21st ANNUAL OREGON HOMEBREW FESTIVAL and MICROBREW FESTIVAL
by Joel Rea
The 21st Annual Oregon Homebrew Festival and Microbrew Festival was a bigger and better hit than any of us imagined! We done good folks! Not only did we come out on the moneymaking end of things, but also we proved to the good folks of Corvallis that they are ready for bigger, better, beerier events! I'd like to set to the records that the Heart of the Valley Homebrewers have set a standard that will be most difficult to out-do! Congratulations! To all of you that pitched in and made things happen give yourself a big slap on the back! Special Thanks to Derek because without his side-by-side brainstorming and assistance my job would not have been quite as fun!!
The 21st Annual Oregon Homebrew Festival and Microbrew Festival did come out on top with more money than any other OHF ever. We are still paying off expenses and only Caribbean Lee really knows.
The success of the festival is to be followed up with the obvious question, "will we do it again next year?" I think that the obvious answer is "yes". There are a few aspects of this answer that first need to be evaluated.
- Role of the homebrew festival. The backbone of our existence is at stake in that I believe homebrew competitions, as a trend, are headed into a decline and lull in importance. If we decide to have an on-going competition with no microbrew festival then I believe that we need to re-evaluate how we hold such an event. The fairground rental is our biggest expense and we almost did not cover it this year. 240 entries seem like a lot and at $6.00 an entry it isn't enough to cover our hides! If you look at where the entries came from, less than 10% were derived from homebrew shops with the brewer having no affiliation to a homebrewing club. If you evaluate where the homebrewing club entries originated you will see that not only are the numbers as a whole down, but the club supporting its event is most likely to enter more beers than to any other club's event. So, HOTV entered more beers in its own event than it did to the Mill Creek Classic and vice-versa. The difficult task of the 22nd OHF Director will be to insure 300+ entries to our event. Bottom line, either we manage a really big 300+ event or a smaller 75-150 event. The middle ground has the potential to kill us.
- The future of a Corvallis Microbrew Festival: We were very popular May 17th! The only complaint we have been hearing is that there were too many people!! Not a bad problem considering the early stages of planning targeted 300-500 people. We lost tabs of heads, but it looks as if 1,000 - 1,100 people walked into the fairgrounds for a pint of beer! At this point I have no clear vision of what the next microbrew festival should be like. Two years ago I promised to be festival director through the 21st OHF and as of right now my hat is on the hook and I'm sitting in my Lazy Boy drinking a beer and waiting for the next volunteer to step up! I would volunteer again to be microbrew festival director, in a heartbeat, under this one strict circumstance. I will not be head of any committee. As a club, there needs to be more pre-fest involvement from more club members. It might be that it is not suited for HOTV to take on such a festival, but rather to perform a supporting roll. Perhaps the City of Corvallis/Chamber of Commerce/DCA/CIBA should organize it and take up the entire Riverfront Park and 5,000 people show up!
Time will tell and the heart of the Heart of the Valley Homebrewers will decide.
What are the committees, Joel? For future reference, before you dedicate yourself to leading a committee, remember that I recommend that you either be available at work to spend time on the phone/email, or that you burn up some vacation time because most people you will be contacting have similar day-time working schedules.
- Homebrew Festival Co-Director
- Head Steward
- Head Judge
- Raffle Acquisitioner
- Homebrew club/retail store liaison
- Lunch server
- Microbrew Festival Co-Director
- Brewery Co-coordinator / draft system set-up
- Raffle Acquisitioner (may be same for Homebrew Festival)
- Floor manager
- Thank you letter writer
- Media and promotions
- Entertainment & soundserver
On a final note, Derek and I made our way down to the Wild Duck on May 31st for the Glen Fest Brewers dinner. During the night there was much praise for Glen and expressed sorrow for his passing. On behalf of HOTV we presented the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation with a check for $200. The Foundation is being set up to support brewers whose aim it is to obtain more education. The Eugene area breweries have always been very supportive of our event with their donation of beer and I believe our reciprocity of giving to the foundation was well received.
And, on a second final note, thanks HOTV for my massage!
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE 21st OHF FROM THE HOMEBREW COMPETITION COORDINATOR
by Ron Hall
I am not sure I agree with all the opinions and facts presented in Joel's article. From the financial side, the homebrew competition gets saddled with all the rental and insurance costs of the joint festival, although it is true that it would struggle to make it on its own.
My strong opinion is that if we lose the homebrew aspect of the festival, there is little point in having it or our club involved. We are homebrewers first, and beer drinkers second. I don't know what we need to do to boost entries; maybe direct mailings to homebrewers would have helped, but I was afraid of the expense and the work involved. I think having the fest in the middle of April might help too, before everyone gets burned out on entering other contests.
FACTS AND FIGURES
courtesy of Dave Benson
Here is how HOTV stacked up against the other stiff competition at the 21st OHF Homebrew Competition:
By club, the number of 1st place ribbons won (and percentage of 1st place ribbons): HOTV, 10 (38.5%); Strange Brew, 5 (19.2%); Oregon Brew Crew, 2 (7.7%); Capitol Brewers, 2 (7.7%); Other clubs or no club, 7 (26.9%)
By club, the number of 2nd place ribbons won (and percentage of 2nd place ribbons): HOTV, 10 (40.0%); Strange Brew, 0 (0.0%); Oregon Brew Crew, 3 (12.0%); Capitol Brewers, 5 (20.0%); Other clubs or no club, 7 (28.0%)
By club, the number of 3rd place ribbons won (and percentage of 3rd place ribbons): HOTV, 7 (29.2%); Strange Brew, 6 (25.0%); Oregon Brew Crew, 0 (0.0%); Capitol Brewers, 2 (8.3%); Other clubs or no club, 9 (37.5%)
Great job to all who entered. It's not only winning a ribbon that counts. Quality feedback on your homebrew from festival judges may help in perfecting an award winning recipe for the next competition.