Even in a year as tumultuous as this one, the darkest days of 2016 still offer plenty to celebrate.
Whether enjoying 18 years of Cascade concoctions, celebrating lagers and hefty winter ales in St. Johns, or piling into Lompoc to cheers to its 20 years, this week offers plenty of fine fermented cures to what ails you.
Grab a glass and drink on that beer coat, the new year will be here in no time.
Thursday, December 8
Cascade 18th Anniversary Party
The best post-work drinks will be had in SE this week, as Cascade Brewing celebrates 18 years in business with a special Tap It Tuesday, along with rare 4oz pours of selections from 2009 and 2010, including their much-lauded Kriek. Now that's what we call a party. Cascade Brewing Barrel House, 939 SE Belmont St. 12-9 pm. Free.
Friday, December 9
St. Johns Winter Beer Fest
St. Johns is slowly becoming a beer-dense 'hood: multiple beer bars, multiple breweries. And stretching back six years, there's this—the Winter Beer Fest. It's $10 for a glass, but after that beer tastes are a St. Johnsy price of a single dollar all damn weekend—including fig beer from Block 15, German Christmas beer from Zoiglhaus, Alesong's lovely quad and Heater Allen's annual Santa Paws. Consider it a junior Holiday Ale Fest on a North Portland budget. Plaza in St. Johns, 8608 N Lombard St. 12-6 pm.
Saturday, December 10
Humbug Lager Fest
Occidental celebrates the darkest days of the year with a healthy dose of cold-fermented brews, courtesy of some of the region's finest lager breweries (themselves included). It's an affordable event that will feature German-style beers of all shapes, colors, and sizes, and provides a welcome opportunity to hang in their fantastic St. Johns taproom. Occidental Brewing Company, 6635 N Baltimore Ave. 12-9 pm. $10 for a festival tasting glass and 6 tokens.
Breakside B-Sides Release #2
The second, smaller, selection of blended sour rarities emerges from Breakside's vaults this weekend, a group of beers that has taken up to three years from wood to tongue. The options are more varied this time around, with a coffee beer, a pinot-aged sour, and an abbey dark ale set to join the already-available pack. Given head brewer Ben Edmund's propensity for excellence, and event-available taps like a gin barrel aged version of its Wisco Tavern beer, this is the best suburban pit stop you'll make for some time. Breakside Brewery & Tasting Room, 5821 SE International Way, Milwaukie. 12-8 pm. Free.
Monday, December 12
Bourbon County Party
After a tumultuous 2015 release that included many infected bottles, AB Inbev-owned Goose Island releases a pasteurized version of its much-lauded Bourbon County Stout this year, with numerous variations appearing on tap and in bottles at high-level beer bars across the country. Tonight, Tin Bucket puts the main thick, spirit-laden varietal on tap alongside some of Goose Island's famed sour ales, to go with four different bottlings that will likely fly off their shelves. Tin Bucket, 3520 N Williams Ave, 5-8 pm. Free.
Tuesday, December 13
Lompoc celebrates two decades in business this week, with special events and Zwanzig, a hoppy oktoberfest-style lager which head brewer Brian Kielty fermented as an homage to the beloved brewpub's first ever beer. Head over to Sidebar for the festivities, and raise a glass to one of the region's most enduring ale apothecaries. Lompoc Sidebar, 3901 N Williams Ave. 4-8 pm. Free.