Where to Drink at Portland Cocktail Week 2011


Portland Cocktail week is rapidly approaching. If you've glanced at the schedule on the PDXCW homepage you know just how many great looking tours, seminars, and parties are taking place. As much as I would l love to go to every event, I must be realistic, I still have my job—as well as my liver—to worry about.

So where will I be sipping? Here's the game plan.

Thursday, October 20

The week's festivities will be kicked off at Wilf's. Sponsored by Pernod Ricard, the Welcome to Cocktail Week party is sure to be glitzy affair hosted and attended by the biggest names in the cocktail community. Dale Degroff along with the rest of Pernod Ricard's top notch crew of brand ambassadors will be behind the bar to get the party started. Make sure you dress to impress—this likely will be the most stylish party of the week.
8 p.m. Thursday at Wilf's, 800 NW 6th Avenue at Union Station, Portland, OR 97209. ($40, event website.)

Friday, October 21

Of all things, Friday morning starts off with a run, so this listing is a 'where to go' and not a 'where to drink.' You should probably drink water. The Bartender's Run to Kick Cancer's Ass is 4k run/walk sponsored by Novo Fogo, whose co-founder Emily LaCroix-Axinte is battling breast cancer. Being hung over is no excuse for skipping this one, my fellow USBG members. Novo Fogo will cover the $25 participation fee for any bar guild member who participates. 100% of proceeds will be donated to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
10 a.m. Friday at the Jupiter Hotel, 800 E. Burnside Street, Portland, OR 97214, ($25, event website.)

Saturday, October 22

Your Saturday afternoon priority should be the 7th annual Great American Distillers Festival (GADF), which features an expansive tasting room containing some of the best craft distilled spirits on the market. I recommend pausing halfway through your tasting to attend one of the many excellent seminars that are scheduled to take place—focus on beer cocktails with Ryan Conklin and Jacob Grier, or learn about mezcal with Misty Kalkofen. There is also a cocktail competition with a preliminary round on Saturday and a final round on Sunday.
Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Left Bank Annex, 101 North Weidler Street, Portland, OR 97227 ($10 for one day, $16 for a two-day pass, event website.)

When I finish my shift on Saturday night, I'll be heading straight over to the Jupiter Hotel to see Robots vs. Humans. Rumor has it that there will be robots built by MIT students competing against some of the finest bartenders in the country to see who can make the best cocktails. Sounds like something I can't afford to miss.
8 p.m. Saturday at the Jupiter Hotel, 800 E. Burnside Street ($40, event website)

Sunday, October 23

There are too many activities on Sunday for one person to attend (and you should definitely check out the ongoing Distiller's Festival if you haven't already) but I'll definitely be stopping by the Maker's Mark Arcade Happy Hour at Portland's boozy house of pinball and video games, Ground Kontrol. What could be better than bourbon, video games, and dozens of friends?
9 p.m. Sunday at Ground Kontrol, 511 NW Couch Street, Portland, OR 97209. $25.