It’s a hot, wet night both outside and from the palpable perspiration and intoxication inside the theater. I trade in my rain jacket for a dress shirt and tie, trying to keep it loose so you can’t see how much I am sweating. It’s late February 2016 and I am about to go onstage at the Oregon Beer Awards ceremony at Revolution Hall. As I leave the green room, I pass by a control room filled with a team of techs controlling the stage lighting and video projection, live-streaming red carpet hosts and sound for the band. I take a sip of award-winning IPA from the year before, attempting to calm my nerves while also keeping my energy level up with espresso shots. I try to compose myself before walking out to bright lights which mercifully blind me from the thousand-or-so industry professionals in the two-floor audience — they’re already amped and buzzed. My goal is to leave the stage quickly, accompanied by applause and cheers rather than jeers and spilled beers....


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Ossie Bladine  |

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