willingness to exchange saliva - or as I call it, sharing samples. In that case you can forget everything I just wrote and instead focus on NOT getting alcohol poisoning.


According to the Brewers Association an English-style Barleywine is ...

British-style barley wines range from tawny copper to dark brown in color. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. They have a full body and a high residual malty sweetness. Perception of hop bitterness is low to medium. English type hops are often used but not necessary for this style. Hop aroma and flavor may be very low to medium. Complexity of alcohols and fruity-ester characters are often high and balanced with the high alcohol content. Low levels of diacetyl may be acceptable. Caramel and some characters indicating oxidation, such as vinous (sometimes sherry-like) aromas and/or flavors, may be considered positive.
While the BA prefers to call an American-style (or as we call it a Barleywine) ...

American-style barley wine ales range from amber to deep red/copper-garnet in color. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. A caramel and/or toffee aroma and flavor are often part of the malt character and high residual malty sweetness. Hop bitterness is high. Hop aroma and flavor are at medium to very high levels. American type hops are often used but not necessary for this style. Complexity of alcohols is evident. Fruity-ester characters are often high. Very low levels of diacetyl may be acceptable. This is a full bodied beer. Characters indicating oxidation, such as vinous (sometimes sherry-like) aromas and/or flavors, are not generally acceptable in American-style barleywine ales, however if a low level of age-induced oxidation character harmonizes and enhances the overall experience this can be regarded favorably.

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