It may not be Palm Springs, but every now and then Yakima shines through as one of my favorite places to be. One such time is during the Fresh Hop Ale Festival, which is next Saturday – October 4th.
Most of you already know that we grow an awful lot of hops out east in this state. So it makes sense that at harvest time, we celebrate out near the farms with fresh hop beers – that is, the hops will have gone from the farm into the beer within 24 hours of being picked. We only get one shot to do this every year, and then the rest of the year we’re drinking dried and processed hops – so take advantage of something you can’t find anywhere else and attend the Fresh Hop Ale Festival.
The festival will feature fresh hop beers from 36 breweries, plus cider, food, and live music all at S 3rd & Yakima Avenue in downtown Yakima. As for the music, I’m particularly excited this year to see one of my favorite local bands Smokey Brights performing, along with Cumulus.
Tickets are $30 in advance, and you can click here to purchase. Or, they are $35 at the door. The event starts at 5pm and runs until 10pm, so my recommendation is to get a hotel room (and hurry, many are sold out now!) and stay the night. If you’re itching to go out after the festival, I recommend hanging around Sports Center (they have shuffleboard) or getting some late night grub at Second Street Grill – all within walking distance of the festival.
I had the awesome opportunity yesterday evening to accompany the lovely Taryn Miller of Sips & the City to Wine Rocks Seattle on Pier 66, and essentially get the experience of a wine festival instead of the beer fests I usually gravitate to. I’m sold! This event had everything you could want on a Seattle summer evening: a waterfront location with a view, fantastic wines (I stuck mostly to white and rose because of the heat), food samples (Beechers Cheese and Bill the Butcher were on hand, among others) and food trucks (like the amazing Grilled Cheese Experience), and live music.
The music was provided by the wine makers themselves, who formed a few bands and played a good variety for lounging and dancing. In particular, an all-track-suit-wearing band from Des Voigne Cellars in Woodinville provided covers from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Weezer and Dixie Chicks that I just loved.
As far as the wine goes, I won’t pick favorites. I’m not nearly enough of a connoisseur to advise on good wines. I’ll just say there was a great representation there from all over the state and enough varieties to suit everyone’s taste. Don’t like wine? They had you covered there too, with several beers and ciders available.
The best part? Proceeds from the event benefited the University District Food Bank.
Here’s a few photos from the event!
Earth Day is April 22nd, which happens to land on a Tuesday this year – but many of us will be spending this Easter weekend contributing somehow. For example, I’m headed to Federal Way tomorrow to work with Habitat for Humanity on a neighborhood cleanup project.
Latona Pub, however, is once again continuing their awesome streak of providing a full tap list consisting only of beers that have made it to the pub by means other than motorized transportation. Many of the kegs going on tap this weekend are from fairly close breweries like Naked City and RAM Northgate and are walked to Latona by way of hand truck. Some, however, are coming from a little farther away, like Black Raven Brewing (about 19 miles). That particular keg was attached to the back of brewer Tom Mace’s bike and cycled over.
This is the fourth year in a row that Latona Pub has held this tradition. It all culminates on Sunday, April 20th, when nonprofit organization Feet First (along with a number of volunteers and participants), walk the final keg from Two Beers Brewing in SODO starting around 9:30 in the morning. The beer, called Hand Truckin’ Amber Ale, should arrive at the end of it’s 10-mile walking trek at about 2pm where the festivities really kick off at Latona. An auction is held at the pub and both donations and awareness benefit Feet First, who help make Washington more walkable.
Look for me (and my dad, who’s in town visiting me!) at Latona Pub that afternoon, ready to bid on a some cool prizes!
Posted in Community News, Local Business, Local Eats & Drinks
Tagged Black Raven, earth day, Green Lake, Latona Pub, naked city, Ram Northgate, seattle, Seattle Beer, sodo, Two Beers Brewing
Next Wednesday, April 23rd from 6pm to 9pm, the University District Food Bank will be playing guest bartender for 50 North Restaurant,in an effort to raise a little extra cash.
50 North is located at 5001 25th Ave NE #100 (at Northcut Landing), with free garage parking. It’s a family-friendly restaurant and serves dinner until 9pm on weeknights with the bar closing down at 10pm.
Next Wednesday, 10% of all drink sales will be donated to the Food Bank. Receipts will also give an opportunity to donate extra amounts to the Food Bank on your credit/debit card, and there will be tip jars around the bar collecting also. Finally, 50 North is donating $1 to the University Food Back for every “LIKE” they receive on Facebook today through the event night, so click through and give them a like!
Sure it’s only April, but I for one am already gearing up for some of the most fun events this town puts on. Whether you’re new to the Puget Sound, or just finally getting involved, here are four of the “Can’t Miss” occasions I look forward to each year!
Washington Brewers Festival: June 13th-15th. Perhaps the most well attended beer festival in the state, this event runs Friday through Sunday at Marymoor Park in Redmond. Friday night is adults only, but kids are welcome Saturday and Sunday and this serves as a great way to celebrate Father’s Day. This year, there will be 88 participating breweries, each serving up a few options for over 300 beer selections.
Fremont Summer Solstice Parade: June 21st. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve brought to this parade over the years, to celebrating the arrival of summer. Between naked cyclists, environmentally-conscious floats, and the arrival of the flying spaghetti monster it’s a must-do. Just get there early – and I mean EARLY – to get a good view. Also, bring a little cash to put in the change buckets as they come round, as this event and many others like it are funded by public donation.
Green Lake Milk Carton Derby: July 12th. This event is technically part of Seafair, but is a full day of fun in its own right. Different categories of participants create and decorate their own floats out of milk cartons and then race them on Green Lake. It lasts just about all day long, and when the floats aren’t racing they’re on display around the path to see.
Moonlight Cinema at Redhook: July 10th – August 28th. This year’s movie lineup includes Die Hard, Anchorman 2, Top Gun and The Big Lebowski to name a few. You have to head to the eastside, but can you think of a better location for an outdoor movie festival than at a brewery? (Didn’t think so)
There’s plenty of other events coming up this summer too, like Seafair, National Night Out, and Concerts at Marymoor Park – we’ll get to those at a later date!
Posted in Community News, Local Business, Local Eats & Drinks
Tagged Fremont, Green Lake, marymoor park, milk carton derby, redhook, redmond, seattle, summer solstice parade, washington beer, washington brewers fest
As someone who has always had an easier time making friends with men instead of women, I am thankful for a monthly meetup among girlfriends that we call “NewBar.” The first Friday of every month, one girl picks a bar she’s never been to – and the rest of us meet there for a drink and maybe light meal. The most recent NewBar was my choice – and since I never find an excuse to go to Capitol Hill, I chose a place called Witness – 410 Broadway East. We unanimously decided this has been our most fun NewBar night in quite some time.
Witness has a Southern Baptist theme. It’s hard to find, as the sign out front is similar to what you’d see outside a church – a black box with white letters behind glass. Inside, the church theme continues with pews as seats and inspired cocktails like the Saint Christopher and the Heaven is a Place on Earth.
Witness claims to focus on hospitality and boy do they. While waiting on a crowded Friday night for a table, we were served our drinks, approached several times to make sure we were okay, and then finally seated. Once seated, we had two visits to the table from the owner, who talked to us a little about the food and atmosphere. I couldn’t resist ordering chicken and waffles (O.M.G. – best in Seattle). Other classic southern dishes on the menu include shrimp and grits, and Carolina pulled pork sliders. But make no mistake – this is still Capitol Hill and not actually a church, so there was vibrant music and plenty of fun to be had.
Well worth the ~40 minute wait for a seat, this place was fantastic!
This Saturday is my favorite beer festival of the year: the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s Winter Beer Taste. As a sort of “kick-off” to winter beer season, the event features 30 local breweries pouring both the classics, and their newest winter concoctions.
The event starts at 7pm on Saturday, November 9th, and costs $35 for non-PNA members ($25 for members). It’s held at the Phinney Center, at 6532 Phinney Ave N. For $60, you can head in early for a sneak preview tasting and beat the crowds.
Some recommendations to look out for? Big Al’s Nutwarmer (which is usually gone halfway through the night), Naked City’s Wild Cherry Barrel Aged Sour, and a cider this year from the new Seattle Cider Company.
More info and tickets here: http://www.phinneycenter.org/beer/