We are now only one week away from one of the best times of the year to be living in the Pacific Northwest. Yes, we are entering full on fresh hop season! Hood River will play host to more than 40 local, regional and national breweries showcasing their fresh hop beers at the 11th annual Hood River Hops Fest on Saturday, September 27, 2014.
“Hood River will be hoppin’ on September 27, and we’re excited to welcome all the outstanding breweries and fresh hops beer lovers to festival. With its 360-degree views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams and the Columbia River Gorge, we think we’ve got one of the most gorge-ous beer festivals around, and we invite our visitors to make a weekend of it,” said Mike Glover, Executive Director of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce.
After last year’s damp and rainy festival we sure hope the weather is much more cooperative this year. Once again this year’s Hood River Hops Fest will be located in the heart of downtown Hood River with the new entrance located on Columbia Street, across from Full Sail Brewing. The festival kicks off at 11:00 am with a V.I.P. sipping hour, when attendees can preview their favorite fresh hop beers without standing in long lines. Then beginning at Noon the event space opens for all others and will run until 9:00pm. Festival-goers age 20 and younger are allowed on site until 5 pm.
Fun for the whole family, the Hood River Hops Fest also includes great local cuisine, regional arts and crafts vendors, and a day-long lineup of live music. The Mt. Hood Meadows Kids Zone features face painting, a bouncy house and the Mt. Hood Meadows Riglet.
With the ever growing amount of new brewery openings in the region there will be a few new players at the Hops Fest this year which includes Thunder Island Brewing, Ex Novo Brewing Co., StormBreaker Brewing, and Wild Ride Brewing. They join Full Sail Brewing, pFriem Family Brewers, Double Mountain Brewery, Everybody’s Brewing, Big Horse Brew Pub, Backwoods Brewing, Solera Brewery and many other perennial favorites.
This years growing list of breweries include:
10 Barrel Brewing Co., Amnesia Brewing, Backwoods Brewing Co., Barley Brown’s Beer, Base Camp Brewing Company, Big Horse Brew Pub, Bridgeport Brewing Company, Burnside Brewing Company, Coalition Brewing, Crux Fermentation Project, Deschutes Brewery, Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom, Elysian Brewing Company, Everybody’s Brewing, Ex Novo Brewing Co., Fort George Brewery, Full Sail Brewing Company, Gigantic Brewing, GoodLife Brewing, Hop Valley Brewing Company, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Humble Brewing, Ice Harbor Brewing Co., Laurelwood Brewing Co., Logsdon Organic Farm Brewery, Migration Brewing, Ninkasi Brewing, Oakshire Brewing, pFriem Family Brewers, Sasquatch Brewery, Seven Brides Brewing, Silver Moon Brewing, Solera Brewery, StormBreaker Brewing, Terminal Gravity Brewing Co., The Commons Brewery, Thunder Island Brewing, Upright Brewing, Vertigo Brewing, Walking Man Brewing, Wild Ride Brewing
And for those of you that may be bringing along some non-beer drinkers, the Hops Fest will also be featuring local cider from Columbia Gorge Cidermasters and wine from Naked Winery.
If you get hungry some of the food options will be Amalie’s Pretzels, Apple Valley BBQ, Boda’s Kitchen, Hood River Fire Department featuring Painted Hills Natural Pork Sausages, Leah’s Lunch, Solstice Woodfire Mobile Café, Taqueria El Rinconcito, and The Local Grind
The fresh hop beer isn’t the only thing to partake in at the Hood River Hops Fest. The bands performing this year that will now feature sound throughout the entire festival grounds include Bearwater Band, Tess Barr Blues Band, Sidestreet Reny, Tony Smiley, and Manimal House.
For those of you traveling from Portland and want to experience a truly amazing VIP experience Brewvana is once again offering an enticing bus package for the Hops Fest. Brewvana’s tour will leave Portland at 9 a.m. (pickup at the DoubleTree Hotel, Lloyd Center) and arrive at the Fest to take advantage of the one-hour early VIP admission time. Participants will have over four hours to enjoy the festival before the bus makes the return trip to Portland, with estimated arrival time back to the DoubleTree around 5 p.m. At only $59.00 this is the safest way for those only making the day of it. Tickets which are available here include roundtrip transportation, VIP festival entry, beer stein, 8 drink tickets and pretzel necklace. Additional drink tickets will be available for purchase at the festival. Make sure to bring some beers and Bloody Marys for the ride to and from Hood River.
Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased here. Here’s a rundown of the entrance costs:
Adults age 21 and over
- $10 General Admission: Includes a commemorative mug and four 3-ounce taste tokens; $1 each for additional taste tokens.
- $20 V.I.P Admission: Includes a commemorative mug and eight 3-ounce taste tokens, as well as early (11 am) entry into the event; $1 each for additional taste tokens.
Wine drinkers and designated drivers
Adults and youth age 20 and under?
- Free admission. Note: The venue is open to adults only from 5 pm until closing at 9 pm.
Festival organizers are still seeking some volunteers for the Hops Fest. For volunteering you’ll receive a Hops Fest mug (entrance to the event) and 6 drink tokens or a t-shirt! The 2:30 to 6:00pm shift is still available here.
If you are to miss the Hood River Fresh Hops fest, Portland’s Fresh Hop Fest will take place the following weekend, October 3rd and 4th at Oaks Amusement Park. But at this glorious time of the year we recommend to hit up both festivals!