Sours are at the heart of this warm weather weekend's drinking, with two pucker-inducing festivals that should pair perfectly with the sunshine.
Those looking for a taste of something with a higher pH can look to Southeast, where General Distributors will be pitting its portfolio's best IPAs against one another, and a quietly hailed brewery releases another in a string of tasty barrel-aged brews.
Thursday, May 18
Sour Flower Fest
Half a dozen flower-inspired creations from the House of Sour hit the taps over the course of four days this week, with spring-themed selections that include cherry blossums, honey, and—obviously—hop flowers. In addition, the barrel house will pour special kegs of vintage Strawberry ale and a few other fan favorites. Cascade Brewing Barrel House, 939 SE Belmont St. 12-11 pm May 18-21. Free.
General Distributors' IPA Smackdown
General Distributors pits its many craft brands against each other this Thursday evening, where they duke it out for the coveted title of best IPA. No word on the official taplist yet, but with esteemed breweries of hoppy ales like Culmination, Founders, Knee Deep, and Sunriver, there should be plenty of the good hoppy stuff to go around. Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom, 3090 SE Division St. 5 pm. Free.
Reverend Nat's and New Belgium Tepache Party
A fruity combination of Reverend Nat's Tepache joins New Belgium's Dayblazer blonde ale, helping beckon back the sun for what should be a nice weekend. Nat and crew will be on hand to talk about this year's batch, as will various swag-sharing members of the New Belgium crew. Bushwhacker Cider, 1212 SE Powell Blvd. 6 pm. Free.
Friday, May 19
Baerlic WoodWorker Black Grove Bourbon Aged Stout Release
Baerlic has quietly been brewing some of the best beers in town for some time now, having won the Small Brewery of the Year at this year's Oregon Beer Awards. Tonight, the brewery combines two of its medal-winning abilities — wood aging and careful use of dark malts — as part of its latest release. The Black Grove stout promises to be a thick and delicately balanced, as are an extraordinary number of the brewery's beers in general. Baerlic Brewing, 2235 SE 11th Ave. 2 pm. Free.
Saturday, May 20
Kettle Sour Fest
Lake Oswego's Stickemen surprised many in 2016 when it took home the gold medal for sour ale at the Oregon Beer Awards, and it has since made tart, kettle-soured creations it's best schtick. A few house-brewed creations will join area imports on the shores of the privately owned lake this Saturday, in an event which will be well-suited to the Polo weather. Stickmen Brewing Company, 40 N State St, Lake Oswego. 12-9 pm. Free.