In two weeks, people from all over the world will flock to Portland for the 27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival. I have never experienced a brewfest of this scale before, spanning five days down on the waterfront and 85,000 people, but this year I am lucky enough to be one of them. Having a game plan is important, as I will be driving up for one evening and heading home after. Read up about the event, so you too can plan and enjoy once to get there!
- For the first time in the event’s history, nearly a dozen brewers from Germany and the Netherlands will be in attendance. Each will be pouring five varieties daily in the Specialty Tent and are available for meet the brewer sessions as well. In addition, they will be hosted by a number of local breweries during the week, so check out the website and go see them. This is awesome! Wet your tongue and excite your palate with beer from another country, it will add to beer travel fever you know you already have.
- If you are brave, you can try 88 beers in the main festival alone. And another 100+ in the Specialty Tent. The Specialty Tent is where it’s at folks. One off’s you might not ever get to try again, cellar specialties, expensive and limited selection will be available. I’m hitting this tent first. Hands down.
- The highest ABV beer in attendance will be Dogfish Head Oak Aged Strong Ale at 11%. The lowest is Cigar City’s Blood Orange/Dragon Fruit Florida Wiesse at 3.5%.
- The most represented of the 30 styles of beer at the festival this year are fruit beers!! What?? This is the first time since incarnation that IPA’s have not been the most common style. Wow, does this speak volumes about where craft beer is headed? I am hoping to find out more at the festival.
- Designated Drivers (we love you, thank you) and minors: you can look forward to live music each day, food booths, craft vendors, home brew demonstrations and complimentary handcrafted root beer in the Crater Lake Root Beer Garden.
Living in Oregon does have its perks. I have had the pleasure to try some amazing beers both in Eugene and Corvallis as part of Oregon Beer month, and I cannot wait to experience this festival as well. It is no secret that the craft brew industry is growing exponentially all over the U.S, making up 98 percent of all operating breweries in the states today. Oregon alone has 173 breweries in 70 cities, with Portland at 56 and more than any other city in the world. 6500 plus people are employed by breweries in our state, and it will take over 2200 volunteers to make this festival run. Come out and support this amazing event and time in craft brew history.
Below are some more links to help you plan your travel should you need them. If you would like information on the specific breweries coming in from Europe, ask and ye shall receive. And remember to drink responsibly and use Portland’s greatpublic transportation as much as possible.
Traveling to Portland? http://www.travelportland.com
Want to find out more about Oregon’s craft beer industry? http://oregoncraftbeer.org
While you are in PDX, why not try a food tour? http://www.forktownfoodtoursportland.com
Check out Portland Guide’s at http://portlandfoodanddrink.com