Photo of the Oregon Brewer's Festival courtesy Pouregon via Flickr
It's the third week of July, aka that magical time of year when two of the year's biggest drinking events collide on the calendar: In Portland proper, you can blame all the wandering downtown drunks on the Oregon Brewer's Festival, while in wine country, oenophiles and chefs are busy getting rowdy at the International Pinot Noir Celebration. Between now and Labor Day Weekend, there are no fewer than eight noteworthy booze events on the calendar, tucked in between larger food festivals like the Bite of Oregon, summer barbecues, and more. Here's a look at some of the places to soak up Vitamin D and down chili-infused beer, epic amounts of Pinot, and something called "Barry White's Voice in a Barrel" (we bet it goes down smooth).
Oregon Brewer's Festival
When: Now through July 27
Where: Tom McCall Waterfront Park
How much: Free to enter, $7 for tasting glass, tasting tokens $1
As the crowning event of Oregon's Craft Beer Month, the 27th-annual Oregon Brewer's Festival kicked off yesterday amid summer rainstorms, with morning beer-brunchers parading across the river to the event's opening ceremonies at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. And in the following days, enthusiastic drinkers can expect access to more than 80 different craft brews (by 80 breweries), not including the 100 beers housed in the "specialty tent," which of course, has its own Twitter account. The full line-up of beers (including their locations on the Waterfront) can be found here, and off-site, many of Portland's best brewpubs are throwing unofficial or satellite OBF events.
Fire & Brimstone
When: July 26 and 27
Where: N. Killingsworth
How much: $20 including 10 taster tokens
Noted beer bars Saraveza and the Hop & Vine will encourage bar-crawling during the fourth-annual Fire & Brimstone Festival, dedicated to smoked and chili-infused beers. Each location will dedicate 10 taps to different spicy, smoky, and otherwise fiery beers and ciders: The theme has allowed for fun booze names like "Smoooke on the Weisse Beer" (a smoked wheat beer by Base Camp Brewing Co.), "Smokey Pineapple Bhut" (a ghost chili cider by Reverend Nat's), and "Smokin' Hell Extra" (a smoked Helles lager from Oakshire Brewing). Each spot will also offer a smoky/spicy cocktail special and food pairings.
IPNC'S Sunday Passport to Pinot
When: Sunday, July 27
Where: Linfield College, McMinnville
How much: $125
If you don't already have your all-access pass to the 28th-annual International Pinot Noir Celebration, you're SOL: As per usual, high rollers snatched up the $975 Full Weekend passes earlier this year. But Sunday afternoon's Passport to Pinot event provides the perfect tasting opportunity: Visitors are invited to wander through the picturesque Oak Grove at Linfield College, where 35 wineries will pour 70 different Pinots into guest's glasses. To help sop up all that Pinot, food will be provided by the likes of Crown Paella, Coquine Supper Club, Boke Bowl, Ken's Artisan Bakery, Olympic Provisions, and Newburg's Ruddick/Wood.
Bones & Brew
When: Saturday, August 2
Where: Rogue Ales's Pearl District location
How much: $5 for a day pass
Its name sounds vaguely like a Bring Your Puppy to the Brewery Day (and wouldn't that be lovely?) but Rogue Brewing's Bones & Brew is actually an annual celebration of beer and barbecue. The event turns 20 this year, celebrating its almost-drinking-age with barbecue vendors, two eating contests (hot wings and Kobe blue balls, pick your poison), the first-ever Rogue Nation BBQ Championship, and of course, lots of beer. Admission is $5, with food and drink available a la carte, but the event benefits Portland New Generations Rotary's PNG Empowers.
Portland International Beerfest
When: August 8 to 10
Where: Holladay Park at Lloyd Center
How much: $25 at the gate, including tasting glass and 10 beer tickets
The "international" angle means pours here don't necessarily adhere to Portland's local ethos, but Oregon beers do appear on the lengthy, 200-beer menu, which represents breweries from 16 different countries. This year, the festival moves from the Pearl District to Northeast Portland, promising "four times the space and seating" — all the better to enjoy unique beers like the Anchorage Mud & Funk (an imperial stout by the Netherlands' Brouwerij De Molen), a Rodenbach Grand Cru (from Rodenbach N.V.), and the delightfully named "Barry White's Voice in a Barrel" (a stout by California's Bison Brewing). Food will be provided by KOi Fusion, Fuego, Al Forno Pizza, and PBJ's Grilled, among others.
When: Saturday, August 9
Where: ArborBrook Vineyards, Newberg
How much: $60
Thirty wineries of the Chehalem Mountains AVA join forces for this annual tasting event, setting up in the vineyards of Newberg's ArborBrook Vineyards. The "Origin" event name nods to a bit of learning that'll occur: Tours will include an explanation of the region's terroir and how it manifests in all wine varietals, from Chardonnay to Pinot Noir. Wines will be poured by the likes of Adelsheim, Bergstrom Winery, Elk Cove, and Raptor Ridge; while Bamboo Sushi, the Bent Brick, and Newberg's own Painted Lady and Storrs Smokehouse will provide food.
Nano Beer Fest
When: August 15 through 17
Where: Max's Fanno Creek Brewpub
How much: Free to enter, $5 for tasting glass, $1.50 per taste
Sometimes, it's better to think small: The seventh-annual Nano Beer Fest celebrates the smaller nanobreweries of the Pacific Northwest. Sherwood's Two Kilts Brewing, Tacoma's Wingman Brewers, and Boise's Cloud 9 Brewery are among the 25+ breweries attending, and "Meet the Brewer" sessions are on-tap Friday through Sunday.
When: August 30 and 31
Where: Eola-Amity Hills
How much: $35
On Labor Day Weekend, go by the book: More than 20 wineries in the Eola-Amity Hills will fill the pages of the 2014 Encompass Guidebook, designed to introduce drinkers to wineries from Dundee's Antica Terra to Salem's Witness Tree Vineyard. After purchasing the book, drinkers can guide themselves to any participating winery and enjoy a free "Encompass Tasting Flight": Spread out over two days, the book represents a weekend's worth of wine.
Did we miss your preferred summer booze events? Give it a shout in the comments.
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