Bold, warming flavors are at the heart of many of this week’s beer events, aiming to warm your spirits and loosen you up after last week’s lengthy family time. As the days continue to grow darker and colder look for more and more barrel aged dark ales and special seasonal sours, with particularly interesting options this week from locals like Breakside and Little Beast, and-of-towners like Firestone Walker, Founders, and Fremont—not to mention a massive amount of bold seasonals to be had in Pioneer Courthouse Square.


Friday, Dec. 1

Holiday Ale Festival
The only thing more festive than robust beers with a high alcohol content is getting to drink them around Pioneer Square’s giant-ass Christmas tree. Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th Ave., holidayale.com. 11:30 am-9:30 pm. Nov. 29-Dec. 3. $35.

Breakside Cellarbration: Sour and Funky
Breakside releases six barrel-aged sour beers at its crisp NW Portland location this Friday as part of its ongoing Cellarbration series, which will see special weekly pours through the end of the year. Of particular interest this week are two grape beers: A strong sour ale with Gamay, and a sour Belgian blonde with Gewurztraminer. Breakside Slabtown, 1570 NW 22nd Ave. 11 am. Free.

Hair of the Dog and Alma
Alma Chocolate continues its series of maker happy hours with free tastes of beer from legendary Portland brewery Hair of the Dog alongside Alma chocolates and Ancient Heritage cheeses. Drink anything that says “from the wood.” Alma Chocolate, 140 NE 28th Ave., 503-517-0262, almachocolate.com. 4-7 pm. Free.

Saturday, December 2

Little Beast Tree Spirit Release
Little Beast releases its brand new Kriek-inspired cherry sour this weekend, a special release aged on Montmorency cherries and fermented with the brewery’s fantastic foeder-aging culture. Complex layers of flavor are promised by the brewing team inside this special ale, with particular notes of vanilla, almond and — obviously — a massive amount of cherry. Little Beast Brewing, 3800 Cedar Hills Boulevard, Suite 300e, Beaverton. noon-5 pm. Free.

Sunday, December 3

Snaps and Taps
An assortment of breweries and bottle shops, including Culmination, Bazi Bierbrasserie, and Wayfinder join forces with the folks at Aquavit Week to pair beer with the spiced liquor this week. Special aquavit blends will pour alongside a nordic porter from Breakside, a new heirloom cider from Reverend Nat’s, and a decocted pilsner from Wayfinder, depending on where you head. Various locations and hours, see aquavitweek.com/snaps-taps for more information.

Monday, December 4

BHUNA Culmination Pop-Up
Chef Deepak Kaul brings his Indian soul food pop-up to Culmination Brewing. A spice-driven group of dishes including Kashmiri lamb and Chettinad chicken, the food should pair perfectly with the brewery’s many fantastic hoppy options, and provide a notable warming sensation during this dark winter evening. Culmination Brewing, 2117 NE Oregon St. 4-8 pm. Free.

Little Beast/Little Bird
Little Bird Bistro is teaming up with one of Oregon’s newest and most innovative breweries for a four-course dinner. There’ll be scallops smoked in hops, rabbit wrapped in bacon and one of Little Beast’s brews served with each course. Little Bird Bistro, 215 SW 6th Ave., 503-688-5952. 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm. $100.