The first, hopefully annual, experimental Oakridge Keg & Cask Festival is coming up in a few weeks. Saturday, August 29th, to be exact. The last big meeting on this was today, an attempt to tighten up the loose ends. While I am not by any means the "Organizer", what with all the things going on here that make a pub and brewery function, I have tried to insert the sundry molecule of influence. One of the best festivals, if you want to call it that, that I've attended was a Brewers Weekend at the Prince of Wales pub in Foxfield, Cumbria in June of 2007. I was confronted with around 40 different cask ales, the actual presence of many of the brewers and owners, and a room to stay in above the pub when the lights were turned out. The experience of rubbing shoulders and buying rounds with real industry professionals, not indifferent volunteers, made all the difference. It is this simple idea that I've tried to inject into this small budding local festival.
For breweries, I had the idea of selecting around a dozen within a 100 mile radius of the pub. Not the big guys, but the smaller crafts willing to send a brewer and/or an owner around to serve and discuss their products. I was hoping for around eight breweries, but so far we've only ended up with four. A couple of wineries also. I was a little disappointed with some of the brewers/vintners that took either a wait-and-see attitude, or just gave the cold shoulder. Nevertheless, we shall have a good time all around, and there will be music and food vendors and, I think, games involving fruits and vegetables.