Fred Eckhardt making the rounds.
2008 Fred Fest

Well, Fred Fest 2008 has come and gone--except for what's left in my liver. If you are in Portland and consider yourself a beer enthusiast, this is the place for you.

This gathering is much more like a party than a formal event, complete with home cooked food, sporadic cheers, and verses of happy birthday sung throughout the day. Amidst the Hair of the Dog brewing equipment, there were four beers stations supplying the party with 16 different beers. Many beers were barrel-aged varieties on some familiar Portland standards and seasonals, with the bourbon barrel aged Old Boilermaker dating back ten years! Since my fridge doubles as my beer cellar, the beers that I age usually only reach the 2 week mark before I rip the cap off (though one or two were aged for a month because my girlfriend hid them in the crisper). It was a nice change to try some of these beers that were brewed and cellared by professionals!

2008 Fred Fest
Alan Sprints, Brewmaster at Hair of the Dog, preparing food for guests.
Not only are the beers great, but at Fred Fest, you also get celebrities. Of course Fred Eckhardt was there, happily making the rounds, talking, and taking photos with any of the guests who crowded around to meet him. If you know who to look for (or if they filled out their "Brewer" name tags at the door), you'll also see a bunch of other Portland brewers at the event. At Fred Fest, there are no booths with shirts and brewery swag, and no one is trying to sell you anything. Everyone attending was only there to enjoy the beer and support the Parkinson's Resources of Oregon.

So, happy birthday Fred! We'll see you again next year for Fred Fest 2009!