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 4th and Saturday October 5th in the year 2019.
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. Please be sure to bring your ID – we cannot allow anyone into the festival who does not have a valid ID.
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.
What does a designated driver ticket get you?
Admission into the festival and mad respect from everyone there for being so responsible with your planning! A D.D. ticket gets a different wristband, and the servers are not allowed to give you alcohol. You still get to hang with your besties, nosh on delicious food, and dance until your feet fall off. Cost of the ticket does not include any sort of transportation to and from the event.
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. Don’t try to take off your band and give it to someone else, though – we’ll see you and be very disappointed. Also, you won’t be allowed back into the festival.
Can we bring our own food in?
We do allow outside food into the festival, with the idea that you’ll be bringing more snack foods – like crackers, fruit, etc. There is food to purchase from trucks, along with pretzel necklaces inside. We do ask that outside food gets cleaned up, and that you don’t bring any sort of folding tables or chairs (we have a tent with lots of seating!) or portable BBQ Grills.
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?
Eat before the festival, and eat while you’re there! Irishman Enterprises is back again with Corn Dogs of the World, colossal french fries & old fashioned lemonade. Poutine Your Mouth will feature delicious gluten free, vegan and vegetarian poutine (fries and gravy!!) options – now frying with 100% Organic Coconut Oil! Java Jo’s on the Go is serving up brats, hot sandwiches, burgers, and coffee.
Who are the musicians that will be playing at Bier on the Pier?
The Chris Eger band will be there on Friday, showcasing an all-American mix of soul, funk, rock and country with a high-energy performance. Wear your boots, folks! The first half of Saturday features The Aloha Shredders, a father and son team of Eric & Alika Madis, who do an improvisational blend of World Music and Americana. The second half of Saturday showcases High Mountain String Band – a progressive bluegrass band from Bellingham.
I heard a lot of people asking why the event was sold out in previous years. How can you sell out? 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 fit COMFORTABLY into the event space. Once we hit that max capacity number, it starts getting crowded 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 & cider house list will be updated here, and we will be featuring them on our Facebook page. Upon entry, you will receive a program with map of each location. Please note that all breweries, cideries, and what they’re pouring are subject to change. If you are concerned about certain beers or ciders running out at the festival, please make plans to arrive early, and be sure to visit your favorite booths first.
How can breweries and cideries run out of what they’re pouring?
Occasionally, a brewery or cider house will run out of a certain creation. That specific beer or cider 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 & cider geeks? I liked the pumpkin beer that served out of the pumpkin. Bring in more sours, too!
If you love something, talk to the folks behind the tables! We give them free reign over what to bring – or what not to bring.
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.
Who can we call for a cab ride?
Thank you for drinking responsibly! We will update this section as the festival draws closer.
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.