events

Big Changes for the 2019 Oregon Brewers Festival

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More big changes are in store for the 2019 Oregon Brewers Festival, as this year organizers are cutting Sunday and shifting to 100% Oregon beer. Due to declining attendance, OBF made significant changes last year by eliminating the Wednesday session and adding cider and wine. For 2019, the 32nd annual OBF brings back Wednesday but cuts Sunday and expands the number of cideries. This year more than 85 of the beers and ciders will being first-released debuts at the fest and range from nanos to big regional players with 101 products from 93 breweries and 8 cideries.

More from a press release:

The 32nd annual Oregon Brewers Festival will take place Wednesday, July 24 through Saturday, July 27 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland; the festival will not occur on Sunday for the first time since its inception. Gates open at 11:30am daily, and taps are open from Noon to 9pm.
“When we originally started this festival in July 1988, there were only six craft breweries making beer in the entire state of Oregon; we invited successful craft breweries from around the country to help expose locals to the concept of craft beer. Breweries like Alaskan Brewing, Bell’s Brewery in Michigan, Sierra Nevada in California, and Bayern in Montana helped us kick off the inaugural event,” explained Art Larrance, Oregon Brewers Festival Director and Founder. “Today, there are close to 300 breweries in our own state, and we felt it was time to really showcase all the regions that make Oregon one of the most successful craft beer hubs in the world.”
Between 55,000 and 85,000 beer lover annually travel from around the world to attend the Oregon Brewers Festival, which is considered one of the nation’s longest-running and best-loved craft beer events. The festival will also feature a Meet the Brewer Tent, a Brewer Dunk Tank, five food booths, a number of beer related vendors, games, homebrewing demonstrations, and the Crater Lake Soda Garden offering complimentary handcrafted soda to designated drivers and minors.
The Oregon Brewers Festival is not a ticketed event; it is free to enter the festival grounds. In order to taste beer and cider, the purchase of a tasting package is required, which costs $20 and includes the current year’s souvenir mug and 10 beer tokens. Patrons pay four tokens for a full mug of beer or cider, or one token for a taste. Additional tokens may be purchased for $1 apiece. Mugs and tokens are sold on-site, as well as at a few select locations two weeks in advance of the event. The festival is cash-only, with eight ATMs located on-premise. The festival allows minors all hours of the event when accompanied by a parent; animals are not allowed, unless ADA.
The Oregon Brewers Festival encourages responsible drinking and urges patrons to take Tri-Met; the MAX Light Rail has a station one block from the main entrance. Alternately, attendees who ride their bikes can park them for free in the Hopworks Urban Brewery secure bike corral.
This year’s Grand Marshal will be the Unipiper, aka Brian Kidd, an avid homebrewer who has been a loyal supporter of the festival for years. The Unipiper has been taking part in the Oregon Brewers Parade for a number of years; this year, he will lead the parade on Wednesday, July 24, from Ecliptic Brewing to the opening ceremonies at Waterfront Park, where he will also tap the official first keg.
This year’s festival beneficiary is UCP Oregon, a non-profit that is dedicated to life without limits for people with disabilities and is one of the largest providers in Oregon. Since 1955, UCP Oregon has been fiercely dedicated to serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, ADD, and others. More than 230 trained employees serve the community providing direct-care for adults and children in their homes, respite care and support for family members, employment opportunities, advocacy, education, and navigation through complicated health systems. More information can be found at ucporegon.org.

OBF photo by Brian Gurney

 

2019 Participating Breweries 

13 Virtues Brewing, Allegory Brewing, Ancestry Brewing, Arch Rock Brewing, Ascendant Beer, Baerlic Brewing, Bevel Craft Brewing, Binary Brewing, Boneyard Beer, Breakside Brewery, Buoy Beer, Caldera Brewing, Cascade Brewing, Cascade Lakes Brewing, Coalition Brewing, Coin Toss Brewing, ColdFire Brewing, Collaborator Project, Crux Fermentation Project, Deep Space Brewing, Deluxe Brewing, Deschutes Brewery, Double Mountain Brewery, Ecliptic Brewing, Elk Horn Brewery, Evasion Brewing, Fearless Brewing, Ferment Brewing, Fort George Brewery, Freebridge Brewing, Full Sail Brewing, Funhouse Brews, G-MAN Brewery, Gateway Brewing, Gigantic, Gilgamesh Brewing, Golden Valley Brewery, GoodLife Brewing, Great Notion Brewing, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Immersion Brewing, Kells Brewery, Klamath Basin Brewing, Kobold Brewing, Labrewatory, Laurelwood Brewing, Little Beast Brewing, Lompoc Brewing, Lucky Labrador Brewing, MadCow Brewing, Mazama Brewing, McMenamins Breweries, Migration Brewing, Monkless Belgian Ales, Natian Brewery, Ninkasi Brewing, Oakshire Brewing, Old Market Pub & Brewery, Old Town Brewing, Ordnance Brewing, Oregon City Brewing, Pelican Brewing, pFriem Family Brewers, Porter Brewing, Portland Brewing, Public Coast Brewing, Ram Restaurant & Brewery, RiverBend Brewing, Rock Bottom Brewery, Rogue Ales, Rusty Truck Brewing, Santiam Brewing, Sasquatch Brewing, Scout Beer, Silver Moon Brewing, Stickmen Brewing, StormBreaker Brewing, Sunriver Brewing, Terminal Gravity Brewing, Three Creeks Brewing, Three Mugs Brewing, Thunder Island Brewing, Upright Brewing, Vanguard Brewing, Vertigo Brewing, Von Ebert Brewing, Weekend Beer, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Wild Ride Brewing, Wolf Tree Brewery, Worthy Brewing, Xicha Brewing, and Zoiglhaus Brewing.
 
2019 Participating Cideries
2 Towns Ciderhouse, Apple Outlaw, Cider Riot, Portland Cider, Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Swift Cider, Wandering Aengus Ciderworks, and WildCraft Cider Works. Hard ciders debuted at the festival in 2018.
 
About the Oregon Brewers Festival
The Oregon Brewers Festival was founded in 1988 as an opportunity to expose the public to microbrews at a time when the craft brewing industry was just getting off the ground. Today, that industry has flourished, with more than 7,000 craft breweries in America, according to the Brewer’s Association. The economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival on the local economy is annually more than $20 million. For more information visit OregonBrewFest.com and follow the event @OregonBrewfest on social media, #OBF2019.

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com

2 Comments

  1. Steve A

    March 15, 2019 at 11:07 am

    Does anyone else feel a bit upset (though that may be too strong a word) about the Unipiper being the grand marshal of the parade? It seems like a bit of desperate pandering to hipsters, when instead it should be honoring a member of the brewing community. I tried to find a list of all the grand marshals, but couldn’t. But surely there’s somebody worth honoring who hasn’t been before. Perhaps Karl Ockert? I know the festival is trying to address the shrinking attendance, but I don’t know if this the way. I also liked the out of state beers too.

    • Samurai Artist

      March 17, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      Yeahhhh I do agree. No offense to the Unipiper himself but I also thought this was an extremely lame move, it used to honor real pioneers or beer evangelists like Fred Eckhardt or the mayor or something.

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