Photo of Mt. Hood taken by Sally Lickliter
I recently visited Portland on the sequel to my initial trip to the city two years ago during its annual craft beer festival, Brewfest.
The festival, and getting together with my friends who work in the food and beverage industry, is the reason for the gathering but only one of many reasons to visit what has quickly become one of my favorite cities.
The beers flow freely in Portland, especially during Brewfest, but so does the creativity. In that regard, this city inspires me like no other. In that sense, we are creative kindred spirits. I love Portland’s ability to put a slight genius twist on something ordinary.
For instance, when I visited two years ago, I came across a poster promoting the state’s annual bike ride. My home state has an annual bike ride. What my home state doesn’t have is a poster promoting the ride in which the state is outlined in a bicycle chain. Smart.
That’s Portland. From the names of its beers (I actually drank a beer called control/alt/delete) to the names of its pizza places (Sizzle Pie anyone?) to wisdom painted on an outdoor mural (“Chocolate Is the Answer – Who Cares What the Question Is), at nearly every turn Portland has the ability to make you think, laugh or simply smile. It’s a city whose sense of humor is a mix of one-liners and inside jokes coming at you rapid fire. Blink and you might miss something.
Anyway, the Brewfest is held on the river with a vista of snow-capped Mount Hood on the horizon. The photo at top was not taken at Brewfest, but rather by a friend I met who snapped it a day later on her camping trip.
I’ve showed that photo to several people (it’s now the wallpaper on my phone) and it’s been greeted with a mix of appropriate awe and wonder. Oregon is truly a beautiful state, as my window seat home doubly confirmed.
However, perhaps my favorite reaction to the photo was from a Portlander working at our hotel. He looked at the photo and exclaimed, “Hey, it’s Trillium Lake!” Um, yes. In front of that majestic mountain there is a body of water and we all now know its name, in case you didn’t (I didn’t).
I’ve decided to recount this trip in photo essay form, so it’s only light reading and some pretty pictures ahead. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did the trip.
This was the 27th year of Brewfest, aka the Oregon Brewers Festival. The only craft brewery market bigger than San Diego is Portland. IF you’ve never been, you can read all about Brewfest at www.oregonbrewfest.com.
See what I mean? A watermelon as a keg? Just a prop, but to quote an old Guinness commercial, “Brilliant!” And not a bad beer, either.
SoCal is well represented at Brewfest. I was way too late to be Carlsbad’s push-pin delegate.
Besides Brewfest, our troop makes it a point to visit some of the local breweries, largely because they are each so interesting and cool. Each seems to be its own little Cheers for its neighborhood. This one was called Base Camp and had a mountaineering theme.
See, Portland’s doing that thing again. See? See?
A S’more beer, not just some more beer. And with your S’more beer you can …
Sit on the back patio and roast the marshmallow in your S’more kit.
This isn’t Base Camp, but is a wall of wisdom at an outdoor food court comprised entirely of food trucks. Besides craft beers, Portland is the food truck capital as well. I would love to be Anthony Bourdain’s wingman on a Portland episode. Yo, Tony. A little love for the blog?
There goes Portland doing its Portland thing again. You may have had a pedicab ride before, but have you had one from a girl wearing bicycle glasses? In Portland, such a thing is totally possible.
Portland is also known for its bridges. This photo is the poor man’s poor man’s version of what a good photo of the bridges would look like.
And on the flight home …
Like I said, I couldn’t speak more highly of this city and especially the friendliness of its people. Cheers, Portland. Thanks another epic week. Let’s do it again soon. Does in another 360 days or so work for you? Just say, “Chocolate.”