Virtual beer festival

Saturday night was slightly different from our usual program. While we normally watch some how/movie followed by the Zeit im Bild 2 news program before going to bed, we dialled into a Zoom call around 10pm to listen to some brewers from Oregon talking about their latest creations and how they are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

Two days before that I had stumbled across a post by one of my favourite breweries in Portland about the “Stay home, drink beer” festival organised by the Oregon Brewers Guild. Looking through the schedule I found a couple of things that sounded interesting, 1pm PST (10pm CEST) was ok, and for only $5 I didn’t really mind if I only saw about a quarter of the talks before going to bed after a long day πŸ™‚

The whole event was organised on Eventbrite with a page on Facebook for discussions and other tracks. The main track was a Zoom webinar moderated by Chrstina LeRue and Tony Roberts from the Guild. Since I don’t have a Facebook account anymore and don’t want to reopen that specific Pandora’s box I just joined the main Zoom call and used AirPlay to put it onto our living room TV after grabbing a bottle of my favourite beer that is also available here: Hoegaarden Blanche 😁 Sorry, there’s simply no way to get an Oregon-brewed beverage πŸ˜”

Due to the late hour we only listened to the first three talks but really enjoyed them! At first, John Harris of Ecliptic Brewing told some stories from his long career and also presented some of his new and old favorites. I immediately went to Ecliptic’s website to check their food and beer menu just to add it to my list for the next time I’m in that area.

After about half an hour, a panel discussion started with Nick Arzner, Dan Malech, and Ben Parsons talking about what their respective companies had to do to stay operational and distribute their beer. Turns out that with restaurants and bar being closed, draft is mostly dead and the first thing they had to figure out was to get rid of their already filled kegs. Some even went out and drove from street to street for people to get some beer using their growlers etc. I’m actually really surprised that something like that hasn’t happened in Austria, too.

The last call we sat in on before calling it a night was with Josh Pfriem and Gavin Lord of Pfriem giving a tour through their new barrel-aging facility which they use to produce, for instance, a Belgian dark aged in cognac barrels or an apricot or nectarine ale. These two immediately made it onto my must-try list!

After that I immediately went to bed so I cannot write anything about the rest of the program. That being said, the part of the festival that we were awake was great! Big thanks to the organisers and stay safe!