The Brew Site

OBF 2006: My "liveblogging" notes

More Oregon BrewFest goodness! While I was there Friday, in addition to taking notes on the beers I was sampling, I took some time (before my friend Justin arrived) to jot down notes in "real time" in my notebook. Sort of a low-tech "liveblogging" that only goes, er, live when I transcribe it. Anyway, here are my notes, pretty much word-for-word (with times, too!):

1:25-1:30-ish: Fellow two seats away is smoking a cigar… a big cloud of smoke just drifted over me and it’s sweet and good…

It’s a perfect day—partly cloudy and cool so you don’t swelter, but the sun keeps coming out to warm you up. Nice breeze. The crowd is thin, there’s lots of seating, and I have my pick of beers as I wait for Justin. Perfect, perfect… I couldn’t have picked a better day. I already pushed a pin into "Bend" on the "Where are you from?" maps (and took a picture).

Fellow with cigar just got busted… a red-shirted official with a grey mustache just told him he’d have to take it out of the tent area… fellow denied having it, but moved on. He was with his wife(?).

More kids than I’d have figured. They (parents and kids) have some sort of official fluorescent green stickers…

1:51: I’ve noticed several other people with notepads, writing. The ambient noise is the soft yet throaty roar-murmur of a crowd… I keep hearing laughter, some guy with a particularly distinctive—birdy?—laugh…—for real?

2:05: A hop booth for info all about hops… has hard candy made with hops! It’s all green of various sorts… I grabbed a piece of Simcoe. Very unusual. The sugar-sweet of hard (rock) candy and the absolute (bitter) hoppiness of the hops… not sure what to make of it. Could you prime bottles with pieces of it?

2:25: The south tent is busier and noisier than the north… I don’t know if that’s because it’s later in the day or just more popular. As I started to write this, a vocal equivalent of the "wave" (a "whoop") cascaded through… I briefly joined in, of course.

Still waiting for Justin to call/arrive…

This 10th Anniversary Farmhouse is disappointing, but the people watching is prime. People of all sorts are here, all of them (excepting the kids, of course) carrying a mug and/or drinking beer. Lots of couples and women… never let it be said that Portland isn’t a beer town, judging by the number of beer-drinking women…

Cops with guns, too.

2:40: Justin called about 2:33… he’s hopping a bus and should be here in ½ hour. I think I’ll stop at the Rogue [beer taster] and wait for him. Also, I should look into eating. (Maybe after he gets here.) I’ve got a comfortable buzz going, not too strong, and I want it to stay mild. I’ve had seven tasters so far… nine tokens left ($20 initially).

The child stickers (green) say they have to leave by seven p.m., essentially.

2:50: Beer Chips…got a bag for $1, and a weird foam hat to go with it… Moved out to the central area so as to enjoy the sun. For food, there’s a "Horn of Africa" booth selling African (East) appetizers… Gustav’s Pub and Grill with German brats and such… A fish and chips ($6.95) booth… Greek Cuisina. Elephant ears and curly fries, too.

These beer chips are pretty good… like thick, sweet Kettle Chips… the packaging says they’re made with beer, but I don’t taste it.

We’ll have to see how time goes, but at this point I’m thinking I’m going to blow off the blogger meetup (sorry guys).

4:30: Old man eating a sauerkraut hot dog with chopsticks.

You can tell that after Justin arrived (around 3), I pretty much stopped writing. Except the guy eating the hot dog with chopsticks was too good/odd not to note. Besides visiting with Justin, the other reason I had mostly stopped writing was the place was filling up, seats were being taken and it’s a pain to try to write standing up with a mug of beer in one hand and people jostling all around.

That, and the alcohol was giving me just enough of a buzz that my handwriting and dexterity were getting worse…