Portland Holiday Ale Festival 2009

Of the 42 beers listed below, this year's Holiday Ale Festival is made up of some big beers weighing in at an average of 7.9% ABV! Over the upcoming days, we'll be talking about some of the beers that we're looking forward to and hoping that you can chime in and give us your opinion as well over at our Facebook page.  Our team will be in full force at the fest this year for the kickoff on Wednesday.  So, come up and say hello, or keep an eye on what's going on, not only here, but on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr as well.

You can also take a look at the official program here: 2011 Holiday Ale Festival Program

Alameda Brewing Co Portland OR www.alamedabrewing.com
Papa Noel's Moonlight Reserve Olde Ale ABV: 8.2% IBU: 30
This beer is brewed in the style of a big, malty English Olde Ale. Hopped with Styrian Goldings in the kettle and fermenter, this ale has a distinct English character. Post fermentation, this beer was aged on Whiskey soaked French white oak spires, lending some tannins and dryness to the huge amount of Crystal malt employed in the grist. You may find hints of toffee, raisins, chocolate or caramel in this dark copper brew.
Bear Republic Brewing Co Cloverdale CA www.bearrepublic.com
Old Saint Chongo Winter Chocolate Wheat Ale ABV: 7.0% IBU: 35
This winter warmer is brewed with winter fireside contemplation in mind. Rich malts are complemented by cocoa nibs and Mexican chocolate, while the German wheat beer yeast strain lends banana-rama goodness. Old Saint Chongo, patron saint of our monkey friends, requested this beer himself. Relax in your favorite recliner and enjoy this banana split in a glass.
Bison Brewing Co Berkeley CA www.bisonbrew.com
Barry White's Voice in a Barrel Dry Foreign-Style Stout ABV: 7.0% IBU: 15
This is the first time in its 23-year history that Bison Brewing has aged its Chocolate Stout (often referred to as "Barry White's Voice in a Bottle") in Bourbon barrels. Bison aged the beer for eight months in second use Four Roses Bourbon barrels. The result is a delicately balanced, medium-bodied ale boasting notes of toasted oak, vanilla, dark chocolate and espresso with hints of molasses and caramel.
Breakside Brewery Portland OR www.breaksidebrews.com
Cranberry Biere de Table Belgian-Style session beer w/Oregon cranberries ABV: 3.3% IBU: 6
This petit saison is crafted with a French farmhouse yeast strain. A substantial amount of Munich malt in the grist bill maintains the body. The beer was fermented directly on Oregon-grown cranberries, which impart color, tartness and fruity aromatics to the beer. A hint of additional winter spice gives the beer extra complexity.
BridgePort Brewing Co Portland OR www.bridgeportbrew.com
Old Knucklehead Barley Wine Barley Wine Style Ale ABV: 9.1% IBU: 65
Old Knucklehead is a barley wine style ale aged in American Oak Bourbon barrels, creating notes of vanilla, toffee and sherry.
Buckman Botanical Brewery Portland OR www.buckmanbrewery.com
Fruit Cake Herb/Spice Beer ABV: 6.5% IBU: 69
Fruit cake is an often tossed aside Christmas greeting gift. Buckman has taken all the tasty, toasty, fruity holiday flavors, and liquefied them into a brew that anyone would be happy to receive.
Burnside Brewing Co Portland OR www.burnsidebrewco.com
Barrel Aged Permafrost Winter Strong Ale ABV: 8.3% IBU: 77
This big, strong, unfiltered ale was brewed with seven different malts and copious amounts of Columbia and Amarillo hops pillowed in the middle to give this warming brew a chewy complex malt body and a unique fruity, juicy hoppiness throughout. This special batch was aged in local Big Bottom Whiskey barrels to impart a depth of flavor.
Cascade Brewing Portland OR www.cascadebrewingbarrelhouse.com
Sang Noir Barrel Aged Sour Ale ABV: 9.2% IBU: 9
This NW-style sour ale is a blend of red and double red beers that were aged in Pinot Noir and Bourbon barrels for 12 to 24 months. Look for sharp dark cherry and slight Bourbon notes in the nose and the first sip. The tart cherries and oak will soon take over and take you on a wine-like journey that will end with a dry, tart fruit finish.
Coalition Brewing Portland OR www.coalitionbrewing.com
Lost Glove American Strong Ale ABV: 8.0% IBU: 66
Both English and American base malts give this beer a hefty 8% alcohol, while British brown malt and Chilean caramel malt lend it color and sweetness. Five different hops give this beer a complex but approachable hop profile to balance out the malty sweetness. Apollo is used for bittering, while Tettnangers and Cascades round out the middle and a blend of three comprise the hop back.
Collaborator Portland OR www.oregonbrewcrew.org
Collaborator Hallucinator "New" Old Ale ABV: 7.7% IBU: 40
Hopheads beware! This English Old Ale is malt driven. While there is some hop presence, the flavor is dominated by sweet grains. It's a beverage to keep you warm through long nights, cold winds and persistant rain; an ale that perfectly fits the next few months in Portland. Enjoy it now - after the Holiday Ale Festival only your memories of it will keep you warm.
Columbia River Brewing Co Portland OR www.columbiariverbrewpub.com
Drunken Elf Stout Imperial Oatmeal Stout ABV: 9.0% IBU: 58
This Imperial oatmeal stout is infused with Belgian chocolate and Kona coffee, then conditioned on Kona coffee.
Deschutes Brewery Bend OR www.deschutesbrewery.com
Super Jubel Winter Ale ABV: 10.0 IBU: 65
This winter ale was made with the same recipe as Jubelale, only with an increased amount of malt to create a stronger beer with even more hops for the most festive time of the year.
Double Mountain Brewery   Taproom Hood River OR www.doublemountainbrewery.com
Chimney Stout American-Style Stout ABV: 6.4 IBU: 50
Four grains (wheat, rye, barley and oats) combine to contribute a big mouthfeel, while just the right amount of roasted barley and black malt deliver a deep, dark, pleasingly bitter stout character. This beer starts out slightly sweet, but finishes long and dry.
Eel River Brewing Co Scotia CA www.eelriverbrewing.com
Imperial Climax Classic Barleywine Style Steam Lager ABV: 9.4% IBU: 94
This barley wine style ale is fermented with the San Francisco lager yeast. It's made with high-end English floor malted barley and a blend of New Zealand Hallertau and Centennial hops.
Elysian Brewing Co Seattle WA www.elysianbrewing.com
Bye Bye Frost Strong Pale Ale ABV: 10.6% IBU: 80
Too much bye-bye will make you gone gone. This extremely strong pale ale made with huge amounts of two row pale and small amounts of Munich and Cara-hell is bittered with Magnum, Amarillo and Styrian Goldings, then finished with Amarillo and Styrian Goldings. It's additionally dry-hopped with Amarillos.
Fearless Brewing Co Estacada OR www.fearless1.com
Mjolnir Imperial IPA Imperial IPA ABV: 8.3% IBU: 100
The Fearless brewers state this beer is a constant work-in-progress, as they create new methods of infusing even more hop influence into the beer. It is named Mjolnir, which the Norse god Thor also chose for his battle hammer. The brewers at Fearless have created this beer as your faithful implement of victory.
Firestone Walker Brewing Co Paso Robles CA www.firestonebeer.com
100% Bourbon Barrel Aged Velvet Merkin Oatmeal Stout ABV: 8.6% IBU: 33
This small batch traditional oatmeal stout is brewed with 15% oats, 31% Maris Otter malt and a portion of roasted barley and hopped with US-grown Fuggles. The combination produces a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, accompanied by a mild bitterness and a roasted caramel finish. This batch was aged on 100% Bourbon barrels, most from Heaven Hill.
Fort George Brewery   Public House Astoria OR www.fortgeorgebrewery.com
Kentucky Girl Stout Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee Stout ABV: 8.5% IBU: 48
Kentucky Girl is a robust stout aged in Makers Mark barrels and infused with Astoria Coffee Company's Working Girl blend. It's usually only available for Stout Month, so Santa must have been really good this year.
Gilgamesh Brewing Turner OR www.gilgameshbrewing.com
Chocolate Mint Stout '11 American Stout ABV: 6.0% IBU:
This stout is brewed with generous amounts of chocolate cocoa nibs and locally grown mint. The dark and tawny roasted barley, with additional dark chocolate, creates a full and complex body. Mint, in lieu of hops, freshens with a mild, herbal finish.
Hopworks Urban Brewery Portland OR www.HopworksBeer.com
Kentucky Christmas Strong Ale ABV: 8.0% IBU: 70
Kentucky Christmas began its life as Abominable Winter Ale before being gently whisked away to a cavern deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here, outside the reach of modern communications, it was laid to rest in freshly emptied Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon barrels where notes of vanilla and spice mixed with citrus and caramel.
Lagunitas Brewing Co Petaluma CA www.lagunitas.com
2010 Olde Gnarly Wine Barley Wine ABV: 10.6% IBU: 69
Making a Mondo Ultra Mega Super Premium barley wine is a little like having a kid. The first part is fun and messy, it takes a while to ferment, and then a little longer to mature. It is expensive and takes of a lot of space. You worry about how it'll grow up and whether or not you'll still be friends. Eventually, it stays out all night and comes home with its skirt on backwards. You know how it is...
Laht Neppur Brewing Co Waitsburg WA www.lahtneppur.com
Laughing Boy Stout Russian Imperial Stout ABV: 8.5% IBU: 44
This Russian Imperial Stout was aged in the ever popular Bourbon barrel style. Thick in body and mouthfeel, this boy delivers a generous hit of cocoa with vanilla and honey undertones. Let him warm in your hands to release all of laughter that the brewers enjoyed while making him come to life.
Laurelwood Brewing Co Portland OR www.laurelwoodbrewpub.com
Bonaparte's Retreat Corsican Christmas ale ABV: 8.2% IBU: 48
This Corsican Christmas Ale is a strong and malty winter beer featuring roasted chestnuts. The toasted nut character comes paired with a malt sweetness resulting in a strong, fortifying beer. Chestnuts are the national nut of Corsica, second only to Napoleon Bonaparte.
Lompoc Brewing Co Portland OR www.newoldlompoc.com
Cherry Christmas Sour Cherry Ale ABV: 5.6% IBU: 26
Cherry Christmas is a blend of four different beers: Golden Ale fermented in stainless steel with sour cherries; Golden Ale fermented in Port barrels with sour cherries; Brown Ale inoculated with a lambic blend yeast ale aged in Merlot barrels for four years; and a two-year-old Gueze.
Lucky Labrador Brewing Portland OR www.luckylab.com
Special Holiday Candied Fruit Scottish ABV: 8.0% IBU: 42
This is a strong version of the Lab's Scottish Holiday, infused with candied fruit. The fruit was candied with Belgian Candi Sugar.
MacTarnahan's Brewing Co Portland OR www.macsbeer.com
Barrel Aged Ink Blot Baltic Porter Barrel Aged Baltic Porter ABV: 6.3% IBU: 29
Barrel Aged Ink Blot starts with Mac's base Ink Blot Baltic Porter and is then aged for one year on Jack Daniel's Whiskey Barrels. The result is a smooth, sophisticated yet complex Baltic Porter.
McMenamins High Street Brewery   Café Eugene OR www.mcmenamins.com
Red Nose Rye Imperial Rye Ale ABV: 8.4% IBU: 30
This is a hearty rye ale with big spicy rye notes and a silky smooth mouthfeel. The deep reddish brown color and light hop aroma round out the quaffing experience. A bready malt sweetness belies a high alcohol content and will keep the holiday spirit warm during a cold winter evening.
Natian Brewery Portland OR www.natianbrewery.com
HOLLA-Day Ale Specialty/Strong Ale ABV: 9.2% IBU: 28
Everything you love about HOLLA-Day treats are all wrapped together: cinnamon and multiple additions of 100% cocoa   chocolate dominate the flavor profile with festive additions of butterscotch, honey, molasses, maraschino cherries   vanilla to complement the honey malt, chocolate malt   hop additions of Palisade, Mt Hood   Willamette. The sugars are fermented out, leaving just the goodness of all the ingredients.
New Belgium Brewing Co Fort Collins CO www.newbelgium.com
Lips of Faith Beers Adventurous Styles ABV: ? IBU: ?
New Belgium selected examples highlighting the breadth of its creative and eclectic Lips of Faith series of small-batch beers. Leaning heavily on Belgian tradition and influence, these selections showcase everything from Saisons to Belgian Strong Ales to Wild Ales and wild experiments, plus a token German Dark Hefe thrown in for fun.
Ninkasi Brewing Co Eugene OR www.ninkasibrewing.com
The Little One Traditional Small Beer- Second Runnings ABV: 5.7% IBU: 22
This was made the same day Ninkasi created its barley wine, Critical Hit. When brewing a barley wine, the Ninkasi brewers do two full mashes, taking only the first strongest sugars for the barley wine. For this beer, they sparged both mashes and took the remaining sugars left to make a second, or small, beer. 100% German Haulertauer hops throughout the boil and as a dry hop give it a bright, grassy hop flavor.
Oakshire Brewing Eugene OR www.oakbrew.com
The Nutcracker Gingerbread Imperial Porter ABV: 8.0% IBU: 30
The Nutcracker is a rich imperial porter with notes of aromatic ginger and cinnamon, perfect sustenance for those chilly damp holiday nights.
Off the Rail Brewing Forest Grove OR
SIN after SIN Belgian Triple ABV: 8.5% IBU: 28
The frothy, white head full of Belgian lace is lathered on a deep, liquid gold beer. The aroma is one of warming alcohol leading to citrus and spice. The palate is an explosion of lively, exotic flavors, well-balanced and intriguing. The rich aftertaste is full of aromatic malts balanced by hops. Sipping this beer is like tasting paradise.
Rock Bottom Brewery Portland OR www.rockbottom.com
Fozziwig Traditional Mild Barley Wine ABV: 7.8% IBU: 40
You may recall Fozziwig from the Muppet Christmas Carol. He "has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words or looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up; what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune."
Rogue Ales Newport OR www.rogue.com
Rogue Creamery 75th Imperial Brown with Cocoa Nibs ABV: 6.6% IBU: 36
This beer was designed to pair perfectly with the unique terroir of the Rogue-grown hops used to make the Rogue Farms Cheddar and TouVelle cheeses. It was brewed using five different malts, Rogue Micro Hopyard Rebel hops and buckwheat.
Rusty Truck Brewing Co Salem OR www.rustytruckbrewing.com
Belsnickle's Strong Ale Strong Ale ABV: 7.6% IBU: 55
Belsnickle's Strong Ale is brewed with spices reminiscent of the holiday season – cinnamon, nutmeg and coriander. Festive hops are balanced with warm maltiness in this deep brown brew. At 7.6% ABV, it's sure to put you in a festive mood.
Seven Brides Brewing Silverton OR www.sevenbridesbrewing.com
Drunkle 2011 Old Ale ABV: 8.5% IBU: 90
This old ale combines Crystal, Munich and Melanoidin malts into this tasty winter warmer. The powerful Hercules hops (15% alpha) alongside the ever-popular Fuggles give the Drunkle a Northwest hop flair.
Southern Oregon Brewing Co Medford OR www.sobrewing.com
2010 Keg conditioned Old Humbug Traditional Winter ale ABV: 8.2% IBU: 77
This traditional winter ale utilizes specialty malts that lend a hint of dark molasses flavor. This ale will help keep your belly warm during this holiday season.
Stone Brewing Co Escondido CA www.stonebrew.com
Stone Ruination IPA DDH w/ Apollo Hops and American Oak Chips Added Imperial IPA ABV: 7.7% IBU: 100
This massive hop monster has a wonderfully delicious and intensely bitter flavor on a refreshing malt base. This version of Ruination is double dry-hopped with Apollo hops, know for their citrus notes, with an emphasis on orange, resin and spice. This was followed by adding American oak chips for a creamy, vanilla finish.
The Commons Brewery Portland OR www.commonsbrewery.com
Little Brother Belgian Dark Strong Ale ABV: 8.7% IBU: 24
Little Brother is a rich and malty ale. A bit of roastiness, toffee, candy and chocolate come through as it warms. A smaller batch of Little Brother was aged in a Heaven Hill Bourbon barrel and blended back in for a touch of Bourbon. Little Brother is a pleasant and satisfying cold weather warmer.
Upright Brewing Portland OR www.uprightbrewing.com
Provision Biere de Garde ABV: 7.0% IBU: 35
Provision's depth comes from a blend of 80% freshly brewed biere de garde-style beer and 20% English-style old ale. The French inspired portion is made traditionally with true lager yeast at an elevated temperature and openly fermented, while the old ale follows historic suit by being aged in an oak barrel for one year with brettanomyces. The resulting blend has a complex nose and is richly flavored but not overly heavy.
Vertigo Brewing Hillsboro OR www.vertigobrew.com
Left, Nut Brown Ale American Brown Ale ABV: 7.6% IBU: 32
This award-winning American brown ale is brewed with Golden Promise base malt to give it a nutty base character. The brewers added an abundance of Crystal 120L, Munich and chocolate malts to give it a malty richness. They balanced this nutty, malty profile with Northern Brewer and Mt Hood hop additions…and yes, they added six pounds of honey per barrel to help give it a kick.
Widmer Brothers Brewing Co Portland OR www.widmerbrothers.com
Peppermint Paddy Porter Chocolate and Peppermint Porter ABV: 7.6% IBU: 25
Widmer took a classic holiday candy and converted it into malty goodness. Locally sourced peppermint and cocoa powder and cacao nibs give this porter a wonderful aroma of chocolate and mint. You'll experience a slight menthol like cooling up front that finishes with the wonderful flavor of chocolate. The brewers added just enough hops to accent the peppermint and balance out the chocolate notes.