May - July Northwest Beer Festival Calendar

We're headed into prime beer festival season in the Northwest! The number of excellent beer (and cider) tasting events continues to grow each year. To help myself keep track of them all, I decided to develop a rolling list of annual beer festivals in Oregon and the Northwest.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. If I'm missing anything (I'm focusing on annual, not one-time-only events), please send me the event details at and I'll be happy to add it.  That said, here's a look at the upcoming festivals during the months of May - July.


  • May 12-22, Seattle Beer Week, Seattle, WA    website
  • May 13-14, Cheers to Belgian Beers, Portland    websiteevent overview
  • May 20-29, Central Oregon Beer Week, Bend    website  
  • May 30 - June 5, Eugene Beer Week, Eugene    website   


  • June 4: Inaugural Pints in the Pearl, Portland     websiteevent overview
  • June 4:  Sasquatch Brewfest, Eugene     website
  • June 10-12:  Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland    website
  • June 18:  Eastern Oregon Beer Festival, La Grande    website
  • June 10-19:  Portland Beer Week, Portland   websiteevent overview
  • June 11:  Vegan Beer & Food Festival, Portland    website
  • June 17-19:  Oregon Garden Brewfest, Silverton    websiteevent overview2015 recap
  • June 19-20:  Cider Summit, Portland    website2015 recap
  • June 22:  Sake Fest PDX, Portland   website
  • June 24-26:  Portland International Beer Festival     website 


To see an updated list, please click the Beer Festival Schedule tab on my main page or click Beer Festival Schedule. Happy beer tasting!

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Widmer Hefeweizen, Now in Cans

In the mid-90's I lived in Illinois, a craft beer wasteland. If you wanted a beer in the Land of Lincoln, your choices were macro. Miller Lite and Bud Lite where essentially your options. I chose to avoid beer entirely.

Around this time, I visited Portland for the first time on a business trip. While at dinner, one of my co-workers suggested I taste a local beer. I recalled hearing something about Portland having decent beer, so I figured I'd give it a try. I asked the server to surprise me, and she brought back a tall curvy glass filled with what appeared to be orange juice. After attempting to send back the orange juice, she told me it was a beer called Hefeweizen.

With a few sips, the seeds of my beer journey were planted, and I have the Widmer Brothers to thank for it. Widmer Hefeweizen has always held a special place in my heart because it was my first good beer. It was unlike anything I ever tasted.

Fast forward 23ish years, and Widmer's Hefeweizen is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, Widmer is releasing is launching cans of Hefe in the Portland marketjust in time for summer. The brewery sent me a pair of freshly canned Hefes along with a nice can cooler. I'm glad to see that Hefe is Widmer Brothers' first foray into cans. While there are plenty of IPAs available in cans, I can't think of any canned Hefeweizens.

Happy 30th Anniversary, Hefe!

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Game of Thrones: Seven Kingdoms Hoppy Wheat Ale from Brewery Ommegang

It's finally here! Season 6 of Game of Thrones premieres tonight on HBO. GoT's violence and debauchery should pair nicely with a glass of fine beer. Brewery Ommegang has stepped up to the plate with the release of Seven Kingdoms Hoppy Wheat Alethe latest in its series of Game of Thrones licensed beers. Last year, the brewery released Three-Eyed Raven, a saison, for the Season 5 premiere.

I found Seven Kingdoms at Costco for $7.99 (750 ml bottle). Hopped with Bravo, Centennial, Citra, Cascade, and Columbus, I expect this will have plenty of bright citrus and tropical flavors. For more details, check out the press release below.

Enjoy Season 6!

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Seven Hells! Seven Kingdoms Hoppy Wheat Ale, the newest beer in the Game of Thrones series from HBO Global Licensing and Brewery Ommegang, is slated to debut this spring ahead of the premiere of season six of HBO’s critically-acclaimed and Emmy award-winning show. The brew will be available all throughout the realm – the United States that is – both on draft and in large-format 750ml bottles.

Seven Kingdoms is a marriage of a traditional Belgian-style wheat and a hop-forward American ale – but unlike so many of the marriages on the show, the resulting hoppy wheat is pleasant, playful and inspired. At 6.9% ABV, it possesses a nuanced complexity that pairs nicely with the hop-forward characteristics that make it surprisingly refreshing.

“We love bringing as much inspiration, thoughtfulness and creativity to the Game of Thrones beers as we can,” said Mike McManus, Innovation Manger at Brewery Ommegang. “This last season, the imaginativeness of the show was pretty astounding so we aimed for a beer that could hope to match that. A fusion of two wonderful styles was an idea that really excited our team.”

“With Seven Kingdoms, Ommegang has crafted another excellent brew which we know our fans will love,” said Josh Goodstadt, Vice President of Global Licensing at HBO. “The world of Westeros is varied and complex and this varietal embodies those characteristics while offering a new and unique taste to beer drinkers.”

Seven Kingdoms pours a hazy pale yellow with a thick cap of pure white foam. The aroma is floral, citrusy with a touch of passion fruit and a slightly herbal hop aroma underpinned with yeast notes of banana, ripe fruit, and spicy phenols. The taste is a full, round hop flavor with tart orange and lemon with a substantial wheat maltiness and the finish has slightly lingering hop notes without being harshly bitter. The mouthfeel is smooth and silken owing to the wheat and oats.

The new brew is hopped with Bravo, Centennial, Citra, Cascade, and Columbus, and brewed with pilsner, white and red wheat, oats, and a touch of sugar to lighten the body. Ommegang’s unique house yeast is used in both primary fermentation and bottling conditioning.

Seven Kingdoms follows the re-release of the first two Game of Thrones-inspired beers, Iron Throne Blonde Ale and Take the Black Stout (fall 2015 and spring/fall 2013), Three-Eyed Raven Dark Saison (spring 2015), Valar Morghulis (fall 2014), and Fire and Blood Red Ale (spring 2014). Due to the popularity of this series of beers, Seven Kingdoms will be brewed at 3.5 times the volume of the first beer released in spring 2013. It will be available nationally in March 2016 on draft and in 750ml bottles for the suggested retail price $9.99 per bottle.

Inaugural Pints in the Pearl, June 4

Another day, another Portland beer festival. New on June 4 is Pints in the Pearl. This single-day beer festival will showcase Pearl District Breweries. 10 Barrel, BridgePort, Deschutes, and Fat Heads are participating. True to its name, Pints in the Pearl will serve pints only. So if you're into taster-size pours, you'd be best served looking elsewhere for your beer festival sampling needs. For more details, visit the festival website.

To learn more about upcoming beer festivals in Portland and around the state of Oregon, check out my Beer Festival Schedule. It's a work-in-progress.

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Inaugural Pints in the Pearl, a celebration of craft breweries
from Portland's Pearl District, slated for June 4

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland has a new beer festival for the calendar. The Pearl District Business Association has announced the debut of Pints in the Pearl, a one-day craft beer festival that will showcase some of the best beers Pearl District breweries have to offer. The event will take place on June 4 from Noon to 9pm at NW 13th and Everett; the street will be closed to vehicles.

Four craft breweries — 10 Barrel BrewingBridgePort BrewingDeschutes Brewery and Fat Heads Brewery — will each host a station serving three different beers, including one made exclusively for the event, along with a complementary food pairing menu. Each station will be manned by brewery staff, allowing attendees to learn more about the beer from the very people who make and serve it.

“We are so excited to debut this festival in the Pearl District,” exclaimed Carolyn Ciolkosz, director of the Pearl District Business Assn. “Our neighborhood has such a strong history of craft brewing that carries through the present with its award-wining breweries. We are looking forward to bringing them all together to celebrate what makes the Pearl District so special.”

Admission is $20, which includes a limited edition souvenir stainless steel pint and three tokens, valued at $5 apiece. Each token is good for either one 16 oz beer or one food item. Additional tokens may be purchased for $5 apiece. Tickets are available in advance at or at the door (note: the event will only accept credit and debit cards on-site).

In addition to beer and food tasting, Pints in the Pearl will feature family friendly entertainment ranging from cornhole to live music by bands including The Weather Machine and local American Idol contestant Haley Johnson. The event is open to all ages.

Pints in the Pearl is put on by the Pearl District Business Association, a non-profit organization with the mission to promote the Pearl District as the region’s premier destination for shopping, dining, art and living. Its goal is to enhance the vitality of business by providing value to its members and to the community. The event is sponsored by Central Office and Venture Portland.

Twitter: @PearlPortland
Instagram: @PearlPortland
Hashtag: #PINTS

# # #

Cheers to Belgian Beers, May 13-14

Cheers to Belgian Beers is turning 10! For nearly a decade, this event has been showcasing the diversity of Belgian-style beers. What makes CTBB even more unique is that all of the beer brewed for this event uses the same strain of Belgian yeast. This year, the featured yeast is Imperial Organic Yeast 58 Lioness. This snippet from the news release describes the strain:

Imperial Organic Yeast 58 Lioness, a yeast that shines in red to brown ales, but also works well for light colored beers. Lioness produces white fruit esters that are balanced with clove phenolic aromas.

Oddly enough, in the five years I've been writing this blog, I've never been to CTBB. That will have to change this year! For more details, check out the news release below.  For more information about upcoming beer festivals in Portland and around the state of Oregon, check out my Beer Festival Schedule. It's a work-in-progress.

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Cheers to Belgian Beers returns for its 10th year, celebrates Belgian-style
beers brewed by Oregon craft brewers using the same single yeast strain

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Cheers to Belgian Beers festival annually celebrates the breadth of style and flavors of beers brewed in Belgium. This year’s 10th annual event will take place May 13 and May 14 at The North Warehouse, 723 N Tillamook St. Hours are 1 to 9pm on Friday and Noon to 8pm on Saturday. The festival is unique in that it features up to 70 Belgian-style beers all brewed by Oregon craft brewers using the same single yeast strain.

Admission to the event is free. In order to drink, it costs $20 for a souvenir glass tasting goblet and 10 drink tickets. Beers are available by taster only; most beers cost one ticket for a taste, though some may cost double. Additional tasting tickets are available for $1 apiece. Portland Perks and MercPerks are on sale now; advance tickets will go sale April 8 at The event is for ages 21 and over.

Cheers to Belgian Beers takes place in The North Warehouse as well as outside in the tented parking lot. Food is available from Monk’s Deli and the Urban German Grill. Street parking is available, but limited. Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation — the TriMet Bus Line 35 stops one block away and the Yellow Max Line stops two blocks away — or ride their bike, with complimentary bike parking available.
While the Cheers to Belgian Beers festival showcases a single yeast strain, the Oregon Brewers Guild first holds a dart throw competition to determine the color and strength of Belgian-style beer that will be brewed for the event. Based on each participating brewery’s dart throw, the brewery will brew a Belgian-style beer that is either light or dark in appearance and either lower or higher in alcohol. Each year’s dart throw ensures there will be diversity in color and strength among the featured beers.

Belgian yeasts are incredibly diverse; this year’s selected yeast strain is Imperial Organic Yeast 58 Lioness, a yeast that shines in red to brown ales, but also works well for light colored beers. Lioness produces white fruit esters that are balanced with clove phenolic aromas.

The festival is still seeking volunteers, which receive a glass, 10 drink tickets, a t-shirt and free admission after their shift. An OLCC Servers Permit is not required to participate as a volunteer server at this event. To sign up visit

The event is organized by the Oregon Brewers Guild, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the state’s craft brewing industry and the common interests of its members. Founded in 1992, the Oregon Brewers Guild is one of the nation’s oldest craft brewers associations. The Guild, which receives no state funding, comprises 154 brewing companies, 122 associate or supplier members and more than 3,500 enthusiast members or S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer). To learn more, visit

Twitter: @OregonCraftBeer
Facebook: OregonCraftBeer
Hashtag: #ctbb

Portland Beer Week Event Schedule

Portland Beer Week returns on June 9 - 19th. Festival organizers have 10 days of fun filled events in store for beer lovers. It all starts off with Portland Fruit Beer Fest. They've got many unique educational, tasting, and pairing events planned. Check out all the details in the news release below, and visit the Portland Beer Week website for more details.

For more information about upcoming beer festivals in Portland and around the state of Oregon, check out my Beer Festival Schedule. It's a work-in-progress.

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

It’s Time! Portland Beer Week Opens Ticket Sales to Coveted Events
11 Days, Dozens of Events & Beers Galore

PORTLAND, Ore. (April 6, 2016) — Mark your calendars! Portland Beer Week, presented by Portland Brewing Co., is ready to take over your schedule in mid-June for 11 straight days of all things beer. Beer enthusiast, self-described geek, or a professional? With festivals focused on solo-styles of beer, to beer and food pairings, educational seminars and screenings — there’s something for everyone. That includes a special celebration of Portland’s unique love for collaboration with limited releases of Salt & Straw ice cream, Blue Star Donuts, Hot Lips Pizza and Bunk Sandwiches — yes, ALL made with beer! They’re just a few examples of how Portland Beer Week keeps true to keeping things weird.

Presented by Portland Brewing, PDX Beer Week kicks off June 9th and runs through June 19th, highlighting the Rose City as a leader and innovative force in the beer world. Tickets to the most anticipated events are now on sale! Here’s what you can expect:

Portland Fruit Beer Festival: The 6th annual event celebrates the increasing popularity of fruit beers, featuring 35 breweries and cideries.
PRICE:              $25 advanced tickets
WHEN:              June 10 —11:30am – 9:00pm
                          June 11 — 11:00am – 9:00pm
                          June 12 — 11:00am – 6:00pm
WHERE:            North Park Blocks, Downtown Portland

Rye Beer Fest: Back for its 5th year with expanded hours, rye beers, beer cocktails, live music and entertainment.
WHEN:              June 10 — 11:00am – 2:00am
WHERE:            EastBurn, 1800 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

New Oregon Breweries Showcase (presented by The New School): Welcome 11 of the newest breweries from across Oregon, meet their brewers and owners and taste their brews.
WHEN:              June 13 — 5:00pm – 8:00pm
WHERE:            Bailey's Taproom, 213 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205

Sour & Wild Ale Seminar (presented by Oregon State University): Learn about sour beer production from the masters and try rare beers.
PRICE:              $45 advanced tickets
WHEN:              June 14 — 5:30pm 
WHERE:            Upright Brewing, 240 N Broadway #2, Portland, OR 97227

Barrel-Aged Beer Seminar (presented by Oregon State University): Learn from the masters of non-sour, barrel-aged beer and taste rare beers.
PRICE:              $40 advanced tickets
WHEN:              June 15 — 5:30pm
WHERE:            Ecliptic Brewing, 825 North Cook St, Portland, OR 97227

Branding for Breweries Seminar (presented by Oregon State University): An expert panel discusses how to brand a brewery and its products, from beer labels to logos and merchandise.
PRICE:              $11 advanced tickets
WHEN:              June 16 — 5:30pm
WHERE:            The Labrewatory, 670 N Russell St, Portland, OR 97227

Down Under Smackdown: New Zealand vs. Australian Hop Beer. Local breweries are creating beers utilizing hops from both countries. You be the judge of which down under hop varieties have the best taste profiles. Let's keep this fight clean.
WHEN:               June 16 — 5:00pm – Close 
WHERE:             Big Legrowlski, 812 NW Couch St, Portland, OR 97201

The Love for Beer: 5 Year Anniversary Party + Women & Beer Meet-up: Women are fighting their way to become some of the most influential people in the craft beer world. Based in the Pacific NW, The Love of Beer follows these inspirational women. The evening includes a showing of the documentary and features several special guests.
PRICE:              FREE
WHEN:              June 17 — 5:00pm – 11:00pm
WHERE:            Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St, Portland, OR 97209

Portland Beer and Cheese Festival: The 5th annual event unfolds at the most anticipated new Portland brewery of the year — Wayfinder Beer. Master Cheesemonger Steve Jones (Cheese Bar, Cheese Annex, Chizu) pairs 10 beers from 10 breweries with 10 amazing cheeses. 
PRICE:              $35 advanced tickets or $45 for VIP session
WHEN:              June 18 — 1:00pm
WHERE:            Wayfinder Beer, 304 Southeast 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97214

SNACKDOWN!: The official Portland Beer Week closing party brings together 10 brewers and 10 chefs to create their greatest beer and snack pairings! Guests choose their favorites and the winners are awarded the SNACKDOWN Belt!
PRICE:              $49 advanced tickets
WHEN:              June 19 — 12:00pm – 4:00pm
WHERE:            The Evergreen, 618 SE Alder St, Portland, OR 97214

Save the date for these additional events:
June 12 — Understanding the Three-Tier System @ Belmont Station
June 15 — Weird Beer Bonanza @ Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom
June 16 — Brewers and Their Bands @ Ecliptic Brewing 
June 17 — Ecliptic & Worthy Brewing Collaboration Beer Release & Tap Takeover @ Beer 
June 18 — Sour Solstice Fest @ Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom 

Portland Beer Week visitors can enjoy a 10% discount at Society Hotel — the historic 1881 sailors’ hotel in the heart of Portland’s Old Town/Chinatown. To redeem the discount, you must call in to book your reservation at (503) 445-0444 and mention Portland Beer Week. 

Travelers and Portlanders alike can enjoy a 20% discount on any beers sold at Whole Foods locations in Oregon (except Bend & Eugene) on Fri., June 17.

For full details about Portland Beer Week festivities, visit

Warm Spring = Quick Start for Hops

I planted hops (Willamette variety) last July. That's quite late in the growing season, and it didn't produce any hops, as expected. It did grow to nearly 7 ft. in height. In the plant's first year or two, much of the energy is focused on building a strong root system. This is true with my plant, as its roots found and grew out of the pot's small drainage holes. I transplanted it to a bigger container to give the roots some extra room to grow.

The warm temperatures during the past two weeks have really kicked its growth into high gear! Just yesterday, it had reached 5.5 ft. These things grow like weeds! I've noticed that it will add about 3-6 inches in height per day. In the heat of the summer, they can grow up to a foot per day.

I figured one variety isn't enough, so I planted two new rhizomes (Centennial and Chinook) last week. We'll see how they progress! Hopefully, I'll end up with enough hops to make a small batch of beerprobably a Pale ale.

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Lompoc Brewing Launches Six-Packs

Great news from the good folks at Lompoc Brewing! For the first time, they'll release two of their popular IPAs in six-packs of 12 oz. bottles. Pamplemousse Citrus IPA and C-Note IPA will be available in this new format in upcoming weeks at all Lompoc pubs, grocery stores, and bottle shops. For more details, check out the news release below.

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Lompoc Brewing releases six-pack bottles for two of its popular IPAs

PORTLAND, Ore. – For the first time in its 20-year history, Lompoc Brewing has released six-pack carriers with 12 oz. longneck bottles, featuring Pamplemousse Citrus IPA and C-Note IPA.

Mobile Bottling Source did a first run of 17,000 bottles at Lompoc’s Fifth Quadrant Brewery on March 24, and the six-packs have recently begun appearing on store shelves throughout Oregon and Washington. The six-packs will complement, not replace, Lompoc’s current lineup of 22-oz bottles.

“The craft brewing market in retail stores has become flooded with 22-oz bottles,” explained Lompoc owner Jerry Fechter. “We wanted to stand out, and provide our fans with greater options. Adding six-packs achieved both of these goals.”

Local artist Jennifer Ulrich carried out the six-pack carrier designs, which were based upon the original label artwork by Woody Adams and Andrew MacKenize of WAAMCo.

C-Note, Lompoc’s flagship IPA, has been around nearly as long as the brewery; it was first brewed for the Horse Brass Pub’s 25th anniversary party in 2001. The beer was called C-Note because of its 100 IBUs. This highly hopped ale has a deep copper to orange hue with a bold aroma of pine and herbal spice. Hints of toffee and caramel are followed by a citrus finish that is dry and refreshingly bitter (6.9% ABV).

Pamplemousse is a deep golden hued, medium-bodied citrus IPA. Four hop varieties, along with real grapefruit juice, build a solid hop bitterness highlighted by citrus notes, both on the tongue and in the nose (5.8% ABV).

The six-packs are currently available at Lompoc’s Fifth Quadrant and Sidebar locations, retailing for $11 in-house; they will be available at all five pubs in a few weeks. Retail pricing varies at grocery stores and bottle shops.

About Lompoc Brewing
A long-time Portland craft beer fixture established in 1996, Lompoc (pronounced Lom-Pock) creates eight flavorful year-round beers, plus a ridiculous number of seasonals. You can find Lompoc in 12-ounce and 22-ounce bottles and on draft at locations in Oregon and Washington, and at its five Portland neighborhood pubs: Fifth Quadrant and Sidebar in North Portland, Hedge House and Oaks Bottom in Southeast, and the Lompoc Tavern in Northwest. For more information, call 503-288-3996 or visit and @LompocBeer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Drink Local, Drink Lompoc!

Twitter: @LompocBeer
Instagram: @LompocBeer