Sake Fest 2017 is coming!

The 7th annual Sake Fest 2017 is coming Wednesday June 21st – and this year boasts a larger venue at the Oregon Convention Center. Held from 5:30 – 9 PM for the early admission ticket holders ($75) or 6:30 – 9 PM for regular admission ($55), the event boasts the ability to sample from among over 140 varieties of saké, plum wine and beer as well as bites to try your hand at pairing food and sake.
Sake tasting glasses to use during Sake Fest 2016 and to take home after Sake and pairings to make yourself from various food vendors and sake distributor booths at Sake Fest 2016

[Read more…]


Sake Fest 2015 on Thursday June 25

This Thursday June 25, Sake Fest returns for its fifth year. This year, it is taking place at the The Governor Ballroom at The Sentinel Hotel  (formerly The Governor Hotel). I’m pretty excited because besides having sake with sushi (I often ahem prescribe myself warm sake when it’s cold out in the winter, or if my throat hurts) or at sake pairings with my Nodoguro dinners, I don’t have sake very often because I don’t know much about sake besides regular temperature or hot, clear or cloudy. I want to change that.

Attending Sake Fest gives you a chance to learn and sample all sorts of sake. It also includes trying food as you learn how to pair the traditional Japanese drink with a wide variety of food, including cheese, desserts, chocolate and a wide range of fusion, Asian and continental cuisines. It includes ALL saké sampling stations – even rare & premium saké varieties. Altogether there are more than 130+ sakes to sample.

Sampling Sake at the annual Sake Fest in Portland
Photo Credit Hung Q Phan

Featured food participants at Sake Fest include 19 different tables of food pairings including

  • ramen restaurant Noraneko,
  • cheese served like sushi bar Chizu,
  • Asian food offerings like from Saucebox, Yama Sushi & Izakaya, Biwa, Yakuza, Smallwares, Hokusei Sushi, Behind the Museum Cafe and more,
  • other types of food varying from Hawaiian cuisine of Bamboo Grove to classic American like Davis Street Tavern or The American Local,
  • chocolates from Batch chocolate or Xocolatl de David,
  • salt from The Meadow,
  • Asian sweets from Yume Confections and more!

Sampling Sake at the annual Sake Fest in Portland
Photo Credit Hung Q Phan

You can buy Sake Fest Admission tickets now at Eventbrite, which come in two tiers, based on whether you want Early Admission: 5:30 to 9:00 PM (provides an extra hour of no crowds or lines, only 100 tickets available, available in advance online only) at $75, or for $55 Regular Admission: 6:30 to 9:00 PM. Both tickets are for guests Adults 21 and Older Only and include all food and drink at Sake Fest and includes a free Saké souvenir tasting glass provided by SakéOne.

Also available are tickets for a special Sake Food pairing dinner on Wednesday night at the ticket site, if you are so inclined.

For a hint of what Sake Fest is like, here’s a video from their first year:

Do you know anything about sake, like a certain kind of sake you like? When do you have sake?

I’ll be at Sake Fest Thursday so if you see me feel free to say hi!


PDX Beer Week 2015 and other Drink Festivals of June

This year, PDX Beer Week 2015 falls upon this coming Thursday June 11 – Sunday June 21. Yes, it’s more than an actual week/7 days, but I have forgiven that long ago. You can see the full event list here, but I wanted to point my personal top picks. And, not all of them even involve drinking beer – there is for instance, also beer food.

Beer and Food

  • My favorite event of PDX Beer Week is always the Portland Beer and Cheese Festival. I always go to this event, and you can see my previous recaps from the Portland Beer and Cheese Fest 2014, then 2013, then 2012. As usual, it falls on Father’s Day (Sunday June 21st) from 12 – 5 PM. This year it takes place at the new The Commons Brewery location on 7th and East Belmont. For $35, you get to try 10 paired craft beers and cheeses: the 4 ounce samples of beers come from 10 different breweries and your cheesemaster for the pairings is the famous Steve Jones of Cheese Bar and Chizu.
    Portland Beer and Cheese Festival 2014, a pairing of beer and cheese, here Pfriem Family Brewers Saison with Satori – Pastorale – cow and sheep – Wisconsin Portland Beer and Cheese Festival 2014, a pairing of beer and cheese, here Double Mountain Brewery Carrie Ladd beer with Isle of Mull – Cheddar – cow – Scotland Portland Beer and Cheese Festival 2014, a pairing of beer and cheese, here Lompoc Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Side Porter with Cascadia Creamery – Glacier Blue – cow – Washington
    As in the previous year, you can enjoy complimentary free charcuterie from Olympia Provisions. And new this year you can also nosh on complimentary chocolate from local makers Woodblock Chocolate.
    Olympic Provisions was on hand with a meatastic display of charcuterie for participants to graze on to balance out the beer and cheese tastings Olympic Provisions was on hand with a meatastic display of charcuterie for participants to graze on to balance out the beer and cheese tastings Portland Beer and Cheese Festival 2014, an event pairing beer and cheese, and you can graze on Olympic Provisions charcuterie
    This is a 21 + only event. Tickets are on sale now and they usually sell out so buy ahead of time.
    Portland Beer and Cheese Festival 2015
  • For an alternate Father’s Day celebration where you can bring the whole family, consider the Father’s Day Brewgrass and BBQ. On Sunday June 21st Portland Brewing is celebrating dads with live Bluegrass music from 1 – 4 PM, BBQ Specials all day, and kids eat for free from their kids menu with each paying adult.
    This entire month of July 2014, Portland Brewing is donating a portion from every case or growler of ZigZag River Lager (growlers must be purchased at the Portland Brewing Co Taproom, cases must be purchased in the state of Oregon) sold back to our Northwest waters via Sandy River Basin Watershed Council. This entire month of July 2014, Portland Brewing is donating a portion from every case or growler of ZigZag River Lager (growlers must be purchased at the Portland Brewing Co Taproom, cases must be purchased in the state of Oregon) sold back to our Northwest waters via Sandy River Basin Watershed Council.
  • There are two Food Cart + Beer events on the calendar for PDX Beer Week. These events will be hosted by Steven Shomler, author of the book Portland Food Cart Stories and the new book Portland Beer Stories, as well as the host of Tasty Tuesday Radio Show on Portland Radio Project. Steve is a great guy who really goes into the stories behind food and beer, aka the people, the idea, the passion and hard work. He has invited other Portland culinary authors to these events, and the Food Carts at these respective Food Cart Pods are working on special dishes to go with the beer.
    • June 17th 6-10 PM the Food Carts and Beer event is at the Carts on Foster Food Cart (52nd and Foster) featuring beer from Sasquatch Brewing Company with additional watering hole beverages by Pod Bar, fantastic breakfast and brunch food from Egg Carton, the crazy good burgers from Angry Unicorn, and desserts and sweets by the food cart Sugar Shop.
      The Angry Unicorn food truck's Unicorn Burger, made with Unicorn meat a magical meat with ground bacon, strips of bacon, cheddar on a  Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut
      The Angry Unicorn food truck’s Unicorn Burger, made with “Unicorn meat” a magical meat with ground bacon, strips of bacon, cheddar on a Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut
    • Then, June 18th 6-10 PM the Food Carts and Beer event takes place at Pod 28 (28th and Ankeny, just off of Burnside) featuring the beer of Coalition Brewing and Pod 28 participants like the outdoor beer garden with Captured Beer Bus, the tortas of Guero Food Cart, grilled pizza from Pulehu Pizza, and vegetarian and Middle Eastern food from Wolf and Bear.
      Pizza and breadstick from Pulehu Pizza along with beer from The Drinking Lot
      Pizza and breadstick from Pulehu Pizza
  • Throughout June 11 – June 21, Bunk Sandwiches is offering 2 sandwiches, with Bunk Bar Wonder serving both and Bunk Bar SE Water only serving the official Portland Beer Week Sandwich. Check out pics of the sandwich (as well as the ice cream and donut I mention below) at the beer blog Portland Craft Beer article Portland Beer Week Special Creations Preview
    • Official Portland Beer Week Sandwich: Beer Braised Brisket & Gravy Po Boy with Bitter Green Slaw and Herb Salad (made with Good Life Pass Stout) – $11 (Available at Bunk Bar Water and Wonder)
    • Extra Credit Beer Sandwich: Deluxe Queso Dip with Beer Braised Brisket (mMade with Good Life Pass Stout) – $8.50 (Available only at Bunk Bar Wonder)
  • The Portland Beer Week Ice Cream comes Salt & Straw and is a Citra Hop Ice Cream made from Breakside Tall Guy single hop Citra IPA and specked with actual Citra hop flakes. Available at special Portland Beer Week parties only, such as the Portland Beer Week & Fruit Beer Fest Kickoff Party & Pig Roast at Eastburn on Thursday June 11 6-9 PM or the Fremont Brewing & Breakside Brewery: Beer, Ice Cream, Donut Party on Saturday June 13 5-8 PM at Belmont Station.
  • The Portland Beer Week donut is the Blue Star Donuts Hopworks IPA cake donut with crumbled salty pretzels and is available starting June 11.

  • If you are looking for more sweetness than the donuts, consider pFriem Beer & Dessert Pairing Flight . All PDX Beer Week from June 11 – June 21 you can visit Bar Vivant/Pix Patisserie to try a flight of Pfriem Family Brewers beers paired with three bite-sized Pix desserts. Available all week for $20.
  • The 3rd Annual Mussels from Brussels at Bazi Bierbrasserie on Wednesday June 15 5 – 9 PM features 4 Oregon breweries each creating their own secret sauces to be used with 1 pound of mussels served with fries, and paired with their Belgian-inspired beer. Who will win the title of “Mussels from Brussels”? The previous two times this event was held, Upright Brewing won – will it be a three-peat? Tickets will be sold for one of the multiple seatings, which are in shifts.
  • If you are looking for a beer pairing dinner, The Lion’s Supper features Firestone Walker beer and David Walker, co-founder/owner of Firestone Walker Brewing and is hosted by Old Salt Marketplace with food by Chef Greg Smith from Grain and Gristle. Reserve your seat for Thursday June 11 6:30 pm ($75 per person for 5 courses and beer pairings) by emailing alex at
  • Sounds like a very nice Father’s Day gift: a reservation for the Lompoc Beer Whiskey Cigar Dinner at Radio Room on Tuesday June 16, 2015 7:30 PM The price of $69 you get a four course meal with Lompoc beer and High West Premium Whiskey pairings and at the end of the night a handcrafted cigar. Tickets available at 503-287-2346 or info at

Beer Festivals

  • Rye Beer Fest at Eastburn from Friday June 12, 2015 4 PM – Saturday June 13, 2015 2 AM. The Festival is a benefit for Dawn to Dusk paddle fund for the Children’s Cancer Association. This festival, as expected from the name, feature more than 20 rye beers as well as rye cocktails, rye themed food and live music. The $10 admission fee includes a commemorative rye beer fest pint glass and eight beer tickets.
  • Portland Fruit Beer Festival in the lot of Burnside Brewing Co. featuring fruit beers, so it’s really one of a kind already, and add to that nearly every beer or cider featured at the festival have been brewed specifically for the Fruit Beer Festival, so a lot of one-off unique beers you may only see here this one time and that’s it. This festival is all ages and includes on-site food vendors though you could also choose to dine at Burnside Brewing’s restaurant. The festival runs in the evening on Friday June 12 4 PM – 9 PM and then opens at 11 AM – 9 PM on Saturday June 13th 11 AM – 9 PM, then on Sunday June 14th 11 AM – 6 PM. Cost is $20 for 12 tickets and a glass, tickets are on sale now. This years festival is 40% larger in space as they have expanded to an additional lot. I will have a post on Wed with some highlights from the Fruit Beer Fest list.
  • This free event (pay for the beer you drink) is The New School presenting their annual New Breweries Showcase at Bailey’s Taproom and The Upper Lip. Featuring 10 breweries that have opened within the last year from all over the state of Oregon with two beers featured from each one of the new breweries. The event runs all day but you can meet-the-brewers and The New School team from 5-8pm at Bailey’s.
  • I am pretty excited about the free event (pay for the beer you drink) of The Weird Beer Bonanza at Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom on Wednesday June 17 5 – 10 PM. The event promises to offer beers that have interesting combinations, such as
    • Upright Orange Dream – farmhouse ale with an addition of Townshend’s No.72 herbal tea
    • Breakside Cedarbaumbier – amber wheat ale made with foraged Western red cedar tips and fresh ginger
    • Fort George Spruce Budd – a hopless brew made with nothing more than organic two-row malt and Spruce tips for ingredients
    • Ninkasi Ground Control Imperial Stout – brewed with yeast that’s been to space and back, hazelnuts, coca nibs and star anise
    • Payette/Ninkasi Magic Gardens Asian Pear and Lemongrass IPA
    • SixPoint Ever Upward Fuji Apple Wheat
    • Coalition Dill Dose Sour Pickle Ale
    • Oakshire Raspberry Ginger Berliner Weisse
    • 13 Virtues Morocco Mole Dunkel
    • Burnside Silence of the Lambs Irish Stout brewed w/ Grilled Lamb Hearts

    Imperial Bottle Shop and Taproom presents The Bruery and Coquine Beer Pairing Dinner.  Here for course 4, Bruery Geriatric Hipster Club - beer equivalent of an Old-Fashioned; oak, bitters, orange peel

  • Then a few days later, on Saturday June 20 12:00 noon to Sunday June 21 10 PM Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom is at it again with the Sour Solstice Berliner Weisse & Gose Festival. Taste 10 tart and refreshing, German-style sour wheat beers brewed by breweries across the States. They promise to have a selection of syrups for use in Berliner Weisses, including woodruff, Oregon berry, peach and others. Tickets will be $20 and include entry, commemorative glass, and 5 drink tickets.

Not PDX Beer Week… but also other Beer Events coming up…

There are two other events that are coming up, as long as I’m talking about beer.

  • The Oregon Garden Brewfest falls upon June 19 – June 21 this year, though given the location of the Oregon Garden in Silverton it’s not really part of PDX Beer Week. The festival is held indoors, but you can also explore the 80-acre botanical garden with your beer, so it’s lovely. The Oregon Garden Brewfest boasts 68 breweries, and live music, and on Sunday only since it’s Father’s Day, minors will be allowed (not allowed Fri or Sat).
  • The Portland International Beerfest at Holladay Park by the Lloyd Center on June 26 – 28, 2015. As previously the 3-day beer festival specializes in 200 world-class beers, several which are rare, hard-to-find, exotic beers. The beer festival is free to enter, has free parking, AND is across from the Max. You have to pay for any beer you drink, and the festival proceeds benefit Pet Cross and includes live music and some games (real darts, ping pong, croquet, cornhole, various other pub games etc.). A chance to try some rare beers and bid on baskets/snuggle puppies for charity? I’m there.
    "International International Beer Fest
    There are usually copies of the beer list at various bars (you will probably come across it at establishments you visit during PDX Beer Week in fact) – it is printed almost like a newspaper – so you can peruse the list and see what interests you.

Not Beer… but also other Delicious Liquid Celebrations of Portland coming up…

There are two other events for June that are not beer, but still full of delicious liquid celebrations.

  • Cider Summit on Friday June 19 and Saturday June 20 at the Field Neighborhood Park in the Pearl district. This year’s event will feature over 150 ciders from producers around the country and around the world to sample in 4 ounce pours.
    Reverend Nat's  Hard Cider booth Atlas Cider Co ciders in bottles
    There will also be entertainment via live music, a special Fruit Cider Challenge that you can vote on ciders brewed specifically for Cider Summit, and the DoveLewis/Unleashed by Petco Dog Lounge. The event is 21+ only, but dogs of all ages will be allowed on event grounds.  Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 (cash only) at the door and are available online via Stranger tickets – admission includes a 5th anniversary souvenir tasting glass, 8 tasting tickets, and a $1 donation to the event beneficiary pool.  Cider Summit Portland benefits the Northwest Cider Association, The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer ResearchDoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital, and the Cascade Blues Association.
    Attending Cider Summit with a sample of cider to try. The event is 21+ only, but dogs of all ages will be allowed
  • On Thursday June 25, is the return of Saké Fest Portland. This classy celebration of sake takes place inside the Sentinel Hotel in Downtown Portland in The Governor Ballroom. Admission includes all food and all saké sampling stations (24 producers, and over 130 samples of saké, plum wine and beer varieties) as you learn how to pair the traditional Japanese drink with a wide variety of food, including cheese, desserts, chocolate and a wide range of fusion, Asian and continental cuisines.
    Sake flowing from Sake Fest 2014. Image courtesy of 750 Media Sake flowing from barrels at Sake Fest 2014. Image courtesy of 750 Media
    Photos by Hung Q Phan
    There are two tiers of tickets (both on sale now), Regular and the limited Early Admission. Some of the amazing participating restaurants include biwa and Noraneko, Chizu, Smallwares, Yakuza Lounge, American Local, Hokusei Sushi and more, as well as craft artisans representatives from Batch PDX, Yume Confections, The Meadow, Uwajimaya, and others to offer 19 different tables of food pairings. Saké is not a beverage you often get to sample so many varieties at once, so this Saké Fest is really a unique opportunity to learn what is out there and start to decode the mysterious types and labels to better pair with your sushi and more!