Tomorrow is a big day for Portland beer drinkers, marking the beginning of the five-day beer bust known as the Holiday Ale Festival.

The thing I like most about the event is that it happens in Pioneer Square beneath a humongous tent. I’ve always been fond of drinking in my living room, so it stands to reason that I would enjoy drinking in the city’s living room.

And there’s so much to drink!

In particular, I’m looking forward to the “Very Ill Tempered Gnome” barleywine from Oakshire brewery in Eugene, weighing in at 9.5 ABV. I became a fan of Oakshire’s wheat this summer, and I’m curious how they’ll do with a heavier, more alcoholic brew.

I’m also ready to hit Fort George’s "Belgian Style Tripple." I’m not necessarily a fan of Belgian style brews. They tend to be a bit too thick and sweet for me. However, I am a fan of Fort George, and often wish I were in their Astoria pub sipping something lovely. At least for the next few days, I wont have to make the trip.

And of course, you’ll have to get there early to get a taste of the 2009 Holiday Ale Fest commemorative brew, in collaboration this year with Hair of the Dog:

Jim ‘09 is a collaboration between the Holiday Ale Festival and Hair of the Dog Brewing, and honors the late Jim Kennedy, a major inspiration for many in the beer industry. This year’s version is made with HOTD’s Doggie Claws, Adam, Fred from the Wood and Blue Dot, the beer was additionally blended with a keg of English Brown Ale, German Bock and American Strong Ale. Jim was then toasted with a bottle of Cantillon St. Lamvinus, Scaldis Noel, Corsendonk Christmas Ale and Orval.

Granted, these are just a few that caught my eye. I’ll learn more tomorrow during a brief media preview at 4 pm. I’ll be tweeting what I’m tasting if you want the inside dope before you hit the tent. Follow me on the Twitter thing [@lastsup] between four and five tomorrow and chime-in as I get a bit tipsy for research purposes.

The festival runs from Dec 2nd through the 6th. Doors open tomorrow at 2 pm and close at 10. Tasting requires purchase of a $20 package that includes this year’s mug and ten tasting tickets.