Oregon Garden Brewfest, this weekend for Father’s Day

Oregon Garden BrewfestThe 11th annual Oregon Garden Brewfest has been moved out of the month of April where it’s taken place in years past and lands on Father’s Day weekend—June 19th through 21st, kicking off this week! This Brewfest has one of the most unique venues of any I’ve been to, the Oregon Garden in Silverton, “an 80-acre botanical garden, featuring more than 20 specialty gardens showcasing the diverse botanical beauty that can be found in the Willamette Valley and throughout the Pacific Northwest.” The festival itself is held indoors (in the event center) but with admission you’ll be able to explore the Garden with beer in hand.

Immediate disclosure: Once again I was invited to attend the OGBF under media credentials, which includes passes for two to the Friday session of the brewfest, as well as one ticket to the Brewer’s Tasting Dinner taking place Thursday night, and an overnight stay for two at the Oregon Garden Resort Thursday night. As in past years we’ve bought an extra dinner ticket, and in the past we’ve also paid for a second night at the Resort. (This year we’ll be leaving Friday after attending the festival.)

The Fest is usually ages 21-and-over only but this year because it’s Father’s Day they have opened up Sunday to be “Family Day” which will include kid’s crafts and free root beer. Hours are noon to 5pm that day, with the first two days running from noon to 11pm (and no minors allowed those days).

Other features they highlight:

  • 68 breweries, pouring 136 beers, ciders and meads from throughout Oregon and across the country
  • 12 great regional bands on two stages
  • Free Shuffleboard, Skee-Ball & Foosball
  • Amazing food from local vendors
  • 80-acre botanical garden

It is of course the Oregon Garden itself that makes this festival stand out from others—it is quite simply stunning in its garden and botanical variety and beautiful landscaping. The beer portion of the Brewfest itself follows the same common model of most beer festivals these days: you get a souvenir glass and tasting tickets (for $1 each) good for a small pour. (One thing I think would make the beer part stand out a bit more would be to have some breweries make a “Garden Beer” using edible botanicals that you find in the Garden.)

In fact, tickets are available online and this is the pricing scheme:

  • 1-Day Ticket — $15 — Admission on any single day for all hours of the festival, a tasting glass & 5 tasting tickets
  • 3-Day Ticket — $35 — Admission all 3 days, a tasting glass & 10 tasting tickets
  • VIP Ticket — $50 — Admission all 3 days, a tasting glass, 35 tasting tickets, a Brewfest t-shirt & a voucher for one item at the Oregon Garden Resort food booth

There is additional at-the-door pricing to accommodate other scenarios.

The beer list (PDF) is once again impressive, with the usual appearance of standards and a nice selection of new and/or unusual beers that pique my interest in particular. Like last year, I don’t a particular set of recommendations or “must try” beers to steer you towards, but here’s the current list with beers in bold indicating my own interest in trying:

  • 10 Barrel Brewing: JOE IPA/IPA
  • 10 Barrel Brewing: Swill/American Style Radler
  • 2 Towns Ciderhouse: OutCider: Unfiltered Hard Cider
  • 2 Towns Ciderhouse: Imperial Hop & Stalk/Hopped Hard Cider
  • 21st Amendment Brewery: Down to Earth Session IPA/Session IPA
  • 21st Amendment Brewery: Hell or High Watermelon Wheat/Wheat
  • Alameda Brewing: Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA/Imperial IPA
  • Alameda Brewing: Klickitat Pale Ale/Pale Ale
  • ATLAS Hard Cider: The RADLER/Cider
  • ATLAS Hard Cider: Hard Apricot Cider: Cider
  • Awesome Ales: Southern Sky/French Pale Ale
  • Awesome Ales: The 4:19
  • Base Camp Brewing: Hop in the ‘Pool Helles/Late-Hopped Helles Lager
  • Base Camp Brewing: Pilgrimage Saison/Saison
  • Blue Moon Brewing: Summer Honey Wheat Ale/Wheat Ale
  • Blue Moon Brewing: White IPA/Belgian Style IPA
  • BridgePort Brewing: BridgePort Conviction Pale Ale/Pale Ale
  • BridgePort Brewing: BridgePort Long Ball Ale/Golden Ale
  • Buoy Beer: Czech Pilsner/Pilsner
  • Buoy Beer: Oregon Garden Lavender Saison/Saison [a “Garden Beer”!]
  • Calapooia Brewery: Calapooia Chili Beer/Fruit/Chili
  • Calapooia Brewery: Calapooia Paddle me IPA/American IPA
  • Climate City Brewing: Nookie/IPA
  • Climate City Brewing: Yellow Belly/Blonde
  • Coin Toss Brewing: Black Hole/Cascadian Dark Ale
  • Coin Toss Brewing: George’s Honest Ale
  • Coronado Brewing: Islander IPA/American IPA
  • Coronado Brewing: Orange Avenue Wit/California Wit
  • Crispin Cider: Crispin Original Cider/Apple Cider
  • Crispin Cider: Blackberry Pear Cider/ Pear Cider
  • Crux Fermentation Project: Half Hitch/Imperial IPA
  • Crux Fermentation Project: Impasse Saison/Farmhouse Ale
  • Deluxe Brewing: Va Va Voom NW Vienna Lager/Vienna Lager
  • Deluxe Brewing: Little Bo Pils/Bohemian Pilsner
  • Dick’s Brewing: Dick’s Danger Ale/CDA
  • Dick’s Brewing: Dick’s Cream Stout/Sweet Stout
  • Double Mountain Brewery: Kolsch
  • Double Mountain Brewery: Cluster
  • Ecliptic Brewing: Orbiter IPA/IPA
  • Ecliptic Brewing: Aurora Crimson Saison/Saison w/ Rhubarb
  • Elk Horn Brewery: Hop Cider
  • Elk Horn Brewery: Hemp Hop HooRed
  • Elysian Brewing: Dayglow/IPA
  • Elysian Brewing: Superfuzz/Blood Orange Pale Ale
  • Epic Brewing: Escape to Colorado/IPA
  • Epic Brewing: Hop Syndrome/Lager
  • Ex Novo Brewing: Eliot IPA/Northwest IPA
  • Ex Novo Brewing: Sour Hop Kids/Dry Hopped Sour Ale
  • Fat Head’s Brewery: Head Hunter/IPA
  • Fat Head’s Brewery: Bumble Berry/Honey Blueberry Ale
  • Feckin: Measure 91/Pale ale
  • Feckin: IRA /Red
  • Firestone Walker Brewing: Pivo
  • Firestone Walker Brewing: Easy Jack
  • Flat Tail Brewing: Rough Cut IPA/IPA
  • Flat Tail Brewing: El Guapo/Chile Beer
  • Fort George Brewery: 3-Way IPA/IPA
  • Fort George Brewery: Spruce Budd Ale/Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer
  • Fremont Brewing: Summer Ale/Pale Ale
  • Fremont Brewing: Interurban IPA/IPA
  • Georgetown Brewing: Eddie India Pale Lager/India Pale Lager
  • Georgetown Brewing: Johnny Utah Citra Pale Ale/Pale Ale
  • Gigantic Brewing: Gigantic IPA/IPA
  • Gigantic Brewing: White Light White Heat/Belgian-style White IPA
  • Gilgamesh Brewing: Radler/Grapefruit Radler
  • Gilgamesh Brewing: Hoot Attack ISA/ISA
  • Golden Valley Brewery: Carlton Kolsch/Kolsch-Style Ale
  • Golden Valley Brewery: Chehalem Mountain IPA/IPA
  • Hop Valley Brewing: Citrus Mistress/IPA
  • Hop Valley Brewing: Sir Orange A Lot/Pale
  • Hopworks: Pigwar White IPA /IPA
  • Hopworks: Ace of Spades Imperial IPA /Imperial IPA
  • Klamath Basin Brewing: Backroad Vanilla Porter/Vanilla Porter
  • Klamath Basin Brewing: Dog Days Wheat IPA/Wheat IPA
  • Lagunitas Brewing: A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale/American Pale Wheat Ale
  • Lagunitas Brewing: Day Time/American IPA
  • Laurelwood Brewing: Green Elephant IPA/IPA
  • Laurelwood Brewing: Free Range Red/Red
  • Leinenkugel’s Brewing: Summer Shandy/Shandy/Radler
  • Leinenkugel’s Brewing: Big Eddy Royal Nektar Ale/Braggot
  • Logsdon Farmhouse Ales: Kili Wit/Belgian Wheat
  • Logsdon Farmhouse Ales: Seizoen/Saison
  • Mazama Brewing: Mosaic Eruption/IPA
  • Mazama Brewing: Saison d’Etre/Saison
  • McMenamins Old Church Brewery: Lumber-sexual IPL/India Pale Lager
  • McMenamins Old Church Brewery: Bonne Chiere Grand Reserve/Belgian Triple
  • Natian Brewery: Everyday /Organic IPA
  • Natian Brewery: KnockBack/Organic Amber Lager
  • Nectar Creek Mead: Waggle/Wildflower Session Mead
  • Nectar Creek Mead: Sting/Ginger Session Mead
  • Ninkasi Brewing: Total Domination/IPA
  • Ninkasi Brewing: Lux/German Style Helles Lager
  • No-Li Brewhouse: Crony/NW Brown Ale
  • No-Li Brewhouse: Poser/Pale Ale
  • Ordnance Brewing: Rivercrest Kolsch/Kolsch
  • Ordnance Brewing: Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)/IPA
  • Pelican Brewing: Kiwanda Cream Ale/Cream Ale
  • Pelican Brewing: Umbrella IPA/Single Hop IPA
  • Ram Brewery-Salem: Big Reds IPA/Northwest IPA
  • Ram Brewery-Salem: Hammock Life/Apricot Summer Ale
  • Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider: Revival Hard Apple
  • Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider: Tepache
  • Rusty Truck Brewing: Cherry Chocoholic Baltic Porter
  • Rusty Truck Brewing: Cruiser Session IPA
  • Salem Ale Works: Hootenanny Honey Basil/Delicious
  • Salem Ale Works: Roasted
  • Santiam Brewing: Pirate Stout/Rum Barrel Aged Coconut Stout
  • Santiam Brewing: Ecotopia /Pacific Northwest Style IPA
  • Seven Brides Brewing: Emily’s Red Ale/Amber/Red Ale
  • Seven Brides Brewing: Strawberry Blonde Wheat/Fruit Beer
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing: Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale/Fresh Hop IPA
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing: River Rye’d/Rye IPA
  • Silver Moon Brewing: Get Sum Pale Ale/Pale Ale
  • Silver Moon Brewing: VooDoo Dog India Session Red/Session Red
  • Sunriver Brewing: Fighting Falcon/Double IPA
  • Sunriver Brewing: S.U.P/Summer Ale
  • Terminal Gravity Brewing: Eagle Cap IPA/IPA
  • Terminal Gravity Brewing: Wallowa Lake Lager /Pre-Prohibtion Style Lager
  • Twisted Snout Brewery: Raspberry Truffle/Fruited Porter
  • Twisted Snout Brewery: Tail Curler IPA #5/IPA
  • Two Kilts Brewing: Crystal Kush/India Session Lager
  • Two Kilts Brewing: Scottish Ale/Scottish style Ale
  • Vagabond Brewing: Black Moon
  • Vagabond Brewing: Attack Owl
  • Wandering Aengus Ciderworks: Wanderlust/Cider
  • Wandering Aengus Ciderworks: Anthem Hops/Cider
  • Widmer Brothers Brewing: Replay IPA/Session IPA
  • Widmer Brothers Brewing: Hefe Shandy/Shandy
  • Wild Ride Brewing: Hopperhead IPA/IPA
  • Wild Ride Brewing: Whoopty Whoop Wheat/Hefeweizen w/ Lemon Peel
  • Woodchuck Hard Cider: Woodchuck Gumption/cider
  • Woodchuck Hard Cider: Woodchuck Seasonal Summer Time
  • Worthy Brewing Co.: Farm Out Saison
  • Worthy Brewing Co.: Prefunk Pale Ale

And finally let’s not forget the Brewer’s Tasting Dinner taking place Thursday night at 7pm at the Oregon Garden Resort! This features six courses paired with different Oregon beers (varying quite a bit across styles and ingredients) and if it’s as good as last year’s dinner I’ll be very happy! (I expect it to be as good or better, the dinners have gotten consistently better over the past several years I’ve been attending.)

The price to attend is $50 and there are still 18 left as of this writing. It’s well worth it. And to further whet your appetite, here is the menu along with the beers:

  • 1st course: Humboldt Fog, aged Pecorino, chicken liver mousse crostini, and semolina crackers, paired with Ex Novo Brewing Apricot Gose
  • 2nd course: Grilled peach with bleu cheese and warm pancetta vinaigrette on grilled zucchini, paired with Crux Fermentation Project Doublecross (Strong Dark Belgian)
  • 3rd course: Smoked salmon salad with shaved fennel, snap peas, Savoy cabbage and citrus vinaigrette, paired with Wild Ride Brewing Indy Session IPA
  • 4th course: Basil ricotta gnocchi with herbed brown butter and parsley pesto, paired with Buoy Beer Oregon Garden Lavender Saison
  • 5th course: Beer-braised short rib, herbed polenta, and collard greens, paired with Ecliptic Brewing Capella Porter
  • 6th course: Strawberry, lemon, and orange cupcakes, paired with Vagabond Brewing Lemon Strawberry Wit

If you’ve never been to the Oregon Garden Brewfest, this weekend is a great time to come—the weather is looking to be perfect and the Garden itself will be lush and vibrant. The beers will be great too and if you can make it to the Brewer’s Tasting Dinner, don’t wait to get tickets!

Hope to see you there!

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