2012 North American Organic Brewers Festival

Beer Festival season has arrived! The 8th Annual North American Organic Brewers Festival will be held this weekend. Among the plethora of Portland beer festivals, NAOBF is unique for three reasons.

You've probably figured out the first reasonthe beer is organic!  The second reason is NAOBF is a family-friendly event. Minors are allowed when accompanied by a parent. They even have a complimentary root beer garden for kids (and designated drivers), face painting, and a craft center. I took my kids last year, and they had a great time! The third reason is that the festival benefits the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and the Oregon Food Bank. Do you really need any more reasons to go?

Well, here's another... Of all the beer festivals in Portland, this one has a very relaxed, hippie-like vibe. I don't mean that in a bad way, it's just pleasantly different. To get a taste of what you can expect, check out my recap of last year's NAOBF.

For more details, check out the festival facts at the end of this post. To see the complete beer list with full descriptions, download the official program here. See you at the fest this weekend. Cheers to organic beer!

Have you attended the National Organic Brewers Festival? What did you think of it?

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8th Annual North American Brewers Festival

Overlook Park, Portland, Oregon
At the intersection of N Fremont Street & Interstate Ave.

June 29, 30 and July 1st, 2012

Noon to 9 p.m. Fri & Sat
Noon to 5 p.m. Sun

Admission into the event is free. The purchase of a $6 reusable, compostable cornstarch glass is required for tasting beer, as are tokens, which sell for $1 apiece. A full glass of beer costs four tokens (more for select beers), and a four-ounce taste costs one token. Patrons receive a $1 discount toward the tasting glass with a validated MAX ticket, a ticket from the onsite bike corral, or three cans of food for the Oregon Food Bank.

Designed to raise awareness about organic beer and sustainable living, the NAOBF serves up more than 50 organic beers from around the nation. From summery Saison and Kolsch styles to rich and hearty stouts, the festival offers beers to please every palate. There's also live music, organic food, sustainability-oriented vendors and non-profits, and a children's area.

The festival goes beyond beer tasting by striving to be the most earth-friendly beer festival in North America. Festival attendees sample beer from reusable and compostable cornstarch glasses made from domestically grown corn by a zero-waste, solar-powered company. Onsite composting and recycling stations are provided for festival waste, and food vendors are required to use compostable cutlery and plates. Electricity needs are met with a combination of biodiesel and solar generators. Volunteers wear organic cotton and hemp t-shirts, and all event signage is reusable.

The NAOBF was established and organized by Craig Nicholls in 2003 at Port Halling Brewing Company in Gresham, Oregon. The festival then took a two-year hiatus, during which Nicholls founded and opened Roots Organic Brewing Co., Oregon's first certified all organic brewery. In 2006, Nicholls resurrected the NAOBF, now in its sixth straight year.

The NAOBF is a family friendly event, and minors are welcome with parents. The festival benefits the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and the Oregon Food Bank.

Pedal and Park
Ride your bike and park it in the Hopworks Bike Corral, where volunteers will watch over your wheels while you savor some of the country's best organic brews. Bicycle parking is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.

Mass Transit
The Interstate MAX/Yellow Line "Overlook Park" Station is directly across from Overlook Park and is the second stop from the Rose Quarter transit mall, heading North. Use the Tri-Met website for directions from your door to Overlook Park (1301 N. Fremont St. Portland, OR 97227).

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  1. I loved reading this post! My husband and I have made the trek from Richland, WA for the past four years to attend the festival! Last year, we brought our toddler twins and we are headed there with them again today. It's one of the best, well rounded beer events I've attended. When I was a beer buyer for a grocer, it was a "working" trip and I was able to bring in a unique selection of organic beers because of my experience there. This year, we are going with friends and making a Portland beer weekend out of it! I recommend this festival to anyone who loves beer! Thanks for posting!

  2. This is going to be my third or fourth year attending and my second where I'll also be pouring. There's so much room! It's like the complete opposite of the Holiday Ale Fest. Really good and interesting beers.

  3. This really is a great event. Great beer, fairly light crowds, PLENTY osprey space, live music, AND KID FRIENDLY! Not much more one could ask for IMO.


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