From August 13-16, 2015, the North American Organic Brewers Festival (NAOFB) will take over Overlook Park in Portland (1301 N. Fremont St.) where an anticipated 12,000 attendees will sample 56 craft beers, four ciders, two meads and one braggot.
Now entering its 11th year, the NAOBF will feature 36 breweries, cideries and meaderies that have invested in brewing organic. These breweries represent four countries: The United States (California, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin), Canada, Germany and England. Some of these brewers are certified and make it a priority to brew organic year-round, while others will make a special batch just for this event. Also on hand will be organic food, live music, sustainability-oriented vendors and non-profits and a kids’ area. Children are welcome at this family-friendly event provided they are accompanied by their parents. A root beer garden for minors and designated drivers will serve up complimentary Crater Lake Root Beer.
This year’s festival runs from noon to 9pm on Thursday through Saturday and then from noon to 5pm on Sunday. There’s no cost to enter this event though one must purchase of a $7 reusable, compostable cornstarch glass in order to taste beer. Tokens sell for $1 apiece with a three-ounce taste costing one token (select beers cost additional tokens) and a full glass of beer costing four tokens.
Attendees are strongly urged to use Tri-Met, bike or walk to the NAOBF. An extra token will be given to those providing a validated Tri-Met ticket, a ticket from the on-site fenced Hopworks Bike Corral for those looking to park their bike or a current ID showing one lives in the Overlook Park zip code. Only one extra token per person will be distributed.
While at the festival, be sure to stop the Merchant du Vin Bottle Garden. In 1978, Charles Finklel, who is now the owner of Seattle’s Pike Brewing Company, founded Merchant du Vin, a specialty beer importe. Finkel realized that the flavors found in the great beers of England, Germany and Belgium were a universal pleasure that should be available to all adults. This year, Samuel Smith and Pinkus-Müller breweries will be featuring 11 bottled organic ales and ciders. Founded in 1758, Samuel Smith is Yorkshire’s oldest brewery and the last to utilize the classic Yorkshire Square system of fermentation solely in stone squares. Pinkus-Müller was founded in the Northern German town of Münster in 1816 by Johannes Müller and his wife Friederika Cramer. This family run brewery has the distinction of being the first brewery in the world to brew with only organically grown whole hop blossoms and barley malt. These kegs are extremely limited and will be tapped at 4pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
For more information about the NAOBF, log on to their website at www.NAOBF.org. Also, follow the festival at Facebook and Twitter @NAOBF, hastag #NAOBF15.