Here are this week’s worth of craft beer events in Portland beginning Friday, February 19.
Fourth Annual Blackout Beer Fest 4-10 p.m. Friday Feb. 19, Lompoc Sidebar, 3901 N Williams Ave.; $15 includes tasting glass and eight tix. 21 & over only.
Taste 29 dark beers from Lompoc and other Oregon breweries. Beers will pour in the Sidebar and in the heated fest tent in the parking lot, where there’ll also be live music from Train River, and the regular menu will be available in the 5th Quadrant.
Here’s the list:
54-40 or Fight CDA
Baerlic Dark Thoughts
Buoy German Chocolate Stout
Breakside Salted Carmel Chocolate Stout
Cascade Dark Day CDA
Double Mountain Moon Patrol Imperial Stout
Ecliptic Bourbon Barrel Aged Capella Porter
Everybody’s Cold Press Coffee Porter
FOTM Dark Prinz CDA
Lompoc Port Barrel Aged Cimmerian
Fort George From Astoria with Love
Gigantic Slip into Darkness:
Hopworks Mash Tun Time Machine
Kells Irish Stout
Lucky Lab Black Owl Stout
pFriem Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
Portland U Brew Citra CDA
StormBreaker The Love Van
Upright Imperial Stout:
Coin Toss Black Hohl Son CDA
Lompoc Brewing 8 Malty Nights
Pelican Tsunami Stout
Roots Epic Ale
The Commons Khthonios
Three Creeks 8 Second CDA
Thunder Island Brewing Scotch Porter
Uptown Beeracle off 92nd Street
Widmer Skinwalker CDA
Hillsdale Brewfest 11 a.m.-close Saturday Feb. 20, Hillsdale Brewery & Public House, 1505 S.W. Sunset Blvd.; Free admission, $10 for 11-sample taster tray.
The 23rd annual Hillsdale Brewfest pits 22 of the finest ales from McMenamins breweries against each other for the chance at winning the championship belt, bragging rights and the tight to brew the McMenamins beer for this year’s Oregon Brewers Festival, and perfectly exemplifies the cheerful anarchy at the heart of the McMpire. Along with your taster tray, you get a ballot to vote for your favorite beer and those ballots determine the winner of the belt. It’s a fun, family friendly festival, and a great tradition that reminds us that Hillsdale was Oregon’s first post-Prohibition brewpub, opened shortly after the McMenamins, Widmers, Ponzis and others helped make brewpubs legal in Oregon in 1985.
Block 15 Bourbon Month in Portland 5-10 p.m. Saturday Feb. 20, NW IPA, 6359 S.E. Foster Rd.;
We don’t have to feel left out of Block 15’s Bourbon Month in Corvallis because the N-Dubs folks are bringing it to Portland for a night – no actual bourbon but they should have a couple of bourbon barrel aged beers including Super Nebula and a full tap take over. And on Wednesday, Feb. 24, you can pick up your copy of the new WW Beer Guide at NW IPA and learn who won the PDX IPA Challenge.
Tenth Annual Chowder Challenge Noon- 4 pm. Saturday Feb. 20 Lompoc Fifth Quadrant, 3901 N Williams Ave.; free admission, $10 for tasting tray. Minors OK.
A dozen local brewpubs and restaurants contend for the title of Portland’s best chowder in Saturday’s Chowder Cup. New England-style clam chowders from each will be served in unlabeled cups and attendees vote for their favorite and the People’s Choice Winner. Also: live music, a beer garden, a raffle with prizes from the participants, and pub food for purchase. All net proceeds are donated to Portland’s Community Transitional School.
Upright Cherry Beer Release 1 p.m. – close Saturday Feb. 20, Upright Brewing Tasting Room, Left Bank Bldg, 240 N. Broadway, Ste 2;
Upright Brewing Heart’s Beat (with Chelan cherries) and Upright Shades (with rainier cherries) will be released in bottles Saturday for $20 each 750ml bottle with a 3 bottle limit. A keg of each will be on tap for samples or 12oz pours. Here are the brewery descriptions of these lovely beers, which are named after a Charles Mingus composition from his album “The Black Saint and Sinner Lady:”
Hearts’ Beat – my favorite – was brewed in eight casks that contained over 100 pounds each of Chelan cherries from Baird Family Orchards, so the beer beautifully showcases the fruit above all else. A blend of two different brett strains was added and the barrels sat for one year before blending and bottle conditioning which began in July of this year. The high tannin level lends the beer a distinct edge that holds up well against the acidity, and the amount of fruit makes the beer drink much like a cherry wine, and combines elements of Belgian lambics, saisons, and our own whims.
Shades uses Rainier cherries that don’t alter the color of the beer, though it too was aged in casks with 100 pounds each. They used two different lots – one notably sweet and the other tart, and inoculated the casks with three different brett strains. The beer was aged and conditioned just like the Hearts’ Beat, but with a funkier aromatic profile with a bit more acidity.
Ninth Annual Firkin Fest 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday Feb. 20, Green Dragon, 928 SE Ninth Ave.; $10 includes souvenir glass and 5 tix. 21& over.
You can sample the largest line-up of donated firkins ever – more than 40 unique firkin beers that are unpasteurized, unfiltered, naturally carbonated in the cask and served at cellar temperature of approximately 55 degrees available to taste. New this year, $8 Growler fills of the cask-conditioned beers will be offered throughout the festival. A portion of proceeds from the fest benefits the Buckman Arts Focus Elementary School. Last year $3,000 was raised and donated to this outstanding neighborhood school.
Here’s the beer list for the 2016 Firkin Fest:
Alameda Brewing – Admiration IPA
Baerlic Brewing – Pioneer Oregon Special Bitter
Base Camp – Celestial Meridian CDL
Base Camp – Hops in the ‘Pool Helles Lager
Beer Valley – Leafer Madness
Bent Shovel – Firkin Pils
Bier One – Dry Hopped Conde Blondie
Cider Riot – Burncider Dry Draught
Coalition – Serendipity Session Ale
Ecliptic – Capella Porter
Ex Novo – Stiff Upper Lip ESB (VIF Only)
Fearless – Clackamas Cream Ale n Strawberries
Gigantic – Ginormous Imperial IPA
Good Life – Scottish Heart Scotch Ale
Green Dragon Brew Crew – Kilmister Import
Hopworks – Dry Hopped Noggin Floggin Barleywine
Laurelwood – Pitch Dark Stout
Mazama Brewing – Golden Galaxy Belgian Blonde
Migration – Straight Outta Portland IPA
Montavilla – Korabrau German Helles Lager (VIF only)
Oakshire Brewing – Dry Hop Citra Fonix
Plank Town – Last Van Vetter
Red Ox – Bourbon Barrel Aged Sour Porter
Rock Bottom – Smugglers Stout
Rogue Ales & Spirits – Charlie 1981
Rogue Ales & Spirits – Red Flesh Cider
Seven Brides – My Drunkle Brett
Stickmen – Belgian Blonde Ale w/ Brett (VIF only)
Three Mugs – Fiery Wench Imp. Red Ale
Thunder Island – Scotch Porter
Twisted Snout – Cherry Chocolate Porter
Bell’s at Belmont Monday Feb. 22, Belmont Station, 4500 S.E. Stark St.
Kalamazoo’s famous Bell’s Brewing is one of the most revered craft breweries in the country and they’re sending another rare and wonderful shipment of bottles, cans and kegs to the Belmont Station folks. They’re celebrating with a wide array of many of your favorite Bell’s beers for sale in the bottle shop starting at 10 a.m. and some great drafts pouring in the taproom starting at noon.
Tuesday Oregon Beer Awards 5:30 – 9 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 23, Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St.; $15 includes $2 donation to Oregon Wild, commemorative glass, snacks and your first pint. 21 & older only.
Willamette Week’s Oregon Beer Awards recognizes Oregon brewing in categories ranging from Best Strong Hoppy Beer to Best Beer Festival. More than 60 judges narrowed 520 submitted beers down to 42 medalists and you can find out who won while listening to brewer band Black Lodge. Also: Bunk sandwich bar and 2015’s award winning beers available on tap and get a copy of this year’s WW beer guide.
Steel Bridge Porter Celebration 5:30 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 24, Widmer Pub, 955 N. Russell St.;
Celebrate the new look and 15-year history of Widmer’s fine porter with its author, Noel Blake, and members of the Oregon Brew Crew. You can try some special SBP infusions and take home the beer in its new format.
Tart Fruit Fest Noon-close Wednesday Feb. 24-Sunday Feb. 28, Cascade Brewing Barrel House, 939 SE Belmont St.; Free admission.
The Sour Fruit Fest will feature more than 50 exclusive Cascade fruit beers, with at least eight different sour fruit beers poured per day. There will also be a savory/sweet food pairing menu available, as well as vintage bottles for sale. The schedule of beers is still being finalized, but this much is set:
Wednesday: Cherry Bourbonic and Honeycot
Thursday: Tartini, Shrieking Violet, Baked Blackberry and Blueberry Bourbonic
Friday: Primordial Noir, Apple Crisp a la Mode, Manhattan 2014 and Pineapple Wheat
Saturday: Key Lime Pie, Cherry Vlad, Strawberries & Cream and Candied Cantaloupe
Sunday: Cherry Bourbonic Double Red
The following beers will rotate throughout: Blueberriation, Brambleberry Quad, Gin Gimlet, Grapefruit Lime, Happy Holidates, Honey Ginger Lime 2011, Lower Manhattan, Oaked Kriek, Orange Ginger, Q-Cumbersome Wheat, Red White & Brew, Secret Agent Orange, Sloe-Ji Berry, Strawberry Lemonade, Supra Honeycot, Thai One On, Tropic of Cascadia, Vriendschaps, White Cherry Velvet and Wicked Red.
Cuvee Van De Keizer Day & Gueuze Crueuze Cuvee Van De Keizer Day: 5-9 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 24, $12; ;Gueuze Crueuze: 7-9 p.m. Thursday Feb. 25, $19; Bazi Bierbrasserie, 1522 SE 32nd Ave.;
The first Cuvee van de Keizer Day celebrates the beer named World’s Best Belgian-Style Strong Beer at the 2015 World Beer Awards with a tasting event of the Cuvee Van De Keizer and three other beers from the Gouden Carolus line: Classic, Hopsinjoor and Easter.
The Gueuze Crueuze features six rare Belgian Gueuzes including Cantillon, De Cam, Lindemans, Oud Beersel, De Troch and Hanssens in a blind tasting, plus info about cycling tours available in Belgium from Beercycling.
John Foyston is Oregon's longest serving beer writer, and wrote a
weekly beer column for The Oregonian until just recently. His
work has appeared on CNN, and in Beer Connoisseur, Celebrator Beer
News, Oregon Beer Growler, Mix Magazine and other publications and
will occasionally appear on these pages, at least until Angelo and DJ
get tired of him too...He can be followed on Twitter at @beerherejohnny.