The Oregon Brewers Festival's glass-kicking plans
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
The Oregon Brewers Festival will present its wares in glass receptacles this year. The move is considered both carbon-friendly as well as a way to deliver better-tasting beer.
Oregon Brewers Festival organizers are adding a touch of glass to the event.
For the first time, attendees will fill their taster glasses with beer that's poured into actual glass receptacles. The festival had used plastic glasses for the pourings but made the changes for both environmental and taste reasons.
On the environmental side, it's far easier to recycle glasses left behind at the event than plastic mugs.
"While we have always recycled the plastic mugs left at the festival, it still has an impact on the environment, and we are pleased to be moving in a more earth-friendly direction," said Chris Crabb, a festival spokeswoman.
The strategy could make the event as carbon-protective as last weekend's North American Organic Brewers Festival in Portland.
The plastic mugs also yield a bit of an after-taste that can overshadow the beers. The mugs are made with polys and resins that off-gas.
"We had lots of complaints last year that when people raised the mug to their mouth, they smelled these gasses instead of the beer," Crabb explained. "Since the fest is all about the beer experience, we decided this just wouldn't do."
The new 12.8-ounce tasting glass is made in Germany and will cost $7, a dollar more than last year. Tastes still cost one token, or $1, while full pours will cost four tokens. Festival volunteers will not fill mugs from previous years.
Organizers noted that the Spring Beer & Wine Fest and the Portland International Beerfest both pour their beers in glasses, as opposed to plastic cups. Neither event has had serious broken glass issues, Oregon Brewers Festival officials said.
Recycling stations will be set up to collect unwanted glasses.
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