Strange Brewfest – Time to Make Your Plans

Tickets are now available online for the 8th Annual Strange Brewfest in Port Townsend. The event takes place on January 27 – 29 and promises to feature some uncommon beers from more than 30 breweries. Most of the approximately 60 beers available at Strange Brewfest are exclusive to the event. Do not expect to find them anywhere else.

Your $25 entry fee gets you in to all three sessions, or whichever session(s) you choose to attend. You’ll get some tokens to get you started but you can (and probably will) purchase more once you’re in the festival. This is a 21+ event. This is no place for children. It’s Strange Brewfest. Friday 7:00 – 11:00, Saturday 1:00 – 11:00, and Sundays 1:00 – 6:00. If you plan to spend the night, as you should, you need to hustle and secure some lodging.

For the uninitiated, Strange Brewfest is an event rewarding creativity. Nothing is out of bounds with regards to the brews. The Reinheitsgebot –the German beer purity law dictating that beer be made using only the three most primary ingredients– is frowned upon at Strange Brewfest. Last year 7 Seas Brewing brought a tomato-infused “7 Bloody Seas” to emulate a Bloody Mary. Anacortes brought a “Grand Salami” beer as a tribute to the late Dave Niehaus. Yes, it did taste like salami. Those are just a couple examples of why this is not an event for the timid, unadventurous beer drinker.

Last year's Nut Warmer - a Peanut Butter Winter Warmer from Big Al Brewing.

Once again the musical lineup for Strange Brewfest is impressive. Visit the website for details. In addition to the music, expect to see belly dancers, stilt walkers, jugglers, fire dancers and even hula hoops. Saturday night features an “anything goes” costume contest. After all, creativity is the driving theme behind this festival.

Packed house at Strange Brewfest 2011.

Free Advice

Read our previous posts about Strange Brewfest. You just might learn something valuable.

Port Townsend Brewing – Visit the Port Townsend Brewing Company while you are in town. Why not? It’s a great place with great beer. Friday open from Noon – 9:00. Saturday and Sunday open from Noon – 7:00.

The Early Bird – Last year the first session (Friday night) was quite mellow and enjoyable, however a few of breweries were not there. Most of you are likely planning to attend the Saturday session. You are not alone. Be there at 1:00 when the doors open. Chase down the beers that pique you interest early. Enjoy the festival all afternoon and then go enjoy dinner at one of Port Townsend’s fine restaurants. The event will get packed beyond belief as the day moves on. Do not be disappointed or upset because of the crowd. You have been warned.

Stay the Night – Strange Brewfest is one part beer festival, one part carnival, and two parts elegant debauchery. Do not plan to keep a lid on it. That would be silly and naive. Instead, plan to spend the night and fully enjoy Strange Brewfest like a pro. Get on it now. NOW! The entire town will sell out. Below we list some of our favorite Port Townsend lodging options. The Strange Brewfest website lists many more.

The Bishop Hotel. Just a couple blocks from the event.

The Swan Hotel. Right across the street from the event.

The Aladdin Motor Inn. About a mile away, but cheap and clean. By foot, it’s about a 20 minute walk from the festival. My experience is that getting a cab in PT requires a lot of patience.

Go to the official Strange Brewfest website for more event information and to purchase tickets.