Cider Summit and Fruit Beer Fest 2011

June 13, 2011

I made it to two festivals this last weekend that had never been held in Portland before.

Cider Summit glass

On Saturday, I went to the Cider Summit in Portland, OR. Admittedly, my day was off to a rough start as the event was held at Elizabeth Caruthers Park in the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood. This is an area in which the city has been pumping a lot of money into for development, yet access to the neighborhood is tricky, indirect, and under construction. However, once I got there, I was given 8 tickets and 2 extra for being there early in the day, along with a small plastic cup. Most of the northwest cidermakers were there, along with a few national ones that were being poured by volunteers.

So very often, when we go to a beer tasting festival, the brewery made a specialty beer just for that event, so there is this mad scramble to try it. This was not the case at the Cider Summit, and when coupled with the fact that I had tried probably 75% of what was there, I was more relaxed that normal. I was able to try new ciders, revisit favorites, chat with producers, and make new friends with cider enthusiasts. I was not in a minority for once. It was a pretty good day.

Fruit Beer Fest glass

The next day, we went to the Fruit Beer Festival at Burnside Brewing. Now Burnside Brewing is a new company, so I think this festival was a bit of promotion. However, the previous day the streets would have been a little messed up due to the Rose Festival Parade, which also may have given an extra boost in attendance. Rumor had it that they had run out of a lot of beers already. When we got there early on Sunday, half of the list they had provided was gone, and they had done a mad scramble and come up with some as replacements that were not on the list. There was other evidence of underestimations, such as the porta potties had not been cleaned overnight.

My husband was kind of excited going to this festival. For so long, fruit beers had gotten the reputation of being wheat beer with fruit that were girl drinks. Here was an event where an IPA had mangos or huckleberries, and IPAs are not all that popular with women. The event also had a lot of sour beers, and my husband loves the sour beers. Interestingly, there was only one or two beer there that were not locally made. My husband also noted that adding fruit to beers seemed to muddle the flavor up, meaning the beer was no longer crisp. Sometimes, that is okay, and sometimes it isn’t. Anyway, we think this event will be back next year, but we think it will have to find a park rather than Burnside Brewery as a venue.


3 Responses to “Cider Summit and Fruit Beer Fest 2011”

  1. […] (extra $5 if bought at gate), mug, and 10 tokens Extra Tokens: $2 Tastings: varies Kid friendly: no Review Additional comments: This is a cider only event, and the initial buy in may be cheaper than trying […]

  2. […] We returned to the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, which they are now holding the second weekend of June, which happens to coincide with the Portland Grand Floral Parade, and is in fact blocks away from the route, so parking is difficult. This is the second year this event was put on, hosted by Burnside Brewery. This year, they were more prepared. Last year, they had issues with running out of beer, but it looked like they were ready for a massive crowd, and they even were allowed to shut down a part of the street for more room. With a parade going on, what is one more street? The quality of beer was also better. Last year, it kind of seemed like fruit was just added all hodge podge, but this year, you could tell that the brewers had been thinking it over on what to make. The quality was also better in that regards. […]

  3. […] last weekend was the second time Portland has had a Cider Summit. Last year, it was earlier in June, and it was difficult competing with the Portland Fruit Beer Festival and […]

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