Holiday Ale Festival Announces 2016 Details

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photo credit Timothy Horn

Portland’s beloved Holiday Ale Festival turns 21 this year and is back, Nov. 30 through Dec. 4 at Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW Sixth Ave. Known for assembling a huge collection of big, bold and often barrel-aged and spiced beers, the festival will feature more than 50 specialty ales including vintage ales, rarities, and those crafted just for the fest.
More from the press release:

Event hours are 11am to 10pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 11am to 5pm Sunday. To avoid the lengthy lines that often accompany beer festivals, the recommended days for attendance are Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. The Holiday Ale Festival is for ages 21 and over.

Despite being held outdoors during one of the coldest months of the year, nearly 14,000 festival attendees stay warm and dry over the five-day festival under clear-topped tents that cover the venue. Gas heaters create a cozy ambiance beneath the boughs of the region’s largest decorated Christmas tree. In addition to beer tasting, the festival also features meet the brewer events with rare beers, a root beer garden, food vendors, self-guided beer pairings with cheese, event merchandise and a coat/bag check and raffle.

What makes this festival standout from other similar events is the beer selection: the festival works with every brewery involved to make sure they send a beer that has either been made or blended specifically for the event, or is a rare or vintage beer that isn’t commonly tapped in the state. This festival offers the brewers a chance to reward their fans with amazing holiday gifts in the form of one a kind beers. This year’s beer list will be announced in early October.

To enter and consume beer, the purchase of an entry package is required. Advance general admission costs $35 and includes the 2016 tasting cup and 14 taster tickets, plus expedited entry all five days with a print at home ticket. General admission at the door is the same price, but includes only 12 tickets and no expedited entry. Advance VIP packages cost $100 and include the tasting cup, 30 taster tickets, special VIP beer lines with little to no waiting, exclusive VIP only vintage beers, bottled water and express entry all five days (VIP tickets are limited to 250 and are not available at the door). All advance packages will go on sale in late September at www.holidayale.com.

photo credit Timothy Horn

photo credit Timothy Horn

Once inside the festival, a full beer costs four taster tickets, and a taster costs one ticket. Certain limited release and special tappings may not be available in full pours, or may cost extra tickets. Additional beer tickets can be purchased for $1 apiece. Previous years’ mugs will not be filled. Express re-entry requires a wristband and the 2016 tasting cup, and is subject to the festival’s capacity.

Designated drivers in a party of two or more may purchase a designated driver wristband for $10, which includes Crater Lake Root Beer or bottled water for the duration of the stay; the festival matches then quadruples the proceeds from all designated driver tickets, root beer garden, bag and coat check and raffle sales. All proceeds are given to the Children’s Cancer Association’s MusicRx program, which delivers the healing power of music to children battling cancer and their families.

Returning to the event is the 13th annual Sunday Beer Brunch, taking place Dec. 4 from 11am to 1pm on the upper level of Pioneer Courthouse Square. The auxiliary event features European pastries, cured meats and artisanal cheeses to accompany an assortment of exclusive vintage draft and bottled beers not available at the festival itself, plus several special large format bottles to be shared during the event. Tickets cost $80 and will be available at www.holidayale.com in September. For more information about both events, visit www.holidayale.com.

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SUMMARY
Name: 21st annual Holiday Ale Festival
Venue: Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR
Dates: Nov. 30 through Dec. 4, 2016
Times11am to 10pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 11am to 5pm Sunday.
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: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com

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