Remember beer fests?
Strangers packing together in parks and brewery warehouses and queuing up for pours seems like a pastime we haven't enjoyed in, like, a decade.
Well, brace yourself for some surprising news: There is an in-person beer festival happening near Portland this weekend.
Ilani in Ridgefield, Wash.—the closest tribal casino to Portland—is hosting BrewFest on Friday, Feb. 19, through Sunday, Feb. 21. But much like other events going forward during the pandemic, it won't look like it has in years past.
The celebration is even getting a new name—Brews for a Good Cause—to reflect its mission to support local restaurants that have struggled to stay open during the global health crisis.
In order to follow COVID-19 safety protocols, Ilani is scrapping the booth model and instead will offer 90-minute multicourse seated meals scattered throughout different venues inside the casino. Parties will be separated by 6 feet and required to wear masks, including while interacting with staff and getting up from tables. The only exception is when guests are actively eating or drinking.
Each day features several different themed menus, including a Texas-style barbecue spread paired with Vancouver, Wash.-based Loowit beers, as well as a Hawaiian feast to go with a lineup of Kona brews.
All the participating restaurants are based in Clark County, though besides Loowit, the breweries, such as Elysian and Hop Valley, were bought out by big beer companies.
Northwest Wine & Food Society will be the beneficiary of ticket sales, using that money for its Restaurant Reboot program to help Clark County restaurants affected by the ongoing pandemic.