The Nano Beer Fest—an Event Dedicated to Very Small Producers—Is Back and Expanding

Both John’s Marketplace shops will host, and the spring version is scheduled to begin April 29 at the Multnomah Village location.

The Nano Beer Fest is getting bigger.

The event dedicated to small producers—generally those that make batches of 3 barrels or less—is not only back following a pandemic pause, it’s expanding since it will take place in both John’s Marketplace locations on the east and west sides of town.

The first Nano Beer Fest is scheduled April 29-May 1 at the Multnomah Village bottle shop. The fall edition of the event will then be held Nov. 11-13 at the newer Southeast Powell Boulevard store. There are also plans for a Summer Nano Market Week, though dates and a location have yet to be determined.

“Our goal is to help nano breweries gain exposure for their brands,” says Chris Rhodes, one of the festival’s organizers, in a press release. “We do this by organizing festivals and events and act as liaisons between nano brewers and restaurants, bars, taprooms, bottle shops and just about any other venue or location that helps these nano breweries gain exposure.”

In the past, the Nano Beer Fest was one of the only occasions where you could sample many small, local brands in the same place at the same time. Participants have included Leikem and Mad Cow, both of which have scaled up and opened locations open to the public, as well as Eugene-based Manifest and Wolf Tree, which produces in Seal Rock but also has a tasting room in Newport.

The Nano Beer Fest was launched in 2008 at Max’s Fanno Creek Brew Pub in Tigard (now Cooper Mountain Ale Works), when the owners were looking for ways to showcase small brewers who were making their debut. More than a decade later, it’s grown into a biannual event that features not just beer but also ciders and mead.

A keepsake glass and 10 tasting tickets for the spring festival are $20 online and $30 at the door. Links will be available starting March 25.