A Week of Winter Fun, Part One - PDX

Pacific Northwest - Although the Equinox Calendar indicates we are experiencing Fall, the sentiment among many is that it's Winter. This is the time of year as we transition from Oktoberfest and Harvest beers straight into those darkest of ales and lagers. It's no secret that people have a psychological fascination with dark beers in the winter time. Throughout history man has made all attempts to disguise the alcohol content in their beers and dark beers do this best. Although this doesn't apply to all dark beers, the average ABV in so called 'winter' beers is around 6.00%. In the spirit of indecisiveness for those pondering a trip to Portland or Seattle here are some events that might warm you up.

image of resident Santa Claus of beer (Fred Eckhardt) courtesy of Brewpublic

Portland, OR - For over five years the Holiday Ale Festival (Pioneer Square, Downtown) has provided people with a way to not only get over the 'hump' during the first week of December but also an excellent opportunity to drink a beer in the cold outdoors. With each year that passes another brewery or two gets added (over 50 this year) to the list. With each addition or returning brewery a lightning bolt of motivation befalls the hapless as they attempt to sample everything. The Festival which starts on the 2nd this year runs on into Sunday with a Brewer's Breakfast.

image of our PDX's resident beer santa (center, Fred Eckhardt) courtesy of Belmont Station

     Featured this year as in previous years will be the 'Jim' beer named after fallen friend to many Jim Kennedy. Those of you living in Portland or the surrounding area probably don't know him but you know of the beers that he delivered. Nameds like Widmer, Deschutes, or Hair of the Dog are just a few of the beers that were considered "unconventional" when Jim started his beer distributurship in 1985. It wasn't that uncommon to find Jim running around town with samples getting people to try the next 'it' beer. From Belgians to American Wheat Ales, if it was unique and posed a challenge to people's perceptions of good beer, he was selling it. Sadly though in mid 2002 Jim Kennedy lost his battle with cancer ending a brilliant 20 year history of educating PDX and those that visited the Rose City. Today Holiday Ale Festival "Beer Wrangler" Preston Weesner carries on Jim's legacy of changing people's perception with the toast beer in his (Jim Kennedy) honor, dubbed Jim.

"JIM 2009. Is collaboration between the Holiday Ale Festival and Hair of the Dog Brewing.  Made exclusively for the event, JIM honors the late Jim Kennedy, a major inspiration for many in the NW beer circles. This is a blended beer, and varies with each incarnation. 2009 is in the realm of and hoppy barrel aged old ale.  Made with Doggie Claws, Adam, Fred from the wood, and Blue Dot.  Additionally JIM was blended with a Keg of English Brown Ale, German Bock, and American Strong ale.  JIM was toasted with a few bottles; Cantillon St. Lamvinus, Scaldis Noel, Corsendonk Christmas ale, and Orval." source, http://holidayale.com/

For more information on this beer and other that will be featured goto the Holiday Ale Festival's website or for schedule information just look at the calendar under (OR) Holiday Ale Festival ...


source material

Jim Kennedy, http://pdxbeer.blogspot.com/2006/03/toast-to-jim-kennedy.html
Preston Weesner, http://blog.oregonlive.com/thebeerhere/2009/11/chatting_with_preston_about_th.html

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