#yakima #roadtrip #freshhop

Yes, she is wearing hops, which means she's awesome!

Yes, she is wearing hops, which means she’s awesome!

Wow, what a weekend! I’m not going to say that I was busy, because of this. Instead, I will say that it was packed… with AWESOME! Friday night, I kicked off my church’s Coming of Age program (though I will say it was a bit insane to chaperone 13 freshmen overnight in a Unitarian church). But after being properly sleep deprived, I was ready for a Saturday road trip down to Yakima for the Fresh Hop Beerfest.

They're talking about bacon...

They’re talking about bacon…





My friend Dikla from Have Growler Will Travel scored some free tickets, so who was I to say no? Five of us piled into a Honda Civic to make the 2 hour trek south for beer, brats and music. I found the best way to make a two hour road trip in a packed car is to 1) be stuck in the back seat with two hot chicks and 2) bring a set of Cards Against Humanity. Hilarity ensued.

That's right... I won that round... by selling my soul...

That’s right… I won that round… by selling my soul…

Upon arrival, I was loaded up with a pint glass, ten beer tickets, and over 28 breweries serving some crazy craft hop brews. I would describe them all here, but you should really just follow my feed on Untappd. Since moving to the Pacific Northwest, I have sampled 487 of the most delicious, unique beers in the entire world. At least three of those beers were in Yakima Saturday night. (Paradise Creek, Bale Breaker, Iron Horse… I’m looking at you) Some people say they don’t like beer. I say you just haven’t tried the right one.

Nom Nom Nom...

Nom Nom Nom…



Yakima is a cool little city with some great architecture, a friendly community and is the second largest hop producing region in the world. It was very cool to meet some of the growers and to celebrate such an important part of brewing. So I honored the great green pot smelling pinecone by drinking a crap ton of IPAs. Needless to say, my palate was toast by the end of the night. Worth it.

Like a boss...

Like a boss…



I learned a few things at the fest. Paradise Creek Brewery’s Huckleberry Pucker tastes like a boozy jolly rancher (not a bad thing); you don’t have to f$%k everything with bacon; crazy old dudes still have slick dance moves; and I can still stay up past 1am two days in a row. Though the biggest lesson is that I really shouldn’t eat a greasy pizza and hot dogs after midnight. I won’t get into the reasons.

However, it’s good to know I can still party with the best of them. Cheers!


About Justin Almeida

Coffee roaster, beer brewer, spirit distiller, capsaicin addict, active activist, peaceful warrior.
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