Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions about the Rails to Ales Brewfest, we have answers!

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General Event Questions:

Will there be an actual train ride?

No, the Rails to Ales Brewfest takes place in the Railyard of an authentic historic Milwaukee Road rail Depot and Substation - the tracks have long since been removed to create the John Wayne Pioneer Trail in the Ironhorse State Park. The Rail Museum inside the South Cle Elum Depot will be open for tours (free admission to the museum included with your purchased Brewfest ticket.) There is also an actual Milwaukee Road caboose on-site for photo opps. Cascade Rail Foundation is in the process of bringing a genuine Milwaukee Road 5057 Engine to the site in the future. The Brewfest was originally conceived and named honoring the famous Milwaukee beer trains. To learn more about the Depot, Milwaukee Road in South Cle Elum, and the Cascade Rail Foundation, visit www.milwelectric.org

What time does the event start and end?

The 2012 Rails to Ales Brewfest gates will open at 4:00 p.m. The event ends at 10:00 p.m., with "last call" being announced approx. 30 minutes before that. The final parking shuttle will depart the lot at 10:00 p.m.

Will you be having the shuttle bus going from the event into town?

Yes! We will be running the FREE Shuttle in a continuous route between area parking lots and our Lodging Partner sites. You can download a map of the route and stops here.

Ticketing & Entry Questions:

I have a Will-Call ticket. Where do go to pick it up?

The day of the Brewfest, there will be a separate line set up outside the event entrance gate clearly marked for Will-Call pick ups. You will need to go to this booth BEFORE getting in the entry line, as you will need your ticket(s) to enter the event grounds. Please have your Will-Call receipt printout ready when approaching the booth.

How do the entry lines work?

If you already have a pre-purchased "hard ticket", proceed to the main entrance line-up. Gates open at 4:00 p.m. There will be separate lines for Will-Call and Ticket Purchases on-site. Purchasers of the GOLD VIP TICKET PACKAGE will be allowed to enter through the band/brewer express entrance on the West side of the Depot (right side when facing it from the parking lot).

Do I need a special ticket for a Designated Driver?

First of all, thank you for being a DD! We do just have the one General Admission ticket price for the event, which includes admission to the music concert and social get-together, however the 7 starter scrips that are included with the purchase price can also be used at any vendor, for food, non-alcoholic beverages, and for games and souvenirs instead of beer, at an exchange rate of $1.00 per scrip.

Can I buy tickets at the event, or do I need to buy them in advance?

Yes, you can get them at the gate as long as the event doesn't sell out in the pre-sales. Tickets will be available for purchase at the event for the gate price of $25.00. However, advance tickets, purchased by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 13, the day before the Brewfest, can be bought for $20.00, a $5.00 discount over the gate price. Pre-sales are available online or locally at www.railstoalesbrewfest.com/tickets/outlets/ (complete with Google maps for directions).

What do I get with my ticket purchase?

-- Admission to the Event (21 & Over, please - ID required for admittance) -- Live music, with Special Musical Headliner Guests FREE RAIN, Seattle's #1 Party Band out of Issaquah, along with local favorites Mr. E Band -- 7 Starter Beer Scrip each good for one 5 oz. Beer or Hard Cider Sample (or one standard size wine sample, or $1.00 towards purchase of food, soft drinks, or souvenirs, additional Scrip available for purchase for $1.00 each) -- A Commemorative 5 oz. Sampling Glass with event logo -- Admission to the Rail Museum -- Plenty of free parking and free shuttle service from parking lots to event -- Support of the Cascade Rail Foundation, for projects like the upcoming Substation renovation and purchase of an actual Milwaukee Road 5057 Engine to display.

I have recently turned 21, and I am coming from 100 miles away, will the Brewfest still accept my vertical ID?

As long as you have a valid legal ID showing that you are 21 or over as of the event date (July 14, 2012), you are welcome to attend the Rails to Ales Brewfest.

What is the GOLD VIP TICKET PACKAGE, and what perks do I get with it?

We’ve had people asking what the NEW Gold VIP Ticket they see on Brown Paper Tickets is all about. Spend less time waiting in line with the 3X bigger sampling glass in our limited Gold VIP Ticket Package! In its inaugural year in 2008, the Rails to Ales Brewfest offered an oversized introductory pounder sampling glass made of actual glass (brewfests usually provide industry standard 5 oz. sampling glasses), charging a higher gate admission price and higher refill ticket prices. Since then, we have made the event more affordable to guests by offering reduced cost advance purchase tickets and lower priced additional refill tickets for the smaller sampling glasses. We were planning to phase out the big 15oz. souvenir glasses this year as they no longer fit in with the lower priced scrip structure, and have caused some confusion in recent years. However, many guests have told us they still prefer the big glasses as they pick their favorites early and don’t have to go back in line to refill as often, and that they would be willing to pay more for that convenience. So, for those wanting to contribute to the non-profit Cascade Rail Foundation at a VIP level to get some additional perks, we are offering a limited number of these special GOLD VIP TICKET PACKAGES!

Where is the VIP Ticket Holder entrance?

Gold VIP Ticket holders are invited to enter through either the band/brewer entrance on the West side of the Depot (the right side when facing the Depot from the parking lot), or through the main entrance. (If you would rather go in together with regular ticket holders or if the line is very short, you may prefer to go in that gate - it's up to you. If there are people in your party who do not have a VIP Ticket, we're sorry, but they will need to use the main entrance, unless they wish to upgrade their pre-purchased ticket for $30 more, which they are welcome to do at the VIP/band gate.)

Children (Minors) & Pets Questions:

I have recently turned 21, and I am coming from 100 miles away, will the Brewfest still accept my vertical ID?

As long as you have a valid legal ID showing that you are 21 or over as of the event date (July 14, 2012), you are welcome to attend the Rails to Ales Brewfest.

What about Service Animals?

ADA Service animals are permitted to accompany individuals with a disability, however they must be leashed at all times and are expected to be well-behaved and not endanger other guests. Aggressive actions can result in the owner being asked to leave the event for the safety of others.

Are dogs or other pets allowed on the Brewfest grounds?

No. For the comfort and convenience of all our guests, pets will not be allowed inside the event grounds. The weather is usually hot here in mid-July, so it is not recommended to leave pets unattended in vehicles or tied outside the event grounds, so please plan ahead to make arrangements for pets.

Are children allowed entrance into the Brewfest grounds?

No, please leave all children with someone you like. The Brewfest is a beer sampling event open to adults 21 and over only, please, and ID is required (we card everyone at the gate, so be prepared to show ID). Thank you for your understanding.

Beer, Wine & Hard Cider Questions:

How much are additional beer tickets (scrip)?

The cost for additional regular Scrip ("beer tickets"), which can be used for standard 5oz. beer, hard cider and wine samples, as well as food and souvenirs, is only $1 each. (Your general admission ticket includes a pack of the first 7 scrips, which can also be used for any of these items.) NEW this year - GOLDEN SCRIPS. These special tickets are available for $5.00 each, and fill the oversized 15oz souvenir glass. The Gold VIP Ticket Package includes one of these big glasses and your first 5 GOLDEN SCRIPS. Extra glasses will be available at the souvenir tent, while supplies last, for $5.00 each.

Why are some of the beers being served by the brewers different from what’s listed in the program and on the ballot?

It has to do with capacity. We try to include as many small craft brewers as possible in our lineup. The smaller brewers brew in limited batches. Their available stock at the Brewfest time, and what they planned to bring at the time we go to press might differ. We do have "write-in" places on the ballot to accommodate any changes in offerings, and encourage you to give them a try!

Entertainment Questions:

What bands have performed at past Brewfests?

In 2011, BUMP KITCHEN from Tacoma starred, along with Mr. E. Band and Jumpin' Johnny. The 2010 lineup included headliner Vicci Martinez (contestant on the 2011 national TV show "The Voice" - see more details on the bands page), Free Beer @Exit 80, and Eden. -- In 2009 the Dave Rawlinson Band starred with Strange Jerome. -- The 2008 musicians were The Blue Tropics and Free Beer @Exit 80. Learn more at our past performers' page.

I represent a band. Are you looking for performers at your event?

Hey, thanks for thinking of us! We do already have our line-up set for the 2012 Brewfest, however if you would like to get in on the auditions for the 2013 event, please visit our "Contact" page, click on the "entertainment" button, and fill out the form to get in touch with us. If you have a website with samples of your performances and/or offer discount gig rates for non-profit organizations, it would be helpful to include that information on the contact form. Someone will get back with you soon.

Who will be performing at this year’s Brewfest?

FREE RAIN, Seattle's #1 Party Band out of Issaquah is starring at the 2012 Rails to Ales Brewfest, along with local favorites Mr. E Band. See details on our bands page

Food & Non-alcoholic Beverage Options Questions:

Can I bring my own food and drinks?

No outside food or drinks will be permitted, however food vendors will have a variety of eating options and non-alcoholic beverages, in addition to the beer, wine and hard cider sampling booths.

What types of food will be available?

4-5 independent vendors will be providing a range of food and non-alcoholic beverage options. See full menus on our Food Page.

Location, Lodging, Transportation, Directions & Parking Questions:

Is there a bus that will take us between the Brewfest and Ellensburg?

Yes, a private third party service, the Airporter Shuttle, offers several trips between downtown Cle Elum and Ellensburg for $5.00 each way. Our free event shuttle has a stop at the Cle Elum Shell/Subway Sandwich shop stop to catch the Airporter Shuttle bus. Tickets must be pre-arranged with the bus company before the day of the event. The Airporter does offer other stops, check their site for complete details. The Rails to Ales Brewfest is not affiliated with Airporter Shuttle, and information is provided just for the convenience of our guests.

Where is the VIP Ticket Holder entrance?

Gold VIP Ticket holders are invited to enter through either the band/brewer entrance on the West side of the Depot (the right side when facing the Depot from the parking lot), or through the main entrance. (If you would rather go in together with regular ticket holders or if the line is very short, you may prefer to go in that gate - it's up to you. If there are people in your party who do not have a VIP Ticket, we're sorry, but they will need to use the main entrance, unless they wish to upgrade their pre-purchased ticket for $30 more, which they are welcome to do at the VIP/band gate.)

Will there be an actual train ride?

No, the Rails to Ales Brewfest takes place in the Railyard of an authentic historic Milwaukee Road rail Depot and Substation - the tracks have long since been removed to create the John Wayne Pioneer Trail in the Ironhorse State Park. The Rail Museum inside the South Cle Elum Depot will be open for tours (free admission to the museum included with your purchased Brewfest ticket.) There is also an actual Milwaukee Road caboose on-site for photo opps. Cascade Rail Foundation is in the process of bringing a genuine Milwaukee Road 5057 Engine to the site in the future. The Brewfest was originally conceived and named honoring the famous Milwaukee beer trains. To learn more about the Depot, Milwaukee Road in South Cle Elum, and the Cascade Rail Foundation, visit www.milwelectric.org

Will you be having the shuttle bus going from the event into town?

Yes! We will be running the FREE Shuttle in a continuous route between area parking lots and our Lodging Partner sites. You can download a map of the route and stops here.


Getting Involved – Volunteer, Vendor, Sponsorship, etc. Questions:

Where can I download a Volunteer Form?

Thanks for your interest in volunteering with our event! You can find Volunteer Application Form download, and some more volunteering info at our Volunteering page, www.railstoalesbrewfest.com/info-kiosk/volunteering/. We look forward to working with you!

Vendor info, please?

Food Vendors are invited to contact us through our contact form at http://www.railstoalesbrewfest.com/contact/ to learn more about reserving a vendor spot at the Brewfest. We are not currently seeking other types of vendors at this event, however some levels of Event Sponsors are welcome to set up informational booths at the Brewfest. Contact us for information on how to become a sponsor eligible for a booth.

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