Portland Beer Week is all about tilting heads and popping eyes.
The annual citywide event is an opportunity for the region's finest beverage brewers and cider makers to challenge the proletariat with their most interesting—and occasionally harebrained—ideas. Whether melding flavors with members of the local culinary scene, or coloring outside the lines with fruit, funky yeasts and other innovative ingredients, you'll find more new and exciting flavors on taps across the city over Beer Week's 11 days (yes, we know that's longer than a week) than any other point of the year.
The "week" kicked off June 7, but there's still plenty left on the docket. Here are our picks for the most exciting events still to come.
Belgium's wild-fermented lambic ales come from a tiny region of a tiny country, but they've inspired virtually all modern producers of sour beer. Tonight, some of the West Coast's best imitators step up to the taps at Imperial Bottle Shop, offering an assortment of Belgian-inspired sours that could easily survive a few rounds with the original stuff. Imperial Bottle Shop, 2006 NE Alberta St. 4-9 pm Thursday, June 14. Free.
Ale Apothecary Pour Night
Beer from Central Oregon's Ale Apothecary is both expensive and hard to come by outside of its small taproom in Bend. Save yourself a trip at this special tasting with head brewer Paul Arney. You can also pick his brain about fantastic selections like the fruity, pine needle-laden Red Echo, one of our Top 10 Beers of the Year for 2018. Saraveza, 1004 N Killingsworth Ave. 5-9 pm Friday, June 15. Free.
Portland Beer and Cheese Festival
Now in its seventh year, the Beer and Cheese Fest sees legendary local cheesemonger Steve Jones pairing 10 breweries and creameries in an annual culinary spectacular that has a tendency to challenge palates and boggle the mind. Culmination Brewing, 2117 NE Oregon St. Noon-3 pm Saturday, June 16.
Breweries and cideries go blend to blend to see which can make the best "Snakebite"—a beer and cider combo that's astoundingly refreshing on a warm summer afternoon. Widmer Brothers Brewing, 955 N Russell St. 1-7 pm Saturday, June 16. $25 for a glass and six drink tickets.
Breakside Woodlawn Block Party
One of Oregon's most decorated breweries celebrates eight years in business with live music, vendors and specialty pours of some of its rarest, most-acclaimed offerings. Breakside Brewery Dekum, 820 NE Dekum St. Noon-8 pm Saturday, June 16. Free.
Sixteen sours from acclaimed regional breweries like Pfriem, Block 15, Cascade and De Garde hit the taps on North Alberta Street, providing a complex, mouth-puckering way to enjoy the penultimate day of Beer Week. Imperial Bottle Shop, 2006 NE Alberta St. 4-9 pm Saturday, June 16. $5 for a commemorative glass, $2 per drink ticket.
Snackdown! Brewer/Chef Pairing
Ten of the city's best chefs pair with 10 breweries at this WWE-themed tag-team event, competing for a gaudy belt and a year's worth of bragging rights. The Evergreen, 618 SE Alder St. 1-4 pm Sunday, June 17. $49 in advance, includes a glass and 10 tasting tickets.
MORE: Portland Beer Week runs through Sunday, June 17. See pdxbeerweek.com for a complete schedule.