Annual Beer-Lovers Event Sets Attendance Record
Three words come to mind when it comes to the 2013 Oregon Brewers Festival held the weekend of July 24-28 in Portland: Wow, cheers, and darn!
The wow is for the fact that it attracted 85,000 people this year.
The cheers is for the organizers for putting on another great event and for setting an attendance record.
The darn is for the fact that I wasn’t there to enjoy it. Instead, I was drinking other brews in a beer garden at the World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach, CA. Can’t be everywhere, right!?
In Portland, the event kicked off on a Wednesday with a two-mile-long parade of 600 brewers and beer lovers through the city’s streets.
This year’s Grand Marshal, local longtime beer writer John Foyston, led the parade, pedaling his way to the opening ceremonies on a beer-themed bicycle.
When he arrived at the festival, Foyston did a Munich Oktoberfest style of grand opening by driving brass tap into the inaugural wooden keg, a Belgian blueberry by BridgePort Brewing Co.
In two main beer tents, the Festival poured 84 different craft beers, including two gluten free beers, from 12 states across the country. The most represented style was fruit beer, with 15 entries, marking a shift from the past, when IPAs ruled the festival.
In addition to beer tasting, there was live music all five days, food from six area restaurants, homebrewers demonstrations, and a collection of beer-related vendors ranging from ceramic beer growlers to glass blown pints and kegerators to kilts.
This year, the festival expanded to four days and beer was served in real glasses instead of plastic imitators. Which is the way good beer – well, all beer, really – should be consumed. There were few issues with broken glass and this is sure to be a permanent part of the event.
In short, this was another a great event, a fun event, and it remains one of the best of the summer festivals in the Pacific Northwest.
For those looking ahead, the 2014 event dates are July 23-27.