The frenzy of the hop harvest has come and gone, and this year’s seasonal fall beers have become pretty scarce. It’s just as well, because every craft beer lover will tell you that one of the most enjoyable aspects of the holiday season is the bevy of flavorful winter ales that flow freely from taps all over the city. So, it makes sense that The Washington Brewer’s Guild will be hosting their Winter Beer Festival just weeks ahead of all the holiday hustle and bustle.
The 2015 Winter Beer Festival comes with the promise of plenty of good cheer. There will be over 160 beers for you to try, hailing from 54 different Washington breweries. The beer list has been posted, and you’ll be pleased to find that many of the featured breweries are located right here in Seattle.
The festival will have three separate sessions:
· Session 1: Friday, December 4, 5pm-9pm
· Session 2: Saturday, December 5, Noon-4pm
· Session 3: Saturday, December 5 5:30pm-9:30pm
Tickets cost $30, and will need to be purchased for each session that you plan to attend. The price of your ticket includes ten beer tastes of your choice (4 ounces each) and one beer tasting glass. You can purchase tickets online until the night of December 3rd, or at one of the following locations (cash only):
· 99 Bottles 35002 Pacific Hwy. S. A102, Federal Way, WA 98003
· Bottleworks 1710 N 45th St., Suite 3, Seattle, WA 98103
· Full Throttle Bottles 5909 Airport Way, S., Seattle, WA 98108
· Malt & Vine 16851 Redmond Way, Redmond, WA 98052
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can skip the online and in-person ticket sales, and go straight for the “Hop-Filled Scavenger Hunt” hosted by The Stranger and The Washington Brewer’s Guild. The grand prize winner will take home one pair of tickets to the 2015 Winter Beer Fest (12/4-12/5/15) and one pair of tickets to the 2016 Cask Festival (3/19/16), and anyone who shares their scavenger hunt photos on social media using #washingtonbeerhunt will also be in the running for a chance to appear in The Stranger’s next beer feature.
The key to enjoying any of this, though, is setting your concerns aside for a day of carefree fun, and that includes never having to worry about getting home safely. Imbibe responsibly, and make the most of your time at the 2015 Winter Beer Fest. Participants are encouraged to either take public transportation (Metro bus #75 stops just outside of the event) or catch a ride with a designated driver. Designated drivers are invited to participate in the festival at a reduced ticket cost of just $5.
The festival offers more than a chance for a memorable weekend; it’s a chance to support our local brewers. There are over 300 breweries in Washington, even the largest of which can be classified as small businesses. Supporting them does the same thing for our local economy that shopping in small locally-owned shops does: it gives us the opportunity to promote prosperity right here in the city that we love to call home.