It’s almost upon us. From Friday June 15 thru Sunday June 17, the Washington Brewers Festival takes over Marymoor Park in Redmond. The state’s largest beer festival of the year happens annually on Father’s Day weekend and features over 100 of Washington’s breweries pouring more than 500 different beers. Below we share the list of breweries and beers.
Friday evening is for grownups only (21+). The rest of the weekend is an all-ages affair, but of course the kids can’t drink. To keep things safe and family-friendly, token limits will apply to the Saturday and Sunday sessions, a change in policy that we explain in a previous post.
For complete event details and tickets, visit the event website.
In the past, I have put together a hit list of beers I recommend people try at the festival. Those days are gone. It is very presumptuous of me to assume that I am better equipped than you to put together such a list. You are probably a pretty damned savvy beer drinker and you don’t need me to tell you that an IPA from Bale Breaker is going rock your world. You don’t need me suggesting that Fremont’s Barrel-Aged Anything is a winner. These are things you know.
This year I am just offering some advice. Basically, I am suggesting some strategies for attacking the festival.
Location – A number of the breweries at the event are from the far reaches of the state, the kinds of places that folks who live in the urban confines of the greater Seattle area may not visit any time soon. Some of these breweries only rarely distribute beer to the Seattle area. This festival may be the only chance you get to drink beer from these breweries.
Be Super Picky and Then Don’t Be – Peruse the list carefully and thoroughly. Find five or six beers that really, really grab your attention. Let your palate and your mind savor these beers deeply. Thereafter, just get a beer. Make sure it’s a good one, from a brewery you trust, but just shoot from the hip. Remember, this is a festival and it’s about having fun. Great beer, yes, but there’s nothing wrong with some simple beer-fueled fun.
Timing is Everything – Some of the beers are poured on particular days and maybe even at particular times. For instance, and this is just one example, Fremont Brewing’s infamous “rotating tap.” Pay attention. Ask questions about what will be on tap and when. Keep an eye on those rotating taps. There are a lot of them, and they are noted on the beer list below.
Sometimes Weird is Just Weird – This is always a matter of personal taste, but sometimes beers that sound very weird are nothing but weird. I’ve run into some beers that sounded very interesting but ended up being fertilizer for the lawn, a sad waste of a precious beer token. Just something to keep in mind.
High-Fivin’ ABV Beer Bros – I probably don’t need to say this to anyone who follows this blog, but don’t be that guy. “What’s your strongest beer?” Just don’t. If ABV really is your top priority, at least try to find a more clever way of discovering such details. At least pretend that you care about the beer more than the buzz.
This is the list exactly as it was provided to me by the event organizers. Understandably, it is subject to change. I apologize in advance for any errors, but this is exactly what I was given. I have not contacted all 100 breweries to confirm that the list is 100 percent accurate.