Changes at the 26th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival

OBF, the Granddaddy of Oregon beer festivals kicks off on Wednesday!  Let's go through the notable changes for the 26th installment of this fine Oregon tradition:

  • For the first time, the festival will kick-off on Wednesday. This means five--not four, days of craft beer mirth and merriment! Wednesday is now the new Thursday. Word to the wise, go early.

  • Say goodbye to the plastic mugs! You'll now be drinking from glass--just as beer gods intended.

  • A $1 token will now buy you a 3 oz. sample (instead of 4 oz.). OK, take a deep breath... Before you work yourself into a conniption, you should remember that $1 has bought you 4 oz. tastes for at least 15 years. It's the ugly face of inflation. I'm surprised OBF was able to offer 4 oz. pours for so long. Here's what festival organizer, Chris Crabb told me about the change. "For a number of years, it has been a 14-oz mug with a 4-oz taste. Beer prices keep going up, and we had to make a choice: go with a 14 oz glass and charge five tokens for a fill; or go with the 12.8-oz glass and a 3-oz taste. We didn't want to be the first festival that went to five tokens for a fill."  My blogger friends Jeff and Pete have a few thoughts about the subject, if you want to read more.

  • The Buzz Tent is gone this year. Don't fret, there's still more beer than you can possibly drink.  According to Chris, "The Buzz Tent is taking a hiatus. It had some logistical issues for the event organizers that need to be addressed. Beers are promised and not sent, beers are sent and then poached, etc. Plus, the idea behind the buzz tent was originally to offer rare, specialty beers for beer geeks; the first year, that's what it was, but by last year, it was flooded by attendees looking for the highest alcohol beers and camping out. It wasn't the experience we wanted. So, it's taking a break while logistics are figured out. Just like Arnold, it will be back!"

As Sheryl Crow says, a change will do you good. So get down to Oregon Brewers Festival, soak up the sun (she also said that), and enjoy one of the country's finest beer festivals!

Full details are listed below. If you've never attended, check out my recaps from OBF 2012 and OBF 2011 to get an idea of what to expect. Cheers!

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26th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival

Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon
Main entrance at S.W. Oak Street and Naito Parkway

July 24 - 28, 2013 — "Always the last full weekend in July"

Wed through Sat, taps are open from Noon to 9 p.m.
Sun, taps are open from Noon to 7 p.m.
Token & mug sales close one-half hour prior to the taps shutting off

Admission into the festival grounds is free. In order to consume beer, purchase of a 2013 souvenir 12.8 oz. tasting glass is required and costs $7. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens, which cost $1 apiece. Patrons pay four tokens for a full glass of beer, or one token for a three-oz. taste. There are no advance tickets sold to the festival; all purchases are made on-site. The festival is cash only, and there are ATMs on-site.

The Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the nation's longest running and best loved craft beer festivals. Situated on the west bank of the Willamette River, with towering Mt. Hood as a backdrop, it is the ideal venue for anyone who loves craft beer. With a laid back attitude and scores of award-winning beers, the festival reflects the essence of the city of Portland.

The Oregon Brewers Festival exists to provide an opportunity to sample and learn about a variety of craft beer styles from across the country. Eighty craft breweries from all parts of the nation offer more than two-dozen styles of handcrafted brews to 80,000 beer lovers during the five-day event.

The festival's focus is craft beer, but there's more than sampling involved. The event features live music, beer-related vendors, beer memorabilia displays, beer writers and publishers, homebrewing demonstrations, and an assortment of foods from a variety of regions. The Crater Lake Root Beer Garden offers complimentary handcrafted root beer for minors and designated drivers. Minors are always welcome at the festival when accompanied by a parent.

The Oregon Brewers Festival strongly encourages responsible drinking, and urges patrons to take advantage of the MAX Light Rail line, located just one block west of the festival on SW Oak Street. Go by bus, train or taxi, just don't drink and drive. The festival also offers free, on-site bicycle parking.

Contact Information:


  1. I'm definitely looking forward to it this year. It's a bummer about the 3oz pour size, but that's life. Hope to see you there Sanjay.

  2. Logan, sadly I won't be there this year (first time in 15 years). But it's for a good cause. I'm at the Beer Bloggers Conference in Portland, ME and Boston. So, I'll be good to get my fill of great beer! Cheers!


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