With everyone trying to make up for lost time in the pandemic, plus concerns about supply chain shortages, sharing experiences with loved ones instead of gifts have grown in popularity this holiday season.
If you want a fun (and COVID-19 safe) way to explore Portland’s alcohol scene and support local businesses, here’s your guide to the wide range of events and tastings being held throughout the month of December.
Spirit Tasting at the Lloyd Center
Women-led and Eugene-based distiller Thinking Tree Spirits will be heading to the Lloyd Center on Thursday, Dec 9 from 4 to 7 pm to offer free tastings of their farm-to-flask spirits. Thinking Tree Spirits distills two different gins, as well as rum, vodka, cocktails to go, and seasonal offerings.
Lloyd Center, 2201 Lloyd Center
The 4th Annual Christmas Bar Crawl
Drink through Portland’s bars and help a child in need. The Christmas Bar Crawl is partnering with Toys for Tots on Saturday, Dec 11, from 4 pm to midnight, starting at Dante’s. A single ticket is $15 and a toy donation or $10 money donation to Toys for Tots is required at check-in. Tickets include two shots, a custom badge and lanyard, as well as drink specials. The crawl will make stops at Jockey Club, Maxwell Bar, Opaline, Paddy’s, Pine Street Taproom, Rialto Poolroom, Silver Dollar II, Star Theater, Tube, and X Exotic Lounge. The afterparty will be held from 10 pm to midnight at the Rialto Poolroom.
Dante’s, 350 W Burnside
ZiNG! Food & Wine Pairing Workshop
Learn what wines will pair best with your holiday meal at Willful Wine Co. on Saturday, Dec 11, from 10 am to noon. You’ll taste various food elements and wines to learn what zings and why in this science-based exploration, and leave knowing how food and wine interact with each other, how to pick the perfect wine for the next meal you’re planning, and what pairs well with yams and marshmallows. Tickets are $40 per person ($30 for club members). If you stay after, you’ll receive a 10 percent discount on all wine purchases.
Willful Wine Co, 5705-F NE 105th
Leikam Brewing Winter Craft Fair
A certified Kosher brewery, Leikam Brewing is holding its first ever Winter Craft Fair on Sunday, Dec 12, from 1 to 5 pm. All COVID regulations will be enforced and proof of vaccination is required. Ten percent of each sale will go toward Habitat for Humanity.
Leikam Brewing, 5812 E Burnside
Wine Dinner featuring CHO Wines
Ava Gene’s will be celebrating the end of harvest season with its traditional bacchanalian nights on Thursday, Dec 16, from 5:30 to 10 pm. This wine dinner series features a seasonal six-course menu paired with Oregon wines for $150 a person. This month’s dinner will spotlight wines from CHO Wines, a husband and wife team that launched their inaugural release of six different Pinot Noirs and sparkling wine, and who will also be speaking at the dinner.
Ava Gene’s, 3377 SE Division
Hip Chicks Do Wine will be holding a holiday open house on Saturday, Dec 18, and Sunday, Dec 19, from noon to 6 pm at their tasting room. There will be wine flight tastings, holiday sangria, and bonus pours of limited production wine and ports. Special gift boxes and multi bottle discounts will also be on hand. Reservations are required for flights and food is available for purchase.
Hip Chicks Do Wine, 4510 SE 23rd
Freeland Spirits Distillery Tour and Tasting
One of few women-owned/operated distilleries in history, Freeland Spirits crafts artisan small-batch gin and whiskey with Northwest grains and botanicals. Every Friday through December at 3 pm, they’re offering a tour and tasting experience of their facility for $30. The tour is led by one of their distillers who will teach you their process for creating spirits and the story behind Freeland. Afterward, you get to taste “The Whole Line Up” flight of four spirits and two canned cocktails in their Northwest tasting room. COVID protocols enforced: Masks are required at all times when not actively drinking or eating.
Freeland Spirits, 2671 NW Vaughn