For those born and raised in the Puget Sound, it’s just about impossible to just flat out say “Rainier Beer.” No. It’s “Raaaaaaaaaiiiii-nieeeeeeeeerrrrrr (gasp) Beeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrr.” The “R” icon is simply another identifier of our area, much like the Space Needle or Smith Tower. And though the company was bought out by Stroh’s in 1999 and subsequently Pabst, and the original brewery (which began making beer in 1878) was also sold at that time and now houses Tully’s Coffee headquarters and artist spaces, the brand persists as a Northwest signifier. Plus, Rainier Beer is once again made in Washington at the Redhook Brewery facilities.
In fact, it is so ingrained in the local culture that an “R” Day celebration was instituted two years ago, when the giant neon “R” was restored to the apex of the Old Rainier Brewery. And this year it was made truly official, with both Governor Jay Inslee and Mayor Ed Murray issuing proclamations to that effect. KEXP is helming the event, held at the Old Rainier Brewery itself. And it’s going to be loads of fun.
Not only will there be Rainier beer (the original and a new brew, Rainier Pale Mountain Ale, which will debut at the event), but there will also be fun things to do. There will be team sports challenges. There will be climbing walls. There will be giant Jenga. And to cap it all off, two of Seattle’s very best rock bands will perform.
Hobosexual and Thunderpussy go together like the proverbial peanut butter and jelly. The former’s scuzzed-out songs about robot love and Sharon Stone pair perfectly with the latter’s innuendo-filled, sequin-sporting rockgasms. This show is going to be a treat. And it’s free!