Auburn crowd soaks up fun, suds at Hops and Crops

Vince Falcone, head brewer for Pacific-based Trade Route Brewing Co., serves up a beer for Auburn resident Dave Greenwood. - Shawn Skager/Auburn Reporter
Vince Falcone, head brewer for Pacific-based Trade Route Brewing Co., serves up a beer for Auburn resident Dave Greenwood.
— image credit: Shawn Skager/Auburn Reporter

It's not often you get a chance to buy a beer from a goat named Tulip.

Tulip was pressed into service selling tokens redeemable for a sample of locally brewed craft beer at the second annual Hops and Crops Harvest Festival last Saturday. The goat was just one of the many critters at Mary Olson Farm who shared their habitat with the crowd.

The event was hosted by the White River Valley Museum – curators of the historic farm along the Green River in Auburn – and co-sponsored by the City of Auburn, The Station Bistro and Auburn Chevrolet.

The event, which raised money for the continued restoration of the farm, was a rousing success, said Rachel Burrum, event organizer and the museum's curator of education.

"It was great event for the community with lots of families out there," Burrum said. "All the brewers seemed to have a good time. ... We know that it exceeded our expectations from last year."

The event also raised funds for the farm's educational programs.

"(It includes) farm tours for all the first- and sixth-graders in the Auburn School District," Burrum added.

The festival featured tours of the farm, a play area for the kids, music from The Horde and The Harem, Jessica Lynne, Gator Chamberlain and others, as well as food and craft vendors.

The real draw for most, however, was the event's beer garden with tastings from local breweries such as Airways, Big Al, Georgetown, the Harmon Tap Room, Silver City, Snoqualmie Falls, Soos Creek and Trade Route.

"I missed last year's (festival), but I wish I hadn't," said Dave Greenwood, an Auburn resident and home brewer. "I'm extremely pleased to be here this year. I expected less people. But to see this many people enjoying the beer, it's encouraging for Auburn."

For Trade Route head brewer Vince Falcone, who took a little time to enjoy the scenic location of the farm between pouring beer for thirsty patrons, the event was a nice introduction to the Pacific Northwest's love affair with craft beer.

"I'm from Ohio originally, so it's just setting in that I'm here (in Washington) and that it's so beautiful here," he said. "Something like this is huge for Trade Route, though, because we're a local brewery and a lot of people still don't know we're there. A lot of them have come up and said, 'I always see your sign in the industrial part of Pacific and I always wanted to come in.' So I've met so many locals here that are potential customers."

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