October 17th, 2013 11:39 am | Martin Cizmar Food & Drink | Posted In: Beer

7 Reasons You Should Probably Buy Pro-Am Beer Fest Tickets Right Now

On November 2, Portland beer geekery hits a new level

You’ve never tasted some of the best beer made in Portland. No matter which bars and bottle shops you frequent, and no matter how many beer festivals you attend. That’s because some of the best beer made in this or any town is made by homebrewers—and the government says you can’t have it.

We wanted to find away around that. Which is why Willamette Week is hosting Portland’s first Pro-Am beer festival on Saturday, Nov. 2. We asked local breweries to team up with a local homebrewer to make a one-off brew. A dozen of them stepped up.

The festival takes place inside the charming old Con-Way warehouse that recently held the Time Based Art festival and features music from Lost Creek Bluegrass Band. Here are seven other reasons you’d be wise to buy tickets right now.

1. There aren’t many of them. We wanted an intimate, classy affair, so we’ve purchased just one keg of each beer. That means there are only 496 4-ounce pours to go around, which is exactly how many tickets we’ll sell. We’re not saying there won’t be tickets at the door, but we are saying it’s better to pay the $2 service fee and not end up walking over to Lucky Lab for consolation pints.

2. You get to try all 12 beers. Entry to the Pro-Am gets you a punch-card good for one four-ounce sample of every beer on tap. No full pints and no “tapped out” signs. You get to try everything only once and can vote for your favorite. The best recipes might be brewed again, and some of the breweries might make more than one keg, but, chances are, this is it.

3. Homebrewers sometimes make better beer than pros. At least that’s what we found in last year’s President of Beers project, when we put the flagship beer from all 50 states in a blind taste-off. North Dakota is the only beer without a commercial brewery, so we had to enter a homebrew from the state. And, out of 50 beers, the homebrew won, beating 49 commercial products.

4. The pro breweries participating are pretty awesome. The 12 breweries involved in the Pro-Am took home a combined five medals at last weekend’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver. To put that in perspective, the entire state of Washington won only four medals at GABF. The states of Arizona, Alaska, Alabama and Arkansas won only five combined. So, yeah, these are heavy hitters.

5. For $25 you get 48 ounces of beer. This is what they call “value.”

6. There’s easy public transit to the Con-Way warehouse. The 77 bus stops directly across from the warehouse. From the east side, you can catch the 77 from either the Rose Quarter or 42nd Street Max stations. From the west side, it’s just three blocks off the streetcar line. Hop off at 22nd and Northrup.

7. Everyone gets a pretzel necklace. That’s right, no need to get crumbs all over your kitchen in a vain attempt to fashion crude palate-cleansing jewelry. Thanks to our friends at the Brewvana tour bus, everyone gets a free necklace at the door.

Ready? Click here.

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