Spring has almost sprung, and many annual festivals return again this year, in a week that includes the return of our annual Beer Guide, and the medal ceremony of the third annual Oregon Beer Awards.
Whether you're into sours, extremely hoppy ales, or the best dark beers money can buy, there's a place to drink it en masse this week. Just be sure to make it to the OBAs on Tuesday night—it's the event everyone will be talking about for some time, and the place you're most likely to brush shoulders with a beer idol (or several).
Thursday, February 23
Sour Fruit Fest
The "House of Sour" celebrates itself Wednesday through Sunday with over 50 different fruity sour beers on rotation, from Bourbon Bada Bing to Honeycot to Mango Dango and Shrieking Violet. A different beer headlines each day—whether Crazy Navel on Thursday or bourbon-barrel-aged Cherry Vlad on Friday. Pucker up and drink, or vice versa. Cascade Barrel House, 939 Se Belmont St. 12-11 pm, February 22-26. Free.
Fort George Cellared Stout Night
Fort George follows up last weekend's Festival of the Dark Arts by bringing four different barrel-aged imperial stouts to SE Portland for a night, allowing fans of boozy dark ales a chance to debate which is the biggest and bestest of them all. Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom, 3090 SE Division St. 5 pm. Free.
Saturday, February 25
Triple IPA Fest
Hoppy heavyweights from all over the West Coast hit the taps at N.W.I.P.A., in celebration of the height of late winter's triple IPA season. Boozy, bright and bitter, these once-a-year creations dominate your palate, a delicious blend of honey and hop cone. But be warned: Follow up a IIIPA with the normal variety, and you'll wonder if it's secretly La Croix. N.W.I.P.A., 6350 SE Foster Rd. 2 pm. Free.
Black Out Beer Fest
A rotating cast of 25 dark beers that range from black IPAs to imperial stouts will hit the glass steins at this expanded version of Lompoc's annual Black Out Beer Fest, the bolstered list aimed at sating the appetites of those who bemoan the temporary loss of the annual Chowder Challenge. Given the brewery's history of quality malt-heavy beers, we'll take the extra options as a penance—this year. Lompoc Brewing, 3901 N Williams Ave. 12-10 pm. Free admission, tasting glass and eight beer tickets $20.
Breweries and distilleries from all over the area team up to create the perfect beer-spirits pairings. This year's festival features some pretty heavyweight pairs—pFriem and New Deal, Great Notion and Bull Run, and Breakside and Clear Creek among them—so be sure to bring your drinking shirt… and that Lyft promo code you have stashed away somewhere. StormBreaker Brewing, 832 N Beech St. 12-8 pm. $25-$45.
McMenamins Hillsdale Brewfest
22 McMenamins beers travel to, er, McMenamins as part of the brewery's annual late-winter beer celebration. Don't be fooled: This is the place you're likely to taste the best pint of the classic stuff you'll have all year, with rare barrel aged selections coalescing with more traditional styles like Hefeweizen and Nut Brown ale at the state's oldest brewpub. McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery & Public House, 1505 SW Sunset Blvd. 11 am. Free. $11 taster trays.
Tuesday, February 28
Oregon Beer Awards
The Academy Awards of Oregon Beer celebrates the best suds in the state, following blind judging of 974 individual beers from 112 breweries. A massive competition which was judged by some of the biggest names in the Oregon's beer community at large, each medal will be highly coveted by the fantastic brewers who earned it. And with four bars pouring a vast selection of last year's winners, there's not a better time or place to brush pints with your beer idols. Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St. #110. 6 pm. Sold Out.