I went to the opening day of the Oregon Beer Festival with my dad. In past years I have always gone on the weekends and it’s been nuts: hot, long lines, +80,000 people over 4 days…which is not my kind of thing.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that there were under 10,000 people on the opening day so there were plenty of spaces to sit and even spaces in the shade! The lines to get beer took less than 5 minutes with some letting you just walk right up and get one! There were a lot of breweries there which is awesome, 11 trailers worth I think which is fantastic, it’s great to see how many breweries that aren’t from Oregon want to be here.

Admission was free but a 12 oz mug cost 6 bucks, and each token was a buck. I plopped down a 20 and got an extra 4 tokens I think…tasters were 4 oz roughly depending on how generous the server was. 72 oz of beer was a lot in 3 hours but I suffered through and there were some great beers.

Best Beers: 10 Barrel’s Rasberry Crush, Widmer’s Smooth Cream’n’ale, Sierra Nevada’s Imperial Pilsner, Gigantic’s Dynamite, Bayern’s Dark Doppelbock

Disapointments: Dogfishhead’s Experimental whatever (it basically tasted like a rich trippel), Redhook’s Peach Trippel, somebody made something called the Red Elephant IPA I think…it was terrible.

Most shocking: The Wild Rice IPA was plain wild, it was high in alcohol, had a rich/wild flavor, indescribable really, I’ve never tasted a beer like it, the hop profile was a little weak for an IPA but it worked well and let the rice flavor show through.

We also ran into some friend’s Kat and Marcus, they are a blast and that’s what this whole day is all about: great beers, great friends and family and a good day on the Portland waterfront.

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