The Holiday Ale Festival begins today in Portland

One of Oregon’s signature beer festivals starts today in Portland—the Holiday Ale Festival, which runs through Sunday, December 7 in downtown Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square. The Fest is from 11am until 10pm each night except Sunday, when it ends at 5pm. The HAF features something like 77 beers, many of which were brewed just for the Fest, and a number of limited release beers will be featured each day, going on tap at certain times and available during those times only.

Holiday Ale Festival

Most of the beers are strong—there is no lack of barleywines, strong ales, big Belgians, and more—and when you factor in the exclusivity and the limited release beers, it’s safe to say that the Holiday Ale Fest is pretty much a beer geek’s festival.

The standard release beers are listed here, and you can find each day’s limited release beer list here.

Here are the admission guidelines and costs:

*FREE* re-admission into the Festival all 5 days with wristband and current year’s mug.

To enter and taste beers, the purchase of an initial tasting package is required. The package includes a souvenir mug, 12 beer tickets and costs $35 at the door (CASH ONLY). Those that are VISIBLY INTOXICATED will not be served.

Additional beer tickets can be purchased for $1 each. Previous years’ mugs cannot be used and will not be filled; however, current year mugs can be reused on subsequent visits within the same yearly festival.

A “taster” size pour of beer (4oz) requires one ticket (a few limited release and special tapping beers require 2+ tickets). A full mug of beer requires four tickets (some limited release and special tappings may not be available in full mug pours, or may be double tickets).

The festival stops selling beer tickets 1/2 hour prior to the posted closure time.

Shockingly—I’ve never been to the HAF… one of the drawbacks to living over the mountains in the wintertime.

But! This year I will be there—this Friday, the 5th, I’ll be there from roughly noon to 6pm selling my book (I’ll also be at Powell’s Books that evening, and at Belmont Station on Saturday doing the book thing). I don’t know how many holiday beers I will get the chance to try since I’ll basically be working, but I do have to give a big “Thank You!” to the HAF organizers, Preston Weesner in particular, for giving me the somewhat last-minute opportunity to come down and sell some books.

So, don’t miss out on this most excellent of beer festivals—and if you are there on Friday, come find me and you can get a signed copy of the book!