Afternoon at North American Organic Brewers Festival

I took Friday afternoon off and headed down to the 7th Annual North American Organic Brewers Festival.  This visit was different because my wife and I brought our two young boys with us.  Overlook Park (site of the festival) has a nice playground and I heard that the NAOBF had a kids' area complete with a Root Beer Garden. So I figured we'd give it a try.  First, we stopped at Widmer Gasthaus for a pre-festival lunch and sampler tray.

We arrived at the festival at 2pm.  The skies were slightly cloudy and the crowds were light—perfect beer festival conditions!  My wife entertained our boys at the kids' craft area and I headed back and fourth to the beer tent.  Here's what I tasted, in the order I tasted them:

  • Logsdon Farmhouse Ales  Seizoen Bretta (8.0% ABV, 40 IBU):  I'd read about this new brewery and was looking forward to tasting their beers.  It was worth the wait!  This unfiltered saison was conditioned with brettanomyces.  It had a mildly funky aroma and registered medium on my sour-o-meter.  Very nice!  Great way to start the festival!
  • Laht Neppur Brewing  Peach Hefeweizen (5.3% ABV, 17 IBU):   I didn't really taste or smell the peach.
  • Captured by Porches  Aprica Shaarp (0.07% ABV):   My first taste of Kombucha, which is a fermented sweetened tea.  This has a black tea as its base with apricot extract added.  I really liked it!  The black tea and apricot flavors were prominent and it had a nice balance of sweet and sour!
  • Captured by Porches  Quintessence (0.07% ABV):   Another black tea Kombucha, but this one had raspberry and quince.  Great raspberry flavor!  Not as sweet and sour as the Aprica Shaarp.  Both have VERY LITTLE alcohol, so you could drink these all day long!  I'm going to look for and sample more Kombuchas soon....
  • Upright Brewing  Reggae Junkie Gruit (5.4% ABV, 0 IBU):  I tasted this last summer at the OBF and dumped it out.  At the time, I didn't know the gruit style.  My tastes have evolved a bit since then and I now appreciate this style that uses no hops.  Instead it uses lemongrass, peppercorns, and other herbs to provide flavor.    
  • Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery  Horse Tale Ale (5.4% ABV, 48 IBU):  More malty than other other beers I tasted.  It tasted a bit flat and I wasn't crazy about it.
  • MateVeza  Organic Black Lager (5.2% ABV, 25 IBU):  Loads of coffee in aroma and flavor with lots of malt bitterness.  I didn't notice the chocolate.
  • Crater Lake  Root Beer (0.0% ABV):  They were serving this free to kids.  I snagged a taste from my son.  Great licorice flavor complemented by sweet sugary goodness.  I definitely want this again!!

My favorites were Logsdon's Seizoen Bretta and Captured by Porches' Aprica Shaarp. Check out It's Pub Night for more recommendations.

The NAOBF ends today (Sunday, June 26).  If you don't visit beer festivals because you have kids—this is the one to bring them to!  The organizers did a great job of providing activities to keep them busy.  Our boys had a great time making crafts, playing in the park, and loading up on Crater Lake Root Beer!  They're already looking to next year's festival... 

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  1. Hey, you got a picture of me volunteering, on the far right. Glad you tried the Kombuchas, I just started making my own. I tried the green one on the far right of the picture, rosemary, I think. Next year you'll have to volunteer, 3 hours of pouring and 8 free tokens, can't go wrong with that.

  2. Hey Mike. How did your Kombucha turn out? Was it easy to make? I really enjoyed it and would like to try making one.

    I usually volunteer at all the fests, but decided to bring the family along to this one.

  3. It's incredibly easy. I used some instructions I found here to grow a mother from a bottle of store bought. I used a bottle of Herbucha. The first batch was meh, I only let it ferment for a week. I've got another going and plan to leave it for longer.

  4. Thanks for the info Mike! I'd love to hear how your new batch turns out.

  5. Hi. I just wanted to clarify that Invisible Alchemy is it's own company, although associated with Captured by Porches, it is in fact not Captured by Porches kombucha. It is Invisible Alchemy kombucha. We appreciate very much the spot on your blog and we are so happy that you enjoyed our kombucha!


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