BrewLiving is excited to be attending the 27th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival in Portland, Oregon.
We will be there to talk shop with professional brewers, hobbyists and craft beer aficionados like you, to find out what makes this long-running festival so successful and beloved by attendees.
Of course we'll bring you highlights from the festival -- including the 100+ rare, barrel-aged and unique beers available to attendees in the Specialty Tent.
From the OregonBrewFest.com website:
"Pouring 88 different craft beers from around the country - plus another 100 in the Specialty Tent - the Oregon Brewers Festival is the quintessential celebration of craft beer! On a sun soaked July afternoon, there's no better place to sip suds with friends along the banks of the Willamette River, with the Portland skyline as a backdrop to the west and Mt. Hood towering in the east. Whether you prefer Belgians or Blondes, Pales or Pilsners, Saisons or Wits - come to the Oregon Brewers Festival, and see for yourself why we're one of the world's best loved craft beer festivals."
Not only does this promise to be one of the country's premiere beer festivals, it's also held in one of the country's premiere beer cities. We will also endeavor to bring you some of Portland's great brewing traditions.
So "join us" as we celebrate craft beer in one of America's greatest beer cities.
We're calling this event a complete success and an excellent event so worth checking out. Be sure to check out Matt's photo gallery from the event here.
Unlike most craft beer festivals that feature high admission prices and short sessions that encourage patrons to cram a lot of drinking into a short window of time to feel like they got their money's worth, the Oregon Brew Fest takes a radically different approach that's refreshing in many ways. Instead of paying to get in, you simply pay to obtain your sample glass for $7 (entry to the event itself is free), and then buy individual drink tokens for a dollar each. Each token gets you a 3oz pour of your chosen beer, and are good for the entire event, which spans five days, with each day lasting from noon to 9pm.
This allows for a much more enjoyable pace, a more sociable and relaxed atmosphere, and especially on the weekdays (because it *does* run for more than one day), a much less crowded event that results in short lines -- and our favorite part, time to hang out and converse with the brewers who made themselves available. For us, this primarily included Dutch and German brewers from Brauerei Nothhaft (Nothhaft, Germany), Oersoep Brouwerij (Nijmegen, Netherlands) and Brouwerij de Molen (Bodegraven, Netherlands) to name a few in the Specialty Tent. Look for future interviews and featured content with them soon.
The Dutch and German brewers attending wore orange t-shirts that made them easy to spot and start up conversation with. The rain that fell in stops and starts on Wednesday also resulted in "friendship umbrella" moments that made for great laughs, and kept the more "ammateur" element of beer fest attendees at bay. (They would show up on Saturday, when the weather was glorious, resulting in lines that wrapped around the block at the entrances.) We would have loved to have also seen special shirts that helped identify the American brewers in the Specialty Tent as well, but we still managed to stop a few that we recognized or knew. As always, they were class acts, happy to talk brewing with us.
Of course, no visit to Portland would be complete without also visiting a healthy selection of breweries, pubs, coffee houses, roasteries and other fantastic businesses that make Portland such a brilliant destination. Special shout-outs go to Deschutes, Hair of the Dog, Cascade Brewing Co, The Horse Brass, Coava Coffee Roasters, St. Honoré Boulangerie, the Homebrew Exchange homebrew shop, Kells Irish Pub, the Thirsty Lion pub, Posies Cafe and the Foggy Notion in Kenton, Central Hotel and Affogato Cafe in St. John's, our friends Brian and Maria from The Roaming Pint who were also briefly in town, and the fantastic folk they introduced us to from Cascade and Dunedin Brewery (Florida). This list will no doubt increase in length before our Portland visit is complete.
In summary, we can't recommend OBF enough if you're looking for a craft beer festival to attend next year. Stay in Portland for a few days -- there's so much else to see and do -- and be sure to attend OBF on the first couple of days when it's mellow. It's a complete madhouse on Saturday.