The Oregon Garden Brewfest in Silverton, OR. This was our first time at this festival and at The Oregon Garden. Located 40 minutes southeast of Portland, The Oregon Garden is a hidden gem featuring 20 beautifully sculpted gardens throughout its 80 acres. Last night, we stayed at the Oregon Garden Resort and attended the Brewer's Tasting Dinner (compliments of festival organizers). Both the main lodge and the rooms were beautiful, and to put it simply–very cozy! We enjoyed our short stay at the resort and plan to visit again.
Back to business... We entered the Brewfest as it opened at noon. Attendance was light for the first hour or two (as you can see in picture below), but then it started to fill up. My wife mainly sampled hard ciders and I stuck to beer. One of her favorites was Fox Barrel's Blackberry Pear Cider. I sampled and enjoyed Anthem's Hop Cider. It's a semi-dry apple cider that's dry-hopped with Cascade hops. The hops didn't add bitterness, but provided a nice citrus aroma that is unusual in hard ciders.
I also tasted Seven Brides Brewing's Abbey's Apple Ale, a beer / cider hybrid. This is a beer with apple juice added during primary fermentation. In the end, it tastes like a cross between a beer and a hard cider. As odd as it sounds, I liked it. I may have to make beer / cider hybrid one of these days!
Block 15's Wandelpad and Nebula were, as expected, great! Wandelpad is a Belgian-style blonde ale with plenty of fruity and spicy aromas. Light and refreshing, it's a perfect choice for summer. Nebula is a rich oatmeal stout loaded with coffee and notes of chocolate. Gigantic Brewing is getting ready to open their doors for business. I tasted their IPA, which will be a year-round offering. It was quite hoppy, as you might expect, but was still nicely balanced. I look forward to tasting more of their beers!
While Portland has plenty of beer festivals, the inclusion of cider and the stunning venue make this festival unique. Instead of my usual beer pictures, I've included some shots of the amazing scenery. So if you didn't visit on Friday, you will have one more chance to attend! The Brewfest will be open from noon - 11pm on Saturday, April 28. Don't miss the beer and the views!
Did you attend The Oregon Garden Brewfest? What where your favorites?