beer

In the 1980s Oregon was the scene of a burgeoning craft beer movement that earned the state the moniker of Beervana. This was no fad. Today there are more than 74 brewing companies in the state—that’s more per person than any other place on the planet. Oregon’s fertile hops fields, fresh waters and creative residents, make for the ideal environment and beer aficionados travel far and wide to see and taste what it’s all about. To honor this, July is officially Oregon Craft Beer Month. Check out a few festivals and events that celebrate this original craft movement in true Oregon style.

It’s only appropriate that the greenest city in the country—which is part of a state nicknamed Beervana—is home to a organic beer festival. In its sixth year, the North American Organic Brew Fest has more than 50 organic beers on tap. But that’s not even the half of it. The festival strives to go beyond simple tastings to be the most eco-conscious beer festival in North America: Festival attendees sample beer from reusable and compostable cornstarch glasses made from domestically grown corn by a zero-waste, solar-powered company. Onsite composting and recycling stations are provided for festival waste, and food vendors are required to use compostable cutlery and plates. Electricity needs are met with a combination of biodiesel and solar generators. Volunteers wear organic cotton and hemp t-shirts, and all event signage is reusable. Cheers to drinking beer with a clean conscious! The summer festival is in Portland’s Overlook Park.

The annual Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the nation’s longest running and festivals. Its picturesque location along the west bank of the Willamette River, with Mt. Hood gleaming in the background, scores of award winning beers (80 craft breweries from around the country) to sample and four days of live music, make this one hops celebration not to miss. There are even artisan drinks for minors (and designated drivers): complimentary handcrafted root beer. The festival takes place at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

For two days in Bend, dine on small plates from 18 acclaimed international chefs, imbibe on Deschutes Brewery ales and play golf at Broken Top Golf Club, all benefiting children and family charities of Central Oregon. It’s  annual Sagebrush Classic happens in July. If golf isn’t your thing, fear not, participants can bid in the silent auction and get down on the dance floor to live music. Rumor has it, the dancing continues long after the sun goes down.

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