As the sunsets today in Portland at 4:30pm, this marks the shortest day of the year. The sun that’s hidden behind today’s morning fog will only be shining its rays on our part of the globe for 8 hours 42 minutes 8 seconds. To help celebrate the Winter Solstice or also known as the Longest Night of the Year, there are a bevy of beer events around the Portland metro area the highlight big, bold, dark beers. Here’s a rundown.
Longest Night of the Year 2016 McMenamins 23rd Avenue Bottle Shop – 2290 NW Thurman St, Portland, OR (5:00pm – Midnight)
One of the finest additions to NW Portland over the past year is McMenamins 23rd Avenue Bottle Shop and today it will celebrate the longest night with the Portland release of McMenamins Longest Night of the Year Barrel-Aged Barleywine.
McMenamins Longest Night of the Year Barrel-Aged Barleywine resulted from adding its signature Barleywine to formerly used Hogshead Whiskey barrels. This beer then matured for a full year into a flavorful, complex behemoth and a true example of classic, barrel-aged English Barleywine that sits at 10.71 % ABV. This vintage of what was the Edgefield Extra is now the Longest Night, and offers toffee, caramel, and a warming alcohol character that has been rounded and accentuated by notes of raisin, vanilla, and oak from its year of aging.
For sampling purposes the Bottle Shop will feature a special $8 Taster Tray of 2013, 2014 and 2015 Edgefield Extra Barley Wine and 2016 Longest Night of the Year Barrel Aged Barley Wine. The bottle shop will also be offering progressive 20% discounts throughout the evening on various McMenamins products.
Ground Breaker Brewing Winter Solstice Dinner Ground Breaker Brewing – 2030 SE 7th Ave, Portland, OR (4:30 – 9:00pm)
The Ground Breaker Gastropub will be serving a Winter Solstice Dinner on December 21st. Dinner will be begin to be served shortly after sunset all the way up until 9pm when the restaurant closes. In addition to a few favorites from the regular menu, Ground Breaker will feature a special menu with beer pairings. The Winter Solstice meal is $35 per person. The first course includes Albacore tuna salad on black radish, house made Carlton pork head cheese, Elk borscht, served with a glass of our two-time Great American Beer Festival Gluten-Free Gold Medal winning Dark Ale. The main course consists of Dark Ale braised beef Short Ribs, Purple potato pavé, roasted beets & black radishes served with a glass of our latest Experiment Ale Series release, Cascadian Dark Ale.
Cascade Brewing Dark Day IPA Release Cascade Barrel House – 939 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR Racoon Lodge & Brewpub – 7424 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, Portland, OR
Today Cascade Brewing releases its Dark Day IPA on draft. A tribute to the shortest days of winter, this fruity-resinous, hop-forward Black IPA is brewed with a healthy dose of Pacific Gem, Mandarina Bavaria and Hallertau Blanc hops. If you’re looking for a beer with silky smooth, dark malt character and gripping hop bitterness, you’ve found it!
Montavilla Brew Works 2015 Old Fellowship Barleywine Beer Bunker – 7918 SE Stark St, Portland, OR (5:00 – 7:00pm)
Celebrate the longest night of the year with Montavilla Brew Works at the Beer Bunker with a special tapping of Montavilla Brew Works 2015 Old Fellowship Barleywine as Michael Kora will guest bartend for two hours beginning at 5:00pm. There will also be raffle giveaways!
Kill the Sun! Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Release Ex Novo Brewing – 2326 N Flint Ave, Portland, OR
Today Ex Novo Brewing releases Kill the Sun! Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout when the pub opens at 3:00pm. At 12.5% ABV, this barrel aged beer is packaged in a wax dipped 500mL bottle at $12.00 each. If you cannot make it to the brewery, the beer will be available in the coming days at area bottle shops.
Welcome Lost Abbey and Port Brewing Roscoe’s – 8105 SE Stark St, Portland, OR (5:00 – 7:00pm)
Join Roscoe’s in welcoming Port brewing and The Lost Abbey to Portland!! Merry Taj, Agave Maria, and Gift of the Magi from Lost Abbey and Santa’s Little Helper from Port Brewing will be on tap with some other great beers!
Fremont B-Bomb Night The Thirsty Sasquatch – 2110 Main St, Vancouver, WA (6:00 – 9:00pm)
This is going to be big! Fremont Brewing is coming at us with some of its legendary winter beer, B-Bomb, and its sister, Coffee Cinnamon B-Bomb. This very special event will be accompanied by a couple of other one off varieties.
Full Sail Brewing Shortest Day Bash Full Sail Brewing – 506 Columbia Street, Hood River, OR (4:25 – 9:00pm)
The shortest day of the year means the longest night, with more time to celebrate at our Shortest Day Bash on Wednesday, December 21, the shortest day of the year. Get a taste of the dark side with a vertical Shortest Day CDA tasting starting at sunset at 4:25 PM. Full Sail will be tapping a pub-exclusive cask-conditioned Shortest Day CDA, alongside our CDA on draft. The brewery will also be raffling off prizes including a CAPiTA Snowboard, showcasing local artist renderings of the PNW outdoors and we’ll even have live music by the Hazelnuts on the deck.
Winter Solstice Celebration with Ryan McAlexander Logsdon Barrel House & Taproom – 101 4th St, Hood River, OR (6:00 – 9:00pm)
Help us ring in the return of longer days with the soulful sounds of Hood River Valley’s own Ryan McAlexander! McAlexander’s many local projects include: Bonneville Power Trio and Sundiver. Ryan will be treating us to a solo acoustic performance of rootsy Americana inspired tunes and we’ll be pouring these limited, seasonal draft only releases:
Far East Seizoen – 6% ABV
An aromatic, dry, orange colored saison brewed with ground green cardamom, cardamom leaves, and black peppercorns. The exotic aromas of Indian spices combine well with the dry saison base to create a unique, food friendly holiday ale.
Rood Wilde Kalf – 5.8% ABV
A dry, flavorful red ale brewed with Mandarina Bavaria hops and our house Brettanomyces yeast. A citrus note on the nose is followed by subtle roast from Belgian specialty malts. The beer is easy drinking now, and will develop a deeper complexity with age. Named in honor of the three Scottish Highland calves born on the Logsdon farm last Spring (2016).
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.