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Migration Brewing and Westward Whiskey Are Releasing a Rare Spirit Following a Yearslong Barrel Swap

There’s a new Tualatin Valley Ale Trail, complete with a passport guiding you to 22 area breweries and tap houses.

This weekend, a limited number of people will be able to taste the results of a yearslong Migration Brewing and Westward Whiskey collaboration from one of the best drinking perches in the city.

On Sunday, Sept. 26, the brewery is hosting a special event at its Canvas rooftop location in Southwest Portland to mark the launch of Westward American Single Malt Migration Heritage Barrel whiskey. The spirit represents the culmination of an epic barrel swap between the two Portland companies.

Migration has been using Westward’s prized heritage cask to age some of its beers, including Frankie Imperial Stout and a robust porter. Once one batch finished resting, the distiller would then retrieve the vessel to age its whiskey. Overall, the exchange happened four times.

“This is always one of our favorite collaborations,” Mike Branes, Migration co-founder and head brewer, stated in a press release. “To work with one of the region’s premier whiskey producers is always fun and inspiring. Every year is different. It’s always exciting to see how the products change over time as the barrel evolves with each batch of whiskey and beer.”

To gain access to the rare release event, join the Westward Whiskey Club to receive instructions about how to RSVP.

Meanwhile, local beer lovers with an appetite for exploration may want to seek out the new Tualatin Valley Ale Trail Passport. The program is modeled after similar self-directed pub crawls—the most popular and largest in the West being the Bend Ale Trail, which rewards drinkers with prizes like a Silipint silicone pint glass stamped with the logo of a hiker sipping a beer.

The Tualatin Valley version, sadly, offers no such reward for journeying to all 22 craft breweries and brewery offshoots in its territory, which includes cities like Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Beaverton and Tigard. But perhaps the greatest gift is simply the badge of honor you’ll leave with, signifying intestinal fortitude along with the experience of visiting new-to-you breweries outside of the Portland metro area.

Passports are free and can be picked up at any of the participating breweries, chambers of commerce in Washington County, and tourism racks. The program officially begins Sept. 27.