Scenes from Portland Fruit Beer Fest

The 1st Annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival was held this past weekend at Burnside Brewing.  I attended on Saturday and was treated to glorious weather (especially for early June) and an amazing tap list.  I arrived at 2pm and was greeted by a line that wrapped around the parking lot.  It moved quickly and I was in within 10 minutes.  There was a good sized crowd, but the serving lines moved along nicely.

I had a tough time choosing which beers to sample.  The vast majority of "regular" beers were one-of-a kind brews.  Here's what I tasted, in the order I tasted them:

  • Dogfish Head Festina Peche (4.5% ABV):  I first tasted a Berliner-Weisse at Bailey's GermanFest and fell in love with it.  Bready malt with a bit of lemon citrus, but I didn't taste much peach. Nice beer, but I wanted more fruitconsistent with my experiences with DFH's Aprihop and Punkin' Ale.
  • Burnside Brewing Gooseberry Berliner-Weisse (3.35% ABV):  The gooseberry was subtle, but strong enough to make its presence known.  Nice sour lactic twang!  At 3.35% ABV, I could drink these all day long!
  • Laurelwood Mango Mint Pale Ale:  I sampled from a fellow blogger's glass.  I didn't taste much mango and will conclude by saying mint will always have a friend in toothpaste.  For more on festival beer sharing, check out Bill Night's recent post.  For the record, I have no problem sharing, as long as I know the person.  Length of time variesdepending on how long I've been at a given fest.
  • Block 15 Psidium (6% ABV):   This beer received a lot of pre-fest buzz, and rightfully so.  The guava gave it a tropical flair, the farmhouse yeast provided some funky flavors, and it finished hoppy.  I need to get down to Corvallis and check out Block 15.
  • Oakshire Blind Date (6% ABV):  Smooth mouth feel, but I didn't taste the dates.  
  • Fort George Badda Boom! Cherry Stout (6.9% ABV):  I tasted more raspberry than cherry.
  • Breakside Mango IPA:  Mango was added at three different stages of the brewing process, but it was very subtle in flavor.  Nice beer, but I wanted more mango.
  • Widmer Bros Himbeere Gose mit dem Eibisch (5.3% ABV).  This is the pink one in the picture below.  You can't miss it.  Great raspberry flavor and an ever-so-light touch of salt (used in this style) comes through. Very nice!

I then moved indoors to the Rare Beer Taproom for my final samples:

  • Double Mountain Devil's Kriek (8.3% ABV).  WOW!  What do you get when you take a brown ale, add 70 pounds a bing cherries, infect it with Brettanomyces, and age it for 12 months?  Art in a glass...  By far, my favorite of the day!  Great sour flavors, a bit of funk, and a very stealthy 8.3% ABV.  I want this one again!
  • Hopworks Chupababra Chili Stout (5.3% ABV).  A medley of six varieties of pepper that melded perfectly with a rich organic stout.  The heat was there, but was not overbearing.  My second favorite!

The Fruit Beer Festival is a great addition to Portland's roster of world-class beer festivals.  Excellent job by the organizers in executing an impressive event!  I'm already marking my calendar for next year...

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  1. A cold kept me home so I missed this event :( Looking forward to being there next year.

  2. Great post! Do you have a larger version of the last picture of the crowd? I see myself, but I'm WAY back there. Just curious. :-)

  3. Nice photos. I like the beer comparison shots. You're way more ambitious than me. I'm lucky if I even remember what I had.

  4. Don't worry Latha, we'll have PLENTY of festivals to attend this summer!

    Thanks Doug. That's the biggest shot I have. Are you the guy with the beer in your hand?

    Aaron, I had to show a shot of the pink beer. The others help to illustrate how intense the color was. BTW, I only remember because I took notes. :)

  5. Hey fellow blogger. I linked this post to my beer blog because I wasn't able to attend the Fruit Beer Fest. Wonderful pictures and desriptions.

  6. Rebecca, thanks for linking to my post! The pictures of the beer seems to be popular. I may try to do more of that in the future.


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