Or more specifically, the Chowder Cup. It’s time for Portland’s seventh annual Chowder Challenge, and for the first time in event history, it’s certain that the defending chowder champion will be dethroned.

For five of the past six years, the New Old Lompoc on NW 23rd has reigned supreme in the PDX chowder-verse. Lompoc Brewing plays gracious host again this year with festivities at the Fifth Quadrant, another Lompoc family member location. But their winningest chowder is out of the running thanks to remodel of New Old: while it’s scheduled to re-open in May, they’ll miss this year’s chance to vie for the title they’ve long called their own.

This means that 12 would-be underdogs find themselves with a palpable shot at victory. Breakside Brewery, Buffalo Gap Saloon, Columbia River Brewing, D’s Bar, EaT Oyster Bar, Lompoc’s Fifth Quadrant, Fishbox, The Green Dragon, Ice Axe Grill, Salty’s on the Columbia, Tabor Tavern and Widmer Gasthaus are putting their all into perfecting their takes on traditional New England-style clam chowder for the big event. There, they’ll wait with bated breath for attendees to name 2013’s Chowder Champion. Second and third place chowders will also be recognized.

What to do? Head to the Fifth Quadrant. It’s free entry — with live music, raffle prizes, a kids’ play area and an amped-up beer garden promising copious specials. $10 buys you a 12-sample blind tasting tray and a vote in crowning the city’s best chowder. With the depth of the field, every last vote is going to count. All profits go to support Portland’s Community Transitional School for at-risk and homeless youth.

Saturday, February 23 || Noon—4:00 pm || Free entry, $10 tasting platter || Fifth Quadrant, 3901 N. Williams Ave., Portland ||For more information visit www.lompocbrewing.com