Good grief, is it nearly July already? Where is this year going? Aside from that, good stuff happening in July.
The Oregon Brewers Festival Turns 20 This Year.
Oregon celebrates its profusion of good beer all year, but July is the state’s official Craft Beer Month. 2007 marks the 20th anniversary of the Oregon Brewers Festival from July 26th to 29th. This year’s festival features 74 beers from craft brewers around the country along with educational displays and live entertainment.
Soft, pure water cascades down from the mountains, aromatic hops spring from the valley’s fertile soils, and barley thrives on the high plains over on the state’s dryer eastern side. Oregon beers are truly local and incredibly delicious. The state’s brewers produce traditional styles from pale ales to dark stouts, but they’ve also pioneered new beer styles, created organic beers, and breathed new life into the typical American beer style with handcrafted lagers.
Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland provides the Willamette River and Mount Hood as backdrops for the Brewers Festival. At least 50,000 beer enthusiasts are expected at the Festival during its four-day run.
Other Craft Beer Month events include a beer and sausage fest, cheese pairings by the dean of American beer writers, Fred Eckhardt, an Oregon Brewers Guild barbecue featuring 24 special beers that you can’t get at the Brewers Festival, and a rousing parade of brewers strutting along Portland sidewalks to the beat of the March 4th Marching Band.
“We are proud to be the only state that has designated a special month to recognize our local craft brewers,” said Brian Butenschoen, Executive Director of the Oregon Brewers Guild. ”Beer is one of Oregon’s iconographic agricultural products and Oregon Craft Beer Month is a wonderful opportunity to stop and lift a glass to all the passion and success we have had here.”
America’s beer revival began in Oregon in the early 1980s, and the state, the second largest producer of craft beer in America, is home to 82 craft breweries. Portland has 29 breweries, more than any other city in the world. Industry pioneers such as BridgePort Brewing, Widmer Brothers, McMenamins and what is now Pyramid Breweries started in Portland. Full Sail Brewing, Deschutes Brewery and Rogue Ales also started in Oregon and now have regional, national and international distribution. Emerging breweries such as Terminal Gravity, Ninkasi and Cascade Lakes beers can be found all around the state and local breweries like Amnesia Brewing, Laurelwood Brewing and Roots Organic Brewing offer unique beers on tap at their neighborhood pubs.
A recent book review in The New York Times cited a study from The American Journal of American Nutrition suggesting that beer in moderate consumption is actually good for you, meeting about 11 percent of your protein needs, 12 percent of your carbohydrates, and significant amounts of essential vitamins such as phosphorous, riboflavin, and niacin.
Healthy or not, Oregon craft beers taste delicious. Pour yourself one soon at one of the Craft Beer Month events and visit the Oregon Brewers Festival in July.
Admission to the Festival is free, but a $4 mug purchase as well as $1 tokens are required to try the beers. The Brewers Festival opens at noon Thursday, July 26th and runs through Sunday, July 29th. Beer taps shut down at 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday. Minors are permitted with a parent all hours.