Check Out These Fall Music Festivals and Events in the Unit…


From New York to California, there’s a robust schedule for all music tastes. Rockers, hip-hop heads and everyone else will find a place for themselves somewhere at one of these festivals.

Some festivals offer much more than music. There’s food, activities, camping grounds and other extras which enhance the whole experience. Check out these music festivals and events in the United States.

Global Citizen Festival – New York

This important festival on Sept. 23 isn’t just about entertainment. It’s a rallying cry for an end to poverty, world hunger and climate change. Hundreds of people will convene on the Great Lawn in Central Park. Among the artists performing this year are Lauryn Hill and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Power Trip – California

If you’re a metalhead, check out this rock festival Oct. 6 to Oct. 8. It takes place at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The opening performers are Guns N’Roses and Iron Maiden. ACDC and Judas Priest perform Oct. 7. Tool and Metallica close out the party on Oct. 8.

You could book a hotel or an Airbnb, but camping on the grounds is worth considering. You can pitch a tent on the grass, bring your RV or book a lodge at Lake Eldorado.

The Rock Orchestra – New York

Some like classical music. Others like rock. This event creatively fuses the two, ensuring an amazing performance for those at The Palladium in Times Square.

On Nov. 18, an orchestra performs classical renditions of songs by Rammstein, Evanescence and System of a Down, among others.

The atmosphere’s dark ambiance is enhanced by the candles on the stage and the floating lanterns.

The Moonshiner’s Ball – Kentucky

If Bluegrass and funk are your speed, mark your calendar. The Moonshiner’s Ball takes place in Livingston, Kentucky on Oct. 12 to Oct. 15.

The festival’s unofficial tagline is “folk by day and funk by night,” which is reflected in the lineup. Outside of the great music, take part in the kayaking, canoeing and camping opportunities.

If you’re going for the first time, bear in mind that no alcohol will be served on site. You’ll have to bring your own.

Hulaween – Florida

This exciting festival returns to Live Oak, Florida for its 10th year. The dates are Oct. 26 to Oct. 29, and there are payment plans available if needed. As for the lineup, it’s all over the place, and that’s by design.

The 4-Day passes and VIP passes afford access to all four days of the festival. There’s also camping included, and the level depends on the pass you purchase.

If you need a car pass, buy the Witch, Goblin, Vampire or Zombie packages. There are no single-day passes available.

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One dead, several injured as car hits pedestrians in


One person has died and several others have been injured after a car ploughed into pedestrians and two other vehicles in Melbourne’s CBD.
The offending driver is in police custody after his car struck several people at the corner of Bourke and Swanston Street before hitting the other vehicles near Russell and Bourke Streets about 6pm on Friday, police said.
The driver, a 26-year-old man from Melton West, was arrested at the scene and taken into police custody, Superintendent Zorka Dunstan said, confirming a person in one of the hit cars had died.
“I can assure the community that there is no ongoing threat and the area will remain closed while the investigation continues,” she said at the scene.
“At this early stage there’s nothing to suggest any terror links.”
Supt Dunstan said two officers who were nearby had quickly arrested the man who was sitting on top of his car.
She said he was known to police through “mental health interactions” and he was undergoing a mental health assessment on Friday night.
Online footage shows the driver being led away by police and at least three badly damaged cars at an intersection.
Supt Dunstan said three pedestrians who were hit at a tram stop were taken to hospital with minor injuries and two people in the other hit car also suffered minor injuries.
“We’re just grateful that we had that quick arrest and there were no further injuries,” she said.
Supt Dunstan said police were grateful to bystanders who came to the aid of the injured.
The streets of Melbourne were packed on Friday night ahead of Carlton’s blockbuster AFL clash against Sydney at the MCG.
Many people were seen standing around the crash scene in apparent shock.
Six people were killed and dozens more injured after James Gargasoulas drove into a busy Bourke Street Mall in January 2017.
Bourke Street from Swanston Street through to Exhibition Street has been closed and people have been urged to avoid the area.

Yarra Trams has suspended all trams along Bourke and Swanston streets.

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Billy & The Kids Announce Capitol Theatre ‘Daze Of The


Billy & The Kids will reconvene for a two-night stay at The Capitol Theatre in October for a run dubbed Daze of the Dead. Set for October 21st and 22nd, the Grateful Dead-centric supergroup teased that this was part one of a coast-to-coast engagement.

“I had so much fun going ‘Pier to Pier’ with the Kids last month, but now it’s time to pull into port — Port Chester, NY, that is — and drop anchor for two nights at ‘Peter Shapiro’s Deadhead Palace’, The Capitol Theatre!” Grateful Dead drummer and Billy & The Kids bandleader Bill Kreutzmann wrote on social media.

Bill The Drummer went on to extend an invitation to the Daze of the Dead parties and invited attendees to dress in costume “if the spirit moves.” As has become tradition, these shows will see the group comprised of Kreutzmann and his Kids Aron Magner (The Disco Biscuits), Tom Hamilton (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead), and Reed Mathis (Electric Beethoven) joined by some surprise special guests. “I’ll keep you guessing for now, but I’m just over the moon about them,” Bill teased.

“When we dance, we are all together, we are all one, and we are all very much alive,” Kreutzmann concluded. “This ‘Daze of the Dead’ trick is for New York but don’t you worry California – stay tuned for a special treat.”

Adding fuel to the speculation of more concerts, the post announcing The Capitol Theatre run is headed “PART I: TRICK”.

Tickets for the Billy & The Kids Daze of the Dead run at The Capitol Theatre are on sale now, accessible using the password “Trick”: night one | night two.

This announcement comes weeks after Billy & The Kids’ aforementioned Dead on the Pier two-night run in the port cities of Baltimore and New York City. Those shows, which featured Daniel Donato throughout, also saw the introduction of Kanika Moore and Sierra Hull to the extended B&TK family tree. Revisit Live For Live Music‘s full coverage of the Baltimore and NYC shows.

These upcoming concerts will also mark the band’s first since the untimely passing of frequent collaborator James Casey. The Trey Anastasio Band saxophonist passed away late last month following a two-year battle with colon cancer. During Billy & The Kids Baltimore and New York shows, the band encouraged donations to a GoFundMe for Casey’s medical bills, which will now also go toward his end-of-life costs.

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Bill Kreutzmann Announces Capitol Theatre Shows


After ending the summer with a pair of pier appearances in Baltimore and New York City, the legendary Grateful Dead backbeat and his posse of players, known as Billy & The Kids, have followed up and announced a two-night stand at the storied Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y. The shows are slated to take place on October 20 and 21 and represent the only tour dates on the calendar for this group of artists.

Rumors began to swirl late Thursday evening after a Tweet was shared via Billy & The Kids’ official account: “So… we went pier to pier. Up next, we’re thinking of maybe pulling into a port and kicking up our feet for two nights…. But what port?” The speculative statement ignited talk, particularly in the comments section, as fans threw out their choice of venue. 

The band turned around and confirmed the news this afternoon. Kreutzmann revealed that the impending stand will include accompaniment from frequent lineup contributors Tom Hamilton, Aron Magner, Reed Mathis, and unnamed guests. Most recently, on the road, the drummer invited Kanika Moore and Daniel Donato to join as special guests. 

In a post shared by Kreutzmann today, he wrote: “I had so much fun going ‘Pier to Pier’  with the Kids last month, but now it’s time to pull into port – Port Chester, NY, that is – and drop anchor for two nights at Peter Shapiro’s Deadhead Palace.”

So I’m inviting all of you to my East Coast ‘Daze of the Dead’ parties. Please dress in costume (if the spirit moves). @billykandthekids will be joined for both of these shows by some very special guests – I’ll keep you guessing for now, but I’m just over the moon about them,” he continued.

Kreutzmann concluded, “When we dance, we are all together, we are all one, and we are all very much alive. This ‘Daze of the Dead’ trick is for New York but don’t you worry California – stay tuned for a special treat.” 

A presale for Billy & The Kids’ Port Chester, N.Y., stand is underway. Learn more here.

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One dead, five hospitalised after man mows down


One person is dead and five others are hospitalised after a driver allegedly ran over several pedestrians before colliding with two vehicles in Melbourne’s CBD. 

Victoria Police Superintendent Zorka Dunstan told reporters a white Toyota sedan hit three people near a tram stop at the intersection of Bourke and Swanston Streets – an area closed to vehicle traffic – at about 6.20pm on Friday.

All three were taken to hospital with minor injuries. 

She said the driver then collided with a Hyundai and Mazda at the intersection of Bourke and Russell Streets, killing one person. 

“The driver of the Hyundai is deceased and the occupants of the Mazda have been transported to hospital with minor injuries,” she said on Friday night. 

Supt Dunstan said the two occupants in the Mazda were an Uber driver and their passenger. 

She said two officers rushed out of Melbourne East Police Station on Bourke Street and swiftly arrested the alleged offender, who was on the roof of his vehicle. 

“A 26-year-old male from Melton West is currently in custody and he is undergoing a mental health assessment,” she said. 

“The man is known to police, he is recorded with us for some mental health interactions.”

Friday’s tragic incident occurred on the same street as the 2017 car massacre, where James Gargasoulas was jailed after deliberately driving into pedestrians.

He killed six people and seriously injured a further 27.  

Supt Dunstan, however, assured residents there were no suggested links to terrorism at this point in their investigations. 

Shocking footage of the incident emerged on social media and showed a number of people on the ground while others rushed to help. 

Crowds of people lined the streets with emergency services all on the scene. 

“In any of these situations it’s obviously critical that we get assistance where we can, we’re obviously very grateful to the people who rendered assistance,” Supt Dunstan said. 

Police have closed off Bourke Street from Swanston Street through to Exhibition Street, as well as Russell Street from Collins Street to Lonsdale Street. The area will be blocked off throughout the night as officers investigate. 

“I can assure the community, there is no ongoing threat to the community,” Supt Dunstan said.

Anyone with dash cam footage or information is urged to contact police on Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at

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Sugar Hill Music Festival seeks to preserve Harlem history


NEW YORK (PIX11) – The Sugar Hill Music Festival is taking place this weekend in Harlem, and it’ll be paying tribute to a Black music pioneer who played alongside Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk.

Jazz saxophonist Coleman Hawkins was a star soloist who honed his skills in Harlem, where his legacy will now be on permanent display due to the work of cultural historian Karen Taylor.

Watch the video player for more on this story.

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Longtime publisher of The Reader is ready to close the


John Heaston opens the door to a brick warehouse next to Johnny’s Cafe in South Omaha and walks through rooms holding his life’s work.

“It’s kind of a hot mess,” says the 52-year-old longtime publisher of Omaha’s alternative newspaper, The Reader.

Here’s a garage bay holding  two dozen empty green newspaper boxes emblazoned with the word, “FREE.” Here are floor-to-ceiling shelves stacked with yellowing copies of The Reader and El Perico, a separate publication that Heaston owns and has, since the pandemic, co-published in the same tabloid-style product as The Reader. 

Sticky notes scribbled with years like 1998, 2012 and 2016 aim to bring some order to the chaos of the last three decades. Headlines about the latest “CD” review or Ranch Bowl show or wacky trend or controversial city issue take a visitor through Omaha history. The J. Doe civic art project statues. A then-new album by Modest Mouse. The band 311. Dubious landlords. TIF.

Heaston had spent months organizing and preparing to end an effort that began in the halcyon Gen X grunge days of the early 1990s, when he was a college student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. 

Heaston had wanted to shine a light on Omaha culture, nightlife, and issues he felt were ignored. He had wanted to give voice to a host of writers outside the mainstream press, and, later in his career, focus on communities that wanted their own news coverage. (I was one of those writers when Heaston’s newspaper was called Sound News and Arts. Heaston, the older brother of a high school friend, let me get my first Omaha byline in an embarrassingly overwritten piece on alternative theater. Heaston is currently consulting for Flatwater.)

Like the fading copies before him, Heaston had considered his own body’s wear. A leukemia diagnosis in 2020, a bone marrow transplant in 2022 and a prognosis of more future treatment made him announce in late May that the monthly Reader/El Perico was ending. Its last issue printed Thursday.

Unless someone buys the operation — Heaston said recently he was “still talking” to a prospect — this marks the end of an era of alternative news for Omaha and a mainstay on local bar counters and coffee shop tables. The Reader archives will live on at its website and, eventually, the Omaha Public Library.

Heaston and his flagship publication have faced the same headwinds battering legacy news outlets. Like them, The Reader changed. It moved partly online, shrunk in size, went from a weekly print edition to monthly, figured out how to scrape by as print advertising and classified ads disappeared.

The public is consuming news in kaleidoscopic fashion, grabbing bits and shards from online outlets as newspaper corporations slash their newsrooms and cable TV falters. Alternative newspapers that sprang up in the 1960s have shrunk and some big names have disappeared or, like the Village Voice, are a shadow of what they were. 

But the Army brat who was born in Germany and raised in four other states until landing in Omaha to attend Creighton Prep had found a way to keep The Reader going. 

It’s his health, he said, not the topsy-turvy industry, that has led him to stop the presses.

“I’m feeling good. Right now I’m fine,” Heaston said in late July. “The thing about cancer is, you never know. In my case, there’s definitely going to be some heavier treatments coming.”

Later this month, he will travel to New York City to speak with the foremost expert in his type of cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Those who have worked with Heaston describe a hard-driving ideas man who both charms with a buoyant charisma and frustrates with a constant on-switch that makes keeping up difficult. Even so, he has an uncanny ability to mobilize support around the mission of journalism.

“John has a million ideas, so he’s like, ‘Oh, I‘m going to be dealing with a bone marrow transplant but also trying to start a new nonprofit and program,” said Chris Bowling, a 27-year-old news reporter first hired on at the The Reader part time with this wage supplement: Heaston offered a low-cost rent in a house his great-great-grandparents built on South 12th Street.

Bowling, who had worked as investigative reporter, ad copy salesman and as The Reader’s likely final news editor, said Heaston “saddles people with a lot of work. … But he really has this unbridled belief that if we work really hard we can get this done.”

The payoff, for Bowling, was investigative projects like one he’d done on landlords running afoul of city housing codes. He was proud of the reaction it garnered, which told him the story mattered.

Terri Sanders, owner and publisher of the Omaha Star, had served on a board named for the newspaper’s late founder, Mildred D. Brown, with Heaston. She respects him despite clashing with him on a couple issues – like publication schedule.

“Just lately John called me,” she said. “He said, ‘I owe you an apology.’ I did appreciate that.”

In an essay he wrote for Editor & Publisher in March, Heaston gave a similar account.

“When MAWGs get out of the way,” he wrote, using an acronym for middle-aged white guys, “great things can happen … Publisher Terri D. Sanders has opened a number of new revenue streams I couldn’t have imagined. Again, I’m the one learning.”

Heaston had not planned on becoming a journalist. He’d partied away a scholarship at a private university in Texas, tried “the ski bum thing” in Colorado and wound up at UNO, where he became director of student programming. 

He loved events, and Omaha’s alternative music scene in the early 1990s was on the rise with the seeds of what would become the Saddle Creek Records explosion. Bright Eyes. Cursive. The Faint. 

“There was, like, this cultural moment in Omaha where there was a lot of music that had no place to go,” Heaston said. “There was just no place for local bands to play back then.”

Heaston became familiar with smaller venues. When the audience grew, he tried booking the 1,400-capacity Sokol Hall for New Year’s Eve 1990 and was turned away. The reason? It was closing. 

He was told the building, dating to 1926, had fire hazards and needed over $1 million in repairs. Rumor had it a McDonald’s was going in.

Heaston couldn’t believe Omaha would lose such a landmark. He called a tip into the Omaha World-Herald.

In 1991, the newspaper ran a story proclaiming that the old Bohemian-built polka hall and gymnastics venue was “Czeching out.” It seemed like an obituary.

Heaston complained to anyone who would hear. 

Someone said, “You should do your own paper.” This was the seed. 

Heaston was aware of the alternative press (courtesy of a Grateful Dead show), and got help from a couple Creighton University student journalists. 

In 1992, he produced his first issue of a first alternative newspaper, Sound News and Arts. It was a nonprofit, volunteer-run collective that printed monthly.

Meanwhile, Heaston had gotten a second fire inspection at Sokol Hall, and it turned out the venue didn’t need expensive repairs. It stayed open and today operates as The Admiral.

Sound was successful, but the all-volunteer-staff started graduating from college and disappearing.

Several businessmen approached Heaston about keeping the effort going because they saw an advertising winner. Omaha, at the time, was among just two major U.S. cities without an alternative newspaper. 

John Heaston, longtime publisher of The Reader, speaks at an Earth Day event in Omaha. Provided by Lori Umstead

In 1993, Heaston wrapped his fall semester at UNO and dropped out of college, nine credits short of a finance degree with a black studies minor. 

In 1994, the group launched The Reader.

“At the time all of a sudden we were this print media that would reach the young people,” Heaston said. 

Ad sales were brisk. 

“We just took off,” he said. “As the music scene started taking off even more, the culture scene started taking off even more.”

For two years, Heaston worked overnights at a group home for developmentally delayed adults to pay the bills. He did the newspaper’s operation work during the days. By 1996, The Reader could stand alone as a weekly alternative newspaper. Heaston started taking a paycheck. 

The Reader began attracting trained, professional journalists who weren’t fitting into other legacy outlets. Heaston’s role was Swiss Army Knife: news reporter, editor, publisher, owner.

In 1999, one of Heaston’s business partners who had a majority stake in the company bought out Heaston’s shares. Heaston was out. 

He started a different alternative, the Omaha Weekly.

Then in 2002, Heaston bought back The Reader and merged it with the Omaha Weekly. 

At the time, according to a World-Herald report, The Reader was a 14-employee operation with a 25,000-paper Tuesday press run then handed out for free. The Omaha Weekly was a five-employee operation with a subscription and handout circulation of 16,000. It published on Wednesdays. 

“Such an era,” said local food writer Summer Miller, who worked there as a writer and editor in the early 2000s.

Miller, now a cookbook author, recalled how Heaston could mobilize a team around a cause and just start things, like the Omaha Arts and Entertainment Awards. 

“He’s an ideas person,” she said. “Even if he’s only executed on a small fraction of the millions of ideas he had and visions and dreams, they’ve all been placed to make Omaha better.”

Miller covered hard news beats for The Reader including cops, courts and the city. When she pitched a food column, Heaston went with it. Media consumption habits have changed considerably since then, she said.

Miller credited The Reader for lasting so long.

“That says something about our community and wanting that information and John’s grit and desire to provide (it) to people,” she said.

Heaston became more involved in publications that served minority communities. 

In 2004 he purchased El Perico from Marcos Mora, who had launched the Spanish-English publication in 1999 to serve Nebraska’s quickly growing Spanish-speaking population.

“It wasn’t like anybody got rich or anything,” said Mora, executive director of Cinco de Mayo Omaha. “His love for journalism, that’s what resonated with me. Keeping that alive. He’s very sincere in his love for that, getting different people to report and do stories.”

As print ad revenue began to dry up, he diversified funding, buying, an online jobs board, in 2005 and developed a search engine optimization and marketing consulting business.

John Heaston dressed as the El Perico Parrot and his father Bill at the Cinco de Mayo parade. Provided by Lori Umstead

In recent years, Heaston took on leadership roles at the Association for Alternative Newsmedia, which he led during the pandemic. And he formed collaborations with the national Black and Hispanic press organizations. He was instrumental in helping secure Google News Initiative funding.

Casey Pallenik, news industry relations manager for the Google News Initiative, said Heaston stood out among other national news industry leaders for his creativity in collaborating across publication audiences and for his doggedness.

“He had no problem texting, any time of the day or night,” she said. “He has done everything he possibly can to advocate … and help others.”

Michelle Hassler, associate professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications, said Heaston epitomizes “what we should be doing” in being innovative and inclusive in journalism.

“Alternative media does have a lesser reach but it was a really important cog in the whole Omaha and even, I would say, Nebraska media (system),” she said. “It was working. He was trying new things, trying new journalism, and really making a mark.”

In 2020, Heaston’s father, Bill, died of cancer. The pandemic hit. Heaston himself, who had been feeling unwell, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, which is a largely survivable cancer until, for him, it wasn’t. 

His medications quit working in 2021 and he developed a mutation that made his type of cancer aggressive and resistant. He documented this in The Reader, charting an arduous ordeal that at times meant 40 pills a day, weight loss, and having the precarious immune system of a newborn. The bone marrow transplant brought better health but he’s not out of the woods.

Through it all, Heaston remains buoyant despite stepping away from The Reader/El Perico to “future proof my life.” 

He’s bullish on the prospects for local news and alternative news. 

Yes, he said, a massive shift is underway in media production and consumption. He said legacy outlets are likely to keep shrinking. But this opens room to different forms of storytelling — by training journalists to serve as moderators and referees.

“Where journalism is going — the biggest stories of our life are broken with someone with a phone on the street,” he said. “Why can’t we help people tell their own stories? When we have a process to verify them, we can elevate them and make it a lot more useful for an audience, then we’ve got a pretty bright future.”

John Heaston is ending The Reader. But he is not out of ideas. 

The Flatwater Free Press is Nebraska’s first independent, nonprofit newsroom focused on investigations and feature stories that matter.

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Northbank Beer Week, celebrating SW Washington breweries,


Editor’s note: This is a re-publication of the The Oregonian/OregonLive’s weekly beer and cider newsletter, written by Oregonian/OregonLive’s Andre Meunier. To subscribe to have the newsletter delivered every Thursday at noon to your email inbox, go to and sign up for Oregon Brews and News.


I had lunch a couple of weeks ago with a friend who has lived in Northeast Portland for quite a while. Our third party suggested Grains of Wrath Brewing (sorry to do this, pal), and when we got there my friend admitted to never having been to Camas. I was like, what?? Another lifelong Portlander friend told me he had been into Vancouver MAAAAAYBE nine or 10 times in his life but couldn’t really remember being there except passing through on I-5.

I said to them, you guys realize Clark County is literally like a quarter mile across a river from Portland, right? So if you’re one of those people who still sees Vancouver as Vantucky, come on, head across the river. I get the traffic deterrent, but it’s 20 extra minutes out of your life, and despite what you’ve heard about the bridge, it hasn’t fallen in over 100 years of use. I speak from personal experience that you’ll be amazed at what you discover. For starters, there’s the region’s coolest new gathering spot, The Vancouver Waterfront, full up with winery tasting rooms, Ruse Brewing’s Crust Collective, the Waterfront Taproom, some sweet restaurants (including a new El Gaucho), hotels and boutiques (OK, admittedly the $16 milkshake is a bit much). And then there’s the breweries.

With all deserved respect to Portland breweries, Clark County’s brewers are doing some amazing work. In a blind test, you won’t be able to discern what side of the river you’re on when drinking the likes of Brothers Cascadia, Vice Beer, Fortside, Trap Door, the aforementioned GOW, 54-40 and Victor-23, plus OGs like Heathen and Loowit. These breweries are among the more than 25 celebrated at the seventh annual Northbank Beer Week, which starts today at 3Peaks Public House & Taproom in Ridgefield, just off Interstate 5. The breweries range from North Jetty Brewing on the Washington coast to Backwoods in the gorge, Everybody’s in White Salmon, and Dick’s Beer in Centralia to the north.

You’ll be able to try many of them at the Kickoff patio party tonight at 3Peaks, 24415 N.E. 10th Ave., Ridgefield, along with merch and food. Other events include the Brewing Bridges Collaboration Fest, Attack of the Killer Heirloom Tomatoes & Lager Invitational, Paper Airplane Races and Pinewood Beer Can Derby Races. Find all of the events, which run through Saturday, Sept. 15, and tickets at or at its Facebook page, though tonight’s opening event is free and starts at 5 p.m.

Rev. Nat’s Hard Cider closing with a celebration

Another closure. This one of the gut punch variety.

Founder Nat West this week said he is shutting down his Rev. Nat’s Hard Cider at the end of September. If Portland has an iconic cidermaker and cider, they’re West and Rev. Nat’s, which has been around for 12 years and has been a pioneer and innovator in the cider community not just in this city, but in the nation.

It’s even harder to swallow because just six months ago, West opened a new taproom in Southeast Portland off of Division Street and was ready to come back from the beating the pandemic put on Rev. Nat’s and its expansion plans. That taproom was doing OK, he said, but not OK enough, and the future looked like things could get tight. He decided to pull the plug before it got too rough.

But he’s not in mourning — publicly, anyway. He’s asking the public to come out and celebrate with him at a closing-down party on Saturday, Sept. 23, the penultimate day of operations. He implored fans of the brand to celebrate the company with him.

“Please don’t be sad!” he wrote announcing the closure on Instagram. “We’ve had an incredible run and I met so many amazing people and shared so many wonderful experiences. It’s been the best job I’ve ever had.”

He said the going-away event would be a way to “celebrate all the amazing ciders and great people who have contributed to our incredible successes.”

After the announcement, I was in touch with Portland-based beverage author Jeff Alworth, who a decade ago wrote the book Cider Made Simple as cider began to grow in popularity in the U.S. He wrote about the closure in his Beervana blog on Tuesday, saying Rev. Nat’s was “on the leading edge of experimentation” among today’s cider-makers. And he called Rev. Nat’s “one of a handful of companies that helped shape the way modern cider is made and consumed in the United States.”

Alworth gave me some good insight about West’s role in the development of modern cider, saying, “A decade ago cider was getting pulled in one direction by industrial cider makers who wanted to make it very bland, and in another by traditionalists who felt you needed to have orchards full of apples with funny names like frequin rouge. Nat injected the spirit of fun and whimsy into cider. And, because behind all that experimentation was a damn good cider maker, the results earned him a very passionate following.”

High praise from someone who would know. And another hard-to-swallow loss for the Portland-area fermentation community, coming on the heels of Laurelwood Brewing’s only remaining pub, Hammer & Stitch Brewing, Pono Brewing’s Brew Labs pub, Grains of Wrath Brewing’s North Portland pub, Ordnance Brewing of Boardman, Unicorn Brewing/Portland U-Brew, Ambacht Brewing of Hillsboro and Conspirator Beverage contract brewing in Clackamas. Add to that Brewery 26 being up for sale and Culmination Brewing having its troubles. Brutal.

You can read my full article on Rev. Nat’s closure here.

What to do (fun with freshies edition)

Here is a lineup of some upcoming fresh-hop beer festivals and events, ordered by date:

Function PDX: The Northwest Portland beer pop-up events space this month features Single Hill Brewing of Yakima, in the heart of hop country. The pop-up, “Harvest Away From the Hill,” is featured for Function’s Fresh Hop September and features more than 12 fresh hop beers in cans and on draft throughout the month. Events include the Brew Happy Podcast with Ty Paxton, owner of Single Hill, at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 11, a live set by DJ Vinnie Toma at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, and a fresh-hop takeover from Sept. 22-24. Here is the current draft list, but Looking Fresh Frozen Fresh Hop IPA and Fresh Luck FH IPA will both be on by the weekend:

  • Gratitud Harvest Lager
  • Air Support WC IPA
  • Groundswell Hazy IPA
  • Beach Cowboy Sour
  • Sightglass Hazy Pale Ale
  • Softly Falls Barrel Aged Stout

Function PDX is at 919 N.W. 23rd Ave.

Fresh Hop Pop-Up Beer Festival: The North Portland fresh-hop fest is returning for a 17-day season run at Prost! Marketplace on North Mississippi Avenue. This concept is an extended “pop-up” with free admission, no tickets, no wristbands and no special cups required. It features 10 daily rotating fresh-hop beers from the outdoor Bloodbuzz bar, under a covered and heated beer garden deck, surrounded by 10 food trucks. The festival hosts tap takeovers from top fresh-hop breweries plus themed nights celebrating regions, hop varieties and different beer styles. 8 a.m.-10 p.m. all 17 days, Sept. 15-Oct. 1; 4233 N. Mississippi Ave. More info at

Level Beer Fresh Hop American Summer, Volume 2: The Northeast Portland brewery throws a fresh hop festival of its own, with lawn games and merchandise packages, plus barbecue, vendors and live music. Level and 10 guest breweries will pour their beers out in the back bar area, and you can get all the details and tickets here. Noon-5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 16, 5211 N.E. 148th Ave.

Fresh Hopped Fest, McMenamins Wilsonville Pub. The second annual festival returns from noon-7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23. Tickets to the fest are $20 and include six tokens and a tasting glass; live music from MEEEB from 4-6 p.m.; all ages, over 21 to drink. Taps offer 10 McMenamins fresh-hop beers, including:

  • Thundercone Fresh Hop Pale Ale: From the fields of Oregon’s Sodbuster Farms that the brewery describes as having a “slight maltiness and an earthy, raw hop decadence.” 
  • Fresh Hop Hammerhead: With only one batch made this year, the brewery says “this delicate mixture of malted barley and fresh Cascade hops creates a familiar yet distinct flavor and aroma that its predecessor would be proud of.”

Oregon Brewers Guild’s Portland Fresh Hops Festival: The gathering celebrates its 19th anniversary at Southeast Portland’s Oaks Amusement Park at the end of September. The guild will release the next fresh-hop iteration of its State of Excitement Collaboration Series at the festival, which will be available on tap and to go. This year’s collaboration, brewed by Von Ebert Brewing, includes 24 participating guild member breweries. “Early Bird” tickets are available online until Sept. 10. You can find more information, plus prices and the list of participating breweries, at the guild website. Proceeds from the event benefit the nonprofit guild’s efforts to promote and protect the Oregon craft beer industry. 4-8 p.m. Sept. 29, noon-8 p.m. Sept. 30; Oaks Amusement Park, 7805 S.E. Oaks Park Way.

Hood River Hops Fest: The festival in Hood River returns for its 19th year, celebrating the fresh-hopped beers of the region. The family-friendly event features more than 30 breweries with more than 40 fresh-hop beers, plus food vendors, live music, and a collectible tasting glass. Held 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Columbia Lot between Fifth and Seventh streets in Hood River, you can get various ticket packages here (under 21 free admission, no alcohol).

Octoberfests ready to oompah

Here are some of your Oktoberfest options, also by date:

Chuckanut Oktoberfest 2023: Held at P. Nut Beer Hall in Southeast Portland from noon to close on Saturday, Sept. 9, this family friendly fall celebration includes lots of Chuckanut beer, food, games and contests. Get your arm muscles in shape for the liter holding and Hammerschlagen contests. Make sure your Bavarian gear still fits so you can enter the costume contest and get your vocal chords warmed up for the Yodeling contest. Chuckanut beer will include Fest Bier 2023, plus Kolsch, Dunkel Lager, Helles Lager, Bavarian IPA and Chuck Light Lager. 920 S.E. Caruthers St., Portland, and 11937 Higgins Airport Way, Burlington, Washington.

Steeplejack Brewing’s Oktoberfest weekend: The festival will be held all day Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 9-10, at the brewery’s original location, 2400 N.E. Broadway. Five festive German beers on tap, including the Vienna Style Oktoberfest, Helles, Kolsch, Altbier and Berliner Weisse. They will have food specials all weekend, a costume contest and stein holding competition on Saturday, with family friendly events on Sunday. (Also, Steeplejack this week began offering its Plumeria Cocktail, with $2 of each purchase being donated to the Maui Strong Fund. It is also hosting a school supply drive at all three of its pubs. Supplies collected at its Portland-based pubs will support the Schoolhouse Supplies, and supplies collected in Hillsboro will go to the Hillsboro School District.)

Johnstoberfest: Held at all three John’s Marketplace locations, with stein-holding contests, ceremonial keg tapping, music and general festivities. 2-7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, 3535 S.W. Multnomah Blvd., 3560 S.E. Powell Blvd., 3700 S.W. Hall Blvd., Beaverton. Tickets:; admission includes a custom glass mug, six 8-ounce drink tickets, a Zenner’s brat and a giant pretzel.

Mount Angel Oktoberfest: The big, long-running fest, which dubs itself “The Largest Folk Festival in the Northwest,” is held from Sept. 14-17 in the streets of Mount Angel. Featuring over 40 beers, multiple sodas, about 30 wines, several ciders and a couple of seltzers, plus more entertainment and food options than I could list here, but you can find all the details at

Octoberfest at Loyal Legion: Every year Loyal Legion brings out 25-ounce steins to really “lean into the big German beer energy,” and all Oktoberfest beers will be available in a stein for $8. They’ll also offer Octoberfest food specials. Saturday, Sept. 16, through Sunday, Oct. 3 at both the Southeast Portland and Beaverton locations. Get all the details at the Facebook event page.

Deadtoberfest, Montavilla Brew Works. The brewery plans this music, beer and food festival to be an annual event, starting with this year. Founder Michael Kora says he’s been wanting to hold an Oktoberfest event for several years, and now that the pandemic has waned considerably, the brewery is ready to throw another party. They’ve invited “The Weir Dose” to play a Grateful Dead tribute show, along MBW beers and German-style Bratwurst. All ages, 3-9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23.

Oktoberfest by Buoy Beer: This one-day event is full of beers, music, food and the  Stein-ly Cup stein-holding competition. Included will be new and favorites from Buoy Beer, collaborations with Obelisk Beer Co. and Ecliptic Brewing, and fresh-hopped beers flowing from taps into half- and full-liter steins. Plus water-pong and corn-hole tournaments, a costume contest, and activities for the kids. Details on Facebook. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23, Astoria Armory, 1636 Exchange St., Astoria.

Forest Grove: The third annual Oktoberfest Celebration will be held from 1-7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, on downtown Main Street in Forest Grove. This free family-friendly event offers live music on two stages with nine bands and performers, wiener dog races, stein races, a bounce house, hot-dog eating contest, costume contest and dunk tanks, plus more, including over 90 vendors. Visit for details.

Occidental Brewing: The North Portland brewery brings back its Oktoberfest for the first time since 2019. The all ages event will be held from noon-9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the brewery,  6635 N. Baltimore Ave. For beer drinkers, the cost is $12 for an Oktoberfest mug and one beer, with additional beers costing $6. Wine, cider and non-alcoholic drinks will be available as well. Live music all day, plus food from Urban German. The star of the show is Occidental’s Festbier, plus a full lineup of Occidental beers also available, including Fresh Hop Pilsner and three brews from the new Further Beer brand.

The Littlest, Teeny-Weeniest, Itsy-Bitsy, Tiniest, Oktoberfest in the World: Little Hop Brewing calls itself “the tiniest brewery with the tiniest tap house in Portland, Oregon,” and it’s holding its very own brand of Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 23. They will debut a special beer and will have a very limited amount of custom stoneware steins. Noon-7:30 p.m.; 4400 S.W. Garden Home Road. More details  @littlehopbrewing.

Widmer Brothers Oktofest: Welcome Widmer back to the craft beer fold by attending the 19th annual Oktofest in the Rose Quarter outside the Moda Center. Food, live music and Widmer beers offered. 11 a.m-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30. Open to all ages, 21+ for beer. Advance mug and beer token package is available for purchase online and includes one Oktofest commemorative mug (required for beer service) and three beer tokens. Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase on site.

Beer of the Week

A comic-book like beer label that's yellow, red and green mimicking Star Wars characters.

Sodbusted XI: The Book of Simcoe Fett – Fresh Hop IPA, Gigantic BrewingCourtesy of Gigantic Brewing

Sodbusted XI: The Book of Simcoe Fett – Fresh Hop IPA, Gigantic Brewing. Gigantic says its brewhouse was specifically designed to use whole hop flowers, and as a result its fresh-hop beers are made with hops at the peak of their ripeness, with less than 75 minutes passing from the field to the brewery. “These fresh beauties go straight into our hop back — 200 to 300 lbs for 15 barrels of beer,” the brewery says. “There are faster ways to release a fresh hop beer, but we think this method, and the subsequent wait, results in the best fresh hop beers we can make.” Sodbusted XI is being released today at Gigantic’s three locations, then you can find it distributed in the Portland area next week. Then Gigantic releases Strata Fresh Hop Hazy IPA aka “So Fresh” tomorrow, Fresh Hop Pilsner on Sept. 11 and Freshtoberfresh – Fresh Hop Oktoberfest Lager on Sept. 25.

New Releases of Note

Two cans of beer next to a glass of beer.

Barrel-aged Rindless Watermelon Gose, Hopworks BreweryCourtesy of Hopworks Brewery

Barrel-aged Rindless Watermelon Gose, Hopworks Brewery. This limited-run brew has spent six months aging in tequila barrels, resulting in a complex but refreshing sour. Brewery notes: “The tequila-derived earthiness and the oaky notes balance cleanly with the watermelon, lime and saltiness of the Gose.” Available while supplies last in 16-ounce 4-packs at retailers in Oregon and at Hopworks’ two pubs, Southeast 29th and Powell Boulevard in Portland and Southeast 177th Mill Plain Boulevard in Vancouver.

Blueberry POM Imperial Cider, Avid Cider. The Bend cidery says its non-imperial version of Blueberry Pomegranate Cider has been a long time favorite among Pacific Northwest cider enjoyers, so to meet the growing demand for Imperial cider options, they’ve made an imperial version for fall. Cidery notes: “A whirlpool of juicy blueberry flavor with just the right amount of refreshing pomegranate on the finish.” Find it and other Avid ciders at

Imperial Abbey Apple Cider, Portland Cider Co. This imperial upgrade, which joins the company’s year-round imperial lineup, is made with 100% Northwest apples fermented with Belgian ale yeast. Cidery notes: “A uniquely smooth cider with tropical notes and a bright, juicy finish.” Available on tap and in 12-ounce 6-pack cans at Portland Cider’s three locations and at retailers throughout Oregon, California and Colorado.

Fresh Hop Piwo and Electric Fields: Amarillo, Threshold Brewing & Blending. Fresh Hop Piwo is a Polish Pilsner brewed with fresh Simcoe hops, and it was tapped yesterday. Brewery notes: “Lemon citrus, floral, green.” Electric Fields: Amarillo will be tapped tomorrow at the brewery and is a fresh hop hazy IPA. Brewery notes: “Grapefruit, tropical, green.” They join Electric Fields: Centennial and Electric Fields: Strata, both West Coast IPAs that were tapped earlier and will be available at Threshold’s Fresh Hop Release Party tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 8, on tap and in cans. 403 S.E. 79th Ave.

Stratamacue IPA, Montavilla Brew Works. Using 100 pounds of fresh Strata hops, this IPA went on tap yesterday at the Southeast Portland brewery, 7805 S.E. Stark St., with cans coming next week. Brewery notes: “Big hits of grapefruit, mango, pineapple and some dank herbal notes. The bitterness is a bit more restrained, allowing the fresh-hop component to really shine.”

Fresh IPA, Fort George Brewery. This West Coast Single Hop IPA is brewed with fresh Centennial from Crosby Hop Farm and is being released tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 8, at the brewery, 1483 Duane St., Astoria, then distributed throughout the Pacific Northwest shortly after. It is the first of six fresh-hop beers the brewery is releasing for the start of fall, and you can sign up for Fort George’s weekly email for updates to the release schedule.

— Andre Meunier; reach me at or 503-221-8488; and sign up for my weekly newsletter Oregon Brews and News, and follow me on Instagram, where I’m @oregonianbeerguy.

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