Mark your calendar

Drinking Days Ahead

Beer, gin, rum, and more beer

By John Chandler August 4, 2010

Yep, the major beer festivals are behind us, but fear not! There’s still plenty of opportunity to get your drink on and behave like a jackass this month.

Tomorrow (August 5) is International Beer Day. The video below explains this holiday’s mysterious origins. (Mild language)

Coincidentally, tomorrow is also the Hop & Vine’s two-year anniversary. How fortuitous! From 3 till closing, this butt-kicking little bistro will have live music, wine and cocktail specials, bangers and mash, and at least two extra-awesome beers available: Breakside Brewing’s Gator Boots Gose and Upright’s Old Barrel-Aged Apricot ale. And if all that fails to motivate you, be advised there will be cupcakes. Should be a blast. Owner and photogenic bartender Yetta Vorobik knows how to throw a party.

Still haven’t had enough carousing with your fellow brew believer? Then Saturday’s Fremont Fest Pub Crawl has your name on it. Between noon and 4 PM, you can plunk down $10 for a tasting mug and five tokens ($1 for additional tokens) that will buy you some craft beer samples from Double Mountain, Hopworks, Alameda Brewing, Upright, and Laurelwood at various stops along NE Fremont between 40th and 50th Avenue.

I confess that thanks to Food Network shows like Chopped and Iron Chef, I’ve become fairly obsessed with culinary competition. Like-minded nosh nerds will want to plop themselves on a stool at Couture Ultra Lounge next Monday night (August 9) at 8 for Bombay Sapphire’s Most Inspired Bartender challenge, where an A-list of local mixologists will brandish their swizzle sticks. The winner will represent Portland in the finals of this event being held in Las Vegas at the end of the month. Among the esteemed participants are Ricky Gomez from Teardrop Lounge; Urban Farmer’s Lance Mayhew; Mark Joseph from El Gaucho; and 50 Plates bartender JP Pierce, who tells me he’ll be preparing an Oregon Crusta (a traditional New Orleans cocktail), with gin and a fresh strawberry puree.

And finally, Monday, August 16 is National Rum Day. So go someplace and drink some rum. What, I have to plan everything? Try a little spontaneity for once in your life!

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