It’s a fact that all enthusiasts of a recreation will tell you their hero.
Just ask the nearest, over-enthusiastic, beer advocate, who their hero is. Most will tell you their hero it’s the local brewer or the brewery currently supplying beer to their glass. But most living in the Northwest would classify a beer writer in the same breath as Joe Montana or Vince Lombardi, let alone the local brewer. But much like sports, politics, or international affairs, the world of beer has required scribes to record the evolution of beer. With a pen and paper in hand, these men and women seek out individuals, in the industry of making and selling beer, to represent your interests. For those living in or around Portland the city has birthed creative thinkers like Lisa Morrison and Fred Eckhardt who continue reminding people that beer is more than an after-work beverage.
On Sunday May 4th, in “The Rose City”, Hair of the Dog Brewing continues recognizing the Pacific Northwest’s most famous craft beer writer, Fred Eckhardt for a 9th consecutive year. FredFest, as it has been known, celebrates the life and birth of Fred Eckhardt, the “Dean of American Beer Writers”
While it started as a surprise 80th birthday party for the world-renowned Portland beer writer, FredFest has become a significant fundraiser for the nonprofit organizations that FredFest selects each year. This year’s fundraising recipients include:The Hair of the Dog “house” charity, Guide Dogs for the Blind; International Medical Corps, in memory of Mark Wilson, the husband of Hair of the Dog’s Wendy Sprints, and the Oregon Brew Crew’s OSU Bob McCracken Scholarship, for Fermentation Sciences students.
FredFest is all volunteer-driven, which means that 100 percent of this year’s net proceeds from FredFest will be donated to those charitable organizations. Dubbed “the littlest big-beer festival in the world — or at least in Portland,” FredFest has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Eckhardt’s selected nonprofits in the past eight years of its existence.
Starting from 1pm to 4:30 or from 5:30pm to 9pm, event goers will enjoy rare and unique beers while raising money for local charities – Guide Dogs for the Blind, International Medical Corps, and The Bob McCracken Scholarship Fund.
Each 210 minute session is $60, with only 300 tickets sold for each session. Cost includes a souvenir tasting glass, access to a rare collection of beers (from over 20 breweries), small bites, and a plethora of opportunities to wish Fred Eckhardt a Happy Birthday.
About the Charities
Guide Dogs for the Blind is more than an industry-leading guide dog school; they are a passionate community that serves the visually impaired. With exceptional client services and a robust network of trainers, puppy raisers, donors and volunteers, they prepare highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or have low vision. All of our services are provided free of charge; they receive no government funding. (Several Guide Dogs, including a couple of puppies being socialized, will be on hand, er, paw, to represent Guide Dogs for the Blind.)
International Medical Corps is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs. Established in 1984 by volunteer doctors and nurses, International Medical Corps is a private, voluntary, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization. Its mission is to improve the quality of life through health interventions and related activities that build local capacity in underserved communities worldwide. Since its founding, International Medical Corps has delivered $1.4 billion worth of assistance to millions of people in 70 countries around the world.
The Bob McCracken Scholarship Fund supports students at the Oregon State University Fermentation Science program under the direction of Dr. Thomas Shellhammer. The Oregon Brew Crew is one of the oldest and largest home brewing clubs in the United States. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and advancement of home brewing and beer appreciation. (All three of FredFest’s organizers have been Oregon Brew Crew members.)
About the photo’s author
“Matt Wiater is a photographer covering the Portland beer scene for portlandbeer.org.”