Tapping Into the Holiday Spirit: The Holiday Ale Festival in Portland, Oregon (Dec. 4-7th)

Christmas Brew

Photo by Drunken Monkey — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

If you like beer, there is only one place to be in December. If you don’t like beer,
find someone who does, and make your merry way to the Holiday Ale Festival in Portland, Oregon from December 4th-7th. You’ll soon change your mind.

One of the most important beer-tasting events on the entire West Coast, the Holiday Ale Festival brings together over 40 artisan brews under a transparent big-top in the Pioneer Courthouse Square. With daily tastings, food pairings, and a passionate crowd of beerophiles, the Holiday Ale Festival brings good cheer, great beer and some much needed warmth to downtown Portland. (The outdoor tents are heated. Phew.)

Each afternoon, a wide variety of exclusive winter beers will be tapped for tasting. Unavailable in supermarkets, the brews chosen for the Holiday Ale Festival range from Belgian-style ales to porters and stouts, along with a truly impressive lineup of speciality beers. This year, visitors can degust liquid treats like a smoked porter infused with vanilla beans from The Stone Brewing Company, the aptly named “Hallucinator” from the Collaborator Project, or the Samichlaus Bier, one of the rarest speciality beers in the world, and, at 14% alcohol by volume, also one of the strongest.

A copious Belgian beer and brunch will cap off the festival on Sunday, where four Belgian beers will be making their debut. Ticket-holders will enjoy a vintage batch of St. Feuillien Triple, cheeses from Willamette Valley Cheese Co. and a scrumptious spread of European specialties like artisan salamis, chocolate croissants, and platters of the addictive pastry known as the chouquete.

The Holiday Ale Festival is a 21+ event and admission is free. The $20 tasting package includes 10 beer sample tickets and a souvenir mug. Handcrafted Crater Lake Rootbeer will be available free of charge for all designated drivers.

Got any “meady” tips or comments about the Holiday Ale Festival? Send me an email! Interested in exploring other great festivals in Oregon? Click here.

- Courtney Maum

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