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5 Reasons to Take a Craft Beverage Tour in Yakima, WA

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sponsored by Craft Beverage Yakima

If you’ve been searching for your next brewery destination or weekend away at the vineyard, you may want to “hop” on over to Yakima Valley in Washington. Yakima Valley is responsible for producing over 75% of all hops grown in North America, and with more than 300 days of warm sunshine, it's considered to be “beverage paradise.”

Craft Beverage Yakima—an association of 14 beverage producers—celebrates Yakima as an epicenter of high-quality artisanal craft beverages. With an area as varied as your own personal tastes, grab a designated driver and plan your adventure to drink in all they have to offer.

1. Customization

Use this interactive map to help you select where you want to visit. You’ll see that wine is listed in red, beer in blue, spirits in yellow and cider in green. The destinations are also organized by area (central, west and east) so you can make mini tours within the group. For example, you can make a downtown walking route that includes Kana Winery, Redifer Brewing, Gilbert Cellars, Berchman’s Brewing, AntoLin Cellars and Hop Nation Brewing, all within a third of a mile of each other. 

Using the map is easy; first, pick your selections from the list, then click the green “Create Tour!” button or—if you prefer Google Maps—the blue “Google Map” button, which will open a new tab or browser window. A printable PDF guide is also available. If you get your guide stamped at 10 locations, you can win a Craft Beverage Yakima 32-ounce mini growler.

2. Variety

One of the best parts of touring is that there is something for everyone. Do you love wine but your traveling companion prefers beer? They've got you covered. With five wineries and seven breweries, you can try it all; many spots serve both. Don’t fear the grapes, ale lovers! 

There are even options to fit dietary restrictions—all of Tieton Cider Works beverages are naturally gluten-free, for example, and Bron Yr Aur serves cider and wine in addition its brews. 

3. Farm to Glass

Due to its rich soils and nearly endless sunshine, Yakima has long been a place of agricultural innovation. In the early years, that meant lumber and farming. In 1983, Yakima Valley became the first official wine-growing appellation north of California. 

Today, Yakima’s agricultural bounty includes apples, wine grapes, and hops, but also mint, asparagus and eggplant. Experience this bounty firsthand at the vineyards near Wilridge Winery and Naches Heights Vineyard’s shared tasting room, or breathe in the aroma in hop field #41 at Bale Breaker Brewery. 

You can even squeeze in a beer and a hike at Yakima's newest brewery, Cowiche Creek. The view of the Valley's farmlands from the apex of the Snowmountain Ranch trail are unparalleled. 

4. Meet the Makers

Yakima’s business owners love to talk about what they make, and you’re as likely to find a beverage-maker behind the counter as you are to find something to quench your thirst.

In 1982, Bert Grant’s brewery opened in Yakima—the first post-prohibition brewpub in the country. Many would argue that the craft beer industry wouldn’t be what it is today without Grant. His legacy lives on at Yakima Craft Brewing with Grant’s original all-copper boiling kettle they still in use.

Today, cider makers and distillers join the brewers and vintners in the region to create the vibrant and growing craft beverage community of Yakima. Located deep within the apple orchards of the Yakima Valley, Swede Hill Distilling owners Kevin and Pamela Milford make local apple pie and cherry moonshine one bottle at a time, without assembly lines or machines. 

5. Farm to Table

After tasting hours, Yakima has seen lots of recent growth in great places to eat, drink, and stay. New boutique accommodations can be found in downtown Yakima’s Hotel Maison, a stone’s throw from downtown restaurants that serve up farm-to-table menus, unique Mexican dishes and even French cuisine.  With fun annual downtown music and beverage events like Roots and Vines Festival or Blues and Brews Bash, there’s something for everyone. 

Discover your dream destination—begin your journey to Yakima!

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