First Annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival

Fruit Beer Festival, Portland, OR

Beckie and I at the Fruit Beer Festival in Portland, OR

I don’t have a sister, but I’m lucky enough to have an amazing best friend who is like a sister to me. Not only that, but Beckie shares her sister, Carly, with me too. This weekend Beckie, Carly and I took on the First Annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival at Burnside Brewing Co. It’s not a secret that fruit beers are my favorite type of beer so having the chance to spend a sunny Portland Saturday with my best friend, who lives in Georgia, was a special treat!

The Portland Fruit Beer Festival is a celebration of the wonderful variety that fruits offer and the incredible and unique beers brewers can make from them. Featuring over 15 breweries from the Northwest and beyond with over 20 different beers, the majority of them brewed specifically for this festival. While the focus was on fruit beers, I couldn’t help but notice a lot of the breweries had wine-inspired beers (granted wine is made from grapes). It also made me realize how many breweries are nearby that I haven’t checked out yet, but hopefully will soon! Here is what we tried by brewery, beer, summary, and our own little notes.

Burnside Brewing Co.Sweet Heat – Beckie
Wheat ale with an additional 200 pounds of apricot puree, then dry hopped with imported Jamaican Scotch Bonnet peppers. Reminiscent of a Caribbean chutney, this beer has a subtle tartness from the fruit with a slight spiciness from the peppers which also adds a fruitiness to the aroma. 4.9% abv.
This was Beckie’s favorite beer from the Festival and my personal favorite brew from Burnside Brewing Co. It reminded both of us of my mom’s homemade chili infused vodka. A normal drink followed by a warm burn that lingers in your mouth.

Block 15 – Psidium – Beckie
Rustic farmhouse ale matured with guava fruit and blended with a sour golden ale. Brewed with Belgian Pilsner, French Pale & Wheat malts; Saaz & Citra hops; Frech farmhouse yeast. 6% abv.
This brewery is located in Corvallis, where Beckie spent her undergrad at Oregon State University. She was excited to try a new beer from this brewery. I’m excited to make a trip down to Corvallis and check out Block 15 for myself.

Breakside Brewing – Mango IPA – Jenna
A tweaked version of Breakside’s flagship beer changed to suit the flavors of fresh mango. Mango additions to the mash, kettle, hopback and conditioning tank.
I’m usually not a fan of IPAs however, this was one I could get use too! Breakside Brewing is another brewery on my list to check out here in Portland.

Dogfish HeadFestina Peche – Jenna
A refreshing neo-BerlinerWeisse fermented with honest-to-goodness peaches to (get this) 4.5% abv! Because extreme beers don’t have to be extremely boozy.
I‘m always amazed at what Dogfish Head comes up with, so I was excited to see this Dellawear brewery here in Portland.

Fort George Brewing – Badda Boom! Cherry Stout – Jenna
Coming in at 6.9% abv, rich and dark as a moonless night in the orchard, Badda BOOM! has 40 pounds of raspberries and cherries mingling famously with the Belgium yeast esters and black barley bitters.
This was another type of beer I’m not usually a fan of but could definitely fall in love with. The cherry stout felt like a heavy beer in my stomach but a light beer in my mouth. Definitely something I look forward to picking up this fall.

Laurelwood – Mango Mint Pale – Jenna
Pale Ale brewed with Southeast Asia Fruit and Spices.
One of my personal favorites from the Festival, this light beer just tasted of the perfect balance of mango and mint, a light and refreshing beer for any summer day.

New Belgium – Ooh La La – Beckie
Ale brewed with Raspberries 8.5% abv.
“Now this is a fruit beer,” Beckie said while holding up her glass. Literally purple from the raspberries. This beer was amazing. Reminded me a lot of the Harpoon Raspberry UFO.

Ninkasi BrewingPinot Barrel-Aged Oatis with Cherries – Carly
Oatis Oatmeal stout with cherries aged in Pinot Noir Casks. 7.2% abv.
Maybe Carly is just the wino of the group. This beer tasted like a cross between a beer and a wine, a surprising combination that was pulled off flawlessly.

Upright Brewing – Barrel-Aged Pure Wit with Orange – Carly
A single cask version of our seasonal Belgian-style wit with a pound of dried sweet orange peel added to the barrel. This tart and hazy wheat beer has a tremendous nose but remains light and snappy on the palate.
“This should have said with lemon, not orange,” Carly said after taking a sip. “Still delicious though, reminds me of a Blue Moon served with a lemon instead of an orange by accident.”

We then headed to the “Rare Rotating Taplist in the Brewhouse.” Where one of a kind rare beers some of which only one keg was ever made were too precious and small batch to be available during the entire fest so they were tapping them a few at a time in the first room of the brewery. As kegs run out they were replaced with a different beer.

Hopworks – Chupacabra Chili Stout – Jenna
Organic Survival “7-Grain” Stout aged for two weeks with Chipotle, Poblano, Anaheim Scotch Bonnet, Cherry Bomb and Habanero peppers. 5.3% abv.
Hands down the best beer from the Festival. This spicy beer takes similar to the Burnside Brewing Co’s Sweet Heat, but takes it up a couple of notches on the spice factor. And it’s from my favorite brewery! Love!

Lompoc – Cherry Fechter – Beckie
Our Fools Golden fermented in a Maryhill Vineyard Cabernet Franc barrel with 35 pounds of sour cherries. It is clean crisp with a bright pink color and a slight sourness in the finish.
This sour beer wasn’t a big hit with Beckie. Granted trying a sour beer not realizing it is a sour beer is always a risk.

Coalition – Wheat from the Tree – Carly
An American style wheat aged two months in a St. Josef’s chardonnay barrel, this beer has light notes of bartlett pears and wine grapes, with a sweet and tangy finish of fresh mandarin and tangelo. This beer sponteaneously fermented to ~5.2% abv. with the addition of 60 lbs. of fresh fruit.
The wino strikes again. Definitely a delicious play on Coalition’s Wheat the People.

All in all an amazing Saturday afternoon.

Have you tried any of these beers? Or been to any of these breweries? Did you attend the Portland Fruit Beer Festival? What did you think? Didn’t attend, what was the last beer festival you went too?

About BiteSize

Hi! I’m Jenna, but I got the nickname BiteSize in high school. I love homebrewing beer, thus BiteSize Brews. A blog focused on homebrewing, local brewery reviews and recipes. I’m lucky enough to live in the microbrewery capital of the world. I’m also a big fan of social media (chances are I’ll sprinkle a bit of it into this blog).


  1. Damn, I really need to move to Portland! I’d take just about any beer festival, never mind a fruit beer one. Sounds amazing!

  2. Thanks for sharing First Annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival | BiteSize Brews with us keep update bro love your article about First Annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival | BiteSize Brews .

    • I’m a surprised that the kit doesn’t note dirty tap lines in its fatlus (generally an acetic acid contamination/flavor, though not always). It’s one of the most common fatlus encountered, yet people often don’t know it when they experience it. Brewerkz in Singapore definitely has a line problem. Remarkably, they go through the trouble of getting good ingredients, keeping everything cool, then serve it through tainted lines (three tries, three different trips). To that end, Angkor’s metallic taste has long flummoxed me. As the fault kit’s info notes, bad/low-quality equipment can impart a metallic taste, but that goes away as the steel tuns are cured with use. My point is, I don’t think Angkor has crap equipment. Carlsberg (50% owner) has this odd bit to say of the plant: The brewery was commissioned by the Cambodian Government in the early 1960s and built by a French contractor with technical assistance from France. It was refurbished in 1991 re-opened in 1992, just in time for everyone to get good and blurry for the 1993 election farce (end gratuitous political aside). My unsubstantiated guess is that the flavor is a chemical preservative (no, I don’t think formaldehyde) added to stabilize the beer for the heat as well as clean tap lines that never ever see a drop of Beer Line Cleaner.Last point: the kit should note the skunky smells that come from simple heat and light damage. For years I thought that Heineken was the official beer of Pepe Le Pew. – Beer-Obsessed Photographer

      • Regards for sharing Beer Review on Bluegrass berniwg company Brown Ale | Beer, Hops N Barley with us keep update bro love your article about Beer Review on Bluegrass berniwg company Brown Ale | Beer, Hops N Barley .

  3. That sounds great, I wish I could visit Portland and try these great beers. I have been going to the Atlantic City beer festival the last few years.

    • Well if you ever come to town let me know. I love playing tour guide. Have you blogged about the Atlantic City Beer Festival? I’d love to read about it.

      • I think that the kit is more aimed at the brewery end so dirty tap line premlobs generally aren’t an issue but it would be a great addition, as would skunkiness from light exposure because it is so common. For tasting skunked beer, you could always just try a Corona. I’d probably also add line cleaner as a separate flaw, as well as dimethyl sulphide (it comes out as a cooked corn quality) which was combined with two of the other flaws.My guess with Angkor is that they’re still using the equipment from the 60s the 90s refurb was just to knock the rust out and dust off the gear. I never made it into the factory to find out.

    • I’ve been seeking a solid NW place to catch some games, hows the TV siitauton at Lompoc? Some places I haunt:Breakfast- Industrial Cafe on VaughnBurgers- Humdingers on Barbur and 5 Guys in BeavertonWings- Hubers ($3 after 9:30pm!)Coffee- Capitol Coffee in HillsdaleDrinks- Everywhere

      • I’ve only been to Lompoc once, around Christmas time, so I wasn’t interested in the TV situation. Although there is nothing like a good beer and watching a sports game.


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