Photo © Kira Baro Photography
Ready, set, brew! The Fresh Hop Ale Festival is returning to Yakima on October 1 for its 14th year. The festival will welcome more than 40 micro- and mega-breweries to craft their best beers on site. The goal of the competition is to get Yakima hops from the vine into an ale in 24 hours, with the best brew taking the crown. This setup pushes brewers to make a unique, one-of-a-kind beer so judges can single out the best improvised suds.
The competition isn’t limited to established breweries; there’s a homebrew contest for any attendees that want to brew independently. Hopefuls must pre-apply in order to compete.
Outside of the competitions, the festival offers more than 100 different kinds of beers to enjoy. For those craving a fruitier libation, eight wineries will be pouring. Alcohol aside, the event features live music and food from local restaurants.
Yakima is the perfect venue for celebrating ales, as the region supplies 77% of all U.S.-grown hops. Proceeds from the event are donated to various local non-profit organizations.
For hotel accommodations, check in at The Hotel Maison (thehotelmaison.com) or The Ledgestone Hotel (ledgestonehotel.com). To get more information about the Fresh Hop Ale Festival or to apply for the competition, visit freshhopalefestival.com. To find out more about exploring Washington’s Yakima Valley, go to visityakimavalley.com.