Five Fresh Hop Fests Including Oregon’s Biggest + Wayfinder Beer Opens And More Craft Beer Events

Nicole Kasten and Ben Dobler at the newly relocated Mt. Tabor Brewing. (FoystonFoto)
We Portlanders have a couple of fine new Southeast spots in which to enjoy a good pint. Mt. Tabor Brewing opened recently at in a big space 124 S.E. 11th Ave. — that’s tasting room manager Nicole Kasten and brewer Ben Dobler in front of the board. (FoystonFoto)
An exterior view of Wayfinder Beer. (FoystonFoto)
And on Saturday, the long awaited Wayfinder Beer opens at 304 S.E. Second Ave.; sorry about the exterior only art shot: expect a full update with many pix on these pages Friday. (FoystonFoto)

Five fresh hop fests including Oregon’s biggest at Oak’s Park and Wayfinder Beer opens. All of the craft beer events for the week of September 29th.

Occidental Oktoberfest Party
5-8 p.m. Thursday September 29th, McMenamins 23rd Ave. Bottle Shop, 2290 NW Thurman St.;
This is about my favorite time of the year both for the weather and the beer, and Occidental is one of my favorite Oregon lager breweries so the news that they’re coming to the 23rd Avenue Bottle Shop tonight to pour tastes of their Alt and Bohemian Pilsner is good news indeed. Better yet, Occidental’s new draft-only Hoppy Pilsner and Oktoberfest will be on tap with Hefeweizen Here’s what they say about their beers:

  • Hefeweizen
    Our hefeweizen is of the classic Bavarian variety. Made with 70% wheat, lightly hopped with German Hallertauer, it’s refreshing and slightly dry with the beguiling banana and clove notes that give away the provenance of the true weizen yeast we use. This is a German-style wheat beer the way it should be–no lemon needed to make up for inadequacy.
  • Alt
    Our take on Dusseldorf’s broad style features our most complex grain bill, which produces a malty, amber beer with a lot of flavor. Saphir hops give it a spicy, noble aroma and delicious hop profile. Definitely on the hoppy side for this style of beer.
  • Bohemian-Style Pilsner
    Occidental’s take on the lager style that changed the beer world forever, this is a largely Bohemian-style pilsner with a bit of Bavarian pedigree. Crisp, clean, and dry, Czech Saaz hops crown this beautiful beer.

Finnriver Cidery Bottle Tasting
5-8 p.m. Thurday Sept. 29, The BeerMongers, 1125 SE Division St.;
Jana and crew will be pouring tastes of some great ciders from one of the Northwest’s favorite producers tonight.

Machete men of the hop fields. (FoystonFoto)
While you’re enjoying those fresh hop beers, spare a moment of thanks for the men and women who work hard in late summer heat to get those great hops to your favorite brewers. These gents are the men who cut the 20-foot-long hop vines loose with machetes so they can be harvested. (FoystonFoto)

13th Annual Portland Fresh Hops Fest
5-9 p.m. Friday Sept. 30, Noon-8 p.m. Saturday Oct. 1, Oaks Amusement Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way; Free Admission. $20 for required tasting glass and eight tix; 21 and over to sample; one person per glass; cash only. Additional drink tix are four for $5.
No minors Friday. Minors permitted on Saturday until 5 p.m. (park rides open till 7 p.m.) Dogs on leashes OK as long as they behave.

The Oregon Brewers Guild, the non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the state’s craft brewing industry and the common interests of its more than 150 brewery members, organizes Oregon’s biggest celebration of fresh hop beers. This year, the fest features more than 60 Oregon brewed fresh hop beers; here’s the list of participants Because of the festival’s and the style’s popularity, beers may run out; for the greatest selection, attend on Friday or before 3 p.m. on Saturday. Food will be available from Monk’s Deli and the Urban German Grill. Vendors include the Timbers Army No Pity Van, the Oregon Hop Growers Association, Illustrated Playing Cards and Bottle Tap.

Seventh Annual Fresh Hop Summit
2 p.m. Friday Sept. 29 – Sunday Oct. 2, Roscoe’s, 8105 SE Stark St.;
For the seventh year, Roscoe’s celebrates the hop harvest with great fresh hop beer and cider on tap all weekend. The taplist features fresh hop beers in many different styles- more than 30 fresh hop beers will be available and rotating throughout the weekend from breweries including Breakside Brewery, Fort George Brewery, Culmination Brewing Company, Baerlic Brewing Co., Laurelwood Public House & Brewery, 54-40 Brewing Co, pFriem Family Brewers, Flat Tail Brewing and many more. As always, taster trays will be available.

Meet Smog City Brewing
5-8 p.m. Friday Sept. 30, The BeerMongers, 1125 SE Division St.;
“If you’re not familiar with Smog City, you should be,” says head Monger Sean Campbell, “It’s a little brewery from Torrance, CA making some delicious beer and we’re lucky enough to be pouring a few of them…”

  • Coffee Porter – A robust Porter cold-infused with nearly 100 pounds of fresh beans from local LA Groundwork Coffee roaster.
  • Sabre-Toothed Squirrel – A world Class Hoppy Amber. The sweet malt body balances out the Chinook, Falconers Flight, and Centennial hops.
  • California Love – A true California Collaboration. Originally brewed with San Francisco’s 21st Amendment brewery, this hoppy Imperial Red showcases a Northern and Southern California influence. Brewed with Pinot Noir grape must, citrus zest, and aged on American oak. Expect a juicy malt character, citrus, ripe berries, oak, and a lot of hops.
Charlie Devereux, Rodney Muirhead, and Matthew Jacobson, the three people behind the new Wayfinder Beer. (image courtesy of Wayfinder Beer)
Charlie Devereux, Rodney Muirhead, and Matthew Jacobson, the three people behind the new Wayfinder Beer. (image courtesy of Wayfinder Beer)

Wayfinder Beer Grand Opening
Saturday October 1, Wayfinder Beer, 304 SE Second Ave.;
The eagerly awaited Wayfinder Beer is an 8,900 square-foot hybrid of a German-style beer hall and a Northwest brewery/restaurant with a 110-seat taproom, a big outdoor deck and a 10-barrel brewing facility designed for up to 7,500 barrels of beer production per year, with the emphasis on well-made lagers. Located at in Portland’s Central Eastside neighborhood, Wayfinder will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week – starting Saturday! is the big news. It’s the brainchild of Double Mountain co-founder Charlie Devereux, Sizzle Pie’s Matthew Jacobson and Rodney Muirhead of Podnah’s Pit.

The bar’s 16 taps will initially feature a mix of collaboration brews made with great local breweries (Baerlic, Breakside, Hopworks, 54° 40′, Widmer), along with some worthy guest beers. A 10-barrel brewing system will come online soon, with award-winning lager specialist Kevin Davey (Chuckanut, Firestone Walker, Gordon Biersch) at the helm. On the cocktail side, mixologist Jacob Grier runs the show, and you know that can’t be bad, as the Beatles once said. Rodney Muirhead has designed a beer-friendly menu of American cuisine in his signature style: inventive yet gimmick-free: sandwiches such as smoked prime rib with beer cheese or house-smoked pastrami; house-made sausages and pretzels; and a wide array of snacks dominate the all-day menu.


Noon – 10 p.m. Saturday Oct. 1, The Bitter Monk, $10 includes 4 tix and souvenir glass.
The second annual ORtoberfest in McMinnville is a small, fun festival that benefits the McMinnville Education Foundation and is hosted by those lovely lager brewers, Heater Allen, and The Bitter Monk. The focus is on German-style and fall seasonal beers, which means lots of fresh hop beers and includes beers – and cider – from 18 of the region’s finest.

Seventh Annual Sisters Fresh Hop Fest
Noon-8 p.m. Saturday Oct. 1, Village Green Park, 101 E Washington Ave., Sisters; $5 Pint Glass $1 tokens, family friendly, dogs welcome in park but not in tent.

Homeboys Three Creeks Brewing Co. sponsors this event, so expect some great beers from my friend Zack, plus unique fresh hop brews from 25 breweries around the state of Oregon. Participating breweries bring at least one fresh hop beer (meaning the hops go from farm to kettle within hours) Adding to the fun, the breweries compete for the People’s Choice award – the coveted Golden Bunny! Also: food vendors and live music by Bigfoot Mojo featuring Pete Kartsounes and The Rye Smiles.

First Springfield Fresh Hops Festival
Noon-9 p.m. Saturday Oct. 1, Sprout, 418 A St., Springfield; $10 includes festival glass and three tix; 21 & over only.

This new event celebrates the hop harvest with 24 Oregon craft breweries and cider-makers showcasing hops in specialty releases. Claim 52 Brewing and Plank Town Brewing Co. and the City of Springfield introduce the inaugural Springfield Fresh Hop Festival with live music sponsored by The Bier Stein. Also: great food from local food vendors and t-shirts screen-printed on-site. Musical guests include live DJ sets Tawrence and Against The Green, live music from RitchieG and MA Beat, Alder Street Allstars, and an acoustic set on the patio from Crooked River. The venue is located at the corner of 4th and A streets just two blocks from the bus station and Lane Transit District is offering free buss pass coupons to make it easy and safe for attendees to get to and from the festival.

Steinhaus Stein Holding Competition from 2015. (image courtesy of Steinhaus)
Steinhaus Stein Holding Competition from 2015. (image courtesy of Steinhaus)

Steinhaus Oktoberfest
3 p.m.- close, Saturday Oct. 1, Steinhauspdx, 2366 SE 82nd Ave.; Kids OK until 8 p.m.
It’s the season for Germanic music, beer and celebration and the Steinhaus crew is throwing an Oktoberfest style party with German and local festbiers on tap, fun and games such as the steinhoisting contest and a visit from the Paulaner women from 5-8 p.m. Lederhosen and Dirndls are encouraged.

Cribbage Night
5 p.m. Tuesdays, The BeerMongers, 1125 SE Division St.;
Bring your cribbage board and your thirst: Tuesdays are now cribbage nights at the Mongers and all levels of players from beginners to grandmasters are welcome.

Citra Showers Release Party
5-10 p.m. Tuesday Oct. 4, NW IPA, 6350 S.E. Foster Rd.;
The N-Dubs crew welcomes for the first time in Oregon, Noble Ale Works from Anaheim Calif. They’ll be pouring Citra Showers on draft and in bombers to go. Citra Showers is one of Noble Ale’s new Double IPA series that showcases their favorite hop varieties, one by one, with each consecutive release. This hop bursts with juicy layers of mango, lemongrass, and grapefruit and – better yet – is the first of many upcoming releases in this series of single hopped Double IPAs.

Monster Mash Imperial Porter Release Party
4 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 5, Lompoc Sidebar, 3901 N Williams Ave.

The Lompoc crew is releasing their annual Monster Mash Imperial Porter with suitable festivities at Sidebar. Monster Mash is an 8.1 percent imperial porter featuring strong chocolate and roast flavors with a touch of red fruit. Join the crew for snacks and pints in the bar or take home a 22oz bottle for just $4.