Let’s just cut to the chase. We all know that that the annual Holiday Ale Festival held in Portland, Oregon’s Pioneer Courthouse Square (701 SW Sixth Ave. on the MAX Light Rail line) is one badass beer festival with the biggest of beer lovers in mind. Reality check: It’s probably the best beer festival ever. If not, it is easily in the top five. So when this year’s festivities kick off on November 28 (through December 2) under the heated tents, you better be there!
Here’s all you need to know about this year’s festival including the full lineup of brews, including rare and limited scheduled tappings happening throughout the five day fiasco:
To enter and consume beer, the purchase of an entry package is required. The general admission package at the
door costs $30 and includes the 2012 tasting mug and 10 taster tickets. Advance general admission packages cost
$30 and include the tasting mug, 12 taster tickets and expedited entry all five days. Advance VIP packages are
available for $65 and include the tasting mug, 28 taster tickets, a bottle of water, access to VIP lines (including
special tappings) and express entry all five days. Express re-entry requires a wristband and the 2012 mug, and is
subject to the festival’s capacity. Previous year’s mugs will not be filled. Advance packages are available online at
www.holidayale.com.Once inside the festival, a full mug of beer costs four taster tickets, and a four-ounce taste costs one ticket. Certain
limited release and special tappings may not be available in full mug pours, or may cost double tickets. Additional
beer tickets can be purchased for $1 apiece.
Designated drivers in a party of two or more may purchase a designated driver wristband for $5, which includes
Crater Lake Root Beer or bottled water for the duration of the stay.
The event is for ages 21 and over.
Avery Brewing Co • Boulder, CO • AveryBrewing.com
Old Jubilation Ale • English Olde Ale
OG 18.5 • 8.3% ABV • 45 IBU
This winter strong ale has a gorgeous mahogany hue, a hint of hazelnuts, and a finish reminiscent of mocha and toffee. No spices, just a perfect blend of five specialty malts.
Bayern Brewing • Missoula, MT • BayernBrewery.com
Bayern Eisbock • Eisbock
OG 18.2 • FG 3.9 • 13% ABV • 34 IBU
This beer started out as Bayern’s award winning Doppelbock; over a course of nine months of a freezing process, it ended up as an Eisbock. The freezing process involves lowering the temperature of the beer in the aging tank to a point that the remaining water in the beer freezes. Several transfers from tank to tank to extract all the ice resulted in a very smooth, higher alcohol beer.
Bear Republic Brewing Co • Cloverdale, CA • BearRepublic.com
Prepare to be Boarded • Barrel Aged Spiced Stout
OG 20.5 • FG 5 • 8.1% ABV • 50 IBU
This barrel aged stout is rich with the avors of molasses and spices of the East Indies and the Caribbean, the same spices that enriched the coffers of empires (and pirates) during the 17th and 18th centuries. Including allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and mace, this true “pirate stout”is as black as coal and will put you in the right holiday spirit. Avast, matey, and a ho ho ho!
Bison Brewing/Logsdon Farmhouse Ales
Berkeley, CA/Hood River, OR • BisonBrew.com/FarmhouseBeer.com
Organic Cocoa Bretta • Stout
OG 15.5 • FG 3 • 7% ABV • 26 IBU
Cocoa-Bretta is an organic collaboration cheer that combines Bison’s award winning Chocolate Stout and Logsdon’s Bretta. This stout beer was brewed with cocoa, multiple yeasts, and finished with strains of Brettanoymces, then keg conditioned with pear juice.
10 Barrel Brewing Co • Bend, OR • 10Barrel.com
Frosty’s Revenge • Belgian Noel Ale
OG 17.3 • FG 4.1 • 7% ABV • 40 IBU
The malt bill of this Belgian Christmas beer is based around a milk stout, with notes of molasses, toasted bread and raisins. The hops deliver hints of pine and bubblegum. The main character of this beer is contributed by the Belgian Abbey yeast with its essence of candied fruit. To take this over the top, the brewers also wove in caramelized dates and raisins, cinnamon sticks in the hop back and cocoa nibs in the boil, then conditioned it on raisins and gs.
Alameda Brewing Co • Portland, OR • AlamedaBrewing.com
Vintage Papa Noel’s Special Reserve • English Olde Ale
OG 20.8 • FG 5.5 • 8.2% ABV • 40 IBU
Papa Noel’s Special Reserve is the bigger brother of Alameda’s popular winter seasonal, Papa Noel’s Olde Ale. This batch was brewed in December 2010 and aged in a variety of wood barrels, including fresh white oak, rum and whiskey, then blended. True to the olde ale style, this beer has a wonderful malt character with notes of raisins, chocolate, toffee and caramel.
Breakside Brewery • Portland, OR • BreaksideBrews.com
Breakside India Passion Elixir • Imperial Red Ale
OG 21 • FG 4 • 8.7% ABV • 80 IBU
Breakside’s Jacob Leonard collaborated with Lompoc Brewing’s Bryan Keilty to brew this strong, hoppy red ale. On the grist side, the brewers included flaked rye and dark wheat. For hops, they turned to Willamette and Centennial. And to finish, they rounded the beer out with a bit of honey for more body. Enjoy this winter hop bomb!
BridgePort Brewing Co • Portland, OR • BridgeportBrew.com
Oak Aged Old Knucklehead • Barley Wine Style Ale
OG 22 • FG 6 • 9.2% ABV • 50 IBU
Generous amounts of NW pale, caramel and chocolate malts were blended with English Goldings kettle hops and Willamette Valley Cascade and Chinook Hopjack hops. It was brewed in small batches, fermented, and then aged on American white oak. The oak aging imparted caramel and vanilla flavors to complement the bold and smooth malt flavors and unique hop character of this true NW ale.
Burnside Brewing Co • Portland, OR • BurnsideBrewCo.com
White Out • Arctic Ale
OG 22 • FG 4 • 9.3% ABV • 80 IBU
Burnside wanted to create a unique strong winter warmer that featured a malty body, yet was light in color with a distinct hop presence. Enjoy the deceiving light color, yet remarkably well balanced malt and hop of this beer.
Cascade Brewing • Portland, OR • CascadeBrewing.com
Diesel #2 (Chocolate) • Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
11% ABV • 20 IBU
This beer was brewed with chocolate and roasted malts, black strap molasses and dark Belgian candi sugar, then aged for nine months in Heaven Hill rye whiskey barrels on Bourbon vanilla beans and Black Mission Figs. You’ll First notice aromas of dark sweet chocolate, coffee, Bourbon and molasses with hints of vanilla. Then dark coffee and milk chocolate intermingle with a slight Bourbon heat and a lingering sweet dark chocolate flavor that will leave you smiling with a beer mustache!
Coalition Brewing • Portland, OR • CoalitionBrewing.com
The Lost Glove • American Style Strong Ale
OG 20 • FG 3.8 • 8.4% ABV • 60 IBU
Both English and American base malts give this beer its hefty 8.4% alcohol, while British brown malt and Chilean caramel malt lend it color and sweetness. Five different hops give a complex but approachable hop profile to balance out the malty sweetness. A high alpha hop varietal, Nugget, is used for bittering. Tettnanger and Cascade round out the middle, while a blend of the three make up the hop back.
Collaborator • Portland, OR • OregonBrewCrew.org
Collaborator Hallucinator • Olde Ale
OG 17 • FG 3 • 9.7% ABV • 40 IBU
While there is some hop presence, this beer is malt driven, with a flavor profile dominated by sweet grains. This barrel aged ale made in conjunction with the Festival will keep you warm through long nights, cold winds and persistent rain; an ale that perfectly fits the next few months in Portland.
Columbia River Brewing • Portland, OR • ColumbiaRiverBrewpub.com
Stumblers Chocolate Cherry Stout • Imperial Oatmeal Stout
OG 19.1 • FG 4.8 • 8% ABV • 58 IBU
The Columbia River brewers took their double award-winning Stumblers Stout and winterized it, giving it a higher ABV plus the addition of cocoa nibs and Oregon tart cherries.
Crux Fermentation Project, Bend, OR • CruxFermentation.com
Snow Cave Winter Warmer • Winter Warmer
OG 20 • FG 3 • 11% ABV • 20 IBU
Style guidelines…what guidelines? Snow Cave gives a nod to all winter beer styles. Starting with a heavy dose of wheat malt and ending with a touch of chocolate, this high gravity interpretation of a winter warmer will keep you cozy in the harshest of winters.
Deschutes Brewery • Bend, OR • DeschutesBrewery.com
Imperial Smoked Porter • Imperial Smoked Porter
10% ABV • 50 IBU
This strong porter features a solid smoke presence, a rich malt character and a smooth, rounded mouthfeel. Additions of dark muscovado sugar, oats and wheat contribute to its complexity.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery • Milton, DE • Dogfish.com
Raison D’Etre • Belgian Style Brown Ale
8% ABV • 25 IBU
This deep mahogany Belgian style brown ale was brewed with beet sugar, raisins and Belgian style yeast, resulting in a beer that’s as complex as a ne red wine.
Eel River Brewing Co • Scotia, CA • EelRiverBrewing.com
Noel Barrel Aged Blend • Christmas Spiced Imperial Red Ale
OG 18.8 • FG 3.8 • 8.4% ABV • 50 IBU
This Imperial red ale was brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves, then blended with Eel River’s Triple Exultation, which had been aged in Bourbon barrels for six months.
Firestone Walker/Barrelworks • Paso Robles, CA • FirestoneBeer.com
Wild Merkin • Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout & Gueuze Blend
A collaboration with the Holiday Ale Festival, this Barrelworks project is a blend of one-year-old Heaven Hill Bourbon barrel aged Velvet Merkin that was blended with a touch of a young Gueuze from Firestone’s sour program. The result is a lighter, brighter but still barrel-forward Merkin for your sipping pleasure.
Fort George Brewery • Astoria, OR • FortGeorgeBrewery.com
The Three Wisemen • Barrel Aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout
OG 23.2 • FG 5 • 9.9% ABV • scant IBU
The Three Wisemen honor the holiday tradition of gifting: in this case, gifting your liver an Imperial oatmeal stout that has been lovingly conditioned in Bourbon, Tequila and Rum barrels, then brought back together to form a wonderfully warming, cunningly complex and graciously gratifying Yuletide elixir.
Full Sail Brewing Co • Hood River, OR • FullSailBrewing.com
2011 Black Gold • Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
OG 23.6 • FG 3.3 • 11.4% ABV • 35 IBU
This beer was initially brewed in February 2010; a portion of the batch was reserved and aged for almost a year in 18-year-old Bourbon casks from Kentucky. This extended aging presents hints of vanilla and allows the stout to pick up the flavors of the wood, Bourbon and oak. It has a strong roasted malt character and a full body. Chocolate and
caramel nuances blend with the hops for a smooth finish.
Gigantic Brewing • Portland, OR • GiganticBrewing.com
Old Man Gower’s Holiday Tipple • Holiday Style Beer
OG 18 • FG 4 • 7.1% ABV • 40 IBU
The recipe for this malty, caramel holiday beer was passed down to the brewer by Old Man Gower. According to the brewer, “It was Christmas Eve in the drunk tank. An old man said to me, ‘Won’t see another one.’ And then we sang a song, The Rare Old Mountain Dew. I turned my face away, and he told me about this brew.”
Gilgamesh Brewing • Turner, OR • GilgameshBrewing.com
Blitz’N’ Prancer • Spiced Belgian Strong Ale
OG 20.8 • FG 3.5 • 9% ABV • 6 IBU
This spiced Belgian style ale was brewed in the spirit of holiday breads. Dark roasted malts and large quantities of molasses make a robust and slightly sweet body. Light hopping and spicing from vanilla, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg create a festive finish.
Golden Valley Brewery • McMinnville, OR • GoldenValleyBrewery.com
Black Panther • Imperial Stout
OG 23 • 9.5% ABV • 55 IBU
Using neighboring Panther Creek Cellars French oak barrels –which have had two to three vintages of Panther Creek Pinot aged in them – took the claws o the sharper edges of this big boy.Roasted malt character melds into oaky vanilla vinous notes to create a luscious beer experience.
Kells Brew Pub • Portland, OR • KellsBrewPub.com
Kells Mexican Mocha Porter • Mocha Porter
OG 12.5 • FG 2.5 • 5.2% ABV • 22 IBU
Delicious chocolate porter meets warming spices, cold brewed coffee and spicy peppers. There is no better way to warm up thiswinter!
Lagunitas Brewing Co • Petaluma, CA • Lagunitas.com
Ye Olde GnarlyWine • Aged Barleywine
OG 26.5 • FG 8.5 • 10.7% ABV • 69 IBU
Olde Gnarly Wine Ale has been aging a couple years for your enjoyment. The first sip is for thirst, the second for pleasure. The third is for romance, and the fourth…some say is for pure madness.This favorite of the brewers has been absent for a while, as it was delayed by a brewhouse destroyed at sea.
Lompoc Brewing Co • Portland, OR • LompocBrewing.com
Franc’ly Brewdolph • Belgian Style Red
OG 17.5 • FG 3 • 7.6% ABV
This Belgian style red ale was brewed in October 2011 with the Belgian Ardennes yeast strain, then aged for a year in CabernetFranc barrels. The resulting beer has a malty and creamy body.
Lucky Labrador Brewing • Portland, OR • LuckyLab.com
Milk and Cookies • Spiced Milk Stout
OG 15.5 • FG 3.2 • 6.4% ABV • 20 IBU
A treat for Santa or yourself, this smooth milk stout was brewed with chocolate black and roast malts for a nutty flavor that’s complemented by the addition of rum soaked raisins.
MacTarnahan’s Brewing Co • Portland, OR • MacsBeer.com
Figgy Pudding • Barrel Aged Fruit Beer
OG 16.5 • FG 4.2 • 7.1% ABV • 34 IBU
The brewers filled brandy and Bourbon barrels with a wheat bee brewed with g concentrate. They then added g puree to the barrels to kick up the fruitiness another notch. After six months, those barrels were blended with year-old barrel aged porter and a touch of fresh Imperial stout. Layers of fruit, brandy, caramel, cocoa and coffee make this an ideal beverage to enjoy on a cold winter’s night.
McMenamins Concordia Brewery • Portland, OR • McMenamins.com
Blenshee Blizzard • Strong Scotch Ale
OG 19.4 • FG 3.9 • 8.5% ABV • 7 IBU
Ward o the winter cold with the warming malty cheer of this strong scotch ale. Very lightly hopped with a hint of smokiness from the peat smoked malt, this big beer is designed to showcase the wonders of the grain. The deep reddish hue and high alcohol content is like a cozy hearth fire.
Migration Brewing • Portland, OR • MigrationBrewing.com
Feel the Rath • Belgian Triple
OG 25 • FG 5 • 10.5% ABV • 26 IBU
This beer is golden in color with a smooth and complex mouthfeel. Brewed using Trappist yeast plus late additions of fresh ginger and Minneola orange zest, this beer delivers a smooth wave of citrus on the nose while providing spicy earth qualities on the palate. Feel the Rath exemplifies what monks have created for hundreds of years in Belgian tradition, coupled with a Migration twist that traditionalists can be proud of.
New Belgium Brewing Co • Fort Collins, CO • NewBelgium.com
Frambozen • Belgian-Style Brown Ale
OG 16 • FG 2.8 • 6.5% ABV • 16 IBU
This beer begins with the aroma of fresh red raspberries, followed by the ripe seductiveness of a fruity brown ale with depth and delicate malt notes. It is deep ruby in color, with flavors just as rich.Every year, New Belgium sends a delegate to the Pacific Northwest to oversee the process of turning freshly picked berries into a pure juice to be added in fermentation.
Ninkasi Brewing Co • Eugene, OR • NinkasiBrewing.com
Ancient Ale-ians • Strong Ale
OG 17 • FG 4.5 • 6.9% ABV • 60 IBU
This beer was made in honor of the end of the Mayan calendar and to celebrate the last beer festival of modern civilization. Deep mahogany hued and fermented with an Alt yeast strain, this beer has a clean,toasted malt profile that finishes with a bright citrus and oral hop presence. This beer was conditioned on 80 lbs of chocolate nibs from Theo Chocolates in Seattle, with the addition of Guatemalan coffee from Water Avenue Coffee in Portland to impart a rich flavor with perceived bitterness from the hops, chocolate and coffee.
Oakshire Brewing • Eugene, OR • OakBrew.com
Very Ill Tempered Gnome • American Strong Ale
OG 19.8 • FG 4 • 9% ABV • 80 IBU
Oakshire took its Ill Tempered Gnome and turned it up to 11! Well,9% at least. With more malt, more hops and more flavorful good-ness, you’ll want to seek out this rare and limited Imperial winter ale.VITG has a complex malt profile of caramel, light fruit and toasty nuts and is backed up by a warming alcohol presence and a bold citrus hop blast.
Rock Bottom Brewery • Portland, OR • RockBottom.com
Wenceslas • Bohemian Christmas Pilsner
OG 13.8 • FG 2 • 6.2% ABV • 45 IBU King Wenceslas is not only the patron saint of Czech brewers, he is also the subject of perhaps the most beloved Christmas carol of all time-even though, oddly enough, most people don’t know any of the words past the first line (in fact, for many years, they were lost all together).But if you look up the newly re-discovered lyrics, you’ll find that good King Wenceslas looked down (on the Feast of Stephen), saw a poor man gathering wood, and ordered his page to take the man a jug of a strong,pale lager. Thus was born the traditional Bohemian Christmas Pilsner.
Rogue Brewery • Newport, OR • Rogue.com
Brew 15,000 • Belgian Stout
OG 16 • FG 4.5 • 6.5% ABV • 44 IBU
Brew 15,000 is a very limited, strong, dark ale. It is John Maier’s15,000th brew, and Rogue originally brewed just 1,515 bottles, all of which were autographed by the Master Brewer himself. The brew pours a frothy, dark beige head which gives it a beautiful appearance. You may taste a lingering fruity ester from the Belgian yeast. It’s got a smoky, roasty avor, and a slight edge of mint.
Rusty Truck Brewing Co • Lincoln City, OR • RustyTruckBrewing.com
Cherry Chocoholic Baltic Porter • Baltic Porter
OG 17.5 • FG 4 • 7.2% ABV • 38 IBU
This classic Baltic-style porter was brewed with hulless black barley, dark caramel malt, honey malt and a touch of smoked malt.After a four-week lager fermentation, it was aged on 90 lbs of hand-pressed Willamette Valley cherries per 10-barrel batch, and flavored with natural chocolate avor. Expect big chocolate and cocoa aroma and flavor, balanced by a sweet cherry flavor and finish. It’s dark as night, full-bodied and hopped enough to balance the rich malt and chocolate-cherry profile.
Seven Brides Brewing • Silverton, OR • SevenBridesBrewing.com
Lil’s Brandy Barrel Pils • Pilsner
8% ABV • 40 IBU
When Willamette Valley Vineyards vinifera barrels arrived, the brewers at Seven Brides added Lil’s Pils to age specifically for the Holiday Ale Festival. This delicate style of beer picked up flavors of oak and Pinot Noir, and will leave your taste buds with a subtle heat of brandy.
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers • San Francisco, CA • GoodBeer.com
Spiced Payback Porter • Robust Porter
OG 17.5 • FG 4 • 7.5% ABV • 38 IBU
Speakeasy opted for a twist on its perennial favorite, Payback Porter. The brewers took inspiration from the traditional Masala Chai tea, brewing the dark porter with a combination of vanilla bean, ginger, cardamom, clove and black pepper
Stone Brewing Co • Escondido, CA • StoneBrew.com
Stone Suitable for Cave Aging • Imperial Smoked Porter
9% ABV • 53 IBU
Stone’s Imperial porter, a tribute to Danny Williams, pours an opaque dark brown with aromas of dark roasted malt, cocoa,vanilla, Bourbon and wood. The taste is much the same, with a woody finish and a Bourbon kick with each sip. The smoke comes out as the beer opens up, but it’s never too strong.
Terminal Gravity Brewing • Enterprise, OR • TerminalGravityBrewing.com
2008 Festivale • Aged Winter Strong Ale
OG 18.1 • FG 2.8 • 8.6% ABV • 78 IBU
Festivale (pronounced, festive-ale) is one of Terminal Gravity’s most popular beers, annually available from late October through Christmas. 2008 was a particularly tasty year, with a lower terminal gravity and higher ABV than most years. The brewers held back several kegs with the Holiday Ale Festival in mind. It has aged very well, and is now a hoppy, dark copper, strong ale – the perfect pintin which to get lost.
The Commons Brewery • Portland, OR • CommonsBrewery.com
Boysen • Dark Belgian Ale
OG 21.6 • FG 3.6 • 10.5% ABV • 25 IBU
Boysen is a dark, strong, malt forward Belgian ale with dark fruitsadded during maturation. Chocolate notes create a foundation for the boysenberries and yeast esters to ride on.
Vertigo Brewing • Hillsboro, OR • VertigoBrew.com
Bob Barley’s Dreaded Holiday Ale • Cascadian Dark Ale
OG 17.3 • FG 2.8 • 7.7% ABV • 65 IBU
Bob Barley CDA gets its dark color from de-husked German malts that have been cold-mashed. This process produces a dark beer without the astringent flavor that can often accompany darker malts. 2-Row basemalt, Crystal 120°L, wheat and Caramel Vienne are used to add complexity to this holiday ale. Generous amounts of Magnum and Amarillo hops provide balanced bitterness and hop aroma. When youtaste this beer, you will want to shout “Ya Mon!”
Walking Man Brewing • Stevenson, WA
Santa’s Little Black Homo • Spiced Cascadian Dark Ale
OG 15 • FG 2 • 6.8% ABV • 60 IBU
This spiced CDA is Big Black Homo’s jolly little brother. It was brewed with jovial caramel and black malts to provide a jubilant malty character that mirthfully mingles with Summit and Centennial hops. But wait! The merrymaking doesn’t end there; a festive whack of cinnamon sticks were thrown into the kettle, and freshly cracked allspice berries were added during fermentation to further cheer this merry mutha up! JingleTHAT Santa!
Widmer Brothers Brewing • Portland, OR • WidmerBrothers.com
Brrrbon Vanilla – Cask Strength • Barrel Aged Imperial Red IPA
OG 20 • FG 3.5 • 10.5% ABV • 55 IBU
Rich oak and vanilla aromas dominate this Imperial red IPA with hints of dark chocolate and caramel. The Bourbon flavors accentuate the subtle sweetness from the vanilla, giving this beer a deep complexity and balance. An earthy fullness makes this beer the perfect winter warmer.
2012 Limited Tappings Beer List
As a special gift to you, in addition to the main lineup of 44 winter seasonals, we’ve gone deep into the cellar to bring out a few rare kegs. In most cases, these rare or vintage brews are limited to just one single keg, so timing is of the essence if you want to taste any of these. Please note, this list is subject to change with little or no notice. There may be more tapped in the 6 pm hour Wed-Sat. Also, check out the Lounge for additional beers and a chance to meet some brewers. If you want to stay up to date and be in the know, follow the Festival’s mobile website at http://holidayale.com.
Wednesday @2 PM
2005 Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus: tasters only, double tickets
2008 Alaskan Big Nugget: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
2008 Oskar Blues Ten Fiddy: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
2008 North Coast Old Stock: tasters only, double ticket
Thursday @ 2 PM
2009 Dog sh Head Festina Peche: regular pricing
2009 Kona Black Sands Porter (from the island): regular pricing
2009 Deschutes Lost Mirror Mirror: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
2009 Cascade Sang Noir: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
Friday @ 2 PM
2008 JIM Commemorative: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
2009 JIM Commemorative: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
2008 Deschutes Snow Quad: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
2010 New Belgium Transatlantique Kriek: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
Saturday @ 2 PM
2006 Anchor Old Foghorn: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
2007 Anchor Old Foghorn: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
2009 Rock Bottom Maude Flanders: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
2010 Bear Republic Ebeweesner: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
Posted under beer events, beer releases, Oregon beer, places to drink beer
This post was written by Angelo on November 16, 2012