Beer festivals on the move

Although the Washington Beer Commission has yet to send out an official announcement, and apparently the ink is not yet dry on any of the agreements, we have it on good authority that some big changes might be in store for two of the area’s best-loved beer festivals. The Washington Brewers Festival might be moving to a new location next year. Same story for the upcoming 3rd Annual Belgianfest.

Everyone loves the Washington Brewers Festival in June, with its great beer, sunshine, open spaces, green grass, and tall trees. However, the location at Saint Edward State Park is not without its challenges. To begin with, parking and transportation. The location in Kenmore is a great for a lot of reasons, but it is a three-day camel ride from just about anywhere unless you happen to live in the neighborhood. Taking a bus or taxi to/from Saint Edwards is challenging to say the least.

Location, Location, Location

The Washington Beer Commission’s venerable “Fathers Day Brew Fest” is hoping to move to Redmond’s Marymoor Park. That would allow for ample parking and much better transportation options. The location just off of the freeway, along two main arterial streets, would make getting there seem like a breeze. The infrastructure at and around Marymoor Park would make getting  in and getting out much easier.

Belgianfest is also considering moving to a new venue. This is still a young beer festival but has proven wildly popular in its short, two-year history. For year number three, the Washington Beer Commission hopes to move the festival to the Bell Harbor International Conference Center on the Seattle waterfront. The space is larger and offers plenty of room to grow. Obviously, the downtown location would make buses and taxi cabs a much easier option. Having attended other events at Bell Harbor, I think this would be a very good move.

As I said, this information is not yet official. However, we know for sure that they are trying to tie up the lose ends and make both of these moves official. We’ll keep you posted.

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  1. Ample parking and easy access to the freeway do not seem like high priorities (or even good ideas) for a beer festival. A central location with lots of transit options seems much better (and safer).

    I can’t wait to attend the Belgianfest, and I really hope that the Brew Fest will soon move to the Seattle Center, Convention Center, the CLink, or Meydenbauer.

    From Seattle riding the bus to Marymoor takes over 1 1/2 hours including a 3/4-mile walk.

  2. The main reason I didn’t attend the Brewers Festival is because it was such a trek via bus so I’m happy it’s moving (hopefully closer in to Seattle).

  3. Don’t expect the WBF to move to the Seattle Center. Part of the attraction of the WBF is that it’s family-friendly. If it moves to the Seattle Center, it won’t be – no under-21s allowed. That’s not been a problem at St Edward, and won’t be a problem at Marymoor either.

    Too bad there’s not a nice, beer-festival-friendly location along the light-rail line, though.

  4. Seattle Center is the worst place to have a beer fest. I have only gone to the SIB three times in the last 10 years because of the ridiculously tiny venue, expensive=close/cheap=walk a mile parking and inability to take the family along. The only highlight this year was that Deschutes Brewery brought some of their very best beer and it was only 1 token per taste, unlike some of the european beers that were 7 tokens per… I liked St. Edwards, even though it was paid parking. being outside in the sun, drinking beer and eating good food is what it’s about. Hopefully Mary Moor will be a good fit.

  5. Oh for the days of the Herbfarm! I hope the new site will not suffer from the excessive policing of St. Edwards Park where sometimes the officers on 1. foot 2. bikes 3. horses 4. cars from god knows how many forces/agencies (4 – 5?)exceeded the number of beer drinkers!

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