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Alumni Association hosts beer tasting at the Western City Center

The Beer Next Door, held was the first beer tasting event the Alumni Association has hosted in the Western City Center. // Photo by Gabby Ramos.
The Beer Next Door was the first beer tasting event the Alumni Association has hosted in the Western City Center on Wednesday, April 20. // Photo by Gabby Ramos.

Western’s alumni started their Western Wednesday with a cold beer at the Western City Center’s The Beer Next Door Event, Wednesday, April 20.

The event showcased some local breweries and was organized by Jeniene Bengtsson of the Alumni Association.They held a similar event called “Brews with Bruce” about seven years ago, Bengtsson said.

“This is the first time doing this type of event at this space,“ Bengtsson said. “We have how many breweries here in town? And they’re just becoming so popular.”

The Beer Next Door had beers like the Bellingham Blonde Ale from Boundary Bay Brewery, Uncommon California Common from Wander and the Bastard Kat IPA from Kulshan.

“Let’s try it,  let’s see if people would like to come to a beer tasting event and see what the response is,” Bengtsson said.

The tickets for the event came with three beer tastings, a pint of your choice and food.

“It’s cool and who wouldn’t enjoy a beer tasting?” Western alumni Tammy Prather said.

Prather graduated in 2001 with a degree in psychology. This was the first alumni event she has attended.

After living in Bellevue for a number of years, Prather said she recently returned to Bellingham, where she is originally from.

“It’s great. I got the Cabin Fever. Of course I didn’t mean to, but I picked the strongest [beer].” Prather said. The Cabin Fever Winter Ale is from Boundary Bay Brewery.

Prather said she has been wanting to get more involved with Western. When she was a student, she would see alumni talking to the students about their experiences and thought that was pretty interesting.

Linda Luttrel, another alumni and the operations manager at Huxley College of the Environment,  graduated in 2009 and has attended two alumni events outside of Bellingham before the beer tasting.

Luttrel said she also went to Zoo Lights in Tacoma and a play in Everett with the Alumni Association. Luttrel said she tries to attend the events that interest her most.

“Beer interests us,” said Luttrell.

The Western City Center has allowed the Alumni Association to get more involved with the community because of its central location downtown, Bengtsson said.

“Western is part of the community and we want to be more a part of that,” she said.

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