I was off to the Organic Brewers Festival yesterday. I went with low expectation based on past years experiences but was surprise at having an informative and good time. This year the festival was move to August putting it in better weather. I went early on the first day to be sure to miss the crowds and to be sure they were not out of any of the beer I wanted to try. Most aspects of the event were the same with a few exceptions that I noted in the photos. The part that really made a difference for me was having a brew tank manufacture there. It became a hub for home brewers to stop by and other folks in the craft brew industry. With a 15-barrel fermenter sitting there it became a spot to gather and get little bits of new info on brewing.
As for the beer samples it was mostly your normal summer brews being offer but done with organic ingredients so lots of IPAs and light ales. There was nothing to exciting but nothing to bad. The one exception actually came from McMenamins. Just when I thought these guys could not brew a really exceptional beer they had a barrel age porter that was a hit. If they actually had this porter in their pubs, especially St. Johns, I would have to start going there again. The other items that I found interesting to try was a mead and a couple of ciders. Ciders are turning up in more places and often it is cheaper to sample then at a beer fest then any other event.
So this year there was enough new and interesting for me to put this festival on my list to return to next years.
A sampler cup and program and I am ready to go.
The event is held in Overlook Park.
You can check you bike in the they will watch for you.
ID is checked at the gate and you get your wrist band.
After getting in I headed over to get my sampling cut and tasting tokens.
Looking at the serving area.
The beer pouring area.
Signs above the serving area to help locate your beer.
No lines this time of day but there will be later.
Looking down the serving line.
They limited the beer in the pitchers with it being warm and request low.
Standard serving set up.
This year they had a tent for getting samples of bottled beer.
It was to warm to be in the sun but the big tent offer comfortable seating.
Inside the main tent before it got busy.
Seating under the one big tree filled fast.
The big tent got busy later in the day.
Some of the Craft & Vendor booths.
One of the vendors was selling custom made tap handles from recycled wood.
Pioneer’s booth became a place to gather info on brewing.
The music got started later in the day.
This year there were a lot of brewer’s banners around.
They had plenty of water available.
After all of the beer and water they had the porta potties ready.
This year they were trying to do a 100% recycle.
TV News 8 was there this year doing live news feeds.
I got over to the North America Organic Beer Festival to do some tasting. I went on the first day of the festival and got there shortly after they opened so there was almost no one there. I had hoped by going early I would have a chance to try all of the beers I wanted without the fear of them being out. As it turned out a couple of the beers I wanted to try had not arrive yet. So I still do not having my timing down. Of the beers I did try one was undrinkable, several were not very good, a couple were OK and only one was interesting. This is a summer beer festival so very few stouts and porters.