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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Oregon Brewer's Festival

That time of the year again: Brewfest! When I first came to Oregon many years ago, I was struck by the intensity and passion with which home-brewers churned out batches and batches of pretty decent beer.

D's mom being a fantastic brewer herself, I wasn't surprised when D started brewing for us. He has bottled a few batches so we could share with friends who couldn't come over for his specialty brews on tap.

Anyway, the summer Oregon Brewer's Festival is one of those that we've been going to pretty regularly. This year there were 85 handcrafted beers from all over the country.

Of course, I got to try only a handful of brews, being the designated driver and watching over the kids while D stood in line(!) to get the samplers in the special souvenir mug. Wish they'd make these souvenir mugs out of ceramic rather than plastic - but then it will cost way more than people might be willing to pay. It is a "free" fest - meaning no entrance fee/ticket price, just pay for the mug and the beer.

Well, as it is by the waterfront, I could take the kids along the Willamette River while D took his time getting to taste the ones he liked.

Then, when Og was tired enough, we sat in the Root Beer Garden with activities for kids - coloring, face-painting, soap bubbles, plus free root-beer for kids (and designated drivers)... I did get the 0b421 temporary tattoo on for Ana just to impress the point.

I want to make a special note of the artist who did the face painting - wish I had noted down her name. With just a few strokes and layered colors, she made incredible works of art on tiny little cheeks and arms, in such a short time! Let's face it, kids cannot sit still for more than 20 seconds, well some at least. Anyway, I was totally impressed with how she talked to the kids, got their ideas and painted what they wanted, leaving them thrilled with the results when they saw it in the little hand-held mirror.

The music was too loud for Ana and Og - they have always been sensitive to loud sounds/noises so the kids tent seemed like a nice haunt for us... it might seem a bit uncool, but, I did request D to bring back samples for me of the brews that I circled from the beer booklet - given a choice between waiting in line for getting samples and minding the kids in the Root Beer Garden, I think it was no-contest for D: he willingly obliged :)

Needless to say, D absorbed more than the atmosphere, but we managed to get home and recover.

I've always been a beer fan. Not any fizzy watery bitter tannish-brownish liquid, oh no. While not the beer snob (connoisseur), I do have a (self-proclaimed) richly cultivated and deeply developed taste for "good" beers. Having assisted D in home-brewing, I may not be able to rattle off the exact details about the recipes and temperatures and grain/malt/hops/yeast content, but I do have a general idea of brewing, at least home-brewing...

Well, after three years of missing the festival (since Oggie's arrival), letting D go by himself while I entertained the kids at home, I was happy to have had the chance to go this year. So, there it is, a little post about something that was fun for all four of us in some way...

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