Organic Beer Fest – Best USA Festivals

Portland

Overlook Park, 1599 N Fremont Street Last full weekend in June www.organicbeerfest.org

Northwesterners love their local beers and certainly harbor a deep appreciation for sustainability, including organic food and beverage production, and both concepts converge at the Organic Beer Fest, an annual four-day celebration designed to raise awareness about organic beer and sustainable living. In recent incarnations, this popular and intriguing event has offered nearly sixty organic beers, ciders, and mead, including many brews from small-batch producers whose limited distribution assures that sampling their beverages is a rare treat.

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Held in beautiful Overlook Park, this outdoor event also includes live music, food vendors, sustainability-oriented vendors, and nonprofit groups. Earth friendly, the festival includes onsite compost and recycling containers; volunteers working the event wear organic cotton and hemp T-shirts, and all event signage is reusable. Organic Beer Fest also happens to be probably the most family-friendly brew festival in the state (minors are allowed with their parents, although only attendees 21 and over can sample and drink beer, of course), and delivers one of the most amicable, relaxed atmospheres of any beer event.

Drinking requires purchase of the current year’s commemorative festival cup for a nominal fee and then drink tokens for $1 each (cash only). The festival begins on Thursday afternoon, runs most of the day and into the night on Friday and Saturday, and continues from noon to 5 pm on Sunday.

Organic Beer Fest offers a bike corral for cyclists, and public transportation (TriMet) is easy and convenient. However, the festival has no designated parking area and Overlook Park has only minimal parking, making TriMet, with a major station directly in front of the park the best option for many attendees (see the event website for details); limited curbside parking is available in the adjacent neighborhood, but attendees are warned not to park in the Kaiser Permanente lots.

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