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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Early Reports on the Holiday Ale Fest

Who needs me when you have such a vast and accomplished blogger corps? (That's a rhetorical question!) Seems like everyone but me headed down to Pio Square last night. Here's what they found:
Bruce/BS Brewing
Testing, testing…. is this thing on? Trying out the WPtoGo app on the G1 phone. 1 failure so far. It’s about 3:45 and numerous beer geeks and chronic alcoholics have already arrived, but nowhere near tha capacity crowds that will be here in the evenings.

DA Beers/Beer Around Town

So the Wednesday session is on! Arriving at 3pm for the opening founding me waiting in a 40 person line, sure maybe a few more people than I expected, but I was in the company of people that were truly there to drink and appreciate some good brew. I have to give it up to Preston for adding this day, as I trekked around the tent I met a ton of great local beer enthusiasts. This really was the day for the beer geeks to show up and mingle.

This years fest featured a new navigational hazard... the 2nd beer tent. ....Now, i've been to my share of beer fests, but this looks like a fricken mine field in the making, I mean how the heck do you expect people to traverse this thing after some of these beers? Now I was only here for a hand full of samples, but I have seen Friday and Saturday nights and some of the sauced people it creates, this looks like a lawsuit in the making. I understand the need for more space, but this was head-scratching. Also, no Jim for wheelchair bound people. But overall it lead to this tent.

Bill/It's Pub Night
The 2008 Portland Holiday Ale Fest has begun at Pioneer Square. At 5 PM today it was still manageable, but by 5:30 PM it was breathtakingly crowded. If you plan on attending one of the next couple days, the earlier the better....

I didn't expect to like Widmer's fruity stout at all, but it was really well done -- the blackberries complemented the stout flavor nicely without being a nuisance. Van Havig's tripel and Hopworks' barleywine were right on the money. The stout from Firestone Walker -- who seem to be landing on Oregon with both feet right now -- was very solid, especially when you consider that its 5.5% alcohol is about half the strength of most of the beers at the festival.

[Mostly an overview/preview, but he has some great pics from the media event last night.]
Not for nothing, I'll lay ten to one odds that Oregon has more and more able beer bloggers than any state in the country. Great work, men!


  1. The fest made for a great lunch break today. AXEL

  2. I like the steps to create less density during those mob-packed weekend hours, but sure as I am a toasty SNOB, Preston has figured out by murdering 2-3 beer drinkers an hour with that Rube Goldbergian stair design, the crowds will thin out quite properly.

  3. haha:

  4. Iggir,

    Thanks, I thoroughly enjoyed that -watched it twice. But what is your guess as to the item that he drinks from the mug? I couldn't determine even upon the second viewing.