Back to Liquid

Tacoma Craft Beer Festival brings 75 breweries to Cheney Stadium

Year 5 brings more beer, entertainment, food and big screens

It’s not a Tacoma Craft Beer festival without 7 Seas Brewing. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

As the summer months come to a close, we begin to mourn the end of festival season. But fret not - at least not yet - because there are still some festivities to be had. One in particular is geared toward my fellow lovers of the hops.

The 5th annual Tacoma Craft Beer Festival returns - and this year it's going big.

Event founders Bennett Thurmon and Roxi Lee present an even bigger and better brew-themed festival for this year's Sept. 7 event, featuring 75 breweries with craft-brew concoctions, including five craft ciders and even a winery for those who don't want to fill up on the brewskis alone. And it's not just the quantity of breweries participating that has taken on the "go big or go home" motto; it's the location as well. Cheney Stadium will host this year's event.

"Holy wow, this is going to be huge," says Lee, summing up her thoughts about the event. "It's amazing to have an opportunity like this, bringing folks out onto the ball field, enjoying the chance to be on the other side of the bleachers sampling great craft beers, live music and games on that wonderful grass field. It really will be a home run event that I am sure nobody will forget."

The new venue didn't come without some challenges, however, in transitioning four years of downtown gatherings to the ball field. But allowing for this growth is expected to provide an "even bigger, better experience for Tacoma." Bigger and better includes easier, accessible parking options, live entertainment and lots of food and art vendors.

Among this year's beer lineup, drinkers will find local favorites such as 7 Seas Brewing, Engine House No. 9 Brewery, Wingman Brewing and others alongside newcomers such as Narrows Brewing, Pacific Brewing & Malting Co and Oregon-based McMenamins, which is slated to move into the Elks Building ... someday. The sheer variety of potions is mind boggling. Attendees can sip their way through a flavorful adventure from a light summer-y Cucumber Lemon Saison from Puyallup River Brewing Co. to Whoop Pass Double IPA for the hops lovers from Silver City, and if they're feeling adventurous, maybe a little bit of Coconut Curry Hefe from New Belgium Brewery - and that doesn't even begin to skim the surface.

"We have craft breweries coming in from all parts of Washington from the smallest start ups to some of our favorite larger craft breweries that have been dedicated for years to the hard work of making beer a wonderful experience, not just an ordinary commercial beer," Lee says. "For many of our Oregon craft breweries, this will be their first time in Washington pouring at a beer festival and showcasing their hard work. And finally we will have some fantastic beers from California as well as a few brews from other states and countries farther from our local footprint."

Pre-sale tickets are available online and at select retail spaces for $30, $25 with military discount and $36.50 day of event, or $60 to go VIP. Regular admission includes 5.5-ounce commemorative taster glass and 10 tasting tokens while VIP throws in a rad T-shirt, the opportunity to hang with brewers and access to a catered tent that will serve some exclusive brews. If choosing only 10 flavors proves to be too difficult, additional tasting tokens will be available for purchase.

TACOMA CRAFT BEER FEST, Saturday, Sept. 7, noon to 9 p.m., Cheney Stadium, 2502 S. Tyler St., Tacoma. Tickets are $30 at Ticketmaster, $36.50 door, $25 military with ID and   $60 VIP. For more information and tickets, visit

LINK: Photos from the 2013 Tacoma Craft Beer Festival

Read next close

Show And Tell

The Grand Suggests: "The Attack"

comments powered by Disqus