Saturday, June 6, 2015

Coming Up: Oregon Garden Brewfest

What tremendous summer weather we're having now! It's the kind of weather that gets me especially excited that the Oregon Garden Brewfest moved from March to June this year. That's not to say that I haven't enjoyed the festival and wandering the grounds of the gardens previously just that the increased chance of better weather and the assuredly more lush gardens this year are a bonus.

1st course from last year's dinner
The 11th annual event, just south of Portland in Silverton, is one that I've attended for the last two years. While it's close enough to be a day trip (remember our April outing?) to get the full Oregon Garden Brewfest experience I highly encourage staying overnight at the Oregon Garden Resort. That's also where the pre-festival Brewer's Tasting Dinner takes place on Thursday night. This year's six-course dinner showcases beers from a host of the state's newer breweries - Buoy, Crux, Ex Novo, Ecliptic, Vagabond and Wild Ride - paired with dishes that are leaving me drooling just reading about them. There are still some tickets available for the dinner, an evening of great food, great beer and the opportunity to hang out with many of the brewers attending the festival.

Tickets for the festival itself, which opens at noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday, can be purchased in advance or at the door. Depending on how much of a weekend you want to make it there are single day as well as three-day ticket options and a VIP package. As an added bonus for Silverton residents, they receive a $10 discount on three-day tickets purchased at the door (proof of address required).

A 2014 standout - a citrusy DIPA
The star of the show is of course the 135 craft beers, ciders and meads from nearly 70 breweries. The beers run the gamut from summery sours and Saisons to hop-forward IPAs and barrel-aged offerings. In addition there's live music Friday and Saturday nights and diversions like shuffleboard and foosball. It's a close weekend getaway or maybe even a day trip provided you have someone to drive your festival-weary self home.

11th Annual Oregon Garden Brewfest
June 19-21, 2015
Silverton, OR

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