With a glass of fresh, cold craft beer in hand, guests will have a chance to experience the bounty of Umpqua Valley breweries at the 8th annual Umpqua Brewfest.
The festival, put on by Umpqua Watersheds, is from 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday in Douglas Hall at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Patrons will have a chance to taste a selection of over 50 different types of craft beer on tap, along with ciders and meads.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to come together in a wonderful community event,” Kasey Hovik, Executive Director of the Umpqua Watersheds, said.
The event is a fundraiser for Umpqua Watersheds, a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to protect and restore the Umpqua Watershed. Last year, about 1,200 people attended and $8,000 was raised.
This year’s musical performances include Cast of Clowns, Phamous Phaces and Antonucci Collective. Along with live music, festival-goers will also enjoy beer-friendly food and a broadcast of the Ducks and Beavers football games in the main hall.
The popular Iron Chef competition will be held again this year from 6 to 7:30 p.m., where 4 local breweries and culinary artists join together to create food and beer pairings that community members will judge. Afterwards, the winner walks away with a plaque and trophy. Tickets for festivalgoers to attend the competition are $15, which includes food and beer samples.
A People’s Choice competition will also take place throughout the day, where festivalgoers will place two tokens in jars that represent their chosen beers. The jar with the most tokens wins the people’s choice award.
“This is a great time to visit Roseburg, because you’ll get different aspects of the Umpqua in one spot,” Thomas McGregor said. McGregor or was one of the original event organizers and is a volunteer for the Brewfest. “The brewers and food vendors are showing off the best of our community,” McGregor said.
To him, it is truly “all about the water” because “without good water, we wouldn’t have such great tasting beer,” he said.
All of the proceeds from the Iron Chef Competition will be donated towards Umpqua Community College’s Natural Resources program. Guests are also encouraged to donate to the Treva Hoffman Foundation in honor of breast cancer awareness month. Donation boxes will be provided in the venue.
“We do everything we can to support local entrepreneurs and businesses,” Hovik said.
To Hovik, education is an important element in putting on the brewfest, however a focus on community involvement provides him with the greatest reward.
“The most important thing to me is community,” Hovik said, adding that he enjoys “seeing people I have gotten to know over the last 6 years coming together and being part of this wonderful Roseburg community.”
Participants must be 21 and older to attend the Brewfest. The entry fee is $10 for a complimentary glass, 4 tasting tickets and 2 tokens for the People’s Choice competition. Additional tasting tickets are $1 per taste.
Tickets can be purchased at the door of the venue. For more information on the event, call 541-672-7065 or visit http://www.umpquabrewfest.info/. For information about Umpqua Watersheds, visit http://www.umpquawatersheds.org/contact.html.