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.
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.
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.