The 13th annual Holiday Ale Festival will take place December 4 - 7 at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland. Yes, December can be nasty in the Great Northwest -- dark, cold and wet, but don't let that stop you because everyone will stay nice and toasty (and dry!) under the heated tents! Hey, Oregonians know how to party!
There will be more than 40 specialty and vintage beers from around the country, all of which have been brewed specifically to bring warmth and cheer to the holiday season. Each beer is uniquely crafted for the festival and can't be tasted outside the celebration. DOH! Take a look at the list of beers that will be on tap and you'll instantly turn Grinch green with envy! Oh man I wish I could go!!!
As readers of this blog know, I love me some Widmer. Their Hefeweizen was my first sortie into the craft beer bunker waaaay back in the day, so I'm pretty much a sucka for all their brews. Well, those of you lucky enough to be going can expect to taste a delicious holiday-inspired brew from Widmer in the form of the recently concocted Babushka's Secret, a Black Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout with an ABV of 9.0%. I WANT SOME OF THIS... NOW!!!!! How can I get some?!
Admission into the festival is free, but if you want to taste beers... well, you're gonna have to pony(keg) up some dough (or would that be yeast?). To actually taste brew you have to purchase a $20 tasting package. Not bad considering you get a souvenir mug and 10 beer tickets. Additional tickets can be purchased for $1 each. Ouch. See, I'm not big on the whole "beer ticket" model at festivals. They're just.... meh.
But wait! There are various pour sizes and ticket amounts, so in scheme of things... not bad. A "taster" size pour at this festival is a whopping 4 ounces! Be warned: a few of the limited release and special tapping beers will require two tickets. You can get a full mug 'o beer (14 lushes ounces), but you'll have to drop four tickets, and some of the limited release and special tappings brewskis may not be available in full mug pours.
Ya, I want to go. I am super jealous of you Northwesters. Be sure to check out the Ale Festival website, there are tons of other things going on, including a sweet looking Sunday Belgian beer brunch.
I'm gonna go over in the corner now and throw a hissy fit. Screw the holiday spirit... ya lucky bastiches. :P