How far has North Bank Beer Week, a celebration of Southwest Washington beer, come since its humble beginnings just one year ago this month?
“Last year, (beer week) came together in three weeks from concept to kickoff,” said Michael Perozzo, founder of Vancouver’s ZZoom Media, and one half of the brain trust who conceptualized North Bank Beer Week in 2016.
“This year, we began talking about it back in April and … we had meetings every month,” Perozzo said. “As a result, we’re probably going to have three times as many events as we did last year.”
Both Perozzo and Loowit Brewing Company Owner Devon Bray never could have foreseen just how far and how fast North Bank Beer Week – which will run from Sept. 22-30 – would have come in such a short time.
Beginning with the kickoff event on Sept. 22 at Tap Union Freehouse, North Bank Beer Week (northbankbeerweek.com), includes events at most of the 29 – that’s right, 29 – breweries in the greater Southwest Washington region.
North Bank Beer Week’s presenting sponsor is Country Malt Group with three other major sponsors – ZZoom Media, Glacier Tanks and Craig Stein Beverage, with additional support coming from Bader Beer & Wine Supply, Vancouver Brewfest and BSG Craft Brewing. In addition, A Production Company will be providing photos and videos from many of the events.
Many of these events will serve the signature beer of North Bank Beer Week – a collaboration beer that local brewers decided on for the event earlier this month when they gathered at Vancouver’s Fortside Brewing.
“That was awesome,” said Fortside Owner Mike DiFabio. “We had almost all the breweries there, or at least someone there representing them. There was a lot of sharing ideas and learning from each other. And I think that’s the beauty of our industry.”
The group decided on a collaboration beer called North Bank Expedition IPA – a session IPA weighing in at 4.5 ABV (alcohol by volume) that has a nice hop presence balanced with a strong malt backbone. The name Expedition comes from the local malted barley used, proving that this is truly a Southwest Washington event.
After such a jump in growth from the first year to this year’s event, what does DiFabio foresee for the future of North Bank Beer Week?
“I see it, hopefully, getting bigger and bigger every year, and maybe becoming a tourist thing where we can attract people to the area,” he said. “And not only for us to keep developing the craft beer culture here, but draw people from Portland and show them we’ve got our own way of doing things. I think that’s what we’re celebrating.”
The kickoff event at Tap Union will feature “100 percent Southwest Washington beer, cider and mead,” Perozzo said. North Bank Beer Week has its own Snapchat filter and badge that can be unlocked on Untapped.
“We want to help strengthen the craft beer culture in Southwest Washington – and it’s been awesome to see the craft beer culture here develop the way that it has,” DiFabio said.
For more info, visit: http://northbankbeerweek.com/