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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Oregon at the GABF

Note the update below, which clarifies the GABF selection process.

Every year the GABF comes and goes and I cast a momentarily longing eye toward Denver--then whinge with indignity that our breweries didn't sweep the medals. Well, for once, my eye won't be longing. I applied for and was miraculously granted a media credential. This means I'll be able to try to sample a vast array of American beers without having to travel a vast array of miles--handy for someone writing a book on beer. It also means I'll be blogging about the fest. To the extent possible, I'll give you a blogger's-eye-view of things, with maybe a dish or two along the way.

For today's post, we have news about the attendees. I was surprised to see the Oregon contingent ringing in at an impressive 27 breweries--or 5.7% of all breweries in attendence. They are:
  • 10 Barrel Brewing Company
  • Barley Brown’s Brew Pub
  • Bend Brewing Co.
  • Breakside Brewery
  • BridgePort Brewing
  • Cascade Lakes
  • The Commons Brewery (Beetje)
  • Deschutes Brewery
  • Full Sail Brewing Company
  • GoodLife Brewing Company (Bend)
  • Hop Valley Brewing Co.
  • Hopworks Urban Brewery
  • Laurelwood
  • MacTarnahan’s Brewing Company
  • Ninkasi Brewing Company
  • Oakshire Brewing Company
  • Pelican Pub & Brewery
  • Ram Restaurant & Brewery – Clackamas
  • Ram Restaurant & Brewery – Salem
  • Rogue Ales
  • Seven Brides Brewing
  • Silver Moon Brewing
  • Standing Stone Brewing Company
  • Steelhead Brewing Company
  • Three Creeks Brewing Company
  • Upright Brewing Company
  • Widmer Brothers Brewing Co
That's nothing compared with California (84,* 18% of all breweries) or Colorado (74,* 16% of all breweries), but pretty good. Washington, incidentally, has 24 breweries in attendance. The full list can be seen here.

Update. Thanks to a comment below, I realize it may not be obvious by this post how the GABF selects breweries. Answer: it doesn't. It's not like Sundance, where even getting into the fest is a big deal. Pay your shekels and you're in. You don't even have to be a craft brewery. So the numbers I cited for participation are purely based on the interest of the breweries in the states themselves.
*It's actually a little hard to calculate numbers because contract brewing and mergers screw things up. For example, Genessee, Pyramid, and Magic Hat are listed as "Oregon" breweries. Miller is listed as a Colorado brewery. I trimmed the Oregon list and did what I could with CA and CO, but I wouldn't consider these bulletproof counts.


  1. Says a third-place beer blogger. Pish.

  2. I sense that was a good bon mot, but I'm to dim to get it.

  3. East Coast Salute12:21 PM, August 18, 2011

    Really? 27 breweries out of the boasted 53 in Portland would be a lame presence. I would think the BEERVANA state could do better than that to maintain their arrogant status. The Left Coast Brewers are laughing.

  4. East, I'm not sure if you understand the selection process for the GABF. There isn't one. You pay your money and you're in. There's no bragging rights one way or another to the number of breweries that enter each year. I provided the info purely because I found it interesting.

    And isn't Oregon also on the left coast?

  5. @East Coast Salute: Depending on the number of beers you submit it costs $400-$900 to secure a booth and enter the fest, which is probably a larger expense than many of our tinier breweries can afford or justify.

    Bragging rights and medals are nice, but when your beer is only available within a 5 mile radius of your pub it makes more sense to focus the limited advertising budget on stuff that will draw in the folks who live nearby.

  6. Yeah, I just noticed on the Wikio counter in the corner of your website that you were down from no. 2. Those rankings seem to change frequently, that's all.