Oregon Spring Beer & Wine Fest

April 7, 2010

Last Friday, I took the day off of work and my husband, his brother, and I took a bus to the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, OR to attend the 16th Annual Spring Beer & Wine Fest with the Tour de Cheese. We got there a little bit before noon due to free admission before 2pm, and we had past experience with the Holiday Ale Festival that being one of the first ones in the door means less lines for trying drinks and food.

For being the 16th Annual Fest, things were not as organized as one would have thought it to be. With most beer festivals, you have to buy a cup. This year, they had a plastic cup, and a glass beer mug and a glass stemless wine glass. We were told that we needed to purchase at least a plastic mug for serving beer, but that the wine vendors would have small Dixie style cups for serving wine if we did not purchase the wine glass. The first wine producer I went to did not have any glasses and didn’t know that they should have. I had to sweet talk them into pouring to me anyway. Eventually, I did find a wine producer who did, and I kept that glass for a bit. If we bought the wine glass, the beer people would not have served to us. How crazy is all that?

The event had a little bit of everything for everyone: beer, wine, cider, distilled sprits, cheese, chocolate, dipping sauces, olive oil, and even some other miscellaneous vendors like purses, windows, pans, and a chiropractor. Most beverage and cheese samples were $1, with the size dependant on the style of product.

One thing I had learned from previous festivals is to pack some food. Food at the festivals is sometimes scarse, and what is there is usually high quality and expensive. I packed a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which doesn’t not risk food poisoning from not being refrigerated, yet doesn’t require heating. I also packed an apple and an orange. At one festival, we saw a man who had little pretzels on a string tied around his neck. Great idea to keep some food in your system when drinking, and also eat between drinks to help clear the pallet, making it easier to taste the new drink.

I will give a review of the tastings in future posts.


One Response to “Oregon Spring Beer & Wine Fest”

  1. […] tasting tokens.  This one offered free admission to the first 1,000 people each day (down from the first two hours last year). Then, you decide what kind of glass you want to purchase. There were three options: a beer glass, […]

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