There's nothing wrong with toasting the end of the summer season with a bottle of microbrew in one hand and braut in the other other. But PoMo's got a few ideas on how you can take your Labor Day barbecue to the next level, courtesy of our Insta-Summer Party Planning Guide.
1. DITCH THE WEINERS Grill up a drool-worthy platter of Argentinean meat king Ox restaurant's meltingly tender beef short ribs with a juicy blackberry chimichuri sauce. We've got the (suprisingly simple) recipe for you. Just make it. These ribs are ridiculously tasty. What? You want more recipes—perhaps for Ox's heirloom tomato salad or some crazy-good spicy Asian roasted squash salad and meaty skewers from Smallwares chef Johanna Ware? Yeah, we've got those too.
2. MIX YOUR BEER & WINE You're gonna drink both crisp white wine and cheap beers over the course of a breezy summer evening, so why not just combine 'em? Urban winery Coopers Hall stirs up a refreshing shandy cocktail with their acid-driven Cascadia White, a can of Rainer and some bitters and orange liqueur. (If you're a more ambitious sort, check out the recipe for Smallwares' fizzy-funky kaffir lime gin and blackberry punch. So good.)
3. BE A KID AGAIN After a few of those shandies, you'll be ready to challenge your friends and neighbors to an ultra competitive bout of PoMo's favorite lawn game: giant Jenga-like tumble towers. The beloved table-top game has spawned legion stackable DIY outdoor homages, but you can buy the official, real deal Jenga Giant game in all its three-foot high wooden glory on Amazon right now. Bonus: Not willing to commit? Riverplace Hotel boasts its own Jenga Giant set in its downtown Portland lounge and staffers swear they'll totally let you play with it anytime you like. (They'll even give a special $25 discount code to anybody who plays it there and decides to purchase their own set of Jenga Giant.)