Sunday Afternoon at North American Organic Brewers Festival '12

On Sunday, my wife and I spent the afternoon at the North American Organic Brewers Festival. This beer fest visit was different, though. We took our two young sons with us.

Before you report me to child welfare services, you should know that NAOBF is family friendly. Not only did they have a complimentary Root Beer Garden for kids (and designated drivers), but they also had face painting and kids' craft tables. In addition, Overlook Park has plenty of wide open spaces and a playground for kiddies to burn off the excess energy resulting from multiple glasses of Crater Lake Root Beer.

When combined with the relatively small crowds, live music, and great food, you have the makings of an awesome family outing! Oh, they happen to serve some amazing beverages. Here are a few of the beers and ciders I sampled:

  • Navarro Yarro, Ukiah Brewing:  This beer was brewed with ZERO hops. Instead yarrow flower and leaves were used to add flavor. They yarrow provided unique herbal (almost tea-like) notes. While I enjoyed the sample, I probably wouldn't go back for a full pint.   
  • Brown Bacon Ale, Uncommon Brewers:  Bacon? Say no more! I've never tasted a bacon beer, so I didn't know what to expect. I picked up some smokiness, but other than that, I didn't taste bacon.
  • Siamese Twin Ale, Uncommon Brewers:  This Belgian-style Dubbel is brewed with kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and coriander. I noticed all of these flavors and thought they nicely complemented the sweet malt. One of my favorites!
  • Yellow Wolves of Thailand, Alameda Brewing:  Thai flavors must be in this year. This IPA features mango, coconut, Thai basil, and ginger. While I couldn't taste each individually, the favors combined to temper the 100 IBUs of bitterness and provide a tasty twist on Yellow Wolf!

  • Haver Bier, The Commons Brewery: Oats were used to give this saison a creamy-smooth mouth feel. The Commons crew are Belgian-style specialists, and it shows in this beer. I'm noticing more Saisons and Farmhouse Ales at festivals these days. That's a good thing.
  • Seizoen Bretta, Logsdon Farmhouse Ales:  I was first enchanted by this beer at last year's NAOBF. Brettanomyces, a wild yeast strain, provides tart and fruity flavors. I'll never pass up an opportunity to taste this. Even better, my wife likes it!
  • Acai Berry Wheat, Eel River Brewing:  The Acai berry flavor was noticeable and added a mild tartness without being sweet. We both liked it. 
  • Finnriver Dry Hopped Cider, Finnriver Farm & Cidery:  Dry-hopped with Cascade, you might consider this to be a cider / beer crossover. I loved the tartness and the dry finish!

I sampled a few more, but stopped taking notes. Anyway, the entire family had a great time and we're already looking forward to NAOBF '13! Congrats to the festival organizers for holding a great event AND for being so family friendly. Special thanks also goes to Crater Lake Soda for keeping my kids in a 100% pure cane sugar induced euphoria! 

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Trying to convince my wife we need it. Suggestions?

A park with a view.


  1. Nice photographs! I heard the weather pretty much killed the fest early on. Only a 50% or so revenue intake. A buddy of mine had a pizza table there, and even the news guy before the fest even started dropped the slice face-down on the new clean table cloth. Must have been an omen!

  2. Thanks Perry. Yeah, it's a bummer that attendance was light because of the weather. But, that's life in Oregon. The weather before July 4th is a gamble. At least it wasn't raining when we were there on Sunday. We had a great time!


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