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OBF Toasts 27th Year

On a sun-soaked July afternoon, there’s no better place to sip suds with friends than the Oregon Brewers Festival, one of the nation's longest-running and best-loved craft beer festivals. Nearly 85,000 fans will travel from around the world to take part in the 27th annual event, which will run July 23 through July 27 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. Event hours are Noon to 9pm Wed. through Sat., and Noon to 7pm Sunday.

Admission into the festival grounds is free. In order to consume beer, purchase of a 2014 souvenir 12.8-ounce tasting glass is required and costs $7. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens, which cost $1 apiece. Patrons pay four tokens for a full glass of beer, or one token for a taste. There are no advance tickets sold to the festival; all purchases are made on-site.

In the main tents, the Oregon Brewers Festival will serve up more than 30 beer styles from 86 craft breweries from around the country; there are 88 different beers served, one per brewery plus two gluten-free offerings. From Belgians to Braggots, Pales to Porters, Radlers to Reds and Sessions to Saisons, there’s a style for nearly every palate.

New this year, the Oregon Brewers Festival has invited eleven brewers from the Netherlands plus one from Germany to send over their beer to be featured in the festival’s Specialty Tent, an area where an additional four-dozen vintage, barrel aged, blends and esoteric one-offs are offered. The festival is also flying over the European brewers, who will be available for daily meet the brewer sessions at the event.

Dubbed NL to PDX (#NLtoPDX), the program started when festival director Art Larrance learned that Portland has a Friendship City relationship with the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Upon visiting, he discovered a growing craft brewing movement that reminded him of the Northwest craft beer industry in the 1980s; brewers who are just beginning to explore new flavors and styles.

“Featuring international brewers is a natural extension for the OBF,” explained Larrance. “We want to develop a long term cultural exchange and share our passion, knowledge and friendship with these brewers as part of a collective celebration of great craft beer.”

The Oregon Brewers Festival is first and foremost a celebration of beer, but the event also features five days of live music, food booths, craft vendors, homebrew demonstrations and industry displays. The Crater Lake Root Beer Garden provides complimentary handcrafted root beer to minors and designated drivers; minors are allowed into the event when accompanied by a parent.

The OBF encourages responsible drinking and urges patrons to take the Tri-Met MAX Light Rail, which has a station just one block away from the main entrance. Attendees can also take advantage of the Hopworks Bike Corral, where volunteers from Rotary Club of Portland–Westside’s Cycling 2 Serve Fellowship will watch over bikes for free (donations will benefit Rotary International’s “End Polio Now” efforts to eradicate polio worldwide).

For a complete list of participating breweries and additional information, visit www.oregonbrewfest.com. For high-res photos from past events, visit www.flickr.com/photos/oregonbrewfest/sets/.

ABOUT THE OREGON BREWERS FESTIVAL The Oregon Brewers Festival was founded in 1988 as an opportunity to expose the public to microbrews at a time when the craft brewing industry was just getting off the ground. Today, that industry has flourished, especially in Oregon, which currently has 166 brewing companies operating 207 brewing facilities in 66 cities in Oregon. Portland alone has 53 breweries — more than any other city in the world. The Portland metropolitan area is the largest craft brewing market in the US with the most number of breweries at 73. A study conducted at the 2013 Oregon Brewer Festival estimated the economic impact of the festival on the local economy to be $31.2 Million; it also showed that out-of-state and international visitors accounted for 52.5 percent of attendees. For more information about the Oregon Brewers Festival, visit www.oregonbrewfest.com.


OBF Honors Beer Pioneers

PORTLAND, Ore. – October 25, 2013 – Art Larrance, director of the Oregon Brewers Festival and longtime craft beer advocate, has donated $10,000 to the Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery/Lone Fir Cemetery Foundation on behalf of the festival. The donation will support the restoration of the tomb of George Frederick Bottler, one of Oregon’s earliest brewers.

Bottler’s tomb, now crumbling in the oldest part of Lone Fir, is one of the first structures built in the historic cemetery in Southeast Portland. It paints a picture of two key figures in the origin of Brewvana: pioneer brothers, both named George, who arrived in Oregon in 1856. George Michael Bottler — a Portland fireman, founding member of the German Benevolent Association and a Mason — established Portland’s second brewery, City Brewery, in 1857 with partner Henry Weinhard, while brother George F. started The Dalles Brewery in 1859.

“Supporting the restoration of Bottler's tomb is an opportunity for fellow brewers to pull together and show support for two of the first brewers in the state, just as the brewing community pulled together 150 years ago,” explained Larrance. "This is a project where we can restore and preserve our craft brewing heritage."

George M. was traveling in Germany when George F. died, so fellow Portland brewers — including Edward F. Schrader, Henry Saxer and Henry Weinhard — made arrangements for George F. to be buried in the Lone Fir Cemetery. When George M. returned from Germany, he built a tomb over his brother’s grave and purchased two other plots nearby to house his own remains. George M. later died in Munich, Germany, leaving no family to care for the tomb.

To learn more about the Bottler Tomb restoration project, visit www.friendsoflonefircemetery.org.

About Lone Fir Cemetery

Lone Fir Cemetery is listed on the National Register for Historic Place and was recognized as one of the 10 best cemeteries to visit, according to National Geographic Traveler. It is a living storybook of Oregon’s history, recognizing the known and honoring the forgotten. Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery are dedicated to education, preservation and restoration efforts that support the historically significant greenspace and seek to honor the deceased and their survivors through encouraging community involvement. For more information, visit www.lonefir.org.

About the Oregon Brewers Festival

The Oregon Brewers Festival was founded in 1988 as an opportunity to expose the public to microbrews at a time when the craft brewing industry was just getting off the ground. Today, that industry has succeeded, especially in Oregon, where 137 brewing companies operate 175 brewing facilities in 59 cities in Oregon. There are 51 breweries operating within the Portland city limits, more than any other city in the world. The 2012 Oregon Brewers Festival generated an economic impact of $30 million for the local economy. The Oregon Brewers Festival always takes place the last full weekend in July; the 27th annual event will take place July 23 through July 27, 2014. For more information, visit www.oregonbrewfest.com.

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Economic Impact

A recently completed study estimates the economic impact of the 2013 Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF) at $31.2 Million, a 3.5% increase from the 2012 OBF.

Jeff Dense, Professor of Political Science at Eastern Oregon University, and his POLS 316 Politics and Beer class, administered 748 on-site interviews at the event in downtown Portland between July 24 and 27, 2013.

The analysis utilized the IMPLAN (Impact Analysis for Planning) data and software package to estimate the economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival on Multnomah County. The 2013 OBF generated an estimated $21.9 million in direct and $9.3 million in indirect (additional input purchases made by local businesses) economic impact.

“The study highlights the significant economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival, and craft beer tourism, on the Portland economy,” Dense said.

Respondents were queried on demographic factors, along with estimates of OBF related expenditures in tourism-related categories, including transportation, lodging, meals, gasoline purchases, non-beer related recreation, beer purchased to take home, and expenditures at OBF.

Findings of the study include:

• A majority (52.5%) of OBF patrons were out-of-town visitors.

• Visitors from Washington, California and Canada comprised 27.1% of total OBF patrons.

• 40% of respondents were attending OBF for the first time.

• 36% of attendees were female, a 10% increase from 2012.

• 25% of OBF patrons were 50 years or older.

• The average out-of-town visitor spent $587.

• Lodging ($11.1 Million) accounted for the largest share of OBF expenditures.

• State and local government received $1.5 Million in indirect business taxes.

• Nearly half (45.9%) of OBF patrons utilized mass transit to attend the festival.

This was the third year of the study; 2011 estimated the estimated economic impact of the festival at $23.2 Million, and 2012 came in at $30 Million. A series of methodological adjustments in 2012, along with the full implementation of the IMPLAN software, provided a more robust and accurate estimate of the economic impact.


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