News Oregon Craft Beer Legend and Pioneer Art Larrance Dies at 80

Art Larrance, Oregon craft beer pioneer and co-founder of the Oregon Brewers Festival passed away on Sunday from a heart attack at the age of 80. Larrance co-founded Portland Brewing Co. along with Fred Bowman in 1986 and later founded Cascade Brewing.

Larrance was one of a handful of early industry members who were responsible for pushing the 1985 Oregon Brewpub Bill through the state legislature, allowing Oregon to become one of the first states, behind California and Washington, to allow brewpubs. He soon after co-founded the long running and nationally known Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF) which at one time was the largest beer festival in the country with over 50,000 attendees, surpassing the Great American Beer Festival in the early days of the industry.

At Cascade Brewing he worked with brewmaster Ron Gansberg to create some of the earliest American versions of fruit lambics.

Larrance was the sole owner of the OBF which held its 33rd event in 2022 after taking 2 years off due to the pandemic. After taking 2023 off due to declining attendance and rising costs, it was reshaped this year as a curated pavilion at the Rose Festival City Fair. The fair was held this last weekend and will continue the weekends of May 31 – June 2, and June 7-9th. There will certainly be an outpouring of remembrance for the grandfather of Oregon craft beer at the event.

Cheers to Art and all of the laughs and insight he shared with others.

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