On a sun-soaked July afternoon, there’s no better place to sip suds with friends than the Oregon Brewers Festival, one of the nation’s longest-running and best-loved craft beer festivals. More than 70,000 fans will travel from points around the world to take part in the 23rd annual event, July 22 through July 25 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. Event hours are Noon to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and Noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.
From Ambers to Belgians, Pales to Pilsners and Ryes to Stouts, the Oregon Brewers Festival serves up more than 20 beer styles from 81 craft breweries from around the country. The event also features four days of live music, food booths, craft vendors, and industry displays. The Crater Lake Soda Garden provides complimentary handcrafted root beer to minors and designated drivers. Minors are allowed into the event when accompanied by a parent.
Admission into the festival grounds is free. In order to sample beer, a taster package is required. Taster packages are available in $10, $20 and $50 increments. All packages include a 2010 souvenir mug, which is required for consuming beer (mugs from previous years will not be filled); a program; and various quantities of tokens, which are used to purchase beer. Patrons pay four tokens for a full mug of beer, or one token for a taste. Additional tokens may be purchased at $1 apiece.
Alternative modes of transportation are encouraged, with free monitored bicycle parking available each day. The main entrance is at SW Oak Street and Naito Parkway, 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 festival also hosts two ticketed auxiliary events: the Oregon Brewers Dinner, held on the eve of the festival opening, and the Oregon Brewers Brunch and Parade, a kick off to the festivities held the morning of July 22.
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 106 craft brewing facilities in Oregon, and 35 breweries operating within the Portland city limits – more than any other city in the world. The Portland metropolitan area boasts 35 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 the event hotline at 503-778-5917.