The good news: More than 20 local breweries are serving beer at Saturday’s Gig Harbor Beer Festival.
The bad: If you don’t already have a ticket, you’re probably not going.
In its third year, the festival at Uptown Gig Harbor has gained enough momentum to sell out before the event opens its doors. As of this morning, fewer than 100 tickets remained and weren't expected to last.
A sold-out beer festival is a good problem for John Fosberg, event organizer and craft beer enthusiast. That’s how it’s been since the festival began in 2012. That first year’s reception was so overwhelming, the festival ran out of beer. Fosberg fixed that problem last year, increasing the number of brewers and beers, and there are even more brewers this year. He expects this year’s additional brewers will mean kegs won’t run dry.
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His festival is an homage to South Sound craft beer – and he’s about to become a South Sound brewer himself as he works on establishing his own brewery in 2014. Fosberg also intended the festival to showcase Gig Harbor as a tourist destination for breweries.
“It’s a great area to come out, get a hotel room and spend a few days hitting 7 Seas – then going out and hitting Silver City and Sound. They’re close and they’re nice drives,” said Fosberg.
Saturday’s festival will feature more than just beer. Gig Harbor’s Heritage Distilling Co. will offer samples from its Elk Rider line of distilled spirits.
For those who bought tickets, here are three beers Fosberg is most looking forward to sampling Saturday.
Damnedeleven from Slippery Pig Brewery: “They’re bringing what they call a Damnedeleven – an imperial version of a dandelion bitter made with 30 pounds of dandelion and 11 percent ABV,” said Fosberg. He said the Poulsbo brewery described its dandelion bitter as “the exact opposite of a lawn mower beer.” That brewery also is bringing a beer brewed with stinging nettles. Sense a theme?
Mango Weizen from Northwest Brewing Company: This American-Bavarian Hefeweizen comes tinged with fruit, something Fosberg said he’s curious to try. The Pacific-based brewery also is serving its Chinook Copper Ale.
Fat Scotch Ale from Silver City Brewery: Fosberg is anticipating that beer to be a popular drinker. The Bremerton-based brewery described it as a “smooth and malty” ale.
Gig Harbor Beer Festival 2014Where: Uptown Gig Harbor, 4701 Point Fosdick Drive NW, Gig HarborWhen: noon-6 p.m. Saturday (May 10, 2014)Tickets: $25, but the event is expected to sell out (21 and older only)Information: gigharborbeerfestival.comSupporting: Gig Harbor Kiwanis FoundationBreweries: 192 Brewing, Kenmore; 7 Seas Brewing, Gig Harbor; American Brewing, Edmonds; Bainbridge Island Brewing, Bainbridge Island; Big Al Brewing, Seattle; Der Blokken, Bremerton; Dicks Brewing Co., Centralia; Everybody’s Brewing, White Salmon; Fremont Brewing, Seattle; Georgetown Brewing Co., Seattle; Harmon Brewing Co., Tacoma; Hood Canal Brewery, Kingston; Loowit Brewing Co., Vancouver; Narrows Brewing, Tacoma; Northwest Brewing, Pacific; Rainy Daze Brewing Co., Silverdale; RAM Big Horn Brewery, Tacoma; Silver City Brewery, Bremerton; Slippery Pig Brewing, Poulsbo; Sound Brewery, Poulsbo; Wingman Brewery, Tacoma.