This year's festival should be even better, with:
- More space (NE 7th Ave. closed off)
- More beer in stock
- Draft trucks for faster keg replacement
- Four rare taps on at once, instead of last year's two
- Several ciders on tap for your beer-challenged loved ones
It's always fun to look over a festival's beer list before you get there, to make a plan for what you're going to attack first. Here is the PFBF's main list; there is also a rotating rare tap list. I have a few recommendations for you, some of which I have tried, others that caught my eye on the list for one reason or another (alphabetical by brewery):
- Alameda Huckleberry Hound IPA: Not my favorite, but one of the quickest to run out last year, so get it fast.
- Bend Brewing Ching Ching Berliner Weisse: A GABF medal winner from the talented Tonya Cornett.
- Breakside Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Golden Ale: Made with whole pies!
- Burnside Red Light District Imperial Stout: A little sweet, and over 10%, but one of the few beers I've had where strawberries make a good addition.
- Gigantic Hot Town, Summer in the City Imperial Black Saison: Gigantic's already tasty IBS, with Ben Love's sarcastic addition of the fruit of the chile pepper plant.
- Laurelwood Cascara Obscura Belgian Dubbel: A delicious abbey ale, with a slight rose-hip tartness from the addition of the coffee berries -- excellent off-the-wall fruit choice.
- Ninkasi Cherry Bourbon Renewale Porter: Last year the Cherry Oatis was my unexpected favorite of the festival, so I have to check this one out.
- Upright Levinator Bock: The picture above doesn't do justice to the pretty beet-juice color that black currants add to this full-bodied, slightly tart bock. Delicious.
- Widmer Marionberry Hibiscus Gose: Last year I was underwhelmed by Widmer's very pretty Raspberry Hibiscus Gose, though lots of people loved it. I like this year's much better, it seems a little maltier and a little saltier. Check it out.
Some things to keep in mind for the festival:
- Where: 701 E. Burnside (Note: The Burnside Bridge is closed Saturday morning for the Rose Parade.)
- Saturday June 9, 2012, 11 AM - 9 PM
- Sunday June 10, 2012, 11 AM - 6 PM
- Cost: free entry; 16-ounce tasting glass plus 12 tastes $20; 4-ounce taste $1
- All ages are admitted.
- Car parking: good luck. The Rose Parade will further complicate matters early Saturday. Bike or take the bus.
- Bike parking: not much at the festival. There are big bike corrals just off East Burnside at 6th, 8th, and 9th, and there's another one at 9th and Ash.