15th Annual Portland Fresh Hops Fest: Sept. 28-29

The hop harvest is underway! Brewers across the state are racing to quickly transport fresh hops from farms to their kettles to brew their once-a-year fresh hop beers. Earlier this week, I toured Crosby Hop Farm as part of the creation of BridgePort's 2019 Hop Harvest Ale

In about a month, The Oregon Brewers Guild will host the 15th Annual Portland Fresh Hops Fest. This will be an excellent opportunity for you to taste from over 60 fresh hop beers in a single location! Check out my recap of the last year's Portland Fresh Hops Fest to get an idea of what you will experience. For more details, including hours and prices, check out the news release below.

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Portland Fresh Hops Fest celebrates Oregon’s annual hop harvest with dozens of fresh-hop beers
15th annual event returns to Oaks Amusement Park Sept. 28 and 29

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Fresh Hops Fest is the state's largest celebration of Oregon's annual hop harvest. The 15th annual Portland Fresh Hops Fest will present more than 60 fresh-hop Oregon beers, each made with hops picked off the bine and used within hours of harvesting. The event will take place Sept. 28 and Sept. 29 at Oaks Amusement Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way. Hours are 5pm to 9pm on Friday and 12pm to 8pm on Saturday. 

“This festival offers beer lovers in the Pacific Northwest a once-a-year opportunity to taste more than five-dozen Oregon made fresh-hop beers in one location,” explained Brian Butenschoen, Executive Director of the Oregon Brewers Guild. “Fresh hop beers are a celebration of the local hop harvest that runs from mid-August to mid-September in Oregon, and many breweries make multiple beers during the fresh-hop season.”

Admission to the Portland Fresh Hops Fest is free. Drinking packages cost $20 for a souvenir tasting glass and nine drink tickets in advance, or six drink tickets at the door. Discount ticket packages are currently available via MercPerks, offering two tasting glasses and 18 drink tickets for $30; the discount is valid through August 31 or for the first 100 tickets sold, whichever occurs first. General advance admission tickets are on sale now at www.oregoncraftbeer.org/freshhopsfest; enter the code “freshnotwet” for $2.50 off each ticket through Sept. 27. Additional tasting tickets are sold onsite for $2 each or three for $5. Event parking is free.

The final beer list will be released in mid-September, but an early list with beer names, styles and descriptions is available now at Google Drive. Each brewery provides only one beer, so attendees are encouraged to arrive on Friday or early on Saturday for the greatest selection. The festival will also feature homebrew demonstrations from Portland U-Brew on Saturday from Noon to 5pm; a number of commercial vendors; and on-site food from Urban German Grill.

Minors are not allowed on Friday but are permitted on Saturday until 5pm (Oaks Amusement Park is closed that day, but the train will be running from 12pm to 5pm for kids accompanied by adults). Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome.

Hops are one of the four main ingredients used to make beer, along with grain, yeast and water. The hop plant’s flower, called a cone, is what gives beer its pleasant bitter flavor and aroma. Most of the United States' hop production takes place in the Pacific Northwest, thanks to  its rich soil, rainfall and mild air. Oregon is the second largest hop producing state in the United States, with most hops grown in the Willamette Valley. 

The Portland Fresh Hops Fest is organized by the Oregon Brewers Guild. Learn more at www.oregoncraftbeer.org and follow @OregonCraftBeer on social media, #freshhops. RSVP at the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/286752405476344/

About the Oregon Brewers Guild
The Oregon Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the state’s craft brewing industry and the common interests of its members. Founded in 1992, the Oregon Brewers Guild is one of the nation’s oldest craft brewers associations. The Guild, which receives no state funding, comprises 160 brewing companies, 130 associate or supplier members and more than 4,000 enthusiast members or S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer).

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Harvesting BridgePort's 2018 Hop Harvest Ale

It's hop harvest time! During the next 3-4 weeks, hop farmers will be busy harvesting, drying and packaging hops. Since there is much to do in a short time window, hop farms typically operate in  24x7 mode for nearly a month to harvest hops at their prime. It's an amazing process!

Hop harvest also brings a unique opportunitythe ability to make wet (or fresh) hop beers. Since wet hop beers are not kiln dried, they must be used within hours of harvest. The allure of beers made with these mystical hops is that they have unique flavors not found in beers made with typical dried hops. Brewers have a short window to procure and use these hopsand most take advantage of this.

BridgePort Brewing Co. has released Hop Harvest, a wet hop ale for many years. In fact, one of the first beer events I ever covered was the launch party for BridgePort's 2010 Hop Harvest Ale.  In preparation for their 2018 release, BridgePort invited me to visit Crosby Hop Farm yesterday to pick up 280 pounds of Centennials hops, the first of three batches of wet hops that will be used in this year's Hop Harvest Ale.

When you think of Centennial, you'd probably expect an IPA. But this year, BridgePort will release a Märzen, aka Oktoberfest-style lager as their seasonal Hop Harvest wet hop beer. While this style is malt-forward with a light hop profile, BridgePort will take a few liberties and accentuate the hop flavors by using a blend of wet Centennial, Amarillo, and Mt. Hood hops.

After returning from Crosby Hop farm, Jeff Edgerton, BridgePort Brewmaster, promptly dumped 280 pounds of freshly picked Centennial hops into the tank. Edgerton prefers to add the fresh hops to the beer a few days after the start of primary fermentation. This gives the hops exposure to higher temperatures (which occur during active fermentation) to aid extraction of flavor and helps to reduce the loss of volatile aromas from the active production of carbon dioxide, which peaks early in fermentation.

I enjoyed seeing the origin of this beer, and look forward to tasting it soon! Look for Hop Harvest on draft, and in 12 oz. cans when it is released in mid-September.

A truck full of Centennial hops

Centennial hops

Crosby's new conveyer moves stems and leaves from the picking facility into trucks

Hops being dried

Wet hops being used in BridgePort's Hop Harvest Fresh Hop Ale

It's true...

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Public Coast Brewing Hosts 2nd Annual HAYDAY! on August 25th

Summer may be winding down, but there are still plenty of beer festivals to enjoy. If you're looking to attend a fest outside of Portland this weekend, you're in luck! Those east of Portland should check out Boring Beer Fest. If you're in the mood for the coast, Public Coast Brewing is hosting its 2nd annual HAYDAY! festival in Cannon Beach. The event will feature 40 Oregon craft beers, many from coastal breweries.

For more details, please visit the event's Facebook page, or visit here to purchase tickets.

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Second Annual HAYDAY!, Coastal Celebration of Oregon Beer

What: Public Coast Brewing Co. hosts its second annual HAYDAY! in Cannon Beach, Ore., a coastal celebration of Oregon beer. Taking place on Saturday, Aug. 25 at Haystack Gardens, the event will feature 40 Oregon craft beers, including coastal breweries and beyond. Varying acts will perform live music, and Chef Josh Archibald from the Wayfarer Restaurant will enlist his mobile steakhouse for fantastic eats with desserts provided by Ruby Jewel Ice Cream.

When: August 25, 2018

Where: Haystack Gardens, 148 E. Gower, Cannon Beach, Ore. 97110

Tickets Info: Doors Open for General Admission at: 3:00 p.m.

Hayday Complete (last beer poured) at: 7:00 p.m.

Inaugural Boring Beer Fest

We all know Portland is overloaded with beer fests, but it's nice to see the 'burbs getting in on the action! The Inaugural Boring Beer Fest will feature breweries from the eastern region of the metro area, as well a smattering of Portland breweries. This is a great opportunity to sample from breweries not usually seen at the larger Portland beer fests.

The festival kicks off next weekend, so check out the Boring Beer Fest website or news release below for more details.

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Announcing the Inaugural Boring Beer Fest

August 24th - 26th 2018
Friday, August 24th 12pm – 8pm 
Saturday, August 25th 12pm – 8pm
FAMILY DAY - Sunday, August 26th 12pm – 6pm

Boring Brewing and Winery
29300 SE Haley Rd, Boring, OR 97009 

Boring Beer Fest was created as an annual event to showcase regional brewers and cider makers of all sizes in beautiful Boring, Oregon. The creators of the event felt the communities of Gresham, Sandy and Boring were thirsty for an event in which they didn’t have to travel to Portland and deal with the hustle and bustle of the city. Equally, Portland residents can get out to the country and enjoy an eclectic mix of well-known and smaller breweries.

Inspired by the Mt. Hood “Fruit Loop,” as well as the Clackamas County “Tap Trail,” breweries from these areas were the first be invited and represent the bulk of the breweries and cideries being featured. The addition of the “City Slickers” tent will bring some excellent selections from Portland.

The event will be set up in several unique spaces on the Boring Brewing and Winery property, so festival attendees can walk the grounds and enjoy separate areas. There will be live music in the manicured back yard, a water oasis to beat the heat, a covered country patio and several other setups - all with exciting beer options. Regional food as well as vendors and summer yard games will be found throughout the grounds. Boring Brewing has created a flagship beer for the event that will be available as a 16oz option, so music lovers can enjoy a pint in the live music area. Sunday will be family day with special entertainment for the kids!

We are proud to be raising money for two 501(c)(3) non-profits organizations: The Kyla McCullough Gift Fund http://kmgf.org/welcome.php and the Boring Oregon Foundation http://www.boringoregonfoundation.org

Individual participation cost is $20 for a keepsake logo glass and 10 beer tickets.  1 ticket will yield one 4oz pour, with the exception of the Boring Brewing pints that will be available for 4 tickets. Additional tickets will be available for purchase at $1.00 each.

There are advance ticket packages available through www.boringbeerfest.com that will get attendees more for their money: $20 for inaugural keepsake glass, and 15 tickets! Also, on our website is the most up to date list of participating breweries and information, as well as volunteer sign up for those wishing to trade their time for free beer!

For more information contact Brandon Mikel (info@boringbeerfest.com)