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Saturday, July 26, 2008

OBF - Saturday Edition

I am feeling a little more spry this morning than I expected. Apparently two decades of beer fests has taught me a thing or two about avoiding the worst ravages. [My technique: a fair amount of Gatorade on the morning of the fest to fully hydrate, a large meal of meat beforehand (I hop off the vegetarian wagon to save my body), water throughout the fest, stopping drinking relatively early (seven is ideal), more Gatorade in the evening, and Ibuprofen at bedtime.]

I took some photos which I'll post later, but a couple of comments for those of you heading out today:
  • Get to the Pliny early. It was blown by 3 yesterday.
  • Try the New Holland Dragon's Milk, a creamy, vanilla-y bourbon-cask aged strong ale from Michigan. A big winner, and it blew early, too.
  • Eugene (aka Rogue) City 100 Meter Ale is wedged in awkwardly behind a part of the southernmost section of the north tent, and when those lines start getting very long, you can sneak in there quickly. It's not the best beer at the fest, but it's solid, and very hoppy for those of you with dull palates.
  • Beers I liked in addition to those I mentioned yesterday included Goose Island Matilda (a tasty, zesty Belgian), Kona Mac Nut Brown (not at all sweet, but nutty and satisfying), Boundary Bay Crystal Pale, Laughing Dog Rocket Dog (an approachable rye), and Wild River Kolsch (a nice example of style).
Rants

It is getting busier every year. Things were super packed by three and only picked up steam. The population did, however, plateau at about six.

Water is hard to come buy. There are infrequently-placed mug-washing stations that dribble out (apparently potable, for I drank from them all afternoon) water.

Dust dust dust. Cough.

Raves

They have a new superstructure in place of the old north tent that better shields the sun. It's a tent, I guess, but it is like an airplane hangar.

On the north side, the volunteers used to bake in the sun, but this year, they've put up awnings for the folks to stand under.

As always, I invite you to continue to ad your thoughts. There's a bunch of chatter in the blogosphere, and I'll link to posts later today. Off to catch some breakfast now--

3 comments:

brewtopian said...

Sadly I to missed out on the dragon's milk.

The festival was a lot busier than last year which I think had a lot to do with the incredible weather this weekend. Another great success by the OBF team. They will have to address the crowding issue and figure out how they can get more people in, get their glasses filled and not run out of beer so early in the day.

My biggest complaint regards the variety of beer available. It seemed to me that there were far to many IPA's and Pale Ales this year and not nearly enough all the other styles. By my count there were two cream ales, two pilsners, a kolsch, a couple porters and stouts, a triple and a handful of wheat/summer beers. I realize that this is a summer festival and you want to probably keep the offerings light in the heat but I think this is a problem that is really unaddressed by the beer community.

Here in the Western US, the promised land of the craft beer world we've become overly dependent on IPA's and pale ales and have totally forsaken the rest of the beer universe.

I would have really like to have seen a little more variety as well as some non traditional entries from cider and mead producers to really round out the offering.

Can't wait for next year!

Leit said...

I think that the number of Belgian style products was about right. Goose Island's Matilda, with its wild Brett character, got my thumbs up, along with what I thought was one of the more unique products at the festival. My disappointment was with Caldera. I travel to Portland to buy cases of Caldera because I cannot get it in Montana.

So, I am always looking for some other examples of Caldera. For this, I agree that the Ginger Ale fell short -- and think that a slight boost in malt character (less attenuation, more malt, slightly sweeter), and Fred's comment about more hops--would have saved this ginger ale. The ginger quality was nice, and it was refreshing... it was just too light for my taste and even though I did have two 4 oz samples over two days... it just did not hit my Caldera spot.

(I did get a case of IPA and Pale Ale at Johns Marketplace--along with some Laurelwood products! Thanks Portland for a great time!)

suds sister said...

Just wanted to let you know that the tag at the bottom of your entry says PIB and not OBF. You might want to change that.

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