Stay warm and dry and claustrophobic under the big tent. Take the Max or bus home after you enjoy too many beers with too high an alcohol content and too much cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg (and then share your drunken transit adventure on TriMet Diaries!).
Actually, there are lots of beer choices besides spiced winter ales, as you can see on the official 2010 Holiday Ale Festival Beer List, but be careful: almost everything is strong. You’re also compelled to drink at least 10 samples (that’s 40oz) because to attend you are required to purchase a [bah humbug!] “tasting package”, instead of a tasting mug and the number of sample tokens you want.
The $25 tasting package ($20 + $2.60 “ticket fee” in advance) includes a mug [bah humbug – previous years’ mugs not permitted], 10 beer tickets and a wristband that you can use to get in “free” for the whole 5 days of the festival [bah humbug – does anyone really do this? – the wristband must be left on “no exceptions”, so no removing it for sleeping or bathing]. Additional tasting tickets are a $1 each. No kids at this festival, must be over 21 to enter the tent.