Nano Beer Fest at John’s Marketplace This Weekend


After taking a year off, the Nano Beer Fest is back in a new location and under new management. The 2016 Nano Beer Fest is this Saturday and Sunday, April 9th & 10th, at John’s Marketplace in SW Portland’s Multnomah Village neighborhood. The lineup is more interesting than ever and is not filled with questionably “nano” breweries like in previous years. This year organizer Oliver Manuel has assembled a list of classic and brand new breweries no one has likely tried.

I asked Oliver what’s different this year after taking over and moving locations from Max’s Fanno Creek Brewpub in Tigard to John’s Marketplace.

“We have been in charge of the website and much of the marketing for the Nano Beer Fest from the start.  In fact, the idea of using ‘Nano Beer Fest’ was actually my idea when the owners of Max’s Fanno Creek in Tigard first suggested doing a ‘smaller beer fest on this side of town, to benefit the smaller / newer breweries.’  We have helped with organizing volunteers, as well as a huge effort in 2014 to make it the largest Nano Beer Fest in the world with 28 Nano Breweries participating.  In 2015 Marvin and Connie had issues that prevented putting on the festival, and in late 2015 offered to let us take it over.”

The definition of what makes a nanobrewery a nano has always been up for debate. I don’t think Upright Brewing–which produces about 1,000 barrels a year on a JVNW 10 bbl brewhouse–qualifies as nano. The brewery may have fit the criteria in previous years, but this year is focused on fresh and actually nano beer, featuring the new blood of the industry, and that’s a good thing. I asked Olver how he defines what a nanobrewery is:

“That is a bit of a moving target, but roughly 4 bbl brewing capacity or smaller.  That said, I spoke with Alan Sprints at Hair of the Dog about the fact that he brews on a 4Bbl system (and always has), and of course he said ‘no one would ever mistake us for a nanobrewery!’  I guess you need to consider production level as well, or fermentation capacity. “

The lineup includes such brand new intriguing breweries like Ridgewalker Brewing in Forest Grove and Wolf Tree Brewery in Seal Rock, Oregon. There are also some great established nanos, like Cider Riot!, Ale Apothecary, and Humble Brewing. There are also a lot more brand new breweries from all over the state, so it’s a really wide representation. Oliver on how he tracked down all the brand new nanos:

“A lot of word-of-mouth when I was chatting with industry folks about getting it organized this year, and of course online research, especially with sites like yours!  It is a wealth of information, so thank you.”


32 Nano Breweries of Beer, Cider, Mead, Braggot (and Soda)

Saturday April 9th Noon-8pm

Sunday April 10th Noon-6pm

*Special Nano Preview Night Party at The Commons Friday, April 8th from 5-10pm featuring six participating nano-breweries.

No charge for entry. $20 package includes a commemorative glass, 10 drink tickets and one raffle ticket

This is a CASH ONLY event (ATM on-site in John’s Marketplace)

Parking is limited – please use mass transit!

Now in its 8th year, the festival has upped the ante with over 30 Nano breweries (of beer, cider and mead) from the Northwest.  Our Nano Beer Fest is the ‘World’s Largest Nano Beer Fest’ – the complete list can be found at  Besides tastings from these brewers, we will raffles off rare bottles of beer, beer memorabilia/swag, and other great prizes every hour of the festival with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the Oregon Humane Society (  The OHS will also be onsite Sunday Noon-3 with dogs & puppies available for adoption!

17 Meet-the-Brewer Sessions:
Saturday Noon-2pm
• Abram Goldman-Armstrong – Cider Riot!
• James Cardwell – Vagabond Brewing
• John Griffith – Boring Brewing
Saturday 2pm-4pm
• Matt Cowart – Conversion Brewing
• Greg Neldner – Shattered Oak Brewing
• Alex Hutchinson – Back Pedal Brewing
Saturday 4pm-6pm
• Rick Strauss – Bent Shovel Brewing
• Joel Sheley – Gateway Brewing
• Justin Marble – Ridgewalker Brewing
Saturday 6pm-8pm
• Larry Clouser, Josh Huerta, Erick Russ – Pono Brewing
• Joe Hitselberger – Wolf Tree Brewery
Sunday Noon -2pm
• Dan Antal, Aaron Fastenow, and Chris Sjolin – Cooper Mountain Ale Works
• Theo Leikam – Leikam Brewing
Sunday 2pm-4pm
• Steve Wesley – Hop Haus Brewing
• Aaron Hanson – Bunsen Brewer
Sunday 4pm-6pm
• Gary Gross – Ethereal Meads
• Charlie Johnson – The Labrewatory

The Oregon Brew Crew ( and PDXBrewers ( will also have tables both days to meet with and chat ’home brewing’ – and a chance to taste some of their homebrews.

Last, both Crater Lake Soda ( and Heavily Brewing ( have donated non-alcoholic beverages for the designated drivers!  Heavily Brewing is a new ‘Gypsy Brewer’ of craft non-alcoholic beverages.

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: