Finding Christmas Spirits

A stiff drink or two over the holidays is essential for maintaining seasonal sanity.

By Meaghan Morawski December 11, 2012 Published in the December 2012 issue of Portland Monthly


It wouldn’t be the holidays without Christmas spirits—whether they’re on tap or from a bottle. Lucky for us Portlanders, there’s no lack of eclectic drinking events to choose from this year. So don your merriest apparel and soak up a little seasonal splendor!

Tabor Tavern and pFriem Family Brewers Holiday Dinner                                               Wednesday, Dec 12 at 7pm ($45)

Brewer Josh Pfriem and chef Chris Greer will be teaming up to bring guests an exciting menu of Belgian beers and holiday eats. With four courses, your belly will be pleasantly sloshing with beer and food by the time the night reaches an end. Menu items include Pfriem’s newly released Belgian Christmas Ale paired with a dark chocolate waffle, espresso fizz cream, and butterscotch brittle. Call to secure a reservation.

Migration Brewing’s Holiday Prefunk                                                                                          Saturday, Dec 15 at 7pm (Free)

Reps from Migration, Pfriem, Gigantic, Breakside, and Burnside breweries will be on hand to pour some signature holiday suds—and impress the general public with their hot taste in tunes. Each brewer will take a 45-minute turn behind the bar, while serenading the crowd with their specially arranged playlists. And if you bring four cans of food, your first beer is on the house!

Breakside Winter Formal                                                                                                                 Saturday, Dec 15 at 7:30pm ($12-20)

Are your winter formal fancy duds from high school still gathering dust in the attic? This may be a golden opportunity to squeeze another night’s use out of them. Spend the evening competing for the title of King and Queen of the Ball, or just enjoying the many quality beers on tap. Best of all, at this winter formal there won’t be chaperones walking around with rulers to make sure you’re a foot apart from your date at all times!

Christmas Eve at Hale Pele                                                                                                               Monday, Dec 24 at 5pm (Free)

Though it most likely will not be a bright Christmas day in Portland (any bets it's raining?), Hale Pele will be singing Mele Kalikimaka anyway! Count down the hours until Christmas morning with tropical cocktails or cozy up with a glass of  “special” eggnog. With food, gifts, delicious drinks, and a visit from Santa himself, there’s no better way to pass the time while anticipating the following big day.

Christmas at Radio Room                                                                                                                 Tuesday, Dec 25 at 9am–2am (Free)

Yep, we know the feeling. It’s Christmas day: the presents have been opened, the small talk exhausted, and the walls are starting to close in. Just step out for a smoke, and instead, hightail it over to the Radio Room on NE Alberta, where it’s always a holiday. Brunch will be served from 9am-3pm, which includes a fab Bloody Mary bar.

22nd Annual Champagne Ball                                                                                                           Monday, Dec 31 at 8pm ($89-169)

What would a New Year's Eve be without the longest running party in Portland? The Champagne Ball boasts four distinct rooms with dancing—music supplied by DJ Bald Wonder and The Radical Revolution, multiple bars to keep the lines short and the dance floor full, and hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and midnight pizza to keep you properly nourished all night long. A glass of complimentary champagne will be served at countdown as well. Wear something snazzy, as those casually dressed will likely be turned away. Proceeds will benefit the Children’s Cancer Association.

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