Portland and Seattle are two of the best beer cities in the country, and both cities have an abundance of exciting winter seasonal beers. They also both host popular annual festivals to showcase winter beers and special one-offs. Sadly, most years they take place over the same weekend making it difficult to attend both. While the Winter Beer Festival at Hale’s Palladium starts this Friday in Seattle, Portland will get started a little earlier by kicking off their Holiday Ale Festival today. The festival, which takes place smack in the middle of downtown PDX at the Pioneer Courthouse Square, will last through Sunday.
I’ve attended the Winter Beer Fest in Seattle for 5 out of the past 6 festivals held I believe, but this year I’m taking the trip down to PDX to see what the festival down there is all about. I’ll miss the WA fest for sure, but a long weekend in Portland isn’t something that’s going to make me sad for too long.
The Holiday Ale Festival will have 50+ beers pouring, and that list is mostly made up of beers I’ve never had and have never heard of. In fact, the festival works with the breweries to make sure the beer they are pouring is either made solely for the festival or is a rare/vintage beer. They also have some extra rare limited release beer tappings, such as Hair of the Dog JIM, Cascade Barrel Aged Diesel Stout, and 2005 Samichlaus. To say this is a “beer geek’s” festival is a bit of an understatement.
I was going to try and post a list of some beers that I’ll be targeting, but it’s impossible for me to narrow it down. Glad I’ll likely be going to a couple sessions.
More details about the fest, including pricing, hours, etc…can be found here.
Whichever beer festival you’ll be attending this weekend, enjoy yourself….but, be careful. These are some big beers.