The 17th Annual Holiday Ale Festival kicks off in 8 days! Here's a link to the official program which contains delicious descriptions for each of the 44 “regular” main lineup offerings. I use the word regular loosely. If you read the descriptions, you’ll see that these beers are anything but regular! Most were created especially for Holiday Ale Festival. Download the guide and take a look! If that's not enough beer for you there's more. From the HAF website:As a special gift to you, in addition to the main lineup of 44 winter seasonals, we’ve gone deep into the cellar to bring out a few rare kegs. In most cases, these rare or vintage brews are limited to just one single keg, so timing is of the essence if you want to taste any of these. Please note, this list is subject to change with little or no notice. There may be more tapped in the 6 pm hour Wed-Sat. Also, check out the Lounge for additional beers and a chance to meet some brewers. If you want to stay up to date and bein the know, follow the Festival’s mobile website at http://holidayale.com.
- 2005 Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus: tasters only, double tickets
- 2008 Alaskan Big Nugget: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
- 2008 Oskar Blues Ten Fiddy: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
- 2008 North Coast Old Stock: tasters only, double ticket
Thursday, 11/29 @ 2 PM
- 2009 Dogfish Head Festina Peche: regular pricing
- 2009 Kona Black Sands Porter (from the island): regular pricing
- 2009 Deschutes Lost Mirror Mirror: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
- 2009 Cascade Sang Noir: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
Friday, 11/30 @ 2 PM
- 2008 JIM Commemorative: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
- 2009 JIM Commemorative: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per ll
- 2008 Deschutes Snow Quad: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per ll
- 2010 New Belgium Transatlantique Kriek: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
Saturday, 12/1 @ 2 PM
- 2006 Anchor Old Foghorn: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
- 2007 Anchor Old Foghorn: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
- 2009 Rock Bottom Maude Flanders: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
- 2010 Bear Republic Ebeweesner: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
If you're a regular HAF attendee, you may have noticed that the entry price is now $30 (an increase of $5 from last year). In the past, there's been a fair amount of discussion in beer geekdom about the price of festival mugs, entry fees, etc. I expect this increase may spark similar discussion. I contacted Chris Crabb to learn more. Here’s what she told me:
“Because of Preston's hard work, the beers for this festival are getting more and more special - lots of Barrel aged beers this year - and the more special the beer, the more expensive. For example, Preston flew down to Firestone Walker to blend a beer for the festival: Wild Merkin is a blend of Bourbon Barrel Aged Velvet Merkin and Barrelworks Gueuze. That isn't your everyday beer, and you won't find it anywhere else. And that's just one example.
We also purchased more kegs this year so we wouldn't run out. This festival actually doesn't make a huge profit - the Square is ridiculously expensive to rent, as is the scaffolding used to cover the stairs,the clear top tents, etc.”
Ultimately, for me, it’s all about VALUE. Where else can I sample so many unique beers in a single place for $1 each? Nowhere that I can think of! That’s why HAF is one of my favorite beer festivals. See you there! Cheers!