Summertime, and the Brewin' is Easy

C'mon, you still want to go outside and play and drink some great beer, don't you? We have another long holiday weekend coming up, and the Seattle International Beerfestival (SIB), held Friday, July 1–Sunday, July 3, at Seattle Center's Mural Amphitheater, is a great opportunity. There's a lot to choose from, too, from friggin' everywhere: Belgium, Germany, the U.K., the Czech Republic, Poland, Japan, and yes, the U.S.A. You'll find Pilsner Urquell on draft in the Grande Beer Garden. Prefer a maltier German Helles? Spaten Premium Lager is there for you, baby. Or maybe a nice German Altbier: Choose from Diebels or Schwelmer. Maybe a fruity summer refresher is your thing? OK, then: from Belgium, Lindemans Framboise and Peche; from England, Melbourne Bros. Cherry; from an Italian brewpub, Cassisona, flavored with currants; from exotic Colorado, New Belgium Transatlantic Kriek, a blend of a Belgian cherry lambic and an American golden ale. Here's a chance to try Staggering Monk Belgian-style strong ale from the Walking Man Brewing Co. in faraway Stevenson, Wash., and compare it to, say, Urthel Tripel from Belgium. Taste something Belgian that will forever blur the distinction between beer and wine: Duchesse de Bourgnonne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe, or Grottenbier, created by brewing's own living legend, Pierre Celis. You'll have a choice of 120 beers from 15 countries, and damned if it ain't all for a good cause, too: Pet Cross, which raises awareness and promotes responsible treatment of animals both tame and wild, benefits from SIB proceeds, so drink up and enjoy. If helping furry critters doesn't tug at your heartstrings, perhaps the Saturday evening celebrity bartending session by the Rat City Roller Girls is more your style. SIB is a 21-and-over event; check it out online at See you there. I'll be drinkin'. Again.

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