Saturday, November 30, 2013

Makin' a List: Prepping for the Holiday Ale Festival

With the Thanksgiving/Hanukkah feasting behind it's time to look ahead to the liquid feasting the 18th Annual Holiday Ale Festival will provide. Due to how late Thanksgiving fell this year that means that there are just a few short days to prepare for the five-day festival.

Angel, this year's vintage pin up girl
I recently sat down with the list of standard release beers to identify those I don't want to miss. That short list includes:
Cascade Brewing Cherry Diesel (barrel aged imperial stout) Generally I stick to their sour offerings but after being blown away by their Oblique Black & White Coffee Stout I'll give this a go.
Gigantic Brewing The Scut Farkus Affair (holiday ale) A beer made with Haribo gummy bears? I'm in!
Kells Brew Pub Fruit Cake Ale (imperial brown ale) Fruit cake can be good, fruit cake can be not good. I'll be interested to see which camp this beer inspired by it falls into.
Lagunitas Brewing Co High West Whiskey Barrel Aged Cappuccino Stout (stout) I'm already a fan of the standard version so I can only see a barrel aged version being even better.
McMenamins John Barleycorn Mele Kalikimaka Coconut Stout (imperial stout) Being one that enjoys Maui's Coconut Porter this heftier beer might be pretty tasty.
Oakshire Brewing Co Swiss Mrs. Alpine Alt (milk chocolate sticke alte) Mashed with toasted marshmallows along with lactose and cocoa nibs, this sounds like a perfect cold winter drink to me.
Old Town Brewing Co Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum (rum barrel aged old ale) I'm a sucker for barrel aged beers and interested to taste Bolt's creation.
Slanted Rock Brewing Co Panty Hose Porter (imperial baltic vanilla porter) This is a brewery I've never had a beer from and in fact never heard of. We'll see...
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Erotic Cake (chocolate milk stout) Similar to some of the other beers on my list, I hope the beer lives up to the description.
Stickmen Brewery & Skewery The Twerking Elf (northwest sour brown) I love sours so I've got high hopes for this one.
Stone Brewing Co Spiced Unicorn Milk (chai milk stout) Chai doesn't do much for me but Stone makes solid beers that are usually right up my alley.

In addition to the standard release beers, there will also be at least 16 limited release beers tapped the first four days of the festival (none on Sunday). As of today the 2013 list was still a work-in-progress so I'll just have to keep my eyes peeled when I am there for both the tapping times - they ranged from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. last year - and the beers.

If you're one of those that will be making your own hit list for the festival, what ones are you most looking forward to? Or will you be scoping out the beers when you arrive, opting for those with the shortest lines? Maybe you have some other beer festival plan of attack?

Holiday Ale Festival
Pioneer Courthouse Square
Wednesday, December 4 - Sunday, December 8
Gates open at noon on Wednesday, 11 a.m. daily after that

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