As the holidays approach, the grocery store aisles and bar taps around Portland welcome full-bodied seasonal ales to help weather the cold winter months. This year, Widmer Brothers Brewing is back with its BRRR Seasonal Ale and BridgePort Brewing Company will help cure any bah-humbug tendencies with their Ebenezer Ale.
For those looking to sample seasonal ales not sold in stores, Portlandís annual Holiday Ale Fest offers dozens of brews created solely for the festival. Considered the premier winter beer-tasting event on the West Coast, the 16th annual festival will feature beers from more than 40 breweries Nov. 30 through Dec.4, 2011, in Pioneer Courthouse Square. A heated, clear-top tent keeps attendees cozy while allowing for holiday light-viewing in the heart of the city. And, plenty of holiday shopping and dining options are located on adjacent blocks. The festival website features a full list of breweries and their 2011 submissions, ranging from Belgians and barley wines to porters and stouts.