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Portland's Best Boozing Events: July & August 2012

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Image of Oregon Brewers Festival courtesy craigemorsels via Flickr

A recent study has revealed that Vitamin D deficiency probably causes weight gain, which is unfortunate news for Portlanders already losing sleep over their rickets. With this depressing scientific epiphany in mind, it stands to reason that if our late-breaking-summer is already making you fat, what's a few more beers? Sure, drinking may not replenish your body's supply of the Sunshine Vitamin, but here are 11 beer and wine-fueled fiestas that will help you forget about your thunder thighs and bowlegs.

When: July 13-19
Where: Belmont Station, 4500 SE Stark St.
How much: Varies
What: July is National Anti-Boredom Month, so it makes perfect sense that it's also Oregon Craft Beer Month. And one of the premier Beer Month events is Belmont Station's sixth-annual Puckerfest, motto: "Cheers, And Prepare To Pucker Up." A celebration of all brews sour and funky, this weeklong festival features 12-14 rotating daily taps, Meet the Brewer nights, special tappings and releases, and extended hours at the popular beer hall.

Explore Your Craft
: Friday, July 13, 7-10p.m.
Where: Ecotrust Building, 721 NW 9th Ave.
How much: $45
What: One of the great joys of a Portland summer is larking around on fancy Pearl District terraces making passerby jealous of your amazing life. But even if you don't have a fancy Pearl patio or even a friend who does, you can buy a ticket to the good life at Explore Your Craft, a delicious collaboration between Widmer Brothers Brewing, Whole Foods Market, Olympic Provisions, a smattering of local musicians and artists, and the envy-inducing Ecotrust terrace.

Drink Pink
: Saturday, July 14, 12-4p.m.
Where: Patton Valley Vineyards, Gaston, OR
How much: $45
What: If rosé were a person, it would be intelligent and good-looking with a wicked sense of humor — and the ability to look really tasty in pink. Want an introduction? Hit up this celebration of summer's perfect pink package, set in the scenic vineyards of Gaston's Patton Valley Vineyard, where you can mingle with 17 of the Willamette Valley's finest rosés, partake of Crown Paella's highly palatable paella and tapas, and boogie to live big band tunes.

Portland Bastille Festival
: July 14 & 15
Where: Director Park, WillaKenzie Estate
How much: Free-$30
What: Celebrate the red, white and bleu city-style at Director Park's Portland Bastille Festival on Saturday afternoon, with plenty of Champagne, Bordeaux, and Burgundy, oo-la-la eats from local restaurants, and a waiters' race. Then continue the festivities on Sunday in the closest thing Portland has to Chateau country — the Willamette Valley — at WillaKenzie Estate's Bastille au Vignoble, with wine tastings, garden tours and pork confit sliders.

Portland International Beerfest
: July 20-22
Where: North Park Blocks
How much: $25-$40
What: PIB bills itself as a "high-end three-day beer festival specializing in rare, hard-to-find, exotic beers," and if you've ever been there at last call on Saturday, you know just how genteel the crowd can be. Be sure to lift your pinky when sipping that Chimay Grande Réserve and try not to spill Potato Champion poutine or Koi Fusion kimchi quesadilla on your spats.

Counter Culture
: Thursday, July 26, 5-9p.m.
Where: Anne Amie Vineyards
How much: $75
What: Last year's Counter Culture was summer's must-attend event — a selective collective of Portland's best restaurants flanking a dozen top-notch wineries amongst a warm summer breeze, a row of hammocks, breathtaking valley views, and come dusk, a shirtless fire dancer in flesh-colored pants gyrating around a massive bonfire. Let’s see how they top that this year!

IPNC Walkabout
: Sunday, July 29, 2-5:30pm
Where: Linfield College’s Oak Grove, McMinnville
How much: $150
What: If you see the International Pinot Noir Celebration as something of a Goldilocks-like conundrum — attending the entire event is too big, sitting in the SW Baker Street 7-11 parking lot across from Linfield College with a pair of binoculars and a bottle of Crane Lake is too small, here's the "Just Right": IPNC's Walkabout (formerly known as the annual "Passport to Pinot" event), a glorious leisurely Sunday afternoon tasting of 70 of the world's most gifted winemakers' wares, accompanied by star eats by IPNC's renowned guest chefs. This year, it's in Linfield's stately Oak Grove, which, while beautiful even from afar, is so much better close up.

25th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival
: July 26-29
Where: Tom McCall Waterfront Park
How much: Free admission, $6 mug, $1 tasting tokens
What: This year, the Oregon Brewers Festival is now officially old enough to rent a car (congrats!) — not that it would, because after you've hosted 80 craft breweries from across the nation, upwards of 80,000 enthusiastic beer drinkers, and something called a "Buzz Tent," it's a given that one takes a rickshaw home or sleeps under the Morrison.

Bones and Brew
: August 4 & 5
Where: Buckman Botanical Brewery, 909 SE Yamhill St.
How much: $3
What: Quite honestly, any summer event that incorporates a "Kobe Bleu Ball" eating contest into its lineup deserves your patronage. And further considering that the 18th-annual Bones and Brew fest will have over 30 microbreweries, a BBQ contest and various BBQ vendors, and a Charity Dog Wash, and is a benefit for the Oregon Zoo, this might be the most worthwhile $3 you've ever spent.

40th Annual Bite of Oregon
: August 10-12
Where: Tom McCall Waterfront Park
How much: $5
What: Bite of Oregon hits the big 4-0 this year, but instead of getting a knee lift and drinks with the girls at Portland City Grill then crying itself to sleep, this venerable Special Olympics fundraiser is going to do? well, what it does every year — take over the downtown waterfront with craft beer and wine vendors, restaurant booths and food carts, "Think Outside the Pint" and Iron Chef competitions, and a lot of people who probably should have gotten a spray tan before they put on those shorts.

Festa Italiana
: August 23-25
Where: Pioneer Courthouse Square
How much: Free admission
What: Festa Italiana has many fine attributes, not the least of which is allowing you to drink cheap bottles of wine in Pioneer Courthouse Square (legally, for once), eat big carbolicious bowls of pasta followed by bricks of tiramisu, and then dance like an Italian grandmother with Tuscan fire ants in her girdle. There is also a grape stomp, live opera, and authentically lecherous old Italian men.