With August upon us it means that the Oregon Brewers Festival has come to an end. If you made it to the festival, chances are you most likely had a good time (unless you happened to come Saturday evening when the lines were crazy long) and drank some outstanding beers.
For me, I was at my booth most of the time during all 5 days promoting my Beer Lover’s Oregon book and talking to a ton of people about craft beer in the state.
Needless to say I met a lot of amazing people. I’ve said it before, but craft beer fans and industry folk are some of the friendliest and most down to earth people I’ve met and hung out with. The fantastic people I talked to made being there 5 days in a row an absolute blast (drinking beer helped as well).
Tips For Attending Future Oregon Brewers Festivals
After being at the festival the entire time it was open, I learned a few tips I’ll keep in mind and share with those who attend it in the future.
The first tip is that you probably want to avoid going all day Saturday and Friday evening if you want to sample a lot of beers. By far those were the most packed times at the festival and filled with “bros” there to party. If that’s your thing, then by all means go for it. However just keep in mind you’ll be spending more time in line than anything else.
Sunday seemed to be the most mellow day for tasting, however by then many of the beers were already gone. However I was able to sample a lot of beers with very little lines. Wednesday and Thursday were the next best time slots for lines, but best if you want to make sure a certain beer you wanted to try is still around. With short lines, lots of craft beer purists/geeks/fans, and most people at work, the first two days of the festival were a lot of fun.
The second tip I have is to make sure to plan what beers you really want to try before you get there. Many popular beers were gone by late afternoon, so if you don’t plan accordingly, you could miss out.
New this year was an awesome mobile website for the festival that could be found by going to coaster.me. Along with festival info, it had all of the beers being poured. Each had descriptions and the ability for people to create lists of beers they want to try and rate beers they had. I used it quite extensively and followed along with the top 10 beers people liked as if it were the Olympics.
Hopefully they will keep with this platform next year. If so make sure to use it to keep track of what beers you liked and want to try.
The Best of the 84 Beers
You have to love a festival that is pouring 84 beers. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to try them all. For the first few days I was by myself at the booth so I didn’t get much of a chance to sample. I had to book it over to the trailers and get a full glass in between talking to people. Luckily I had some help and some cool Twitter followers who came to the rescue to help keep my glass full. Plus Ryan Van Brunt, the other fantastic writer over at Blog About Beer, helped out with me on the weekend freeing us both up to try more beer.
Here are my favorites from the festival. Keep in mind I didn’t get to try all of them.
- Gigantic & Juice
- Breakside Float
- Heathen Transgression IPA
- Ninkasi Bohemian Pils
- Old Market Pub Dilution of Grandeur
- Fearless Peaches & Cream
Also Very Tasty
Silver Moon Bone Crusher Imperial Red, Widmer Eye of the Thaiger, Yakima Craft Brewing Heather, 10 Barrel Swill, Fort George Hop Contract, Oakshire OBF 26, Occidental Dortmunder, Surly OverRated!, The Dudes’ Grandma’s Pecan Brown, Terminal Gravity Tap Out, Hopworks Two Tickets to Pearadise, Rogue Beard Beer, Hales 30th Anniversary Double Pale Ale
Not My Favorite
Dunedin Chronicle 11: Subtropical IPA, 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon, Elysian Oddland Spiced Pear Ale
I really wanted to try West Highland Brewing’s Mango Moon Ale, but it was out every day by the time I got there.
If you went, what were your favorites?