McMenamins’ Hillsdale Brewfest

McMenamins Hillsdale Public House

This Saturday, the 22nd, is McMenamins’ 21st Annual Hillsdale Brewfest taking place at their venerable Hillsdale Brewery & Public House in Portland. This is the original and oldest of McMenamins’ fests and is the one that determines what beer will represent McMenamins at the Oregon Brewers Festival in July.

Twenty of the finest beers from McMenamins’ breweries are sent into battle, their brewers vying for bragging rights, the notorious championship belt and a berth in the annual Oregon Brewers Festival held in downtown Portland in July. Patrons order “trays” of beer samples, arranged from lightest to darkest. It is our guests’ official duty to decide who deserves the coveted title. The beers cover the spectrum of brew styles – from hefeweizen to oatmeal stout, barleywine to smoked amber ale and beyond. Each taster casts one ballot that lists his or her top three choices. (And beware the brewers’ shameless vote-mongering. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.)

It starts at 11am and runs all day, and they’ll have a heated tent set up to house the fest. Admission to the tent is free and for all ages, though of course only those 21 and over can drink the beers.

The 20 beers organized by tray are listed here (PDF); note that there are 10 beers per tray! And there are some fine-looking beers on that list too.

Having attended the High Gravity Extravaganza fest at the Old St. Francis School last month (and enjoying it thoroughly), I’d expect the Hillsdale Fest to make for a great day too. 20 beers and the chance to help select the Oregon Brewfest beer: why not?