Oregon Garden Brewfest (2012)

Oregon Garden BrewfestThe 2012 Oregon Garden Brewfest is coming up next month, taking place April 27 and 28 (Friday and Saturday, respectively) at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, about 14 miles east of Salem. I’ve never been (until this year—more on that below) but they’ve been holding this Fest for eight years now, and this year’s looks to be bigger than ever, with 45 breweries and cideries pouring some 92 different beers and ciders.

The Fest runs from noon to 11pm both days, and this year they’ve added a Brewer’s Dinner that takes place the Thursday evening before (April 26) that costs $40 (and has limited seating). It’s going to be a six-course small plate dinner with beers paired from Gigantic Brewing, GoodLife Brewing, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, Seven Brides Brewing, and Widmer Brothers. (No menu is posted yet however.)

I’ve got the full spec sheet from which I’ll pull the important bits:

A one-day advance tasting package cost $15 and includes admission for one day, a tasting mug, 7 tasting tickets, and express entry. A two-day advance tasting package costs $25 and includes admission for both days, a tasting mug, 14 tasting tickets, and express entry. Tickets at the door cost the same, but include only 5 tasting tickets for one day, 10 tasting tickets for both days, and no express entry. A full mug of beer costs 4 tickets, a taster costs 1 ticket. Additional tasting tickets may be purchased at $1 apiece. Minors are welcome on Saturday only until 3PM.

Two stages feature live music from bands including Blitzen Trapper, Denver, The Dimes, Quiet Life, Weinland, Tango Alpha Tango & Violet Isle, The Ty Curtis Band, Matthew Price, Jamalia, Ben Rue and Tiffany Kuenzi.

Brewer’s Tasting Dinner
The first annual Brewer’s Tasting Dinner will take place on the eve of the festival, Thursday, April 26 at 7 pm. This six-course tasting will be attended by participating brewers and industry insiders. Each course will be a small plate paired with a beer tasting from one of six area breweries. There are only 100 tickets available to the public for $40 apiece.

Connoisseur Tasting
The Connoisseur Tasting is from Noon to 2pm on Friday and features many brewers at their booths to engage with the general public. This tasting is included with Friday admission.

Oregon Garden Resort Brewfest Package
The Oregon Garden Resort is offering two room packages: the Brewer’s Dinner Package for $199 includes a room on Thursday night, two tickets to the Brewer’s Tasting Dinner, breakfast Friday morning, two tasting glasses, 10 tasting tickets and food vouchers for the fest. The Brewfest Package goes for $139/Thur and $169/Friday and includes all of the above except for the Brewer’s Dinner tickets. Saturday is sold out. Call 503-874-2500 to make reservations.

And I have the list of what will be pouring which I will post soon, along with my must-try picks (like I do for the Oregon Brewers Festival).

There’s a homebrew competition too, but the deadline for beer drop-off is this Saturday the 31st, and I’m not sure how that fits in with the overall Festival. But they have an “Extreme Hop” category which might be fun (and makes me wonder if there are any “extreme homebrew” competitions out there?).

This year I’ll be going (so come find me!) and I’m excited about it—I don’t get to many festivals despite blogging about them as much as I do—but there is a disclosure here that needs to be added, as well: in addition to getting a media pass for the Fest which means free entry, I’ve also been offered a pass to the Brewer’s Dinner Thursday evening and a free stay at the Oregon Garden Resort that Thursday night (basically the Brewer’s Dinner Package outlined above).

This isn’t without strings, of course: in exchange the organizers ask that I help build some “pre-event buzz” for the Festival and the Brewer’s Dinner which is something I’m actually happy to do. And of course I’ll write up the usual reviews about the Festival as well.

Naturally, you might want to take what I say about the Oregon Garden Brewfest with a grain of salt now—but you should be taking everything I say with a grain of salt anyway! But I really am excited to go to the Fest: I’ve never been to the Oregon Garden and the closest I’ve come to Silverton (besides driving through Salem, 14 miles west) was to Goschie hop farms last year during the Beer Bloggers Conference. Plus I get to try some beers from some of the smaller brewers west of the mountains.

So. Who’s going?


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