Summer time in the Pacific Northwest. There’s nothing like it. It’s not too hot, the rain is minimal and the views are out of this world. In the summer time, the snow capped mountains pierce the sky, the waters of the Columbia and the Willamette glisten, while water skiers, wind wailers and swimmers take full advantage of the warm weather.
Portland, Oregon in the Summer is also known for its festivals, especially of the music, beer, and food variety. But, the Columbia Gorge—maybe the most picturesque place in all of the Pacific Northwest, if not the country, is hosting a music and beer festival of it’s own this summer. I can’t imagine a better spot for music and brews in the summer time.
If you haven’t been to the Skamania County Fairgrounds, over in Stevenson, Washington, just past the Bridge of the Gods, that initial visit will drop your jaw clear to the bright green grass. Subsequent visits will do nothing to reduce the awe. Mountains jut up from every side of the Columbia River and on a crystal-clear day, you’ll swear that you can see all the way to Alaska.
It is in this ideal location that the Gorge Blues and Brews Festival returns for another year of twelve-bar tunes, five-star suds, and Zagat rated grub. Across two stages, local and national acts (some yet to be announced) lay down blues numbers, ranging from the calming to the raucous, the profane to the saintly. Meanwhile, as you enjoy these tunes, local breweries release their latest liquid remedies for the summertime blues. Remember it was Ben Franklin who aid that beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. He forgot to add the blues and Columbia Gorge.
On June 22, make the trek out to the Gorge (and be sure to bring a blanket, a lawn chair and binoculars). Enjoy local brews from the likes of Thunder Island, Jester & Judge, Backwoods and Walking Man. A variety of food will be on hand as well, from gyros, to Filipino faire, to tacos. It’s getting better already. You had me at the blues, kept me interested with the brews and sold me at tacos. The music headliners are Johnny Wheels and the Swamp Donkeys. Others on the bill include Rich Layton & Tough Town Kenny Lee & The Sundowners Franco & The Stingers, Many more are sure to come. This is a can’t miss event. And, it’s so close to Portland that you really have no excuse not to go.