PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Brewers Festival was cancelled for the past two years in a row due to the pandemic, but now one of the nation's longest-running beer festivals is planning a return to Portland's Waterfront Park this summer.
The festival's comeback is good news for the Oregon Brewers Guild.
"Portland has so many breweries, but to be able to have a festival that brings in beer from all over Oregon is really important, especially to small craft brewers who may not have the opportunity for large distribution," said Christina LaRue, executive director of the Oregon Brewers Guild.
The 3-day event is set for July 28-30 on the waterfront. The festival features samples from dozens of craft brewers and cider makers. In past years it's drawn as many as 50,000 people from all over the world.
"Which, again, is great for our brewers because it showcases what we do here in Oregon, which is make really good beer and get it in front of people all over the world," said LaRue.
Mark Ross with Portland Parks & Recreation said the department is getting requests for other event permits too, but the pandemic makes it difficult to solidify a calendar.
"I can tell you right now that nine major events have received permits they've applied for Waterfront Park," he said.
Those events are Shamrock Run, the Rose Festival (including PKSCA Dragon Boat Races), the Oregon Humane Society's Doggie Dash, the LGBTQ Pride Festival, the Blues Festival, The Big Float, the Oregon Brewers Festival, DragonSports Dragon Boat Races in September and the Portland Marathon.
"Those are beloved things that have had to be tabled the last couple of years," said Ross. "We're really hopeful that public health conditions will allow us to bring them this summer, but we're in the preliminary stages and we're not quite sure how things are going to look yet."
Portland Parks & Recreation is also planning the return of some its warm weather favorites like its movie and concert series across several parks.
For now, the scheduled return of the Oregon Brewers Festival has some ready to celebrate.
"It builds community, brings people together and I think after the last two years we definitely need to feel a little normal," said LaRue.