Help me choose a July Beer Fest, pretty please

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by Mebuzzard, Apr 21, 2012.

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  1. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,457) May 19, 2005 Colorado

    Hi all! I'm planning a round-a-bout trip to Portland/Seattle area in July. At first I was eyeballing the Oregon Brewers Fest, but it looks that that weekend may be bumpy for me, but still manageable. The previous weekend, Portland International Beer Fest, works well for my schedule. Any feedback concerning these fests would be mucho appreciated-o.
    Or, are there other happenings those weekends in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver that are not listed?

  2. hopsbreath

    hopsbreath Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Oregon

    I've been to both fests and the one I'm returning to this year is the International. That one, the Holiday Ale Fest, and the fresh hop fest are easily my favorite outdoor venue style fests in the area. The kind of beer that makes the "buzz tent" (limited one-offs) at the OBF is stuff that would probably be on full time at the PIB. The OBF is larger and caters a little more to the party crowd while the PIB is smaller, focuses on great beer. Admittedly the PIB is pricier but for the extra money you get to drink out of an actual glass taster instead of the plastic mug that they hand out at the OBF. Long story short; if you want to get fucked up for as cheap as possible, go to the OBF. If you want to sample some great beer and pay a little extra, the PIB is for you.
  3. Mahlik

    Mahlik Initiate (0) Aug 21, 2010 Oregon

    Couldn't agree more. I enjoyed the International fest much better last year. It's definitely worth the extra money. The special beer tent at OBF was not impressive last year either. They were pouring Cantillon amongst other harder-to-find stuff at last year's International.
  4. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,457) May 19, 2005 Colorado

    Thanks for feedback, this will help a bunch!!

  5. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,533) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    IMHO, it really depends upon what you're looking for in a fest. I prefer the OBF, because it's outdoors in a great location, has an interesting selection of beers from all over the country (emphasis on the West Coast/NW, but in the past there have been beers from Bells, Surly and Flying Fish, just as an example). Granted, when I lived in Portland I preferred the PIB, because for the NW, the beer selection was unusual and spectacular. However, the last few years I've seen next to nothing on the PIB list that I couldn't find pretty easily here on the East Coast (where we tend to have a better selection of imports).

    That's no knock on the PIB, which is a great event, but it really depends upon what you're looking for in a fest, and for me it's the OBF (though given the crowds at OBF, try to go on Thursday if you can). Also, there typically are quite a few different interesting beer events going on around town during the week of the OBF, so that's something to keep in mind as well.

    I think if you're a local, then the PIB will likely be the better event for you. However, if you're from out of town, that might not be the case. Just something to keep in mind before you make your choice.

    I come out every year for a week or two in July, and I always make sure my trip coincides with the OBF. I could just as easily make it coincide with PIB, but at least for me, the better, more fun event is the OBF.
    Mebuzzard likes this.
  6. Shmeal

    Shmeal Devotee (409) Nov 9, 2009 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    PIB is the better event if you want to enjoy some stellar beer. OBF is the better place in terms of environment, being on the waterfront in nice weather is hard to beat if you simply want to relax, drink some regular beer, and hang out with friends.
  7. MADhombrewer

    MADhombrewer Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2008 Oregon

    Portland International Beerfest is the one you want to attend.
    djbreezy likes this.
  8. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,457) May 19, 2005 Colorado

    These aren't the droids we're looking for.... :slight_smile:
    I'm leaning that way, more so b/c of scheduling conflicts and vineyard tours.
  9. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,457) May 19, 2005 Colorado

    I figure I'll be in Portland for a couple of days and do the "atmosphere" stuff as I walk (crawl) along. I've got a tough decision to make :grimacing:
  10. Sarlacc83

    Sarlacc83 Crusader (752) Mar 2, 2008 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I've rarely been able to relax and hang with friends at the OBF. I find that it's far too much of a frat boy party with all the damn "Woooooo"s and the constant shoving of elbows and cutting in line of people who can't (or won't) figure out how to queue.
  11. rjfarel

    rjfarel Initiate (0) Jul 1, 2009 Washington

    If you choose the OBF, you need to go before Friday 4 pm. After that, including ALL DAY Saturday, the lines are so long you won't be able to sample many beers at all.
  12. Shmeal

    Shmeal Devotee (409) Nov 9, 2009 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Hahaha I know what you mean, but I am more or less fresh out of college....:slight_smile:
  13. djbreezy

    djbreezy Crusader (742) Dec 16, 2008 Washington

    If you hit the fest right when it opens you can enjoy the day before all the hammered people roll through. That's been my experience at least.

    I agree though. It gets pretty bad not to mention everyone stinks from the heat and close proximity. It's a real stink fest around 3pm.
  14. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,533) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    This is why I always go on Thursday, right after the doors open. Lines are short or non-existent, the crowd is manageable, no one is drunk (yet), and everyone's antiperspirant is still working.

    The only problem with getting there early on Thursday is that occasionally some of the beers haven't shown up yet. However, it's usually no more than one or two, and in the past it's never really been a problem.
    msubulldog25 and djbreezy like this.
  15. djbreezy

    djbreezy Crusader (742) Dec 16, 2008 Washington

    I feel like the OBF is responsible for 99% of the Hell or High Watermelon Wheat sales in the Portland-metro area.
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