Oregon Garden Brewfest 2009

by KandN
After being slightly disappointed in the planning and operation of the wine and food festival at the fairgrounds in January, we were curious to see how the Brewfest at the Oregon Gardens would compare. All of the press we read sounded like the type of event we were hoping for and imagining; 32 Oregon breweries represented, admission including a commemorative glass, 6 (generous) tastes, live music, AND admission to the garden. Once we returned home I sent an email to the Oregon Gardens asking if they'd consider doing a food and wine fest. I figure it's worth a try.

We arrived at the gardens at 4:20 PM. Unfortunately, parking cost $5 after 4 PM, but it was easy to find a convenient spot - maybe because everyone with children had to leave at 4. N and I each bought an additional 10 taste tickets at the entrance(which we ended up sharing with Lise and her husband). Once we entered the Frank Schmidt Pavilion, we were surrounded by the crush of humanity. If it hadn't been for the posters some of the breweries placed high up on the walls, we would've had a tough time finding them. The map in the guide helped, also.
Our first stop was at Wandering Aengus Cidery. It's nearly impossible to find their dry cider anywhere other than Bethel Vineyards and it's definitely worth searching for. We tasted ales, pilsners, IPAs and stouts from at least 9 different places - some we returned to for a glass or second taste. It was great being able to compare so many different brews under one roof.
We did take a break halfway through our time there. N bought a German sausage with kraut and Lise, James and I decided on teriyaki skewers with slaw. Plus, N and I eventually went back and shared a piece of Rogue's veggie pizza, too. Food in the belly is important when doing that much tasting.
Even though it was very crowded, we had fun. If you went I'd like to hear what you thought about the Brewfest.


Jodi B said...

We visited the Brewfest last night. We arrived around 7 and stayed until it closed.
I thought that there were plenty of options for tasting brews. There were some great choices and we were able to select some tasty beer.
I think the thing that made this better then the Wine and Food Fest in Salem was that there was just beer...and some wine, cider and cigars. No booths selling other ticky tacky things. Just beer. The food options were limited, but what they had was fairly good quality. The music was great, although the last band of the night was a bit loud, but still good bands. Everybody was enjoying themselves and the vibe was fun.
I think that this would be a great place for a proper food and wine fest. I would support that idea.
Did anyone have the Chile Brew? That won the best of the Brewfest and will be featured at the Garden Restaurant all year. It was spicy.
Fun event, we will go again.

Genesis said...

I had a great time at the brewfest on friday night. My friend and I both voted for the Chile beer, we loved it so much we drove to Albany to check out the brewery afterwards. A fun night.

KandN said...

Thanks for the note… we always enjoy hearing from our patrons and are glad you enjoyed the festival. As a matter of fact we are planning a wine festival on August 23rd. Mostly boutique wineries who sell mostly from their vineyards, food to pair, etc. if you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Trina Riemersma

Event Coordinator

The Oregon Garden



Rebekah said...

I'm so glad the festival was a hit. Sounds like it was packed. I wanted to go but I had too many movies to watch at the Salem Film Festival. So many festivals, so little time! :)