Each summer in the middle of July, when the Oregon sun
is likely at its hottest, the Oregon Brewers Guild hosts
the annual Portland Brewers Festival at the Tom McCall
Waterfront Park in Portland,
near Oak Street and the Bill Naito Parkway. For just about
the last twenty years, the Portland Oregon Brewers Fest
has been a local favorite and a chance for local breweries
to show off their latest creations and traditional favorites.
If you like microbrews and plan to be anywhere near Portland
during the summer, the Portland Brewers Festival is a
The Oregon Brewers Guild began the Portland Oregon Brewers Fest as a way to promote the incredible microbrews that were being created by small breweries that seemed to be popping up more and more throughout the Portland area twenty years ago. The city of Portland has grown to be one of the best known cities in the world for great microbrews, and has more microbreweries per capita than almost any other city in the world. It is no wonder that the Portland Brewers Festival takes place in this city each summer.
The Portland Oregon Brewers Fest takes place during the last full weekend in July each year, lasting for a full four days. Thursday through Saturday, the taps are open from noon until 9pm. On Sunday, taps are open from noon until 7pm. Although in past years this has been considered a community event, moving forward you will only be allowed into the Portland Brewers Festival if you are at least 21 years old.
Entrance to the Portland Brewers Festival is free of charge, though in order to buy beer you must purchase a festival mug, which is priced at $4. Keep the mug with you throughout the festival, as this is the only way to buy a beer. To get your mug filled, you will need to purchase a series of $1 tokens. One token will earn you a taste of a beer, while four tokens will earn you a full mug.
The goal of the Oregon Brewers Guild when designing this event was to interest the public in the great beers being created in their region. As such, the festival is not judged, and the emphasis remains on the guests. This strategy seems to be drawing plenty of patrons, as the festival continues to have more than 50,000 patrons from year to year. Though many guests are local, plenty are from out of town. The festival even draws some international guests.
If you plan to visit Portland for the brewfest from
surrounding cities, you might consider booking a flight.
The Portland Airport welcomes inexpensive and frequent
flights from some nearby cities; especially Seattle, Spokane and northern California.
Portland is also replete with hotels.
Note, however, that due to the size and popularity of
the brewfest, hotels in Portland fill up quickly on this
weekend and you should book well in advance.