Friendstoberfest at Culmination Brewing celebrates friendships, craft beer collaborations and sausage

Culmination Brewing hosts Friendstoberfest Saturday, an all-day Portland beer festival to celebrate friendship, four German-style beer collaborations, sausages to go with those beers, and guest roosters.

Northeast Portland Brewery brews beers in collaboration with Southeast Portland’s Ruse Brewing, North Portland’s Widmer Brother’s Innovation Brewery, and two with Southeast Portland’s Threshold Brewing & Blending, one at each brewery.

Rev. Nat’s Hard Cider of Portland is also making an Oktoberfest-style cider for the festival, and Chuckanut Brewery of Washington, which has its P. Nut Beer Hall in southeast Portland, plans to participate with a festival beer.

The event grew out of the desire of Tomas Sluiter, co-founder of Culmination, to bring friends from the community and the beer industry together for an Oktoberfest celebration.

“The idea for Friendstoberfest was fittingly born with good friends Jarek and Sara Szymanski over beers,” said Sluiter. “The craft beer industry is unique in that we all have incredible support for each other. We’re not just competition, we’re family.”

Sluiter and his wife, Culmination co-founder April Sluiter, have developed friendships with people at each of the collaborating breweries, including the Szymanskis, after the couple co-founded Threshold Brewing & Blending in Southeast Portland in 2019.

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Sean Kalis and Devin Benware brewed with Tomas Sluiter at the Old Market Pub & Brewery in southwest Portland before the Sluiters opened Culmination, and then recruited Kalis and Benware to join the brewery. A few years later, Kalis and Benware went into business for themselves and opened Ruse.

Widmer and his development lab have long supported smaller breweries like Culmination, and Tomas Sluiter and Thomas Bleigh, managers of Widmer Innovation Brewery, have a long friendship.

Sluiter said Culmination wanted the breweries to collaborate on German-style beers and “also pay homage to the quintessence of beer food — wurst,” he said. He asked each brewery to contribute a sausage recipe, and each brewer submitted a family recipe or style to honor their personal heritage.

The collaboration’s beers and paired sausages include:


  • Beer: Kölsch Friends, a German-style Kölsch at 4.8% ABV hopped with Hallertauer Mittelfruh.
  • Sausage: A French sausage from Toulouse in homage to Benware’s French-Canadian heritage, made simply with black pepper, garlic and an addition of Berliner Weisse.
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  • Beer: Hanginwid Festbier, a classic golden lager at 6% ABV, brewed with German floor-malted Pilsner and Munich malts, with light toasty notes, spicy hop character and a clean finish.
  • Sausage: Jarek Szymanski, who grew up in Poland, offers a Polish sausage with lots of marjoram and garlic, made with Threshold Helles beer. He said it was a family recipe with an odor that brought him back to the family dinner table.


  • Beer: Dude bro wheat, an American wheat beer at 5.6% ABV, dry hopped with Saphir Hallertau Blanc and Amarillo hops.
  • Sausage: Bleigh, who is of German descent, submitted a classic German sausage with allspice and nutmeg and said it’s hard to find a more perfect combination than a German bratwurst and wheat beer.


  • Beer: Hanginwid Marzen, a German-style Marzen lager with 5.6% ABV – a copper-amber lager hopped with Hallertauer Mittelfruh hops.
  • Sausage: A smoked breast sausage blended with Boudin spices and Culmination’s Phaedrus IPA fresh hops. The sausage pays homage to Harlan Porterfield’s musical roots and his love of the New Orleans Jazz Festival and traditional Texas-style BBQ.

Porterfield’s HarBQ, which provides food service at Culmination, will prepare and cook all sausage recipes.

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The festival is sponsored by The Oregonian/OregonLive and its sister site, Here is Oregon. Oregon beer writer Andre Meunier will co-host the event with Steven Shomler, a travel and cooking journalist who founded the Culinary Treasure Network. And Elizabeth Wisler, an eclectic orchestral-style accordionist, will perform.

Bleigh said the festival was a culmination of “all the great things about beer”.

“It’s friends, food and beer,” he said, “and when you combine those three things together, you have an amazing opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and partake in all the things that are the quintessence of what one is.” Festival should be.”

when you go

  • What: Friendstoberfest, a one-day Oktoberfest
  • Where: Climax Brewing, 2117 NE Oregon St.
  • When: Noon-9pm Saturday 24th September.
  • Details: Watch a video of the brewers describing their creations; and more details on the Friendstoberfest Facebook page.

— André Meunier; Sign up for my weekly newsletter Oregon Brews and Newsand keep following me Instagram where I am @oregonianbeerguy.

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