Washington state's 220 breweries will be in the spotlight for the next 11 days as beer lovers celebrate the annual Seattle Beer Week. (AP file)

Hop heads bubbling over for Seattle Beer Week

Although it seems like every week is beer week around here, the official annual celebration of the Seattle-area's craft brewing industry gets underway Thursday.

Seattle Beer Week has gotten so big, it has actually been extended to 11 days, says Eric Radovich, Executive Director of the Washington Beer Commission.

"We have 220 breweries in the state of Washington, about 63 of those are inside King County, 44 of those inside the Seattle city limits," he says of the ever growing industry. "We just found that we now have more breweries in this country than we've had since the 1870s."

The celebration features dozens of events every night at breweries across the Seattle-area, featuring both local breweries and a number from across the country.

"Washington state now has the second largest number of breweries in its state borders behind only California," Radovich says. "The ultimate purpose of Seattle Beer Week is to experience some of the amazing and delicious craft beers available. It's a celebration of beer in general."

The beer business continues to boom. A study by the Beer Institute says the industry employed 13,148 full time workers in 2012, generating over $1 billion in economic activity.

Radovich says there are too many events and beers to pick a favorite. But he says he's particularly excited about the official beer of Seattle Beer Week, a collaborative IPA brewed by Elysian Brewing, Naked City Brewery & Taphouse, Schooner Exact Brewing Co., Black Raven Brewing, Georgetown Brewing and Pike Brewing Company.

Josh Kerns,
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for
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