Common Questions

Oregon Brewers Festival

Common Questions

When is the Festival?

The 2019 Oregon Brewers Festival will take place Wednesday, July 24 through Saturday, July 27.

Where does the OBF take place?

The OBF is held at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. The event takes place between the Morrison and Burnside Bridges. There are four entrances: under the Morrison Street Bridge, at SW Oak Street, at SW Pine Street, and along the sea wall at Pine. The SW Oak Street entrance will put you closest to the token and tasting mug sales. The physical address is 300 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97204.

How much are tickets to the OBF?

The Oregon Brewers Festival is not a ticketed event, and there is no admission charge to enter the festival grounds. In order to consume beer, cider or wine, the purchase of a current year’s souvenir tasting mug is required (the festival does not fill previous year’s tasting mugs or glasses). Alcohol is purchased with wooden tokens, which cost $1 apiece. The purchase of mugs and tokens is made on-site, under the same tent, located inside the entrance at SW Oak Street. The mug/token sales tent is open from Noon to 8:30 pm. Mugs and tokens are non-refundable.

How much does a beer or cider cost?

Alcohol is purchased with wooden tokens, which cost $1 apiece. Patrons pay four tokens for a full beer or cider, or one token for a taste.

How can I volunteer?

The Oregon Brewers Festival is always looking for volunteers. In addition to having a great time, you’ll receive a festival tasting mug, 16 tokens for beers, and a special festival T-shirt. You must be at least 21 years of age to volunteer. Learn more at http://www.oregonbrewfest.com/volunteer

Where can I find parking?

There is no on-site event parking. The closest SmartPark is at 33 NW Davis St, Portland, OR 97209. Our on-site Hopworks Bike Corral, located under the Morrison Street Bridge, lets you park your bike for free and it is manned by volunteers. Public transportation is a great idea when alcohol is involved, and the MAX line drops off only one block from the festival at SW First and Oak Street. The OBF does not offer parking validation.

Can we park a motorhome nearby?

Portland does not offer much in the way of RV parking; however, the area’s vast 52-mile public transportation light-rail system allows you to park outside the city and ride in. While it is illegal to park an RV in Park & Ride lots outside the city, there are legal street and mall parking spaces for RVs next to some transit lots. TriMet’s MAX (Metropolitan Area Express) Light Rail connects Portland City Center with Beaverton, Clackamas, Gresham, Hillsboro, North/Northeast Portland and the Portland International Airport. Other options can be found at https://www.travelportland.com/article/rv-parks-near-portland.

Where is the Hopworks Bike Corral located?

The Hopworks Bike Corral allows you to park your bike for free, where it is watched over by volunteers. It is located just outside the southeast corner under the Morrison Street Bridge; park your bike there first, then enter the festival at the Morrison Street Bridge entrance. Nearly 2,000 bikes are annually parked in the bike corral.

Is there anywhere to buy mugs and tokens in advance?

In the two weeks leading up to the festival, you can pre-purchase mugs and tokens at a few locations around town, including Cascade Brewing Barrel House, Lodge at Cascade BrewingBelmont StationRogue Ales & Spirits Portland pubs and Deschutes Portland Pub. Buying in advance saves you a line at the festival!

Is there a line to get into the festival?

Depending on the time of day, you may see a line at each entrance. It usually moves quickly. Our security company checks the identification of EVERYONE who enters the festival to ensure they are of proper drinking age. To help the line move quickly, please have your ID ready, and make sure it is one of four types accepted by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (see the next question for acceptable ID).

What is the appropriate ID to get in?

No matter what your age, please be prepared to show proper identification as proof of age in order to gain access to the festival. Valid ID includes a valid state driver license with a photo; a valid ID card issued by a state with photo, name, date of birth and physical description; a valid passport; or a valid United States military identification card. We are unable to accept any foreign driver’s license (with the exception of Canada). Note that the identification cannot be expired at the time of the festival.

Can I bring my child?

Minors are allowed during all hours of the OBF with a parent;. Parents of minors ages 14 to 20 will be required to sign a form accepting responsibility for the minor while onsite. DO NOT purchase a mug for your minor. Minors receive free handcrafted soda in the Crater Lake handcrafted soda garden, served in provided plastic cups (no tasting mugs allowed) for all minors and designated drivers. We also have a face painter in there from 1-5pm daily. The Crater Lake Soda Garden is located on the riverside of the festival, just north of the Pine Street Esplanade entrance.

My friend is 20, can he/she come with me?

No, our OLCC license only allows for minors when accompanied by a parent.

Can I bring someone under the age of 21 as my designated driver?

No, our OLCC license only allows for minors when accompanied by a parent.

Can I bring my pet?

For the safety and happiness of our furry friends, and for venue cleanliness, please leave your pets comfortably at home. Service animals are welcome.

Can I bring outside food and beverage into the venue?

You many not bring in your own food, with the exception of the popular pretzel necklace. You may not bring in your own beverage; however, you can bring in an empty water bottle and fill it on-site.

Can I bring a blanket or sand chairs?

Yes, but there is limited grass area, so you’ll want to arrive early in the day to claim a spot.

Can I bring my mugs and tokens from past years?

The 2019 souvenir tasting mug is the only vessel that will be filled. Do not bring in mugs or glasses from past years hoping to use them. The 2019 mug is valid throughout the event, so if you leave and plan to come back, take it with you. If you forget your mug, you will have to purchase a new one. Tokens, however, never expire and may be reused at any future festival.

When do you stop selling mug and tokens?

Mug and token sales close at 8:30pm daily.

When do taps close?

Taps close at 9pm daily. That means no alcohol is poured after those times. You can hang out for a little while after that, but security will do a sweep at about 9:45pm.

Why aren't the mugs made of glass?

The Portland Parks Bureau does not allow glass in the park.

Does the OBF accept credit cards or checks?

The OBF mug/token sales booth does not accept credit cards or checks (credit cards are accepted at the souvenir booth and select food vendors). The festival does offer eight ATM machines on premise: four are located at the base of the stairs to the Battleship Oregon Monument, north of the mug/token sales booth. Two are located at the south entrance to the north tent, and two are at the north entrance to the south tent. These ATMS have service fees.

How can I find the beer I want?

The festival is divided into two areas: north and south, with Oak Street being right in the middle. Each area features four semi-trailers that pour 10 beers apiece. The taps are numbered starting at the first tap at the south end of the park, closest to the Morrison Street Bridge. One through four is on the south end, five through eight is on the north end. Because the beers are delivered to the park only two days before set up, it is impossible to position them in a set order; when they arrive, they are loaded onto a trailer. You are more likely to find beers by distributor rather than by style or alphabetical order. The best way to locate the beer you want is to check the map handout onsite, or the Google Doc link, updated right before the festival starts.

Will any of the beers run out?

Yes. Be prepared for beers to run out toward the end of the evening and by early Sunday afternoon. The OBF purchases a minimum number of kegs from each of the participants to place them on a level playing field; kegs are tapped on a schedule, rather than just flowing until they run dry. For a variety of reasons, some beers appeal to the sampling appetites of many, and therefore sell faster. Every beer will be pouring at the start of every day, so if you are coming to taste specific beers, we recommend you come early in the day.

Is there any food on site?

There are six restaurants offering a variety of food and non-alcoholic beverages on site. These restaurants do NOT accept tokens; most only take cash, although some accept credit cards.

Is there anything to do besides tasting beer?

Tasting beer is the focus of the OBF, but there are many other activities as well. Joining the breweries are exhibits by homebrewers and breweriana collectors. The Crater Lake Soda Garden offers free handcrafted soda for minors and designated drivers (no tasting mug purchase required), or will sell to drinkers for one token. A souvenir booth sells OBF merchandise (cash or credit accepted) and a handful of beer related vendors sell their wares.

Can I smoke?

No. The Portland City Council passed a total smoking ban in city parks in 2015, so smoking is not allowed at the Oregon Brewers Festival. The ban applies to all tobacco, e-cigarettes, marijuana and vaping products.

Is there gluten-free beer?

There are not any gluten free beers available this year, but we do have cider.

Is there cider?

The Oregon Brewers Festival will offer six ciders this year.

Is there water available for drinking?

We have four rinse stations – two at the north trailers and two at the south trailers – that pour potable (safe for human consumption) water. Additionally, most of the food vendors sell bottled water.

Is the event ADA accessible?

Yes. Fencing and other crowd barriers are placed so as to provide an accessible route. The Pine Street concrete access lane across Waterfront Park is left open during setup and throughout the event. The event is located close to accessible public transportation (one block from a MAX Light Rail stop on SW 1st Ave) and an accessible route is available from the public transportation stop to the event. There is accessible paved parking available (at a cost) across the street from the festival grounds, with an accessible route with signage from the parking lot to the activities. There are ADA restrooms available in multiple locations. There is accessible ADA beer service available at two locations on either end of the park (four locations total). These areas are located on the south end between Trailers 2 and 3 and at the north end of Trailer 4; and on the north end between Trailers 6 and 7 and at the south end of Trailer 5. All locations are marked with ADA access signage and offer dedicated servers who will get the attendee any beer they request from any of the four trailers on the respective section of the park. Food and other beverage options are located on an accessible route, with all self-service items available from a seated position. Accessible tables provide knee space: tables are a minimum of 27″ high, 30″ wide and 19″ deep, with tabletops no higher than 34″. Companion seating is available in the same area.

How do brewers qualify for the event?

The Oregon Brewers Festival is open to craft breweries, as defined by the Brewers Association: annual production of six million barrels of beer or less; less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer; and a brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation (flavored malt beverages are not considered beers). If a brewery meets these guidelines, they are welcome to apply.