Prepare thyself for the epic Holiday Ale Fest, a 5-day wonderland for which Pioneer Square's swept clear of clipboard-wielding activists, tented off, and heated with wood-burning stoves so you don't go numb while luring chicks in Cosby sweaters to the ample mistletoe. Oh, and drinking 50+ holiday brews from across the US, most of which boast at least 7% ABV and puns about Santa getting Blitzen, or something. Some big hitters: Oakshire Very Ill Tempered Gnome: The Eugene brewery's American strong ale has a 9% bite and is flavored with caramel, citrus hops, and toasted nuts, which explains the anger issues. Speakeasy Spiced Payback Porter: The SF company goes crazier than Mel Gibson at a Chanukah party with a thick porter brewed with Masala chai tea, vanilla, ginger, cardamom, cloves & black pepper. Fort George Three Wisemen: Giving a nod to Jose, Captain Morgan, and Jack instead of those dudes who were all hung up on frankincense, Lompoc's 9.9% oatmeal stout gets its crazy flavor from being aged in tequila, rum, and bourbon barrels. Bayern Eisbock: The mad scientists from Montana used a special 9-month freezing process to mutate their Doppelbock into this 12.9% monster that goes down so surprisingly smooth, you might find yourself making out with folks even if they don't look like Cliff Huxtable.
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