After being canceled the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ale enthusiasts will again be making their way down to Poulsbrew, Poulsbo’s annual beer festival Sept. 17 to indulge in some of the local breweries’ offerings.
The inaugural event was back in 2019 at Poulsbo Village, with nine local breweries participating and over 500 people attending. This year, it will be held in the same location. The Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce, which runs the event, expects to have a few more breweries for folks to choose from this year, even those offering wine and ciders.
“We’re extremely excited,” chamber administrative assistant Shari Hosler said. “It’s always nice to be able to bring the community together and help get some of the breweries on the map that people aren’t familiar with. They can check out new places all in one spot.”
“It’s a central location for the community and a bigger space we can rope off,” Hosler said of Poulsbo Village. “It all has to be confined into one area. It’s a more doable spot than anywhere else we’ve been able to find in town.”
So far, nine vendors are confirmed to be part of the festival: Western Red, Slippery Pig, Echoes, Hood Canal Brewing, Rainy Daze, Valholl, Port Townsend Brewing, Bushel & Barrel Ciderhouse, and State 42 Wines. Hosler said they are looking to get a few more before the event.
“It’s not a limited event to Poulsbo vendors by any means,” she said. “There will be some seasonal beers as well. People are working on their fall brews. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone, not necessarily just beer,” Hosler said, referring to ciders and wines.
Wester Red will be serving three kinds of beer — Oktoberfest, Powder Wedge Porter and Tugger lager, according to owner Denver Smyth. He said there will be an award for the best fall-themed beer, so most breweries will bring something like Oktoberfest or pumpkin.
“I think that beer, like coffee shops, make a great community gathering spot and breweries in Poulsbo are simply filling a need for this,” Smyth said. “I like what [Poulsbrew] brings to town. I like how it brings the breweries together.”
Tickets are $35 per person, which includes five drink tokens and a commemorative glass. Additional tokens can be purchased at the event for $2. Smyth said folks can purchase more beers but “like any alcohol service in Washington, if you appear intoxicated you may not be served.”
If you are not drinking and want to be a designated driver for others, tickets are only $15 and you still get a special glass. Back in 2019, Hosler said many people took Ubers home or walked to the event so they didn’t have to worry about driving.
In addition to the beer, there will also be live music by Sweet Justice, a couple of food trucks on-site, and door prize drawings with different swag from each vendor. Poulsbrew merchandise will also be available for purchase, such as T-shirts and sweatshirts. The event is open to attendees 21 and over — no exceptions will be made, including small children and pets.
“It seems like ticket sales are going really well,” Hosler said. “I think it will be pretty successful. A lot of people are still wanting to get out and have something to do. Just bringing some friends, hanging out and having a good time is what people are looking for right now.”