The Mighty Mites: Session Beer Fest Returns

Founded in August of 2011 by fellow blogger Jeff Alworth of the Beervana blog, The Mighty Mites is a low-key festival well suited to champion the often overlooked small beers of lesser alcohol, also known as “session” beers of 5% abv or below. Since its inception I thought it was a great idea, and a much needed festival to counter all the big beers. I’m happy to have helped bring it back on Sunday, August 18th as part of the Hawthorne Street Fair.

Since the first Mighty Mites, session beers are beginning to come back into style, with more Pilsners being made in Oregon than ever and a rise in one of my favorite low-alcohol styles, Berliner-Weisse. Session IPAs, or ISAs, also seem to be all the rage and helped inspire the comeback of The Mighty Mites.

The fest will be held as a street party on SE 32nd just off the Hawthorne Street Fair and in front of Bazi Bierbrasserie from 11am to 7pm on Sunday, August 18th. The Mighty Mites is all-ages friendly and has something for everyone, including a special (non sessionable) beer cocktail by Bazi called the Aquamighty! An outdoor beer garden will feature all-star ice cream makers Salt & Straw, a hot dog cart,and the Timbers No Pity Van. To keep the party going DJ Forrest Avery will be spinning records.

The beer (and a cider) list is greatly varied in style, with a little empahsis on the pale ales and IPAs, as they are so popular. Still, with the options on the table these days for quaffable sessionable beers, the beer list was difficult to narrow down. From Reverend Nat’s CiderKin to a beet and blood orange beer to an IPA from ultra-popular Boneyard Brewing.

$10 gets you a cup and 4 beer tickets, each good for a half a beer. 2 tickets for a full beer. That’s only $4 a beer!

Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider: “Session-Style Ciderkin”

The process of making Ciderkin dates back to pre-Colonial times. After pressing apples once, the dry pulp is wetted and repressed the following day. We’ve taken the resulting small cider and added citrus zest blend to it as well as a hint of ginger, and back sweetened with honey. Under 4% ABV.

De Garde: Cranberry Bu Weisse
Second small batch iteration of our Berliner aged in second use gin barrels with Oregon coast cranberries.

Boneyard: Shotgun/Lite Mosaic IPA

Brewed with Pale and Pilsner malts, this single hop Northwest blonde ale is crisp and refreshing with a mild hop character. This rotating hop series is totally poundable and was made for those days that you’re in it to win it!

Burnside Brewing: lowercase IPA

A sessionable, hoppy ale brewed to showcase the floral, tea-leaf flavor and aroma of the Perle hop. At 4.8% ABV and 50 IBUs, this deep orange colored IPA is highly quaffable. The minty bitterness is balanced by pale, Munich, and Vienna malts with a touch of medium crystal. Dry hopping with 12 pounds of whole leaf Perle adds additional layers of grassy and floral hop complexity.

Green Flash: Citra Session IPA
Pale gold Session IPA is brewed with high quality Marris Otter and Vienna Malt but the flavor is dominated by the Citra hop. 100% Citra hop is used to bitter and flavor the brew with additional Citra in the dry hop for aroma intensity. Citrus notes of lemon, orange and grapefruit are the main traits of the hop with light floral and lemon grass undertones. The abv at only 4.5% makes this hop laden brew an easily sessionable quaffer. 4.5% ABV, 45 IBU

Eel River: Cali Pale
Light in color, crisp, and ready for summer, Cali Pale Ale had beer enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike requesting bottle availability. Cali Pale Ale’s use of aromatic dry hopping with Simcoe and Citra hops leads to floral notes of citrus and tropical fruits. At 4.8% and 38 IBUs, Cali Pale Ale is the beer of summer.

Lompoc: Lompeizer
Lompoc’s tribute to American domestics. Brewed with Pilsner malt and 30% flaked rice, the result is a pale straw colored beer that is highly drinkable and perfect for summer in the Northwest. 4.5% ABV

10 Barrel: Swill
Grapefruit infused Berliner-Weisse with soda added. More beer and less soda than the traditional radler makes for a great summer beer. 4.5% and 13 IBU’s.

10 Barrel: German Sparkle Party
Berliner Weisse is a sour, tart, fruity, effervescent ale, often referred to as the champagne of beers for its light and sparkly texture. A little different but we like different… give it a run for yourself. ABV: 4% IBU: 16

Fort George: Devil’s Advocate
The name of this beer is befitting, shall we call it a vegetable beer or fruit ale. Either way this particular brew is made with 50 lbs of beets, 4 lbs of Blood orange puree, and just enough Citra hops to make this beer pleasantly layered. First the bitterness hits the palate then the under lying earthy beet flavor, that then develops into that amazing citrus burst. This beer cannot be described as fitting any one category of beer but is easy drinking and fun to look at. The Devil’s Advocate pours a deep rose color almost magenta with a bright pink head. The aroma is fulfilling, as is the brew to drink. 4.35%

Widmer: Portlander Weisse
Portlander Weisse is brewed in the spirit of the original Berliner Weisse. Its simple grain bill and low alcohol content are meant to keep with tradition and result in an extremely drinkable ale. Using a souring process in the kettle, this unfiltered brew has an intense tart quality, but ends with an extremely refreshing, crisp, dry finish. Try it with one of the flavoring syrups, which also keep with the tradition of this age-old beer. 3.4% ABV, 6 IBU’s. Peach ginger syrup or a blackberry coriander syrup available for mixing.

Hop Valley: 541 Lager
A crisp and refreshing American lager. 4.8%

Breakside: Session Brown

A rich and full bodied English-style brown ale using chocolate, caramel, and English mild malts. For fans of our Scottish 70 and Mild, this beer is for you! SILVER MEDAL, 2012 GREAT AMERICAN BEER FESTIVAL, ENGLISH-STYLE MILD ALE
4.0% ABV 14 IBU

The Mighty Mites
Sunday August 18 11am-7pm
SE 32nd Avenue, just south of Hawthorne Blvd

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact:


  • Jeff Alworth
    Jeff Alworth
    Wed Aug 7, 2013 4:46 PM

    I’m glad you picked up the baton, Ezra, and are bringing this fest back. Small beers can pack a huge flavor punch! The new trend toward hoppy session ales (aka ISAs–though I hate that name) and Berliner weisses is evidence that other people are starting to agree.

    I’ll be there, for sure–

    • Norm Bone
      Norm Bone
      Wed Aug 7, 2013 7:49 PM

      Thanks for doing this! I had such a great time time at the last one and was hoping it would become a regular thing.

      • Hilda
        Thu Aug 8, 2013 9:43 PM

        Thanks for all your help Ezra! This is an awesome beer lineup and we’re excited to tie this festival with the Hawthorne Street Fair.