What An Adventure!

logo-brewfestsml1Yesterday was the Oregon Gardens Brewfest, and while that was fun it was just the tip of a fun evening. But to tell the story I have to start back in March. At the time I was making plans to go to the Spring Beer and Wine festival up in Portland. Whenever I plan to do a beer thing my first inclination is to invite Kaylie because there’s no one I enjoy having a beer with more. So I told Kaylie about the festival and she mentioned that she thought her meetup group was going. I’d never heard of meetup.com, but within a few minutes I had signed up for the Salem Beer and Wine group. Turns out the group was going to Brewfest, not Spring Beer and Wine. Well due to miscommunication on my part Kaylie ended up not coming along for the Spring one, we did plan on going to brewfest with the meetup group though. So now we come back to the 24th.

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Shwag from the fest. I wish I could say they gave me the hat and beer as part of the entrance fee

The meetup group was supposed to be up there at 5:30, but between my flat tire and Kaylie getting off work at 5 we didn’t show up until well after that time. The festival itself was pretty awesome. We walked around the place first, looking around for what beers we wanted to use our seven tickets on, then got to sampling. Most of the beers were just ok, but a handful really stood out, but I want to gripe about something first.

Close up of the Chili beer from Calapoola

Close up of the Chili beer from Calapooia

One thing I don’t like about beer festivals is that they aren’t really about the brewers, and that annoys me. Rather then having brewers showcase their talents by bringing in something new for the public to try breweries tend to send a flagship and a seasonal/limited release. The reason this irritates me is that this is a perfect opportunity for breweries to show their skill and craft off, but instead they use it as a forum to pimp beer that in many cases I’ve tried already. Gripe number two is that volunteers aren’t properly educated and don’t receive sufficient material on the beers they are serving, or the breweries that make them. Every time I had a question about a beer the answer I received was the description that was printed in the tasters guide. No one could tell me about the differences between the stouts a company made, the availability, or the process or ingredients for the beer. In fact many volunteers couldn’t even tell you where some of these breweries were located. Gripe three is that as craft beer becomes bigger these festivals seem to become geared towards people that aren’t really into the craft, and rather just enjoy the beer. This means that while I’m asking about types of hops and hoping schedules Im getting answers about how hops work and why the hops their brewery is using are so much better then the other guys. Beer festivals should be about celebrating beer first, and about marketing for your brewery second.

I really like schwag

I really like schwag

Okay now that I’m done complaining it’s back to the story. The beers I enjoyed most were the scotish ale from Belfast, and the Chili Beer from Calapooia bewery. In fact we both liked that Chili Beer alot, and it factored into the evening later. After we’d finished our tasting and eating we wandered for a short bit then decided to head back. One thing about beer festivals is that when your done tasting there isn’t a ton else to do.

After we left is when the fun started. I’ll get the rest typed out and up tomorrow.

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3 Responses to “What An Adventure!”

  1. Adam says:

    It depends on the festival, I have found that actually a lot of festivals have specialized beers especially if they are catering to a specific style or season. For instance the Holiday Ale fest in Portland is almost exclusively barley wines and winter warmers, most of which you can’t get anywhere. You might want to check out the Brewers Fest at Rogue in May, you can bring your dog and if I remember right there were some interesting beers last year.

  2. Qui Sait? says:

    Post the rest of the story. that’s the best part!

  3. […] This is part two of a post about the events on the 24th that started at Brewfest, one of the best nights I had this month. Part one is here […]

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