Holiday Ale Festival announces 2017 Brewery and Beer Lineup

 It’s nearly that time of year again, when you get cozy with sweatered beer geeks and santa look-alikes under the big tree and tents of the 22nd Holiday Ale Festival. The beer geek favorite, will take place Nov. 29 through Dec. 3 at Pioneer Courthouse Square, located at 701 SW Sixth Ave. (the event annually starts the Wednesday following Thanksgiving). Billed as the Northwest’s only outdoor winter beer festival, is tented and heated under clear tops and features 55 craft beers, ciders and meads with many/most being special barrel-aged versions and blends made for the fest.  The full list of participating breweries are posted below.

More from a press release:

In addition, the festival will also feature a number of Meet the Brewer events and dozens of specialty and rare beer tappings. The Holiday Ale Festival is highly regarded as presenting one of best lineups of winter beers and ciders anywhere in the nation.

What makes this festival standout from other similar events is the selection: the festival works with every brewery involved to make sure they send a product 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.

Despite being held outdoors during one of the coldest months of the year, more than 14,000 festival attendees stay dry throughout the five-day festival under clear-topped tents warmed by gas heaters. An elaborate scaffolding design creates a second level for the venue, dubbed the Sky Bar, which serves additional taps and provides ample elbow room for attendees to relax, spread out and even peek at the revelers below.

Burnside Brewing team at the Holiday Ale Festival

To enter and consume beer, the purchase of an entry package is required. Advance general admission costs $35 and includes the 2017 tasting glass – a flexible BPA & BPS-free polymer “glass” – and 14 taster tickets, plus expedited entry all five days with the 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 glass, 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. Advance tickets are available at beginning Oct. 20.

Once inside the festival, most full pours costs four 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 taster tickets can be purchased for $1 apiece. Previous years’ mugs or glasses will not be filled. Express re-entry requires a wristband and the 2017 tasting glass, 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 Soda or bottled water for the duration of the stay. One hundred percent of the money raised by the DD program, as well as from the onsite coat and bag check and the Crater Lake Soda Garden, is donated to the Children’s Cancer Association’s MyMusicRx Program, which delivers the healing power of music to the bedsides of children and teens facing cancer and other serious illnesses.

There will also be two food vendors, as well as self-guided cheese and beer pairings. Event hours are 11am to 9:30pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 11am to 5pm Sunday. To avoid lengthy lines, the festival encourages patrons to attend Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. The Holiday Ale Festival is for ages 21 and over.

For more information, visit and follow the event @HolidayAleFest on social media, hashtag #HolidayAle.

Holiday Ale Festival Participants

2 Towns Ciderhouse (Corvallis, OR): Bourbon Barrel Nice & Naughty, Imperial Cider

54°40′ Brewing Co. (Washougal, WA): Restoration Bock, Dopplebock

Ancestry Brewing Co. (Tualatin, OR): Horchata Winter Stout, Spiced Stout

Anthem Cider (Salem, OR): Honey Crisp Holiday Spirit, Unfiltered Cider

Base Camp Brewing Co. (Portland, OR): Barrel Aged Imperial S’more Stout, Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout

Bear Republic Brewing Co. (Cloverdale, CA): Olive the Other Reindeer, Dark Sour

Burnside Brewing Co. (Portland, OR): Owd Cappy Mac, Whiskey Barrel Aged Wee Heavy

Caldera Brewing Co. (Ashland, OR): Caldera Pink Peppercorn, Lavender, Chocolate Imperial Stout, Imperial Stout

Cider Riot! (Portland, OR): Winter Orchard Imperial Cider, Barrel Aged Cider

Collaborator (Portland, OR): Moore Holiday Ale, Imperial Bohemian Pilsner

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project (Denver, CO): 5 Golden Rings, Golden Sour Ale aged in White Wine Barrels with Mulberries, Candied Ginger, Orange Peel, and Muscat Raisins

Defeat River Brewery (Reedsport, OR): Firry Sweater, Experimental Ale

Deluxe Brewing (Albany, OR): Bock The Holidays!, Pilsenbock

Depoe Bay Brewing Co. (Depoe Bay, OR): Hakari nui pia, Wheat IPA

Drake’s Brewing Co. (San Leandro, CA): Vin-Drak, Wine Grape Fermented Imperial Stout

Drinking Horse Brewing Co. (Clackamas, OR): Jack Horner’s Imperial Porter, Imperial Porter

Ecliptic Brewing (Portland, OR): Cosmic Bog Sauce, Sour Brown Ale

Eel River Brewing Co. (Fortuna, CA): Conspiracy of Ravens, Chocolate Coconut Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Oatmeal/Milk Stout

Falling Sky Brewing (Eugene, OR): Cranberry-Juniper Gose, Cranberry-Juniper Gose

Finnriver Farm & Cidery (Chimacum, WA): Finnriver Disco Peach Cider, Sour Fruit and Spice Cider

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (Paso Robles, CA): Single Hop Pale, Pale Ale

Fort George Brewery (Astoria, OR): Breaking the Mulled, Barrel Aged Spiced Strong Ale

Fremont Brewing (Seattle, WA): Winter Fuego, Imperial Winter Ale

Gigantic Brewing (Portland, OR): The Cat Ate My Stash & Pissed On The Christmas Tree, IPA

Gilgamesh Brewing (Salem, OR): Charlie Bruin, Oud Bruin

Golden Valley Brewery (McMinnville, OR): Tickle my Dickel, Whisky Barrel Aged Old Ale

Hopworks Urban Brewery (Portland, OR): Yule Only Live Once, Imperial Dessert Beer

Kells Brewery (Portland, OR): The Selfish Giant, Bourbon Barrel Aged Irish Stout with Cherries

Lagunitas Brewing Co. (Petaluma, CA): The Devil Came to Petuluma, Barrel Aged Blend

Logsdon Farmhouse Ales (Hood River, OR): Gnome For the Holidays, Bourbon Barrel Aged Belgian Strong Dark with Cocoa Nibs

Lompoc Brewing (Lompoc, OR): Top Shelf Dubbel, Old Sport, Belgian Dubbel

Migration Brewing (Portland, OR): Hazy Holidays Lager, Imperial Lager

Modern Times Beer (San Diego, CA): Black House Vanilla Macadamia Nut Latte, Oatmeal Coffee Stout with Vanilla and Macadamia Nuts

Montavilla Brew Works (Portland, OR): Severe Concussion IPA, Triple IPA

Natian Brewery (Portland, OR): Old Grogham, Wood Aged IPA

Nectar Creek (Corvallis, OR): Top Bar, Coffee Session Mead

Ninkasi Brewing Co. (Eugene, OR): These Hips Don’t Lie, American Hopped Belgian Style Pale Ale with Rose Hips and White Pepper Corns

Oakshire Brewing (Eugene, OR): Florgia Borgia, Chocolate Milk Stout with Orange and Coffee

Pelican Brewing Co. (Pacific City/Tillamook/Cannon Beach, OR): Dark Hearted Blonde, Pale Stout

pFriem Family Brewers (Hood River, OR): Juicy Winter Ale, Winter Ale

PINTS Brewing Co. (Portland, OR): Christmas Down Under, Session IPA

Portland Brewing (Portland, OR): The Dude Abides, White Russian Imperial Stout

Portland Cider Co. (Clackamas, OR): Cranberry Sauced, Spiced Fruit Cider

Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider (Portland, OR): Warm Abbey Spice with Cranberry, Cider

Rogue Ales (Newport, OR): Woodsman’s Wine, Whiskey Barrel Aged Barleywine

Santiam Brewing (Salem, OR): Hibernal Druid, Braggot

Sixpoint (Brooklyn, NY): Mad Scientists Ale #22 Pina Colada, NE IPA with Experimental Hops

Stickmen Brewing Co. (Lake Oswego, OR): Tryptophantastic, Stout

StormBreaker Brewing (Portland, OR): Barrel Aged Kilt By Death, Barrel Aged Scotch Ale

Three Mugs Brewing Co. (HIllsboro, OR): Mrs Claus’s Peppermint Desire White Chocolate Ale, Blonde Ale with White Chocolate and Peppermint

Trap Door Brewing (Vancouver, WA): Holidank, Double IPA

Vanguard Brewing Co. (Wilsonville, OR): Uninhibited, Imperial Oatmeal Stout

Wayfinder Beer (Portland, OR): Rotorvator Doppelbock, Doppelbock

Wild Ride Brewing (Redmond, OR): Twist & Shout Coffee Blonde Holiday Edition, Coffee Blonde Ale

Wolf Tree Brewery (Seal Rock, OR): The Barrel Aged Belgian Dip, Belgian Dark Strong

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: