Wednesday, June 15, 2016

2016 Portland Fruit Beer Festival Recap!

From June 10-12, 2016, the Portland Fruit Beer Festival was held at the North Park Blocks (near NW 8th and Davis), near the Chinatown section of Portland.

PDX Beer Week (June 9-19) kicked off in the city, and this was my first stop in the festivities. So many events, so little time. Seriously. I'd need to clone myself several times and have a more unlimited bankroll to get to every place.

Admission to the Fruit Beer Fest was $25, getting you a plastic pint glass and 12 tickets. If you preordered through the website, you would have gotten three more tickets. Quite pricey either way, but there was a nice lineup of breweries and eats present.

Pours cost anywhere from one to three tickets and got you somewhere around a 4 oz pour, although the actual amount really hinged on the person doing the pouring. I saw people getting their glasses topped off, so apparently more tickets could also get you a full pint, if that's the beer you wanted.

***After going back to the Facebook Event, a person said it was anywhere from 8 to 24 tickets for a full pint of beer. Sorry, but to me, that's just insane, given additional drink tickets are $1 each. What pint of beer out there is worth $20+?!

DESCHUTES PASSION FRUIT IPA (2 tickets): This beer used passion fruit concentrate and brought a bit of tart qualities. A lovely start to my beer adventure.

BLOCK 15 GUELAH PAPAYA IPA (2 tickets): I've long been a fan of their Sticky Hands IIPA, and this one proved to be one of my favorites at the festival. Tropical and refreshing.

HOPWORKS POG IPA (1 ticket): Being from Hawaii, I looked forward to an IPA that had a blend of passion fruit, orange, and guava. To me, though, it tasted of a yeasty Belgian style IPA, which I was not prepared for given the description. I didn't get much POG, either. Oh well.

GIGANTIC BREWING GIGANTIC & JUICE (2 tickets): My #1 pick at the festival. Pineapple, tangerine, and grapefruit all present for a tropical blast. For me, the tangerine was the star. I want this bottled year-round.

FAT HEAD'S IBUSIVE APRICOT IPA (2 tickets): It's their critically acclaimed IBUsive IPA aged with apricots for a month. Loved that extra fruity complement in this one. Big thumbs up.

While my main focus was on several of the IPAs at the festival, I also tried a couple of other beers.

RUSE PATCHWORK (STRAWBERRY-BASIL TART) (2 tickets): The line got pretty long for this one and The Sixpoint Raspy nearby. Wonderful pinkish color. A very tasty beer, and proof that strawberry and basil go very well together.

SUNRIVER BLUEBERRY PANCAKE PALE ALE (1 ticket): Certainly very bready and doughy on the feel. I got the blueberries in here, but at the end of the day, it was just OK to me.

After all that beer tasting, I headed to the back of the lot, where the HotLips Pizza tent had their BRATLIPS Special Pizza ($5 per slice). Carlton Farms bratwurst simmered in Subcontinental IPA, with red onions, mozzarella, and a garlic-parmesan base. IPA mustard glaze on top. Great pizza.

I'm pretty happy with my choices. I got to try seven different beers and had a good slice of pizza from HotLips. Parking was certainly going to be an issue, since it was the same weekend as the Rose Festival.

All in all, a nice event. Looking forward to next year!

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