28th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival Preview

2015 Oregon Brewers Festival

We are just a little over a week away from the kickoff of the 28th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF) taking place at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, Oregon. Always held the last full weekend of July, the 2015 edition will take place from July 22 through 26 beginning each day at Noon.

Now in its 28th year, the OBF has grown from its humble beginnings back in 1988 when there were only seven craft brewers in all of Oregon that were BridgePort, Widmer, McMenamins, Portland Brewing, Full Sail, Deschutes and Rogue. This year organizers expect to see 85,000 attendees from all over the world being assisted by the generous 2,000 festival volunteers.

Rogue at 2014 Oregon Brewers Festival Parade OBF (photo credit Timothy Horn)
Rogue at 2014 Oregon Brewers Festival Parade OBF (photo credit Timothy Horn)

Though the first beer will not be poured until Noon on Wednesday, July 22, OBF will officially kickoff with its annual parade leaving from Metalcraft Fabrication at 723 N Tillamook Street at 11:30am. People who want to take part can gather in the fenced in area on the corner and get their ID checked by the security guard on-site starting at 11:00am. Everyone with a wristband will walk straight into the festival and not be carded at the festival entrance. More than 500 craft beer lovers and a small brass band will cross the Steel Bridge over the Willamette River, joining up with another group from Rogue Ales at NW 3rd and Davis. Both groups will then end up on the grounds of the festival for the opening ceremonies, which will begin around Noon. This year’s Grand Marshals are Kurt and Rob Widmer, founders of Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., who were also part of the original Oregon Brewers Festival committee.

Kurt Widmer & Rob Widmer at Multnomah Whiskey Library
Grand Marshals of the 2015 OBF Parade, Kurt Widmer & Rob Widmer.

Since OBF is a non-ticketed event admission is free into the festival venue. However to take in the abundance of craft beer options the purchase of a 2015 souvenir tasting cup is required at a cost of $7.00. As in years past beer is purchased by using purchased wooden tokens that cost $1.00 each. A taster that is a small 3oz pour will be one token, a full 14oz cup pour will be four tokens. From doing the math a full 14oz pour is the best option, especially on the days when the never-ending beer lines are present.

Tasting cups and tokens are sold on-site only by cash, as OBF is a cash only event. There will be eight ATMs on-site. Advance purchase of the OBF Tasting Cup can currently be made at Raccoon Lodge & Brew Pub, Cascade Brewing Barrel House, Belmont Station, Deschutes in the Pearl, Rogue Ales Public House and the Green Dragon.

2015 Oregon Brewers Festival Drinking Vessel
2015 Oregon Brewers Festival Tasting Cup

Beer will pour each day from July 22 through 26 at Noon until 9:00pm except for Sunday when the festival closes at 7:00pm. Token and glass sales close one-half hour prior to the taps shutting off (8:30pm daily, except 6:30pm Sunday).

Pouring at the 2015 OBF will be 89 breweries from 15 states presenting a number of diverse styles. There will also be five breweries from New Zealand and seven from The Netherlands making 105 beers in all pouring at this year’s OBF. In the two main tents, OBF will serve the 90 craft beers from the 89 U.S. and Canada breweries. Another 13 brewers from New Zealand and The Netherlands will serve 15 more beers in the International Beer Garden as part of a cultural exchange of ideas, knowledge and great craft beer.

This year there will be 18 breweries appearing for the first time at the festival. Breweries from the United States that are attending for the first time are Ambacht Brewing, Bent Paddle Brewing, Buoy Beer, Claim 52 Brewing, Fremont Brewing, Melvin Brewing, PINTS Urban Brewery, StormBreaker Brewing, Sunriver Brewing, The Lost Abbey, Uptown Market, and Worthy Brewing,

Adding to last year’s international brewers from The Netherlands sees a return of Kaapse, Maximus, Oedipus, Oerseop, Ramses, Rooie Doop, RUIG and Uiltje. Joining the Dutch brewers this year are first time festival breweries Garage Project, Panhead Custom Ales, ParrotDog, Tuatara Brewing, and Yeastie Boys from New Zealand. This year, in partnership with the Beervana Beer Festival in Wellington, New Zealand, OBF has flown over five brewers and their beer from the land down under. Both the Dutch and New Zealand brewers will be on hand daily in The International Beer Garden to chat about brewing in their part of the world, so stop by, taste their beer and say hello.

International at Oregon Brewers Festival (photo from Timothy Horn PHOTOGRAPHY)
International at Oregon Brewers Festival (photo credit Timothy Horn)

The International Beer Garden is the brainchild of OBF festival director Art Larrance, who is keen to develop long-term cultural exchanges with brewers around the world. Through the festival, our local beer community can share its passion, knowledge and friendship with other burgeoning craft beer movements in a collective celebration.

The following brewers will be holding court in the International Beer Garden all weekend long, along with Beervana Beer Festival director David Cryer.

  • Jos Ruffel with Garage Project
  • Mike Neilson with Panhead Custom Ales
  • Matt Warner with Parrot Dog
  • Carl Vasta with Tuatara Brewing
  • Stu McKinlay with Yeastie Boys

Then returning from The Netherlands are the following Dutch brewers.

  • Etienne Vermeulen & Tsjomme Zijlstra with Kaapse Brouwers
  • Ewald Visser, Arend-Jan van Dieën, Marcel Snater & Almer Cremer with Maximus
  • Rick Nelson with Oedipus
  • Sander Kobes with Oersoep
  • Ramses Snoeij with Ramses
  • Mark Strooker with Rooie Dop
  • Bart-Jan Hoeijmakers with RUIG
  • Robbert Uijleman with Uiltje

Last year, one of the Dutch brewers – Rick Nelson with Oedipus Brewing – teamed up with film director Boris Booij to film the journey. They will be debuting the documentary It All Starts With Beer at this year’s festival; the film will loop on a screen in the International Beer Garden. The movie shows how and why Portland catapulted ahead in the microbrew revolution, comparing it with The Netherlands and its uprising of craft beer making. For those who want to see the film on the big screen, it will be shown with a panel discussion at the Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan, on July 27 at 7:00pm.

All of the Kiwi and Dutch brewers will be collaborating on beers with Portland brewers while they are in town; thank you to host brewers Base Camp, Cascade, Deschutes, Ecliptic, Gigantic, Lompoc, The Commons, Upright and Widmer for extending a warm welcome to the festivals guests.

In case you’re wondering who’s who in the Beer Garden, the New Zealand brewers will be in black shirts with OBF logos, and the Dutch will be in orange. Please use hashtags #KIWI2OBF and #NLtoPDX when mentioning these beers in social media.

This year’s OBF will feature 47 official beer styles. The lowest alcohol beer is Claim 52 Brewing’s Runnermass at 3% ABV while the highest alcohol beer is Rogue Ale’s Imperial Smoked Lager at 9.5% ABV.

A breakdown of the beer styles that will be pouring this year is quite diverse. The beer style with the largest amount of beers will be American-Style Pale Ale with eight total beers. This is followed by currently the industry’s most trendiest beer style, Session India Pale Ale along with American-Style India Pale Ale at six each. There will be five different French & Belgian-Style Saisons pouring which is quite nice. For those that are concerned about their gluten intake there will a total of two Gluten-Free Beers pouring from Deschutes and Omission.

Oregon Brewers Festival Map 2015

Here’s the final beer list for the 28th Annual OBF along with its corresponding trailer number:

  • Alameda Brewing Co: Alameda Black Bear Stout – Export-Style Stout (T6)
  • Ambacht Brewing: Matzobrau – Belgian Dark Wheat (T6)
  • Anderson Valley Brewing Co: The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose – Specialty Beer (T5)
  • Ballast Point Brewing Co: Grunion Pale Ale – American Style Pale Ale (T8)
  • Base Camp Brewing Co: Hop in the ‘Pool Helles – Session Beer (T6)
  • Bayern Brewing: Dump Truck Summer Bock – Summer Bock (T10)
  • Bear Republic Brewing Co: Double Aught – Bohemian Style Pilsner (T2)
  • Bent Paddle Brewing Co: Paddle Break Blonde – Belgian Style Blonde Ale (T10)
  • Bison Organic Beer: Kermit the Hop – Double IPA (T5)
  • Boneyard Beer: Bone Light – India Session Ale (T5)
  • Boulder Beer Co: Nothing too Fancy – American Style Pale Ale* (T10)
  • Boundary Bay Brewery: Double Dry Hopped Sorachi Ace Pale Ale – American Style Pale Ale* (T4)
  • Breakside Brewery: Rainbows & Unicorns – Session IPA (T2)
  • BridgePort Brewing Co: Conviction Pale Ale – American Style Pale Ale (T8)
  • Buoy Beer Co: India Pale Lager – American-Style Lager* (T3)
  • Burnside Brewing Co: Smoked Berliner Weiss – Experimental Beer* (T3)
  • Calapooia Brewing Co: Santiamber – American-Style Amber/Red Ale (T7)
  • Caldera Brewing Co: Caldera Dry Hop Mosaic IPA – American-Style India Pale Ale* (T5)
  • Cascade Brewing: Frite Gaulois – Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer (T9)
  • Central City Brewers & Distillers: Red Betty Imperial IPA – Double IPA (T7)
  • Claim 52 Brewing: Runnermass – Fruit Wheat Beer* (T10)
  • Coalition Brewing Co: Honey Trap – Specialty Honey Beer (T1)
  • Collaborator/Widmer: Vanilla Valley Pale Ale – American Style Pale Ale (T2)
  • Deschutes Brewery: Red Wheat – Dark American Wheat Ale (T8)
  • Deschutes Brewery: Gluten Free – Gluten-Free Ale (T8)
  • Dogfish Head Craft Brewery: Glancing Blow English Pale Ale – English-Style Pale Mild Ale* (T8)
  • Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom: Homestead – American-Style Pale Ale (T1)
  • Dunedin Brewery: Mango Makrut Paradiso – Session India Pale Ale* (T10)
  • Ecliptic Brewery: Aurora Crimson Saison – French & Belgian-Style Saison (T3)
  • Eel River Brewing Co: Emerald Triangle Session IPA – Session IPA* (T3)
  • Epic Brewing Co: Hop Syndrome – American-Style Lager (T5)
  • Fearless Brewing Co: Strawberry Cream Ale – American-Style Cream Ale* (T5)
  • Fire Mountain Brewery: Paradise – German Blonde Ale* (T7)
  • Firestone Walker Brewing Co: Pivo Pils – German-Style Pilsner (T2)
  • Fish Brewing Co: Fish in a Barrel – Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer* (T7)
  • Flat Tail Brewing Co: Big Green – Specialty Beer* (T7)
  • Flying Fish Brewing Co: Cold Pressed Pale Ale – Coffee Beer* (T7)
  • Fort George Brewery & Public House: Summer Stout – Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout* (T3)
  • Fremont Brewing Co: Summer Ale – American-Style Pale Ale (T8)
  • Full Sail Brewing Co: Session IPA – American-Style India Pale Ale (T8)
  • Garage Project: Death from Above – Experimental Beer
  • Garage Project: Venusian Pale Ale – Experimental Beer
  • Gigantic Brewing Co: Kölschtastic – German-Style Kölsch* (T2)
  • Gilgamesh Brewing: Radler – Specialty Beer (T8)
  • GoodLife Brewing Co: Jay Bird – Light American Wheat Ale* (T10)
  • Great Divide Brewing Co: Whitewater – Light American Wheat Ale (T1)
  • Green Flash Brewing Co: Soul Style IPA – American-Style India Pale Ale (T6)
  • Hale’s Ales: Supergoose IPA – English-Style India Pale Ale (T1)
  • Hop Valley Brewing Co: Pils to pay the Bills – German-Style Pilsner* (T3)
  • Hopworks Urban Brewery: Evie Radshine – American-Style Fruit Beer* (T9)
  • Kaapse Brouwers: Kaapse Koen – Rye Beer*
  • Klamath Basin Brewing Co: Spud Muffin Pale Ale – Specialty Beer* (T6)
  • Kona Brewing Co: Big Wave – Golden Ale (T2)
  • Lagunitas Brewing Co: Sucks 366 – Double IPA* (T9)
  • Laht Neppur Brewing Co: Flaming Peach – Experimental Beer* (T1)
  • Laurelwood Brewing Co: Hipster Sunburn – French & Belgian-Style Saison (T4)
  • Logsdon Brewing Co: Aberrant – Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale (T2)
  • Lompoc Brewing Co: Saison de l’Evolution – French & Belgian-Style Saison (T3)
  • Lost Abbey: Witches Wit – Belgian-Style Witbier (T5)
  • Lucky Labrador Brewing: 20th Anniversary IPA – American Style IPA (T10)
  • Mad River Brewing Co: Jamaica Sunrise ESB – Extra Special Bitter* (T9)
  • Maui Brewing Co: Kihei Kölsch – German-Style Kölsch (T1)
  • Maximus: Salvator – Specialty Beer
  • Mazama Brewing Co: Rasplendent – Belgian-Style Fruit Beer (T4)
  • McMenamins Edgefield Brewery: Quatrophenia ISA – Session India Pale Ale* (T9)
  • Melvin Brewing: Hamber – Hoppy Amber (T6)
  • New Belgium Brewing Co: B-Side Peach IPA – Specialty Beer* (T9)
  • No-Li Brewhouse: Mosh Pit – Fruit Beer (T7)
  • Oedipus Brewing: Vogelen – Berliner-Style Weisse
  • Oedipus Brewing: Mannenliefde – French & Belgian-Style Saison
  • Oedipus Brewing: Thai Thai Tripel – Belgian Style Tripel
  • Oersoep: Brettalicious – Brett Beer
  • Old Town Brewing Co: 1-Up Mushroom Ale – Experimental Beer* (T3)
  • Omission Beer: Free Radical Lager – Gluten Free Ale* (T2)
  • Panhead Custom Ales: Johnny Octane – Imperial Red Ale
  • ParrotDog: RiwakaSecret – Double IPA
  • Payette Brewing Co: Leaning Barb Farmhouse Ale – French & Belgian-Style Saison (T6)
  • PINTS Brewing Co: Honey’s Bunches of Oats – Specialty Beer* (T1)
  • Port Townsend Brewing Co: The S.H.I.P. – American-Style India Pale Ale* (T4)
  • Portland Brewing Co: Super S.M.A.S.H. – American-Style Strong Pale Ale* (T9)
  • Prodigal Son Brewery: Huckleberry Wheat – Fruit Wheat Ale (T4)
  • Ramses Bier: Antenne Tripel – Belgian Style Tripel
  • Rogue Ales: Imperial Smoked Lager – Smoke Beer* (T9)
  • Rooie Dop & RUIG: Smoked Session Oatmeal Stout – Oatmeal Stout*
  • Seven Brides Brewing: Crooked Finger IPA – American-Style India Pale Ale (T4)
  • Sixpoint Brewery: Little Raspy – Berliner Style Weiss* (T4)
  • Speakeasy Ales & Lagers: Baby Daddy IPA – Session India Pale Ale (T5)
  • Sprecher Brewery: Abbey Triple – Belgian Style Tripel (T8)
  • StormBreaker Brewing: Mississippi Red Dry Hopped Red – American-Style Amber/Red Ale (T1)
  • Sunriver Brewing Co: Oh MANdarin! White IPA – Specialty Beer* (T6)
  • Terminal Gravity Brewing: Wallow Lake Lager – American-Style Pilsner (T5)
  • Three Creeks Brewing Co: Hop Damme – Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale* (T7)
  • Tuatara Brewing: Sauvinova – International-Style Pale Ale*
  • Uiltje Crafty Beer: CC:Porter – Coffee Beer
  • Upright Brewing Co: Golden Goat – French-Style Bière de Garde* (T3)
  • Uptown Brewing: USA (Uptown Session Ale) – Session Beer (T4)
  • Vertigo Brewing: Lemongrass Wheat – Light American Wheat Ale* (T6)
  • Victory Brewing Co: Prima Pils – German-Style Pilsner (T7)
  • Viking Braggot Co: Gypsy Tears – Specialty Honey Beer (T10)
  • Walking Man Brewing: Littlefoot ISA – Session India Pale Ale (T1)
  • Wasatch Brewery: Ghostrider White IPA – American-Style Strong Pale Ale (T4)
  • Widmer Brothers Brewing: Widmeritaville – Experimental Beer (T2)
  • Wild Ride Brewing: Quencher – Session Beer* (T10)
  • Worthy Brewing Co: A Walk on the Wild Side – Herb & Spice Beer* (T9)
  • Yeastie Boys: Gunnamatta – American-Style Strong Pale Ale*

Beers designated with an * are unique and only available at OBF.

Over the years there have been at least 388 breweries that have poured its beers during OBF. Its amazing that Bayern, BridgePort, Deschutes, Full Sail, and Widmer have never missed sending beer to all 28 editions of OBF.

OBF main focus is on craft beer but there are additional attractions at the festival including beer related vendors, live music, homebrewing demonstrations, and food vendors. The festival is an all ages event and minors are welcome at the festival when accompanied by a parent. The Crater Lake Root Beer Garden offers complimentary handcrafted root beer for minors and designated drivers.

The 28th Annual OBF Music Lineup is as follows for each of the five days.

2015 Oregon Brewers Festival Music Lineup

For those that are visiting Portland from out of town an excellent resource for all thing travel related is Travel Portland. From there you can learn about restaurants, attractions and more. You can download a concise visitor guide by clicking here.

When attending OBF please travel in a responsible manner. Organizers strongly encourage responsible drinking, and urges patrons to take advantage of the MAX Light Rail line, located just one block west of the festival on SW Oak Street. If not please consider taking the bus, taxi or the new car services in town from UBER or LYFT, just don’t drink and drive. The festival also offers free monitored on-site bicycle parking, courtesy of Hopworks Urban Brewery.

Oregon Brewers Festival Downtown Map

Arriving to OBF will be made easier this year in part to the Naito Pilot Project from the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Commissioner Steve Novick and community partners announced the Naito Pilot Project, a temporary safety solution that will create a pleasant route for people to get to and enjoy the Oregon Brewers Festival at Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

Starting Tuesday, July 21 at 6:00pm and lasting through Monday, July 27 at 6:00pm, the four-lane SW Naito Parkway will have three travel lanes, plus a lane of open space for the public to walk and bike safely to the festival. The pilot project will open nearly a mile of street, 15 feet wide, to public use, from SW Salmon Street to NW Pine Street.

Make sure to follow the Oregon Brewers Festival on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The official hashtag of the 28th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival is #OBF15.

2015 Oregon Brewers Festival

Tom McCall Waterfront Park
SW Oak Street and Naito Parkway
Portland, Oregon