Holiday Ale Fest Dates, Preliminary Beer List Announced

Holiday Ale Fest

The mother of all winter beer fests, and the largest on the West Coast is the Holiday Ale Fest, held each year in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square. Here’s the deets from the folks behind the fest:We were surprised to see Preston Weesner working a beer fest (not!)The 16th annual  Holiday Ale Festival will take place Nov. 30 through Dec. 4 at Pioneer Courthouse Square, located at 701 SW Sixth Ave. on the MAX Light Rail line. The popular event will feature four-dozen big, bold ales designed to fend off the cold chill of a long winter night. From IPAs, Belgians and barleywines to winter warmers, porters and stouts, these beers are crafted specifically for the event or are hard-to-fine vintages, helping secure the event’s reputation as one of the nation’s preeminent winter beer festivals.

Event hours are 2 to 10 pm Wednesday, 11 am to 10 pm Thursday through Saturday, and 11 am to 5 pm Sunday. To avoid the lengthy lines that often accompany Northwest beer fests, the recommended days for attendance are Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. The Holiday Ale Festival is for ages 21 and over.

What makes this festival standout from other similar events is the beer selection; the festival works with every brewery involved to make sure they can send a beer that has either been made specifically for the event, or is a rare or vintage beer that isn’t commonly tapped in the state. According to festival manager Preston Weesner, “It’s about the fans. This is a once-a-year event and these beer lovers are here to support their favorite brewery. When they get up to the taps and find something special, it further solidifies their support of Oregon craft brews and strengthens our reputation in the beer world as THE place to drink beer.”

To enter and consumer beer, the purchase of an entry package is required. The general admission package at the door costs $25 and includes the 2011 tasting mug and eight taster tickets. Advance general admission packages cost $25 and include the tasting mug, 10 taster tickets and expedited entry all five days. Advance VIP packages are available for $50 and include the tasting mug, 20 taster tickets, a bottle of water, access to VIP lines and express entry all five days. Express re-entry requires a wristband and the 2011 mug, and is subject to the festival’s capacity. Previous year’s mugs will not be filled. Advance packages are available online at

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.

Despite being held outdoors during one of the coldest months of the year, more than 17,000 festival attendees stay warm and dry under clear-topped tents that cover the venue. Gas heaters create a cozy ambiance beneath the boughs of the region’s largest decorated Christmas tree. In addition to beer tasting, the festival also features on-site food, event merchandise and a coat and bag check that raises funds for the Children’s Cancer Association.

For more information, visit or call 503-252-9899.

The 2011 Holiday Ale Festival Beer List

Here is the list brewers, beer names and styles. Descriptions are coming. These may change with no notice, brewers prerogative. Cheers and thanks to the brewers!

Alameda Brewing Papa Noel’s Moonlight Reserve English Olde Ale
Alaskan Brewing TBD TBD
Bear Republic Brewing Old Saint Chongo Winter Warmer
Bison Brewing Bbn. Bbl. Aged Chocolate Stout Chocolate Stout
Breakside Brewery Cranberry Biere de Table Sour Saison w/fruit & spice
BridgePort Brewing Vintage Old Knucklehead Barley Wine Style Ale
Buckman Botanical Brewery Fruit Cake Herb/Spice Beer
Burnside Brewing Barrel Aged Permafrost NW Strong Ale
Cascade Brewing 2011 Sang Noir Barrel Aged NW Sour Style Ale
Coalition Brewing Lost Glove American Strong Ale
Collaborator Hallucinator New Old Ale
Columbia River Brewing Drunken Elf Stout Oatmeal Stout with Chocolate and Coffee
Deschutes Brewery Super Jubel Strong Ale
Double Mountain Brewing Formidable Stout American Stout
Eel River Brewing Imperial Climax Classic Barleywine Style Steam Lager
Elysian Brewing Bye Bye Frost Strong Pale Ale
Fearless Brewing Mjolnir Imperial IPA Imperial IPA
Firestone Walker Brewing Vintage Velvet Merkin Imperial Oatmeal Stout
Fort George Brewing North V Strong Ale
Gilgamesh Brewing Chocolate Mint Stout ’11 American Stout
Hazel Dell Brewpub Goats Beard Double Bock Double Bock
Hopworks Urban Brewery Kentucky Christmas Bourbon Bbl. Strong ale
Lagunitas Brewing 2010 Olde Gnarly Wine Barley Wine
Laht Neppur Brewing Laughing Boy Stout Russian Imperial Stout
Laurelwood Brewing Bonaparts Retreat Corsican Christmas Ale
Lompoc Brewing Cherry Christmas Sour Fruit Blend
Lucky Labrador Brewing Candied Scottish Holiday Scotch Ale with Belgian candied fruit
MacTarnahan’s Brewing Barrel Aged Humbug’r Holiday Porter aged in Jack Daniels Bbls.
McMenamins High Street Red Nose Rye Imperial Rye Ale
Natian Brewery “HOLLA day” ale Spiced Strong ale
New Belgium Brewing Rotating Lips of Faith Various
Ninkasi Brewing Itty Bitty Critty Small beer (from Critical hit Barleywine)
Oakshire Brewing The Nutcracker Imperial Gingerbread Porter
Off the Rail Brewing Sin after Sin Belgian Triple
Rock Bottom Brewery Fozziwig Strong Ale
Rogue Ales Rogue Creamery 75th Strong Brown Ale aged on cocoa nibs
Rusty Truck Brewing Belsnickle’s Strong Ale Spiced Strong ale
Seven Brides Brewing Drunkel 2011 Old Ale
Southern Oregon Brewing 2010 Old Humbug Strong Ale
Stone Brewing Oaked Stone Ruination IPA Imperial IPA
The Commons Brewery Little Brother Belgian Dark Strong Ale w/ Bbn.
Upright Brewing Provisions Biere de Garde/Provision Beer
Vertigo Brewing Left, Nut Brown Ale Honey Nut Brown
Widmer Brewing TBD TBD