Oregon Brewfest and Spontaneous Cheer

Oregon Brewers Festival in Portland

If you love beer, the Oregon Brewers Festival will not let you down. Granted, the crowds can be overwhelming, and you must be prepared for the spontaneous, group cheers that sprout up every ten minutes. However, with over 80 beers available from numerous brewers across the nation, and your own take-home BrewFest mug to taste from, a beer lover really can’t go wrong.

We arrived in Portland this past weekend with exuberance due to the summer-dress-wearing, flip-flop sporting, warm weather (given that we were coming from the sweatshirt, fuzzy-Uggs-wearing 55-degree deep fog summer in San Francisco). On our way to the BrewFest, we obligingly yet very willingly stopped by one of the numerous and well-known Portland food cart courtyards. My friends were partial to the Venezuelan stand, but since I’d already feasted on “the best home-cooked-breakfast-at-a-friend’s ever,” I decided an ice cream cart called Scoop was a good bet. (Did I mention how much I love being on vacation?)

Back to the BrewFest. We arrived on a smattering of borrowed bikes and picked up our tokens. We opted for the two-fer special: $50 for two mugs, and two bags of 20 tokens. At one token a taste or four for a full mug, we were in for a day of serious tasting. After briefly consulting the beer map, we veered toward Leafer Madness IPA by Beer Valley Brewing Co. based in Idaho, which ended up a personal favorite. Other hits with my non-tee-totaling friends were Oregon beers – Maiden the Shade by Ninkasi Brewing Co. from Eugene and Son of a C-Note by Lompoc from Portland itself.

Drawing particularly long lines were the fruity libations, such as the Organic Acai Berry Wheat, Bluebeery Ale, and CoCoNut Porter. Luckily, the lines were short when the bratwurst “so-much-for-my-vegetarian-lifestyle-attempts” cravings kicked in. Well, it’s only once a year! Bookmark your calendar for next year’s festival, if you haven’t already.

Image: Philly Casablanca