Did someone mention a golden calf? One of the trophies from our sister event in Seattle.

When you’re dreaming a brand-new, all-local food festival (as we are, with July’s Cowabunga), you naturally look for all the angles. So when the folks at Rossi Farms, the sweet urban-ag treasure which will host our three days of celebration of Oregon’s bounty next month, mentioned that they used to throw a huge barbecue for their Parkrose neighbors, “piqued” was the very word.

Thus Cowabunga’s hot Saturday night revives Barn Bash (July 14), a folksy staple of the Parkrose summer, now reinvented with guest stars like Burgerville, Moonstruck Chocolate, Smokehouse Tavern, Taqueria Nueve, Scott Dolich of Park Kitchen, and Yakuza manning the food stations. Because all of Cowabunga is designed to showcase the artisan energy and aspirational values that define and nurture Oregon’s culinary ecosystem and connect city and country, it’s exciting to have Country Natural providing its hyper-sustainable Oregon Country Beef. (Road trip to their Burns HQ, anyone?)

The beer, wine, and whiskey will flow—this is, after all, a Portland Monthly event. The barn in question will host a lineup of local brewers featuring Pono, Breakside, Gateway, Pelican, and Lagunitas, with more to come, while House pours wine, Sake One and Wild Roots Vodka unveil some of Portland’s craft treasures, and Glenfiddich keeps us all classy.

Over the course of the night, the good folks on hand will bestow (with all due diligence and investigation, we’re sure) a People’s Choice award for Best Beer, while a panel of judges works long and hard to anoint the best food/beer pairing, a one-night-only collaboration between a Barn Bash brewer and chef.

So the food and drink roster is very promising. But the live music could boost the whole affair into the realm of heroic summer parties. Zach Bryson’s high-lonesome country and forays into blues throw back to Hank Williams and the golden age of heartbreak-tinged roadhouse revelry; while the Oregon Trailers pledge equal allegiance to the wooly “outlaw” country days of the ‘70s and the lovelorn jukeboxes of the ‘60s, evoking old vinyl, new crushes, and fine moments for ice-cold beer.

Barn Bash is one leg of Cowabunga, our debut festival also featuring the ever-popular Country Brunch, a home cook’s fantasy league of local chefs offering demos and bites during Farm Out, and Seared, a kickoff VIP dinner. The whole affair benefits the Oregon Food Bank. See you at the farm!

Cowabunga

Jul 13-15, Rossi Farms, tickets from $45 

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