For the third year, locals and visitors can raise a glass to Oregon craft beer at Public Coast Brewing Co.’s HAYDAY! festival on Saturday, Aug. 24.
“It’s kind of a celebration of the whole craft itself,” Public Coast brewer Will Leroux said. “It brings everybody together, I think that’s the cool part about it.”
More than 40 craft beers from around the state will be on tap during HAYDAY!, which starts at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Haystack Gardens in Cannon Beach. VIPs can begin tasting at 2 p.m. and the last pour for everyone is 7 p.m. Attendees receive a commemorative glass and six drink tokens. VIP tickets also include a food voucher, non-alcoholic beverage offerings and a pretzel necklace.
Although Public Coast often serves up a new specialty during the festival – this year, it will be a Rosemary IPA – the event is primarily about highlighting a myriad of the exemplary beers being brewed across the state, Leroux said. Some breweries prepare their own special to introduce at the event while others use it as an opportunity to showcase one of their popular best-sellers. Beers from Buoy Beer Company, Fort George Brewery, Pelican Brewing, Bandon Rain, Beachcrest Brewing, Block 15 Brewing and Great Notion Brewing are a few of the craft beers that will be on tap.
For a long time, Leroux worked as a pastry chef for Martin North – the company that owns Pacific Coast Brewing Co. - along with several other establishments in the area. About five years ago, owner Ryan Snyder expressed his intention to at last open a brewery, an idea which was on the back burner for about 15 years, and he asked Leroux to transition into a new role as the brewer.
Over the years, Leroux has recognized – and come to appreciate – one stark yet appealing difference between developing craft beers and other aspects of the culinary world: comradeship.
“In Oregon, it’s a brotherhood for sure,” he said, adding he can go into a brewery of any size and head into the back to talk shop and glean ideas from other passionate brewers.
Marcy Wood, marketing director for Martin North and Public Coast, agreed.
“There is a lot of partnership and camaraderie among the brewers here on the Oregon coast, a lot of collaboration that goes on,” she said.
Public Coast was transformed from a concept to a reality before opening three and a half years ago, and Leroux and Snyder possessed the intention to host a beer festival from the start.
“Oregon’s history with beer is long and rich, and we take a great deal of honor in being a part of the brewing community,” Snyder said.
Public Coast started HAYDAY! as a way to showcase breweries from around Oregon who inspired the brewery’s vision.
Music and mingling
Representatives from other breweries are invited to attend the festival to speak about their unique flavor profiles and craftsmanship with attendees.
In addition to beer, the festival includes a selection of food prepared by Josh Archibald, chef of Martin North’s Wayfarer Restaurant, desserts by Ruby Jewel Ice Cream and live music.
Country singer-songwriter Britnee Kellogg, who performed at last year’s HAYDAY!, will return this year to perform. Kellogg released her debut album in 2018 and is on tour now. She was an American Idol contestant in 2013.
Jessica Manalo, a soul singer-songwriter who transplanted to Portland from Las Vegas, will also perform during the afternoon. The artist, who is well-known for her poignant lyrics, released her “Acoustic Sessions EP” in 2018.
Although HAYDAY! is a chance for “beer nerds” to learn more about Oregon’s craft brewing industry, Leroux said, the event also appeals to “non-beer nerds” who want to simply “come in and have fun, relax and enjoy the people.”
“Beer is so diverse and the flavors are diverse,” he said. “You’ll find something you like at this event, I almost guarantee it. And you’ll have fun trying to find it.”