The big state brewers festival, in Redmond's Marymoor Park again, had 105 beer-brewing entities setting up their booths under glorious sunshine last Saturday (the weather has not always been kind to this Fathers Day weekend event). The real news is the sheer numbers. Five years ago less than one hundred breweries even existed, and McMenamins and RAM each had a half-dozen locations licensed to swell the totals listed in the Northwest Brewing News. Today, I dare say last week's 105 was less than half the beer making entities brewing today.
The Friday evening part of the program was must-be-21 and the booths staffed mostly by brewers themselves. The Saturday program was family-friendly, and strollers and other kid-carriers were all over the place. Most of the booths were still run by brewery staff members, and in some cases the brewers were back. I had a chance to chat with Nigel from Outlander on the Fremont-Ballard border, learning that his Honey Basil Ale is his most requested keg at nearby taverns. I wandered over to Port Townsend Brewing's stand for a taste of Yoda's Green Tea Golden, and again I lobbied Kim to move this delicious brew from the seasonal category to the regular rotation. Saw some auld acquaintances like Mari from Chuckanut and Jim from Foggy Noggin and newer acquaintances like Chad and Colleen from Wander. Great time, got home with several bus connections.