Sunday, September 20, 2009

HUB Biketobeerfest 2009 a delicious success

Hopworks Urban Brewery put together two wonderful crafts: brewing and bicycles. The event, held at the brewery on Saturday, September 19, was well attended without being overrun. No problems getting a beer, unless you spent the extra time in the line where the beer was being served from the Hopworksfiets mobile tap. (See the Photostream and links).

The official blurb can be found here, but the real celebration is the fusion of craftsmanship in two related industries. The connections are obvious. Craft beer and bicycle building are one part science and one part art. Beer is a social beverage and bicyclists have bonds of camaraderie along with many social connections, a sort of "we're all in this together." And, nothing refreshes quite like a good beer after a long bike ride.

But beyond these connections, why put these two industries together? From a promotional standpoint, especially in sudsy Portland, the need for local brewers to differentiate and rise above others is essential. This is not to say that HUB does not have excellent beers that can stand on their own, but they also know that they need to be noticed and get people to the brewery. Frankly, I had never been there even though it is a short bike ride, you can drive if you must, away.

In aligning themselves as craftsman with malt and hops with the craftsman of steel and brazing torch, they have signaled to the market and thirsty consumers that they are serious about quality. One only had to walk through the exhibit of beautiful, locally made bikes to see that. And, the Hopworksfiets custom cargo bike has created a sensation so great that when Dave Barry blogged about it, it nearly took down for the count. Such is the power of social media.

The event wasn't all serious craftsmanship, though. There were plenty of games and music and, of course, the incomparable Sprockettes provided their brand of circus and dance.

As a festival, the event succeeded for the guests. As a promotional event for Hopworks Urban Brewery, I cannot believe that they will not reap many rewards. Oh, and the beer was good, too.