This year being the 25th anniversary of the OBF there was no way I would miss this one. Now if SodaKid or WineMom needed me I would be home for sure but they said have a great time and see you in a few days. I have have been to 16 OBF’s counting this year. I know there are others who have been to more. To yu who have I hold the pint higher in your honor. Here are some OBF facts –
The Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the nation’s longest running and best loved craft beer festivals. Situated on the west bank of the Willamette River, with towering Mt.Hood as a backdrop, it is the ideal venue for anyone who loves craft beer. With a laid back attitude and scores of award-winning beers, the festival reflects the essence of the city of Portland, and is the crowning jewel of Oregon Craft Beer Month.
Better known as the “OBF,” the festival was the brainchild of Art Larrance, co-founder of Portland Brewing Co. Art had traveled to the original Oktoberfest in Munich and knew what a big beer party was like. His goal was to re-create a similar atmosphere here in Portland and bring attention to the resurgence of microbrews.
Art collaborated with craft beer veterans Dick and Nancy Ponzi of BridgePort Brewing Co. and Kurt & Rob Widmer of Widmer Bros. Brewing Co. to produce the first Oregon Brewers Festival in 1988. Despite the limited number of microbreweries nationwide at the time – or perhaps because of that fact– the festival was overwhelmingly successful and has never looked back.
Craft beer has come a long way since then – according to the Brewers Association, 1,940 craft breweries operated for some or all of 2011, comprised of 1,063 brewpubs, 789 microbreweries and 88 regional craft breweries. Small and independent craft brewers have propelled the number of U.S.breweries from less than 100 to more than 1,900 in 30 years. You can find craft beer in grocery stores and service station marts, on restaurant menus and hotel mini-bars, on airlines and trains, in cans, bottles, growlers and kegs.
The OBF was at the forefront of exposing craft beers to the public, and it continues to do so. This July 26 through 29, 82 craft breweries from all parts of the nation will serve more than 30 beer styles to nearly 80,000 beer lovers from around the world. There will be 84 beers in the main tents, and another 50 specialty beers in the Buzz Tent. We are also thrilled to debut a Sour Tent this year as well. We encourage everyone to gather with friends and raise a mug in celebration of great craft beer.
Want to see what I am up to or what I have recently drank at the OBF follow me on twitter @BrewDad #OBF and see what I have been up to during this great event. Tonight I attend the Oregon Brewers Guild – Brewers Dinner. Cheers…