True, Pacific Northwest winters bring to mind images of bleak grays and dank days. However, these local beer festivals can help keep the spirits flowing during these dark days of winter.
First Taste Oregon moved to the Oregon Fairgrounds in Salem this year for a weekend featuring Oregon beers, ciders, spirits and wine. General admission tickets are $10 online ($12 at the door) with discounts available for military, seniors and first responders. VIP packages are also available.
The St. John’s Winterfest will be returning to Stormbreaker’s St. John’s location in Portland. This year they are offering two sessions: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. In each case, approximately 20 breweries and cideries will participate. Entry is $25, which includes a souvenir glass and eight tasting tickets.
The 4th Annual Tualatin Winter Brew Festival takes place from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Stickmen Brewing Tualatin Beer Hall. Enjoy seasonal and specialty offerings from more than 20 local brewers, cider houses and vineyards, along with food from four local restaurants. A full line-up of live entertainment is also included. Tickets are $30 online ($35 at the door) and includes a custom glass and 10 tasting tickets. Minors and non-drinkers are admitted free of charge.
The Hillsbrew Fest will take place at Wingspan Event Center at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro. Tasting packages are $30, including a keepsake mug and 10 tasting tickets. Choose from 30 Oregon beers and two Oregon ciders along with food vendors, games, music and more. Parking is $10, with Trimet bus and MAX stops adjacent the venue. Check out the Hillsbrew Fest website for additional information.
The fourth annual Suttle Lodge Winter Beer Fest is a Bavarian-inspired outdoor festival that offers a full weekend of fun under the pines of the Deschutes National Forest with 35 craft breweries, plus food, live music and cozy winter lodge vibes. During this event, the lodge’s six rustic cabins will be transformed into mini-pubs serving seasonal and limited-release craft beers from all around Oregon. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to CASA of Central Oregon. Single day and weekend pass tickets are available with general admission and VIP options, ranging from $50 to $160 per person. Designated drivers and kids have free entry, and well-behaved dogs are also welcome.
Brewstillery, a festival pairing local beers and spirits for a singular tasting experience, will be returning to Stormbreaker Brewing after a two-year hiatus. Details about the 7th Annual Brewstillery Festival will be posted on their website as it becomes available.
And, sadly, one festival missing
The Oregon Brewers Festival has announced the cancellation of their July 2023 event. Organizers plan to focus on more intimate festivals, and are considering creative ways to support breweries and cideries through events and partnerships. When the timing is right, OBF organizers hope to bring this internationally known beer festival back.