While I am not a beer drinker myself, I do live in one of the country’s “beer lovingest” regions: The Pacific Northwest…specifically, Portland, Oregon. People in Portland love their beer, and they are incredibly proud of all of the local microbrews that are available here. Sometimes it seems like you can’t walk more than a block without finding yet another restaurant, bar or club that brews its own brand of beer.
Portlanders (and Oregonians) love their local beers so much they have created an annual event called The Oregon Brewers’ Festival (or Brewfest to the locals). This event took place over the course of four days at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland. Breweries from all over Oregon were represented as well as a few out of state brands.
Admission was free, but in order to sample the local brews, you had to buy a mug for this year’s festival (using last year’s mug only would get you laughed at) for $5. Mugs could be filled for four tokens (worth about $1 each—you could trade your cash for tokens at the same time that you bought your mug) or you could have a small sample of beer for free. The good news about the tokens is that they are recyclable—if you have any left over from this year’s festival they’ll work next year…and the next year…and…you get the idea.
For those who don’t like beer, don’t drink, or were forced to be the designated driver, there was a root beer garden with complimentary root beer and other flavored sodas. There were also booths for several restaurants on hand to supply non-alcoholic beverages and food. These restaurants only accepted cash, so it was a good thing I hit the ATM before I went in to the festival!
This event takes place annually, so don’t worry if you missed it this year! The next one will be here soon enough!