Sunday, May 14, 2006

Beer Blogger Meetup at Oregon Brewer's Festival

Jon at The Brew Site saw my post about going to the OBF and wrote:

It got me thinking... this may be a year that I can actually go to the Oregon BrewFest, and if so, perhaps we should have a beer blogger meetup? Or even just meet up with anyone who reads this and other beer blogs?

I think this is a fine idea. So I'll put it out there:

1) Any PDX-based (or otherwise familiar with Portland) folks have any suggestions as to a good place to have an informal meetup for beer bloggers and beer blog readers? I'm thinking it might be good to do it outside of the actual festival, as I know I am going to be rather busily tasting my way around the place and I imagine other bloggers/readers will be, as well.

I think the ideal would be a pub that is not completely slammed, and that would lend itself to a meet-and-mingle-freely kind of gathering (i.e., not a restaurant where you get seated, necessarily). I seem to recall the Lucky Labrador having that kind of setup, but that's just off the top of my head.

2) If you'd be interested in doing this, speak up! Not just bloggers, but readers, too. Personally, I'd be thrilled to share a beer with anyone who takes time to read this silly little blog, and I bet most bloggers would feel the same way.

3) If you are a beer blogger--please, help spread the word!

Keep watching this site for details as they come together.



  • At 9:15 AM, Blogger Ben, aka BadBen said…

    We could always meet at Tugboat Brewing. It's a funky, small brewpub on Broadway, just south of Burnside.

  • At 9:16 AM, Blogger Ben, aka BadBen said…

    Tugboat is an easy walk from the OBF location. Lucky Labrador is a drive or bus ride away.
    I'll meet anywhere, though.

  • At 12:00 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    Tugboat also has the added bonus of I haven't been there yet.

    Thanks for the suggestion. Geography is a factor I hadn't given much thought to, and I intend to be on foot/taking public transit/grabbing taxis pretty much the entire time I'm there...

    ...and so should everybody else...

  • At 12:20 PM, Blogger Lisa said…

    Tugboat is great, but since it small and centrally located, it can get very busy and seating can be an issue. Especially if you have a group of 5+ (which you will, badben included). It may be possible to call the owners and reserve a big table against the far wall, but I'm not sure if this is possible. I will go down there and talk to them (while I grab a beer). If they won't take the group reservation, I think Tugboat may be too busy for our purposes of a relaxed meet & greet....since they brew their own beer, it's beer fest weekend and they're located next to all the hotels.

  • At 12:36 PM, Blogger Lisa said…

    Other options of brewpubs:

    Bridgeport Brewery: Also downtown (in the Pearl) within walking distance but farther away than Tugboat. Large space. Bar where you can go up for beer or have a server. Food as well. They had long tables with lots of seating before their recent renovation; haven't been back since but have heard good things. Can scope it out if you'd like. They take reservations, but not in the bad (you must be here at this time or we hate you) way.

    Rogue Public House: Great beer. They have a back room with a giant square table and comfy chairs that we may be able to reserve. Centrally located in the Pearl (walk/streetcar). Service can be slow and their food is ok.

    Widmer Definitely not. Although their beer is good, they are evil with reservations and make me feel like I'm at Applebee's.

    Lucky Labrador It is a bus-ride away for those staying downtown (Hawthorne & 10th or so in SE), but for low key meeting place, this would be another good bet. You have to go up to the bar to get your beers but they have an expansive patio with big picnic tables (as well as space inside).

    Portland Brewing Company These are the folks that make MacTarnahan's Ale, etc. If you thought Lucky Lab was hard to find, this is even harder (especially for folks without cars). Beers are good, but I'd vote against this.

    McMenamin's They have a bunch of locations, each with a slightly different "theme". Food menu is the same for all their restaurants and not that spectacular. Ditto for their beers. If this were some other group, a McM could be an option. For beer bloggers, it would be like taking a group of restaurant critics to Denny's.

    I'll keep scoping.

  • At 2:55 PM, Blogger Ben, aka BadBen said…

    My (new) vote is for Rogue. I love that place. The beer selection is great, and it's a quick light rail ride away, or a 20-minute walk from the festival.

  • At 9:22 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    Well, I've actually been to every place Lisa has listed (well, not every McM's, but a few of them) and I share her opinions on every one of them. Go figure.

    Rougue would be fine with me. I fully intend to ge there on this trip, anyway.

    I'm leaving it to Lisa to scope out the possibility of any reservations, but it may not be necessary. I have no idea how many people will actually show up...maybe 5, maybe 20. Hopefully we'll have a better idea by the time July rolls around.

    In the meantime, the floor is still open for nominations, if anyone wants to make them...

  • At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The new Lucky Lab (at NW 19th and Quimby) is huge! It's also just a short walk from the streetcar

  • At 9:01 AM, Blogger Ben, aka BadBen said…

    Yes, I think Lisa would be a great candidate for making reservations.
    Let's work out a time/date. I'm not available on Saturday at all, (I will be doing something over by Mt Hood). I hope we can meet on Thursday, Friday, or even Sunday. Friday afternoon or evening would be fantastic.

  • At 9:12 AM, Blogger Brian said…

    I like early Friday evening, like maybe 5:00? If anyone local has the misfortune of having to work that day, they can come by afterwards, have round or two, and have plenty of time to hit the festival for a bit if they want.

    As to location, I'm leaning towards either Rogue or possibly the new Lucky Lab.

  • At 11:13 AM, Blogger Chris said…

    I'll be there if you can settle on a location.

    Another place that popped into my head was the BJ's near Lloyd Center. Alex has been brewing some tasty beers there lately, and it's a short (free) ride on the MAX to get there. Since it's across the river from the fest it's probably less likely to be over-run with people.

    Looking forward to a gathering of the minds!


  • At 2:37 PM, Blogger Lisa said…

    Since it's on my mind, I highly recommend going to the beer fest on Thursday afternoon/evening when it opens (if you have the option to do so). I found it wasn't as crowded and the lines are among the shortest of the weekend. In contrast, Ken volunteered Saturday afternooon and said it was a madhouse.

    That also means that (if beer blog folks go Thursday) it may make meeting up Friday at 5 (if we choose that option) a lot less crowded. I found people stormed the microbrew places after the beer fest closed and around dinner time.

    Short Version = if we meet on friday, the location we choose may not be as crowded since everyone will be at the beer festival at that time.

    PS I didn't know about the other Lucky Lab location and will check it out. Thanks for the suggestion. Ditto for BJs. Keep the suggestions coming! It is highly likely that I'll be going to Rogue tonight so I'll ask them about reservation options while I'm there. Actually, I'll do that for several places and then post our options once I find places that can best accomodate us/take reservations.

  • At 9:57 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    Thanks, Lisa!

  • At 7:09 AM, Blogger Ben, aka BadBen said…

    Yes, Thanks a lot, Lisa!

  • At 10:45 AM, Blogger Bridger said…

    I'd love to meet you all. But maybe we should devise a secret handshake so we can recognise each other.

  • At 2:08 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    Believe it or not, my avatar is a pretty accurate likeness.

  • At 2:09 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    BTW, I intend to nail down the time and place this weekend.

  • At 8:25 AM, Blogger Chris said…

    Any consensus on a meeting place? Another place that occured to me this morning was Henry's. It's a short walk/streetcar ride up the hill from the fest, and they have over 100 beers...

    Thursday afternoon works well for me. Friday might be a little busy here in the store, but I could probably get out of here by 5:30 or 6. Sat. and Sun. are wide open. Keep me posted.



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