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Friday, June 27, 2008

Organic Beer Fest - Open Thread

Open threads work well on blogs that get high traffic and comments, and this one has neither. Still, I hope you report back on your findings at the Organic Beer Fest. Your reports will be my only experience of it, and so you'll be doing me a favor if you tell me what happened.
  • Good beers?
  • Bad beers?
  • Breweries new or new to Oregon--how'd they measure up?
  • Environmental issues--the site, the weather (should be a mirror opposite of last year's cold, rainy Saturday), the volunteers, etc. How'd it go?
Stay hydrated and stay cool--


  1. The Good: Willamette IPA, Walking Man Sasquatch

  2. Lot of there early like 330 on Friday...awesome weather....grabbed some space under the big tree and had many a great ones....really like the Pils from roots....this is great fest...nice and chill and not manic like the OBF.

  3. Jeff:
    NAOBF was a very good time, I worked as a volunteer two shifts and hung out for several hours drinking with my wife & friends both Friday & Saturday.

    As a volunteer I was on the opening shift both days (poured for HUB on Friday, Fort George/Grand Teton on Saturday)...I have to say the fest seemed a bit disorganized both days...crowds were being let in the gate before many taps were connected, tubs iced, etc. The check-in/check-out process could have gone smoother, too. But once it got going, things did run smoothly, kegs were replaced quickly, and everyone seemed to be having a good time.

    Great weather...heat was a bit much on Sat, many congregating under the big tree on the west side. Crowds were bigger Friday (after work), but like jw says never was it 'OBF-crazy'.

    Favorite beers: Willamette Dunkelweizen, Santa Cruz Dread Brown, Hopworks Survival Stout, Sasquatch Imp Vienna Lager, Double Mountain Kolsch, Crannog Hell's Kitchen, Pinkus Pils, and (a big surprise) Silenrieux SARA Buckwheat Ale.

    Love the venue - gives them lots of room to grow in years to come. I noticed on the program cover that they're stating "Always the Last Weekend of June"...good idea to establish the date and place!


  4. Thanks, guys. I'm not surprised it was a little disorganized--that's the Roots guys for you. They are big-picture people; the events are always well-conceived and fun, but they don't sweat the details. Sort of a "relax, don't worry, have an IPA" attitude.

    Interesting that they've gone for the "last weekend in June" thing--because of course, the OBF's motto is "last full weekend in July." Looks like they are planning for this to be a regular, recurring event on the calendar.

  5. Matt at took some nice pics of NAOBF and posted them on his site/flickr


  6. Jeff:

    I also volunteered for the Friday evening shift, by which time the festival was hitting its stride.

    While the crowds were good, it never seemed like we were mobbed - which is strange given the perfect weather over the weekend. Lines for beer beyond 4-5 people were rare, tended to be concentrated on one or two 'buzz beers' - which I think literally applies, some festival goers were looking for the high ABVs.

    I agree with you on the Roots guys as organizers, and two decisions that they've made impact the festival. First the individual brewers are an integral part this festival, which the OBF has eliminated. As such, you get most bringing their flagship or IPA, but then also a second variety or even a third - so the consumer generally gets a broader array of choices even though theoretically limited to being organic.

    One of the beers I served was Ukiah's beers, which between my liberal pours and the quality of the beer, all three of which were out before last call Friday. I returned Sunday around 1, and Ukiah and Standing Stone were already gone - partly to get back to their more distant locations.

    And although I like the park location, with the heat becoming a real factor many if not most festival attendees flocked to the giant tree for shade, venturing out as beer hunters only after their glasses were empty.

    All in all, I think the 'smaller festivals' like the NAOBF and the International Beer Festival are better values than either the OBF or the Holiday Beer Festival.


  7. Standing Stone and Ukiah apparently hadn't been told how many kegs to bring as they both ran out very early.