Gig Harbor Now on the BeerFest Map

By Bob Shoemaker
GIG HARBOR, WA – The first ever Gig Harbor Beer Festival was held in the Uptown Pavilion common area on Saturday, May 12, 2012. Event organizer John Fosberg thanked the participating brewers as the gates opened and the thirsty connoisseurs of Peninsula brews began the swarm.

It was a bright and beautiful day with temperatures in the mid 70s – aka a perfect day for a beer festival.

The $20 advance ticket purchase got you a tasting cup and eight tokens. Additional tokens were $1 each. Inaugural event t-shirts were available in L and XL only. The gate keepers were well prepared making entry a breeze on this toasty day.

HTBN uses pictures to help tell the story of the event. For this one, we have:

Fun With Friends

Beer festivals are best enjoyed with friends. Not only does it allow for someone to be a DD, but it lets you take small sips of beer you might not otherwise want to drop a token for. I have found some favorites that way. Beer adventuring is a learning experience.

Happy Brewers Love to Talk About Their Beers

Eleven brewers pumped up 22 tasty beers ranging from the ones you might expect to see to some unusual creations that teased the palate of ingenuity.


The brewers included:

  • American Brewing with their awesome Caboose Oatmeal Stout (this is a beer I will always have in the fridge to keep my Alaskan Smoked Porter company), and their Breakaway IPA
  • Silver City Brewery with their World Beer Competition Gold Medal Winning Ridgetop Red, and the Saint Florian IPA
  • Hood Canal Brewery, featuring Agate Pass Amber and the very delicious Big Beef Oatmeal Stout
  • Port Townsend Brewing brought their Peeping Peater Scotch Ale (one of my very favorite Scotch Ales – thank you Kim), and the highly hopped, festival favorite, Hop Diggity
  • Der Blokken tapped a Scottish Ale as well that was very nice, and an Irish Red, that may have been a bit on the hoppy side of that style
  • 7 Seas (the local brewery just a short drive north) featured their two seaonals; a Cascadian Dark Ale and a HulaWeizen (a hefe with lemongrass – nice)
  • Everybody’s Brewing,  a fairly new brewery out of White Salmon, WA, sported some long lines of folk wanting to try their Local Logger Lager and Country Boy IPA
  • Dick’s Breweing out of Centralia trucked up the Danger Ale and Golden Ale. I recently stopped in at the brewery and could not find a single beer from the 18 that I tried that I did not like. These guys ROCK!
  • Sound Brewing had an interesting offering, the Dubbel Entendre, and also the Reluctant IPA – AND some far-out-cool stainless steel growlers – rock on – I was kinda hoping to get to try some Poundage Porter, though, that won a Silver Medal at the World Beer Competition, or at least some Ursus Americanus (stout).
  • Harmon Brewing – tucked around the corner in the shade (lucky guys)  – served up some IPA and Amber ales
  • Valholl Brewing – had the Monster Imperial IPA and Valkyrie Red, two delicious beer for a hot, May afternoon

Gig Harbor Fashions

Funny beer shirts, colorful prints and cargo shorts were the rage at the festival as revelers dressed for the warm, near summer-like weather.

Women Have Their Favorite Beers, Too!

One of the best things about a beer festival is the way women are taking to the culture and becoming world class brewers in their own right. I am always impressed with their beer knowledge and specific preferences for certain kinds of ale. Welcome!

The festival ran from noon to 7pm. I had my fill well before that. People were still coming through the gates as I left. All in all I would mark this one on the calendar for next year. Need more brewers, a bigger venue, and more variety in souvenier shirts (2XL and 3XL) and swag. Got that John?

More pictures – just because


Photography and content by Bob Shoemaker (
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