This weekend is one of the most anticipated events in Portland, OR. The Big Beer & Barleywine Fest is an annual event sponsored by Lucky Lab Brewing. Going on for over a decade and taking place at the Lucky Lab Beer Hall on NW Quimby since its opening in 2006, the lineup is comprised of some high alcohol beers, mostly barleywines, and from many breweries, local and internationally known.
The fest is led by brewer Ben Flerchinger and he puts hours and hours of effort in during the year to select cellared beers as well as fresh barleywines so we can have smalls tastes of a collection that can't be found anywhere else.
Ben puts together verticals (the same beer from different years) so we can see the development over time. Barleywines are an amazing mix of hoppiness and sweetness when brewed in the American style, more rich and subdued in the English style. Since it takes a lot of ingredients to get it right, brewers have reduced the amount of barleywines that they brew. Every year barleywines become less a part of regular lineups and more of a specialty one-off brew. The Big Beer and Barleywine Fest hopes to stop that trend and prove how great the art of the barleywine can be.
Here are a few reviews from people that tested the potentials for this year.
It's Pub Night (Lindsey is one of the nicest guys that you will ever meet)
The New School (Gordon has an amazing palate)
I agree with their assessments and I am excited to try many more beers. Anything in the Old Yeller series is my highest recommendation! I am most looking forward to casually spending time with friends in the amazing space that houses the beer hall. Besides large communal tables inside, they have one of the best patios in Portland for festival goers to enjoy. Families are welcome, so you can also bring the kids while you enjoy some BIG BEERS & BARLEYWINES.
Lucky Lab Beer Hall
1945 NW Quimby
Friday and Saturday 3/2 and 3/3/12
Click here for 2011 action.