The weather outside is frightful, but the beer is big, boozy, and delightful.
Breweries and beer bars break out their biggest, darkest, oakiest productions as we edge towards Christmas, providing tap handles and bottles that will help you tolerate even the most outrageous of in laws with red-cheeked glee.
If you can brace some snow, be sure to hit one of several ugly sweater parties this Thursday, or wait a day and grab this year's version of Deschutes' famed Abyss, coming with scotch and brandy barrel-aged variants to put away for a while. If you miss that, you can always try some equally rare Bend-made creations with a specially-concocted Christmas cookie in SE the following day.
Thursday, December 15
Third Annual Ugly Sweater Party Ft. Fremont
The house of hops partners with Seattle's Fremont Brewing for the third iteration of it's dark beer and ugly sweater party, this time featuring special ales like bourbon-barrel kissed Dark Star and B-Bomb, among other famed dark beers from the north. Given the weather, you'll probably want more than one. N.W.I.P.A., 6350 SE Foster Rd. 6 pm. Free.
Block 15 Holiday Tap Takeover
10 of Block 15's best beers hit the taps on SE Division tonight, including several of the Corvallis breweries acclaimed sour and hoppy ales. With an IPA made with C02 hop extract and lupulin powder, a IIPA with spruce tips, and a barrel-aged farmouse ale with marionberries—in addition to the brewery's famed Figgy Pudding (a strong ale aged in brandy barrels)—you'll be hard-pressed to leave this party sober. Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom, 3090 SE Division St. 5 pm. Free.
Big Beer and Ugly Sweater Party
Cellared ales and moth-eaten wool overfloweth at C-Bar tonight, with numerous tasty treats from the west coast's most acclaimed breweries available to try, with a side of ugly sweater. Options include two and three year-old tastes of Deschutes Abyss and anniversary porter, as well as a 2014 version of Sierra Nevada's famed Narwal. C Bar, 2880 SE Gladstone St. 4 pm. Free.
Friday, December 16
The Abyss Release Celebration
Deschutes fans once again stare into the void, by way of its annual semi-barrel-aged imperial stout. A world-famous dark ale with notes of roasted chocolate and vanilla, this year's batch got special treatment in the form of scotch and brandy barrel-aged variants. Now's a better time than any to collect 'em all. Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House, 210 NW 11th Ave. 10:30 am-11:30 pm. Free.
Urban Family Night
Seattle's Urban Family is famed throughout the region for its hard-to-find experimental beers, combining typical sour and hoppy ales with regional delicacies like rose hips, and tropical fruit like pineapple, to create expressive and interesting new flavors. Five such beers hit the taps at Tin Bucket tonight, providing a perfect excuse to avoid Seattle until their excitement from a recent MLS win blows over. Tin Bucket, 3520 N Williams Ave. 5-11 pm. Free.
Saturday, December 17
Deschutes Barrel-Aged Beer & Christmas Cookie Pairings
Four tasty cookies join forces with four rare Deschutes-made beers this weekend, a taste experience that should provide a welcome warming sensation. Pairings include a black barleywine with dark chocolate crinkles, a belgian quad with smoked chili gingerbread men, and a imperial winter ale with oatmeal fruitcake cookies. Yes. Please. Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom, 3090 SE Division St. 3-11 pm. Free.