Image of IPNC courtesy Andrea Johnson/Facebook
Dear Portland: You drink too much. In the scant three weeks between now and the end of July, our fair city will host no fewer than eight alcohol-appreciation festivals, symbolically turning your Fourth of July weekend into amateur hour — and your liver into a sad shell of itself. But hey, it's Oregon Craft Beer Month and the perfect time of year to pop open a bottle of sparkling rose; so with that in mind, a guide to July 2013's top booze events.
When: July 12 to 18
Where: Belmont Station, 4500 SE Stark St.
How much: Prices vary
Sweet news for sour-lovers: The newly patio-ed Belmont Station will bring in 'da funk during its seventh-annual Puckerfest, a weeklong celebration of sour, tart, and otherwise funky beers. Local sour-masters at Cascade Barrel Brewing and Corvallis' Block 15 Brewery pucker up for the opening-day kickoff party, and each day, Belmont will host a different brewmaster for a "Meet the Brewer" night, featuring special releases poured by the mastermind behind them. During Puckerfest, Belmont Station ups its opening hours, from noon to 11p.m. puckerfest.com
Tiki Kon: Adventure Island
When: July 12 to 14
Where: Red Lion at the Quay, Vancouver, WA
How much: Event prices vary
The Oregon Coast is far from tropical, but that doesn't stop the party animals behind the Pacific Northwest's annual Tiki Kon from dusting off the Hawaiian shirts and getting lei'ed. This year's 11th-annual event (a self-proclaimed "Polynesian pop extravaganza") sets up its home base across the river at Vancouver's authentically retro Quay Bar, built in 1955. Over the course of the weekend, tiki enthusiasts can attend seminars, cheer on the competitors in the "Iron Tikitender" competition, head to NE's Alibi for a tiki Sunday brunch, or embark on a daylong tour of Portland's top tiki spots, including a few home bars. Tickets are available as a whole weekend pass ($250 Super VIP, $120 VIP) or a la carte.
Drink Pink 2013
When: July 13
Where: Patton Valley, Gaston, OR
How much: $48
Gaston's Patton Valley Vineyard paints its fields pink during the annual Drink Pink festival, toasting the Willamette Valley's top rosés. This year, two dozen wineries — from Big Table Farm to Omero Cellars to Winderlea — will pour their samples of summer's ideal sip, while Crown Paella and Coquine Supper Club provide bites.
Smoked Brew Fest
When: July 13
Where: Portland Brewing Co., 2730 NW 31st Ave., Portland
How much: Free entry, $20 for 12 tasking tokens
Salmon and ribs aren't the only things improved by smoke. NW's Portland Brewing Co. (formerly known as MacTarnahan's) lights up for the first-annual Smoked Beer Brew Fest, with eight local breweries pouring smoked beers and other limited releases. Base Camp Brewing, Hopworks, and Walking Man are among those The family friendly event, which benefits the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, also promises scoops of smoky ice cream (by Scoop) and food from Bro-Dogs.
Portland International Beerfest
When: July 19 to 21
Where: 314 NW Park Ave., Portland, OR
How much: $20 pre-sale; $25 at the gate
For a town usually devoted to all things local, the Pearl District's International Beerfest opens the door to — gasp! — out-of-state and international brews. But once you overcome that smug Portlandia moment, consider this: The three-day affair will pour 150 different beers arriving from 16 countries (heavy on Belgian, German, and English brews), with additional offerings from Quebec, Japan, and New Zealand. On the local end, Oregon breweries will serve up their takes on international styles, like Oakshire's Biere de Garde and Lompoc's Munich-style Dunke "El Comandante."
Oregon Brewers Festival
When: July 24 to 28
Where: Tom McCall Waterfront Park
How much: Free entry; drinks must purchase a $7 tasting glass and $1 tokens
Drunk people are wandering the waterfront practically every weekend in Portland, but we'll be less judge-y about it the last week of July. As per annual tradition (for the last 26 years at least), the Oregon Brewers Festival — summer's signature beer event — invites more than 80 breweries across the country to set up shop at the waterfront, where a reported 80,000 beer lovers will convene over the five-day event.
Counter Culture 2013
When: July 25
Where: Anne Amie
How much: $75
One of the best booze events for food, Anne Amie Vineyards's annual Counter Culture event invites 16 Portland chefs and restaurants to the picturesque Cartlon hills in an unofficially pre-IPNC event. This year, the likes of Pok Pok, Le Pigeon, Smallwares, Bollywood Theater, and Meat Cheese Bread will cook up bites, to be paired with wines from 15 wineries.
IPNC's Passport to Pinot
When: July 28
Where: Oak Grove at Linfield College, McMinnville, OR
How much: $125
Oenophiles descend onto McMinnville one weekend each year for the International Pinot Noir Celebration. Big spenders have already snapped up the $975 all-weekend tickets, but as of this writing, spots are still available the Sunday afternoon Passport to Pinot (a.k.a. the "Walkabout"), which offers tastes of more than 70 different Pinots over the course of a short four-hour span. Food will be provided by the likes of Levant, Ken's Artisan, and Recipe, and for those wanting to get learned before the buzz, New York Times wine writer Eric Asimov will hold a free and informal seminar before the event.