Our night at the first annual Oregon Beer Awards.

On the evening of February 23, the Doug Fir lounge hosted the first annual Oregon Beer Awards.  An event organized by Willammette Week, the ceremony seeks to recognize excellent work in the craft beer community.

 

Breakside received acclaim in 4 different categories:

Bronze in best Sour or Wild ale for La Tormenta

Silver in best IPA for Breakside IPA

Silver in best Brewpub experience

Gold in Brewery of the Year

 

The night was summed up nicely Alex Ganum, of Upright Brewing.  Accepting the honor of ‘Beer of the Year’ for his excellent Engelberg Pils.  Alex deflected the honor to his inspiration, Caldera Pilsner.  “When I first moved to Portland, Caldera Pilsner was the best German Pilsner I could find.”  His speech summed up the feeling of just about every brewer in the room.  From Widmer to Deschutes to Double Mountain to The Commons to Ex Novo, at some point an Oregon beer washed across their lips and into their dreams.

 

For the Breakside crew, we got a sense of that legacy by observing those in attendance.  Steve Jones of Cheese Bar, Jerome Chicvara of Maletis, Doug Rehberg of Widmer, amongst many new faces to the industry.  There was no sense of competition.  We were there to celebrate beer!

 

And in the end, beer was the real winner.  The individual awards are just validation for the hard work that goes into creation, reflection and repetition.  Each one, a mosaic of the hundreds of beers that poured before it.  In honor of that, we only hope to inspire some future beer, some future brewpub, some future brewery.