Yakima’s craft beverages industry is still growing, but it has clearly already come a long way in the past decade.
Back at the end of the aughts, we had dozens of wineries but that was practically it. Even the trailblazers in the local beer and cider industries — Yakima Craft Brewing (now Hop Capital Brewing) and Tieton Cider Works — had just barely gotten off the ground. Now, following a solid 10-year boom, there are more than enough Yakima-area breweries to complement the wineries. Tieton Cider has become a huge player in the hard cider industry. We even have a couple of distilleries, including the increasingly popular Swede Hill Distillery.
So it was that five years ago, the downtown Yakima Craft Beverage Walk was invented. The annual event, which this year officially changed its name to Sip and Stroll, combines all four sectors of the local drinks industry (wine, beer, spirits, cider) for a tasting opportunity to please all sorts of palates.
This year’s version, which goes from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, includes 14 beverage producers: AntoLin Cellars, Bale Breaker Brewing Co., Bron Yr Aur Brewing Co., Cowiche Creek Brewing Co., Gilbert Cellars, Hop Nation Brewing Co., Kana Winery, Naches Heights Vineyard, Swede Hill Distilling, Tieton Cider Works, Wilridge Winery & Vineyard, Single Hill Brewing Co., Hop Capital Brewing and Wandering Hop Brewery.
They will be pouring samples at 14 downtown locations, some of which aren’t normally open to the public, including Stephens Media Group, home of several top Yakima radio stations. Others, such as the Field Group ad agency and WildJay boutique, are the kinds of places where you can’t generally drink. And I don’t know why, but having a drink in a place where you can’t normally have a drink is just fun. It feels like getting away with something.
If you go
What: Sip and Stroll craft beverage walk.
When: Noon-5 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Locations throughout downtown Yakima; check in at 16 N. Third St.
Tickets: $20, includes admission, souvenir glass and five tasting tickets.