BikeToBeerFest went off much like it did last year. It's a welcome sight to see two parking lots each filled with hundreds of bikes instead of a couple dozen cars, and to see the famous beer bike (pictured) in action. I don't remember the cost of getting in to last year's event, but I thought it was just the price of a glass and some tokens. This year there was a small $2 entry fee which was split as a donation to the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Portland Sunday Parkways, both worthy recipients. Another difference was that this year you could get a 4-ounce sample for 1 ticket, whereas last year it was all pints. There were some perverse incentives at work there -- you could pay 6 tickets for almost a pint of strong beer, or 4 tickets for 4 quarter-pints. One thing that was the same was the fun live entertainment. I was glad to catch Boy Eats Drum Machine's set -- his funky one-man-band antics stuck in my mind from last year's fest.
Hopworks really pulled out the stops with the beer this year. Last year I only remember a couple of special beers -- Ace of Spades and fresh-hop Bike Beer -- but this year there were a bunch of brilliant seasonals and one-offs:
- Piledriver: Hopworks' Dubbel barrel-aged with cherries and wacky brettanomyces yeast
- Gayle's Pale: first fresh-hop ale of the year
- For Those about to Bock: Barrel-aged Bock
- Noggin' Floggin': Barrel-aged barleywine
- Ace of Spades: Imperial IPA
- Galactic: Imperial Red
Portlandbeer.org has a nice writeup from Marcus and some of Matt's magnificent photos.