The craft beer community is as much about the product we enjoy as the people who made that product and the Spring Beer & Wine Fest is one of the few places where you'll have the opportunity to talk to the people who made the product that you're sampling. For some of the more established breweries, like Coalition, it's a chance for me to chat with folks I don't get to see often enough but for others, like Bent Shovel, it's a chance for me to hear first hand how they came to be and what they're making. While I'd love to relay all the stories I heard at yesterday's media preview instead I encourage you to go to the festival today and hear them yourself.
In addition to being a great venue to try all manner of liquid libations, there are also tons of food booths - from chocolates and nuts to hummus and cheeses - and five food carts. Perhaps you don't need to bring home some of Eliot's Adult Nut Butters but delicious, unique products like this make for great gifts, especially for hard-to-buy-for people (i.e. parents).
Held inside the convention center the festival is immune to weather issues with the biggest challenge being parking but there's plenty of public transit that services the area or if that's inconvenient, consider parking a little ways away and walking. Unlike many festivals this two-day festival runs Friday and Saturday only so if you have to choose, say between this and Saraveza's Farmhouse & Wild Ale Festival, go to this one today and save that for Sunday.
Oh, and if you're considering not going because basketball, they've got you covered there, too. Where the presentation stage has been in past years there are TVs and plenty of chairs. Wander around for awhile enjoying the fest, take a break to watch some hoops and repeat until you've gotten your fill.
Portland Spring Beer & Wine Fest
Oregon Convention Center
Saturday, March 26th Noon-10pm