Oregon Craft Beer Month: A Tale of Two Festivals
Now that Oregon Craft Beer Month has come to a close, it's time to take a look at what went down. While there were many great events, the two stand-out experiences were definitely the North American Organic Brewers Festival and the Oregon Brewers Festival. NAOBF kicked off the first weekend of July with more than 50 organic beers from 40 breweries (including 17 that did not attend OBF), and OBF finished the month with 82 breweries serving over 180 beers.
These two festivals bring a collection of the best craft brews in the nation to Portland, but each has its own rhythm and there are more differences you might guess. For example, because OBF is not limited to organic materials, the brewers can bring a wider selection of varieties. NAOBF takes another approach to ensure diversity; they welcome organic ciders to the party.
Without a doubt, size is the biggest difference. OBF sees around 80,000 attendees from all over the world (including the suburbs), whereas NAOBF is a more local affair, primarily consisting of Oregon, California and Washington beer lovers. While OBF’s diversity allows for a lively and exciting atmosphere; it also means long lines and over-used, dusty grass. The more relaxed crowd at NAOBF faces shorter lines and more grass space for setting up a blanket or throwing around a frisbee.
Despite their differences, these two beer festivals should really be appreciated together; they are the perfect beginning and end of Oregon Craft Beer Month. Based on the most popularity and positive response, it is apparent many people agree. Check out our five favorite fruit beers from the fests here.
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