Peanut butter and jelly. Mac and cheese. Mickey and Minnie. Oregon and beer.
The state of Oregon has long been synonymous with world-class beer: the history of, the crafting of and of course the enjoyment of. The Oregon Brewers Guild website gives details about the history of beer in Oregon. Oregonians can thank Henry Weinhard for opening his brewery back in 1856 and appreciate that Cartwright’s was the first craft brewery to open in Oregon in 1980. Kurt and Rob Widmer (Widmer Brothers Brewing Company) welcomed customers through their doors in 1984 and helped launch the Oregon Brewers Festival (largest outdoor craft beer festival in the country). And thankfully, Mike and Brian McMenamin opened Oregon’s first brewpub in 1985.
What better way to celebrate how well Oregon and beer go together than to participate in the frothy festivities held throughout July, being that July is Oregon Craft Beer Month.
This year, Oregonians have even more of a reason to raise their glasses. An article on the Register Guard website states that “Production of Oregon crafts beers hit a new high last year, with the state’s craft breweries producing 1,085,000 barrels of beer…” Beervana blog also covers the same story in an excited blog titled Craft Beer Consumption Hits 15% in Oregon. Both sources mentioned the addition of 200 jobs, and how 4,900 people are directly employed because of the production of Oregon craft beer.
If you will be in the Portland area this evening, July 1st, the Oregon Brewers Guild is throwing a happening, hoppy kickoff party from 5-9 at the Jeld-Wen field in Portland. According to oregonbeer.org, “…Portland is proclaimed ‘America’s Microbrew Capital.’ Unofficially, it’s Beervana.”
Although many events are being held in “Beervana”, there are multiple opportunities for Eugeneians to celebrate locally. This evening, Chatoe Rogue Single Malt Release is happening at the Rogue Ales Public House & Brewery on Olive St and there is a Widmer Brothers Tasting at the Market of Choice on West 29th St. If you are a two-bird kind of person, you should head over to Ninkasi tonight to also toast to their 5th year anniversary. (Blue Lotus band will be playing on the patio from 7-9pm.)
More exciting events in Eugene will be held the week of July 18th-24th, which is the week of the Oregon Craft Beer Month that the Oregon Brewers Guild dedicated to Eugene. One event not to miss is the Cheese Wars II on Tuesday, July 19th at the Supreme Bean. The New School Brew blog gives detailed information about the beer and cheese-pairing showdown between 16 Tons and Oakshire Brewing.
No matter where you are in the state, there are opportunities all month long for you to celebrate Oregon Craft Beer Month. Remember, beer is more than a beverage that quenches the thirst of our state; it is a beverage that fuels our states economy.