2012 Portland Fruit Beer Festival

If you haven't heard yet, the 2nd Annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival happened a little over a week ago, and it was bigger and better than it's first year. Expanding it's limits from the Burnside Brewing parking lot onto 7th street, the festival added more beer, more food and live music. On Sunday June 10th, I made my way to the festival to bring you a few details and to remind you that if you didn't go this year, make sure you go next year! So far, it has been a big hit in Portland, and I see it only getting bigger and better each year.

The biggest change about the festival was the addition of live music. The choices of bands varied from acoustic, bluegrass, and country to electric and blues. All of the acts brought out the best of the festival by entertaining the crowd and providing a fun space to hang out with your beer or some food while you watch the show. I was also happy to see that on Sunday I was still able to get most of the same beers that were offered on Saturday. As Ezra  and his team mentioned in my preview article, they took measures to get more beer in hopes of not running out as quickly as last year, providing most of the same beers for each of the two festival days. The rotating and rare beer tent was set up outside as well this year and I'll admit, I spent most of my tickets there.  Thanks to Ezra for his suggestions and to the brewers for their original and tasty inventions this year!

There was quite a variety among my favorite beers this year, here are a few:

  • My absolute favorite beer this year will make you very happy if you're into the new Gluten-free craze or have an allergy. Dogfish Head's Tweason'ale, a gluten-free sorghum-based strawberry and honey beer. I honestly didn't know it was Gluten-free until I looked at the description. The strawberry and honey balance each other out well, and you end up with a tart, sweet and refreshingly fruity summer ale.
  • Boneyard's Funky Bunch is a sour/wild ale with a slightly salty taste to it. I found it reminded me of a barleywine in taste and consistency, but with a more tart bite to it.
  • Deschutes' Extinction Stout is brewed with chocolate malt and raspberries, and as the description on the Fruit Beer Fest pamphlet says so perfectly; "This stout combines two of life's finer flavors into drinkable glory."
  • New Belgium's Hip Hop Saison is their Valentine's Day beer and is, rightfully so, brewed with raspberries and rose-hips, and  finally fermented with a French Saison yeast. The combination of flavors in this beer plus the high carbonation leads to a highly drinkable tart brew.

If you missed the fest this year, or tried a beer you just have to have again, don't forget that some of these beers are still floating around Portland bars. Hope to see you there next year!