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.