Good Times at the Bremerton Blackberry Festival

Throughout the state of Washington, residents have access to some of the finest fruit and vegetable festivals in the country with local farms display their best products. The Bremerton Blackberry Festival is no exception. It’s a renowned celebration of Bremerton’s prowess at cultivating the humble blackberry. For those planning their visit to the next Bremerton Blackberry Festival, here are some things you should be aware of before you make the trip.

What is the Bremerton Blackberry Festival?

The Bremerton Blackberry Festival is an ode to Bremerton and the surrounding region’s appreciation for the special blackberries cultivated by local growers. After almost three decades of serving the Bremerton community, the Bremerton Blackberry Festival has become one of the most well-known destinations for family fun at the end of summer. Over the years, even residents of cities like Seattle and Tacoma flock to the festival for its reputation as one of the best events near the Puget Sound.

Bremerton Blackberry Festival 1

Source: Blackberry Festival Facebook

While the festival was largely independently operated for most of its history, it is now managed by the Bremerton Rotary Club, which has provided the festival with structure and organization since 2012. Even in the distant future, the community’s love of the Bremerton Blackberry Festival will ensure it remains a landmark of Puget Sound culture.

Things to do at the Bremerton Blackberry Festival

Despite being known as the Bremerton Blackberry Festival, a love of blackberries is not the only reason to attend. Beyond this beloved berry, the festival offers copious amounts of entertainment and other activities for visitors of all ages to enjoy, including live music and a family fun area. Throughout the festival, some of the best bands in the region will take to the main stage to perform for attendees.

Bremerton Blackberry Festival 2

Source: Blackberry Festival Facebook

However, the centerpiece of the festival is clearly the blackberry itself, as the many booths that hem the festival together will reveal. From delicious blackberry ice cream to baked goods that seem fresh from the oven, any lover of blackberries will be able to find something they enjoy.

For adults, the highlight may be the blackberry wine, considered a delicacy of the region. Curious gourmets flock from miles around, and even across state or country lines, to discover why this wine has such a reputation for its quality and flavor. However, due to the high demand experienced by every blackberry wine booth at the festival, there is a tendency for vendors to sell out of bottles quickly.

Bremerton Blackberry Festival 3

Source: Blackberry Festival Facebook

Besides the blackberry wine at the festival, other alcoholic beverages are available from the participating Cloverleaf Bar and Grill, which provides an outdoor vantage point to enjoy the action at the festival. The bar will even be offering specialty cocktails as a sign of their appreciation for the event.

For some more blackberry with a kick, stop by your favorite Bremerton dispensary for some Blackberry Kush or grab it off our online menu. Yum!

Clear Choice’s Guide to the Best of Bremerton: Kitsap County Historical Society Museum

We love being a part of the thriving community of Bremerton, WA, a physically beautiful and historically significant city in the greater Puget Sound region. Before it became the United States Navy’s premier shipyard in the Pacific Northwest, the area already had a long and rich history as part of the territory of the local Suquamish tribe.

Today, we owe much of our knowledge about the area to the diligent historians of the Kitsap County Historical Society Museum (website here). The Museum is a tribute to the story of the region, and what’s more its ongoing events and presentations serve to give important topics a public forum.

Kitsap County Historical Society Museum 1

Source: Tripadvisor via @GoBeavs09

It’s well worth a special visit (on top of another great reason to visit Bremerton). Let’s dive into its story and share just a taste of what makes Bremerton so special!

Kitsap County Historical Society Museum: Early Regional History

For many early Americans, the Pacific Northwest represented the final frontier on the route to a unified nation, but it’s important to remember that the area was already populated when Captain George Vancouver, an English naval officer, visited and charted the region between 1791 and 1795. The dominant tribe here were called the Suquamish, and you’ll recognize some of its prominent leaders by name: Vancouver met Kitsap, a Suquamish war chief, in 1791. At that time, a future chief named “Seattle” was roughly 5 years old.

Kitsap County Historical Society Museum 2

Source: The Suquamish Tribe

The Kitsap County Historical Society Museum contains many artifacts from the days when the Suquamish were the only game in town, including early tools, baskets and other implements essential to the Suquamish peoples’ pre-industrial lifestyle. But it’s closer to the turn of the 20th century when Bremerton’s story really kicked into high gear.

Kitsap County Historical Society Museum: The Golden Age of Logging and Shipping

For the first few decades of white settlement, fur trapping and logging were the dominant industries, and the Museum does a splendid job in evoking the spirit and feel of the time with artifacts, interactive exhibits, and dense historical records. You’ll find the very same tools used by loggers and woodsmen, and wonder at the intensely difficult—and dangerous—work required to bring massive timber to the market.

This was also the time Bremerton took on immense significance as the Navy’s premier shipyard in the region, beginning with the Navy’s purchase of waterfront acreage in 1891. A decade later, the town of Bremerton was officially incorporated, but that’s perhaps where its troubles began.

Kitsap County Historical Society Museum 3

Source: HistoryNet

You might find it hard to imagine today, but Bremerton boasted a very “Wild West” feel. According to official reports from naval commanders, the Bremerton waterfront was rife with prostitution, opium dens, and frequent robberies and assaults upon sailors, and the Navy responded by halting all work at the shipyard. Once the city’s first mayor, Alvyn Croxton, temporarily shuttered the town’s saloons, the Navy relented and the city’s future was once again secure. Soon Bremerton would become the powerhouse of naval industry it remains to this day.

There’s much more to the story, of course, and you can find it all at the Kitsap County Historical Society Museum. Housed in a historic 1950s Deco building, the Museum is a rare blend of deep history and genuine fun. For younger guests, the building also houses the Valentinetti Puppet Museum.

After filling your brain with local history, don't forget to stop by your favorite Bremerton dispensary!

Clear Choice Cannabis Shares Our Favorite Bremerton Bars, Pubs and Watering Holes

As you might expect, all of us at Clear Choice Cannabis’s Bremerton dispensary are big on cannabis’s all-natural medical and recreational benefits. But don’t get us wrong: When closing time rolls around, we love blowing off steam with liquid libations at Bremerton Bars just as much as you do!

Fortunately for us, Bremerton provides a healthy selection of bars, pubs, and grills to choose from. Whether you’re after a gritty saloon or an elevated craft beer experience, peruse our list of favorite Bremerton bars to find one that’s just right for you!

Top Bremerton Bars

Ashley’s Pub

409 Pacific Ave Ste. 101
Bremerton, WA 98337
(360) 813-1633
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Many Bremerton bars promise to be “fun,” but Ashley’s goes at it with particular intensity. This gamer’s paradise boasts a library of board games, vintage pinball, video games and more! While it may not be the spot to take a first date or check out the waterfront view (none to be found here), it’s a genuinely fun, unique and welcoming watering hole.

Bremerton Bars arcade game

Shenanigans Pub & Grill

602 4th St.
Bremerton, WA 98337
(360) 627-7665
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You might be excused for thinking a joint called “Shenanigan’s” is a trap for wayward frat pledges. So it’s all the more surprise that this Irish-style pub is a lot more welcoming and genteel than you’d expect. Look for rib-sticking fare like colcannon—mashed potatoes flecked with toothsome cabbage—Scotch eggs swaddled in sausage, and savory beef stew. A full selection of single malt Scotch and Irish beers on tap only seal the deal for this much-loved Bremerton bar.

Bremerton Bars whiskey

The Hi-Fidelity Lounge

2711 6th St.
Bremerton, WA 98312
(360) 627-9752
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“I wish this place was a secret”, writes one customer. That’s the kind of bar we like: One that’s so good you don’t exactly want to share it. Cozy, intimate and cool, the focus is on music as much as eating and drinking here; there’s a small stage and the walls are festooned with vintage 45 rpm records. Come for live tunes and happy hour specials; stay for the vintage vibe and focus on fun.

Bremerton Bars mojito

Hale's Barrelhouse

1509 N Wycoff Ave.
Bremerton, WA 98312
(360) 932-3502
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Brewing English-style ales since 1983, Hale’s is a Pacific Northwest institution, and one of the longest-running continually owned breweries anywhere in the United States. This Bremerton outpost is just as beloved as is the Seattle-based brand. In addition to the award-winning beers, you’ll find a double-decker bus to relax in, a room packed with cozy wooden picnic benches for a communal experience, and the occasional special event drawing a local food truck to the premises (there’s no kitchen service otherwise). Do check the website for current hours, as the schedule depends on the season.

Bremerton Bars cheers

The Swimdeck Gastro Pub

682 SW Bay St.
Port Orchard, WA 98366
(360) 900-7825
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Just down the road in Port Orchard, the Swimdeck brings a global palate to match the eclectic mix of micro- and craft brews. You’ll find offbeat and fun food offerings like a spicy “Teufelshunde” (that’s “devil dog” in German) sausage sandwich, mahi-mahi tacos, and the fearsome “Kraken Burger.” All the better to stoke your thirst for a constantly rotating list of brews, ciders, and cocktails. No surprise then that the Swimdeck is a perennial favorite in the West Puget Sound region.