There’s been turmoil brewing in the craft beer world recently with acquisitions and ad punches, but one thing has stayed constant: the Oregon Brewers Festival will return this summer for its annual five-day celebration of craft beer. The 28th annual Oregon Brewers Festival will take place July 22 through July 26 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. Event hours are Noon to 9pm Wed. through Sat., and Noon to 7pm Sunday.
One of the nation’s longest-running and best-loved craft beer festivals, the Oregon Brewers Festival annually draws 85,000 beer lovers from around the world. In the two main tents, the Oregon Brewers Festival will serve beers from 90 craft breweries from the U.S. and Canada; each brewery sends one beer to the event.
From Belgians to braggots, pales to Pilsners, radlers to reds, and saisons to stouts, there’s a style for nearly every palate; two gluten-free products are offered as well (for a complete list of participating breweries and beers, visit www.oregonbrewfest.com). The festival also features five days of live music, food booths, craft vendors, homebrew demonstrations and industry displays.
Continuing its foray into featuring international craft brewers, the Oregon Brewers Festival has also invited five brewers from New Zealand to come to the event along with their beer. The Kiwi contingent includes Tuatara, Yeastie Boys, Garage Project, Panhead and ParrotDog. Select styles from these breweries will be featured in the festival’s International Tent along with daily meet-the-brewer sessions. The International Tent encourages a long-term cultural exchange with brewers around the world as part of a collective celebration of great craft beer.
The Oregon Brewers Festival is not a ticketed event, and there is no admission charge to enter the festival grounds. In order to consume beer, the purchase of a 2015 souvenir tasting glass is required and costs $7. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens, which cost $1 apiece. Patrons pay four tokens for a full glass of beer, or one token for a taste. The purchase of glasses and tokens is made on-site, although there are a handful of local businesses that sell them up to two weeks prior to the event.
Although the festival has utilized a glass tasting vessel the past two years, the Portland Police Bureau has required the festival to return to plastic for safety reasons; attendees should be satisfied with this year’s alternative, which is a high-quality, 14-ounce polycarbonate glass made in Finland.
The Oregon Brewers Festival encourages responsible drinking and urges patrons to take the Tri-Met MAX Light Rail, which has a station just one block away from the main entrance. Attendees can also take advantage of the Hopworks Bike Corral, where volunteers from the #BC2Baja Bicycle Tour will watch over bikes for free.
The Crater Lake Soda Garden provides complimentary handcrafted root beer and soda to minors and designated drivers; minors are allowed into the event all hours when accompanied by a parent.
ABOUT THE OREGON BREWERS FESTIVAL
The 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, especially in Oregon, which currently has 185 brewing companies, operating 226 brewing facilities in 71 cities in Oregon. Portland alone has 58 breweries (84 in the Portland Metropolitan area) — more than any other city in the world. A study conducted at the 2014 Oregon Brewer Festival estimated the economic impact of the festival on the local economy to be $32.5 Million; it also showed that out-of-state and international visitors accounted for 56.8 percent of attendees. For more information about the Oregon Brewers Festival, visit www.oregonbrewfest.com or follow Facebook.com/OregonBrewersFestival and Twitter.com/OregonBrewfest.
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