Beer lovers from around the country are descending upon Seattle to celebrate the best beer week. Today marks the beginning of the 4th annual Seattle Beer Week. From now until May 20, 2012 you can find all sorts of events celebrating beer. These beer events range from brewer nights to classes to Mother’s Day brunches to competitions to crazy parties. Beer is definitely the star of the week but has a great line up of co-stars like cheese, cider, BBQ, oysters, whiskey and wine!

Back in Black Stout FestIt doesn’t matter what type of beer you like or don’t like, there is a beer event for you. If you are a sour beer lover, like me, will be lining up for the Sour Beer Fest at Brouwers  5/15 BIG, BOLD and BLACK more your style? Don’t miss the Back in Black Stout Fest this Friday. Like your beer with a little age on it? Check out the number of vertical and cellar tastings. Maritime Pacific is offering vertical tastings of both their Jolly Roger and Decompression Strong Ale. Are you one of the lucky ones that got a ticket to Bottleworks Cellar tasting? If not, you may want to check out the Dray because they are bringing things out from the cellar every day of Seattle Beer Week.

Tour de PintsSports and beer are a classic pairing and it is just as true during Seattle Beer Week. From hockey to golf to pool to bicycling, there are sports to participate in while you are enjoying your favorite brew. The Tour de Pints is a wildly popular event that pairs beer and bikes. The second big bike and beer event is the Haul Ash Tour de Brew is during the second weekend of Seattle Beer Week.

Sports is not the only thing to pair with your beer. You can sample all of the classic beer pairings like BBQ,  burgers and chili during Seattle Beer Week. Maybe they are inspired by the official Seattle Beer Week beer, Elysian Split Shot Espresso Stout, but I am seeing more beer breakfasts and brunches than ever before. Events like Kegs and Eggs offer you plenty of opportunity for your breakfast beer.

Many people may think of wine when it comes to pairing cheese or oysters but beer is king. Find out for yourself at Sip and Slurp: Oyster and Beer Pairing Competition or at any one of the great beer and cheese pairings scheduled this week.

Seattle Beer Week is about having a great time while enjoying great beer. Being Seattle, some of those beer events are downright wacky! Let your freak flag fly at the 12 Pack at the Troll or the  Pine Box beer can race derby.  Enjoy the funky and wild beers crafted specifically for Seattle Beer Week.

Eat, drink and be merry this Seattle Beer Week but drink responsibly. Keep the name and number of your favorite taxi cab service handy or take turns with friends being the designated driver. Drink lots of water along with your beer and you can survive a fun and busy week!