Monday, July 20, 2015

Why I'm (finally) volunteering

Just a few samples over the years
Living in Portland sometimes you round the corner and find yourself at a beer festival. I've found myself at many beer festivals over the years, almost always on purpose. There are too many to attend all of them, though I am interested in hearing about each one that pops up or comes around again. The Oregon Brewers Festival, the biggest and best/most crowded/worst/craziest of the year is one I've always made time for. This year will be different. I'll be starting out the festival by pouring, not drinking. My favorite time to go is during one of the least crowded times, the weekday afternoon/evening. This year instead of walking up to the beer of my choice with no lines on a Wednesday afternoon, I'll be behind the table handing out the samples or full glasses.

The real glass were great wen't they
This is not an entirely altruistic outing. I'm looking forward to the free tokens. The best beer, outside of the beer in front of you, is free beer. Disclaimer aside, these festivals are possible because of a huge amount of hard work by the organizers, brewers and vendors, sponsorship and of course, volunteers. Since I can't have the beer I brew there (yet), nor have any food or merch for sale, nor a business to advertise I'll do my part by pouring beer. OBF brings out the creativity in some brewers and I hope to have something interesting to pour. Some brewers bring a flagship or other well known beer and honestly I'd rather be pouring some experiment that makes people remark for better or worse than something I could buy at the store.

The tents are going up and people are getting excited. I can almost see them from my office and from the right room I can hear the cheers. I'm eager and a bit nervous to pour at my first festival. Hopefully I'll see some familiar faces and hand over a beer or two. I'll be the guy in the volunteer shirt.
No lines just yet

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