The 2015 Craft Brewers Conference kicked off with the customary—yet far from ordinary—Welcome Reception, bringing together over 8,000 beer professionals to Veterans Memorial Coliseum to mark the start of the craft brewing industry’s annual rendezvous.
Not at all surprisingly for a town known as “Beervana,” the event was flush with a variety of delicious craft beers. Attendees enjoyed their choice of beers from 59 different Oregon breweries, as well as over 138 dozen (roughly 1,656) Voodoo doughnuts and 21,000 oysters. Beer, doughnuts and oysters—in other words, all of the major food groups were covered. Many thanks to sponsors Briess Malt & Ingredients Co., White Labs and Yakima Chief-Hopunion.
“Keep Portland weird” is an oft-heard rallying cry. For those concerned over whether the city can maintain its charmingly off-beat character, the Welcome Reception was likely a source of comfort. The circus-like atmosphere of the coliseum paid tribute to the many shades of whimsy that grace the City of Roses. Attendees were entertained with a variety talented performers, including a squadron of break dancers, several ladies on stilts, a woman dressed as a potted plant and a clown who made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a most dramatic fashion.
Despite the festivities, CBC-ers will be ready to go for Wednesday morning’s general session. Author Simon Sinek, renowned leadership expert and anthropologist, will deliver the keynote address and is anticipated to deliver some memorable words to a packed house.