Portland International Brew Fest 2011 Part II

July 19, 2011

Here is another review of the Portland International Brew Fest as offered up by my husband:

Generally speaking, this is one of my favorite beer fests. It was the first beer fest I ever attended, and I keep coming back every year.

The setup: At the International Beerfest, they pour out of bottles and kegs. Many of the styles are hard to find beers, and as such, will charge more than one token. This year, the highest I saw was 7 tokens for a pour, but if alcohol-fogged memory serves, I’ve seen higher at in the past. Most beers were pouring for 2-3 tokens, but if you could find it on the shelf at Fred Meyers, it was generally one token. It takes place in the park blocks near downtown Portland, so getting there is a breeze.

The biggest draw to this beer fest over many others is that you find beers from styles that you won’t find in the US. This year, I got to sample a Biere de Garde from France, a style I’ve only ever had once before. I also tried several elusive Flanders Reds, one of my favorite sour beer styles that is hard to find anywhere.

For a newcomer, this can be intimidating. Many of the beer names are in other languages, and you don’t always know what it is you’re drinking. When I went the first year, and didn’t know much about beer styles, I felt that everything had confusing names and cost too much. It’s a neat beer fest to check out, but if you’re new to beer and can only do one summer festival, the Oregon Brewer’s Fest is more user friendly.

Bottom Line: If you’re into hard to find and exotic beers, this is the beer fest to go to.

Beers of note:

  • Nøgne Ø Dark Horizon 3 : At some point, a beer ceases to really be a beer. For me, that point is reached anytime you brew something stronger than barleywines and Eisbocks. Dark Horizon 3 was a 15% porter brewed with coffee. It was dark, rich and strong. The coffee came through, and I was impressed that even at 15%, the “hot” alcohol flavors were still in balance with the beer. It’s a beer I could see sharing with friends in the winter time.
  • Bellegems Bruin: Though the guide called this a Flanders Red, it’s really more of a Flanders Brown. Not quite as acidic, it’s an easy to drink brown sour ale with a moderate brett presence.
  • Hofbrau Dunkel: This is a nice, hoppy dunkelweizen (dark wheat beer) that was easy to drink. There were moderate phenols, which I’m not normally a fan of, but the hops kept them in balance nicely.

Burtle Beer, brewing beer at the speed of a turtle, signing off.

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One Response to “Portland International Brew Fest 2011 Part II”


  1. […] in it. Brett is actually more like a bacteria that is used to create sour beer, which my husband loves to drink. I think it was a dry yet very balanced cider. Like, even though there wasn’t a sweetness to it, […]


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