Brewers Festival brings families out for brews, music and eats

Thousands of beer enthusiasts and families descended on Marymoor Park last weekend for the annual Washington Brewers Festival, which brought in 130 breweries from across the state.

Inside the festival on Sunday, people milled around sipping on four-ounce samples of beer, picking up a quick bite from a food truck, listening to live music or just sitting back and relaxing.

“It’s been a lot of fun, a lot of nice people,” said Debi Johnson.

She and her husband Johnie drove up from Renton for the festival, along with their daughter.

Mary Bartlett, who volunteered on Saturday and who has been coming to the festival for years, also said one of the things that brings her back is the people she meets.

“People are always really cool at these events,” she said.

She and her father have been attending the festivals for years, since it was hosted at St. Edward State Park in Kenmore.

Sunday’s turnout was the largest she’s seen for any one day, she said, noting there seemed to be more families out on Sunday — Father’s Day.

Bartlett was also looking forward to watching the band Rain City Time Machine, which took the stage on Sunday afternoon to deliver cover songs for the festival.

Many local breweries were selling their brews over the weekend at the park, including Kirkland’s Chainline Brewing, which was set up at one of the large tents that housed the breweries.

Scott Holm, owner and brewer, said Sunday was busier than Saturday, possibly because of the rain, but he said people came prepared.

“It’s been very, very busy,” he said.

His brewery had prepared a special brew for the festival that was called Flowtron, a strawberry smoothie IPA that was one of their brews re-fermented with fresh strawberries.

Also in attendance was Redmond’s Black Raven Brewing, which head brewer and owner Beaux Bowman said is great for them.

“We’re fortunate to have it in Redmond the last few years,” he said standing at his booth. “… It’s a little extra special for us, it’s our hometown.”

Black Raven is housed in northern Redmond, but on Sunday, like all the other booths at the festival, employees had a set of taps set up showcasing a variety of their beers.

People would wander up, pay for a drink with a wooden token and try out a sample.

The brewery won five Washington Beer Awards this year, including one that they partnered with local home brewer Denise Klein to produce.

“We just do our thing, we’re happy to be here, we’re happy to be a part of Redmond,” Bowman said.

Kenmore’s 192 Brewing and Cairn Brewing were also set up at the festival.

David Schwann with 192 Brewing said they debuted a Lemon Lager for the festival.

Above the brewery’s kiosk was a large banner with the two Kenmore breweries logos, along with the third brewery in the city, 9 Yard Brewing.

The City of Kenmore embarked on a mission to attract breweries to the city a few years ago and has been cultivating a brewing scene in formerly industrial sections of the city.

At the Cairn Brewing kiosk, owner and brewer Bill Boyd said business has been good since they opened up around a year ago.

“We’re new to this, so there’s a lot of learning,” he said.

But the festival had been going well for his business, Boyd said.

Last weekend’s event was the 12th annual festival.

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