One of the most unique beer fests I’ve seen spawned in Oregon, BenFest, returns today for its fifth annual incarnation, taking place at Belmont Station in Portland from 6 to 9pm. This is a beer festival featuring all beers brewed by, you guessed it, brewers named “Ben” in Portland—of which there are an unusual number!
Here’s the rundown from Belmont Station:
BenFest serves as the official closing ceremony of Oregon Craft Beer Month and features new or special-release beers from seven Oregon brewers named Ben: Ben Parsons of Baerlic Brewing Co., Ben Edmunds of Breakside Brewing, Deschutes Brewery’s Ben Kehs, Gigantic Brewing Co.’s Ben Love, Ben Flerchinger of Lucky Labrador Brewing Co., Ben Engler of Occidental Brewing Co., and Ben Dobler of Widmer Brothers
This year’s theme is “Which Ben Are You?” and will feature two awards that will be announced during the event. Event attendees are invited to take the “Which Ben Are You” quiz, and a special “Ben of the People” award will be announced at the event for the Ben whose personality is most popular in the quiz. The second award will name the “Best Ben 2015” for the Ben whose beer is the most popular at the event (as determined by sales that evening). The event will showcase each Ben’s personality as exemplified through their beers, including: “Bentropy” Kehs’ dry-hopped lager, a wheat beer from “Bentertaining” Flerchinger, a Mexican lager from “Bendejo” Dobler, and “Tiny Benpire” Love’s super-dry-hopped India Session Ale.
“Benmont” Station will be selling the Bens’ beers in three sizes: 5-oz tasters, 25-cl glasses, and 16-oz pint glasses, and will feature the beers as the “Flight of the Day” for a discounted price. There is no entry fee. There will also be a free door prize raffle including glassware, gift certificates and goodies from Belmont Station and from the breweries.
Such a fun, goofy idea for a mini-brewfest. Here’s the “about” blurb (yanked from New School):
BenFest originated in 2010, when a candid group photo from the Craft Brewers Conference happened to include several of the brewers who currently participate in BenFest. Currently in its fifth year, BenFest offers a unique “meet the brewers” opportunity for Portland beer fans and promises a boisterous bounty of Bens.
I met Widmer’s Ben Dobler recently, and in an offhand moment asked him about BenFest. He related the story of how it came about—if I can remember it properly: him and a number of other Bens were together (as described above) and Angelo De Ieso of Brewpublic declared, “It’s a Ben-pocalypse!” (At least I hope that’s what Ben said, because I rather like that quote!)