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.

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