Brewfest aims to offer more than beer
To organizer Erin Telles, the Wilsonville Brewfest offers much more than a convenient spot to sip suds.
She says it's a family-friendly event that showcases smaller breweries, provides an array of food and entertainment options and benefits a worthy cause.
"I think ours is really unique, partially due to the location and the atmosphere we create. It's not just a brewfest where you go to get drunk and stumble home. This is a really fun, family day out in the plaza with stuff for kids to do; it's a relaxing environment and an all-day hangout. The beer is the focus but not the only activity," Telles said.
Wilsonville residents and other beer enthusiasts will have the opportunity to form their own opinion at the third annual Wilsonville Brewfest Saturday, Aug. 12 at the Villebois Piazza. The fest features beer from 20 breweries, three musical performances and four food vendors.
Some 1,300 patrons and 1,150 beer drinkers showed up for the 2016 nonprofit event and Telles hopes the fest can attract at least 250 more patrons this year and in turn raise at least $10,000 for local charities, including Wilsonville Community Sharing.
To increase growth, Telles and fellow organizer Katie Green upped their Facebook advertising output and also signed more musicians and more food carts than last year.
"We really want this to be a super enjoyable experience for the community. We want it to be well-known as the event to go to in the summer time. The bigger draw will allow us to raise more money for the food bank," Telles said.
Telles is particularly excited about the musical guests — which include folk artist Robby Mayer, The Whiskey Darlings, a folk duo of Rob Rainwater and Michelle Van Kleef, and the rock group The Brian Odell Band.
"We want to introduce new elements each year. Changing up the artists is a great way to introduce new artists to the community and to keep it interesting," Telles said.
The food vendors include Wetmore's Quality Dogs, Wilsonville's own Slicks Big Time BBQ, Blue Bell Mobile Kitchen and Miss Hannah's Gourmet Popcorn Company.
Though the fest offers beers from the same breath of selection as last year, Telles hopes to provide a unique and illuminating beer-tasting experience. While in years past they relied on high-profile Portland breweries such as Laurelwood and Hopworks, this year's brewfest features mostly small breweries, including some from the outskirts of Portland. These include the Wilsonville-based Vanguard Brewing Company and Ordinance Brewing and other small breweries such as Three Mugs Brewing Company, Zoiglhaus Brewing and Bauman Century Farm Cider. Also, the fest offers 120 blue and green tie-dye special edition collectors cups crafted by Silipint — a company specializing in silicone drinking cups.
"There are so many breweries in Portland and a lot of the smaller, local ones are overlooked. The breweries in Portland are fantastic but being able to highlight smaller breweries helps show what we're about, which is supporting the small, local guys," Telles said.
The fest also includes a station for kids to play games such as corn hole and giant jenga. Another addition this year is adding a misting tent — giving patrons a respite from potentially sweltering heat.
"With the heat that is going on, I think people are going to really enjoy the misting tent," Telles said.