Oregon Brewers Festival



Common Questions

When is the OBF held?

The OBF is always held the last full weekend in July. "Full" means that all five days of the festival must fall in July. If Saturday or Sunday falls in August, the festival moves back a week. The 2015 event will take place July 22, 23, 24, 25 & 26.

Where is the OBF held?

The OBF is always 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 glass sales.

Where can I find parking?

As this event draws more than 85,000 people over the five days, downtown parking can be scarce. We have a few other suggestions: we have an on-site bike corral where you can park your bike for free - enter the festival on the northeast side of tsdfhe park, along the seawall. Last year, nearly 2,000 bikes were parked in the Hopworks Urban Brewery bike corral, manned by volunteers for Transportation Solutions ByCycle. Also, public transportation is always a good idea when alcohol is involved. The MAX line drops off only one block from the festival at SW First and Oak Street. There is also a Smart Park with affordable parking at SW Naito and NW Davis Street.

Why is there a line to get in?

You will see a line at each entrance. Don't let it scare you. It moves quickly. Why a line at all? The Oregon Brewers Festival policy is to check the identification of all who enter 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.

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; guardians are not acceptable. Parents of minors ages 14 to 20 will be required to sign a form accepting responsibility for the minor while onsite. Minors are encouraged to attend the root beer garden, in which complimentary handcrafted root beer is served in provided plastic cups (no tasting glasses allowed) for all minors and designated drivers.

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?

Animals are not allowed on the festival site except for service animals while performing their qualifying services. If you bring an animal that does not qualify, you will be asked to remove the animal.

What does it cost to enter the festival?

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, the purchase of a 2015 souvenir tasting polycarbonate glass is required and costs $7. The festival WILL NOT fill previous year's tasting mugs or glasses. 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. The purchase of glasses and tokens is made on-site, although there are a handful of local businesses that sell them up to two weeks prior to the event. Beer servers do not accept cash.

Glass and tokens are sold under the same tent, located immediately south of the main entrance at SW Oak Street. The glass/token sales tent is open from Noon to 8:30 pm Wed - Sat, and Noon to 6:30 pm on Sunday; glass and tokens sales stop one half hour prior to the taps shutting off.

Glasses and tokens are non-refundable. However, the tokens are good at the next year's festival. So if you buy 20 tokens and don't use them all, you can save them for next year, or the year after that.

Glasses are good throughout the event weekend, so if you leave and plan to come back, take it with you. If you forget your glass, you will have to purchase a new one.

Can I reuse my glass and tokens from past years?

The 2015 souvenir tasting glass is the only vessel that will be filled. Do not bring in mugs or glasses from past years hoping to use them. The 2015 tasting glass is valid throughout the event weekend, so if you leave and plan to come back, take it with you. If you forget your glass, you will have to purchase a new one. Tokens, however, never expire, so bring in some from the past! If you buy 20 tokens this year and don't use them all, you can save them for next year, or the year after that.

When do glass and token sales cease?

Glass and token sales stop precisely one half hour before the taps are closed. On Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday this is at 8:30 pm. On Sunday, this is at 6:30 pm. Be aware of this when scheduling your visit to the festival. Because lines do exist, we recommend that you don't come to the festival on Friday night at 8:15 pm. Chances are that by the time you get to the front of the line, we will close and you will be unhappy. We want you to be happy. So come prepared and allow yourself plenty of time.

When do taps close?

Taps close at 9 pm on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and at 7 pm on Sunday. That means no beer is poured after those times. You can hang out for a little while after that, but security will do a sweep about one half hour after the taps close asking you to leave.

Why aren't the "glasses" made of glass this year?

Although the festival has utilized a glass tasting vessel the past two years, the Portland Police Bureau has required the festival to return to plastic for safety reasons; attendees should be satisfied with this year’s alternative, which is a high-quality, 14-ounce polycarbonate glass made in Finland.

Does the OBF accept credit cards or checks?

Neither the OBF glass/token sales booth nor the food booths accept credit cards or checks (credit cards are accepted at the souvenir booth). 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 glass/token sales booth. Two are located at the Southeast corner of the North beer tent, and two are at the Northeast corner of the South beer trailers.

How can I find the beer I want?

The festival is divided into two areas: North and South. Each section features five semi-trailers that pour at least 8 beers apiece. The taps are numbered starting at the first tap at the South end of the park, closest to the Morrison Street Bridge. 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 inside the program guide, available at no cost.

Will any of the beers run out?

Yes. Be prepared for beers to run out toward the end of the evening and by Sunday afternoon. Why? The OBF purchases a minimum 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 - so there is a good chance that the beer "everyone is talking about" will probably run out by 7 pm on Friday and Saturday night. However, it will be pouring again when we open the next day. If you are coming to taste specific beers, we recommend you come earlier in the day.

Why is there only one beer allowed from each brewery?

The purpose of our festival is to promote as many breweries as possible, not as many labels. Each brewery that enters the festival is made aware of this policy, and makes a decision about which beer it wants to promote.

Is there any food on site?

There are six on-site restaurants offering a variety of great food and non-alcoholic beverages. These restaurants accept cash only - they do not accept checks, credit cards or tokens.

Can I bring outside food and beverage into the venue?

Yes, you may bring in your own food and non-alcoholic beverages; be prepared for security to check what you bring in.

Is there anything to do besides tasting beer?

Tasting beer is the focus of the OBF, but there are many other educational activities as well. Joining the breweries are industry exhibits by hop growers, homebrewers, breweriana collectors, and national beer writers. Oregon Beverage Works presents the Crater Lake Soda Garden with free handcrafted root beer for minors and designated drivers (no tasting glass purchase required). Great live music is offered throughout the weekend. A souvenir booth sells OBF merchandise (cash or credit accepted) and a handful of beer related vendors sell their wares.

Is smoking allowed?

No. In early 2015, the Portland City Council passed a total smoking ban in city parks, so smoking is no longer allowed at the Oregon Brewers Festival.

Why are there so many out-of-state beers?

It is called the Oregon Brewers Festival because it is held in Oregon, not because it features all Oregon beers. With the number of breweries in Oregon, it would be easy to create a festival simply featuring Oregon's wonderful beers. However, the goal of the Oregon Brewers Festival is to create a balance of local beers with beers that are not generally distributed throughout the Portland area, thus exposing the local public to beers they might not have the opportunity to try. We are also fortunate that many of our local breweries brew beers specifically for this event, so the public still has the opportunity to try beers they have never before tasted.

Is there any alcohol besides beer on the premises?

Handcrafted beer is the only alcohol you will find on the premises. We do not sell non-alcoholic beers, wines, ciders or meads.

Are there any gluten-free beers this year?

Yes, we have two gluten-free beers this year from Omission and Deschutes. You can read about them in the on-site program.

Is the event ADA accessible?

Yes, the Oregon Brewers Festival is ADA accessible. 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 (one ADA unit per every 10). There is accessible ADA service available and marked at each of the beer trailers with beer runners provided to get beers. These are between trailers 3 and 4 in the south end and trailers 6 and 7 in the north tent. 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.