I’ve checked out all the available information and have some marching orders for you, along with some critical intel (parking, entering the fest, entertainment, etc). This includes some changes, so pay attention. My cheat sheet, with my beer suggestions, is a separate post. You’ll find logistical details — tickets, dates, times, location, etc — on the official event website.
The Beer Forecast
First up, it looks like the weather will suit a beer festival perfectly: not too hot, with minimal chance of precipitation. I’ve studied the beer list pretty closely and have some observations about this year’s beer selections.
- This seems to be the summer of Kolsch. I count more than 15 breweries pouring Kolsch this year. That’s not an obscene amount, but it’s worth noting.
- Another thing to note, compared to the pre-pandemic days, it seems fewer breweries are bringing their big, burly, and barrel-aged stuff. There’s still plenty of it on the list.
- Plenty of Hazy IPAs of every type, that’s for sure.
- A lot of various types of Pilsner. Consider seeking out the ones called Italian Pilsner. Also, ice lagers are becoming a thing, too. Look for ’em.
- See my cheat sheet with my recommendations. In the meantime, here are some other things you need to know
BRING CASH FOR PARKING! Access festival parking from either entrance to the park: the west entrance (W. Lake Sammamish Parkway) or the east entrance (near Postdoc Brewing). Note that from the east entrance, you’ll have a longer walk to the festival entrance, but that entrance may be less congested. Parking onsite is $10 CASH. The exact change will help everyone involved.
Entering the Festival
This year they’ve added more entry lanes to hopefully keep the lines moving more quickly. On top of that, know this:
- Save money and avoid standing in two lines by purchasing your tickets in advance. They can scan the tickets from printed versions or directly from your phone.
- NOTE – You can buy advance tickets offline at one of the event ticket partners’ locations and save a few bucks. List of ticket outlets can be found here.
- WABL (WA Beer Lovers) members get two extra tasting tokens and a special tasting glass. BRING PROOF OF MEMBERSHIP and present it at the gate. (Sign up for WABL now.)
- Be smart. Think about getting through the security line. You know how this works. Big bags full of random stuff are going to slow everyone down. Travel light. Travel smart.
- Make sure you are in the proper line. Advance ticket holders can skip the box office tent line and proceed directly to the security entry main gate, which will offer at least six active lanes.
- Attendees that need to purchase tickets should head to the ticket buyer’s box office tent. Once you’ve purchased tickets you can head to the security entry main gate.
- In addition to the 8 tokens you get with your ticket, additional tokens are available at the festival for $2.50 each.
Along with all the beer, the festival offers a diverse mix of northwest bands on the music stage. Also, the crowd-pleasing Brewer’s Keg Toss on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
Friday – 5:40 The Industrials
Friday – 7:15 Eden
Saturday – 12:15 The Enthusiasts
Saturday -1:45 Longstride
Saturday – 3:15 Flatstick Pub Brewer Keg Toss
Saturday – 4:30 The Kellee Bradley Band
Saturday – 6:15 Lago Vista Social Club
Sunday – Noon Cozmic Sauce
Sundday – 1:30 Flatstick Pub Keg Toss
Sunday – 3:00 Nick Drummond Band
For the Kids’ Sake
Saturday and Sunday – admission is free for kids as long as they’re accompanied by a ticketed adult 21+. See below for more info.
Friday is for grownups only; otherwise, this is an all-ages affair. Along with a lot of beer and other adult-focused fun, the Festival offers plenty of stuff for the little ones — a Rootbeer Garden, inflatable toys*, balloon animals, face painters**, and a kids’ craft tent.
* $5.00 fee for unlimited use of the inflatables.
**Fees vary for balloon animals and face painters.
Food at the Festival
The lineup of food trucks and fest food includes:
- Kornman of WA
- Athenas Food Truck
- Big Dog’s
- Buddha Bruddah
- Frelard Tamales
- Kautzman Kettle Corn
- Kenyan Kitchen
- Pompeii Wood Fired Pizza
- Redmond’s Bar & Grill
- Street Donuts Co
- Street Treats
- Where Ya At, Matt
- Wood Shop BBQ
For all of the event details, visit the official festival website.