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home : premium content : news May 23, 2016

4/17/2013 2:07:00 PM
Ale-Fest set for Saturday at the Festhalle
Photo by Ian Dunn
Rebeca Wadkins

Photo by Ian Dunn
Rebeca Wadkins
Ian Dunn

Ale-Fest in Leavenworth is just one of those events that seems to get better every year. Now, in its seventh year, Ale-Fest features four bands, 26 breweries and plenty of great food and fun. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum and Operation Ward 57, which helps wounded veterans.

Organizer Rebeca Wadkins said she is most excited about the music lineup, which features Blake Noble, Impossible Bird, Patrick Foster and the Locomotive, and the Chumstick Liberation Front.

"I am really excited about the music lineup. It's going to start off with Blake Noble, whose played at the Brewery. He's really good. He plays he guitar and didgeridoo at the same time," Wadkins said. "Impossible Bird is a duo from Seattle. Chumstick Liberation Front is the headliner. The full band is coming from Seattle."

There are 26 breweries coming to Ale-Fest. Wadkins said there have not been as many breweries participating since the beginning of the festival.

Participating breweries include, Alaskan Brewing Company, Alpine Brewing Company, American Brewing, Angry Orchard Cider Company, Big Sky Brewing, Deschutes Brewery, Diamond Knot Brewing, Elysian Brewing Company, Fish Brewing, Flyers Brewery, Full Sail, Georgetown Brewing Company, Good Life Brewing Company, Harmon Brewing Company, Icicle Brewing Company, Iron Horse Brewery, Kona Brewing, Mac & Jacks Brewing Company, Merchant Duvin (Lindeman's Farm Brewery), Ninkasi Brewing Company, North American Breweries, Red Hook Brewery, Samual Adams Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Widmer Brothers Brewing.

One of the new breweries participating, Wadkins said, is an organic brewery called Angry Orchard. This is in addition to the favorites like Icicle Brewing, Merchant Duvin, Iron Horse, Manny's and Georgetown Brewing.

"All of Ale-Fest is a competition. All the beers will be judged. We have a judging panel from all over, including 5-6 locals," she said. "They judge all the beer. Then, they select the best in all the different categories, which takes awhile to determine."

There is also a vote for best booths, such as food or breweries. Food booths included Cured by Visconti's, The Cheesemonger Shop and Smokin' Joe's Barbecue.

In the past, everyone attending Ale-Fest voted. Now, Wadkins said they are going to select a panel to decide on the best booths and food. At the end of the night, the winners are announced.

"It's always surprising and really fun," she said.

There is also a Designated Driver's Booth, operated by the Autumn Leaf Festival Association. You'll find complimentary coffee, tea, pop and popcorn there.

Volunteers are always needed, she said. If you would like to volunteer, email

Ale-Fest is Saturday, April 20 from 2 to 10 p.m. Wadkins said everyone is also invited to the Ale-Fest pre-party at Icicle Brewery on Friday, April 19. After parties are also planned at Der Hinterhof and Loft, she said.

Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or

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