It is one of the most highly anticipated beer events of the year. It sells out without fail. It features some of the most creative and innovative beers on earth. It attracts only the most-ardent beer geeks. It is an event irresistible to any serious craft beer commando. The event showcases 70-something Washington-brewed, handcrafted, cask-conditioned ales. I’m talking about the annual Washington Cask Beer Festival.
This year the Washington Cask Beer Festival (Cask Fest) takes place on Saturday, March 31st at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion. There are two sessions: an afternoon session and an evening session. Separate tickets are required for each. Tickets for both sessions are now on sale. More details about the event can be found below in the official press release.
There is only one real big change this year: the Washington Brewers Guild returns as the presenting sponsor and all proceeds will benefit that organization. For the past few years the Washington Beer Commission presented Cask Fest and the proceeds benefited that organization. Now the festival returns to its roots. The Guild founded the event and for years hosted, and benefited from, the event.
Without going into excruciatingly boring detail, the Brewers Guild and the Beer Commission are separate organizations with different missions. They are both non-profit entities. The Guild represents its member breweries in matters of politics and policy, whereas the Commission serves to market and promote Washington-brewed beer as a commodity. They are undoubtedly joined at the hip, but each operates independently.
Here’s the press release with more details:
(Seattle, WA) February 8, 2012- After several years of hiatus the Washington Brewers Guild is pleased to return as the presenting sponsor of the Washington Cask Beer Festival on Saturday, March 31st at the Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion.
Washington Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build a community of Washington State brewers, advance their common interests through the legislative process and promote the quality and value of their beers. As the major fundraiser of the Guild the Cask Festival will raise much-needed funds for the organization to support its mission to support the brewing community in Washington State.
This year’s Cask Festival will continue its tradition as one of the region’s premier beer festivals and showcase Washington brewers’ exceptional talent in the form of cask-conditioned beer. The event started out over a decade ago as a small cask beer tasting organized by a handful of Guild member breweries in an attempt to introduce the artistry of the traditional brewing method that originated in England. Today the sold-out event attracts more than 1,500 cask aficionados from all over the region every year and its success is a powerful indication that more and more consumers are learning to appreciate craft beer, and cask-conditioned beer in particular. In addition to the impressive lineup of more than 70 fine cask-conditioned beers masterfully brewed by Washington breweries the Cask Fest will also return with a fan favorite, the Herbert’s Legendary Cask Festival Ale which will get a slight facelift this year. The Herbert’s is a special collaboration beer brewed in honor of late Bert Grant, a legendary Washington beer icon. Each year a different host brewery invites fellow Washington brewers to brew the beer based on the recipe that has been passed on from one host brewery to the next and it has been a must try among the devoted Cask Fest fans for many years.
The Cask Festival will host two sessions, one from noon to 4pm and a second session from 5:30pm to 9:30pm on Saturday, March 31st. Admission is $35 in advance or $40 at the door if tickets are still available. Separate tickets are required for each session. Admission includes a commemorative tasting cup and up to 25 sample tastes. Tickets are available online at www.washingtonbrewersguild.org and at select ticket outlets. The event is expected to sell out so advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended. This is a 21 and over only event.
WASHINGTON CASK BEER FESTIVAL
DATE: Saturday, March 31, 2012
Session 1- 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Session 2- 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Separate ticket required for each session
Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109
$35 advance tickets or $40 at the door if still available. Admission includes a commemorative tasting cup and up to 25 sample tastes.
Must be 21 years old or older and have a valid ID to be admitted.
Designated driver admission is $5 and available at the door only.
Tickets are on sale online at www.washingtonbrewersguild.org and at select outlets
Washington Cask Beer Festival is a major highlight of the Pacific Northwest beer festival scene. The event features more than 70 one-of-a-kind cask-conditioned beers from the region’s most innovative microbreweries. To stay true to the tradition of cask-conditioned beer the Festival requires brewers to naturally condition the beer in a firkin or other vessels without artificially introducing CO2. Poured by gravity the result is smooth ale with a thick creamy head that brings out subtle, nuanced flavors.
HERBERT’S LEGENDARY CASK FEST ALE
Also serving is Herbert’s Legendary Cask Festival Ale, a special cask beer brewed collectively by the Washington brewers in memory of Bert Grant, a legendary Washington beer icon. This year’s Herbert’s will get a slight facelift and will be brewed at Diamond Knot Brewing in collaboration with other participating Washington brewers. Herbert’s will be available at the Cask Festival as well as select pubs prior to the event.
Washington Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build a community of Washington State brewers, advance their common interests through the legislative process and promote the quality and value of their beers.