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Monday, July 30, 2007

OBF - The Final Roundup

And now, to complete the great month of beer here in Oregon, a final post on the OBF, with odds and ends that haven't made it into the first 79 posts about the OBF. And then I'll stop. Promise.

The beers I heard most about on my visit (Friday) were Green Flash and Standing Stone, two wonderfully balanced, albeit aggressive NW IPAs. I had the Green Flash a little late in the day, and it was very nice; however, I suspect that big beers stand out in people's mind because they blast through murky palates.

I have been monitoring the Brew Crew listserv (the local homebrew club that is behind so many of the good-beer events, including the OBF), and the Flying Fish bourbon dubbel and Golden Valley Quercus seemed to excite the most interest. Pliny the Elder, Racer X, Rawkin' Bock, Butte Creek Pils, and Hopworks IPA also got mentions.

Around the 'sphere, the big winner was definitely the Golden Valey Quercus, cited by Jon, Ghost Dog, and Dave. Prometheus IPA, which I also gave high marks, was favorited by Suds Sister and Dave. Other faves were distributed evenly, with one vote each for Flying Fish (Jon), Diamond Knot Industrial IPA (Lisa), Green Flash (Lisa), and Rawkin Bock (Suds Sister). The Quercus was definitely a winner for me, as was Standing Stone and Green Flash. Pliny, in a category by itself, must also be mentioned.

Update: Beau at Die Klutzbrauerei puts in a nod for Pliny and DK Industrial (bumping it up to two). He also like the Monkey House, which I have failed to mention--it was really nice for a McMenamins. And he also joins in on the raspberry for Widmer.

[Available blog reviews: Jon at the Brew Site. Ghost Dog at Gone Ronin. Lisa at SudsPundit. Suds Sister at Portland Food and Drink. Dave at Champagne of Blogs.]

No Thanks
Give Widmer credit, they tried something interesting. Unfortunately, they get credit only for trying: to Noggin Grog, their imperial wit, I award the year's raspberry.

First primal scream on Friday afternoon: 1.24pm.

Portland is regularly identified as one of the greenest cities in the country, and brewing is one of the greenest industries. So why, then, does the OBF not only insist on using unrecyclable plastic mugs, but also that they only ever be used at one fest? A Brew Crewer suggested that you buy a mug and then get issued a sticker to put on it every year. You pay either four bucks for a sticker or a mug, but you keep the mug out of landfills by stowing it in your cupboard until the next year. (After all, we already recycle the tokens.)

What we noticed was a cottage industry in re-selling the mugs. Two hippy-ish kids with dredlocks were approaching people (including us) all day long on Friday with $3 castoffs. Of course, the sales pitch included a white lie about re-selling their own mugs--but they were clearly scavenged from just outside the Fest, where piles were gathering like empties at a cookout. And why not? For every mug the kids re-sold, there was one mug that didn't end up in the landfill. (Sanitation is another matter...)

On the way out of the Fest at about 8pm on Friday, I held up my mug and a festgoer on the way in snatched it out of my hand within seconds. My own brand of recycling.

Time to come into the 21st Century, Art--let's quit using the plastic.

Colored Mugs
Another controversy this year were cold-sensitive mugs that turned blue. A friend I was with was instantly fascinated, and we went on a trek to discover what the hell this blue beer was. Needless to say, when our journey ended at the mug sale booth, not a tap, he was incensed. Most beer geeks were, as it happened. I was neutral. Who knows, maybe they'll make their way into someone's child's hands rather than the landfill.

But overall, the platique must go!

Only 360 days til' the next OBF. . .


  1. Man, Noggin Grog was terrible. Given the pedigree, I was hoping for something at least palatable. I found absolutely no redeeming characteristics, though.

    Scratch that. I'll give it "cold" and "wet." But that's as far as I go.

  2. Hey Jeff!

    I haven't had time to write my blog entry, but I'll add a thought to yours...

    I love the OBF, period. That said, I have one complaint. Not enough diversity. 24+ IPA's and the like! That's ridiculous, no one could taste more than 5 hoppy brews before losing their taste buds... I'd just like to see a more diversity in styles. How about more lagers? I saw a Pils and a Maibock, both excellent, but that was it. A bunch of horrible Wit's and some fairly unimaginative belgians. Stout? Barleywine? Browns? Bitters? ESB's? RIS?

    I would just like to see others balance all the big hoppy beers...


  3. Thanks for the link, Jeff.

    Agree 100% with Dr. Wort. Need more variety!

    Also, the Rawkin' Bock was a fave of mine, too. Just didn't gush over it on the blog. :)