With a slight name change, the 12th Annual Organic Beer Fest returns to Overlook Park from Thursday, August 25 through Sunday, August 28. Gone is the North American label to the fest as the festival has grown to include organic beers from beyond our continent. Conveniently located on the MAX Yellow Line, the Organic Beer Fest will serve over 50 beers, ciders and meads that are brewed using organic ingredients. Each day the family friendly festival will open at Noon and run until 9:00pm except for the last day, Sunday when the festival will close at 5:00pm.
Organically brewed beer is the focus of the Organic Beer Festival but this fest is more than just beer. Beyond the 55 organic beers, ciders and meads there’s also live music, organic food, sustainability-oriented vendors and non-profits, a soda garden with complimentary handcrafted Crater Lake Soda for minors and designated drivers, and a kids area. The Organic Beer Fest is a family friendly event, and minors are welcome with parents.
Admission into the Organic Beer Fest is free. The purchase of a $7 reusable, recyclable cup is required for tasting beer, as are tokens, which sell for $1 apiece. A full glass of beer costs four tokens and a three-ounce taste costs one token (select beers and ciders cost additional tokens). Patrons may receive an extra token with a validated Tri-Met ticket, a ticket from the on-site fenced Hopworks Bike Corral or with current ID showing they live in the Overlook zip code (limit one extra token per person).
So what makes a beer organic? The standards that the USDA uses for organic beer are the same as the standards used for organic foods. This means that ingredients must be grown without the use of toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers in soil that is free from chemicals for at least three years, and genetically modified ingredients are not allowed. Based on the Oregon Tilth guidelines, organic certification for beer is broken down to three primary levels.
100% Organic means the product contains 100% organically produced ingredients, excluding added water and salt. Any processing aids used must be organic.
Organic means the product uses at least 95% organic ingredients, excluding added water & salt.
Made with Organic Ingredients means the product contains at least 70% organic ingredients, excluding added water and salt. The product may contain organic and non-organic forms of the same ingredient, i.e. hops & malts.
When it comes to gaining organic certification some brewers pay for this designation while others do not. Festival organizers have categorized each beer and cider at this festival according to the organic tier in which each falls in to. An asterisk next to the producer indicates they are 100% Certified Organic and lists the certifying organization.
This year’s event will feature 42 breweries pouring 55 products including 49 craft beers, five ciders and one mead. Four countries will be represented: United States, Canada, Germany and England and five states represented: California, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. 22 of the products are 100% organic, containing all organic ingredients; 12 of the products are “organic,” containing at least 95% organic ingredients; and 21 of the products are “made with organic ingredients” or 70-94% organic.
Here is the beer and cider list for the 2016 Organic Beer Festival.
54°40′ Brewing Co | Washougal, WA
Chaga-lug-Chaga-lug | Ale made with wild-grown Chaga mushrooms (70-94% Made with Organic Ingredients)
Broken Record IPA | Pale Ale (70-94% Made with Organic Ingredients)
*Aslan Brewing Co | Bellingham, WA
Dawn Patrol | Pacific Ale (100% Organic)
Batch 15 IPA | IPA (100% Organic) *Certified Organic by USDA
*Bison Organic Beer | Berkeley, CA
Kermit the Hop | Double IPA (100% Organic) *Certified Organic by USDA
Calapooia Brewing | Albany, OR
Organic Pooia Pale | Organic Pale Ale (95-99% Organic)
Coin Toss Brewing Co | Oregon City, OR
Half Penny Lager | Rice Lager (70-94% Made with Organic Ingredients)
Feckin Brewery | Oregon City, OR
Arnold Feckin Palmer | Golden Ale (95-99% Organic)
*Finnriver Farm & Cidery | Chimacum, WA
Finnriver Lavender Black Currant Cider | Seasonal Botantical Craft Cider made with organic apples, black currant and lavender (100% Organic)
Habanero Cider | Seasonal Botantical Craft Cider made with organic apples, black currant and lavender (100% Organic) *Certified Organic by Washington State Department of Agriculture
Fortside Brewing Co | Vancouver, WA
Ripple Effect | Hoppy Wheat (70-94% Made with Organic Ingredients)
Kells Brew Pub | Portland, OR
Blood Orange Summer Wheat | IPA (70-94% Made with Organic Ingredients)
Kells Irish Red | Organic Irish Red Ale (70-94% Made with Organic Ingredients)
Laht Neppur Brewing Co | Waitsburg, WA
Flaming Peach 2.0 | Experimental Beer (70-94% Made with Organic Ingredients)
Strawberry Cream | Experimental Beer (70-94% Made with Organic Ingredients)
*Lakefront Brewery | Milwaukee, WI
Growing Power Organic Farmhouse Pale Ale | Belgium Style Pale Ale (100% Organic)
Fuel Cafe Coffee Stout | Organic Stout Brewed with Coffee (100% Organic) *Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth
*Logsdon Farmhouse Ales | Hood River, OR
Conversion Series 2: Wit Fermented with Wild Yeast & Bacteria | Wit (95-99% Organic)
Szech ‘n Brett | Saison (100% Organic) *Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth
The Organic Beer Fest does not offer automobile parking at the festival grounds. Attendees must park in the nearby Overlook neighborhood. However, the best way to travel to the Organic Beer Fest is by bicycle and park at the Hopworks Bike Corral or by taking TriMet. The Interstate MAX/Yellow Line “Overlook Park” Station is directly across from Overlook Park and is the second stop from the Rose Quarter transit mall, heading north.
12th Annual Organic Beer Fest Overlook Park 1599 N Fremont St. Portland, OR 97227
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.