Friday, July 17, 2009

OBF Lineup: 2008 vs. 2009

The list of beers that will be at the 2009 Oregon Brewers Festival [Warning: noisy website!] is out. Hopefully Jeff at Beervana will soon give his traditional style analysis and recommendations, but the first thing that catches your eye is the number of breweries that will be at the festival this year but weren't there last year. In fact, there are twenty-six breweries which did not participate in 2008, but will be at the 2009 festival. It's a "drink locally" list: almost two-thirds of them are Oregon and Washington breweries. Here are the 26:
  • Astoria Brewing
  • Ballast Point Brewing
  • Beer Valley Brewing
  • Cascade Lakes Brewing
  • Chuckanut Brewery
  • Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
  • Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom
  • Elysian Brewing
  • Firestone Walker Brewing
  • Fish Brewing
  • Great Northern Brewing
  • Laht Neppur Brewing
  • Lazy Boy Brewing
  • Marin Brewing
  • Moylan's Brewing
  • Mt Shasta Brewing
  • North Coast Brewing
  • Oregon Trail Brewery
  • Pike Brewing
  • Port Townsend Brewing
  • Riverport Brewing
  • Scuttlebutt Brewing
  • Southern Oregon Brewing
  • Three Creeks Brewing
  • Vertigo Brewing
  • Victory Brewing
Now, some of those simply didn't exist or were brand new last year, for instance S.O.B., Three Creeks, Vertigo, Chuckanut. Others must have been to past OBFs but didn't come last year: Pike? Elysian? Cascade Lakes? And I can't believe Double Mountain wasn't there last year, but they're not in the 2008 program -- well, all I can say is "Welcome!". There is some good stuff on that list.

Last year there were 72 breweries at the OBF (plus the Oregon Brew Crew/Widmer Collaborator project). This year there are 80, a welcome increase, but not enough to absorb the 26 new ones. The 18 breweries that exhibited last year but won't in 2009 are:
  • Allagash Brewing
  • Bell's Brewery
  • Dick's Brewing (surprising)
  • Electric Brewing
  • Four Plus Brewing
  • Goose Island Beer
  • Hales Ales Brewery and Pub (surprise)
  • Iron Horse Brewery (one-hit wonder?)
  • Lang Creek Brewery
  • Mad River Brewing
  • Pelican Pub and Brewery (huh?)
  • Roots Brewing (uh-oh...)
  • Russian River (now that Pliny is in Oregon)
  • Sacramento Brewing
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing
  • Steelhead Brewing
  • Surly Brewing
  • Wild River Brewing
Only a third of the missing breweries are from Oregon or Washington, the reverse of the new-in-2009 list. Still, Iron Horse had one of the buzz beers last year -- why'd they drop out? Pelican? They're supposed to be one of the pillars of Oregon beer. And it can't be a good sign that Roots -- with rumors swirling of its ill health -- isn't coming. Roots' 2008 beer -- summery Calypso, flavored with apricots and habaneros -- was a strange and wonderful creation, one of the reasons to attend festivals like the OBF.

Another thing I'm looking forward to at the 2009 OBF is the "Buzz Tent". From what I understand, special beers will be served for limited times at the tent. Anyone know what some of those specials are? [Update: A partial list of the Buzz Tent beers has been released. Take a look over at]

The 2009 list looks great to me. Apart from the missing locals I'm not too troubled by any of the dropouts. What do you think of the additions and deletions?

[If you're an out-of-towner coming in for the fest, you might want to read the guide to the OBF and nearby attractions that I wrote last year.]


  1. Bummer on Iron Horse. The big Scottish ale they brought to the WA Cask Festival was best in show in my book.

  2. Lindsey: So you're saying Iron Horse is not a one-hit wonder. I would like to see more of them.

    Also a pity about Roots and Pelican, Dick's and Hale's.

  3. I'm surprised about Iron Horse too. The beers I've had from them I liked.

    I'm volunteering Saturday night so the glories of the festival will be restricted for me.