The 23rd annual Holiday Ale Festival will take place Nov. 28 through Dec. 2 at Pioneer Courthouse Square, located at 701 SW Sixth Ave. in downtown Portland. The Northwest’s longest-running outdoor winter beer festival – which is tented and heated – will feature 54 craft beers, ciders and meads in the main lineup. Participating breweries and cideries have committed to serving a product that has either been made or blended specifically for the event or is a rare or vintage product that isn’t commonly tapped in the state.
In addition, the festival will also feature dozens of specialty and rare beer tappings, and a number of Meet the Brewer events. The Holiday Ale Festival is highly regarded as presenting one of best lineups of winter beers and ciders anywhere in the nation.
“Heated clear top tents in the center of downtown, with the city’s lighted holiday tree towering over the fest like a beacon for good beer, set the scene for this festival,” explained Festival Manager Preston Weesner. “But what really sets it apart are the brewers and their commitment to their fans with the products they choose to make. This festival is an opportunity for the brewers to be all in on the creative factor and throw down something really special to share.”
This year’s participating breweries include 2 Towns Ciderhouse, Ascendant Beer Co., Bauman’s Cider Co., Bear Republic Brewing Co., Coalition, Collaborator (Oregon Brew Crew/Widmer), Crooked Stave Brewing, Crux Fermentation Project, Deschutes Brewery, Drake’s Brewing Co., Ecliptic Brewing, Eel River Brewing Co., Elysian Brewing Co., Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Fort George Brewery, Fremont Brewing, Georgetown Brewing Co., Gigantic, Golden Valley Brewery, Great Notion Brewing, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Klamath Basin Brewing Co., Lagunitas Brewing Co., Laurelwood Brewing Co., Lompoc Brewing, MadCow Brewing Co., McMenamins Edgefield Brewery, Migration Brewing Co., Monkless Belgian Ales, Montavilla Brew Works, Nectar Creek, Ninkasi Brewing Co., Oakshire Brewing, Old Town Brewing, Ordnance Brewing, Pelican Brewing Co., pFriem Family Brewers, Portland Cider Co., Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, RiverBend Brewing, Rusty Truck Brewing Co., Shattered Oak Brewing, Stickmen Brewing Co., StormBreaker Brewing, Stoup Brewing, Sunriver Brewing Co., Three Mugs Brewing Co., Upright Brewing, Vanguard Brewing Co., Vertigo Brewing,, Wandering Aengus Ciderworks/Anthem Cider, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Wild Barrel Brewing, and Wolf Tree Brewery. Full details including beer names and styles will be available on the website by mid-October.
Despite being held outdoors during one of the coldest months of the year, more than 14,000 festival attendees stay dry throughout the five-day festival under clear-topped tents warmed by gas heaters. A second level above the main floor, dubbed the Sky Bar, serves additional taps and provides ample elbow room for attendees to relax, spread out and even peek at the revelers below.
To enter and consume beer, the purchase of an entry package is required. Advance general admission costs $40 and includes the 2018 tasting vessel – a flexible BPA & BPS-free polymer Govino “glass” – and 15 taster tickets, plus expedited entry all five days with the ticket. General admission at the door is the same price but includes only 12 tickets and no expedited entry. Advance VIP packages cost $100 and include the tasting glass, 30 taster tickets, special VIP beer lines with little to no waiting, exclusive VIP only vintage beers, bottled water, and express entry all five days. VIP tickets are limited to 200 and are not available at the door. All advance packages will go on sale in late September at www.holidayale.com.
Once inside the festival, a full pour costs four tickets, and a taster costs one ticket. Certain limited release and special tappings may not be available in full pours or may cost extra tickets. Additional taster tickets can be purchased for $1 apiece. Previous years’ mugs or glasses will not be filled. Express re-entry requires a wristband and the 2018 tasting glass and is subject to the festival’s capacity.
An onsite coat and bag check and the Crater Lake Soda Garden raises funds for the Children’s Cancer Association MyMusicRx Program, which delivers the healing power of music to the bedsides of children and teens facing cancer and other serious illnesses. The Holiday Ale Festival doubles and matches all monies raised.
The festival offers several food options, including food from Urban German and roasted nuts from Family Nut Love. To avoid lengthy lines, the festival encourages patrons to attend Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. Event hours are 11am to 9pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 11am to 5pm Sunday. The Holiday Ale Festival is for ages 21 and over.
For more information, visit www.holidayale.com and follow the event @HolidayAleFest on social media.
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