Searching Portland for the Forgotten Majesty of the Tastee Freez
Portland Cocktail Week 2012 has officially come to a close. Bartenders from across the country will be fleeing the city back to their home bars as quickly as their hangovers will allow, leaving only the lingering smell of Chartreuse and an excess of JÄgermeister swag behind. It was a good time, to say the least. A homecoming dance kicked off the festivities, Black Joe Lewis played a private show, the closing party was appropriately superior, and, of course, the drinks were phenomenal.
A highlight of the activities that were open to the public—and definitely the most productive party I've ever enjoyed—was the Pig & Punch, hosted by a travelling company of bartenders called the Bon Vivants who recruit volunteers in different cities to fix up a part of the community for a day and follow with a giant party centered around what you might imagine: roasted pigs and enough punch to drown a small elephant. $30 admission was a ridiculous deal for such offerings, and included as much incredibly well-prepared pig, sides, desserts, punch, beer, and live music as you could handle. And a t-shirt. The food was delicious, with the pork coming off a custom-built spit and supervised to perfection.
The party also featured a dunk tank, which possibly raised more than ticket sales considering these bartenders get pretty competitive—especially when they're dunking each other in a cold parking lot—and overall, the event raised over $4,000 from the attending industry and brought out 46 volunteers to renovate LEP High, a local leadership and entrepreneurship charter school. This is going to be an annual event, folks, so mark your calendars for next year—you won't want to miss it again.