Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Ale Fest 2010

I was not the only one who enjoyed some great beer this holiday season Portland's Holiday Ale Fest. Hundreds of people gathered at Pioneer Square for the five day seasonal ale fest and sampled local brewer's latest creations. There were so many different holiday flavors and a ton of new beers featured at this year's festival.
beautiful city lights of Portland 

When you enter the festival, you are greeted with holiday scents like cinnamon, nutmeg and peppermint. It was so cozy and all the scents were captured under the big white tents covering Pioneer Square. It was definitely a great way to kick of December. Next time, I vow to try some of the food I was smelling, it all looked pretty incredible. It reminded me of an adult version of a Christmas bazaar...knocks the socks of the usual elementary school craft bazaar.

So a quick recap on the way beer fests work - usually you pay an admission and get a mug, beer tickets and a guide. Then when you get in, there are tables set up with volunteers pouring all the beers. You have the option of using your tickets for a 4oz taste or you can pay extra tickets for a full mug. This festival was just that - $25 for a mug and 10 beer tickets. 

Here were some of the favorites of the night:

Laht Neppur Brewing Co. - Waitsbur, Washington: Toe Tingler Stout  (I LOVED this was so festive and had flavors of maple syrup....yum!)
Vertigo Brewery - Hillsboro, Oregon: La Nina Coffee Porter
Stoning Brewing Co.Escondido, California: Smoked Porter w/ Vanilla Beans

Ones we missed:

Block 15 Brewery - Corvallis, Oregon: Figgy Pudding, Olde Stock
Buckman Village Brewery - Portland, Oregon: Ginger Beer

signs indicating the beers

Overall, a huge success and we had a great time, as usual. Take a look at the full list of the beers featured at this year's festival here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Brews at Bridgeport Pub in NW

Last week was the week for beer - a late night at Bridgeport Brewpub and then some Holiday Ale Fest fun.  I would recommend Bridgeport Brewery any day of the week for some good food and quality craft beer. They are open seven days a week until 10pm or later.
Bridgeport Beer Chart with IBUs and alcohol content
The brewpub is two stories with bars on each level and a gift shop on the main level. The walls are all red brick, candles light up the tables and leather couches are available for lounging. I love the atmosphere because it is always lively and everyone is in good spirits. Maybe that is just the beer talking? But still, a perfect place for large or small groups.

The Beers
Cases of Night Cap 
We started with the winter seasonal brew - The Ebenezer and then followed with their Haymaker Pale Ale. I know the Haymaker is more of a summer beer, but I love the rich, crisp flavors. It is always a nice beer to start with. The Ebenezer has more hops than the Haymaker but has a nice sweet malt finish with flavors of barley.

They also had two other seasonal beers this year - Nightcap Winter Ale and Old Knucklehead. I really liked the Nightcap because it was similar to the Ebenezer but sweeter with more caramel flavors.

Check out all their ales and ingredients here.

The Grub
chicken sandwich
For dinner, we ordered the Brewhouse Macaroni + Cheese, House Smoked Pulled Pork and the Spicy Haymaker Chicken Sandwich. I will sum up the meal with a plus about each dish.

Mac n' Cheese - topped with crushed up house-made kettle chips...yum.
Pulled Pork Sandwich - get it just for the potato salad (the sandwich is traditional but good)
Chicken Sandwich - the bread was awesome and the chipotle mayo has a nice kick to it.

Check out the brewpub on 13th and NW Marshall  OR visit the Ale House in SE on Hawthorne.

1313 NW Marshall Street                                       3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97209                                                Portland, OR 97214
503.241.3612                                                          503.233.6540