For about 14 years, I worked on various grants at Portland State University doing research on the state's child welfare agency. For those who are unfamiliar with child social services, the way it works is that the state oversees the legal protection of children, but private non-profits provide services to make children and families whole. One of those agencies is Morrison, which serves the mental health needs of kids. Their services can change children's lives, and the state depends on them when they encounter cases of serious neglect and abuse.
I mention all of this because last night's Deschutes Street Fare was a fundraiser for Morrison. Not all fundraisers are created equally, so I took the opportunity to chat up Lauren Tietsort, a representative from Morrison, who was at the event. She gushed about how smooth it had been, and praised Deschutes for donating so much time and money. I wasn't surprised, but I was very pleased. According to the Oregon Brewers Guild, breweries gave $1.25 million last year to charitable organizations. I've talked before about other how other breweries have pitched in, and so this is no longer surprises me. But it's something to be proud about.
The Street Fare, incidentally, was a blast. Deschutes blocked off Davis in the block next to the brewery and invited ten Portland food carts to set up shop. Then the brewery paired each dish with one of their beers. For a token, you got the paired beer and food--and a survey of Portland's food carts. (If I had any quibble, it's that some of the pairings could have offered a bit more pop--but this is no time to quibble.) My fave was Flavour Spot's insanely decadent pecan "Dutch Taco"--a waffle wrapped, taco-shell style, around tasty filling. They serve many varieties (menu, pdf), but this version contains organic maple spread with whipped butter and roasted pecans. Whoo, boy.
In sum: good food, good beer, good music, good time, good cause. What could be better?