The 28th annual Oregon Brewers Festival starts tomorrow (Wednesday the 22nd), and as always they have a terrific beer list lined up to be pouring—105 beers spread out among 10 trailers and the International Beer Tent. I’m not going to re-post the beer list here—it’s already amply covered elsewhere, notably the OBF site itself, as well as on Facebook, on the New School, and then there’s Jeff’s always-great breakdown the numbers.
Instead I’m offering my take on interesting, must-try beers that you’ll find at the OBF this weekend. Undoubtedly some of these will be very popular and will sell out quickly—I remember a year that Maui Brewing’s Coconut Porter sold out by 12:30 (the gates opened at noon)—so if there are any beers you really, really want to try, make sure to seek them out as early as possible.
That being said, here are my picks:
- Anderson Valley Gose: Technically named The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose, this is one of the best American-brewed Gose-style beers I’ve had, and it’s going to be a great drinker in hot weather—and very popular, I predict. Don’t wait to try this one.
- Bear Republic Double Aught: I seem to recall in past years Bear Republic is usually there with an IPA, so this Bohemian Style Pilsener caught my eye and is one I’d be excited to try.
- Burnside Brewing Smoked Berliner Weiss: Frankly, good or bad, how can you pass up the opportunity to sample something like this?
- Cascade Brewing Frite Gaulois: A blended, barrel-aged sour with cherries and sea salt. Do I need to say more?
- Claim 52 Runnermass: Basically a Radler, 3% abv, Kolsch blended with housemade lemon lime soda. Another great hot-weather beer, and I’m definitely intrigued by the low alcohol (and a good Radler should be).
- Dunedin Brewery Mango Makrut Paradiso: A session IPA brewed with mango, makrut leaves, and grains of paradise from this Florida brewery.
- Flying Fish Brewing Cold Pressed Pale Ale: A coffee beer in the current vein of pale beers with coffee added. Plus I’m always interested in what this New Jersey brewery brings.
- Klamath Basin Spud Muffin Pale Ale: Beer brewed with potatoes! What?
- Laurelwood Brewing Hipster Sunburn: I have to admit, this caught my eye at first because of the name. But it’s also a Saison which will drink really well this weekend, I predict.
- Melvin Brewing Hamber: A hoppy amber, one worth looking for since don’t see Melvin around these parts often enough.
- Old Town Brewing 1-Up Mushroom Ale: Yeah, another “gimmick ingredient” beer but candy cap mushrooms can work really, really well in a beer so you should take the plunge.
- Sunriver Brewing Oh MANdarin! White IPA: Brewer Brett Thomas at Sunriver is putting out some great beers, and this sounds like a really good, delicious beer.
Of course, if hops are your thing, there are plenty of IPAs and variants available as well—they will be easy to find, as IPA variants represent nearly a quarter of all the beers according to Jeff.
And, I didn’t post any of this year’s International beers on this list, because they will be easy to find—in the International Tent—and frankly I think you should find your way to that tent and try as many of those beers as you can. So in essence, I’m recommend all of those!
If you have a favorite beer this weekend, feel free to let me know.