Oktoberfest kicked off Saturday in Munich. Since drinking beer in Germany wasn't in the cards me, I headed over to BiKETOBEERFEST at Hopworks Urban Brewery. Now in its 3rd year, Biketobeerfest is the world's only Bike-In Oktoberfest party. If you're not familiar with Hopworks, you should know that they're all about bicycles.

This was my first time attending, and I was impressed by the wide array of family-friendly events packed into the day. In addition to 16 Hopworks beers, entertainment included 4 bands, breakdancers, a climbing wall, games for kids, a Huffy Toss competition, and more. If I only knew, I would have brought my kids! Check out the video at the end of the post to get a flavor of the day's festivities.

Of course, there were plenty of beers to chose from. The full year-round Hopworks lineup was served, in additional to several seasonals and barrel-aged beers. Here's what I tasted, in the order I sampled them:

  • Give Me Liberty (4.6% ABV, 30 IBU): This was one of two wet hop beers served at the fest. Featuring organic Liberty hops, this had a nice floral aroma and an herbal / vegetal bitterness. The hops were added to the kettle just three hours after being harvested! I wasn't crazy about the flavor of the Liberty hop, but was glad to taste my first wet (or fresh) hop beer of the season. For the latest on fresh hop beers in Portland, check out Bill "The Fresh Hop Crusader" Night's 2011 Portland Fresh Hop Map.
  • Piledriver (8.5% ABV, 18 IBU): No offense to fresh hops, but the lineup of barrel-aged beers looked pretty sweet. This beer started life as a Dubbel Abbey ale, was aged for 18 months in bourbon and cabernet savignon barrels with sour cherries. Brettanomyces Bruxellensis and Lambicus were then thrown in for good measure. What does all of that spell? My favorite beer of the day! It started with a mild funky aroma was full of tart cherry, oak, bourbon, and spicy flavors.
  • Brouwers Imperial Stout (11% ABV, 65 IBU): Full bodied, with aromas of coffee and roasted malt. It had a nice sweetness in the middle. Has me looking forward to winter!
  • Bourbon Ace (10% ABV, 100+ IBU): I saved the hop bomb for last. Ace of Spades Imperial IPA aged in Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels for three months. The bourbon flavors were strong and transformed this into an entirely different beer.

I had a great time at my first BiKETOBEERFEST. The beer was excellent (please keep the barrel-aged goodness coming) and the entertainment lineup exceeded that of any local beerfest. I'll be back next year, with my whole family!

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  1. That's a shady looking bunch in the still image before the video starts...

  2. No doubt. They tried to steal my wallet.


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