There may not be 53 beer festivals in Portland, but it certainly feels as if they occur at a rate of more than one a week. Having said that, only a handful feel like cornerstones of the yearlong sudsy celebration, and the upcoming fifth annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival is deservedly one of them.

The concept is simple: make a beer with fruit in it and enjoy. The difficult part is in overcoming prejudices. It’s an issue Fort George brewmaster Jack Harris confronted head on at a media preview last Friday, addressing the notion that fruit beers are not only for women. So men and women, let your fruit flag fly by sampling befruited beers from over 20 breweries and, fittingly, a few cideries. Oh, Harris also tackled the misconception that said brews are just made by mixing in syrups (though of course some are) by commenting that Fort George insists on using fresh fruit such as the strawberries and rhubarb found in this year’s entry, Pucker Pi Beer. It was one of the kettle-soured beers made available, though come to think of it, nearly all the ones sampled employed this technique of souring the beer through a dose of Lactobacillus. Oh, and said souring agent is not infrequently the result of dumping in lots of actual Nancy’s Yogurt, as pioneered by the Commons Brewery for a past Fruit Beer Fest.

One non-sour beer for the fest is Alameda’s Berried by Night, a valiant experiment in fruiting a CDA. Many fellow bloggers truly enjoyed it, though this one felt the highly bitter hops and unsweetened-chocolate-like notes from the dark malts clashed with the marionberries. They can’t all be gems. Sadder still, they can’t all be the concoction called Fruit of the Garden of Good & Evil, which will be this year’s runaway success story. It’s a collaboration between event host and creators Burnside Brewing and Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, vaguely blending their flagship brands—Sweet Heat (apricot-chili pepper wheat ale) and Tepache (pineapple cider), respectively. The mélange of malt, apples, pineapples, apricots, ghost chilis, Scotch Bonnett peppers, aji peppers, and attitude that says, “Who cares? It’s only Fruit” results in a sweet/spicy/sexy drink.

This year’s event features 30 percent more days—Friday through Sunday—and 40 percent more space beyond Burnside Brewing’s lot and side street.

Burnside Brewing, 701 E Burnside, Fri June 12 at 4-9 pm, Sat June 13 at 11 am–9 pm, Sun June 14 at 11 am–6 pm, $20 (tickets here)