Monday, July 19, 2010

A look at beers to try at the Oregon Brewers Festival 2010

Looking over the list for the Oregon Brewers Festival here are a few of the beers I'm want to try (or retry).  I was told that this is too long a list, but too long a list is better than no list at all. This is in no particular order:
  1. Boulevard Brewing Co. - Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale - This very tasty Saison, which is part of the Smokestack Series (the first and only beer of the series on draft so far), is brewed with citrusy Amarillo hops. I know I'll be having a least one.
  2. Boundary Bay Brewery - German Tradition Double Dry Hopped Pale Ale - This beer was brewed especially  for the OBF so I'll be interested to see how it turned out. 
  3. Golden Valley Brewery - Festival Kolsch - I like a good clean Kolsch which can be hard to pull off. I haven't had this from Golden Valley yet but everything I've had from them has been solid, so it's worth a try.
  4. Goose Island Beer Co. - Sofie - Had it in the bottle before and I look forward to trying this on tap as I've said, I enjoy a good Saison. 
  5. Flying Fish Brewing Co. - Exit 4 - A Tripple hopped with Simcoe, Columbus, Amarillo, and Palisade. All hops that I really dig. Looking forward to trying.
  6. Ballast Point Brewing - Sculpin IPA (Buzz Beers) - We have no shortage of good IPAs here in Beervana but this IPA is a tasty change of pace. San Diego style IPAs are very tasty too!
  7. Grand Teton Brewing Co - Tail Waggin Double White Ale - (Buzz Beers) - A Double White Ale from Grand Teton's Cellar Reserve line-up of beers that are usually bottle in 750ml bottles. Worth a try.
  8. Sprecher Brewing Co - Mai Bock - I've enjoyed some beer from Sprecher Brewing. I can't remember if I this was one of them. Always up for a good Maibock! Need to try this one.
  9. Summit Brewing Co - Summit Horizon Red Ale - I've always had solid beers from Summit Brewing. Some of which I have found to be outstanding. Six hop additions using Summit, Horizon, Amarillo hops. Sounds tasty.
  10. Surly Brewing - Bitter Brewer - I always look forward to trying something new from Surly. And we need more session beers in our lives period!
  11. Surly Brewing - Four Anniversary Beer (Buzz Beers) - I told you I liked Surly. This beer is best described as an Iced Double Espresso Imperial Stout. Flavors of coffee, chocolate, and smokey roast malt. 
  12. Upright Brewing - Single Cask Anniversary Ale  (Buzz Beers) - I don't know much about this beer, but knowing Alex Ganum, it's going to be good! [Update: It's the Gin-Barrel Age Apricot Anniversary Ale! Sweet, I mean sour!]
  13. Cascade Brewing - Summer Gose - Back on to session beers. Gose beers are traditionally with a coriander, a little salt, and typically a lactic finish. This beer has enough residual sugar to balance out the tartness. Great on a summer day!
  14. Widmer Collaborator - Sunstone Pilsner - A German Pilsner with a Wallonian Farmhouse twist? Hopped with Tattanger Hops. I'm interested.
  15. The Bruery - Oude Tart (Buzz Beers) - I like where they are going with brewing at The Bruery. This sound like a great sour beer. Pretty big at 7.5% abv. too.
  16. Terminal Gravity Brewing - Single Hop Double IPA - Single hopped with Columbus hops. Yes please.
  17. Lucky Labrador Brewing Co. - Barrel Aged Son of Old Yeller (Buzz Beers) - It can be easy to overlook a local brewpub like Lucky Lab sometimes, but this beer was one of my favorites at the Lucky Lab Barleywine Festival this year.
  18. New Belgium Brewing Co. - Imperial Berliner Weisse (Buzz Beers) - Yes Imperial Berliner Weisse is an oxymoron like saying big little beer. I'm willing to see if this beer works out.
  19. Oakshire BrewingBarrel Aged Very Ill Tempered Gnome (Buzz Beers) - Oakshire is doing some really great things these days under the direction of Matt Van Wyk. This beer is no execption!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Portland International Beer Festival

It's PIB time again which just adds to huge number of events taking place this weekend. The festival started Friday afternoon and is going through today (Sunday).  In the past I have really enjoyed this festival and although this year I was less excited about the international beers.  You see, the beers from around here are what I really get buzzed about (bad pun intended). Once again the local beers did not disappoint me. Cascade Brewing had a solid line up of "mystery" sours and as of yesterday Double Mountain still had Molten Lava (IIPA) and 2010 Devil's Kriek (sour ale made with fresh cherries).

Don't get me wrong, there were some good imported beers at the festival as well, but most of them wasn't worth the price of a 4 oz. sample, in my opinion. Especially since they are mostly all available at one of the many fine bottle shop/beer bars around town at a much more palatable price point.

Among the festival "bargains" were great beers like Deschutes  Jubel 2010 (and then replaced by '09 Mirror Mirror) and Sierra Nevada '08 Bigfoot for 1 ticket. There were quite a few more 1 ticket gems but those are the one that come to mind.

I ended up going Friday until the crowds got to be too much and then again on Saturday because I had tickets left. It was not too crowded on Saturday until mid-afternoon at which point I had to leave anyway. Luckily we are having great weather to help us celebrate another PIB.  Overall, I had good time with great friends. But if I were going just for the beer I might have been somewhat disappointed.

Speaking of which, of course there were other problems. Check out Beervana and It's Pub Night blogs for some more coverage. They both touch on more of the problems going on with the festival. Hopefully the PIB will address these issues in the future.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Brewery in Green Dragon

Not long ago I learned from the Green Dragon's Facebook (they posted about it on the 10th) and from sources within the Green Dragon that a new brewery has started in the pub as a separate entity called Buckman Brewing. The brewery is named after the Buckman neighborhood where the Green Dragon resides.

The brewery is being managed by Joe Mattoon and the head brewer is John Couchout who was previously with Rogue as a Master Distiller down in Newport.  Buckman Brewing's first beer will be a Chamomile Ale and should be released around July 22nd according to Mattoon.

That's all the information I have at this point. I look forward to trying some of their beers and see what direction they take with new brewery.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Saraveza’s First Ever IIPA Fest

Some info on a fun event at one of my favorite bars, Saraveza!
WED July 14- SUN July 18: Over 30 IIPA’s in 5 days!  Brewers, new beer and tastings every night.  Flights of 5 all week long! Sponsored by Brewpublic.  We’re giving out limited tickets for aFREE Saraveza 32oz jar (redeemable at the festival) which can be filled w/ IIPA to take home anytime during the festival at a special discounted price!Pick one up at Saraveza NOW-while supplies last. 
Meet the Brewers & their IIPAs! Nightly, 7pm:

WED 14: Laurelwood & Beer Valley
SAT 17: 7 Brides & Widmer
SUN 18: GORGE NIGHT! Walking Man, Double Mountain & Everybody’s Brewing
    • 7 Brides “Frankenlou’s”
    • Alameda “Yellow Wolf”
    • Avery “Maharaja”
    • Bear Republic “Racer X”
    • Beer Valley “Black Madness”
    • Beer Valley “Leafer Madness”
    • Blue Frog
    • Dogfish Head “90 Minute”
    • Double Mountain “Molten Lava”
    • Everybody’s Brewing “Big Brother” (DEBUT on 7/18)
    • Gilgamesh “Mega Monster” (DEBUT)
    • Great Divide “Hercules”
    • He’Brew “Lenny’s R.I.P.A.” Rye
    • HUB “Ace”
    • HUB “Evelyn Sunshine”
    • HUB “Galactic”
    • Lagunitas “Hop Stoopid”
    • Laurelwood “Green Mammoth” (2010 DEBUT on 7/14)
    • Lazy Boy
    • Lucky Lab “Super-Duper Dog”
    • Mad River
    • Mendocino
    • Mikkeller “I Beat yoU”
    • Ninkasi “Tricerahops”
    • Oakshire Glenn’s “Hop Vice”
    • Oskar Blues “Gordon” Red
    • Pike
    • Russian River “Pliny the Elder”
    • Southern Tier “Hoppe” Extra Pale
    • Southern Tier “Oaked Unearthly”
    • Southern Tier “Unearthly”
    • Speakeasy “Double Daddy”
    • Victory “Hop Wallop”
    • Walking Man “Big Phat Homo” (dry-hopped in the keg)
    • Widmer “Deadlift”

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The New School and mixologist/writer Jacob Grier present: Brewing up Cocktails

This came in yesterday from our friends over at The New School Brew Blog. This should be a fun event!

********************FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE********************

The New School and mixologist/writer Jacob Grier present: Brewing up Cocktails

Saturday July 17 3-7pm
The Hop and Vine

1914 North Killingsworth Street
Portland, Oregon 97217
For too long craft beer and spirits have remained separate entities only crossing in the occasional shot with a beer back. With Portland's well established craft beer culture and the rise of craft distilleries it is only right that these two should meet again with more tasty results.
While writers like Stephen Beaumont have been pioneering the blending of spirits and beer for awhile most lovers of either drinks are not familiar with what you can do when marrying them. 
The New School, a newish beer blog/webmag has teamed up with experienced bartender/mixologist/writer and Bols Genever Brand Ambassador Jacob Grier to put on an event for Oregon Craft Beer Month aimed at turning beer drinkers on to the world of blending and spirits and vice versa.
On the menu for the party Saturday July 17 3-7pm is a unique line up of cocktails but I want to highlight one in particular the:
1. Cascadian Revolution
is a drink inspired by the recent rise of a new style of craft beer, the Cascadian Dark Ale or Black IPA. The beer style attempts to marry the qualities of NW IPA's in their citrusy and piney hop character and the dark roasted malt character of a Porter or Stout. The overall goal being for the beer to appear dark brown or black but taste deceivingly lighter and carry a dank, citrus fruit, pine hop notes.
The name Cascadian Dark Ale was proposed by Portland based beer writer Abraham Goldman-Armstrong who realized that the brewers who created the style were all based in the Republic of Cascadia. More info on that here:
In creating the Cascadian Revolution cocktail we attempted to keep the goals of the beer style intact while creating something that you could only get out of a cocktail. The Cascadian Revolution uses local Clear Creek Distilleries Douglas Fir Eau de Vie in honor of the official tree featured on the flag of the Republic of Cascadia the Douglas Fir, it is complemented by a splash of Grand Marnier to bring out more of the orange citrus fruit so often associated with NW hops, for beer we chose to useDeschutes Brewing from Bend, OR's new Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale. These 3 ingredients are shaken and served in a martini glass and finally finished with the secret ingredient, a drop of pure Hop Oil.
Also on the menu is Stephen Beaumont's...
2. Green Devil. This drink is a strong one and is sure to kick some's ass in the middle of summer but it is too good not to share. Involving a glass rinse of Absinthe, 1oz of Gin and topped of with a bottle of crisp Belgian Golden ale Duvel.
Dry, fruity, spicy, sweet, boozy: all those words describe the resulting cocktail.
3: A drink based upon the current hot trend in the beer world Sour Beer. This cocktail will use one of the original makers of sours the Cantillon brewery and their Classic Organic Gueuze. The beer is made from a blend of 1, 2 and 3 year old oak barrel aged lambics. Mixed with Blackberry Liqueur, Gin, with 2 rocks and garnished with a fresh Blackberry.
4. An unnamed exclusive beer from local Upright Brewing's vault makes up the final cocktail.
Upright Brewing is known for their experimental farmhouse ales and this one is no different. Using the 'Four' a farmhouse wheat beer that is open fermented they then aged the beer in Hungarian Oak barrels with fresh Yarrow flowers and Rose Petals.
The cocktail marries those unique ingredient with Bols Genever Gin and Farigoule (a Thyme liqueur) to really make a refreshing and dry botanical blend.

For more information, photos etc. you can contact me,
Ezra Johnson-Greenough
The New School