Monday, April 30, 2012

Oregon Garden Brew Fest Recap

We #pdxbeergeeks had a wonderful time at the Oregon Garden Brewfest - what a fun event, with tons of great beers, lots of our friends, and a great opportunity to experience some fun music. The Oregon Garden is one of the most picturesque settings for a Brewfest that we've encountered, and can'twait to go back. 

Congratulations to Mary, Brittany, and Chris for the success of this event. The attendance was outstanding and we geeks heard many wonderful things about the accommodations, the service, and the Garden itself. Thanks for including us! 

                                                                                                                     - emily & michael

Oregon Garden Brewfest 
Oregon Garden Brewfest raises a glass  
to record attendance at 8th annual event

SILVERTON, Ore. - April 30, 2012 - The 8th annual Oregon Garden Brewfest smashed attendance records this past Friday & Saturday, with more than 6,000 people rolling through the gates, nearly double last year's record of 3,200. Attendees came from all over the northwest to sample from more than 90 handcrafted beers and ciders from 45 different breweries.

"We were thrilled that so many people made the drive to Silverton to enjoy our festival," stated event coordinator Mary Ridderbusch. "Our beer selection and our amazing music lineup makes this festival worthy of the visit, no matter where you're from."

The People's Choice, as determined by votes cast at the festival, was a last minute entry by Gigantic Brewing. The City Never Sleeps, a black saison, was the debut of Gigantic Brewing, the collaboration of Van Havig and Ben Love, two rock stars in the Portland brewing scene who will open the doors to their production brewery in SE Portland in a few weeks. Other crowd favorites included Uinta's Duhbe Imperial Black Ale, Seven Brides Brewing's Becky's Black CatPorter and Calapooia's Chili Beer.

The two-day event kicked off Thursday night with an inaugural Brewer's Tasting Dinner, a 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.

Another popular activity was a presentation given both days by Women Enjoying Beer, a research based education and marketing company that develops and serves female (and male) beer consumers. Founder Ginger Johnson helped the enthusiastic crowds learn how to better enjoy their beer at the festival by talking about beer's color, aroma and flavor.

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 clear-topped tent. Attendees were welcome to stroll through the lush landscaping of The Oregon Garden in-between drinks. Crowds squeezed together to enjoy the music of a number of local bands, particularly Saturday night's headliner Blitzen Trapper.

Many attendees took advantage of The Oregon Garden Resort on the grounds and booked rooms right up the hill from the festival. The Oregon Garden Resort, a Moonstone Hotel property, offers 103 rooms overlooking The Oregon Garden and offered special brewfest package deals.

"Oregon is known for its craft beers and ciders, but most of the big festivals celebrating them are in Portland, Eugene and Bend," said Ridderbusch. "It's great to offer a festival in the central Willamette Valley for our neighbors, and at the same time introduce beer lovers from out of the area to the beauty of The Oregon Garden."

The Oregon Garden Brewfest always takes place the last weekend in April. The 9th annual event will take place April 26 & 27, 2013. To stay informed, visit