In the heart of downtown Yakima on the first Saturday of October, something amazing happens. Tented pavilions go up, tables and chairs appear, beer taps are tested, wine bars and food vendors arrive, a bandstand materializes. By the time the gates open at five o'clock, thanks to an army of volunteers, an ordinary parking lot transforms into the Fresh Hop Ale Festival, one of the nation's ten best fall beer festivals! This premiere Washington beer festival celebrates the world's number one hops producer, the Yakima Valley. For a brew to be considered a “fresh hop ale” for the festival competition, it must be produced with hops that were picked no more than 24 hours prior to brewing. At our ale festival, you'll learn how hand-crafted ales are made in the demonstration tent, compare brews, sample wines, nosh great food, enjoy a cigar, and dance!