Several brewers from the Oregon City and Milwaukie areas will participate in the 16th annual Portland Fresh Hops Festival at Oaks Amusement Park from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28.
On Friday, the brewmaster from Breakside, which has a brewery and taproom in Milwaukie, will share his favorite stories about the challenges of brewing with fresh hops. Another name from Clackamas County to look for at the festival, Shattered Oak, was named the fifth-fastest growing brewery in America by the Brewers Association, a nonprofit that represents independent breweries.
Oregon City-area breweries Coin Toss, Shattered Oak and Bent Shovel will participate in the festival celebrating the tight timelines, logistical issues and other factors that make brewing with fresh hops unpredictable, but rewarding. They say fresh hops can create a unique flavor profile that can't be replicated with dried hops.
There are four primary ingredients in beer: barley, yeast, water and hops. Tony Roberts, co-executive director of the Oregon Brewers Guild, said the pleasant bitterness and floral aroma in many beers comes from the hop flower, or cone, and there's only a brief window after they are plucked from the bine (not vine) when they are suitable for brewing fresh-hop beer.
"Most Oregon breweries are within a few hours of a world-class hop farm," Roberts said. "There aren't many other places in the world where so many brewers have such easy access to hops harvested and delivered on the same day."
The Oregon Brewers Guild opposes the use of "application, booth or marketing fees" to undercut brewer revenue for beer served at festivals. Proceeds from the event benefit the nonprofit guild's efforts to promote and protect the Oregon craft-beer industry.
Minors will not be allowed in the festival on Friday, but are welcome from noon-5 p.m. Saturday. There will be a small children's play area, not to mention a huge one next door, as Oaks Amusement Park is open for business through Sept. 29. Craft root beer from Double Mountain Brewery will be available for kids and designated drivers.
Hop to it
WHAT: 16th annual Portland Fresh Hops Festival
WHEN: 5-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27; noon-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28
WHERE: Oaks Amusement Park, 7805 S.E. Oaks Park Way, Portland
TICKETS: Limited Friday tasting packages are $25; Saturday admission is free, tasting package is $20. Friday/Saturday combo ticket is $35.
MORE: Information and tickets are available at https://oregoncraftbeer.org/freshhopsfest
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