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Soak in the Suds at the Portland Fruit Beer Festival

Portland Fruit Beer Festival -slide0
Burnside Brewery site of 2014 Portland Fruit Beer Festival

From June 6th - 8th, beer connoisseurs will gather outside of Burnside Brewing Co. and including NE 7th street for the 4th annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival. This festival represents the first and largest festival dedicated to beers and ciders brewed with fruit. A number of brewers are making a brew that will only be available at this festival.

Following are offerings from three of the numerous area breweries who will be featuring their unique offerings.

Storm Breaker Brewing (Portland, OR) will have Mon Petite Cherimoya on tap. This is a Belgian Pale brewed with Minneola Tangelo and aged on over 100 lbs of Cherimoya, a fruit described by Mark Twain as "the most delicious fruit known to men." This brewery based along Mississippi Avenue at 832 N. Beech combines the feel industrial warehouse with a rustic lodge to create a comfortable and welcoming place. Here the bartender functions as a DJ and chooses the tunes based on their mood and the crowd present. On a rain-free night expect to see folks gathered around the outdoor fire pit sipping a brew and sampling their fare ranging from their Jucy Lucy and Mississippi Monster signature burgers to kale salads. They pair their beers with whiskey for those looking for two tastes that complement each other. Most of the 1,500 barrels they brew each year is on tap with people taking this beer to go in growlers and mason jars.

Lompoc Brewery (Portland, OR) will feature their Pear’n Kramer, a golden ale fermented in stainless steel with pears that were handpicked in Salem, OR by the brewers and bartenders of Lompoc in August 2013. This beer sat on those pears for 5 months before being transferred to another tank for conditioning where it was inoculated with a touch of gueuze. After the festival, pay a visit to Sidebar (3901 N. Williams Avenue), their barrel tasting room and bottleshop which opens at 4pm Wednesdays through Saturdays. Sign up on their email list for announcements regarding their release parties.

Deschutes Brewery, founded in 1988 as a brew pub in Bend, Oregon with a second pub now open in Portland's Pearl District (210 NW 11th Avenue), has now emerged as the largest craft brewery in the nation. During this festival they will be searching Peach Slip a crisp, tart-Belgian style ale with a generous helping of peach puree. The base beer is light but well rounded thanks to a portion of unmalted wheat, and gains complexity from the addition of juniper berries and pink peppercorn.

The Portland Fruit Beer Festival runs from Saturday, June 7, 2014 from 11am to 9pm and Sunday, June 8, 2014 from 11am – 6pm with a VIP Session on Friday June 6, 2014 from 4pm to 9pm Advance tickets for the VIP event is $30 for 12 tickets and a glass with the advanced general admission for Saturday and Sunday costing $20 for 12 tickets and a glass.

For those who would like to continue their exploration of Portland's brew culture post-festival, hop on board Pedal Bike Tours' Oregon Brewery Trail tour. During this 3-hour five mile ride along flat roads, one can experience tastings at three NW area breweries (Bridgeport Brew Put, Lucky Lab and Crystal Ballroom). Also, the tour will pass by other pubs, thus giving one a good sampling of the brewery options for this area of Portland. Knowledgable tour guides can answer any questions about Portland's brew up culture, as well as offering up historical tidbits about this city.

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