We love hearing feedback from festival attendees! Many Anacortes residents tell people about the festival in casual conversation, either while out at dinner or enjoying the outdoors. We chat with guests during the festival, and send surveys out after each festival to learn what we can do better – and we read every single response. Here are some questions we’ve gotten over the past few years that we’d like to address, in order to make your festival experience the best one ever!
When is the festival?
Friday October 7th and Saturday October 8 in the year 2016.
Where is the festival and where do I park?
At the Port of Anacortes Event Center, 100 Commercial Avenue. There will be businesses busy during the festival, like Cortland Rope, so please don’t park in their employee spots. It’s tough enough that they have to work while we’re having fun!
Is Bier on the Pier 21+ or all ages?
21 years of age and up. No limit on that upper end, as we appreciate the wisdom of patrons who survived prohibition.
Can I bring my dog/cat/baby/pet/anything else other than a 21+ beer enthusiast?
Service animals are allowed – everyone else needs to stay at home.
Where can I purchase tickets?
Please purchase them online at this link. We do expect to get very close to selling out, especially for Saturday. Don’t make plans without purchasing your tickets first!
How do I get there?
Anacortes is super easy to get to – one of the islands in Northwest Washington that you can drive to! Please click here for directions.
I’m traveling in from out of town, where should I stay and what should I do while I’m here?
Well, what are you interested in? There’s plenty of outdoor activities to do, historical things to see, and restaurants to dine at. You can find a complete listing of accommodations here – make plans as soon as you can, as the town fills up quickly.
Is Re-Entry Allowed?
Yes, re-entry is allowed on the same day only. You will be wristbanded when you enter the festival grounds.
What can I expect at Bier on the Pier? Will it be a typical Bavarian Oktoberfest — lederhosen, polkas and oom-pah-pah music?
There are plenty of other places in the state that offer an Oktoberfest. The team behind Bier on the Pier want something more unique to the island: a small town feel with local food vendors, plus Pacific Northwest based breweries and cideries.
Don’t you mean Beer on the Pier? Why do you spell it Bier – don’t you know that’s a coffin stand?
Potatoh, potahto! It’s catchy and fun and it matches. Plus, it helps to educate people about an archaic word (for real – look it up!).
What food vendors will you have?
Vagabond will have Southern fare, chicken and waffles; Corndogs of the World has corndogs, french fries, lemonade; DIGS Kitchen is bringing pizza, and Ma & Pa Kettle Corn has sweet & salty popcorn treats.
Who are the musicians that will be playing at Bier on the Pier?
We’re excited to welcome Staxx Brothers to the festival on Friday night. This Bellingham band is known for their hip-shaking brand of rock & roll and will have you dancing with a drink in hand. On Saturday, sip and sample your way through the expanded festival ground while listening to the outlaw country guitar styling of Joe Argo and Rick Star. Hot Damn Scandal will finish out Saturday with high energy American Gypsy Jazz tunes.
I heard a lot of people asking why the event was sold out in 2015. How can you sell out so early on Saturday? Is there not an option to sell more tickets as people leave the event?
We are thrilled when we sell out – selling tickets online, before the festival, gives us an opportunity to be more prepared. Our guests come with their ID’s and tickets in-hand, and we work to get them through the line and enjoying the beers as quickly as possible. Selling tickets at the event, the day of, adds more time in line! Plus, there are only so many people that can get into the event space, due to fire code regulations. Once we hit that max capacity number, it starts getting crowded and uncomfortable in the building (especially if it’s rainy and cold, and people move inside from the tents that are outisde). We’ve considered the one-in, one-out system, but have not spoken to any festival organizers that have made it work. We still state at-the-door prices online just in case there are openings, and so there’s no confusion about the difference in price.
Who will be pouring?
The brewery list will be updated here, and we will be featuring the breweries on our Facebook page. Upon entry, you will receive a program with map of each brewery location. Please note that all breweries and beers listed are subject to change. If you are concerned about certain beers running out at the festival, please make plans to arrive early, and be sure to visit your favorite booths first.
How can breweries run out of beer?
Occasionally, a brewery will run out of a certain beer. The beer may be overly popular with the festival crowd. Luckily, there are more than 100 beers and ciders to sample. If you miss something this year, you will have to remember to try it early the next year!
Maybe you could expand the specialized offerings for the real beer geeks? I liked the pumpkin beer that served out of the pumpkin. Bring in more sours, too!
If you love something, talk to the breweries! We give them free reign over what to bring – or what not to bring.
Why the smaller portions in the tasting glasses?
The fluted glasses that were being used in 2010-2014 were difficult to pour into, plus they were more prone to tipping over. The straight-wall design used in 2015 holds the same quantity of fluid ounces, it’s just shorter and wider at the bottom.
Thanks for providing water, but everyone already has a glass – why don’t you put water coolers all over the place. How is that no waste?
We appreciate your enthusiasm for the environment! The program we participate in is Zero-Waste, which is offered though Skagit County; events offer a place for people to recycle their bottles, keeping it out of the waste stream and into recycling facilities. Festival-goers are much more prone to drink an entire bottle of water, at 16 oz, versus going back multiple times to refresh a 5oz tasters. In the upcoming years, if we can find a way to hand out reusable, take-home bottles to our guests, you bet that we will!
Will the event be canceled or move due to inclement weather?
No, the event is rain or shine – please watch the weather forecast and be prepared. Washington weather can be fickle, as many of us know, so layers are encouraged.
All guests of Bier on the Pier are expected to drink responsibly and ensure they have a safe, responsible means of transportation before leaving the facility. Any guest who is intoxicated before entering the event may be denied entry to the facility. Any guest found intoxicated within the event and causing a disturbance, as determined by management, will be asked to leave the facility without refund and may be subject to further consequences.