Browsing articles tagged with " beer festivals"
Jul 28, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp was the best festival of the summer that nobody went to

BeerCamp_dome.jpgSierra Nevada Brewing didn’t provide the the double rainbow that arched across the sky above Civic Center Park last Friday. But the Chico, California-based brewery certainly took care of all the other details at Beer Camp Across America, a roving seven-city festival that will end in Mills River, North Carolina on August 3.

There were celebrity brewers pouring their own creations, beers from more than 100 breweries, a mesmerizing circus-like marching band, tables, artwork, tulip glasses for tasting cups, a plethora of food trucks and restrooms — all in Civic Center’s stately, stunning setting between the State Capitol and the City County Building.

As a result, Beer Camp may have been the best Colorado beer fest of the summer. But it was also fantastic for another, stranger reason: Hardly anyone came.

See also: Photos: Denver drinkers go to Beer Camp with Sierra Nevada

beercamp.jpg“Our Chico kickoff had about 5,000 people, which was a lot. But as we moved east, the attendance has been a little lower,” says Sierra Nevada spokesman Ryan Arnold. “The Denver attendance was lower, too, but we are thrilled that people walked out feeling like it was one of the better beer festivals they’ve been to.”

Sierra Nevada had room for 5,000 people, but ended up admitting only about 1,600.

That meant no line at the entrance, no lines for beers — the longest was about five people at the Russian River booth, where brewery co-owner Natalie Cilurzo was pouring two highly sought-after beers, Supplication and Pliny the Elder — and no lines at the bathrooms. It meant there was no jostling through herd-like drunken crowds.

Instead, attendees had their choice of several hundred beers, many rare or special ones, which they could sip from tulip glasses in the spacious park. It was a welcome relief in a state where craft beer fests are often packed into such tight spaces and with so many people that they become uncomfortable and unwieldy.

Beercamp_march.jpg

The low attendance could have been the result of several factors. Sierra Nevada didn’t do much advertising, relying primarily on social media; there was also confusion about which breweries would be there. In addition, Beer Camp was competing against the annual Summer Brew Fest, which took place at Mile High Station on the same night. And Beer Camp carried a higher price tag than most beer festivals, at $65.

“The ticket prices, we felt like there was a lot of value in there,” Arnold says, who pointed out how wide the variety of beers was. “There was also a great concert woven into the mix. This wasn’t just a beer fest, and we thought there was value in that.”

The music was provided by the MarchFourth Marching Band, which is traveling with Sierra Nevada and performing at all seven festivals. The band is made up of costumed acrobats, a stilt-walker and musicians, including a six-part brass section and a five-part percussion corps who all danced throughout the show.

Beercamp_rainbow.jpgSierra Nevada, the nation’s second largest craft brewer, is opening a second major production facility in Mills River, North Carolina, next month. But the goal of the touring festival wasn’t just to highlight that fact, but to bring attention to the craft brewing industry as a whole, Arnold says. To do that, Sierra Nevada invited every brewery in the nation to attend one of the fests and brewed twelve different collaboration beers with twelve other breweries, including Longmont’s Oskar Blues.

“Considering the complexities of making this happen in seven cities, we knew this wasn’t going to be a money maker,” Arnold says. And while Sierra Nevada would have liked to have seen more people at Beer Camp, the company isn’t complaining.

The final three stops on the tour take place this weekend in Portland, Maine, Philadelphia and Mills River.


Follow Westword‘s Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan

Location Info

Civic Center Park

Broadway and Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: General

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Jul 26, 2014
Freddie Kitson

The Oregon Brewer’s Festival draws 85000, but has the brewfest grown too big?

Portland is known for good beer festivals, but among the untold dozens scattered across the calendar, there is a single crown jewel: the Oregon Brewer’s Festival.

The event started humbly back in 1988 as a collaboration between Portland Brewing, BridgePort Brewing and Widmer Brothers – three of the only four microbreweries in Portland at the time.

Now in its 27th year, the brewfest brings together 86 craft breweries from around the country, pouring nearly 200 beers to an estimated 85,000 people over five days of drinking.

Needless to say, it’s done pretty well for itself.

But with expansion come natural gripes. Portlanders now have incredible access to unique beer from some of America’s best brewers, but with a large venue (the sprawling Waterfront Park) and relatively inexpensive entrance fee ($7 for a glass plus $1 per taste), festivalgoers frequently come to find long lines and blown kegs.

That leaves a bit of an uncomfortable question: Has the Oregon Brewer’s Festival grown too big?

Jamie Hale/The Oregonian 

Art Larrance, co-founder of the event and founder of Portland Brewing, said while it’s certainly bigger it’s by no means overgrown.

“I don’t see how it could grow too big, it’s limited by the size here at the park, we can’t go and expand it,” Larrance said. Instead organizers expanded it from four days to five, helping thin the crowds into Sunday.

Still, the crowd on Friday evening was pretty big. Walking through the tightly-packed crowd you’ll hear complaints about either the masses of people or the long lines for beer. But while they seem like a nuisance to newcomers, brewfest veterans will tell you they’re nothing new.

Max Woodbury, from southeast Portland, said he’s been coming to the festival since ’95. Over the years, he said, he hasn’t seen much drastic change. “The crowds have always been substantial,” he noted. “I don’t think it’s any different, I think it’s packed and it will be packed as long as there is beer here for people to drink.”

Larrence agreed. He said concerns about empty kegs and long lines are overblown. Sure, a keg of a popular beer will blow by the late evening, but there will always be another one tapped the next day – festival organizers and participating breweries make sure of that.

As far as the lines go, Larrance admitted they can be long, but said the wait time has its benefits. “We call those the sobering up lines,” he said. “Not to go and see how much beer you can drink. That’s not our purpose.”

He makes a good point. With a little patience, the lines and crowds move swiftly. And besides, it should come as no surprise that the biggest beer event in the city most passionate about its brews is a little overwhelming.

It’s a bit like complaining about crowds at Oktoberfest in Munich – if you want to go enjoy it you have to accept the lines.

* * *
OREGON BREWER’S FESTIVAL 2014

When: Saturday, July 26, from noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday, July 27, from noon to 7 p.m.
Where: Waterfront Park (map it)
Admission: Free to get in, $7 for a glass, $1 apiece for tasting tokens

Loading Photo Gallery



 

–Jamie Hale

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Jul 26, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Why Big Brewers Fail at Small Beer Festivals

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) – A big brewer at a small beer festival is a tough fit.

As larger brewers including Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) and the SABMiller (SBMRY) /MolsonCoors (TAP) joint venture MillerCoors have broadened their beer portfolios and delved into craft beer styles, they haven’t exactly been unwelcome at beer festivals.

At the Great American Beer Festival in Denver last year, MillerCoors won multiple medals with help from its SandLot brewery (3 medals), Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company (2), Blue Moon Brewing Company (1), AC Golden (1), Coors Brewing Company (1) and Miller Brewing Company (3). Anheuser-Busch InBev, meanwhile, took home some hardware with help from its Anheuser-Busch brands (2) and soon-to-be-acquired Blue Point Brewing Company (1).

If they perform that well at a festival organized by the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association craft beer industry group, is it that much of a leap to assume that they’d win over skeptics at small brewing festivals as well? Yes. Yes it is.

The large multinational brewers falter at the smaller beer festivals not because they’re big and not because they’re largely absent, but because they’re outsiders.

The regional festivals tell the story of that region’s growth, and the bigger brewers at those festivals tend to be the breweries who found their greatest success after years of building a base in that particular region.

Sierra Nevada, Craft Brew Alliance’s Widmer Brothers, Boston Beer Company’s (SAM) Samuel Adams and even pre-prohibition brewer D.G. Yuengling all served as pioneers in the brewing communities that sprung up around them. They’re both the venerated old guard and the targeted “big guys” at smaller festivals, and their presence energizes local brewers.

A-B, Miller and Coors are relegated to outsiders longingly looking in.

This is a market that A-B and MillerCoors can’t reach at a time when each of those brewers needs as much help as they can get. A-B saw its U.S. volume drop by roughly 1% in 2013 while MillerCoors volume plummeted 3%.

Much of the blame for that slide is linked to the decreasing sales of light lager brands including Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Light and Miller High Life. Combined, that led to a 1.9% drop in overall U.S. beer production last year despite a 17.2% increase in craft beer production.

As a result, the large brewers have increased their focus on fast-growing craft brands. In recent years, A-B has acquired Chicago’s Goose Island and New York’s Blue Point craft breweries. Those are not only nationally recognized brands, but brewers with an established presence in major markets.

MillerCoors, meanwhile, has dedicated more of its resources to its growing Blue Moon and Jacob Leinenkugel craft brands. While each started as regional brands in Colorado and Wisconsin, respectively, both have grown into national products that compete for shelf space with small, regional brewers across the country.

In the greater world, small brewers represent only 7.8% of the total U.S. beer industry by volume and $14.3 billion dollars worth of the industry’s more than $100 billion in annual sales. At the festivals, those small brewers get an almost 100% stake similar to what a big brewer might enjoy at a National Football League stadium — only without the big per-pint prices.

Just after the unofficial start of summer on Memorial Day weekend, the folks at beer industry publication BeerAdvocate welcomed more than 140 brewers and about 640 beers to their American Craft Beer Fest in Boston. While the overwhelming majority of brewers were from the Northeast — and New England, specifically — the event included brewing companies such as Avery from Boulder, Colo., Ballast Point from San Diego, Founders from Grand Rapids, Mich., and Duck-Rabbit from Farmville, N.C.

The heaviest hitter in the room was Boston Beer Company, with a test brewery in nearby Jamaica Plain, a headquarters near the festival’s Seaport venue and six beers in tow. Yes, it has breweries in Pennsylvania and Ohio, a research facility in Vermont and about 3 million in annual production under its belt, but it’s still puny compared to the nearly 100 million barrels A-B InBev produces annually or even the 60 million produced by MillerCoors.

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Jul 25, 2014
Freddie Kitson

The Public House of Buffalo est. 2014

Elmwood Avenue has its fair share of craft beer destinations – places where you go to immerse yourself in the world of micro beers. The wave of home brewing, myriad craft beer festivals… it’s a great time to be a beer lover if you live in Buffalo. Now North Buffalo is becoming more of a craft beer destination with the latest entry to the restaurant-pub ring, The Public House of Buffalo.

Public-House-Buffalo-NY-1The Public House of Buffalo owners Sara and Frank Testa have been in the bar and restaurant business in Buffalo for years. In that time they have managed to cultivate an avid following of fans who have been anticipating the young husband and wife to bust out on their own. After two years of looking for the perfect pub destination in Buffalo, the couple finally settled on 1206 Hertel Avenue (formerly Canvas). “We knew that this was the spot the second that we saw it,” Sara told me. “We wanted a place where everyone was welcome – no cliques… a wide range of people who appreciate good food and drink. When we looked at the thesaurus to come up with other names for “pub”, we learned that the original name for a pub was a “public house” – a town meeting place. The name fit with our concept. We wanted to have a wide variety of drinks and food for everyone… this is a place for people to meet up and enjoy the company of others.”

The decor of The Public House of Buffalo resembles bits and pieces of an old world pub. Rustic-looking artwork by Max Collins graces the walls. The bar top is fashioned out of reclaimed wharf pillars that were dredged out of the Erie Canal Terminus back in 2005. “My dad had the wood, and my brother in-law pieced it all together and polished it up,” said Frank. “The wood is black walnut and dates back to 1917. With the help of friends and family, we pulled this place together in about five weeks. The wood on the walls is made from reclaimed pallets (from The Foundry). We wanted this place to have a warm and comfortable feel.” They get a couple of extra points or their indie music playlist too.

Public-House-Buffalo-NY-3Beer lovers will be happy to know that The Public House boasts 80 beers (20 taps and 60 bottles). During a recent visit I settled down to a newly released Resurgence “Smokey The Beer”, which I found to be quite satisfying (brewed locally of course). Others around me were asking Frank about the different beer and drink options, and he was all too happy to engage his customers and their queries. While I was sipping my beer, one of the servers was busy erasing beer names from the chalkboard and adding new ones. “We got slammed at the Italian Festival,” noted Frank. “We’ve been burning through beer since our soft opening a week ago. Now we’re starting to concentrate on the food – lunch and dinner, and brunch starting next Sunday. On Friday (today) we’re going to be cooking up our Flying Bison “Rusty Chain” fish fries. So far we’re completely energized from the incredible feedback that we’ve gotten since opening.”

The Public House features elevated pub food ranging from beer and cheese soup to char-grilled East Coast oysters. Customers can sit down to a charcuterie plate, a gourmet grilled cheese with fried egg and bacon, or even a veggie pizza. There are soups and salads, sandwiches (steak, crab), burgers, Reubens, wings (Chiavetta’s, Sriracha sesame, Frank’s, BBQ) and chicken Milanese fingers. There’s probably something to go with every beer on the menu, including the Great Lakes Erie Monster.

The Public House is open seven days a week. Whether you’re planning on sitting and eating at the full bar, or out on the streetside patio, you’re going to find devoted owners and staff that go out of their way to ensure that your experience is top notch. This pub is a great addition to the Hertel restaurant scene. Stop in for a muddled drink made by a pro, or for some stellar pub grub. It’s all good at this North Buffalo meeting place.

The Public House of Buffalo | 1206 Hertel Avenue | Buffalo, New York 14216 | (716) 551-6208 | Facebook

Public-House-Buffalo-NY-2

 

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Jul 25, 2014
Freddie Kitson

London Beer City features live brews, tastings, tours and tap takeovers

My latest industrial outing came with the opening of Beavertown’s tap room at their new brewery in Tottenham. It was worth the trip: there was excellent food, a happy crowd and beer that has come a long way since the brewery was founded at the back of Duke’s, a barbecue joint in De Beauvoir, in 2012.

London these days is abuzz with beer. Next month brings the Great British Beer Festival – the world’s greatest cask-ale event – to town and to coincide with that, there’ll be the first-ever London Beer City, a week of events at bars, pubs and breweries across town, from 9-16 August.I have to hold my hands up and admit to being the organiser.

We’ve got dinners (such as Camden Town’s six-course affair at Caravan in King’s Cross), talks (including Pete Brown’s increasingly famous beer and music matching event), live brews (the most intriguing, featuring Siren at the Earl of Essex in Islington, involves punters bringing along items to go in the brew) and beer festivals (including the return of the London Craft Beer Festival, at Oval Space in Bethnal Green).

All that and dozens of brewery open days, tap takeovers, tastings and tours. It promises to be the biggest week of beer London has seen in a long time. I envisage a lot of industrial estates in my future.

Three to try

Fourpure IPA

This Bermondsey-brewed, Oregon-inspired IPA balances floral bitterness with caramel sweetness (6.5 per cent, £2.50 for 330ml, beermerchants.com)

Camden Town Hells Lager

There’s a bready-lemony balance to this German-style pale lager. Just the job for summer (4.7 per cent, £13.99 for 6x330ml, majestic.co.uk)

Beavertown Neck Oil

What used to be a classic Black-Country-style bitter is now a pine-heavy pale ale, full of aroma and bitterness (4.3 per cent, £2.80 for 330ml, honestbrew.co.uk)

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Jul 25, 2014
Freddie Kitson

The last week of Oregon Craft Beer Month: beer events july 25-31

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Rogue brewer and OBF Grand Marshal John Maier tapped the first beer of the 27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival on a damp Wednesday afternoon. 

27th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival

noon- 9 p.m. Wednesday- Saturday; noon – 7 p.m. Sunday, Tom McCall Waterfront Park; free admission, $7 for required 2014 tasting glass, $1 per taste token. Photo ID required.

The Oregon Brewers Festival opened Wednesday under rainy skies that seemed to diminish the crowd hardly at all. After Art Larrance told the crowd about this year’s OBF beneficiary — the Dougy Center will receive a $15,000 check — Grand Marshals John Maier and Brett Porter tapped a keg of Lucky Labrador’s Super-Duper Dog and the 27th iteration one of the nation’s longest running and best loved craft beer festivals and the largest outdoor beer fest in the country wasa officially begun. The OBF’s laid-back attitude and scores of award-winning beers make it the perfect jewel in the crown that is Beervana — and a major destination for beer tourists from around the country and the world, including a dozen Dutch brewers hosted by the OBF this year, whose beers will be pouring in the specialty tent. More than 85,000 people are expected over the festival’s five days, twice as many visitors as Denver’s Great American Beer Festival. The OBF also features live music, beer-related vendors, displays, homebrewing demonstrations and several food vendors.

Fifth Annual All-Oregon Craft Beer Summit

2p.m. Friday – Sunday, Roscoe’s 8105 S.E.

Join Roscoe’s in celebrating Oregon’s rich craft brewing culture with 20 taps of great Oregon beers pouring all weekend. Some of the beers featured include: Breakside Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, Pfriem Rye Lager, Caldera Mr. Pucker Sour Beer, The Commons Brewery Royale, GoodLife Anniversary IIIPA, Oakshire Saison Debutante Sour Saison, Logsdon Specialty Keg, Falling Sky Lost in the 8, Double Mountain Little Red Pils, Reverend Nat’s Sacrilege Cherry Sour, Fort George Beta 6.1 Equinox, Upright Marble Tulip Juicy Gruit, plus beers form Crux Fermentation Project, 10 Barrel and more. As always, taster trays will be available.

The bar top was out being powder coated when I took this pic Monday, but you get the idea of Murphy Bar… 

Murphy Bar Grand Opening

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2-9 p.m. Saturday, Coalition Brewing, 2704 WS.E. Ankeny St.;

Coalition Brewing recently closed its pub in the former Noble Rot location when the lease ran out this spring, but Coalition beer continues to be brewed across the street in Coalition’s production brewery. Join Coalition owner/brewer Elan Walsky at the brewery, and celebrate the opening of the new tasting room, which features a fold-up bar — still a work in progress when this photo taken earlier in the week — called the Murphy Bar after those built-in folding beds in old apartments. The tasting room will have eight taps, weekend hours and is kid- and pet-friendly, Walsky says.

Bushwhacker Food and Cider Lunch

Noon – 4 p.m. Bushwhacker Cider, 1212-D S.E. Powell Blvd.; $20 at the door.

Your choice of Mole tacos: chicken, simmered in a sweet and slightly spicy mole, served with warm corn tortillas, pico de gallo, jack cheese, cilantro lime, or a vegetarian option is also available. It comes with a sweet pepper, corn, and black bean salad, with dates and a southwest vinaigrette and house made salsa and chips. And special ciders, of course:
Starting Taplist:
Bushwhacker Ghost Pear
Bushwhacker Ring of Fire
Wyder Reposado
Seattle Cider Three Pepper
Reverend Nat Tepache
Schilling Siracha
Bull Run Lime
Finnriver Habanero
on deck:
2 Towns Apricot
Hi Wheel Lime/Habanero

 

Double Mountain Kriek Release

Saturday, Double Mountain Brewery Taproom, Hood River;

Double Mountain 2013 Devil’s Kriek and Tahoma Kriek beers will be available on draft and in 375ml split champagne bottles at the brewery in downtown Hood River on Saturday and bottles will be sold in specialty bottle shops throughout the Northwest. These Belgian-style sour ales combine the tart and funky flavors of Brettanomyces wild yeast with fresh fruit picked from local orchards. Devil’s Kriek combines dark-red Bing cherries with a Flanders Red Ale-style ale base, while Tahoma Kriek features the delicate Rainier cherry with a strong Belgian Blond ale — more than five pounds in every keg. Double Mountain brews the Krieks once a year at harvest, and then cellars the beers for a year.

2013 Devil’s Kriek

9% ABV, 9 BU, 17.6 Plato

Brewed June 2013; release July 2014

2013 Tahoma Kriek

10.3% ABV, 10 BU, 178.5 Plato

Brewed June 2013; released July 2014

Lents Street Fair

Noon- 8 p.m. Sunday, Southeast 91St Ave. and Foster Street.;

This classic neighborhood street party starts with a parade at 12:15 and continues all day with live music from international folk bands; local rock bands; food from Urban German, Pyro Pizza and more; carnival games and a bouncy house for the kids; and special guests, the Belmont Goats, known and beloved by all Portlanders. How could it get any better? Here’s how: they’ll be serving draft beers from Pints, whose brewer, Alan Taylor is one of the best in a city noted for great brewers…

 

Let’s go to the Hops

2:20 p.m. Sunday, Imperial Bottle Shop, 3090 S.E. Hawthorne St.; $39, www.experiencebrewvana.com/

If you’ve wanted to check out the Hillsboro Hops baseball team, but don’t fancy the drive, the folks at Brewvana have a great package that includes transportation to and from the game, a general admission ticket to the game, a beer at the meet-up place, Imperial Bottle Shop, and a beer to-go for the ride in the Brewvana bus, plus the usual amenities — a Brewvana pilsner glass and pretzel necklace.


Great American Beer Festival Ticket Sale

9 a.m. Wednesday, Ticketmaster.com/ $80 per session plus service charges.

In terms of beers on offer, Denver’s GABF is the largest beer festival of all, with more than 3,100 beers on tap last year. It’s also a bit more intense than our friendly OBF — you pay $80 for one several four-hour sessions in a convention hall chockablock with serious beer geeks trying to sample every beer possible. Still, I’m glad I’ve been, and will likely go again. If you have your heart set on going to the GABF in October, you’ll want to be on your computer Wednesday morning, because tickets often sell out in an hour or less.

Die Roten Pilsner Release

4-10 p.m. Wednesday, Lompoc Sidebar, 3901 N. Williams Ave.;

The Lompoc team brewed a fine Bavarian Pils in honor of the of the upcoming Bayern Munich vs. MLS All Stars match. The usual Lompoc festivities will ensue.

A buncha Bens: Ben Engler of Occidental; Gigantic’s Ben Love; Mike BENder of EastBurn; the new Ben in town, Ben Kehs of Deschutes; Widmer’s Ben Dobler; Ben Flerchinger, Luck Lab; and Ben Edmunds of Breakside… 

Fourth Annual Benfest
6-9 p.m. Thursday, Imperial Bottle Shop, 3090 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.;

BenFest is the official closing ceremony of Oregon Craft Beer Month and features new or special-release beers from each of seven Oregon brewers named Ben. This year, Ben Parsons of the new Baerlic Brewing Co. joins Ben Edmunds of Breakside, Deschutes’ Ben Kehs, Gigantic’s Ben Love, Ben Flerchinger of Lucky Lab, Ben Engler of Occidental and Ben Dobler of Widmer to represent Ben beers. This year’s beers will represent a variety of styles including: Occidental’s Ben with Rye, a Rӧggenweizen, a Declaration of Bendependence from Widmer, an IPA “beermosa” from Gigantic and Baerlic’s Ultra Summer Ale (USA). Imperial will offer a special sampler tray for the Ben beers, plus a door prize raffle including
glassware, gift certificates and goodies from Imperial and from the breweries.
BenFest originated in 2010, when a candid group photo from the Craft Brewers Conference happened to include several of the brewers who currently participate in BenFest.

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– John Foyston

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Jul 25, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Summer Beer Festival returns to Ypsilanti this weekend

Ypsilanti Courier News





Megan McLeod and Sarah Bozarth of Saugatuck Brewing Co. at the 16th Annual Summer Beer Festival. The Beer Festival will return to Ypsilanti this weekend, July 25-26. Photo by Amy Bell.

View and purchase photos

YPSILANTI — The Michigan Brewers Guild and beer enthusiasts alike are preparing for the 17th Annual Summer Beer Festival at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti’s Historic Depot Town this Friday, July 25 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, July 26 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Each ticket holder receives 15 coins which can be traded in for 3 ounce samples of one of the 812 craft beers representing 88 breweries. Featured breweries include breweries from all across Michigan as well as local favorites like Jolly Pumpkin, Biercamp, Grizzly Peak Brewing Company, Wolverine State Brewing Company, and Arbor Brewing Company, beerpub and microbrewery.

Beer enthusiasts will have their choice of vintage brews, local favorites, and new varieties. In addition, there will be food available for purchase and live music from Michigan Bands.

[RELATED: Beer fans flock to Michigan Brewers Guild's 16th Annual Summer Beer Festival (w/ photos)]

On Friday, Four Block Empire, Dragon Wagon, DJ Lewis, and Abigail Stauffer Trio will take the stage and on Saturday, July 26, The Reefermen, Sponge, and DJ Danny Boy will rock the Entertainment Stage.

Locally, there are hundreds of people who belong to home brewing groups and many more throughout the state. The Summer Beer Festival is the oldest of four beer festivals that the Michigan Brewers Guild hosts annually.

To ensure safety of all guests, the program schedule included special tickets to the festival for Designated Drivers and a list of local cab companies and numbers for quick access.

There are still tickets available for Friday evening on the Michigan Brewers Guild website for $35. Saturday’s event, which was $40 per person, was sold out early in the week.

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YPSILANTI — The Michigan Brewers Guild and beer enthusiasts alike are preparing for the 17th Annual Summer Beer Festival at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti’s Historic Depot Town this Friday, July 25 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, July 26 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Each ticket holder receives 15 coins which can be traded in for 3 ounce samples of one of the 812 craft beers representing 88 breweries. Featured breweries include breweries from all across Michigan as well as local favorites like Jolly Pumpkin, Biercamp, Grizzly Peak Brewing Company, Wolverine State Brewing Company, and Arbor Brewing Company, beerpub and microbrewery.

Beer enthusiasts will have their choice of vintage brews, local favorites, and new varieties. In addition, there will be food available for purchase and live music from Michigan Bands.

[RELATED: Beer fans flock to Michigan Brewers Guild's 16th Annual Summer Beer Festival (w/ photos)]

On Friday, Four Block Empire, Dragon Wagon, DJ Lewis, and Abigail Stauffer Trio will take the stage and on Saturday, July 26, The Reefermen, Sponge, and DJ Danny Boy will rock the Entertainment Stage.

Locally, there are hundreds of people who belong to home brewing groups and many more throughout the state. The Summer Beer Festival is the oldest of four beer festivals that the Michigan Brewers Guild hosts annually.

To ensure safety of all guests, the program schedule included special tickets to the festival for Designated Drivers and a list of local cab companies and numbers for quick access.

There are still tickets available for Friday evening on the Michigan Brewers Guild website for $35. Saturday’s event, which was $40 per person, was sold out early in the week.

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Jul 24, 2014
Freddie Kitson

The Big Float and Oregon’s biggest brewfest: 5 things to do in Portland this …

It’s another big weekend for Portland events, but if you’re not into beer, inner tubes or fantastical whimsy, you might be out of luck.

It all starts with the ongoing Oregon Brewer’s Festival – known as “America’s Oktoberfest” – which started Wednesday and runs through Sunday. Neighboring the celebration of beer on Sunday will be a celebration of the Willamette River, as The Big Float puts thousands of inner tubers into the water to support aquatic recreation in the city.

It’s a celebration of something Portland loves – beer – and something Portland loves to be unsure about – the Willamette. And, as usual, Portland’s quirky folks have an event of their own: a game of croquet, with sledgehammers and bowling balls.

1. The Big Float: Believe it or not, the Willamette River is pretty clean! To drive the point home (again) the Human Access Project is throwing the fourth iteration of The Big Float, expecting thousands to show up to hit the river in inner tubes.

Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. @ Waterfront Park; $9

2. Brew Fest: Beer festivals are rampant in Portland, but no festival is quite as big as the massive Oregon Brewer’s Festival, which started Wednesday and runs through Sunday. Known by some as “America’s Oktoberfest,” the event draws upwards of 85,000 people.

All weekend @ Waterfront Park; $7 for a glass, $1 per taste

3. Croquet with Sledgehammers: Mondo croquet is just like traditional croquet ­– only you play it with sledgehammers and bowling balls. The quirky Portland sport returns to the North Park blocks for the Mondo Croquet World Championships this weekend. Dress appropriately and bring your best hammer.

Sunday @ North Park blocks; Free

4. Kiteboarding Competition: Down the Columbia from Portland you’ll find some of the region’s best kiteboaders competing in the Bridge of the Gods Kite Festival, held in scenic Stevenson, Wash. Hood River may have windsurfers, but the kiteboarders flock to Stevenson.

All weekend @ Stevenson, Wash.; Free to watch, $30 to $80 to compete

5. Faerie Festival: Faerieworlds draws a large, friendly and dedicated crowd of fairy enthusiasts to Eugene every year, but due to some controversy surrounding another festival at the venue, this year might be Faerieworlds’ last in the area. See the shimmering spectacle before it disappears.

All weekend @ Emerald Meadows, Eugene; $35 to $125

–Jamie Hale

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Jul 23, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Oregon Brewers Festival starts at noon today

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real tasting glasses, bless ‘em… 
The brewers parade to Tom McCall Waterfont Park to tap the first keg is the start of it all…this is from 2010, but if you made it to Lucky Lab Brewpub, 915 S.E. Hawthorne, by 11 a.m. today, you could be in this year’s parade…just an idea… 

27th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival

noon- 9 p.m. Wednesday- Saturday; noon – 7 p.m. Sunday, Tom McCall Waterfront Park; free admission, $7 for required 2014 tasting glass, $1 per taste token. Photo ID required.

The Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the nation’s longest running and best loved craft beer festivals and the largest outdoor beer fest in the country. Its laid-back attitude and scores of award-winning beers make it the perfect jewel in the crown that is Beervana — and a major destination for beer tourists from around the country and the world, including a dozen Dutch brewers hosted by the OBF this year, whose beers will be pouring in the specialty tent. More than 85,000 people are expected over the festival’s five days, twice as many visitors as Denver’s Great American Beer Festival. The OBF also features live music, beer-related vendors, displays, homebrewing demonstrations and several food vendors.

here’s the story I wrote for CNN on the origin of the OBF…

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– John Foyston

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Jul 23, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Beer festival offers chance to try suds not sold in isles – Honolulu Star

Whether you are a beer expert or a beginner, there is no better way to sample a wide variety of beers than at a beer festival. In recent years, beer festivals have exploded across the country, and Hawaii has a number of great events each year. On Oahu the premier event is the Real Beer Festival, 2 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at Kakaako Makai Gateway Park.

The second annual Real Beer Festival will feature more than 65 beers from international breweries and food from 15 local restaurants. A ticket buys you 10 4-ounce tasting tickets and unlimited food, plus a commemorative mug. Login for more…

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