2012 Holiday Ale Festival: Details and Beer List!

The year is flying by! I can't believe Halloween is already over. On the downside, we'll have to part with those oh-so-wonderful pumpkin beers (slight sarcasm). On the plus side, one of the highlights of the beer year will soon be here! In just 26 days, Portland's Holiday Ale Festival returns!

HAF is my favorite beer festival. Not only is the venue at Pioneer Square warm and cozy, but the beers are unique. Most were created specifically for the festival and are not widely available. To get an idea of what to expect, check out my summary of the 2011 HAF.

For more details on this year's event, check out the taplist and full press release below.

Is Holiday Ale Festival your favorite beer event of the year? Which beers are you most looking forward to tasting? 

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Beer Name
10 Barrel Brewing Co
Frosty's Revenge
Belgian Noel
Alameda Brewing Co
Vintage Papa Noel's Special Reserve
Olde Ale
Avery Brewing Co
Bayern Brewing
Bayern Eisbock
Dark Doppelbock
Bear Republic Brewing Co
Prepare to be Boarded
Sour Spiced Stout
Bison Brewing
Logsdon Farmhouse Ales
Cocoa Bretta Collaboration
Breakside Brewery
Breakside India Passion Elixir
Imperial Red Ale
BridgePort Brewery
Old Knucklehead
Oak Aged Barley Wine
Burnside Brewing Co
White Out Arctic Ale
White Winter Ale
Cascade Brewing
Diesel #2
Chocolate Imperial Stout
Coalition Brewing
The Lost Glove
American Strong Ale
Collaborator Hallucinator
Barrel Aged Hallucinator
Columbia River Brewing Co
Stumblers Chocolate Cherry Stout
Imperial Oatmeal Stout
Crux Fermentation Project
Winter Warmer
Deschutes Brewery
Imperial Smoked Porter
Imperial Smoked Porter
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Raison D'Etre
Belgian Strong Ale
Eel River Brewing Co
Noel Barrel Age Blend
Spiced Imperial Red blended with BBA Triple Exaltation
Firestone Walker Brewery
Velvet Merkin
Bourbon Aged Oatmeal Stout
Fort George Brewery
The Three Wisemen
Barrel Aged
Full Sail Brewing Co
2011 Black Gold Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
BBA Imperial Stout
Gigantic Brewing
Old Man Grower's Holiday Tripple
Holiday Style Beer
Gilgamesh Brewing
Blitz'N' Prancer
Spiced Belgian Strong Ale
Golden Valley Brewery
Black Panther
Imperial Stout
Kells Brewpub
Kells Mexican Mocha Porter
Lagunitas Brewing Co
Ye Olde GnarlyWine
Barleywine aged 2 years
Lompoc Brewing
Franc'ly Brewdolph
Belgian Style Red
Lucky Labrador Brewing
Milk and Cookies
Spiced Milk Stout
MacTarnahan’s Brewing Co
Figgy Pudding
Barrel Aged Fruit Beer
McMenamins Concordia
Blenshee Blizzard
Strong Scotch Ale
Migration Brewing
Feel the Rath
Belgian Triple
Natian Brewery
10BBL Overture
Imperial Stout
New Belgium Brewing Co
Belgian-Style Raspberry Brown Ale
Ninkasi Brewing Co
Ancient Ale-ians
Mahogany Strong Ale with Chocolate and Coffee
Oakshire Brewing
Very Ill Tempered Gnome
Strong Ale
Rock Bottom Brewery
Bohemian Christmas Pilsner
Rogue Brewery
Brew 15,000
Belgian Stout
Rusty Truck Brewing Co
Cherry Chocoholic Baltic Porter
Baltic Porter flavored w/chocolate & cherries
Seven Brides Brewing
Brandy Barrel Aged Lil's Pils
Barrel Aged Pilsner
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Spiced Payback Porter
Robust Porter with Masala Chai Spices
Stone Brewing Co
Stone Suitable for Cave Aging
Imperial Smoked Porter
Terminal Gravity Brewing
2008 Festivale
Strong Winter Ale
The Commons Brewery
Dark Belgian Ale
Vertigo Brewing
Bob Barley's Dreaded Holiday Ale
Walking Man Brewing
Santa's Little Black Homo
Spiced Cascadian Dark Ale
Widmer Brothers Brewing
Brrrbon Vanilla - Cask Strength
Bourbon Barrel aged Imperial Red IPA w/vanilla

Holiday Ale Festival Toasts the Spirits of the Season
17th annual event offers one of the nation’s finest gatherings of winter beers

PORTLAND, Ore. – The 17th annual Holiday Ale Festival will take place Nov. 28 through Dec. 2 at Pioneer Courthouse Square, located at 701 SW Sixth Ave. in downtown Portland, on the MAX Light Rail line. The popular event will feature at least four-dozen big, bold ales designed to fend off the cold chill of a long winter night. From Belgians, barleywines and CDAs to winter warmers, porters and stouts, these beers have either been crafted specifically for the event or are hard-to-fine vintages, underscoring the event's reputation as one of finest gathering of winter beers anywhere in the nation.

Event hours are Noon to 10 pm Wednesday, 11 am to 10 pm Thursday through Saturday, and 11 am to 5 pm Sunday. To avoid the lengthy lines that often accompany Northwest beer fests, the recommended days for attendance are Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. The Holiday Ale Festival is for ages 21 and over.

What makes this festival standout from other similar events is the beer selection: the festival works with every brewery involved to make sure they send a beer that has either been made or blended specifically for the event, or is a rare or vintage beer that isn't commonly tapped in the state.

According to festival manager Preston Weesner, "It's really special to be able to hold this event in such close proximity to so many of the breweries that Oregon is known for. The savvy beer faithful come to the fest to meet up with friends and sample the special offering their favorite brewery has decided to share, then make plans to go visit the breweries after the event is over. It's a great time to be a beer geek and appreciate the amazing craft beer scene."

To enter and consume beer, the purchase of an entry package is required. The general admission package at the door costs $30 and includes the 2012 tasting mug and 10 taster tickets. Advance general admission packages cost $30 and include the tasting mug, 12 taster tickets and expedited entry all five days. Advance VIP packages are available for $65 and include the tasting mug, 28 taster tickets, a bottle of water, access to VIP lines (including special tappings) and express entry all five days. Express re-entry requires a wristband and the 2012 mug, and is subject to the festival's capacity. Previous year's mugs will not be filled. Advance packages are available online at www.holidayale.com after Oct. 19.

Once inside the festival, a full mug of beer costs four taster tickets, and a four-ounce taste costs one ticket. Certain limited release and special tappings may not be available in full mug pours, or may cost double tickets. Additional beer tickets can be purchased for $1 apiece. Designated drivers in a party of two or more may purchase a designated driver wristband for $5, which includes Crater Lake Root Beer or bottled water for the duration of the stay.

Despite being held outdoors during one of the coldest months of the year, more than 17,000 festival attendees stay warm and dry over the five day festival under clear-topped tents that cover the venue. Gas heaters create a cozy ambiance beneath the boughs of the region's largest decorated Christmas tree. In addition to beer tasting, the festival also features meet the brewer events, a root beer garden, food vendors, beer pairings with cupcakes & cheese, event merchandise and a coat and bag check that raises funds for the Children's Cancer Association.

One of the event highlights is often the beer names themselves: this year, look for Frosty’s Revenge, Blitz’n Prancer, Milk & Cookies, Figgy Pudding and Very Ill Tempered Gnome. The majority of the beers hail from Oregon, but there are also breweries representing Washington, California, Colorado, Delaware and Montana.

Returning to the event is the ninth annual Sunday Beer Brunch, taking place on Dec. 2 from 11 am to 1 pm on the upper level of Pioneer Courthouse Square. The auxiliary event features European pastries, cured meats and artisanal cheeses to accompany an assortment of exclusive vintage winter beers not available at the festival itself, plus special large format bottles to be shared. Tickets cost $65 and are available at www.holidayale.com.

For more information, visit www.holidayale.com.



  1. You got a Facebook posting/suggestion from Crowbar here in Corvallis. Pretty cool.

  2. Very cool! I just checked it out. Thanks for letting me know Mark! You coming up to HAF this year?

  3. I'm going to try. It's one that I've always wanted to go to.


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