One of my best friends works in the hop industry and this is the middle of the harvest season. He is busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest as brewers come into Yakima from all over the country (and world!) to check on this year's hops crop.

What has been judged to be one of the best beer festivals in the country unofficially wraps up the season. It's called the Fresh Hop Ale Fest and the summary on the website paints a pretty good picture of what you can expect.

Party Like its 2021

The Fresh Hop Ale Festival brings beer lovers from all over the world to the home of the hops. The Yakima Valley produces over 70% of our nations' hops and is second only to Germany in overall production. We celebrate the harvest with Fresh Hop Beers. These beers HAVE to be brewed with fresh hops from the Valley and can only be produced at this time of year. Each one of our breweries submits a beer into judging and winners are announced during the festival. 

More than 70 Breweries, Wineries & Cideries plus Live Music and Great Food make the festival a must-attend event.  Once you're in, additional tasting tokens, merchandise, and food can be purchased throughout the night.

Here are a few things you need to know to make that fabulous Fresh Hop Experience.

GA (sponsor) ticket holders will have a separate entry at GA to skip the main line and get in faster, but early entry does not apply.

$50.00 gets you entry into the festival, commemorative tasting glass, 4 tasting tokens & live music all night.
You are encouraged to take the shuttle to avoid drinking and driving (and the $5 fee to park at SOZO).  Shuttles are free for everyone to use all evening.

How The Virus Will Affect The Party

Masks must now be worn at any event over 500 people. So bring one along!
COVID restrictions - to attend this year's festival, you must present ONE of the following:
    1. Negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of the festival (at home test is NOT accepted)
    2. Proof of FULL vaccination - which is defined as 2 weeks following the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or 2 weeks following the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at

More From News Talk KIT