PORTLAND, Ore. — An estimated 80,000 people will flock to Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park in less than two weeks for the 30th annual Oregon Brewers Festival. The milestone event will take place July 26 through July 30; hours are Noon to 9pm Wednesday through Saturday, and Noon to 7pm Sunday.
The main festival will feature 91 independent craft breweries, with each brewery serving one beer; this year’s participants come from 13 different states, plus one from The Netherlands. The festival is also bringing back its popular Specialty Tent, featuring more than 90 rare, bold and experimental beers from the participating breweries. These beers are extremely limited in quantity and will pour on a rotating basis; beers will be available by tasters only and each taster will cost double or triple tokens.
The Oregon Brewers Festival presents more than two dozen beer styles ranging from fruit beers to radlers to IPAs to sours. The complete list of participating breweries is currently available on the festival website, and on the event’s Facebook page, under Beer List. The Oregon Brewers Festival is an official Untappd venue, and attendees are encouraged to follow the event on the mobile Untappd app and subscribe to push notifications; this will be the best way to find out when beers change over in the Specialty Tent or tap out in the main festival.
The event also features live music, food booths, craft vendors and homebrew demonstrations. The Oregon Brewers Festival is not a ticketed event, and it is free to enter the festival grounds. In order to taste beer, the purchase of a 14 oz. souvenir tasting mug from the current year is required, which costs $7. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens, which cost $1 apiece. Patrons pay five tokens for a full mug of beer, or one token for a taste. The purchase of mugs and tokens is made on-site. The event is cash-only, with eight ATMs located on-premise.
The Oregon Brewers Festival’s top priority is the safety of its attendees, so it has partnered with Great Western Malting, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Portland Police Bureau, Radio Cab, SmartPark and Vision Zero to encourage its guests to get a Safe Ride Home. The Safe Ride Home program offers up to $18 in discounts for getting home safely. Attendees who park in a SmartPark garage can leave their car overnight and receive a $5 parking voucher, redeemable from 9am to Noon the day after attendance, making the overnight parking free. Attendees can also take a Radio Cab home and get a $13 discount off their fare. Check the website and look for the Safe Ride Home booths at the Festival for full details on the program.
Patrons are also encouraged to take Tri-Met, as the MAX Light Rail has a station one block from the main festival entrance. Those who ride their bikes can park them for free in the Hopworks Urban Brewery secure bike corral; people riding BIKETOWN bikes may also use the Hopworks Bike Corral as a drop off station location. For those who bring a designated driver, the Crater Lake Soda Garden provides complimentary handcrafted soda (no mug purchase required). Minors, who are allowed into the event all hours when accompanied by a parent, also receive free Crater Lake Soda, and there is a face painter available Friday through Sunday from 1pm to 5pm.
The Oregon Brewers Festival was founded in 1988 as an opportunity to expose the public to microbrews at a time when the craft brewing industry was just getting off the ground. Today, that industry has flourished, with nearly 5,000 craft breweries in America, according to the Brewer’s Association. The economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival on the local economy is annually more than $30 million. For more information visit OregonBrewFest.com or join @OregonBrewfest on social media.