PORTLAND, Ore. – The Cheers to Belgian Beers festival annually celebrates the breadth of style and flavors of beers brewed in Belgium. This year’s 10th annual event will take place May 13 and May 14 at The North Warehouse, 723 N Tillamook St. Hours are 1 to 9pm on Friday and Noon to 8pm on Saturday. The festival is unique in that it features up to 70 Belgian-style beers all brewed by Oregon craft brewers using the same single yeast strain.
Admission to the event is free. In order to drink, it costs $20 for a souvenir glass tasting goblet and 10 drink tickets. Beers are available by taster only; most beers cost one ticket for a taste, though some may cost double. Additional tasting tickets are available for $1 apiece. Portland Perks and MercPerks are on sale now; advance tickets will go sale April 8 at http://oregoncraftbeer.org/ctbb. The event is for ages 21 and over.
Cheers to Belgian Beers takes place in The North Warehouse as well as outside in the tented parking lot. Food is available from Monk’s Deli and the Urban German Grill. Street parking is available, but limited. Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation — the TriMet Bus Line 35 stops one block away and the Yellow Max Line stops two blocks away — or ride their bike, with complimentary bike parking available.
While the Cheers to Belgian Beers festival showcases a single yeast strain, the Oregon Brewers Guild first holds a dart throw competition to determine the color and strength of Belgian-style beer that will be brewed for the event. Based on each participating brewery’s dart throw, the brewery will brew a Belgian-style beer that is either light or dark in appearance and either lower or higher in alcohol. Each year’s dart throw ensures there will be diversity in color and strength among the featured beers.
Belgian yeasts are incredibly diverse; this year’s selected yeast strain is Imperial Organic Yeast 58 Lioness, a yeast that shines in red to brown ales, but also works well for light colored beers. Lioness produces white fruit esters that are balanced with clove phenolic aromas.
The festival is still seeking volunteers, which receive a glass, 10 drink tickets, a t-shirt and free admission after their shift. An OLCC Servers Permit is not required to participate as a volunteer server at this event. To sign up visit www.ocb.events-connect.com.
The event is organized by the Oregon Brewers Guild, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the state’s craft brewing industry and the common interests of its members. Founded in 1992, the Oregon Brewers Guild is one of the nation’s oldest craft brewers associations. The Guild, which receives no state funding, comprises 154 brewing companies, 122 associate or supplier members and more than 3,500 enthusiast members or S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer). To learn more, visit www.oregoncraftbeer.org.