Beer, snacks, Luchador masks. We debated just mentioning these three things and then simply leaving event information, but that wouldn't have been fair. After all, brewers and chefs serving beer and food pairing while dressed as Mexican wrestlers is but one event during Portland Beer Week 2016. It's the last one, actually. Portland Beer Week begins with the Kickoff Party at Ecotrust Rooftop on June 9 and culminates in the city's first-ever Snackdown (more on that later) on June 19, with a wealth of beer festivals, beer seminars and beer food along the way.
While many Portlanders live every week like it's Portland Beer Week, this is the official one. There'll be beer mustard, beer sausage, beer mustard and beer sausage on beer pizza, beer donuts, beer ice cream, and beer. There'll be festivals for rye beers, sour beers and weird beers as well. And speaking of official, there is of course a beer created just for Portland Beer Week. Double Mountain Brewery and Portland Brewing Co. collaborated to create the Subcontinental IPA, which honors the best beer city on the planet and has a label designed by famed local comics creator (Powers) Michael Avon Oeming. You can drink it at the kickoff party, among other times throughout the week.
For the first time, Portland Beer Week is offering a seminar series to help beer drinkers, experts and novices alike, learn about more exotic beers, like sours and wild ales. Other seminars focus more on the business side of brewing. (If you are interested in starting up a brewery or expanding your operation, you won't want to miss "Distribution, The Struggle Is Real" on Friday, June 12.)
The Portland Fruit Beer Festival, which benefits nonprofit New Avenues for Youth, is back for its sixth year and longer than ever at a new location: the North Park Blocks downtown. It's the world's first dedicated fruit beer festival and many of the 36 beers on tap are locally brewed. The festival runs from June 10 through 12. Visit fruitbeerfest.com for tickets and additional information.
Oh yeah, and did we mention the luchador thing? Beer and food pairings aren't exactly a new thing. As soon as beer achieved artisanal status, people have been looking for ways to pair its flavor with other things that are good. But there is a formality, a stuffiness, to them. Until now.
Snackdown pits 10 Portland chef/Oregon brewer teams against each other in the world's first WWF-themed beer and food pairing. $49 gets you 10 meals, 50 oz. of beer and a chance to watch some of the best and brightest in the industry trash talk each other on stage while dressed as Mexican wrestlers.
There's also a beer and sushi pairing at Roscoes, a mussels and beer dinner at Bier Brasserie, a pop up Breakside Brewery at Lardo West and a block party outside the Hawthorne Hot Lips. These are just a sampling of the many events, collaborations and beer release parties going on throughout this special 10-day week. If beer is in it, related to it or can be paired with it, Portland Beer Week has you covered.
For a comprehensive list of events, check pdxbeerweek.com.