The Craft Brewers Conference is coming to Portland next week. It's a conference with thousands of craft brewers and professionals converging on Portland for several days of events, meetings, and parties, all centered around good ol' beer. While it's geared toward industry professionals, local breweries and pubs have scheduled a full slate of tastings and dinners to go along with the conference. Check our calendar for a rundown of some of the public events where you can take advantage of all the craft-beer activity happening in town.

On Tuesday, April 14, Widmer is hosting a private welcome reception for conference participants, and it sounds like a straight-up good party, with beer, schmoozery, and live music from the Thermals. You can't buy a ticket to that, but we're giving away 10 pairs right here to Blogtown readers. You'll be able to put on your finest beer-tasting hat (here's what mine looks like, don't steal it), hobnob with the other craft brewers, and impress them with your superior beer-tasting abilities (some helpful conversational words: "piquant," "musk," "lingonberryesque"). Or you can simply guzzle down some free Widmer beer and rock out to the Thermals (some helpful conversational words: "yaaaaaah!!!" "woooooo!!!!!" "OMYGODILOVEYOUWESTIN!!!").

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