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Holiday Ale Fest raises $20,000 for charity

COURTESY: HOLIDAY ALE FESTIVAL  - This year's Holiday Ale Festival drew 14,000 beer lovers to Pioneer Courthouse Square. The annual event is the Pacific Northwest's only winter beer festival. 
Beer lovers helped raise $20,000 for charity this month at the Holiday Ale Festival, held in Pioneer Courthouse Square Dec. 2-6.

The annual festival dedicates its proceeds to the nonprofit Children's Cancer Association MusicRx program, which delivers the healing power of music to children battling cancer and their families.

The Pacific Northwest's only winter beer festival attracted 14,000 attendees, who tasted their way through 50 beers, ciders, mead and braggot (mead made with honey and barley malt).

All were blended specifically for the event, or were vintage offerings hard to find in the region.

Those that rose to the top of fans' reviews were Reverend Nat’s Winter Abbey Spiced Cider (served warm); Deschutes Brewery’s Pacific Wunderland (Munich IPA); Feckin Irish Brewing’s Top' O The Feckin Mornin (bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Espresso milk porter); 54° 40’ Brewing’s Snowball Headed for Hell (white IPA); Eel River Brewing’s Gargantua III (imperial barrel-aged strong ale); Bear Republic Brewing’s Cuvee du Santa (sour brown ale); and Fort George Brewery’s Deck the Helles (barrel-aged Helles lager).

Organizers rounded up the proceeds to the nearest $1,000 and then quadrupled the amount.

The festival also featured 46 special tappings, including a four-year vertical of The Abyss by Deschutes Brewing.

Fans used a mobile app to keep on top of the tappings and meet-the-brewer events.

The five-day festival starts each year the Wednesday after Thanksgiving; next year's event is set for Nov. 30-Dec. 4.

For more: holidayale.com.