Vancouver Winter Brewfest offers a cozier alternative to Portland's massive Holiday Ale Fest

The Oregonian - Local News | Link to original source
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They don't say it outright, but the organizers of Vancouver's Winter Brewfest are trying to distance themselves from Portland.

"The Vancouver Winter Brew Fest is an alternative to others," they write on the event's website. "With NO LINES, and located in the heart of downtown Vancouver USA at Esther Short Park."

That "others" most likely refers to Portland's massively popular and heavily crowded Holiday Ale Fest, which took over Pioneer Courthouse Square last weekend. Long lines are common at the brewfest, which attracts some 17,000 people each year.

That won't likely be the case at Vancouver's more intimate event this weekend, which alongside its alleged lack of lines will also offer a much wider selection in style of beer (albeit with far fewer taps).

Organizers promise everything from "ales to hoppy bold IPAs" from more than 30 breweries from across the country, including five beers from Belgian brewers.

While Portland's Holiday Ale Fest features a selection of rare vintage brews and beer made specifically for the festival, the Vancouver Winter Brewfest will offer many of the breweries' regular winter beers, like 10 Barrel's Pray For Snow and Pelican Brewing's Bad Santa.

But the festival will also be a showcase for Vancouver's own local beer scene, featuring 10 area breweries, including Mt. Tabor Brewing from downtown Vancouver and Mill City Brew Werks from Camas.

The differentiation organizers seem to be making is that their event will simply be different. It's Vancouver's event, one that supports its local economy and attracts people to its downtown.

Thankfully, organizers have been good enough to host the Washington winter brewfest on the weekend following Portland's, for those who don't like to play favorites.

Let's leave the competition at home and find room in our hearts for beer on either side of the Columbia.