Beers, Sun, and Big Crowds: 2013 Oregon Brewers Festival

This year, I returned to the Oregon Brewer’s Festival (OBF) again after my debut last summer.

After taking in three days of the festival in 2012, including a jam-packed Saturday afternoon, I re-strategized and decided to cram it all in on one Friday afternoon.

The excitement of OBF comes from the vast amount of beer to choose from. With 80+ different beers, each one from a different brewery, there’s something for everyone.

This year also marked the first time they had real glasses instead of plastic mugs, which was a fantastic upgrade. (plastic, bleh!)

I kicked things off by making my own pretzel necklace this year, which earned compliments from other festival-goers. Someone even snapped a photo of it! (just the necklace, not me 🙂

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to sample every beer. So here are a few of my favorites:

Bone Crusher Imperial Red from Silver Moon Brewing. I know Silver Moon has a pretty nice lineup of beers, so I headed straight for this Imperial Red when I entered the festival around noon. It wasn’t an overwhelming imperial and was perfect for the 3 oz taster size I had all afternoon.

Brett, Meet Collette by Great Divide. Although it’s the “Oregon” Brewer’s Festival, many of the beers aren’t local to the state. I like to seek those out, and I was happy I did with this farmhouse ale from Great Divide in Denver.

Oh and I couldn’t help but laugh at this sign:


Namaste by Dogfishhead. Since I’m originally an East Coaster, I have a soft spot for some of the great breweries out there like Dogfishhead. I hadn’t tried the Namaste before, but it was tasty.

& Juice from Gigantic Brewing. Gigantic is one of my favorite breweries in Portland (and worldwide, actually), and I liked this one, too. I’m not big on fruit beers, but if I had to drink something like it, this would be it.

Bohmemian Pils from Ninkasi. This is a bit of a wild card pick. I felt like others weren’t impressed by this one. But hey, it’s a pilsner, and I really enjoyed it for the style.

My takeaway from OBF ’13

This year, I realized that OBF isn’t really a festival for beer lovers. It’s more for festival lovers who want to enjoy a unique, outdoor beer drinking experience.

If you’re looking to sample a lot of the best beers around, you’re probably better off visiting the many great bars that offer impressive selections on tap here in Portland. (Bailey’s, Green Dragon, Apex, just to name a few)

Nonetheless, I was happy to beat the crowds and madness that I experienced last year. Skipping Friday night and Saturday was definitely a good call!

So long until next year, OBF!

Did you go to OBF this year? What did you think?

About Jeffrey Trull

Jeffrey is an IPA-drinking Portland transplant originally from Massachusetts. He loves biking around Portland to his favorite breweries and pescaterian food spots.

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