2011 Holiday Ale Festival: Beer Descriptions & Limited Releases

The 2011 Holiday Ale Festival kicks off in just six days!  The main lineup features 42 winter seasonals for your sampling pleasure. Full descriptions for each are listed at the end of this post.

If that's not enough variety for you, 16 limited release beers will also be available at limited times throughout the festival. These are a mix of rare, vintage, or single keg beers. Release times below are subject to change. Check the Holiday Ale Fest site or Twitter account for the latest details.

Limited Release Beer Schedule

Wednesday @ 4 pm
  • 2005 Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus: tasters only, double tickets
  • 2009 Deschutes Lost Barrels of Mirror Mirror: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
  • 2007 Cascade Soured Baltic Porter (last one!): tasters only, double tickets
  • 2008 Oskar Blues Ten Fiddy: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill

Thursday @ 2 pm
  • 2010 Lompoc Bourbon Barrel Aged 8 Malty Nights: regular pricing
  • 2010 Upright Noel: regular pricing
  • 2006 Anchor Old Foghorn: tasters only, double tickets
  • 2009 Widmer Babushka's Secret: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill

Friday @ 2 pm
  • 2009 Cascade Sang Noir: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
  • 2010 Deschutes Sour (mystery): tasters only, double tickets
  • 2008 Hair of the Dog JIM: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
  • 2009 Hair of the Dog JIM: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill

Saturday @ 2pm
  • 2008 Stone Belgian Style Triple: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
  • 2009 Kona Black Sands Porter (from the island): 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
  • 2010 Cascade Barrel Aged NON- Sour (Surprise): tasters only, double tickets
  • 2009 New Belgium Eric's Ale: regular pricing

So armed with this information, you have some decisions to make! What beers are you most looking forward to sampling?

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you have a wonderful weekend with family and friends. Cheers!

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2011 Holiday Ale Festival Main Lineup

Beer Name
Beer Style
Alameda Brewing Co
Papa Noel's Moonlight Reserve
Olde Ale
This beer is brewed in the style of a big, malty English Olde Ale. Hopped with Styrian Goldings in the kettle and fermenter, this ale has a distinct English character. Post fermentation, this beer was aged on Whiskey soaked French white oak spires, lending some tannins and dryness to the huge amount of Crystal malt employed in the grist. You may find hints of toffee, raisins, chocolate or caramel in this dark copper brew.
Bear Republic Brewing Co
Old Saint Chongo
Winter Chocolate Wheat Ale
This winter warmer is brewed with winter fireside contemplation in mind. Rich malts are complemented by cocoa nibs and Mexican chocolate, while the German wheat beer yeast strain lends banana-rama goodness. Old Saint Chongo, patron saint of our monkey friends, requested this beer himself. Relax in your favorite recliner and enjoy this banana split in a glass.
Bison Brewing Co
Barry White’s Voice in a Barrel
Dry Foreign-Style Stout
This is the first time in its 23-year history that Bison Brewing has aged its Chocolate Stout (often referred to as “Barry White’s Voice in a Bottle”) in Bourbon barrels. Bison aged the beer for eight months in second use Four Roses Bourbon barrels. The result is a delicately balanced, medium-bodied ale boasting notes of toasted oak, vanilla, dark chocolate and espresso with hints of molasses and caramel.
Breakside Brewery
Cranberry Biere de Table
Belgian-Style session beer w/Oregon cranberries
This petit saison is crafted with a French farmhouse yeast strain. A substantial amount of Munich malt in the grist bill maintains the body. The beer was fermented directly on Oregon-grown cranberries, which impart color, tartness and fruity aromatics to the beer. A hint of additional winter spice gives the beer extra complexity.
BridgePort Brewing Co
Old Knucklehead Barley Wine
Barley Wine Style Ale
Old Knucklehead is a barley wine style ale aged in American Oak Bourbon barrels, creating notes of vanilla, toffee and sherry.
Buckman Botanical Brewery
Fruit Cake
Herb/Spice Beer
Fruit cake is an often tossed aside Christmas greeting gift. Buckman has taken all the tasty, toasty, fruity holiday flavors, and liquefied them into a brew that anyone would be happy to receive.
Burnside Brewing Co
Barrel Aged Permafrost
Winter Strong Ale
This big, strong, unfiltered ale was brewed with seven different malts and copious amounts of Columbia and Amarillo hops pillowed in the middle to give this warming brew a chewy complex malt body and a unique fruity, juicy hoppiness throughout. This special batch was aged in local Big Bottom Whiskey barrels to impart a depth of flavor.
Cascade Brewing
Sang Noir
Barrel Aged Sour Ale
This NW-style sour ale is a blend of red and double red beers that were aged in Pinot Noir and Bourbon barrels for 12 to 24 months. Look for sharp dark cherry and slight Bourbon notes in the nose and the first sip. The tart cherries and oak will soon take over and take you on a wine-like journey that will end with a dry, tart fruit finish.
Coalition Brewing
Lost Glove
American Strong Ale
Both English and American base malts give this beer a hefty 8% alcohol, while British brown malt and Chilean caramel malt lend it color and sweetness. Five different hops give this beer a complex but approachable hop profile to balance out the malty sweetness. Apollo is used for bittering, while Tettnangers and Cascades round out the middle and a blend of three comprise the hop back.  
Collaborator Hallucinator
"New" Old Ale
Hopheads beware! This English Old Ale is malt driven. While there is some hop presence, the flavor is dominated by sweet grains. It’s a beverage to keep you warm through long nights, cold winds and persistant rain; an ale that perfectly fits the next few months in Portland. Enjoy it now - after the Holiday Ale Festival only your memories of it will keep you warm.
Columbia River Brewing Co
Drunken Elf Stout
Imperial Oatmeal Stout
This Imperial oatmeal stout is infused with Belgian chocolate and Kona coffee, then conditioned on Kona coffee.
Deschutes Brewery
Super Jubel
Winter Ale
This winter ale was made with the same recipe as Jubelale, only with an increased amount of malt to create a stronger beer with even more hops for the most festive time of the year.
Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom
Chimney Stout
American-Style Stout
Four grains (wheat, rye, barley and oats) combine to contribute a big mouthfeel, while just the right amount of roasted barley and black malt deliver a deep, dark, pleasingly bitter stout character. This beer starts out slightly sweet, but finishes long and dry.
Eel River Brewing Co
Imperial Climax Classic
Barleywine Style Steam Lager
This barley wine style ale is fermented with the San Francisco lager yeast. It's made with high-end English floor malted barley and a blend of New Zealand Hallertau and Centennial hops.
Elysian Brewing Co
Bye Bye Frost
Strong Pale Ale
Too much bye-bye will make you gone gone. This extremely strong pale ale made with huge amounts of two row pale and small amounts of Munich and Cara-hell is bittered with Magnum, Amarillo and Styrian Goldings, then finished with Amarillo and Styrian Goldings. It’s additionally dry-hopped with Amarillos.
Fearless Brewing Co
Mjolnir Imperial IPA
Imperial IPA
The Fearless brewers state this beer is a constant work-in-progress, as they create new methods of infusing even more hop influence into the beer. It is named Mjolnir, which the Norse god Thor also chose for his battle hammer. The brewers at Fearless have created this beer as your faithful implement of victory.
Firestone Walker Brewing Co
100% Bourbon Barrel Aged Velvet Merkin
Oatmeal Stout
This small batch traditional oatmeal stout is brewed with 15% oats, 31% Maris Otter malt and a portion of roasted barley and hopped with US-grown Fuggles. The combination produces a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, accompanied by a mild bitterness and a roasted caramel finish. This batch was aged on 100% Bourbon barrels, most from Heaven Hill.
Fort George Brewery & Public House
Kentucky Girl Stout
Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee Stout
Kentucky Girl is a robust stout aged in Makers Mark barrels and infused with Astoria Coffee Company’s Working Girl blend. It’s usually only available for Stout Month, so Santa must have been really good this year.
Gilgamesh Brewing
Chocolate Mint Stout '11
American Stout

This stout is brewed with generous amounts of chocolate cocoa nibs and locally grown mint. The dark and tawny roasted barley, with additional dark chocolate, creates a full and complex body. Mint, in lieu of hops, freshens with a mild, herbal finish.
Hopworks Urban Brewery
Kentucky Christmas
Strong Ale
Kentucky Christmas began its life as Abominable Winter Ale before being gently whisked away to a cavern deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here, outside the reach of modern communications, it was laid to rest in freshly emptied Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon barrels where notes of vanilla and spice mixed with citrus and caramel.
Lagunitas Brewing Co
2010 Olde Gnarly Wine
Barley Wine
Making a Mondo Ultra Mega Super Premium barley wine is a little like having a kid. The first part is fun and messy, it takes a while to ferment, and then a little longer to mature. It is expensive and takes of a lot of space. You worry about how it’ll grow up and whether or not you’ll still be friends. Eventually, it stays out all night and comes home with its skirt on backwards. You know how it is...
Laht Neppur Brewing Co
Laughing Boy Stout
Russian Imperial Stout
This Russian Imperial Stout was aged in the ever popular Bourbon barrel style. Thick in body and mouthfeel, this boy delivers a generous hit of cocoa with vanilla and honey undertones. Let him warm in your hands to release all of laughter that the brewers enjoyed while making him come to life.
Laurelwood Brewing Co
Bonaparte's Retreat
Corsican Christmas ale
This Corsican Christmas Ale is a strong and malty winter beer featuring roasted chestnuts. The toasted nut character comes paired with a malt sweetness resulting in a strong, fortifying beer. Chestnuts are the national nut of Corsica, second only to Napoleon Bonaparte.
Lompoc Brewing Co
Cherry Christmas
Sour Cherry Ale
Cherry Christmas is a blend of four different beers: Golden Ale fermented in stainless steel with sour cherries; Golden Ale fermented in Port barrels with sour cherries; Brown Ale inoculated with a lambic blend yeast ale aged in Merlot barrels for four years; and a two-year-old Gueze.
Lucky Labrador Brewing
Special Holiday
Candied Fruit Scottish
This is a strong version of the Lab’s Scottish Holiday, infused with candied fruit. The fruit was candied with Belgian Candi Sugar.
MacTarnahan's Brewing Co
Barrel Aged Ink Blot Baltic Porter
Barrel Aged Baltic Porter
Barrel Aged Ink Blot starts with Mac’s base Ink Blot Baltic Porter and is then aged for one year on Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Barrels. The result is a smooth, sophisticated yet complex Baltic Porter.
McMenamins High Street Brewery & Café
Red Nose Rye
Imperial Rye Ale
This is a hearty rye ale with big spicy rye notes and a silky smooth mouthfeel. The deep reddish brown color and light hop aroma round out the quaffing experience. A bready malt sweetness belies a high alcohol content and will keep the holiday spirit warm during a cold winter evening.
Natian Brewery
Specialty/Strong Ale
Everything you love about HOLLA-Day treats are all wrapped together: cinnamon and multiple additions of 100% cocoa & chocolate dominate the flavor profile with festive additions of butterscotch, honey, molasses, maraschino cherries & vanilla to complement the honey malt, chocolate malt & hop additions of Palisade, Mt Hood & Willamette. The sugars are fermented out, leaving just the goodness of all the ingredients.
New Belgium Brewing Co
Lips of Faith Beers
Adventurous Styles
Ninkasi Brewing Co
The Little One
Traditional Small Beer- Second Runnings
This was made the same day Ninkasi created its barley wine, Critical Hit. When brewing a barley wine, the Ninkasi brewers do two full mashes, taking only the first strongest sugars for the barley wine. For this beer, they sparged both mashes and took the remaining sugars left to make a second, or small, beer. 100% German Haulertauer hops throughout the boil and as a dry hop give it a bright, grassy hop flavor.
Oakshire Brewing
The Nutcracker
Gingerbread Imperial Porter
The Nutcracker is a rich imperial porter with notes of aromatic ginger and cinnamon, perfect sustenance for those chilly damp holiday nights.
Off the Rail Brewing
SIN after SIN
Belgian Triple
The frothy, white head full of Belgian lace is lathered on a deep, liquid gold beer. The aroma is one of warming alcohol leading to citrus and spice. The palate is an explosion of lively, exotic flavors, well-balanced and intriguing. The rich aftertaste is full of aromatic malts balanced by hops. Sipping this beer is like tasting paradise.
Rock Bottom Brewery
Traditional Mild Barley Wine
You may recall Fozziwig from the Muppet Christmas Carol. He “has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil.  Say that his power lies in words or looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count ‘em up; what then?  The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.” 
Rogue Ales
Rogue Creamery 75th
Imperial Brown with Cocoa Nibs
This beer was designed to pair perfectly with the unique terroir of the Rogue-grown hops used to make the Rogue Farms Cheddar and TouVelle cheeses. It was brewed using five different malts, Rogue Micro Hopyard Rebel hops and buckwheat.
Rusty Truck Brewing Co
Belsnickle’s Strong Ale
Strong Ale
Belsnickle’s Strong Ale is brewed with spices reminiscent of the holiday season – cinnamon, nutmeg and coriander. Festive hops are balanced with warm maltiness in this deep brown brew. At 7.6% ABV, it’s sure to put you in a festive mood.
Seven Brides Brewing
Drunkle 2011
Old Ale
This old ale combines Crystal, Munich and Melanoidin malts into this tasty winter warmer. The powerful Hercules hops (15% alpha) alongside the ever-popular Fuggles give the Drunkle a Northwest hop flair.
Southern Oregon Brewing Co
2010 Keg conditioned Old Humbug
Traditional Winter ale
This traditional winter ale utilizes specialty malts that lend a hint of dark molasses flavor. This ale will help keep your belly warm during this holiday season.
Stone Brewing Co
Stone Ruination IPA DDH w/ Apollo Hops and American Oak Chips
Imperial IPA
This massive hop monster has a wonderfully delicious and intensely bitter flavor on a refreshing malt base. This version of Ruination is double dry-hopped with Apollo hops, know for their citrus notes, with an emphasis on orange, resin and spice. This was followed by adding American oak chips for a creamy, vanilla finish.
The Commons Brewery
Little Brother
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Little Brother is a rich and malty ale. A bit of roastiness, toffee, candy and chocolate come through as it warms. A smaller batch of Little Brother was aged in a Heaven Hill Bourbon barrel and blended back in for a touch of Bourbon. Little Brother is a pleasant and satisfying cold weather warmer.
Upright Brewing
Biere de Garde
Provision’s depth comes from a blend of 80% freshly brewed biere de garde-style beer and 20% English-style old ale. The French inspired portion is made traditionally with true lager yeast at an elevated temperature and openly fermented, while the old ale follows historic suit by being aged in an oak barrel for one year with brettanomyces. The resulting blend has a complex nose and is richly flavored but not overly heavy.
Vertigo Brewing
Left, Nut Brown Ale
American Brown Ale
This award-winning American brown ale is brewed with Golden Promise base malt to give it a nutty base character. The brewers added an abundance of Crystal 120L, Munich and chocolate malts to give it a malty richness. They balanced this nutty, malty profile with Northern Brewer and Mt Hood hop additions…and yes, they added six pounds of honey per barrel to help give it a kick.
Widmer Brothers Brewing Co
Peppermint Paddy Porter
Chocolate and Peppermint Porter
Widmer took a classic holiday candy and converted it into malty goodness. Locally sourced peppermint and cocoa powder and cacao nibs give this porter a wonderful aroma of chocolate and mint. You’ll experience a slight menthol like cooling up front that finishes with the wonderful flavor of chocolate. The brewers added just enough hops to accent the peppermint and balance out the chocolate notes.

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