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Grilled cheese contest, cocktail classes make for a yummy month



COURTESY OF CARLY DIAZ - Sean OConnor, Le Pigeons general manager, plans to carefully select beers for pairing with dinners during the Craft Brewers Conference, April 13-19.April just might be the most playful month for artisan food and drink in Portland so far this year.

Cocktail classes, wine tastings, beer pairings, a grilled cheese contest and the annual Eat Mobile food cart festival make for pretty heady times in our glutton’s paradise.

Expect craft beer enthusiasts to be in especially high spirits during the annual Craft Brewers Conference (see related Web story), while the city lays out the red carpet for more than 10,000 beer geeks from here and afar.

Meanwhile, there’s a little something for everyone — even the preschool set.

Don’t know the difference between a Moscow Mule and a Negroni?

How about a Sazerac or Old Fashioned?

The expert craftsmen of Distillery Row have got you covered.

Mixologists at eight Portland distilleries will partner for an afternoon event called The Cocktail Demystified, set for April 4 at the Melody Ballroom.

They’ll represent Eastside Distilling, Vinn Distillery, New Deal Distillery, Stone Barn Brandyworks, House Spirits, Rolling River, Wild Roots Vodka, and Thomas & Sons Distillery, with more than 50 products including gins, whiskeys, brandies, vodkas, rums and specialty spirits on hand.

The distillers will give tips on how to bring out subtle nuances and flavors in simple and complex concoctions.

They’ll focus on home bartending, including the use of herbs and the role of ice in cocktails, balancing, introduction to bitters, making the perfect punch for entertaining, tools of the trade, infusions and more.

The event is set for noon to 5 p.m.; advance tickets are $10 or $15 at the door.

For more: www.distilleryrowpdx.com.

• Eight Willamette Valley wineries recently named Wine Spectator’s “8 New Names to Know” will come together for a tasting event April 4.

Guests will enjoy food from Olympia Provisions and wine from Angela Estate, Artisanal Wine Cellars, Aubichon Cellars, Big Table Farm, Chapter 24 Vineyards, Eminent Domaine, Harper Voit and Tunkalilla Vineyard.

It’s set for noon to 4 p.m. in the lobby of the Olympic Mills building, adjacent to Red Slate Wine Co., at 107 S.E. Washington St.

Tickets are $20 for the food and wine tasting, with sales of bottles and cases available that day.

For more: www.eventbrite.com/e/wine-spectators-8-new-names-to-know-tasting-tickets- 16159942824.

• What goes better with wine than bread and cheese?

Sunday, April 12, is National Grilled Cheese Day, and to celebrate, Portland’s Franz Bakery will host a Grilled Cheese Day event and contest at Migration Brewing in Northeast Portland.

The free, family-friendly event will include grilled cheese, beverages, games and a photo opportunity with Super Slice, Franz Bakery’s mascot.

Attendees will be able to sample grilled cheese from the finalists chosen during the social media contest for the best grilled cheese sandwich posted using #franzgrilledcheezeday throughout the month of March.

Finalists will go head-to-head to compete for a year’s supply of Franz bread, an All-Clad barbecue tool set and the title of Grilled Cheese Supreme.

Bread & Brew’s Jennifer Anderson will be one of the contest judges.

The event is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Migration Brewing, 2828 N.E. Glisan St.

Entry is free. Adults 21 and older will receive two drink tickets; nonalcoholic beverages also will be available. Grilled cheese samples and other snacks will be provided by Franz Bakery. Additional food and drinks may be purchased from Migration Brewing.

• Tickets are now on sale for the Portland International Beerfest, set for June 26-28 at Holladay Park in Northeast Portland.

The three-day festival will showcase 200 beers from 16 countries — specializing in rare, hard-to-find, exotic brews. Food will be on hand for purchase, and free entertainment will include pub games including darts, pingpong, croquet, cornhole, backgammon, checkers and chess.

Advance tickets are $35 and include 30 (4-ounce) beer tickets and a souvenir glass; online tickets are $20 and include 10 beer tickets and a glass.

For more: www.portland-beerfest.com

@jenmomanderson

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