PDX Beer Week, unfortunately, is drawing to a close, but there are still plenty of events left. Last night at the release party for the Gentlemen's Club collaboration between Widmer Bros and Miami's Cigar City (on tap tonight at The Rookery Bar at Raven & Rose), I was reminded of just how awesome this city's beer scene is. It was actually not one of the collaborations that reminded me, and it wasn't any of the awesome offerings from Cigar City (e.g. cucumber lager) which have not ever been available within 1000 miles or so of here. It was a fourteen-year-old mead dug up from the depths of Widmer's keg storage. A delicious, full-bodied, 11% ABV mead, the combination of drinkability and high acohol content of which, according to the Widmer rep I talked to, is the sole reason meads are no longer allowed at the Oregon Brewers Festival.
The point is, things like this just happen in Portland all the time. That this week is called PDX Beer Week is almost a non sequitur—isn't every week beer week in Portland? Regardless, here's where you should be drinking this weekend:
You should, right now, be drinking rare and exciting Colorado beer at Belmont Station's Colorado Beer Day. Something like Crooked Stave being on tap in Portland is reason enough to go, but you can also try Backcountry, Elevation, Grimm Brothers, and some rare offerings from Great Divide and New Belgium. Put down your tablet or whatever the hell gadget you read this on and go. And then just stay in the neighborhood and hit Horse Brass, where all of their rotating taps are Portland beers for the whole weekend.
On Saturday, Old Town Brewing is holding an irresistible George Jones Tribute Beer Festival. Ten brewers releasing George Jones-inspired beers, served alongside classic country tunes. This is the kind of thing that needs to happen more often in this town. (This is like that classic funeral test to find out if you're a psychopath. I want to be clear: I am not advocating the serial murder of classic country musicians just to justify memorial beer festivals.)
Then on Sunday, maybe the most mouthwatering event of the festival (if the Mussels From Brussels at Bazi didn't win this already) is going down at The Commons: The Portland Beer and Cheese Festival (featuring free charcuterie from CHOP with the price of admission). Steve Jones of Cheese Bar is pairing the cheese, so you know it's going to be a world-class affair.
You'll need some kind of organized sports to work off the cheese and beer from that event, so head to Ground Kontrol from 8:00-11:00pm for some competitive video gaming and Ninkasi beer. Winners win... well, I don't know, they don't list specific prizes, just "Ninkasi swag and Ground Kontrol gift certificates," but in my case it the real prize would be a sense of accomplishment and pride previously thought unattainable.
Then get some rest because Monday is another day of drinking in this beautiful beer-stained city.