PORTLAND, Ore. – At least 14,000 beer fans attended the 21st annual Holiday Ale Festival, Nov. 30 through Dec. 4, 2016, at Pioneer Courthouse Square; collectively, they helped raise more than $30,000 for the Children’s Cancer Association (CCA).
All proceeds brought in from the festival’s onsite coat and bag check and soda garden were tallied, then quadrupled, allowing the festival to make a $20,000 donation to the CCA’s MyMusicRx Program, which delivers the healing power of music to the bedsides of children and teens facing cancer and other serious illnesses. The MyMusicRX Program utilizes state-of-the-art music carts stocked with teaching quality instruments for kids to explore, and iPads loaded with music games and apps. The program extends online at MyMusicRx.org, with exclusive artist greetings, concerts, music lessons, and curated content from across the web. Live, in-hospital concerts from national recording artists complete the MyMusicRx experience.
The festival donated an additional $6,000 in equipment and services to facilitate the coat check and soda garden; participating breweries donated more than $2,700 in gifts for an onsite raffle; longtime festival and CCA partner Crater Lake Soda donated nearly $4,000 in handcrafted soda; and attendees purchased raffle tickets that ultimately raised another $10,000 for the organization.
The Northwest’s only outdoor (tented and heated) winter beer festival featured more than 50 craft beers, ciders and meads in the main lineup, all of which were made or blended specifically for the event. The festival also featured nearly three-dozen limited tappings, as well as meet-the-brewer events.
A substantial increase in the footprint of the event’s Sky Bar, held on the upper level of Pioneer Courthouse Square, gave attendees more room to move and greater beer selection, while creating better traffic flow throughout the event. Clear windows in the Sky Bar tents also provided a unique viewing perspective above the rest of the festival.
All beers and ciders were served in GOVINO tasting cups – bpa and bps-free, shatterproof, flexible, recyclable glassware – that allowed attendees to see the true color of the drink in hand. Other popular festival features included the Oregon Lottery iPhoto Click Booth, which offered attendees a complimentary printed photo complete with props and holiday background options; and a partnership with Lyft that allowed attendees to safely leave the driving to someone else. A vintage cheese and beer pairing station allowed people to explore different cheese and beer pairings with experienced suggestions, while fresh roasted nuts from Family Tree Nut Co. and tasty fare from Urban German Grill and Oregon Deli Co. were well-suited to the diverse beers served at the festival.
The 12th annual Sunday Beer Brunch, a separate ticketed event held at the festival on the Sunday morning of the event, sold out in record time and offered attendees an ideal experience for tasting vintage draft beers and large format bottles of aged beers paired with European-inspired brunch food.
The Holiday Ale Festival is a five-day event that annually starts the Wednesday following Thanksgiving. Dates for 2017 are Nov. 29 through Dec. 3. For more information, visit HolidayAle.com.