Thanks for coming to the 9th annual North American Organic Brewers Festival, where we encourage you to Drink Organic, Save the Planet, One Beer at a Time!
The NAOBF was established and organized by Craig Nicholls in 2003 at Port Halling Brewing Company in Gresham, Oregon. The festival then took a two-year hiatus, during which Nicholls founded and opened Roots Organic Brewing Co., Oregon’s first certified all organic brewery. In 2006, Nicholls resurrected the NAOBF at the World Forestry Center in SW Portland, and in 2007 the event landed at its current home, beautiful Overlook Park.
Organic beer has grown by leaps and bounds since that first year, firmly establishing itself within the craft beer market. We have 39 breweries/cideries participating this year; some produce organic products year-round, while others have made a one-off just for this event. All of the products are labeled in this program as either 100% organic, organic (95-99%) or made with organic ingredients (70-94%).
According to the Organic Trade Association, U.S. organic beer sales in 2012 were $66 million, up 24.5 percent from 2011 sales. That’s an impressive number, and shows that more brewers than ever are committed to brewing beers as sustainably as possible.
We have taken this festival beyond simply serving organic beer and cider. You’re drinking your beer from a reusable and compostable cornstarch glass made from domestically grown corn by a zero-waste, solar-powered company. Our food vendors use compostable servingware and follow stringent sustainable practices. Our electricity needs are through biodiesel generators. And our volunteers are wearing organic cotton and hemp t-shirts, and drinking from BPA-free water bottles.
Events generate a lot of waste, and we work extremely hard to minimize our footprint. Our on-site composting and recycling stations are supervised by amazing recycling czars who help you sort between trash, recycling or compost. Last year, we kept 91% of the nearly 1,900 pounds of waste generated from going into the landfill; our total garbage weight was only 175 lbs. for the entire three-day event!