Events

Everything You Should Definitely Be Doing in Portland This Fall

Published On 09/14/2016 Published On 09/14/2016
Feast Portland
Feast Portland | Aubrie LeGault

With the golden haze of summer in the rearview mirror, it’s now time for Portlanders to set their sights on literally any event that keeps their mind off the fact that it’s about to rain endlessly for eight months straight. We’re in luck, though, because fall is secretly one of the greatest seasons to be out and about enjoying craft beers, oddball sci-fi fests, and other autumnal gatherings (*cough* Oktoberfest). While it may not be time to put the inflatable raft away just yet, we advise clearing the Stiegl Radler out of the fridge to make way for some of the seasonal fresh hops that are about to dominate your immediate future. Behold -- every event we’ve deemed awesome enough to attend until the sun goes away for good!

September
Mount Angel Oktoberfest
Courtesy of Mount Angel Oktoberfest

September

Thursday
Sep 15
Downtown Mount Angel
Short of flying all the way to Bavaria, the yearly Oktoberfest at this charming little town just north of Salem is about as authentic as it gets when it comes to small-town attempts at the German extravaganza.
Thursday
Sep 15
Paulaner antedates any comparable American offerings by centuries, which is all the reason you need to sample its spectrum of beers during actual Oktoberfest, which is confusingly in September.
Saturday
Sep 17
The Polish Festival is possibly the only sausagefest you’ll ever hear us wholeheartedly recommending you to attend!
Friday
Sep 23
The old-time charm of Oaks Park is one of the few civic relics that tethers Portland to the good old days, which makes it the perfect place to down a few pints and get busy with some schnitzel at its version of Oktoberfest. Know your limits before jumping on that Ferris wheel, though!
Saturday
Sep 24
A typical conversation at Hempstalk:
“Legalize it!”
“Uh, yeah dude. We did!”
“Oh. Wanna throw down a chill by the river?”
“Yeah, bro!”
Sunday
Sep 25
As if you needed another excuse to tie one on before 10am, Great Notion is pairing both native and visiting breweries' beer with a brunch menu that’s exclusive for the event.
Wednesday
Sep 28
OMSI is cool enough to enjoy without the help of alcohol, but all the kids running around can be a real buzzkill. Enter OMSI After Dark Brewfest, which gives adults the opportunity to get hands-on with science... or at least one hand on science while the other clutches a beer.
Friday - Saturday
Sep 30-Oct 1
We love apples and pumpkins as much as the next person, but the real harvest we’re all holding our breath for every year is hops -- hence, Hops Fest! Cascadia is the finest region for this fermentable dynamo of the beer world, so you better celebrate accordingly.
Friday - Sunday
Sep 30-Oct 2
If you needed an excuse to eat your weight in baklava in a sunny parking lot in Laurelhurst, now you have one.
October
West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta
West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta | Scott Marx

October

Saturday
Oct 1
Put that can of Cheez Whiz down and get over to The Wedge Cheese Festival before The Man declares the yellow stuff a Schedule C drug -- it’s apparently just as addictive, but we’ve known that for years.
Sunday
Oct 2
When one of Portland’s premiere purveyors of meat talks about wild game, we listen. When Portland and Seattle’s top chefs square off in a wild-meat cooking competition, we feast!
Friday - Saturday
Oct 7-8
If they throw in brunch and a massive line, this event put on by the Oregon Brewer’s Guild would be as peak Portland as it gets!
Friday - Sunday
Oct 7-9
As if having a Cthulhu-themed bar wasn’t enough for Portland’s old-school sci-fi fans, we’ve also got a three-day festival celebrating the works of seminal horror weirdo H.P. Lovecraft. What a time to be alive!
Friday - Sunday
Oct 7-9
Portland is a known mecca for cider of all kinds (more on that later), so it makes perfect sense that it’s a great place to feast on Mother Nature’s candy before it gets fermented and turned into the good stuff.
Saturday
Oct 8
More commonly know for their ubiquitous Hefeweizen, the Widmer Brothers are not to be underestimated for their ability to throw a raging Oktoberfest party that may be the best outside of Bavaria. It’s been promoted from their brewpub to Pioneer Square, so you know they’re doing it right.
Saturday
Oct 8
When the venerable brewdogs at this ascendant NoPo brewpub talk, we listen. Turns out peaches aren’t just for pies and/or summertime, and this time they’ve got the delicious peach-themed beers to prove it.
Friday - Saturday
Oct 14-15
Where all the proof you’d need to conclude that Portland is indeed mecca for hard ciders is presented in the largest gathering space the city has to offer -- and you can take the MAX there for maximum sampling capabilities!
Saturday
Oct 15
Enjoy a charcuterie & beer pairing courtesy of the fine folks who brought us a recent beer & donuts event, which proved even the most sophisticated adults can get away with drinking beer for breakfast.
Saturday
Oct 15
Portland’s alt-weekly of record started this event a few years back, and it’s been a massive hit ever since. Get your tickets soon to enjoy the fruits that grow when master brewers pair up with aspiring small-timers for specialty one-off batches, because they’re likely to sell out again.
Saturday
Oct 15
Hey, Beaverton -- where’s YOUR regatta featuring hollowed-out pumpkins drifting about in a decorational civic water structure, huh? Advantage: Tualatin.
Friday - Sunday
Oct 21-23
In addition to baseball and apple pies, whiling away in a basement with a NES controller in hand is an unimpeachable thread in the fabric of American life, so why not relive these memories in the massive basement of the Oregon Convention Center with a spread of old-school cabinets and cartridges to blow on courtesy of the Portland Retro Gaming Expo?
Saturday
Oct 22
While Portland gets all the love for its craft beer scene, the artisan distiller scene is doing incredible things with significantly less fanfare. With tastings, seminars, and mixology courses, the Great American Spirits Festival is guaranteed to make a believer of just about anyone.
Saturday - Sunday
Oct 22-23
Meat lovers can’t have all the fun, can they? While Portland shines in the seared-flesh department, no progressive West Coast city of this caliber is truly complete without a solid vegetarian scene, and Portland VegFest is where all of its meatless glory converges on an annual basis.
Saturday
Oct 29
More than just ex-sorority girls in sexy ____ costumes, the Portland Erotic Ball is the rare yearly opportunity where attendees can enjoy the overlap between the wicked weirdos of Halloween and the world-renowned kink scene that Portland is home to, because, ya know, Portland!
November
Holiday ale festival
Holiday ale festival | Timothy Horn

November

Saturday
Nov 5
Portland’s literary game is strong, and anyone from an armchair fiction writer to a published mogul will find something of interest at the annual Wordstock Festival.
Thursday - Tuesday
Nov 10-15
While disparate places from Calgary to Cleveland are authorized to hand out golden palms for DVD covers like they’re candy, it takes a city like Portland to elevate the appreciation of amateur auteurs and ascendant film buffs alike to the next level.
Friday - Sunday
Nov 18-20
As the big-money appropriation of nerd culture rears it ugly head into the modern age of sci-fi, it’s comforting to know that Portland is home to the Oregon Science Fiction Convention, a non-profit, volunteer-run event that keeps things just as accessible to the little guy.
Wednesday - Sunday
Nov 30-Dec 4
Still no sign of Great Lakes Christmas Ale on the horizon for Portland, but the 50+ offerings from regional and national breweries (and a massive cheese and crackers spread!) more than makes up for the lack of this Clevelander’s all-time favorite holiday brew. Seriously, get your dejected Browns fan friend to mail you some. It’s that good.

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Pete Cottell is a hopeless pumpkin-ale addict who dearly misses spending brisk fall afternoons driving aimlessly through the cornfields of rural Ohio with American Football on repeat. Keep up to date on his wholesale disdain for Starbucks PSL fanatics and SEC football diehards at @Vanifestdestiny.

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