Thursday, May 14, 2009

North American Organic Brewers Festival Unveils Beer List for 2009

The world’s largest selection of organic beer will be poured at the North American Organic Brewers Festival June 26-28th in Portland’s Overlook Park. Festival organizers have just released this year’s beer list, with over 75 organic ales and lagers.

“I am impressed with the diversity of organic beers now being brewed,” said festival organizer Abram Goldman-Armstrong. “It’s a testament to the creativity and passion of organic brewers.”

The 2009 beer list may be viewed on the festival website.

Last year the NAOBF drew 15,000 attendees and raised over $3,300 for charities. The NAOBF also collects food for the Oregon Food Bank, offering a $1 discount off the price of the festival’s compostable tasting glass, in exchange for three cans of organic food.

When the festival started in 2003, founder Craig Nicholls chose beneficiaries working on various aspects of sustainability. The NAOBF continues to support causes linked to the organic and sustainability movement; the Oregon Tilth, an organic certification body that conducts research on organic farming, and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society since agricultural chemicals are one the leading causes of cancer. The Oregon Food Bank promotes a better diet for those in need, through distribution of local organic food. Without water there would be no beer, so the NAOBF is partnering with Willamette Riverkeeper, which works to clean up Oregon’s arterial river.

In addition to the multitude of organic beers and ciders on tap at the event, the NAOBF showcases a wide array of sustainability-oriented vendors, live music, face painting for children, and local and organic food vendors. Perennial festival favorite Horn Of Africa features organic traditional Ethiopian and Somali cuisine, other vendors offer local pork sausages, soups, and organic juice and coffee.

The NAOBF uses compostable tasting glasses made from corn, which are collected on site along with all food waste for composting through help from the City of Portland’s Master Recycler Program and Cloudburst Recycling. Biodiesel generators and solar panels provide electricity for the event. The NAOBF encourages responsible transportation choices as well, extending a one-dollar discount on the tasting glass to attendees who take MAX light rail (which stops at Overlook Park). On site parking is provided for bicycles, but not for cars.

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