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,” explaine
d 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.
2019 Participating Breweries