Last year, just after the winter holidays, Portland Monthly's Beer Me desk headed to Astoria for a warming winter beer crawl. Our ulterior motive: to get the low-down on February Stout Month—a cold-weather celebration made for this cloud-menaced corner of the Oregon coast.
In particular, we'd heard a lot about Fort George Brewing's annual mid-month Dark Arts Festival: the world's largest one-day stout fest, pouring 60-plus specimens of the style alongside "macabre entertainment" including live music, fire dancers, tattooing demonstrations, and chainsaw-equipped artisans working in glass, ice, and iron. We thought our timing was on point—still one month or so left to share the details with readers. But no sooner did we land in Fort George's capacious hillside brewpub than we learned the party was already sold out.
This year, we come prepared for dark times. Fair warning: tickets for the February 18 festival go on sale (at $40–$55 a pop) on November 29. And you can bet we'll be very, very glad to be arms-deep in that boozy liquid blackness—come rain or, well, even more rain.
Fort George's 2016 Festival of the Dark Arts takes place on February 18 on the Fort George Block at 1483 Duane Street in Astoria.