Finding the finest chowder on the Oregon Coast could easily become a summer-long quest, involving a prolonged road trip, extensive sampling and a family-sized packet of Pepto Bismol.
But guests at Lincoln City’s Chowder & Brewfest can whittle that gargantuan task down to a single afternoon’s work, sampling chowders from some of the coast’s finest chefs alongside an impressive array of beers and music from artists including blues star Curtis Salgado.
Returning for its second year on Saturday, Sept. 9, the gourmet event will take over the top deck of the parking structure at the Lincoln City Outlets, a venue that local tourism chief Ed Dreisdadt has dubbed “The Party in the Sky.”
“This is the kickoff celebration of the fall coastal season with a day of never-ending fun,” said Dresidadt, executive director of the Lincoln City Visitor & Convention Bureau. “Nothing else like it anywhere, this is Lincoln City at its good-time best.”
In return for their entry fee, guests will get a souvenir tasting glass plus tickets for five beer tastings and five samples of chowder from a host of coastal favorites including Mo’s, the Horn Public House and the Newport Café.
Full serving sizes of chowder and beer will be available for purchase and food vendors will also have a variety of non-chowder items for sale throughout the day.
An afternoon of live music will kick off at noon with a performance of high-energy, reggae-influenced pop from Sacramento-based band ZuhG. Band leader and Lincoln City resident Bryan Nichols is well known for his acoustic performances at local venues, and is looking forward to getting the party started with a more dynamic sound.
At 2:30 pm, with the stage suitably warmed up, guests will be treated to a headline performance from blues star Curtis Salgado, fresh off a plane from Las Vegas. With a career spanning 40 years, Salgado is a musical giant whose accomplishments range from touring with Steve Miller and Santana to helping transform John Belushi into “Joliet” Jake Blues for “The Blues Brothers.”
Returning by popular demand after last year’s event, Portland cover band Hit Machine will close out the festival with a high-energy show starting at 5 pm. This effervescent five-piece play hits from all eras, and it’s not uncommon to hear the Bee Gees, Prince, Taio Cruz and AC/DC all in the same set.
Games including Giant Jenga will be on offer throughout the day, while a corn hole tournament will give guests the chance to test their bean bag toss for a chance at winning a souvenir corn hole set.
The festival is a major fund-raiser for the Lincoln City Chamber of Commerce, which aims to strengthen the local economy through networking opportunities and civic projects.
“Chowder & Brewfest got off to a great start last year and is fast becoming our signature event,” said Executive Director Lori Arce-Torres. “This year’s festival will be bigger and better than ever, so come along and join the fun.”
The Chowder & Brewfest will run from noon to 7 pm at the Lincoln City Outlets, 1500 SE East Devils Lake Road.
The event is family friendly and also suitable for well-behaved dogs who stay on their leashes.
Advance tickets are $25 for over 21s, which includes a commemorative tasting glass, five beer tastings and five chowder samples, as well as $5 in slot play at Chinook Winds Casino Resort.
For people aged 12 to 20, admission is $10 and includes five chowder samples. Kids aged 11 and under get in free.
A special Designated Driver ticket is available for people aged 21 and over, priced at $15 and including five chowder samples plus $5 in slot play at Chinook Winds.
Advance tickets are on sale at chowderbrewfest.com.
On the day of the event, tickets at the gate increase to $30 for over 21s and $20 for designated drivers.