As the sun sets on this gorgeous warm summer day, I’m sad to say goodbye to the Oregon Brewers Festival. All year I look forward to this event eagerly visiting their website and watching news sites for the latest information on the next years festival. Andy and I plan our strategy including the logistics of our travel, clothing, snacks, and which beers we want to try.
We wake up early and have a nice protein/carbohydrate breakfast. Based on the weather, Andy and I plan out our water strategy. We always arrive as early as we can and ensure that paper and pens are in our bags. As we line up at the entrance, we always have our bags ready to be inspected and our IDs out.
Now we started all this planning after our first experience which was, well um, poorly executed to say the least. We were both overwhelmed by the sheer amount of beers, lines, and people. As a result, much beer was drunken, a lot of money was spent, and some bickering took place. The next day we quickly realized what amateurs we were.
Since that first Oregon Brewers Festival, Andy and I have been to many beer events including North American Organic Beer Festival (three times), Fresh Hop Festival (once in Troutdale and again in Bend, OR), Montavilla Beer Festival, Holiday Ale Festival (2 or 3 times), International Beer Festival, Oktober Festival (at a few different places), and the a fore mentioned Oregon Brewers Festival (3 or 4 times). We’ve had a lot of experience in navigating these events and are so good now, feel no effects come morning.
The 22nd Oregon Brewers Festival just went so well it was almost uneventful. I found some great beers: Anderson Valley Cerveza Crema and Collaborator’s Saison Christophe. I also found a few that I didn’t like as well. Andy and I went to the festival two days in a row with a list of the beers we wanted to try each day, a clear budget in mind, and only spent about two and a half hours of each day there. We joked that perhaps we should try to do the festival wrong next year: arrive hungry and tired with inappropriate attire and $100 in cash. Yeah right. Cheers!