The Great American Distillers Festival (Oct. 19-20), now in its eighth year, will attract more than 50 small-batch spirit makers to Portland’s Tiffany Center for a weekend full of wet whistles. Friday night’s cocktail competition lifts everyone’s spirits as bartenders use bottles featured at the event to mix up holiday libations. And over the two days, the event overflows with seminars and tastings — not to mention plenty of handcrafted hootch. A one-day pass to the event costs $15 and comes with five taster tickets, while the two-day pass provides 10 tickets and costs $25.
The annual mixer is a great warm-up for Portland Cocktail Week (Oct. 21-25), an industry event that attracts professional bartenders from around the country to Portland’s lively hotels and bars; evening events let consumers get in on the fun. This year’s schedule is in the works, so check their website for updates.