As an event professional, you know local touches can go a long way with attendees experiencing the destination and further enjoying the event. Incorporating local food and drink in creative ways is an easy way to accomplish this, and often, these details become the talked-about highlight of the event. Don’t worry about local seafood at your event—many of the hotels already source delicious local product for their food & beverage program. Below are some thought-starters on how to incorporate a little Seattle style into your meeting.
Washington State is the second largest premium producer of wine in the country, after California. Quantity is good, but quality is better. More than 50% of Washington State wines score 90+ points in Wine Spectator reviews – that’s the highest percentage of wines in the U.S. from any region! For crowd-pleasing, stellar white wines, any from the Columbia Valley AVA, such as Novelty Hill – Januik Winery, will make a big splash. And delicious reds from Washington hail from Horse Heaven Hills and Red Mountain AVAs—two of the top critically-acclaimed regions. Labels like Quilceda Creek Vintners, Kiona Vineyards and Betz Family Winery are all excellent choices, among many.
You may know that IPAs (India Pale Ales) reign king in the Pacific Northwest, and are gaining traction in other parts of the country. But did you know that 75% of the nation’s hops are grown in Washington State? Hoppy and aromatic, IPAs are crisp and often bring piney or citrusy notes too. Look to local brewers like Georgetown, Holy Mountain, Cloudburst, or Reuben’s Brews – any IPA from these breweries will showcase northwest flavor and be a hit with beer-loving attendees. Pro Tip: The Lucille and Bodhizafa IPAs from Georgetown Brewing are (amazing and) available in cans too.
“Better than ice cream”—is the phrase you’ll most often hear when people talk about Ellenos. A Pike Place Market must-try, their traditional Greek yogurt is infused with modern flavors like marionberry (a type of black berry famous in the Pacific Northwest), lemon curd, and passionfruit. Pro Tip: They’re now available in individual cup servings.
Move over Wisconsin, because Seattle has some serious cheese game too. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is another Pike Place Market staple known for their fresh, squeaky cheese curds and Flagship cheddar. For a networking reception, add a Beecher’s cheese curd bar to the appetizer lineup. Attendees will love sampling the varieties of different curd flavors like chipotle, market herb, and plain.
When Seattleite Sharelle Klaus was pregnant, she found that most non-alcoholic beverages she encountered were too sweet for her taste. So she made her own, and DRY Sparkling was born. Unique flavors like ginger, cucumber, and blood orange pair elegantly with food and are equally delicious in mixed drinks, as well. Many of the top bars in Seattle feature a cocktail made with DRY. May we suggest the Seattle Spritz? It’s a refreshing, special cocktail Visit Seattle serves at our own events.
Knowing that Bluebird Ice Cream can come to you makes their treats just that much sweeter. A retrofitted milk wagon, this nostalgia-inducing ice cream truck serves on-call scoops of small-batch, artisan ice cream– a fun and lighthearted way to add joy to your event!