The Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the nation’s longest running and attended beer festivals. Situated on scenic bank of the Willamette River, with Mt. Hood as a backdrop, it is the ideal venue for anyone who loves craft beer. Featuring a laid back attitude and plethora of award-winning beers, the festival reflects the essence of the city of Portland.
The Oregon Brewers Festival exists to provide an opportunity to sample and learn about a variety of craft beer styles from across the country. Eighty craft breweries from all parts of the nation offer handcrafted brews to 70,000 beer lovers during the four-day event.
Serious beer geeks and tasters, get there early Thursday and Friday. By late afternoon, especially Friday, the lines become long and the event transforms from beer geeking to a mass party Downtown comes alive each night as revelers move to other venues.
Spit Cups Come to The Brewers Fest?
Talk to serious pub staff and beer drinkers in Portland, and you hear some of the same words wine geeks use,such as “flavor profile.” It dawned on me, that attending previous big microbrew events, especially the massive Great American Beer Festival in Denver, you can’t get down two of the 20+ aisles, even with 2 oz pours without getting schnockered.
Given that Thursday night I am headed to a pre IPNC event at Anne Amie, my same wine tasting rules apply – simply, I need to spit some of the beer, or just reduce Thursday night to a giant party, not a wine tasting. It seems for microbrew TASTING, the same tasting principles apply; after a small amount of alcohol, sensory perception is distorted, so why not use this same principle and spit? Doubly so since I love Belgian triples, and other high gravity ales, that often top 7-10% alcohol, and quickly take affect.
I have gotten used to attending weekend wine passport events and getting stares for my spit cup; last week I got razzed by a flight attendant for a Riedel O (stemless glass) I carry; I see no point to not continue to blaze forward and be the only guy carrying around a spit cup! (Maybe others practice this in the beer industry, but I have never seen it at Brewers Fest.)
Festivities start tonight with the sold out S.N.O.B. (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer) pre-event dinner, and special beers you may not see other days. Thursday opens with a parade and (sold out) brunch. I am attending a media tour/tasting Thursday afternoon, then enjoying some time on the scenic riverfront before taking the bus out to Anne Amie winery for the (also sold out) Counter Culture Pre-IPNC event.
And it Continues
Friday afternoon I am touring a few Willamette wineries, (still picking, feel free to suggest, lobby) and then attending an IPNC tasting and dinner. More on IPNC in a seperate post.
Saturday I jet back to North Sonoma to attend a special winemakers dinner and vineyard tour. (Not allowed to disclose until after.)
Sunday is a mini trip to Spain at the marvelous Gloria Ferrer Catalan Festival.
Monday I think I will rest!
I will be actively tweeting tasting notes, and profiles at both events. Hash tag for IPNC is #IPNC2010 (many still using just #IPNC) and for the Oregon Brewers Fest is #OBF. Will tweet and cross post pictures on Facebook, time, battery, and AT&T cell permitting!
Have a great weekend, cheers!