North American Organic Brewers Festival

North American Organic Beer FestivalJune is pretty much the start of beer festival season here in Oregon, with multiple fests and events going on throughout the summer. And next week, the final weekend of June, the 8th annual North American Organic Brewers Festival is taking place in Portland.

Two of Portland’s beloved industries – organic beer and sustainability – come together in an annual celebration designed to raise awareness about organic beer and sustainable living. We serve up organic beers and ciders from around the world, accompanied by live music, organic food, sustainability-oriented vendors, non-profits and a children’s area – all in a beautiful tree lined setting that overlooks downtown Portland.

The organic and sustainable attitude permeates the event: the tasting “glasses” are the compostable cornstarch kind, and if you show the validated MAX ticket you used to get there, or the ticket from their onsite bike corral, or bring three cans of food (for the Oregon Food Bank), you’ll receive $1 off the tasting glass price. And food vendors are required to use compostable flatware and plates, and there are onsite composting stations for waste. This is an event designed to raise awareness to sustainable, organic living.

And oh yeah, there’s beer too! They’ve got a stellar beer lineup, all of it variously organic (a neat feature of their list is that they list what percent organic the beer is, and if it has any certifications). Interestingly, except for two beers from Brunehaut Brewery in Belgium and two from Utah’s Uinta, all of the beers are west coast: Oregon, Washington, and California. Is that indicative of where the vanguard of organic brewing is taking place? (I’d say yes.)

The Festival is taking place Friday through Sunday, June 29 through July 1, in Portland’s Overlook Park at the intersection of North Fremont Street and Interstate Avenue. Friday and Saturday the hours are noon to 9pm, and Sunday they’re noon to 5pm. Admission is free but you’ll need to purchase the $6 glass (minus any of the discounts I mentioned above) to taste beer, and tokens are $1.

Children are accompanied all hours when accompanied by a parent, pets are not.