Fall 2019, Issue 001, Last Update: September 29, 2019
Yakima’s Fresh Hop Ale Festival (Saturday, October 5th) is routinely ranked one of the best beer festivals in the country, and for good reason: it’s a week-long celebration of our hop culture that culminates in a giant party with beer that is brewed with hops picked straight from the bines of Yakima Valley. Fresh hops typically expire within 24 hours, so the timing to do this is crucial. Limited in release, and each judged by the committee, the freshest of the fresh hop beers happen only once a year, making the Festival entirely unique. Additionally, the Festival offers grants to local arts and science organizations each year, enhancing and bettering our city. In 2018, they gave $101,464 in grants. The 2019 Festival is in an entirely new spot, and continues to get better and better. #WeGrowYourBeer, so drink up!
There are SO MANY varieties of hops – we can’t list them all, but you can read up on them. One cool thing that happens every September in Yakima is selection — when brewers flock to town to find the hops they want to use for the next year, which involves smelling, touching, and examining the hops. Some years, there are certain varieties that are especially sought after. Here are two that Malissa Gatton – Fresh Hop board member, and marketer for Yakima Valley Hops – is especially excited to try in this year’s Fresh Hop beers.
Sabro™ is a newer hop on the scene (released in 2018). Malissa is especially looking forward those Fresh Hopped beers this year, as there were several at last year’s Festival. Sabro™ has a distinct coconut and tropical fruit profile that somehow feels exotic to be sipping in the Yakima Valley in the fall. We would encourage everyone to seek out beers with this unique hop.
(📷: Yakima Chief Ranches)
If hops aren’t your thing, the Festival has your back. Local wineries and cideries will be pouring too, including Gilbert Cellars, Cote Bonneville, Fortuity Cellars, Tieton Cider Works, Treveri, and Naches Heights Vineyard. So even if you’re not a Hop Head, you’ll find something delicious to drink.
Apple Tree golf course hosts the Fresh Hop Golf Tournament *on Thursday, October 3. Scramble start, $150 for a two-person team. Registration at 11, lunch at 12, Tee off at 1pm.
(📷: Apple Tree Resort/IG)
*Brought to you by Mccown Crafted
Aside from the Festival itself, the Yakima Valley Hops Fresh Hop party on Friday October 4th is the hottest ticket in town – and one of the most fun. With three different bands playing outside YVH (the premier brewer supply shop) in Yakima’s historic warehouse district, you’re guaranteed to dance your butt off and have some of the freshest fresh hop beers around. Get tickets here.
702 N 1st Ave, Yakima, WA 98902
(208) 649-4677 | website
(📷: Yakima Valley Hops)
Venture out to lovely little Naches for a glimpse at our side of the Cascades, beer (of course), and some of the best pizza in our neck of the woods. Bron Yr Aur makes their pizza dough and slider buns fresh with their Beaver Deceiver Cream Ale. Bron Yr Aur has a sweet, helpful staff who will be happy to help you pair your beer with pizza.
12160 US-12, Naches, WA 98937
(509) 653-1109 | website
(📷: Bron Yr Aur/IG)
On Wednesday, October 2, local eatery Crafted and Single Hill Brewing will be pairing up for a Long Table Crab Feast Dinner down the tree-lined center of Naches Avenue. $95 per person, includes a crab boil filled table (with all the fixings and utensils!), two adult beverages (with more available to purchase), tax and service. 🦀🍻 UPDATE: Sold out fast this year so make sure you stay on top of tickets for next year’s dinner!
Second Street Grill has over 20 constantly-rotating tap handles and great Happy Hour with local Fresh Hops on tap; If you want to spot brewers out on the town or catch your favorite game, Sports Center is the place, and always a must during Fresh Hop Season (take a selfie in front of the coolest retro sign in all of Yakima); Provisions has growlers to go. They also have brunch if you’re in need of some hair of the dog. Also worth a stop-off: Public House and Bill’s Place.
(📷: Sports Center/IG)
We really do grow your beer – 75% of the hops in the US are grown right here in the Yakima Valley. You can get a beer smack dab in the center of a hop farm at Bale Breaker, drink in old-town downtown Yakima at relatively new (and delicious) Single Hill, head to adorable Naches for Bron Yr Aur, or check out the gorgeous view from Naches Heights at Cowiche Creek. These are just a few of our favorites for the variety in settings and beers for enjoying in our valley, but you can find even more here, including notable nano-breweries
Cowiche Canyon Conservancy owns and manages over 5,000 acres of land. With over 30 miles of trails, you can go for a hike, get on your mountain bike, or go birding within minutes from town. Check out their website for maps, tips, and trail information.
(📷: Jonathan Shipley/IG)
What once was home to a church, the Seasons Performance Hall is Yakima’s main indoor concert venue. From jazz to the Seattle Rock Orchestra to Macklemore, the Seasons is known for its incredible acoustics and eclectic musical shows. While no shows are scheduled for Fresh Hop week, the weekend before, their Songwriter Sessions series kicks off with Jason McCue (Friday, September 27th). You can admire the building's architecture from across the street at Single Hill.
(📷: The Seasons)
Yakima Maker Space (YMS) was created in 2013 with the goal of "galvanizing our City's creative potential." The YMS founders led by example when they took an abandoned downtown building and created a shop where you can make almost anything. They host events like Drag Me Out to the Arts, various art groups, and tool demos. It will be open on the day of the Festival. Fill up with some coffee at Collab Cafe and head next door to YMS to get a tour and see what the makers are doing.