Craft beer’s popularity is growing faster than you can say “zymurgy!” (which means the study of fermentation in brewing). Washington state is definitely a key player in all the action, so read on to learn about the brewing scene in our state!
- Hops Keep Washington Craft Beer Hopping: The Yakima Valley’s ideal climate and mix of perfect growing conditions for several different hops varieties has made it the run-away leader in US hops production. Providing more than 75% of the American supply, and 25% of the world’s supply, Washington hops growers still have plenty left for local craft breweries. The proximity to this homegrown wealth fuels the local brewers’ creativity.
- The Evergreen State Takes Its Beer Seriously: The Washington Beer Commission (associated with the Department of Agriculture and the first commodity commission for craft beer in the US) conducts the annual Washington Beer Awards. Over 130 breweries participated in 2016, and three contestants were crowned Breweries of the Year: Small: Ten Pin Brewing (north central WA); Mid-Sized: E9 Brewery (Tacoma) and Large - No-Li Brewhouse (Spokane).
- You Can Get a Degree in Beer: Central Washington University in Ellensburg offers a Bachelor of Science in Craft Brewing. This popular program teaches “cerevisaphiles” about the science, technology and sales/merchandising behind their favorite beverage.
- There’s More Room at the Bar in Washington: California leads the nation with the number of craft breweries, with 750, but Washington comes in next at 350. California’s population is 39 million. Washington’s is just over 7 million. If you do the math (while sipping a cold beer), that means there are three times the craft breweries available to Washington citizens.
- Gig Harbor Keeps It Local: Washington has many beer festivals throughout the year, and you’ll be happy to know Gig Harbor hosts its very own Beer Festival every May at the Uptown Gig Harbor Pavilion. Highlighting local award-winning craft brews, the event benefits the Gig Harbor Kiwanis and gives beer fans the chance to spend an afternoon celebrating to their hop’s content.