McMenamins will host its second annual Anderson Summer School Brewfest this Saturday with more than 60 beers and ciders from local guest brewers and McMenamins.
Anderson School, at 18607 Bothell Way NE, will host the free event from noon to 10 p.m. with live music playing throughout the day and hourly brewery tours. All ages are welcome, but attendees must be at least 21 years old for beer tastings.
Numerous breweries and cideries are returning from the previous event, but McMenamins also opened the brewfest up to new breweries.
“Most of what we took a look at was to keep our McMenamins brewfest as local as possible,” said Jessica Standley, McMenamins Brewery administrator. “But we wanted to make sure that we had a really diverse offering … I’m feeling really really great about this year’s product line, it’s going to offer something for everyone.”
McMenamins will also launch its new Egyptian Cotton Hazy IPA at the event, before releasing it for a limited run the following week.
McMenamins launched the brewfest last year with an inaugural event that surpassed expectations, Standley said.
“It’s pretty cool to see people walk from surrounding neighborhoods to attend the brewfest,” Standley said. “There were parents who were clearly thrilled to be in a scenario that embraces an interest of theirs and not have to leave their family at home.”
Many of the vendors, breweries and cideries will return from the inaugural event and feature a variety of products, including, ciders, porters, Indian pale ales, summer ales and blonde ales.
Additionally, the brewfest will feature musical acts The Hasslers, a folk rock band; Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, a country band; and Strange Hotels, an indie pop band.
McMenamins is also improving the logistics from last year. The school halls were packed last year, with attendees spilling out onto the lawn, and this year they will have check-in points at multiple entrances where locals can pay for a pint glass and 12 tokens.
These and other minor details will change, but Standley said the overall atmosphere and scope will be consistent.
“Obviously we’re bound by the space, but we’ve packed a lot into that space,” Standley said.
Anderson School was Bothell’s first junior high school, built in 1931 and was converted into a hotel by McMenamins.
Standley added that McMenamins plan to continue to host the Anderson Summer School Brewfest indefinitely.
“Knowing the way that our brewfests normally progress in both offerings and popularity, we expected that we were going to be doing additional fests in coming years,” Standley said. “I don’t doubt at all that we’re going to continue to do the Summer School Brewfest.”