Adam Paysse pouring beer at his Floodland Brewing in Fremont.
Adam Paysse pouring beer at his Floodland Brewing in Fremont. Lester Black

Seattle has more breweries than almost anywhere else in the country, even though our population is only a fraction of America’s largest cities. Beer is ubiquitous in our communities, yet we rarely talk about the stories behind our beer.

Let's change that.

The Stranger is partnering with some of our favorite local breweries to present Zymurgy, a series of beer events where we bring fascinating conversation and wonderful beer together. These first three events will feature panel discussions on different topics that are paired with a curated flight so you can taste what we are talking about.

Why Zymurgy? It means the study or practice of fermentation, which sounds super wonky but these talks won't be a pretentious beer school. We're simply bringing people together over the most interesting beer in the city—and Zymurgy is fun to say.

We’ve spread this series across the city with the hope that people throughout Seattle can enjoy these talks. The first event will be at Machine House Brewery’s historic brick brewhouse in Georgetown, the second will be at Cloudburst Brewing in Downtown, and the third will be at the new Reuben’s Brews taproom in Ballard.

You can buy tickets to our first event, which is at Machine House on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m., HERE. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 31 at 10 a.m.

Bill Arnott pouring some Machine House cask ale at his brewery in Georgetown.
Bill Arnott pouring some Machine House cask ale at his brewery in Georgetown. Lester Black

Our first event, Weird Fermentation, will feature beers and a conversation with Bill Arnott of Machine House Brewing, Ron Extract and Amber Watts of Burlington's Garden Path Fermentation, and Adam Paysse of Fremont’s Floodland Brewing. These are some of the most subversive brewers in the state, creating their own unique beers with the help of weird and unusual processes like open fermentation, barrel-aging, mixed culture and spontaneous fermentation, and even more odd and anachronistic methods.

Machine House is a nationwide leader in traditional English cask ales, which Arnott grew up drinking in his native U.K. Ron and Amber of Garden Path Fermentation moved to Skagit Valley from Texas, where they worked at the famed Jester King Brewery, and their young brewery has quickly gained attention for their funky, sometimes sour, and always interesting beers. Adam Paysse’s Floodland Brewing is one of the most talked about new breweries in the country thanks to his stunning mixed culture barrel-aged beers. If you haven’t had a chance to try any of these new beers from Paysse, who was a founder of Holy Mountain Brewing, this is a chance to see what the hype is all about. You won't be disappointed.

One of Garden Path Fermentations wooden fermenters at their brewery in Burlington.
One of Garden Path Fermentation's wooden fermenters at their brewery in Burlington. Lester Black

These events will naturally appeal to beer geeks, but I hope this attracts more than just people looking to get another Untappd badge. I have no interest in making beer more scholarly or highbrow—beer doesn’t need to be serious—but I hope Zymurgy becomes a way of reminding people that beer is worth thinking about. It’s worth noticing. Life improves when we reflect on it, and beer is no different.