Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Oregon Garden Brewfest Recap

Courtesy of Oregon Garden Brewfest
Father’s Day weekend brings record crowds to 11th annual Oregon Garden Brewfest
Beer lovers and families alike take advantage of a beautiful weekend with beer, live music, games and more

SILVERTON, Ore. — The 11th annual Oregon Garden Brewfest enjoyed vigorous crowds at this past weekend’s event, with just over 8,200 beer lovers in attendance over the three-day weekend. Beer lovers came from all over the Northwest to sample from 136 handcrafted beers, ciders and mead, and enjoy live music in a beautiful setting.

“We changed the festival date from its traditional late April weekend to Father’s Day this year to take advantage of nicer weather and showcase the Garden in bloom,” explained Mary Ridderbusch-Shearer, event manager. “The move was welcomed by many, who liked seeing the Garden in a warmer setting and enjoyed the chance to spend some quality time with the fathers in their life. What Dad wouldn’t want to go to a beer festival on Father’s Day?”

The Oregon Garden Brewfest took place under twinkly white lights in the Frank J. Schmidt Pavilion on the grounds of the Oregon Garden, with spillover in an outdoor tent. Attendees were welcome to explore the 80 acres of botanical gardens with drinks in hand. Crowds squeezed together to enjoy the music of a dozen regional bands on Friday and Saturday evenings, including 
headliners Water Tower and Ural Thomas & The Pain.

The People’s Choice – determined by votes cast at the festival – was from local Salem Ale Works with their Hootenanny Honey Basil, a pale blond ale nicely balanced by the addition fresh basil and honey. Styles ranged from ambers to Belgians to stouts; fruit beers and radlers were also very popular this year.

On Sunday, more than 1,500 attendees visited, many with children who took advantage of the complimentary craft: making their Dad a wooden coaster burnished with the Oregon Garden logo. Others played games in the sun, including shuffleboard, skee-ball and foosball, all set up in the Garden.

Many attendees wisely took advantage of Brewfest packages at the Oregon Garden Resort located immediately above the festival grounds. A Moonstone Hotel property, the Oregon Garden Resort offers 103 rooms overlooking The Oregon Garden and is only a short walk from the festival venue.

Auxiliary events included the fourth annual Brewer’s Tasting Dinner held at the resort on the eve of the festival. The six-course tasting featured small plates paired with beers from six Northwest breweries. Brewing industry members mingled with craft beer aficionados at the intimate event, which featured a short introduction by each of the brewers about that particular beer prior to it being served.

The 12th annual Oregon Garden Brewfest will take place June 17 through 19, 2016. To stay informed, visit www.oregongarden.org/events/brewfest/

The Oregon Garden offers more than 80 acres that showcase the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest with more than 20 individual themed gardens and related attractions. The mission of The Oregon Garden is to welcome and inspire all visitors with an appreciation for the extraordinary ecology of the Pacific Northwest, and to provide a meaningful educational experience for gardeners of all skill levels and ages. The Oregon Garden offers memberships that help support new improvements and visitor programs. Visit www.OregonGarden.org or call (503) 874-8100 for more information.

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