All you need to know about the Holiday Ale Festvial –

What
17th annual Holiday Ale Festival

Where 
Pioneer Courthouse Square, located at 701 SW Sixth Ave. on theMAXLight Rail line

When
November 28 – December 2, 2012
Noon to 10 pm Wed, 11 am to 10 pm Thur-Sat, and 11 am to 5 pm Sun
To avoid lengthy lines, the recommended days for attendance are Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Why
While eggnog and hot toddies are commonly associated with the holidays, it’s no surprise that in the beer Mecca of the Pacific Northwest, craft ales are the drink of choice: specifically, big, bold ales designed to fend off the cold chill of a long winter night. The 17th annual Holiday Ale Festival gathers together more than four dozen of these winter warmers for a joyous five-day celebration.

Despite being held outdoors during one of the coldest months of the year, more than 17,000 festival attendees stay warm and dry under clear-topped tents that cover the venue.  Gas heaters create a cozy ambiance beneath the boughs of the region’s largest decorated Christmas tree. In addition to beer tasting, the festival also features on-site food, event merchandise, a coat check for charity, and seasonal background music.

The beers featured are rich, robust and full of complex flavors – they range from Belgians, Barleywines and CDAs to Winter Warmers, Sour Ales and Stouts. What they all share in common is their rarity – the festival works with every brewery involved to make sure they are sending a product that has either been made specifically for this event, or is a rare or vintage beer that isn’t commonly tapped in the state – which has solidified the event’s reputation as the premier winter beer tasting venue on the West Coast.

Cost
To enter and consume beer, the purchase of an entry package is required. The general admission package at the door costs $30 and includes the 2012 tasting mug and 10 taster tickets. Advance general admission packages cost $30 and include the tasting mug, 12 taster tickets and expedited entry all five days. Advance VIPpackages are available for $65 and include the tasting mug, 28 taster tickets, a bottle of water, access to VIPlines (including special tappings) and express entry all five days. Express re-entry requires a wristband and the 2012 mug, and is subject to the festival’s capacity. Previous year’s mugs will not be filled. Advance packages are available online at www.holidayale.com.

Once inside the festival, a full mug of beer costs four taster tickets, and a four-ounce taste costs one ticket. Certain limited release and special tappings may not be available in full mug pours, or may cost double tickets. Additional beer tickets can be purchased for $1 apiece.

Designated drivers in a party of two or more may purchase a designated driver wristband for $5, which includes Crater Lake Root Beer or bottled water for the duration of the stay.

Other
The event is for ages 21 and over

Info
www.holidayale.com