Are you a fan of beer? Not just any beer but those singular, unusual, tasty beers that are the specialty of the craft brewers of the world? Then you need to be in Portland, OR, a.k.a Beervana or Brewvana (your preference) and join 85,000 of your beer buddies for the Oregon Brewers Festival.
Way back in 1988, the stone age of craft brewing in Oregon, four craft brewers from Portland (BridgePort, McMenamins, Portland and Widmer) got together with their friends, families, and compatriots as a way to get some attention for, and promote, Oregon microbrewers.
That small group of microbrew evangelists spread the message that craft beer was the salvation of the long history of small batch, “Hey, let’s make beer out of this,” tradition. 3,400 have since joined the Brewnomination. The news has even spread to the far corners of the earth that a pilgrimage to Beer/Brew-vana must be made to truly understand the import of the craft beer movement.
Like Friar Tuck on a beer run, tens of thousands of craft beer devotees will congregate in Portland’s Waterfront Park beginning July 22nd and will continue their convocation each day till the evening of July 26th. Always held during the last full weekend of July, the Oregon Brewers Festival has become the one of the largest, longest-running and best-loved beer festivals in America.
The 2015 gathering of the beer faithful will be the 28th iteration of the festival since its humble beginnings. This year ninety crusaders for the craft beer movement will converge in Portland offering their hand-crafted libations to the adoring assemblage.
As with any true conclave of craft-beer loyalists, there is no admission charge to enter the festival grounds. Should you choose to lift a glass in honor of the festival’s founders however, there is a required, one-time, $7 purchase of the Oregon Brewers Festival souvenir tasting glass.
The festival most ardently encourages responsible consumption of mass quantities and urges those coming to the festival to take full advantage of TriMet’s MAX Light Rail which has a station one block from the entrance. Don’t wanna take MAX? Use a designated driver who has a multi-passenger vehicle. The Crater Lake Soda Garden offers complimentary hand-crafted root beer for designated drivers.
So, in summation, the Oregon Brewers Festival convenes July 22 and finishes July 26. Admission is free but to enjoy the many beers you must purchase the souvenir tasting glass for $7. Taps are open from Noon till 9 P.M. On Sunday the taps close at 6 P.M. Do not drive yourself to this event, use a designated driver or take the MAX. Kids are welcome if they are with their parents, pets are not allowed.