The popular Oregon Brewers Festival comes of age, celebrating the 21st Amendment in conjunction with its 21st birthday
In 1933 the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution repealed the 18th Amendment, which had mandated nationwide Prohibition. Since the Oregon Brewers Festival turns 21 this year, the event finds it fitting to celebrate the ratification of the 21st Amendment during its four-day course. One of the nation’s longest-running and best-loved craft beer festivals will take place July 24 through July 27 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. Hours are Noon to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and Noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Seventy-two craft breweries from 18 different states will each send one product to serve at the event, hailed by many industry experts and beer fans alike as the premier craft beer festival in the nation. A 73rd beer, Collaborator, is a joint project between members of the Oregon Brew Crew homebrewing club and Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. More than 60,000 beer connoisseurs annually travel from around the world to sample the vast number of beer styles, which highlight the influences that different regions have on the brewing process.
Joining the breweries are industry exhibits by hop growers, homebrewers, breweriana collectors, and national beer writers. Four days of live music showcases the best high-energy talent the Northwest has to offer. Food booths sell meals and alternative beverages, while the Crater Lake Soda Garden provides handcrafted sodas free of charge to minors and designated drivers. Minors are allowed into the event when accompanied by a parent.
Admission to the festival grounds is free; however, a 2008 souvenir mug costing $5 is required for consuming beer. The mug is good for all four days, and mugs from previous years will not be filled. All beer is purchased with tokens, which cost $1 apiece. Patrons pay four tokens for a full mug of beer, or one token for a taste. Sales of mugs and tokens cease 1/2-hour each evening prior to the close of the event.
Alternative modes of transportation are encouraged, with free bicycle parking available each day. The main entrance at SW Oak Street and Naito Parkway is located one block from the MAX Light Rail line.
The Oregon Brewers Festival takes place during Oregon Craft Beer Month, a celebration of craft beer by Oregon’s specialty breweries. A variety of special events will take place at craft breweries throughout the state, culminating with the Oregon Brewers Festival.
The Oregon Brewers Festival was founded in 1988 as an opportunity to expose the public to microbrews at a time when the craft brewing industry was just getting off the ground. Today, that industry has succeeded, especially in Oregon, and particularly in the city of Portland. There are currently 89 craft brewing facilities in Oregon, and 32 breweries operating within the Portland city limits – more than any other city in the world. The Portland metropolitan area boasts 40 breweries, making it the largest craft brewing market in the United States.
For more information about the Oregon Brewers Festival, visit www.oregonbrewfest.com or call 503-778-5917.