Yakima Valley wins 2017 "Best Beer Experience" by the World Food Travel Association
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. - The Valley was recently awarded the 2017 FoodTrekking Award for Best Beer Experience from the World Food Travel Association (WFTA), a non-profit geared towards food travel development and promotion worldwide.
In the craft beer world, it's about much more than the beer itself, but the process behind it. That's how our very own Yakima Valley is standing out, allowing visitors from all over to not only enjoy our great breweries but also see the hops farms where the whole process begins.
"That's what distinguishes us, is that you have in addition to the breweries in the valley, you've got the opportunity to see, and smell, and experience the hop fields right outside the breweries doors," said John Cooper, President and CEO of Yakima Valley Tourism.
It's also one of the main reasons Cooper says the valley received the Food Trekking Award.
And with Yakima producing 75% of America’s hops, we're a tough competitor.
"That's something you can only get in Yakima," said Jessica Hawkins, Marketing Manager at Bale Breaker Brewing Company.
The staff at Bale Breaker, a local brewery built directly on one of their own hops fields, are keeping visitors coming by evolving with the interests of their consumers.
"There's been such an explosion of interest of farm to table, and so we're really bringing farm to glass," said Hawkins.
And that's just the experience visitors are looking for.
"They like to know the story behind the food or beverage and that's one of the things we're great in the valley for doing,” said Cooper.
The Yakima Valley is currently home to eight local breweries and we can expect to see four more in the near future.
"If you can give consumers a choice and they can really customize their experience in terms of having different breweries, wineries, ciders, and distilleries to choose from I think that makes for a really compelling reason to visit us in Yakima," said Hawkins.
And with a large number of beer-focused festivals, such as Blues and Brews and Fresh Hops Ale Festival, we’re already a hot spot for craft beer lovers, home brewers, and experts from all over.
All in all, making it pretty clear why if you want to truly experience craft beer you should probably head straight to the source.
And to add to our craft breweries here in the Valley, Cowiche Creek Brewing Company will have its grand opening for its tasting room on Saturday, April 15th beginning at noon.
The event is kid and pet friendly and will feature live music, food from Reyes Tinajero Gourmet Mexican, as well as souvenir glasses for the first 150 guests.