Gig Harbor Beer Festival returns for a third year, tickets on sale

By Ron Swarner on April 22, 2014

Dedicated South Sound craft beer fans are no strangers to closed gates. The Tacoma Craft Beer Festival and the Tacoma Big Beer Festival had to shut doors on beer drinkers due to capacity crowds. Last year, the Gig Harbor Beer Festival sold out in just over an hour after the gate opened.

"There's a good chance this year's Gig Harbor Beer Festival will sell out before its opening day, May 10," says John Fosberg, the Festival's producer and founder of the Gig Harbor Brewing Company.

Fosberg dropped the third annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival's news release today, touting 21 craft brewers, Gig Harbor's Heritage Distillery and a bigger music venue will consume the Gig Harbor Uptown Pavilion Saturday, May 10 - Mother's Day weekend.

"We love the Uptown Gig Harbor Pavilion and the managers and owners at the Uptown property," says Fosberg. "They are extremely helpful and supportive of our efforts. For the past three years, we've been looking for a new venue - preferably an indoor site - but have been unable to find anything within Gig Harbor that can surpass Uptown in capacity, electric power, ease of parking, management support and cost. Nothing comes close."

Fosberg says there are several brewers returning from previous years who are bringing some fan favorites and new brews to try. Eleven brewers poured at the first Gig Harbor Beer Festival. Last year, 18 beer companies set up booths. This year, 21 Washington state brewers will set up shop. Here's the starting line-up:

"Gig Harbor's own Heritage Distillery will be there pouring samples of their spirits," says Fosberg.

In terms of music, Perry Acker returns for the band's second year and takes the stage at 3 p.m. Aisle of View, a reggae band currently touring the country, opens at 1 p.m.

The standard beer festival giant Jenga game will tower at the festival, too.

Tickets are $20, $25 after April 25, and are available at the Festival's website. Admission includes a commemorative taster cup and eight taster tokens. Depending on availability, you may also purchase tickets the day of the event for $25. Additional taster tokens will be on sale during the event.

"Our ticket prices still haven't gone up," says Fosberg. "Tickets cost the same as they did our first year. It's the perfect Mother's Day gift."

The Gig Harbor Beer Festival benefits the Gig Harbor Kiwanis Foundation.

GIG HARBOR BEER FESTIVAL, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 10, Uptown Pavilion, 4701 Point Fosdick Dr. NW, Gig Harbor, $20 at brownpapertickets or