Monday, September 29, 2008

There's a whole lotta fresh hopped beer on tap at the Fifth Annual Hood River Hops Fest

As the premier fresh hops beer-tasting event in the Pacific Northwest, the Hood River Hops Fest on Saturday, October 4th features at least one fresh-hopped beer from each of the roughly 25 Northwest craft brewers planning to attend.

The lineup of brewers offering tastes of two beers each include Double Mountain Brewery, Full Sail Brewing, Big Horse Brew Pub, Elliot Glacier, Walking Man, Mt. Hood Brewing and, well, too many more to name.

An expanded menu of food, nearly 20 arts and crafts vendors, a selection of Gorge wines, a robust children's play area, and a day-long lineup of live music will guarantee fun for the entire family.

The event is situated in downtown Hood River between 5th and 7th streets and Cascade and Columbia streets. Admission to the grounds is free. To taste beers, visitors must buy a 14-ounce commemorative tasting mug for $5, and taste-tokens -- $1 for a 3-ounce taste, $4 for a fill. Food and crafts vendors also set prices separately.

"Hops Fest started as a tribute to the great, fresh-hopped microbrews of the Pacific Northwest, and that still is the reason that thousands of people attend," says Charlie Devereux, who is helping coordinate beer vendors for the event, which is organized by and operates as a fund-raiser for the Hood River Downtown Business Association.

Visitors can supplement their tasting with food from Gorge restaurants, including BBQ from Apple Valley Country Store, seafood and burgers from Nora's Fish House, Thai Winds dishes from Thailand, and Mexican food from Michoacan Sport & Grill. As befits beer tastin in October, Johnsonville will be dishing up its savory brats.

Under the coordination or Randy Haines Productions, the day-long musical lineup will include singer/songwriter Colin Spring, traditional Bavarian style sounds from Dieter Nachmann, honkabilly from the Wasco Brothers, and blues notes from the Mt. Kings, Terry Robb and Lloyd Jones.

Separate admission provides access to an expanded play area and climbing wall, a great opportunity for families to help the kids burn off all that renewable energy. Children are welcome from noon until 6:30 p.m., after which the venue will be open to adults only until its close at 9 p.m.

Volunteers are still welcome, to sell mugs and tokens, or help with pouring. Call 541-386-8860 to sign up.

For event updates, go to the Hops Fest web site ( ).

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