If you’ve noticed all the harvest action in the hop fields, you know what that means – It’s finally time for fresh hops!
Fresh Hop Ale Festival
Here in the heart of hop country, every single hop cone gets harvested and processed over the span of 30 crazy days in September. It all culminates with the Yakima Valley’s signature Fresh Hop Ale Festival, one of the “Top 10 Beer Festivals in The Nation!” On Saturday, October 5, 65 brewers from around the U.S. descend upon downtown Yakima to compete for top honors with fresh hop ales crafted specifically for the festival using only freshly harvested hops. It’s a one-of-a kind craft beer festival just made for beer lovers! Also enjoy wine, ciders, local flavors from food trucks and vendors, live music and fun activities. Best of all, this is a vehicle for community enrichment and positive social change, with proceeds donated to Yakima Country arts and sciences organizations.
Fresh Hop Festivities All Week Long!
You don’t have to wait for the festival for fresh hop experiences! Enjoy fresh hop ale release parties, live music and hop sensory experiences. Make your own hop crown, tour a hop farm and brewery, and more during the week leading up to the Fresh Hop Ale Festival. Local taprooms will be tapping kegs early so stop by for a taste while you wait for the main event!
Tapping the kegs early! We’ve already spotted fresh hop ale release all around the Valley and more are to come! Get a head start on tasting the fresh hop ales during Fresh Hop Beer Week with release parties at Yakima Valley breweries. All these ales will be featured at the Fresh Hop Ale Festival in case you miss the chance to try them early. Bale Breaker Brewing Co. has already released their signature fresh hop ale, Piled High Imperial Fresh Hop Ale. Cowiche Creek Brewing Company has released two fresh hop ales, including Mt. Cleman Fresh Hop Pale Ale in partnership with CLS Farms and has one more release to come! Varietal Beer Co. released their first fresh hop ale, Wetwolf with more on the horizon. Taste them in the taproom!
On Friday, September 27, check out the Bale Breaker Citra® Slicker Wet Hop IPA Release Party, Valley Brewing Co’s single hop Citra Fresh Hop Hazy IPA release, Cowiche Creek Brewing Company’s third fresh hop ale release and Hop Nation Brewing’s FREGO Fresh Hop release.
Head to Wandering Hop Brewery on October 2 from 3 to 9 pm for Fresh Hop Week Wandering Wendnesday, when they’ll release six fresh hop ales on tap and introduce their latest sandwich! Don’t miss the prize giveaways. They’ll be offering discounts on all merchandise and tasty food will be available.
On October 3 visit the Varietal Beer Co. Fresh Hop Release Party featuring fresh hop collaborations with 10 other breweries. Also on October 3, head to The Sports Center for the release of 1 in 8 Fresh Hop IPA from CLS Farms, Icicle Brewing, and Payette Brewing. From 5 to 8 pm, this is a fundraiser for Wellness House of Yakima And Wenatchee Helping Women Survivors of Cancer.
Take a ride through hop country. On Sunday, September 29, join Varietal Beer Co. for the Harvest 100 Century Ride, a 100-mile ride through hop yards, vineyards, and more – all as the valley works hard to harvest the season’s best. The ride begins and ends at Varietal Beer Co. in Sunnyside and tickets include beer and pizza at the finish line.
Get your tickets! Visit the Pop-Up Shop on Monday, September 30! Hosted by Fresh Hop Ale Festival and Second Street Grill on the patio at Second Street Grill, they will be selling GA tickets and a few of this year’s new merch items! Enter to win 2 sets of (2) VIP tickets by participating in the mini corn hole contest! Tickets also available on Fresh Hop Ale Festival Website and at the door.
Take a tour! Learn about hop growing and harvesting in the Yakima Valley. Tour a hop farm during hop harvest at Hops Direct, LLC. Puterbaugh Farms, a fifth generation hop farming family. Tours of the 1,200+ acre hop farm where 19 different varieties of hops are grown, harvested, stored and shipped are available during hop harvest season, August through September, by reservation. Please contact them at least 24 hours prior to make arrangements. firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.972.3616.
Or, Visit the American Hop Museum to learn about the history of the American hop industry; from its early days in the colonies to the Pacific Northwest. Bale Breaker Brewing Co. offers a hop field tour and sensory experience, with a chance to sniff whatever hop is freshly kilned on October 4. Brewery tours are also offered on the October 5 and 6.
Make a hop crown to wear to the festival! Make your own one-of-a-kind fresh hop crown with hops and a variety of decorative elements at Kameo Flower Shop on October 4 from 5:30 pm to 8 pm. There will be a tasty taco bar and drinks to purchase. On October 5, visit Bale Breaker Brewing Co. from 3 to 4pm for Hoppy Hour $4/pints and all the fixings to make your very own fresh hop crown!
Head to Cowiche for a brewery takeover. Before or during the festival, on October 5, from 2 to 9 pm, check out Cowiche Creek Brewing Company’s takeover by Fat Pastor Creations. The Fat Pastor takes over the brewery for a one-of-a kind day of food and brews!
Celebrate with pre and post fresh hop parties! Looking for fun before or after the main event?
Play in the McCown Crafted-Fresh Hop Golf Tournament on Thursday, October 3, from 11 am to 4 pm, hosted by Fresh Hop Ale Festival and Apple Tree Resort, for a day of fundraising, fresh hop beer tasting and golf! The Fresh Hop Ale Festival will be onsite selling festival tickets, merchandise and raffle tickets for awesome prizes. Also on October 3, from 4 pm to 9 pm, help Berchmans Brewing celebrate 5 years since its debut with a party featuring 10 taps, including four fresh hop ale releases and two special reserve kegs. Don’t miss Single Hill Brewing’s Super Fresh Hop Pre-Funk 80’s Party, also on Thursday October 3, from 7 pm to 9 pm. Go day-glo and bust out your bodacious 80s threads!
Head to Bale Breaker Brewing Co. on Friday, October 4, from4 to 8 pm, for the ultimate Fresh Hop Mini Golf Putt-Putt Contest. You’ll have three targets, three putts and three awesome prizes to win! Also on October 4, attend the2019 FRESH HOP Party! At Yakima Valley Hops with live music, more than 30 breweries, and four food trucks. Celebrate another successful Fresh Hop Ale Festival and hop season at Hop Nation Fresh Hop Industry After-Party happening right after the festival from 10 pm to midnight. It’s open to industry and all for drinks, food, music, games and laughs.
The morning after! On Sunday, after the festival,Berchmans Brewing Company and Taproom will serve up free bagels and $10 growler fills from 10 am to 2 pm. Or, get the ultimate hangover cure according toBale Breaker Brewing – Guerra Gourmet’s brunch of breakfast tortas and fresh hop beer from 12 to 3 pm.