Pacific Northwest Brew Cup Astoria – USA Festivals

Waterfront at the Columbia River Maritime Museum Last full weekend in September

In a state that seems to throw a craft brew festival every weekend of the year, standing out from the crowd is no easy task, but Astoria’s Pacific Northwest Brew Cup does just that. In January, 2010—after the festival’s eighth iteration—John Foyston of The Oregonian bestowed upon the event his “Best Beer Festival” honors. This three-day beercentric extravaganza centers on sampling more than three dozen craft beers (with wine and cider available as well), and then choosing your favorites—attendees get to vote for two major awards: the People’s Choice award and the coveted Thar She Blows award for the first keg that empties. In this latter category, attendees vote with their taste buds—the first keg to run dry is obviously a beer that resonates with the crowd. Each brewery brings one special beer, and the competition is fierce as the brewers always treat attendees to a wide array of outstanding creations.

Pacific Northwest Brew Cup Astoria – USA Festivals Photo Gallery

Sprawling in the spirit of a congenial street party, this lively outdoors event (with tents and umbrella-covered tables to fend off rain) is held on the Waterfront at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, and you can bet the local breweries—Buoy, Fort George, Reach Break—will be there representing the hometown beer scene. Throughout the long weekend, more than a dozen bands take to the stage, providing an outstanding variety of live music, and food carts offer many different options for great eats. Entry to this 21-and-over festival is free, but beer samplers pay a modest fee for their commemorative sampling mug and then $1 each for tasting tokens.

The Pacific Northwest Brew Cup is a fundraising event benefiting the Astoria Downtown Historic District Association, whose mission is to encourage community involvement and investment in preserving the character of Downtown Astoria while promoting its health and future. This multiday festival provides the perfect opportunity for visitors to explore the city in all its character and historic charm, and the association website ( includes a downloadable map showing the museums and historical sites. Accommodations in Astoria range from simple motels to elegant B&Bs, and this waterfront town of about 10,000 residents offers a wide range of excellent restaurants—not to mention the local brewpubs. The beautiful beach at Fort Stevens State Park is a short drive west, and Astoria’s iconic bridge leads four miles across the mouth of the Columbia to Washington.

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