Live in the Yakima Valley - Hoppiness in a pint: The Fresh Hop Ale Festival


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Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy.  The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.



Hoppiness in a pint: The Fresh Hop Ale Festival

Hoppiness in a pint: The Fresh Hop Ale Festival

September 22, 2014

Although the designation seems like a no-brainer, I mean, we are located in the hop capital of the nation, being home to one of the top ten beer festivals in the country is quite an honor for our small town when you consider who we are up against.

Last year, over 5,000 people flocked to the Fresh Hop Ale Festival held in downtown Yakima to partake in the tasting of craft beers from over 30 different breweries.  To qualify for the festival and be considered a “fresh hop ale” the beers must be produced with Yakima Valley hops that have moved from vine to vat in 24 hours.  Breweries and home brewers alike can enter the competition which draws some big names in the craft beer industry like, Deschutes, Lagunitas, and Sierra Nevada. 

This year’s festival was in jeopardy of going away all together when the organization responsible for the fundraiser disbanded earlier in the year.  Allied Arts had traditionally hosted and put on the event which served as a fundraising mechanism for the organization and brought in more than 20% of the non-profit’s annual budget.   Faced with waning funding and costly repairs to their building, the organization had no choice but to close its doors. 

In response, a Fresh Hop Ale Festival Committee was formed as a partnership between the City of Yakima, the Yakima Valley Museum, and the Seasons Performance Hall.  For 2015 and beyond, the committee intends to create a non-profit organization that’s sole function will be putting on the event with the majority of the proceeds going to support Yakima based arts programs as well as funding for hops based organizations. 

 “We’re excited to continue the Fresh Hop Ale Festival experience and solidify the Yakima Valley’s place as one of the premier hop growing regions in the world” said Joe Nation, Co-Chair of the Fresh Hop Ale Festival Committee. “While it’s been hard to see Allied Arts close, we’re super appreciative to continue this festival so many people have come to call their favorite Yakima event.”

The festival is being held on October 4th from 5 PM – 10 PM and is located on South 3rd Street in downtown Yakima.  This year, they have added 6 more breweries to the mix, mobile script sales (so no more long lines), stand up bar style tables through-out the grounds, increased the overall size of the festival grounds, and have included more amenities in the VIP area.

For more info, and to purchase tickets, visit their website:

Other links you might like:

Moxee Hop Festival | Harvest celebrations  | Bale Breaker | Yakima Craft | Hop & Spirit Trail

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"We have more and more culture coming all the time; we have the Capitol Theatre and The Seasons for music and entertainment, great restaurants, it's just a beautiful place to live and raise your family." - Lisa Shields-Long, Shields Bag & Printing