As I entered the tent for the first time, it was quite evident that this was to be one of my best adventures in hops, second only to a week at Octoberfest in Munich a few years ago. The scent of beer was everywhere, and the place was packed with beer guzzling guys and gals, each with their Holiday Ale Festival plastic beer mug, and packing a big smile.
I was in Portland Oregon for the 17th Annual Holiday Ale Festival. You know you’ve been a good boy this year, when your spouse buys you VIP tickets that provides you with direct access and no waiting in lines for your next pour, and that’s just want I had. The majority of beers were dark ales, high alcohol content, and really stuck to your teeth, just the way I like me beers. Not only do I have years of experience with wine, but I have also successfully created some awesome ales and stouts in my garage !
Now standing in line, trying to decide which of the 50+ beers you wanted to sample could get really challenging, with choices like “Frosty’s Revenge, “Prepare to be Boarded, Diesel #2, and “Santa’s Little Black Homo” ! (Son of Big Black Homo I am told?). All in all, there were not many of the beers that I didn’t gulp down, with maybe two exceptions, not for release. And yes, I believe I sampled every beer there, because after all, I was there for three days, and what’s a man to do with a bottomless beer glass ?
I would highly recommend that anyone who loves beer, and I mean beer with challenging tastes, should attend this beer fest or one of the many held throughout the state of Oregon and hell, the entire Pacific Northwest. We need to support our small business and the citizens who work hard to make something of themselves, especially those that give us a buzz once in a while (I guess that really includes Washington State now :-)).
My two shall we say disappointments of this festival, was that first, there was no “Old Style German Band” playing in the background. and not one winery set up for the ladies (or “men”) who don’t drink beer, but support their guys and their lust for suds.
Cheers to you in a toast with whatever is in your hand, beer, wine, or beer.