What started as a surprise 80th birthday party for world-renowned beer writer Fred Eckhardt is coming back around in its third year as a fundraiser in the memory of fellow beer scribe, Michael Jackson, also known as the Beer Hunter.In case you've forgotten, it was Jim '07 that almost started riots at the Holiday Ale Fest.
More than 15 rare and unique beers created by some of Oregon 's most celebrated breweries will be on tap at FredFest 2008. The event will take place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 10 -- the actual date of Eckhardt's 82nd birthday -- at Hair of the Dog Brewing, 4509 SE 23rd Avenue in Portland .
The beer menu is still being firmed up, but brewers are promising to pony up something special for the event. The number of beers for FredFest will increase from last year, according to co-organizer and chief beer wrangler Preston Weesner. Some of the breweries that already have committed to the event include: Hair of the Dog (with a special keg of Jim 07), BridgePort , Deschutes , Widmer, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Rogue and Firestone Walker.
Attendees will be treated not only to a rare assortment of hand-selected beers, but also light fare including pastrami cured with Hair of the Dog Fred ale and a birthday cake -- complete with a round of "Happy Birthday" -- for Eckhardt. Cheeses, chocolate, candy and even cereal will be offered in abundance so attendees can experience some of Eckhardt's famed beer-and-food pairings.
Cost for the event is $50 in advance and includes a souvenir glass, free ticket for a raffle of bottled specialty beers and four hours' of sampling, sipping and story-telling with Eckhardt. Admission is limited to 200 attendees. Judging from previous years, the event is expected to sell out quickly. Tickets are available through Pay-Pal. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase tickets.
Additionally, this year, a silent auction featuring bottles of rare beers running in conjunction with FredFest, allowing Fred fans across the country to be a part of Eckhardt's birthday and the FredFest celebration and fundraiser.
As always, proceeds from FredFest and the related online auction will go to a charity of Eckhardt's choice. This year, Eckhardt named Parkinson's Resources of Oregon, the local affiliate chapter of the National Parkinson Foundation, as the featured charity in memory of his longtime friend and fellow beer writer Michael Jackson, who died in 2007 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.
Clarification from the Beer Goddess, Lisa Morrison: "Unfortunately, not EVERYTHING is dontated. We have to pay for some items such as the port-a-potty, food, water, utensils, etc. That's why we upped the price this year -- so we could make sure the donation was substantial even after paying off everything we need to."
"We do hope that with the raffle and the silent auction, we will be able to give Parkinson's Resources of Oregon a check for at least $10,000! They are hoping to hire a case worker to further help the families and suffers of Parkinsons this summer. It would be great if FredFest and our beer community helped make that happen!"