Attendees at the Seattle International Beerfest sample beers from near and far — Photo courtesy of Walknboston
One thing's for certain: Seattle doesn't take its beer scene lightly. Long before the craft beer craze took off, Jim Whittaker carried a can of Seattle’s Rainier Beer with him on the trek that made him the first American to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.
In fact, many credit Washington for launching the microbrew rebirth in the 1980s. And these days, the state has one of the country’s largest concentrations of breweries. So how to celebrate Seattle's rich beer history and its promising, on-the-move future? We reckon the Seattle International Beerfest (held August 22 through 24 in 2014) seems the perfect event.
The high-end, three-day fest specializes in rare, hard-to-find and exotic beers. Guests will find more than 200 "world-class beers from 16 countries," as well as a bounty of brews from right here in the Pacific Northwest.
According to the website, "SIB will roll out a downright gaudy selection of top-rated Barley Wines, Imperial Stouts, Double IPA's, Barrel Aged Strong Ales, funky Farmhouse Saison and Sour Ales."
Blast off! Flights of beer abound at this fest — Photo courtesy of Bernt Rostad
Visitors will enjoy strolling the lovely grounds of the Seattle Center's Fisher Pavilion and Lawn (about 200 yards from the Space Needle). Grab a cold one, and take in the scene and the music of fantastic bands that perform all weekend.
The festival costs $30 at the gate (They take cash only.) or $25 if bought online in advance. This includes 10 beer tickets plus an official SIB glass. Additional tickets can be purchased for $1 each (Each serving measures four ounces). Depending on the brew, beers cost anywhere from one to seven tickets, and full pints can be "purchased" for three tickets (or $3) in the Grande Beer Garden. Visitors on a budget will be glad to hear that the fest offers many one-ticket beers, too.
Since re-entry is free (Just be sure to keep your glass and wristband.), guests can come and go all weekend as they please. Tickets are non-refundable, and there is only a $5 cover for non-drinkers.
The venue offers awesome indoor-outdoor park space with seating for 600 to 700 (with both shaded and unshaded options). In addition, though, there's an enormous lush lawn perfect for picnic-style seating, so bring your own blanket, and kick back in the grass!
For more information, visit SeattleBeerFest.com.