This year’s Sasquatch Brew Fest moved down the street from Ninkasi Brewing to Hop Valley Brewing’s distribution parking lot for the second year in a row of sunny weather. Folks huddled under a spray tent indifferent that their program guides listing the 45 participating breweries were soaked; they were too busy studying the more than 75 available beers from local Eugene and Springfield, regional Oregon breweries and even Fish Brewing from Olympia.
All the fun of Sasquatch — the beer, Friday night’s beer dinner, a home brew contest, silent auction, food trucks and live bands The Sugarbeets, Mexican Gunfight, Halie Loren Quintet, and the Douglas County Daughters — was for the sake of more than just the love of good craft beer. A large portion of the proceeds went to the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation, which honors the memory of the longtime Eugene brewer by providing brewing scholarships. Produced by the Northwest Legends Foundation, the Sasquatch Brew Fest is dedicated to Falconer’s love of the rich beer and brewing culture in the Pacific Northwest. Falconer was the skilled head brewer at the now-closed Wild Duck Brewery in Eugene as well as a mentor and resource for home brewers and professional brewers until his untimely passing in 2002. Seth Barnum of Breakside Brewing and Scott Timms of Falling Sky Brewing were named recipients of the 2015 Glen Hay Falconer Foundation Siebel Brewing Scholarships this past May.
Each year, Glen Hay Falconer Scholarship recipients join together to brew a beer with Ninkasi in Eugene. This year’s pale ale was brewed by the 2014 recipients Dan Russo of Oakshire Brewing, Josh Waldam of Elysian Brewing Company and Richard Mergens of Crucible Brewing. It’s a delicious 5.3% American Pale Ale with 10 hop additions including Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic.
My favorite pours at this year’s Sasquatch Brew Fest were Fort George Brewery’s The Optimist IPA (lemon-y biscuit pine punch!), Sunriver Brewing’s SUP Summer Ale (easy drinking on a hot Sasquatch day), Deluxe Brewing’s Guinness World Record simultaneous collaborative brew and Best Brew Challenge Va Va Voom Vienna Style Lager, Widmer’s hop forward strong Glen’s X-Hop Pale Ale with experimental hop X-06277, and the sweet Ordnance Brewing Old Craig Old Ale.