Holiday Ale Fest 2017

Discussion in 'US - West' started by dphi, Nov 29, 2017.

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  1. dphi

    dphi Initiate (110) Apr 14, 2013 Oregon

    Well, this kind of snuck up on me - Holiday Ale Fest starts tomorrow (11/29) and runs through the weekend.

    Website here:

    Beer list here:

    Seems to be a lot more IPAs than there used to be unfortunately, including a smoothie DIPA (3 tickets a taste, natch) and a session to serve as a break between the big beers (I think I'll settle on one of the 6% stouts for this purpose instead, thanks.)
    sharpski and vurt like this.
  2. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,358) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    This used to be my favorite PDX beer event of the year, but I've pretty much given up on it. The $35 admission price just doesn't strike me as justified, especially when so many of the beers require two or three tasting tickets (or more) for a taste. When I last went back in 2015, I think my 14 "drink tickets" got me 5 or 6 beer tastes, and then I had to reload. I think I ended up dropping around $75 altogether, which really made me stop and think.

    While I tried a number of really good and unusual beers, nothing I tried really blew my socks off. It occurred to me that my money might be better spent attending one of the several winter ale tap takeovers going on around town in December (Belmont has a couple of good ones coming up). At least for me, I think that will be a more enjoyable use of my $35 (or $75, as the case may be).
    Hal_Hickey likes this.
  3. Hal_Hickey

    Hal_Hickey Initiate (63) Oct 17, 2014 Canada (BC)

    Not to mention the usual overcrowding at Oregon fests!
  4. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,358) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    True, but I was always able to work around that. Just as with the OBF, you eventually figure out when it's the worst time to visit the HAF (from a crowd standpoint), and avoid going during those time periods.

    I would generally try to get in right when the HAF first opened for the day, and at that point the crowds would typically not be too bad. The level of crowd intoxication would typically be fairly low as well at that point. I would usually leave after about an hour or so, which was when the crowd size was just beginning to become unbearable.
    Texwild likes this.
  5. NWer

    NWer Champion (801) Mar 10, 2009 Washington

    I'll be there Friday - Sunday. Dropping in from time-to-time between stops at Deschutes, HotD, Upright, (insert long list here). No complaints about the HAF. I know the ground rules going in and there are a few on the list I am anxious to try. Besides, it's an easy walk to the hotel I'll be at.
  6. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,358) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Larry. Depending on your schedule, shoot me a PM if you want to get together for a beer sometime this weekend. Also, the wife and I will be at Oregon Wines on Broadway (OWOB) Friday evening (early) if you and the missus want to meet up for a glass of pinot or champagne (as it'll be "Champagne Friday" over at OWOB). It's just down the street from Baily's, so probably close by to your hotel as well.
    NWer and BBThunderbolt like this.
  7. vurt

    vurt Poo-Bah (1,750) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon

    I'm on my way over there now. The MAX is packed (presumably for the Zoo Lights, not the HAF).
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  8. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,358) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    For those who went to HAF this year, would be curious about your thoughts. In particular, what did you think about the selection and pricing this year.

  9. derftron

    derftron Devotee (451) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    I didnt go, but I kept tabs on the "limited release" list that got updated twice a day. the only thing I would have really liked to try was the KDS / BBomb vertical, and the pFriem beers. they brough the scotch aged brown ale which was fantastic last year
  10. NWer

    NWer Champion (801) Mar 10, 2009 Washington

    I had:
    Yule Only Live Once - HuB
    Satin Pajamas - Deschutes
    Maltose Falcons 2014 - Firestone Walker
    Le Fat Oak Barrel Aged 2007 - Silver City
    Flanders Red 2016 - pFriem
    Lost Barrels of Mirror Mirror 2012 - Deschutes

    Selection was good enough but the HaF was a distraction from what I really enjoyed - good company at The Upper Lip, Upright, just sitting in the hotel relaxing & sipping on a beer.
    The venue was way too crowded in the evening. I could have passed on it and I will next year.
    Nobody goes there anymore - it's too crowded.
  11. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,358) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Thanks for the response "Yogi." :sunglasses:

    I almost changed my mind and went this year, just so I could try the 2007 BA Le Fat. Maybe next year (but probably not).
    NWer likes this.
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