Fresh Hop Ale Festival


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We enjoyed our Ballard fresh hop beer tasting tour so much that we decided to go all out and attend the Fresh Hop Ale Festival in Yakima, WA the following weekend. Yakima is a 2:20 drive east from Seattle on I-90, but we instead took a slightly longer route south through Mt. Rainier National Park to take the Chinook Scenic Byway. The portion of the route between Enumclaw and Naches is considered one of the most scenic in the US, and sections would soon close for the winter.

The scenery was beautiful, and we particularly enjoyed the change in topography from western Washington’s tree-filled mountains to the rolling hills of the east. We’d not visited Yakima before, and had some time to explore the town on foot before the festival started.

Established in 1888, Yakima is an agricultural town that is one of the leading producers of apples in the world. And 77% of the nation’s beer hops are grown here, in addition to wine grapes and other fruit. The city seemed to be going through a bit of cultural resurgence and we found it quite appealing to walk through. Then, on to the festival, taking place just outside town.

With 62 breweries represented, we couldn’t possibly try everything. So our strategy was to stick mostly to our preferred beer, a hazy IPA, and not repeat any from our Ballard brewery tour the previous week. Our first tasting was Fresh Hop Lateral A, a hazy IPA from Yakima-based Single Hill that is brewed in collaboration with Zeek’s Pizza, one of our favorite pizza restaurants in Seattle. The festival also is a judged competition, and Fresh Hop Lateral A took 1st place for in the IPA category this year.

We sampled another dozen fresh hop beers after that, including Seattle-based Hellbent brewery; Boundary Bay Brewing Co in Bellingham, where we had dinner on a snowshoeing trip to Mt. Baker earlier in the year; the Crux Fermentation Project of Bend, Oregon, a city we’d stayed in for several nights on our road trip across the country; and Dru Bru at Snoqualmie Pass, next door to The Commonwealth pub we often visit on our way home from the mountains. We did break our hazy IPA rule once to try a fresh hop Bodhizafa from Seattle-based Georgetown Brewing Co, pictured above. We really like Bodhizafa (aka “bo-dee”), and pretty much everything Georgetown produces, and the fresh hop variant was even better.

All the beers were delicious, the weather was clear and warm, and we had a fabulous time visiting the various booths, watching some live music and generally enjoying the setting.

Below are highlights from October 8th and 9th, 2022. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a map with our most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

10/8/2022
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The Mint
Lunch at the historic Mint restaurant in Enumclaw on our way to Yakima, WA to attend the Fresh Hop Ale Festival.
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Woods
The afternoon sun filtering through the trees as we drive along Highway 410 north of Mt. Rainier from Enumclaw to Yakima.
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Mt. Rainier NP
Entering Mt. Rainier National Park en route to Yakima just south of where Highway 410 will close for the winter in a few weeks. Taking I-90 to Yakima from Seattle is a little faster, but we wanted to take the Chinook Scenic Byway. The portion of the route between Enumclaw and Naches is considered one of the most scenic in the US.
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Cayuse Pass
The view to Naches Peak (6,452 ft; 1,967 m) as we climb Cayuse Pass on Highway 410.
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Mt. Rainier
Mt. Rainier often appears in the sky when least expected. Here we are driving away from it east through Cayuse Pass, but the road has such extreme switchbacks that we ended up driving back towards the mountain for a bit.
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Tipsoo Lake Trailhead
We initially were planning to make the short hike along the Tipsoo Lake Trailhead since we’d be passing right by. But the entire area was mobbed with people, so we decided to pass.
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Wenatchee NF
Exiting Mt. Rainier National Park for Wenatchee National Forest. The footbridge we’re about to pass under carries the border-to-border Pacific Crest Trail over the highway.
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Chinook Pass
We’ve just crested Chinook Pass, with a maximum altitude of 5,430 ft (1,655 m), and will be descending towards Naches from here.
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American Ridge
The view east to to American Ridge (6,240ft; 1,901m) in the William O. Douglas Wilderness from the Chinook Pass Scenic Byway.
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Naches River
Driving along the Naches River as we descend from Chinook Pass.
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Rolling Hills
The scenery east of Chinook Pass is much different than on the west side, with rolling, grass covered hills replacing tree-fill mountains.
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Yakima
We arrived in Yakima, checked into our hotel and now are out for a walk through town. Established in 1888, Yakima is an agricultural town that is one of the leading producers of apples in the world. And 75% of the nation’s beer hops are grown here, in addition to wine grapes and other fruit.
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St. Michael’s
St. Michael’s Episcopal Mission, completed the year of the city’s founding in 1888, is the oldest church in Yakima.
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Capitol Theater
Yakima’s Capitol Theater opened in 1920 and is the main performing arts facility for the region.
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Abundance
The sculpture Abundance by local artists Michael Gray and Chad Gray in a small park in downtown Yakima.
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Avenida Cantina
One of several drawings on the face of Avenida Cantina. We particularly like the quote drawn on one wall: “Feed me tacos and tell me I’m pretty”.
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Crafted
Drawing/advertisement on the side of highly-rated restaurant Crafted in Yakima. The city seems to be going through a bit of cultural resurgence and we found it quite appealing to walk through.
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Mak Daddy
Italian sodas, hold the cream, at Mak Daddy in Yakima.
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Single Hill
Single Hill is one of several craft breweries in the Yakima area. The lineup is for bus to the Fresh Hop Ale Festival. We initially were considering taking the bus, but the line looked awfully long, so we took an Uber instead.
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Toyota Tundra
A capable-looking Toyota Tundra parked in downtown Yakima. This is a popular off-roading vehicle in the areas where we camp, and would be a much better than our little Honda Passport for some of the terrain we tackle. But we like the handling and driving comfort of our vehicle, so feel it is a good compromise.
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Vineyard Church
The church of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Yakima, housed in the old 1907 First Christian Church.
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Chalk Fest 2022
The annual Yakima Chalk Fest took place earlier today, resulting in several sidewalks full of impressive drawings.
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Fresh Hop Ale Festival
After spending some time exploring Yakima, it was time to attend the Fresh Hop Ale Festival a little outside downtown. We’d really enjoyed our Ballard fresh hop beer tasting, so decided to go all out and attend the festival.
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Single Hill
Our first tasting was Fresh Hop Lateral A, a hazy IPA from Yakima-based Single Hill that is brewed in collaboration with Zeek’s Pizza, one of our favorite pizza restaurants in Seattle. The festival also is a judged competition, and Fresh Hop Lateral A took 1st place for in the IPA category this year.
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Sunset
A beautiful sunset over the Yakima Fresh Hop Ale Festival tents.
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Georgetown Brewing
Next up, a fresh hop Bodhizafa from Seattle-based Georgetown Brewing Co. We really like Bodhizafa (aka “bo-dee”), and pretty much everything Georgetown produces, and the fresh hop version was excellent.
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Hop Creep
Hop Creep, a band made of beer industry people, taking the stage at the Fresh Hop Ale Festival. They were quite good, and a lot of fun. Hop Creep is a industry term referring to an unwanted second fermentation of dry-hopped beer.
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Denali HD
A nice-looking GMC Sierra HD Denali pickup truck on display, inside a bed of fresh hops.
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Fresh Hops
Fresh hops surrounding the stage at the Fresh Hope Ale Festival.
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Crux
A New Favorite fresh hop hazy IPA from Crux Fermentation Project of Bend, OR.
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BBQ
One of the food vendors at the Fresh Hop Ale Festival brought a giant barbecue.
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Tacos
Delicious street tacos from one of the food vendors at the festival.
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Hellbent
Trying a Romancing the Cone fresh hop hazy IPA from Seattle-based Hellbent brewing.
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Fresh Hop Bicycle
A man serving beer from a bicycle-powered beer stand covered in fresh hops. He was actually able to ride it around without tipping over.
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Valley Brewing
Citra fresh hop hazy IPA from Yakima-based Valley Brewing.
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Evening
We’d arrived reasonably early to the festival and the place was really filling in by nightfall.
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Bale Breaker
A truck from Yakima-based Bale Breaker, whose brewery stands in the middle of their family’s fourth-generation hop farm. We loved the statement on the side of the truck: “We don’t just make our beer. We grow it.” Their Seattle tap room was the last stop on our Ballard fresh hop pub tasting.
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Wander Brewing
A Vibe Quest strata hazy fresh hop IPA from Wander Brewing based in Bellingham, WA.
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Santa Poco
Seattle-based honky-tonk band Santa Poco was next on stage. We enjoyed listening to them, and particularly watching Pat McHenry play the steel guitar.
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Burke-Gilman
Fresh Hopotheosis hazy double IPA from Seattle-based Burke-Gilman Brewing.
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Dru Bru
Mozaic, a hazy fresh hop from Dru Bru. The brewery has two locations, one on Cle Elum and the other right next door to the Commonwealth at Snoqualmie Pass, that we often visit on our way back from outdoor activities.
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Mirage
Don’t Play, a fresh hop hazy pale ale from Seattle-based Mirage Brewing.
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20 Corners
A citra fresh hop hazy IPA from 20 Corners, based in Woodinville just north of Seattle.
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Boundary Bay
A Sabrocadabro fresh hop hazy IPA from Boundary Bay Brewing Co in Bellingham. We had dinner at their brewpub when we went snowshoeing at Mt. Baker earlier in the year.
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1st Place IPA
Single Hill Brewery celebrating their 1st place win for an IPA at the Fresh Hop Ale Festival.
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Caleb Hawley
R&B/Soul singer Caleb Hawley headlining the concert at the Fresh Hop Ale Festival.
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Ice Harbor
A fresh hop IPA from Ice Harbor Brewing of Kennewick, WA. Their brewery is at the intersection of the Columbia and Snake rivers, not far from the Ice Harbor Dam that we passed through on our trip up those rivers to Idaho.
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Varietal
Varietal won first place in the Imperial category, but we went with their Brisa Verde fresh hop IPA.
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Field of Hops
We had a fabulous time at the Yakima Fresh Hop Ale Festival, loved all the different beers and are really glad we went.
10/9/2022
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Yakima River Valley
Driving through the rolling hills and low vegetation of the Yakima River Valley as we return home along I-90 from the Fresh Hop Ale Festival.
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Agriculture
Agriculture along the I-90 corridor near the Yakima River, with more visible in the distance.
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Thorp Fruit and Antique Mall
Thorp Fruit and Antique Mall, just northwest of Ellensburg, specializes in ultra-fresh produce from the region. Along with good gas prices at adjacent Shree’s, the stop is a popular one along I-90.
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Wind Turbines
Dozens of wind turbines are visible along this section of I-90.
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Cle Elum River
Crossing the Cle Elum River over the bridge of the same name, constructed in 1949.
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Low Water
The summer has been very dry and the level at Keechelus Lake is down many feet.
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Guye Peak
Guye Peak (5,168 ft; 1,575 m) towering over I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass.
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12th Man
On Seahawks games days, this 12th man banner is visible at High Point above I-90. Mike Treuting conceived of the idea in 2013 and has been displaying it above his home ever since. After the original hand-made flag needed replacing, a new one was professionally made with the help of the Seahawks outreach organization and the team mascot Blitz was on hand for the first raising.

NFL teams are limited to 11 players on the field, and the 12th man refers to the home fans who contribute to the success of the team through cheering. The Seahawks have embraced the 12th man concept in a huge way, retiring the number 12 in 1984 after the fans had such an impact on the success of the team. The Seahawks 12th man flag was created in 2003 and raised at the start of every home game to honor the fans. Seahawks fans, collectively known as the 12s, have twice set the Guinness World Record for loudest crowd in a sporting event, the most recent registering 137.6 dB in December of 2013.

Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map. And a map of our most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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