Events

WASHINGTON BREWERS FESTIVAL REPORTS LARGEST CROWDS IN EVENT HISTORY

Source: Kendall Jones, washingtonbeerblog.com

We just received some information from the Washington Beer Commission regarding last weekend’s Washington Brewers Festival at Marymoor Park in Redmond. The big takeaway, this was the best-attended festival in the event’s history. (Recognize that the Washington Beer Commission organizes and operates this event and is responsible for the policies that govern this event.)

In all, 20,375 people paid to attend the festival this year. The previous record was 20,235 in 2016. Last year, the 2017 Washington Brewers Festival saw 18,250 attendees. Total attendance this year, including kids, vendors, and guests, was more than 25,000 for the first time in history.

Festival organizers do not deny that the weather positively impacted attendance. This was the first time since 2008 that there was absolutely no rain across the weekend.

Participating breweries poured 177,217 beers at the event this year, up from 170,797 last year. The totals show that 177,217 tokens were used by 20,375 people, meaning the average festivalgoer sampled about 8.7 beers.

Paid attendance breakdown by day:

  • Friday – 4,573
  • Saturday – 9,125
  • Sunday – 6,677

Token Limits

This year, for the first time in event history, the Washington Beer Commission implemented a token limit. Each attendee could only get a maximum of 11 tokens on Saturday and Sunday when the festival is an all-ages affair. The token limit did not apply to the Friday night session (21+). According to the event organizers, the token limit proved to be a non-factor in terms of total amount of beer poured. There were some grumbles, but the Commission reports that thus far they’ve issued just nine refunds.

The numbers are indisputable. Facts are facts. No doubt, a lot of people didn’t like the new policy, especially the kind of people who read this blog, but apparently, the token limit didn’t destroy the festival.

“The 11 token limit worked nicely,” said Eric Radovich, Executive Director of the Washington Beer Commission, which operates the event. “A few grumbles on Friday night, which was not token-limited but because we would only sell them three tokens at a time. A few more grumbles over the weekend, but most [festivalgoers] had been informed prior to the event. We definitely saw a reduction in over-consumption issues on Saturday night, which is a good thing.”

If you are unclear about why the Washington Beer Commission changed the token policy this year, I suggest that you read our previous story on the subject. No one is asking you to agree with the Commission’s decision, but you should know the real story about why the decision was made.

Top Ten Breweries at the Festival

Here are the top ten token-collecting breweries.

  1. Skookum Brewery. 4,237 tokens
  2. Heathen Brewing. 3,773 tokens
  3. Paradise Creek Brewery. 3,580  tokens
  4. The Hidden Mother Brewery. 3,570 tokens
  5. Georgetown Brewing. 3,555 tokens
  6. Fremont Brewing. 3,412 tokens
  7. Black Raven Brewing. 3,395 tokens
  8. Crucible Brewing. 3,351 tokens
  9. Ten Pin Brewing. 3,337 tokens
  10. Postdoc Brewing. 3,272 tokens