If you can’t add space, add time.
That’s the thinking behind the 26th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival. OBF is adding a fifth day to the festival, since there is no room to expand the highly anticipated brew fest at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. It’s worked before –up until 2005, OBF consisted of only three days. As Oregon beer continues to become more nationally renowned, the crowds at the event grow and the beer lines get longer. OBF is expecting to near 100,000 attendees this year, with more than half coming from outside the state. Adding a day gives attendees the opportunity to taste all of the great beers on tap.
Over the years, OBF has used plastic mugs for tastes and pours, which isn’t ideal for the flavor of beer. This year, OBF is replacing the plastic mugs with twelve ounce tasting glasses. That’s right, glass. Clearly, the plastic mugs didn’t keep people from coming, but using glass will allow for a more flavorful tasting experience, and it’s also environmentally friendly.
There will also be changes to the layout of the event, allowing beer drinkers to catch more shade as they enjoy their beers. The music stage will be quite larger. And lastly, OBF will now have a sobering station, located on the other side of the Morrison bridge, to keep beer fans safe, and giving visitors to Portland a great beer experience.
As always, entry to the festival is free. To taste beer, you’ll need to purchase a tasting glass for seven dollars (up from five dollars for the plastic mugs), and beer tokens for one dollar each. One token will get you a taste, while four tokens gets you a full pour.
Oregon’s oldest craft brewery, BridgePort Brewing Company, will be hosting the Oregon Brewers Brunch and Parade, which kicks off OBF on Wednesday, July 24th. Tickets to the brunch are sold out, but you can still watch the parade, as you walk over to the waterfront for your first pour.
The Portland Pick will be at the event all five days covering all of the music and entertainment, as well as hanging out with Portland beer fans enjoying some brews. Look for the band line-up, which will be announced on thepdxpick.com soon.