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Fresh Hop Season has been creeping along, and it is just about to hit full speed. If you aren’t headed out to Yakima this weekend, then you should head to The Noble Fir this Saturday for the 8th Annual Fresh Hop Throwdown.

This year, we are doing a Seattle vs. Portland throwdown. There will be around 20 fresh hop beers on tap, including some fun stuff from Portland breweries that don’t typically make it up this way.

The doors open at 3pm, and there will be a judging earlier in the day to determine the top 3 fresh hop ales in the lineup.

Good times will be had. Fresh hop beers will be drank.

Participating breweries include:

From Seattle:
Holy Mountain
Lucky Envelope
Lagunitas Ballard
Maritime Pacific

From Portland:
Mt. Tabor

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When the calendar flips to a new year it means you usually have few weeks off from major beer events in Seatte. But, don’t get too comfy. Before you know it Seattle Beer Week (May 10 to 20) will be here and you won’t know what to do with yourself. Here are several events coming up in the next few months that you might want to check out:

Strong Ale Fest at Pine Box – Jan 18 – The crew at Pine Box are pulling out a bunch of strong ales from the cellar to help you warm up in the middle of winter. Prelim beer list includes Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Anniversary XXI, Fremont Coffee Coconut B-Bomb and Stoup Brewing 4th Nail.

Ellensburg Winterhop – Jan 20 – SOLD OUT. Too late to get in on this popular festival in Ellensburg.

Strange Brewfest in Port Townsend – Jan 26 & 27 – One of the region’s most unique festivals, the attending breweries will bring some crazy beers. Just remember, crazy does not always equal good.

Belgianfest – Jan 27 – The 9th Annual Washington Beer Commission Belgianfest will feature 100+ Belgian-style beers from Washington breweries.

Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow Kickoff – Feb 1 – The Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow is a series of events featuring Triple IPAs from Washington breweries. The kickoff at Brouwer’s Cafe will feature around 30 beers. If you can’t make the kickoff, check out the website for an event near you.

Pike Chocofest – Feb 11 – This Valentines Day celebration features beer, wine, cider and spirits paired with food bites, with a heavy emphasis on chocolate.

Hops & Props – Feb 24 – SOLD OUT (Designated Driver Tickets still available) – You have to get in on this festival at the Museum of Flight early if you want to attend. Solid beer lineup, and the setting can’t be beat.

Brouwer’s Cafe Hard Liver Festival – Feb 24 & 25 – Let the celebration of barleywine begin! One of the country’s largest barleywine fests, Hard Liver will feature at least 45 barleywines.

Beveridge Place Barleywine Bacchanal – Mar 15 to 18 –  There will be 30 taps dedicated to barleywines, both fresh and older vintages. The selection will change daily, and over 70 barleywines are expected to be poured in total. Includes verticals and special releases.

Washington Cask Beer Festival – Mar 24 – One of my favorite Seattle beer fests. Cask-conditioned beers from more than 40 Washington breweries.

Seattle Scotch & Beer Festival – Mar 30 & 31 – Formerly known as Hop Scotch, this festival at Fremont Studios has a little more swanky vibe than your typical fest. Lots of great beer and scotch for tasting.

Did I miss a big event? Leave a note in the comments.

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