Now in its 26th year, the festival has expanded to a five-day event. As in past years the festival kicks off with the Oregon Brewers Brunch (which if you haven't gotten tickets for yet, you're SOL) and parade. Three things are notably different however. First, the festival now starts on Wednesday instead of Thursday. Second, no longer will attendees be subjected to drinking great beer out of plastic mugs. This year the festival glasses will actually be glass, 12.8 oz vessels. Third, there will not be the Buzz Tent or the Sour Tent that the festival has seen in the past few years. I'm on the fence about this change - there were some great beers poured out of both tents but there were also plenty of problems associated with them including the high cost of the beers (some that were worth it, others that were not) and getting the information out about keg turnover. Hopefully a year off from these tents will allow festival organizers to come back with new and improved versions.
The beer however is the star and after a perusal of the beer line up, I managed to narrow down the impressive list of 80+ beers to a short list of 20. Many of them are fruit beers, which seems to be a trend for me lately. The rest are interesting sounding beers of styles I don't usually drink and a festival is the perfect place to give them a try. See you there!
Oregon Brewers Festival
July 24 - 28, gates open at Noon daily
Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Free admission, $7 tasting glass, $1 tokens (cash only)