When it comes to wine and beer, the creativity of Washington’s residents shine. The craft beer and local wine grower scene here are off the charts, and the rest of the country has taken notice. Washington recently brought home 17 medals in the 2018 Great American Beer Festival, one of the biggest, most prestigious beer competitions in the country. Internationally at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards Washington won 39 awards and accolades.
The wine and beer world in America has changed immensely within the last few years with the explosions of small-batch brewers and thousands of propagated acres across Eastern Washington. It was all started by happenstance because of the devastating drought in California. Vintners moved north in search of wetter pastures finding a gold mine of inexpensive, vitamin-rich, rocky soil that mimics much of the old-world wine regions of Europe.
Not only do we have grapes, but the Yakima valley grows 75% of the country’s hops. They come in handy in a State with the second largest number of breweries in the country. Move over California; there’s a new region shaking things up. Breweries and tasting events have popped up all over Washington for the last few years. You can happily keep your carbon footprint small by drinking local and still enjoy some of the best beer and wine in the country.
Bacon and Beer Classic Saturday, May 4, located at the T-Mobile ballpark in Seattle. Get your fill of bacon at this annual event. Try bacon-themed snacks from 23 participating restaurants and beer from 50 breweries attending this gigantic event. If you enjoy eating while you party, you’re welcome to join in on the bacon eating contest sponsored by who else but Hormel, the bacon people. A range of tickets are available for purchase from $69 – $125. All tickets include an unlimited number of beer tasters, bacon sampling, and the opportunity to have a fantastic day in the stadium with hundreds of new friends
Downtown Issaquah Wine and Art Walk Saturday, May 4, located in Issaquah, come for wine tasting, art, and live music. Participants are encouraged to bring their own tasting glasses and you can shop while you drink!
Seattle Beer Week May 9 – 19, This is an enormous event located in multiple locations from North to South Seattle. All week beer and food pairings will be offered throughout the city. Check the map and calendar to find out which locations are participating. A full roster of events are happening every day, bocce tournaments, beer tastings, beer and brunch, Beer-B-Q, trivia, chefs menus, discounts, release parties, pine box beer can derby, mother’s day events, even a Bothell block party. You can vote in a number of competitions between German and Seattle Beers, not sure if they know they’re competing. Participate in coffee infused beer and donut pairings, and you can even drink beer and hold a bunny! This week can’t get any better. Don’t miss the ridiculousness.
Pours In Stores Saturday, May 18, located in Issaquah at the Grand Ridge Plaza. Shop and sip while tasting wine and ginger beer and enjoying live music.
Jet City Rosé Saturday, June 1, located at the Charles Smith Winery Jet City hanger. For those of you rosé lovers who feel like you’re left behind by the celebrated reds of the wine tasting world, this one’s for you. Back for the third year in a row, this event has sold out the previous two years. Buy your tickets early. Three live bands, food trucks and 25 of the top rosé cellars in the country will be there to savor.
Renton Wine Walk on Friday, June 7, located in downtown Renton. You’ll have the opportunity to wander through downtown businesses while sampling wine and getting to know your neighbors.
Washington Brewers Festival is on June 14 – 16 in Redmond. Taking place Father’s Day weekend, this gigantic beer festival will make your honey happy. Located at Marymoor Park, come taste over 500 Washington beers with live music and 20 food trucks. There will be entertainment for the kids at this all ages festival, a root beer garden, bounce houses, and balloon animals will keep the little ones happy while you grab a drink.
Viva la Vino! Showcase of Spanish-Style Washington Wines Tuesday, June 18, located downtown at the World Trade Center Seattle. If you love a dark, bold Spanish Tempranillo, you’ll fancy this event. A celebration of Spanish varietals that grow beautifully in the rocky dry soil of Eastern Washington. The soil has a similar mineral composition to Spain creating comparable styles and varietals at your fingertips.
Seattle International Beerfest July 12 – 14, located at the Fisher Pavilion at the Seattle Center. This Beerfest has been going strong for 17 years. It’s located on the green where there is enough space for 1,000 visitors, bring your blankets and sunscreen.
Choose from beer gardens, live music, food trucks, and hundreds of beers imported from all over the world. The entry fee will buy you a tasting glass and wrist band. Don’t toss them, they’ll get you back in all weekend to try more beer, dogs are welcome. You’ll have a blast at any brewery or wine tasting room you choose, it’s inevitable, bring good friends and enjoy the fabulous Pacific Northwest weather all spring and summer long.