The Washington Beer Commission will soon announce the addition of a summer beer festival in Everett. The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 18th in the part of town that Everett has dubbed its Arts District. Similar to last summer’s inaugural Bremerton Summer Brewfest, the event will take place on closed streets in the city’s revitalized downtown area. In addition to beer from Washington breweries the event will feature food and live music. There will be more details in the coming days but we wanted to be first to announce the news.
Bear with me for a moment while I lend some perspective to the story. In 2006 the Washington State Legislature formed the Washington Beer Commission for the purposes of promoting the state’s microbreweries. Washington is the only state in the USA with such a commission. You should be proud of that. Washington has an Apple Commission, a Grain Commission, a Potato Commission, and a Beer Commission, among many other commodity commissions. We take beer seriously in Washington, as we should.
To prevent you from paying taxes to support the Commission’s work, the legislature provided a couple of different ways for the Commission to generate funds. Without going into boring detail, which I have probably already done, the Commission markets and promotes Washington’s brewing industry using funds generated at the festivals it organizes and operates. The Washington State Legislature created special provisions allowing the Commission run these festivals. It is not the only source of income, but the vast majority of the Commission’s funds come from festivals. It took a few years for the Commission to get its ducks lined up but these days the Washington Beer Commission very efficiently organizes and operates festivals. With a positive revenue stream now in place, expect to see more visible signs of the Commission’s efforts in the coming years.
Washington Beer Commission festivals include Belgianfest (February), Washington Brewers Festival (June), Bremerton Summer Brewfest (July), Spokane Oktoberfest (September), and Winter Beerfest (November/December). Add another one to the list, this time in Everett.
The Washington Beer Commission deserves to be congratulated. Apparently its events have become so popular that cities around the state are clamoring to host Washington beer festivals. Of course the breweries deserve a lot of the credit, too. As Eric Radovich, the Executive Director of the Washington Beer Commission, is always quick to point out, his job is easy because the state’s breweries pump out such great beer. Matt Russell, Director of Festival Operations, deserves kudos as well. His is a thankless job. He has created a template for these festivals and, quite frankly, works his butt off.