So many Portland brew fests can befuddle fans

19 million visitors went to Oregon brew festivals in 2016

Beer on tap in Portland (KOIN, file)
Beer on tap in Portland (KOIN, file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There is so much beer and so many brew fests in Portland it’s often bewildering. But in the end, there is a lot of money to be made in the months ahead for the craft brewers of Oregon.

PDX Beer Week is in full swing through Sunday, June 18. The craft beer bash and cash flow season just ramps up from there.

Herb Apon, the beer buyer at Loyal Legion in Portland, June 12, 2017 (KOIN)
Herb Apon, the beer buyer at Loyal Legion in Portland, June 12, 2017 (KOIN)

“It’s really gotten bigger and bigger,” said Herb Apon, the beer curator at Loyal Legion. “There’s more breweries than there’s ever been and we haven’t hit critical mass yet.”

Last year, brew pubs, tasting rooms and festivals drew 19 million visitors, contributing $4.5 billion to the state’s economy and employing 31,000 people.

“I don’t think we’ve peaked. We haven’t quite hit the top yet. There’s still room,” Apon said.

A person grabs a beer in Portland (KOIN, file)
A person grabs a beer in Portland (KOIN, file)

Chris Crabbe, the organizer of Brewfest in the Park, told KOIN 6 News “There’s a different reason for every festival, so you just kind of find the festival that speaks to you.”

But those beer bases can befuddle brew fans.

In March, the Organic Beer Fest canceled its 2017 event at Overlook Park, which caused considerable confusion for those craving a quaff of organic ale.

Crabbe’s Brewfest in the Park is in the same place, the same time — June 23 through 25 –– but is a different event.

“The biggest part is trying to get the message across to people that there is a beer festival happening in Overlook Park,” he said. “We thought this is the best place to put on a festival.”

Beer taps in Portland (KOIN, file)
Beer taps in Portland (KOIN, file)