Monday, July 23, 2012
Back in Time for the OBF!
I failed to mention on this blog, mea culpa, that I was going on a bit of a blogging hiatus, but I am back now (both physically and spiritually) and ready to resume blogging and beery things. The good news is that I have timed my return with the Oregon Brewers Festival! The OBF just keeps getting bigger and bigger and, unfortunately, more of a scene and a bit overrun (they anticipate nearly 80,000 attendees this year). But if you are wise like me you have a nice afternoon on Thursday before the crowds get too crazy and enjoy the hard to get beers on offer.
[It is also worth noting that they do an very good job handling the crowds: the porta-potties are plentiful (this is a beer fest after-all, you are going to need a LOT of toilets), the lines get long for some popular beers, but are generally not too bad, and there is ample free drinking water]
This year I am even planning on joining the parade from the Cascade Barrel House to the OBF. For me I always enjoy getting to sample great breweries like Boundary Bay that are not available in Oregon. This year, Boundary Bay is offering up a Double Dry Hopped Delta Pale Ale which is right in my wheelhouse. I was also happy to see that SF's 21st Amendment is finally bringing something other than the uber-popular Watermelon Wheat. Kudos to them.
Some of the beers that piqued my interest (this being summer, I am particularly interested in lower ABV beers):
10 Barrel Brewing, Bend: Raspberry Crush. A 5.2% ABV Raspberry tart beer with lacto and rice syrup. Could be a great summer session beer.
Laurelwood, Portland: Portlandia Pils. Apparently Van Havig (of Gigantic fame) had a hand in this pilsener brewed with Columbus, Cascade, Ahtanum, Simcoe, Amarillo and Centennial hops. Wha? This is a must-try. No word on the yeast - ale or lager, would like to know - but at 5.5% it could be the hit of the fest.
Boundary Bay, Bellingham: Double Dry Hopped Delta Pale Ale. A 5.6% pale single hopped with Delta, a hop of which I am unfamiliar. I'll know it intimately after this.
Ninkasi, Eugene: Lady of Avalon. Ninkasi, masters of the hop bomb, rolling along with a 5.2% Pilsener that they lagered for four months. Nice!
Russian River, Santa Rosa: Story of Simcoe. Like the BB above, a single hopped adventure into the world of the Simcoe hop. 5.8% ABV.
Flat Tail, Corvallis: White Light / White Ale. Okay so this is a 8% ABV bomb, but combining Flat Tail and Velvet Underground has got to be a sure winner.
Gigantic, Portland: Dynomite! It is Gigantic and it is dynomite, what more is there to know? At 8.9% even JJ would call it dynomite!, by the way,
There are surely many more that will pique yours, so go have a look at the list of the beers.
Here are the essentials:
Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon Main entrance at S.W. Oak Street and Naito Parkway
July 26 - 29, 2012 — "Always the last full weekend in July"
Thurs through Sat, taps are open from Noon to 9 p.m. Sun, taps are open from Noon to 7 p.m. Token & mug sales close one-half hour prior to the taps shutting off
Admission into the festival grounds is free. In order to consume beer, purchase of a 2012 souvenir mug is required and costs $6. Mugs from previous years will not be filled. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens. Tokens cost $1 apiece. Patrons pay four tokens for a full mug of beer, or one token for a taste. The festival is cash only; there are ATMs on-site.