Festivals are a big part of the craft beer World, and a great way to discover new beers and new breweries. New festivals seem to pop up nearly every year and some, including myself, might say we’re starting to get too many. I have a lot of respect, however, for the festivals that helped start the craft beer festival craze and the Oregon Brewer’s Festival, which has been running for more than 30 years now, is definitely one of them.
We have great craft beer here in Washington State for sure, but we also recognize that there is a plethora of craft beer awesomeness coming out of our neighbor to the South. Showcasing all that embodies craft beer (and cider), this year’s Oregon Brewer’s Festival is set for July 24th thru the 27th.
Here is the full press release from the Oregon Brewer’s Festival:
PORTLAND, Ore. (March 14, 2019) — The Oregon Brewers Festival has announced details for this summer’s 32nd annual event, and for the first time in the festival’s history, it will feature 100 percent Oregon craft beers and ciders, with more than 85 of these being first-release products that will debut at the event. From Allegory to Zoiglhaus, the Oregon Brewers Festival will pour 101 products from 93 breweries and eight cider houses in 34 cities––from the Pacific Coast to the High Desert, and the Cascade Mountains to the Willamette Valley. Participants range from the nano-est of nanos to some of the powerhouses of the craft brewing industry.
The 32nd annual Oregon Brewers Festival will take place Wednesday, July 24 through Saturday, July 27 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland; the festival will not occur on Sunday for the first time since its inception. Gates open at 11:30am daily, and taps are open from Noon to 9pm.
“When we originally started this festival in July 1988, there were only six craft breweries making beer in the entire state of Oregon; we invited successful craft breweries from around the country to help expose locals to the concept of craft beer. Breweries like Alaskan Brewing, Bell’s Brewery in Michigan, Sierra Nevada in California, and Bayern in Montana helped us kick off the inaugural event,” explained Art Larrance, Oregon Brewers Festival Director and Founder. “Today, there are close to 300 breweries in our own state, and we felt it was time to really showcase all the regions that make Oregon one of the most successful craft beer hubs in the world.”
Between 55,000 and 85,000 beer lover annually travel from around the world to attend the Oregon Brewers Festival, which is considered one of the nation’s longest-running and best-loved craft beer events. The festival will also feature a Meet the Brewer Tent, a Brewer Dunk Tank, five food booths, a number of beer related vendors, games, homebrewing demonstrations, and the Crater Lake Soda Garden offering complimentary handcrafted soda to designated drivers and minors.
The Oregon Brewers Festival is not a ticketed event; it is free to enter the festival grounds. In order to taste beer and cider, the purchase of a tasting package is required, which costs $20 and includes the current year’s souvenir mug and 10 beer tokens. Patrons pay four tokens for a full mug of beer or cider, or one token for a taste. Additional tokens may be purchased for $1 apiece. Mugs and tokens are sold on-site, as well as at a few select locations two weeks in advance of the event. The festival is cash-only, with eight ATMs located on-premise. The festival allows minors all hours of the event when accompanied by a parent; animals are not allowed, unless ADA.
The Oregon Brewers Festival encourages responsible drinking and urges patrons to take Tri-Met; the MAX Light Rail has a station one block from the main entrance. Alternately, attendees who ride their bikes can park them for free in the Hopworks Urban Brewery secure bike corral.
This year’s Grand Marshal will be the Unipiper, aka Brian Kidd, an avid homebrewer who has been a loyal supporter of the festival for years. The Unipiper has been taking part in the Oregon Brewers Parade for a number of years; this year, he will lead the parade on Wednesday, July 24, from Ecliptic Brewing to the opening ceremonies at Waterfront Park, where he will also tap the official first keg.
This year’s festival beneficiary is UCP Oregon, a non-profit that is dedicated to life without limits for people with disabilities and is one of the largest providers in Oregon. Since 1955, UCP Oregon has been fiercely dedicated to serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, ADD, and others. More than 230 trained employees serve the community providing direct-care for adults and children in their homes, respite care and support for family members, employment opportunities, advocacy, education, and navigation through complicated health systems. More information can be found at ucporegon.org.
2019 Participating Breweries
13 Virtues Brewing, Allegory Brewing, Ancestry Brewing, Arch Rock Brewing, Ascendant Beer, Baerlic Brewing, Bevel Craft Brewing, Binary Brewing, Boneyard Beer, Breakside Brewery, Buoy Beer, Caldera Brewing, Cascade Brewing, Cascade Lakes Brewing, Coalition Brewing, Coin Toss Brewing, ColdFire Brewing, Collaborator Project, Crux Fermentation Project, Deep Space Brewing, Deluxe Brewing, Deschutes Brewery, Double Mountain Brewery, Ecliptic Brewing, Elk Horn Brewery, Evasion Brewing, Fearless Brewing, Ferment Brewing, Fort George Brewery, Freebridge Brewing, Full Sail Brewing, Funhouse Brews, G-MAN Brewery, Gateway Brewing, Gigantic, Gilgamesh Brewing, Golden Valley Brewery, GoodLife Brewing, Great Notion Brewing, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Immersion Brewing, Kells Brewery, Klamath Basin Brewing, Kobold Brewing, Labrewatory, Laurelwood Brewing, Little Beast Brewing, Lompoc Brewing, Lucky Labrador Brewing, MadCow Brewing, Mazama Brewing, McMenamins Breweries, Migration Brewing, Monkless Belgian Ales, Natian Brewery, Ninkasi Brewing, Oakshire Brewing, Old Market Pub & Brewery, Old Town Brewing, Ordnance Brewing, Oregon City Brewing, Pelican Brewing, pFriem Family Brewers, Porter Brewing, Portland Brewing, Public Coast Brewing, Ram Restaurant & Brewery, RiverBend Brewing, Rock Bottom Brewery, Rogue Ales, Rusty Truck Brewing, Santiam Brewing, Sasquatch Brewing, Scout Beer, Silver Moon Brewing, Stickmen Brewing, StormBreaker Brewing, Sunriver Brewing, Terminal Gravity Brewing, Three Creeks Brewing, Three Mugs Brewing, Thunder Island Brewing, Upright Brewing, Vanguard Brewing, Vertigo Brewing, Von Ebert Brewing, Weekend Beer, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Wild Ride Brewing, Wolf Tree Brewery, Worthy Brewing, Xicha Brewing, and Zoiglhaus Brewing.
2019 Participating Cideries2 Towns Ciderhouse, Apple Outlaw, Cider Riot, Portland Cider, Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Swift Cider, Wandering Aengus Ciderworks, and WildCraft Cider Works. Hard ciders debuted at the festival in 2018.About the Oregon Brewers FestivalThe Oregon Brewers Festival was founded in 1988 as an opportunity to expose the public to microbrews at a time when the craft brewing industry was just getting off the ground. Today, that industry has flourished, with more than 7,000 craft breweries in America, according to the Brewer’s Association. The economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival on the local economy is annually more than $20 million. For more information visit OregonBrewFest.com and follow the event @OregonBrewfest on social media, #OBF2019.
As noted above, this the first time ever that the Oregon Brewer’s Festival will not take place on a Sunday. Note that the dates for this year’s festival are the 24th thru the 27th – that’s Wednesday thru Saturday in Portland. Plan accordingly.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.