The 28th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival is now a memory. For the first time in over a decade, I attended on Sunday only (the final day of the fest). I normally take the day off and attend on opening day, but family vacation plans conflicted. We flew back into Portland on Saturday night, so Sunday was the only opportunity I had to visit.
On the plus side, crowds were light, lines were relatively short, and folks were mellow. I was there from 3-6 pm, and never stood in line for more than 1-3 minutes. While I love OBF, I no longer attend on Friday evening or anytime on Saturday due to overcrowding and long beer lines.
On the flip side, if you want to taste certain beers, there’s a strong possibility they’ll be gone by the final day. By the time I got to the fest, about half of the beers on my tasting list were tapped out. In fact, trailer #5 was completely closed by 3pm. In the grand scheme of things, I'm not bothered by this. After all, it was the final few hours of the event. No big deal as I went off script and tasted other beers. I ended up tasting 11, and you can see my recap (via Untappd) at the end of this post.
For the second year, OBF hosted the International Beer Garden. This year, brewers from the Netherlands and New Zealand were showcased. During the few hours I was there, no Dutch beers were served, but I sampled three Kiwi beers. The International Beer Tent is a great feature of OBF and I hope it continues!
Finally, the tasting glass… It’s a no win situation, as it's impossible to please everyone. I expect everyone loved the glass vessels used from 2013-14. I sure did. Sadly, those were outlawed by Portland Police due to the actions of a few ne’er-do-wells. This year’s polycarbonate (plastic) glass was clear and didn’t exude a chemical smell. However, it was flimsy and felt like a throwaway. Maybe this isn’t an issue for most folks, but I like to keep and use OBF glasses from yesteryear. This glass doesn’t seem like it will survive for long. A minor issue…
Anyway, I’ll look forward to attending the 29th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival on OPENING day.