Sunday, June 9, 2013

Portland Fruit Beer Festival

Fruit me, baby!
I attended the 3rd Annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival at Burnside Brewing Co. yesterday, and I have to say this little fest just keeps getting better and better. I expect that they'll have to find a new venue soon because that place was packed to the fences by mid-afternoon. Nevertheless, I don't mind rubbing elbows with fellow craft beer enthusiasts. The crowd was friendly and everyone was there for fine beer and good times.

This is a terrific beer festival for several reasons:

1) The beer. I know some folks aren't too wild about fruit beer, but you have to expand your horizons every once in a while. If you're nothing but a big ol' hophead, this is the perfect opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone.

There are many unique tasting opportunities at this festival, with local brewing maestros showing off their amazing skills. Just one example is Gigantic Brewing's Hey There Fruitcake! I don't really care for fruitcake (if you do, you're a weirdo) but it's incredible that someone can actually brew a beer that tastes EXACTLY like a slice of fruitcake. How do they do it? I don't know, but you should find out for yourself and taste some. My favorite was 10 Barrel Brewing's Cucumber Crush. Yes, a Berliner Weisse brewed with cucumbers. Just fantastic. How could you not want to try it?

2) The real glass tasting glass. This one is a keeper. Not a full-sized pint glass, but it has fancy gold lettering and will look awesome on the bar for years to come. I know what you're thinking--a bunch of drunks in a big crowd staggering around with breakable glass? Hey, I only saw one glass get broken and it was a water glass. Most people have a death grip on that taster glass. Mine made it home in one piece via the 70 bus.

3) The price. $20 gets you inside with the tasting glass and 12 taster tickets. Most of the tastes are just one ticket, with a few of the regulars at two tickets. There are some rare taps at two, three and four, if you're looking for something pricey. You can get extra tickets for a buck each, but I didn't need more than the 12 I started out with. I got some very generous pours from the folks manning the taps, too.

4) The food. Plenty of food is available inside the brewpub and it's all appropriately priced, tasty pub grub.

5) Family friendly. You can bring your kiddies to this one, although it's pretty much an adult crowd and I wouldn't bring my little ones to a beer festival if my life depended on it, but hey, I know it's tough to get a sitter sometimes. Yes, I will likely give you the stinkeye for carrying around your infant in a Snugli while socking down those brewskis, but don't mind me. No dogs, BTW.

6) Easy to find. Parking is sparse in the area, but the venue is super easy to get to by bus or streetcar. 

The Portland Fruit Beer Festival is continuing today from 11AM to 6PM and I highly recommend. The Festival is held at the Burnside Brewing Co. pub and parking lot at E Burnside and 7th.

Go there now!

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