Wednesday, August 8, 2012

FL-Oregon Trail Part 3: 25th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival

What a trip it had already been when we arrived back in Portland for the 25th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival. We returned on Wednesday, the night of the Brewers BBQ hosted on the waterfront--the same venue as the festival. We were given pint glasses & choices of fills from 20+ great beers from Oregon, mostly IPAs & sours. All beers were outstanding.

Oregon Brewers Guild BBQ & Reception
At this time in our trip, we were also joined by more invading Dunedinites, including Matt & Amy Barnett, Michael Norman Bryant, Jimmey Defrank (Lueken's Liquors), Mandy Boldman, Jamie Barnett, & Devon Kreps (Seventh Sun Brewing Co). This made for a great presence of what beer in Dunedin is all about, enjoying good beer together & enjoying the company of others. We followed the Brewer's BBQ with a visit to Cascade Brewing's Barrel House, who also happened to be our first stop in the morning for the Festival Brunch & Parade kick-off. Breakfast was served, as was delicious Cascade Brew. Most of us started with an Oblique Coffee Porter, a great way to start the day.

Cascade Brewing's Olbique Coffee Porter & OBF Handbook
From Cascade's Barrel House, 800 brewers & beer-lovers took to the streets for a parade led by 2 large wooden casks filled by the Cascade, the host brewery. Filled with beer-themed costumes & the Transcendental Brass Band, the parade walked one mile (and across the Morrison Bridge) to the downtown waterfront where the wooden casks were ceremonially cracked open. One was filled with IPA, the other with Gose (a historic salty-sour brew). After the free pours from the casks, the festival was underway & the public started to fill in.

Raising our glass to the safe travels of the cask
Parading in the streets of Portland for the sake of beer
Welcome to the Oregon Brewers Festival
 Once the beer started flowing at the festival, we wandered over to the trailer pouring our IPA Chronicle 6: FL-Oregon Trail, brewed with FL orange blossom honey & sweet orange peel. When we got there, we were floored by the epic line trailing away from the tap. At this point, we realized that Portland was full of beer drinkers who pay attention. Our line was one of the longest throughout the weekend & everyone we spoke to thoroughly enjoyed our brew. Not only were we the only beer from the Southeast, we were the hoppiest beer at the event. Here's some shots from our beer line:
Follow Trace to the FL-Oregon Trail IPA
Master Fred Eckhardt enjoying the FL-Oregon Trail IPA
Rogue's John Maier before filling his mug to the top with FL-Oregon Trail
Sold Out for the day!
Each day of the festival, our beer ran dry. The festival allots a certain amount of kegs per day to ensure that each beer pours at the start of the next day. Our kegs blew early each afternoon, alongside other great beers by 10 Barrel, Cascade, Russian River, Old Market Pub & more. Beyond the main 84 beers (one per brewery) pouring, there was also a Buzz/Sour Tent which rotated through kegs all weekend. We decided the best way to show Dunedin's love for beer & community would be to pour a keg of our collaboration with Seventh Sun Brewing (Dunedin, FL), The Sun & The Sword, a Nelson Sauvin single-hop berlinerweiss. This gave our friend & co-owner of Seventh Sun, Devon, a good reason to fly out & join us for the festivities. She had a blast as well!

Devon (7venthSun) & Mike (DunedinBrewery); [photo by Mandy Boldman]
Overall, our first time pouring beer at the Oregon Brewers Festival was a success. We had a great time, met a massive amount of new friends, & shared some hoppy Florida beer with 80,000 people in the Pacific Northwest. We'd like to thank Chris Crabb, Oregon Brewers Festival, Oregon Brewers Guild, & all of the Oregon breweries (as well as beer lovers!) for an amazingly warm welcome. We hope we brought some flavor from Florida that you enjoyed. Cheers!

OBF is a party! (Photo by Mandy Boldman)
The Transcendental Brass Band
Dunedin Brew Crew (Photo by Mandy Boldman)
Two generations of Dunedin Brewery. (Photo by Mandy Boldman)

The Portland crew, minus a few.
The Oregon Brewers Festival always takes place the last full weekend in July. The 26th annual event will take place July 25 through July 28, 2013. For more information, visit www.oregonbrewersfestival.com


Our next Blog post will wrap up the FL-Oregon Trail with a glimpse into our drive home, including visits to Rogue, Sierra Nevada, & Lagunitas. After that, keep an eye out for a short film edited from the footage we captured during the entire trip. Till then!

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