Portland isn’t shy about its love of beer — the city has nearly as many beer festivals as it does breweries. And with at least one beer festival nearly every month, the city has thirst-quenching events year-round. Belly up to some of Beervana’s biggest annual suds celebrations:
NW Coffee Beer Invitational
Bailey’s Taproom CellarFest
Held over President’s Day weekend by the the Oregon Brewers Guild, Zwickelmania is a statewide tasting event with more than 120 breweries across Oregon — and more than 40 in the Portland metropolitan area — opening their doors and offering free tastings and food pairings to visitors. Brewer-led discussions and tours give visitors a unique backstage pass to some of the world’s best craft breweries and free shuttle buses ensure safe sipping.
StormBreaker Brewstillery Festival
Celebrating Portland’s perfect storm of microbreweries and micro-distilleries, StormBreaker Brewing debuted its Brewstillery Festival in 2015, pairing beers from 15 local brewers with spirits from eight local distillers.
Spring Beer & Wine Festival
Sampling, seminars, and chefs take over the Oregon Convention Center in late March or early April, teaching the masses about pairing beverages with everything from cheese to chocolate, with every course in between. Brewers from all over the West Coast, including Ninkasi, Fort George Brewery and Widmer Brothers, flock to the Spring Beer & Wine Festival, pouring rare beers and perennial favorites.
Nano Beer Fest
Good things come in small packages at this festival celebrating pint-sized producers from Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Sample carefully crafted brews from more than two dozen “nano” breweries (defined as those which brew three or less barrels of beers at a time) at the Nano Beer Festival at Max’s Fanno Creek Brewpub in Tigard, just southwest of Portland.
Portland Beer Week
A celebration of the local craft brewing scene, the 11-day Portland Beer Week (because seven days cannot contain Portland beer) is packed full of tastings, festivals, parties and educational events all over town. (More about PDX Beer Week.) Highlights include the Rye Beer Festival, a celebration of the revival of rye beers that features at least 20 special collaboration brews from 19 different breweries, backed by some great food and live entertainment, all at Southeast Portland bar EastBurn.
Portland International Beer Festival
Drawing more than 200 brews from at least 15 countries to a beer garden setting in the Pearl District’s North Park Blocks, the Portland International Beerfest puts Beervana on the map, letting locals punch their passport with worldly offerings like barrel-aged strong ales, barley wines, sours, imperial stouts, farmhouse ales and double IPAs.
BrewFest in the Park
It’s all about organic brews at BrewFest in the Park, and that means more than just beer. Held at Overlook Park in North Portland, this family-friendly festival (kids and dogs welcome!) pours more than 60 organic craft beers, ciders and meads. Enjoy a booze-free “soda garden,” games, food carts and plenty of activities for the kiddos.
The Portland Mercury brings together Portland’s best brews and bands for a rocking day featuring one-of-a-kind craft beers and live performances by local bands at the annual Malt Ball. This affair at the Wonder Ballroom is the either the best-sounding beer festival or the best-tasting musical festival out there.
Oregon Craft Beer Month
As summer kicks into full swing, July is designated Oregon Craft Beer Month, with more than 500 events in 60 cities toasting the state’s suds with tastings, pairings, tappings, new releases and other special events, all leading up to the granddaddy of beer festivals, the annual Oregon Brewers Festival. (More about Oregon Craft Beer Month.)
Portland Craft Beer Festival
Debuting in 2015, the Portland Craft Beer Festival rounds out the summer’s plentiful beer fest offerings by restricting its tap list to only beers brewed in the city. With 70 breweries (and counting) in Portland, the selection is hardly limited.
Featuring brews that range from “slightly funky” and “tart and fruit” to “mouthpuckeringly sour,” Puckerfest has established itself as one of the most popular events during Oregon Craft Beer Month. Adventurous beer lovers can sample from a rotating cast of more than 30 rotating sours, and enjoy numerous “Meet the Brewer” nights where beermongers share stories about their favorite creations, all at Southeast Portland bottle shop Belmont Station.
Oregon Brewers Festival
Held in the last full weekend of July for more than 25 years, the Oregon Brewers Festival brings more than 80 craft brews to Portland for a four-day brewfest, the largest gathering of its kind in North America. One of the country’s longest-running and best-loved craft beer festivals, the event is situated in downtown’s Waterfront Park, on the banks of the Willamette River, and attracts scores of award-winning beers, live music, food vendors, beer memorabilia, homebrewing demonstrations every year. (More about Oregon Brewers Festival.)
Not for the hop faint-hearted, this annual celebration of bold beers takes place at Saraveza and features more than 30 rotating taps of double and triple IPAs from near and far. The festival offers food (like double beef burgers) along with beers that pack a punch, from the likes of Breakside Brewery, Barley Brown’s, Russian River Brewing Co. and more.
Handmade Bike and Beer Festival
At the Handmade Bike & Beer Festival, courtesy of Hopworks Urban Brewery and the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association, you can sip bike-themed beers from local brewers as you admire the craftsmanship of Oregon’s best custom bicycle builders. The fete also features live music, locally churned ice cream and loads of pizza and local grub.
It almost goes without saying that “Munich on the Willamette” celebrates Oktoberfest with gusto. Though Oregon’s largest celebration is about an hour south of the city in Mount Angel, where thousands have been celebrating since 1966, there is plenty of German beer-fair fun to be had in Portland. The city’s most prominent German bar, Prost, has their own annual Oktoberfest celebration, as does Oaks Amusement Park.
Fresh Hops Festival
“Fresh hop” beers – those made with hops picked in the previous 24 hours – are difficult or impossible to make for breweries in drier climates. But at least 75 of Oregon’s breweries lie within 100 miles of hop fields, making the state the epicenter of “fresh hop” beer production. Portland revels in its proximity to hop heaven with an annual celebration of more than 25 bright, earthy, pleasantly bitter brews at Oaks Amusement Park.
Holiday Ale Festival
Held under the city’s holiday tree in Pioneer Courthouse Square, the five-day Holiday Ale Festival features more than 50 of the Pacific Northwest’s best seasonal suds, all bracing winter ales designed to fend off the cold chill of a long winter’s night. With a reputation as the premier winter beer-tasting event on the West Coast, the gathering keeps attendees warm and dry under a large clear-top tent that provides cover while allowing for views of the city lights.