Top 2018 Portland Beer Festivals
[Updated with 2018 festivals and dates]
Oregon Brewers Festival
Every year, over 70,000 pilgrims will make the trek at the end of July to Portland, Oregon for the Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF). Founded in 1988 when craft brewing was just getting off the ground, this festival celebrates a flourishing industry with the state of Oregon alone being home to 230 brewing companies who operate 261 brewing facilities situated in 73 cities across the state. Portland now has the distinction of having the most breweries per capita of any US city with 105 breweries in operation within the Portland Metropolitan area as of December 31, 2016. The Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the top 13 beer festivals in Portland, Oregon.
Portland – aka Beervana – is currently the #1 large metro area for beer tourism, according to Travelocity’s first Beer Tourism Index so it’s no surprise the Oregon Brewers Festival is also a considered a destination.
2018 marks the 31st annual OBF and will take place at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland from July 26 through July 29, 2018. Choose from a wide range of beers from Belgians to braggots, cream ales to coffee beers, goses to gluten free, pales to Pilsners, radlers to reds, and saisons to stouts. The festival will be pouring 80 beers from craft breweries across the United States, plus five from Baja, California, Mexico.The festival is also reviving its popular Specialty Tent, where participating brewers send one-off kegs of rare, bold, and experimental beers. Festival attendees can try another 100+ rotating craft beers in the Specialty Tent throughout the duration of the festival.
The gates open at 11:30am daily with the taps operating from noon to 9pm Thursday through Saturday and on noon to 7pm on Sunday. As the festival progresses, the noise tends to increase as some taps run out. So get there early during the daylight hours to enjoy a full selection of beer in relative peace and quiet. While the focus of the festival is on beer, a decent selection of food booths enable festival goers to supplement their beer with a meal with live music, craft vendors and homebrew demonstrations providing additional amusement.
While some beer festivals are +21, this festival allows minors during all hours of the festival when accompanying by an adult. Minors and designated drivers can pick up complimentary handcrafted root beer and soda at the Crater Lake Soda Garden.
Even though one can enter this festival gratis, beer lovers must purchase a 2018 12 oz. souvenir tasting mug for $7 if they wish to consume any beer. Wooden beer tokens cost $1 each with one token for a taste and four tokens for a full mug (Specialty Tent beers may cost extra). This event is cash-only. While ATMs are located on premise, if possible, avoid the lines and ATM fees and arrive with cash in hand.
Avoid the headaches of parking downtown by either taking public transportation or cycling. A Tri-Met MAX Light Rail station is located just one block away from the main entrance or cyclists can park their bike for free at Hopworks Urban Brewery secure bike corral.
While this festival remains the largest Portland based beer festival, events celebrating beer can be had just about every weekend during the summer months with additional festivals scattered throughout the year. Here’s a listing of some of the annual Portland Beer Festival favorites.
Additional Portland Beer Festivals
The Feast Portland, September 13-16, 2018
Feast Portland has burgeoned to a plethora of events held throughout Portland that celebrate the diversity of Oregon’s and Pacific Northwest’s food culture.. As this festival grows in size and scope, they add additional breweries and cideries featuring their wares during this festival.
Related Article: Feast Portland Serves up a Banquet in Portland
Portland Fresh Hops Fest, September 28-29, 2018
The Portland Fresh Hops Fest is a celebration of the annual hop harvest that takes place from mid-August to mid-September in Oregon. The festival features Oregon craft beers made with hops that are freshly picked off the vine and used within hours of harvesting.
Holiday Ale Fest, November 28-December 2, 2018
More than 50 winter warming brews converge on Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square for a warm and celebratory 5-day holiday event.
CollaboFest, March 10, 2018
Base Camp’s Collabofest is an annual opportunity to taste never-before-sampled recipes prepared by collaborations from innovative Portland breweries and cider makers.
Brewstillery, February 24, 2018
At this festival hosted at Stormbreaker Brewing, breweries and distilleries team up to create the perfect pairings.
Portland Spring Beer and Wine Festival, April 2018
During this event held at the Oregon Convention Center, breweries, wineries, distilleries, cideries, and meaderies pour samples. Cheese, chocolates, and other culinary delights are available for tasting as well.
Cheers to Belgian Beers, June 1-2, 2018
The Belgian-style beer festival features a single yeast strain, which over 60 brewers use to brew a unique Belgian Style beer.
Irish Beer Festival, March 16-17, 2018
Portland’s second annual Irish Beer Festival features specialty Irish style beer and cider from a score of Northwest breweries and cidermakers, plus two from Ireland. Held at Kells Brewery in Northwest Portland, the Irish Beer Festival also presents Irish dancers, bagpipers, fortune tellers, and meet the brewer sessions.
Cider Rite of Spring, March 10, 2018
A celebration of the blossoming Northwest cider industry, this annual event now entering its 5th year will feature more than 100 ciders served by 35 different cidermakers and cidery representatives from the Pacific Northwest. Included in this festival are ciders that are either made for the event, aren’t available locally, or are limited run.
Portland Fruit Beer Fest, June, 2018
Another craft beer festival in Portland is the three-day fruit beer fest that kicks off Portland Beer Week. This fest offers a diverse array of breweries and cideries highlighting both local makers and national breweries along with music, food and all-ages activities.
Portland International Beer Fest, late June 2018
During this three-day beer festival, one can sample over 200 world-class beers from 16 countries including some rare, hard-to-find, exotic beers.
Cider Summit PDX, June 29-30, 2018
This annual cider summit features over 200 regional and national ciders from 61 producers along with a range of food offerings, a dog lounge, live music featuring several of Portland’s legendary blues artists, and an event store with bottles to go. This event is a perfect opportunity for those beer lovers to try the range of ciders available.
Portland Craft Beer Fest, July 6-8, 2018
During this festival, all breweries within the city limits of Portland, Oregon have the opportunity to showcase their beers. Also, featured will be selections of Portland’s craft wines and winders and locally based food vendors.
This article focused on the top 12 Craft Beer Festivals in Portland. Check out this website for a comprehensive listing of 2017 Portland beer festivals.
Check out this website for a comprehensive listing of 2018 Portland beer festivals.
WHEN TO VISIT PORTLAND
Summer is the best time to visit Portland. The weather is great, the cafes open their outdoor seating areas and your chance of running out of things to do is virtually zero. You can also visit during the not-quite-summer months of June and September to take advantage of slightly lower hotel rates and thinner crowds. If you’re traveling on a budget or want to steer clear of your fellow tourists, just pack an umbrella and head to Portland during the winter off-season.
If you enjoyed this article about Top 13 Portland Beer Festivals you’ll also love 2018 Feast Portland, Oregon.
Traveling To Portland Soon? Here are a few tips:
How to get there: You can travel to Portland by car, plane or train. The most beautiful way to travel to Portland is on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight which operates daily from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. If you decide to fly, you’ll be traveling to Portland International Airport (PDX).
Where to stay: There are many places to stay in Portland as well as in Oregon. There is a wide range of hotels, from budget to luxury. For a luxury hotel that won’t break the bank, I recommend the Hampton Inn & Suites Portland-Pearl District which is currently the #1 hotel on Tripadvisor. For a mid-level hotel, I suggest the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland, Finally, for a budget hotel, try the Econo Lodge Portland Airport. You can also check HotelsCombined for the best Portland Hotel Rates.
What to pack: The temperatures each season vary greatly. I visited in July and was very happy to have a Jeans, tank top and sunglasses. for the beautiful summer days in Portland. If you are visiting in Winter, you’ll want to bring heavy-duty layers and scarfs. While the summer months can be gorgeous, rain is an option year-round in the Pacific Northwest, so packing a hoodie, rain jacket or umbrella is a must!
Portland Trip Essentials
6 Indispensable Items to Pack for a Portland Vacation
- Get the Fodor’s Pacific Northwest: Portland, Seattle, Vancouver & the Best of Oregon and Washington (Full-color Travel Guide)
- Bring a good quality mirrorless camera for getting those beautiful Portland landscape shots. I use the Sony Alpha a6000 .
- Summers are hot in Portland, so make sure to bring Neutrogena Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum Spf 45
- A great cross body travel bag. Crossbody bags prevent theft and are much easier to access.
- Don’t forget sunglasses for the beautiful sunny days. A.J. Morgan Unisex Sunglasses are a great choice and very affordable!
- A Pair of sneakers or good walking shoe is a must Here is a great option for women, and here is a great shoe option for men for walking around town or exploring any of the nearby hiking trails.