Annual beer tasting grows, undergoes changes

The formally known Enumclaw Oktoberfest underwent a name change this year to go along with the many other evolutionary steps it has taken. The first annual Enumclaw Brew Fest is an essential experience for first-time tasters and beer connoisseurs alike, said Event Coordinator Joanne Young.

Brew Fest is a 21 and over event to be held from noon to midnight, Saturday Nov. 16 at the Enumclaw Expo Center, 45224 284th Ave. S. The transition from Oktoberfest to brew fest occurred for a variety of reasons but the biggest issue was scheduling conflicts, said Young. It was difficult to plan the event in October because coordinators didn’t want to interfere with Halloween and Enumclaw’s homecoming.

“We’re setting this (event) up to be a safe place for adults in the community to come and have fun. We didn’t want to interfere with other plans they may have in October,” said Young. “This is a one day event, from noon to midnight, so people can show up whenever is most convenient for them … Everyone is gearing up for the holidays. This is a way to get out for a few hours with your friends and really enjoy it.”

Schafer’s Bar and Grill in Sumner coordinated the brews to be offered. Over 24 selections will be available, many of which come from Northwest breweries. Games such as beer pong and corn hole will be played all day, with prizes to be awarded as the games progress to tournaments.

Attendees will also enjoy a selection of food and live entertainment. UC7 — a classic rock, r&b and funk band from Seattle — will play live to keep the party going.

Admission tickets are $10 a piece and include two taste vouchers; a $5 discount from previous years. Additional taste vouchers are available for $1 each. Designated drivers are offered half price admission, which includes two Crater Lake root beer tastes.

Brew Fest attendees coming from afar, or even locals that don’t have a designated driver, are offered reduced lodging rates at the Expo Center campground. Picnic tables and utility hookups are available at the rate of $20 per night but there are only 28 spots available so call quickly to reserve one, said Young.

Those interested in free admission are encouraged to consider volunteering. Each volunteer will receive two free admission tickets and vouchers in exchange for 3.5 hours of either manning the ticket booth or running games. Please note, volunteers are not allowed to drink before or during their shift, so tickets must be used after their time volunteering is complete.

Remember, the event is 21 and over; security will be checking identification at the door. For more information on lodging, volunteer opportunities and more, please visit the Enumclaw Brew Fest website.