Oregon Brew Fest 2014

Normally, I’m in Boston around this time of year.  However, wedding season has kept me in Oregon a little longer, so I’m not complaining since I made it to the 27th Annual Oregon Brew Fest 2014!  Not just one day, but two!  What a blast it was.  On Thursday, I hung out with some awesome friends (team Boston represent!) and on Friday my bestie, Beckie and I hit the tents for some great beers.

Hello from Team Boston!

Hello from Team Boston!

Here is what we tried:

  • Hopothermia Double IPA from Alaskan Brewing Company.  This beer was tame and not as hoppy was one would expect for a double IPA, but was refreshing given the Oregon heat wave.
  • Bayern Amber from Bayern Brewing.  This beer tasted like KIX cereal.  Fun fact: Bayern Brewing has been at OBF for all 27 years and the brewery still upholds the German Reinheisgebot beer purity law of 1516.
  • Heavy Sugars Honey Ale from Beer Valley Brewing.  This beer doesn’t uphold the German beer purity law, since it has no hops!
  • Bone-A-Fide from Boneyard Beer.  This pale ale is a staple from Boneyard, who is planning on adding canning to their distribution by the end of the summer.
  • Shake by Boulder Beer Company.  This was a favorite in our group.  It literally tastes like a chocolate milkshake.  I was in heaven.
  • Blood Orange / Dragon Fruit Florida Weisse from Cigar City Brewing.  Did you know, dragon fruit is actually a member of the cactus family?  Therefore, I just had a beer made from cactus!  Can now cross that off my bucket list!
  • Ester the Farmhouse Maiden from Deschutes Brewery.  This beer was another favorite from our group.  (I’m starting to realize all my friends love summer saisons.)   It featured pink peppercorn, lemon verbena, sumac and dried lemon.
  • Dogfish Head Oat Aged Strong Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewing.  This beer was awesome and also 11% ABV, which amazingly enough didn’t have the “heat” that some high ABV beers have.
  • Moon Reflects on Hibiscus from Dunedin Brewery.  Although there wasn’t a hit of hibiscus in the beer, it did have a flowery smell, which was nice.
  • Perihelion Crimson Saison from Ecliptic Brewing.  This beer had some rhubarb added to it which gives a nice layer of flavor on top of the saison.
  • Easy Jack from Firestone Walker Brewing Company.  This session IPA features hopes from Europe, New Zealand and North America.
  • The Optimist from Fort George Brewing & Public House.  “Your glass is always half full with an Optimist.”
photo 5

They are really excited to be drinking with me!

  • Lorenzini Blood Orange Double IPA from Maui Brewing Company.  The beer gets the name from the ampullae (special sensing organs called electroreceptors) of the Lorenzini shark, which allows them to sense electric fields in the water.  A portion of all can sales of this beer goes to shark research.
  • Old Monkeyshine Ale from Nimbus Brewing Company.  Who’s owner celebrated his birthday during the Oregon Brew Fest.
  • Skyline from North Rim Brewing.  Featuring fresh ground coriander seed and cloves gave this Belgian Pale Ale some spice.
  • Huckleberry Pucker from Paradise Creek Brewery.  This beer smelled good, yet tasted like a sour smartie candy – living up to it’s “pucker” name.
  • Blood Orange IPA from Payette Brewing Company.  Can you see a theme of blood orange beers this year?
  • Raspberry Oregon Honey Beer from Portland Brewing Company.  This beer originally won Bronze at the 1994 World Beer Cup and was brought back as a limited release at this year’s Oregon Brew Fest.
  • Jalapeno Tripel from Scuttlebutt Brewing Company.  I know everyone has a different definition of “hot” (my dad thinks ketchup is hot) but this beer has no heat.
  • Double Latte Coffee Milk Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.  This beer was a collaboration project with Ninkasi Brewing Company and was a huge crowd pleaser.
  • Barrel Aged 3Beans from Sixpoint Craft Ales.  This came as a recommendation from Kourtney at The Growlers Guys and it turned out to be my favorite of the Oregon Brew Fest 2014!
  • Stone Liberty Station Witty Moron from Stone Brewing Company.  This beer was such a delicious oxymoron – a dark wit “white” beer.
  • Terminal Gravity IPA from Terminal Gravity.  This classic IPA is excellent coming from Enterprise, Oregon.
  • Grandma’s Pecan Brown from The Dudes Brewing Company.  This beer lived up to it’s name nutty and malty and yummy.
  • Goldminer’s Daughter Pre-Prohibition Common Ale from Three Creeks Brewing Company.  Featuring the classics of an old beer – flaked corn, blackstrap molasses and Cluster hops.
  • Whoopty Whoop Wheat from Wild Ride Brewing.  This wheat was a little bitter, maybe because of the lemon peel added late in the fermentation process.
Best friends for 10 years, professional drinkers for 7!

Best friends for 10 years, professional drinkers for 7!

My biggest take away from the Oregon Brew Fest 2014 is come early and don’t stay late.  It gets crowded (for me overwhelmingly) the later the night goes out.  It’s great to attend during working hours because only pure beer lovers attend then.  It’s more relaxed, with short lines.  This was the case on both Thursday and Friday.  However, by 4PM on Friday, Tom McCall Park was PACKED!  Second observation, there were cans of Hop Soda being distributed around and for someone who doesn’t drink soda, they were pretty good.  I don’t know much about the brand, but I’m definitely interested in learning more.

Hop Soda

Hop Soda

Have you ever been to the Oregon Brew Fest?  What did you think?  What is your favorite local festival?

For complete transparency, I was given a media pass to attend the event.  However, I go to the Oregon Brew Fes every year (when I’m not already in Boston) so don’t let the media pass bother you.

View of OBF from the Burnside Bridge.

View of OBF from the Burnside Bridge.

About BiteSize

Hi! I’m Jenna, but I got the nickname BiteSize in high school. I love homebrewing beer, thus BiteSize Brews. A blog focused on homebrewing, local brewery reviews and recipes. I’m lucky enough to live in the microbrewery capital of the world. I’m also a big fan of social media (chances are I’ll sprinkle a bit of it into this blog).


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