Last weekend in pictures – Tacoma and Yakima

Last weekend we did some legendary beer cruising. Friday evening we headed to the Tacoma Craft Beer Festival. Saturday morning we woke up and headed east for the Yakima Fresh Hop Ale Festival. We have a few pictures to share from each.

The historic Capitol Theater in Yakima - a beautiful backdrop.

Tacoma Craft Beer Festival

Once again, Chris Miller (Red Hot Tacoma) and the rest of the TCBF crew put together an outstanding event. This year the room seemed more spacious. Apparently some of the boats and other things were moved aside for the event. Also, the layout outside of the building was great, offering festivalgoers with plenty of room to drink alfresco and an ample selection of food.

And then there was the beer. We were there for the 6:00 tapping of the firkins. I believe there were 14 in all. The longest line we saw when the clock struck six was for the 7 Seas British Pale Ale, which was aged on sweet and bitter orange peel, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and chamomile.

Beyond that, there was a great selection of beer, including a surprising number of fresh hop beers. Perhaps my favorite beer of the night was the Sky Hag IPA from Airways Brewing, but there were many, many excellent beers from which to choose.

Big crowd for a Friday evening.
Big Al's Chili IPA

Chris Miller along with the 7 Seas boys tapping the firkins at 6:00.
Sure, the weather could have been better, but it could have been worse. No complaints.
Hardcore Cornography.

Yakima Fresh Hop Festival

This was our first time attending this event. We’d been told it was great but we didn’t know exactly what to expect. In short, we absolutely loved this festival. The Annual Yakima Fresh Hop Festival is a big fundraiser for Allied Arts of Yakima Valley. They put on a great event.

The beers were amazing, as you can imagine. Too many great ones to mention, but I’ll give shouts out to a few of my favorites: Yakima Craft Brewing Fresh Hop IPA, Fremont Brewing Cowiche Canyon Organic Fresh Hop Ale, and New Belgium/Elysian The Trip Fresh Hop. I assume this was a fresh hop version of Trip VI? (The volunteers pouring didn’t know).

We loved the vibe of this event. The music was great. The local homebrew club was there amidst it all, brewing up a batch and answering questions. The beer selection was fantastic. They even had a cigar tent and encouraged people to light up. The crowd just seemed to be having a really, really good time in general. We especially enjoyed watching people dance to the sounds of Slideshow, a classic rock cover band that played familiar songs that inspired even the most hopeless dancers to get out there and shake it up.

As for the judging, as we understand it Laughing Dog Brewing came in first, Bridgeport Brewing came in second, and New Belgium/Elysian came in third. I could be wrong. I know for sure that Laughing Dog took home the gold, but beyond that my memory is a bit fuzzy for some reason and the information has yet to find its way onto the web.

Yakima, we will be back.

One big tent pouring fresh hop beers.
Sure, maybe Yakima Craft Brewing Co does have a home field advantage at this one.
Cigar tent. They did a pretty good business from what we saw and smelled.
Yep, that's a real pint glass. Two bucks for a generous taste or five for a pint. All for a worthy cause.
Sunset and it was still well into the 70s.
Big time sound system equals big time dance party and big time fun.


  1. Kendall –

    Great write up. Looks like you had a blast.

    The Trip VI is actually a fresh hop beer – so it was just the normal Trip VI. Its delicious, eh?

  2. The Fresh Hop Ale Festival was great! My favorite was the Fremont Brewing Cowiche Canyon Organic Fresh Hop Ale. I also liked that many of the volunteers pouring were pretty liberal. I had a few that were almost full pints! There were also some great local hard ciders as well (I like to end the evening with a couple of ciders to freshen up the taste buds a bit).

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