Monday, June 6, 2016

Fruit Beer Festival Turns Six & Uproots from the East Side

The Portland Fruit Beer Festival, now in it's sixth year, is putting on its big boy pants and moving from the east side into downtown. Taking place Friday, June 10th through Sunday, June 12th it's festival that has gained in popularity to the degree that a move was necessary. The original space, in the parking lot of Burnside Brewing, worked at first but over the last couple of years, even with the expansion across the street, it was easy to see that the festival had outgrown it's space. Kudos to the organizers for making the much needed move.

Disclaimer: not a representation of this year's glass
The North Park Blocks (bordered by NW Park, 8th, Davis and Everett) will be "30% larger with grass, trees, park benches and more shade." For anyone that's attended the festival those will be welcome changes to the baking parking lot surface as the festival has generally lucked out with beautiful summer weather. A couple other changes are worth noting as well - a change to the tasting glass and an expansion of hours.

It should come as no surprise to Portland festival goers that the city doesn't allow glass vessels at festivals. When the event was at Burnside they were able to use them but this year it'll be a "branded Govino cup," which according to their website "is made from a crystal-clear, ultra-thin, BPA-free polymer, which accentuates the flavor, color, and aromatics of all types of beers. It is shatterproof, reusable, recyclable and proudly made in the USA."

As for the expanded hours, that's reflected in the festival opening at 11:30am on Friday, June 10th, making for a full day instead of the partial day it has been. For those able to get to the festival before 2pm Friday, you'll be rewarded with four extra drink tickets*

Getting to pricing, walk-up general admission is $25 and includes Govino cup and 12 drink tickets while advanced general admission packages online will get you three more drink tickets (15 total) however as with most online purchases there are service fees ($2.40 in this case). $27.40 for 15 tickets in advance or $25 for 12 tickets at the door is pretty much a wash as additional drink tickets are only $1.

One final note before I leave you to prepare for the festival later this week - 4oz pours will cost 1-3 tickets depending on the beer or cider ordered. Since the festival has started the number of samples that have cost more than one ticket has increased. While it's understandable that certain beers are more expensive to make it would be nice to see in advance how much each sample will cost. Maybe that's just me but if I go to the festival thinking I'm going to spend $25-$30 and end up spending perhaps another $20 in order to try the beers I want to I'll likely be less happy than if I knew up front that the beers I really wanted were primarily going to cost more than one ticket.

Enough of my commentary, get to drinking!

Portland Fruit Beer Festival
North Park Blocks, downtown
Friday, June 10th 11:30am - 9pm
Saturday, June 11th 11am - 9pm
Sunday, June 12th 11am - 6pm

Tickets: buy in advance or at the door (cash only but there is an ATM onsite)

Untappd users: save yourself some onsite hassle and create a wish list for easier check-ins while you're there.


  1. If you have cash in exact change that is the best way to go for entering. The tickets in advance are a better deal if you show up and have to get money out of an atm.

    Regarding knowing the ticketi g of beers in advance. Unfortunately due to distributor markups or simply the changing cost of beer, we dont know how much the kegs cost until they arrive. In previous years we have had beers end up costing much more than the initial quote.

    1. So it's cash only, no credit/debit cards accepted? I must have missed that on the website.