Early Reports on the Holiday Ale Fest

Who needs me when you have such a vast and accomplished blogger corps? (That's a rhetorical question!) Seems like everyone but me headed down to Pio Square last night. Here's what they found:
Bruce/BS Brewing
Testing, testing…. is this thing on? Trying out the WPtoGo app on the G1 phone. 1 failure so far. It’s about 3:45 and numerous beer geeks and chronic alcoholics have already arrived, but nowhere near tha capacity crowds that will be here in the evenings.

DA Beers/Beer Around Town

So the Wednesday session is on! Arriving at 3pm for the opening founding me waiting in a 40 person line, sure maybe a few more people than I expected, but I was in the company of people that were truly there to drink and appreciate some good brew. I have to give it up to Preston for adding this day, as I trekked around the tent I met a ton of great local beer enthusiasts. This really was the day for the beer geeks to show up and mingle.

This years fest featured a new navigational hazard... the 2nd beer tent. ....Now, i've been to my share of beer fests, but this looks like a fricken mine field in the making, I mean how the heck do you expect people to traverse this thing after some of these beers? Now I was only here for a hand full of samples, but I have seen Friday and Saturday nights and some of the sauced people it creates, this looks like a lawsuit in the making. I understand the need for more space, but this was head-scratching. Also, no Jim for wheelchair bound people. But overall it lead to this tent.

Bill/It's Pub Night
The 2008 Portland Holiday Ale Fest has begun at Pioneer Square. At 5 PM today it was still manageable, but by 5:30 PM it was breathtakingly crowded. If you plan on attending one of the next couple days, the earlier the better....

I didn't expect to like Widmer's fruity stout at all, but it was really well done -- the blackberries complemented the stout flavor nicely without being a nuisance. Van Havig's tripel and Hopworks' barleywine were right on the money. The stout from Firestone Walker -- who seem to be landing on Oregon with both feet right now -- was very solid, especially when you consider that its 5.5% alcohol is about half the strength of most of the beers at the festival.

[Mostly an overview/preview, but he has some great pics from the media event last night.]
Not for nothing, I'll lay ten to one odds that Oregon has more and more able beer bloggers than any state in the country. Great work, men!