Thursday, July 24, 2014

2014 OBF's Soggy Start

Taken through my phone's ziplocked protection
There's no denying that the first day of the 27th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival was the soggiest in its history. Good beer lovers that we are, however, we weren't going to let a little, ok a lot, of rain stand in our way of getting our hands on beer.

I arrived as planned, just as the gates were opening, following the parade in. Choosing to skip the opening beer tapping (Super Duper Dog from the Lucky Lab) I plowed straight into my beer hit list. As it turned out the rain actually helped me stick to by game plan a bit more than usual as I was content to stay on the south end of the festival, getting a beer, scurrying back to the tented area and repeating until I was nearly out of beers I wanted to try from trailers 1 - 5.

By that time the worst of the rain had passed and I deemed it "safe" enough to venture to the north tents to continue knocking my list down. A couple beers there and the sun actually started to show its face. I gratefully soaked up its delicious warmth while enjoying a few more beers before calling it a day.

All's well that ends well
Of the 23 beers on my list, I gamely made it through 16, about what I figured I would be able to accomplish. There were some surprises, more good than bad, and although that is just a drop in the pail of the 88 beers (+100 specialty tent offerings) I give you my top two of the day.

Paradise Creek Huckleberry Pucker - This is the first beer I've had from Paradise Creek, a four year old brewery located in Pullman, WA. It was a great introduction to them and a wonderful surprise to find that this beer was as puckery as I was hoping for.

Sixpoint Barrel Aged 3Beans - The biggest surprise, since I was pretty sure I would enjoy it, was to hear how much Mag, generally a non-barrel aged beer fan, enjoyed it. At 10.3% this is amazingly easy drinking and easily the best "deal" of the festival, going for the "base rate" of one token per sample.

I suspect that attendance numbers may have been down for the day but with four more days, with better weather predicted, I'm guessing there won't be any problem making up for Wednesday's deficit. Whether I'll return remains to be seen. Even with the rain, it would be hard to top the great day I had sampling beers and hanging out with countless familiar faces.

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