We all wondered why, on this particular day, at this particular time, the doe would appear.

   The graceful animal pranced in front of the stage as The Cave Singers rocked, then wandered through the flower-fringed grounds of the Flavel House, the Astoria sea captain’s majestic old haunt.

   After a brief tour, the doe left the confines of Fort George Brewery’s Lupulin Ecstasy festival and we all thought “Well, that was weird,” given the loud music and hundreds of people drinking beer and all.

   But the tawny creature reappeared a couple of hours later. And that’s when we realized that her true mission was not to frolic amongst us, nor to nibble on the ample rhododendron blossoms, but to ensure the safety of the baby goats penned for our bemusement. 

   After making her safety check, she disappeared – this time for good.

   And we all turned our attention back to the star of the show: Beer. 

   Fort George offered dozens of beers from dozens of breweries throughout the Pacific Northwest, including IPAs in virtually every form and level of intensity. We’re talking Singles, Doubles, Triples and a Quadruple by Boneyard Beer of Bend, weighing in at 13% ABV.

   The festival also served as the debut of this year’s 3-Way IPA, a collaboration with Fort George, Anchorage Brewing and Cellarmaker Brewing of San Francisco. It’s a hazy golden gem, full-hopped and well-balanced (7% ABV). 

   Also on tap were a variety of other notable beers, including Anchorage’s Blessed, a potent stout made with Madagascar vanilla and coconut, and aged in bourbon barrels (15.5% ABV), and a crisp, easy-drinking Kölsch called Light in the Attic brewed by Fort George and Reuben’s Brews of Seattle (4.5% ABV).

   About halfway through a chilly, cloudy day, the sun stubbornly made its entrance, offering warmth and glimpses of blue sky. The giant inflatable bald eagle perched by the Oregon Film Museum appeared to notice.

   Stacey Williams of Astoria, who brought her camp chair to the festival, claimed a section of lawn and enjoyed the sunshine.

   What was she liking most about Lupulin Ecstasy?

   “The music, the relaxed atmosphere,” she said. “It’s very chill.”

   Yes, indeed.

   Kudos to Fort George for putting on another terrific festival (benefiting the Clatsop County Historical Society), and for allowing festival-goers to pick up their wristbands and sampling glasses the night before in the Lovell Taproom. 

   Let’s make that an option for every event! 



It’s nearly summer! 

That bright circle in the sky is the sun. The heat you feel is perfectly normal. 

So, find your shades, try not to burn your pale skin and stock your fridge and cooler with easy-drinking beer because the days are long (again, normal) and you’ll want to party on.

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