Venue Update. Commenters have expressed concern about the size of the venue, and I should have mentioned a key change to this year's event. Ezra and crew were caught by surprise that so many people came to last year's fest, so they secured the block of 7th Avenue next to the brewery to substantially increase the space.
I will hand it to Ezra Johnson-Greenough: he has a flair for drama. Last year when he launched the Fruit Beer Fest, the native Portlander selected the moments after the city's most sacred (and profane) rite ended. As drowsy early-risers returned from the Rose Festival's Grand Floral Parade, many walked past Burnside Brewing, where the Fruit Fest was just beginning. This year, Ezra has swaddled the fest in the activity of Portland Beer Week, making it the signature event. Fortunately, it's not just another overhyped niche fest--it easily raced to the top tier of last year's best events, and it looks to actually be better for year two.
It's good because Ezra curates the beers, working with the brewers to come up with a diverse range of beers that stretch the boundaries of what we think of as fruit beers. This year's taplist includes sours, Berliner weisses, IPAs, saisons, stouts, wits, weizens, and lots more. Used to flavor these beers are coffee cascaras (cherries), lychee, oranges, currants, huckleberry, pomegranate--plus usual fruit like cherries and raspberries (and more).
Saturday and Sunday at Burnside brewing, further details here. We may even have decent weather.