PORT TOWNSEND — Port Townsend’s annual Strange Brew Festival returns this weekend, with festivities kicking off this evening and ending Saturday at midnight.
The event will feature two days of beer, music and crafts. Because of the pandemic, the last festival was in 2020, said Janet Emery, crew boss for the festival.
“We’re super excited and our pre-sales have been amazing,” Emery said. “We are ready to throw a humongous party in downtown Port Townsend.”
The festival will be held at the American Legion Hall, 209 Monroe St., and will include outside venues.
Tickets are $50 for both days, and purchase includes admission, a souvenir tasting glass and five tasting tokens. Additional tokens can be purchased inside the festival. Tickets are available from the festival website, strangebrew festpt.com, or at the door.
The festival starts at 5 p.m. today and features more than two dozen local breweries and live music from area bands.
Friday evening’s music includes performances by the Staxx Brothers and Swindler and Saturday’s lineup includes groups Eldridge Gravy, ELK and Cosmic Sauce. Saturday’s festivities start at 1 p.m. and both days close at midnight.
The festival is centered around the American Legion Building on Monroe Street, Emery said, but will close down portions of Water Street with two large tents housing the various brewery stands.
Each year has a different theme, and because this is the 17th festival, this year’s theme is 0017, Live and Let Brew, “a nod to the pop culture of James Bond and Super Villains everywhere,” according to the website at strange brewfestpt.com.
Costumes are welcome but not required, Emery said.
But those looking for an ordinary beer will be disappointed, Emery said, as breweries are asked to create a unique “strange brew” for the festival.
“We put the call out to all the local breweries to make something strange. Strange and unusual,” Emery said.
The festival offers awards for the strangest brew, and this year will award custom-made glass medallions to the winners.
“Most of (the breweries) are staying with the theme, but basically they can bring whatever they like,” Emery said. “If you’re coming to think you’re going to have a normal beer, you got a big surprise coming.”
In addition to music and beer, this year’s festival has a new feature — live glass-blowing demonstrations from Patrick Forrestal of Port Townsend Glassworks. Forrestal is also the maker of the glass medallion awards, Emery said.
The event is restricted to those 21 and older and no dogs are allowed.
Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at email@example.com.