By now, everyone knows Elysian Brewing’s 2016 Great Pumpkin Beer Festival was a version of Hurricane Matthew with cinnamon, cloves and allspice. It was wet, windy, and the line to get in and the lines to grab beer were lengthy, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time. A little rain and line (OK, a lot of rain and lines) didn’t stop enthusiasts from standing together to enjoy some of the finest craft pumpkin beers on the scene.
There’s a rumor floating around the weather deterred many a volunteer from showing up at Elysian Fields in the North Lot of CenturyLink Field, which could explain the long wait to grab one of the 80 pumpkin beers and ciders from around the country — Anderson Valley Fall Hornin’, Avery Rumpkin, Breckenridge Nitro Pumpkin Spice Latte, The Bruery Autumn Maple, Jolly Pumpkin Black Parcela and others — including 20 or so from Elysian’s pumpkin-crazed brewers.
For those who haven’t been to GPBF: There was a several-hundred pound pumpkin that is scooped, scorched, filled with Elysian pumpkin beer, sealed and conditioned, and then tapped. There were KEXP DJs perched high on a flashy tower with loud steam pumped out every 15 minutes or so. The Chaotic Noise Marching Corps provided music, energy, havoc, discipline, cleavage and sheer stupid fun. And there were many orange-clad, pumpkin-passionate people dressed in hopes that a roaming judge would select them to compete for costume prizes.
Jeanette and Donovan DeWitt, owners of RetroTech Plumbing in Sumner, took first place in the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival costume contest.
We spent more time searching for the craziness than standing in line for beers. Here’s what we found. …