Friday, February 25, 2011

Roscoe's Stout Summit - Tonight Friday, February 25th

It's time again for another beer summit at Roscoe's. This time they're featuring stouts! Here is the info via our friend Jeremy over at Roscoe's:

Roscoe's Stout Summit is coming up on Friday Feb 25th at 5PM. If you
are a stout-lover (or even if you aren't) come down and taste 12
amazing stouts on tap. Some of the Breweries (and beers will include):
Fort George (Badda Boom), Caldera (Old Growth Imperial Stout),
Oakshire (Heart Shaped Box), Nectar Ales (Brewed by Firestone Walker) (Black Xantus),
Deschutes (Mash Tun Madness), Double Mountain, Upright Brewing, Boneyard Beer, and

As always, there will be 5 ounce taster trays available so that you
can do some side-by-side tasting.

Sounds like a great line up! I'm planning on checking it out. Hope to see you there.

Monday, February 14, 2011

KLCC Microbrew Festival

KLCC 89.7 FM is a public radio station licensed to Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. With 81,000 watts of power, KLCC 89.7 FM is the most powerful public radio signal in Oregon.

KLCC serves more than 88,000 listeners each week within a 100 mile radius of Eugene. Besides our main transmitter in Eugene, we have translators in four communities throughout Western and Central Oregon (Cottage Grove, Oakridge, Riddle and Sisters), and five sister stations -- KLBR in Bend, KLFO in Florence, KLCO in Newport, KLFR in Reedsport, and KMPQ in Roseburg -- all broadcasting KLCC programming.
Ted and co. pouring the Mutt (I love delicious, fresh cask ale at a festival)

For the past 10 years KLCC has been hosting the Microbrew Festival at the Lane County Fairgrounds, continuing the tradition of the original Easter Seals fundraiser. Proceeds from the event benefit the listener supported public radio station. Entertainment included Ty Curtis Band and Jacob Merlin. 50+ breweries featured over 120 various beers and cider.
Third Place: Block 15 (Corvallis, OR)
Second Place:Silver Moon (Bend, OR)
The festival has included a Collaboration Brew since its inception, this year's was titled "A Session Beer." Block 15, Brewers Union Local 180, Hop Valley, High Street, Ninkasi, Oakshire, Steelhead, Track Town Ales, and Valley Vintner & Brewer participated this year. Each brewer started with a base of Glen Eagle Marris Otter malt then picked a single hop to differentiate their offering. A variety of yeasts were employed amongst the breweries. Valley Vintner produced 4 different beers but the WGV combined with Steelhead's house yeast stood above the rest. Being able to taste and compare the local offerings is a unique treat. Unfortunately, none of the Collaboration Brews contested the People's Choice award. The top 3 spots were swept by Oregon breweries (7 other states and 2 countries were represented at the festival) but Eugene got a rude awakening from their neighbor to the north. Two flavorful stouts, Love Potion #9 from Block 15 and Bourbon Barrel Aged Export Stout from Silver Moon preceded the People's Choice, Flat Tail's Licentious Goat:
Brewed with a ridiculous 3.5 pounds per barrel of Simcoe, Chinook, Amarillo, Sterling, and Zeus hops, this bonafied Imperial India Pale Ale has a massive nose of Grapefruit, Tangerine, and resin. The addition of Damiana and Horny Goat Weed, two of nature's strongest natural aphrodisiacs, add a sensuous layer of Lavender and Hawaiian Ginger. At 8.5% and over 90 IBU's, this is one naughty Goat!
People's Choice: Flat Tail (Corvallis, OR)
Due to the OLCC's recent "interpretation" of state homebrewing policies, the annual homebrew competition was annulled. Instead of announcing those winners, Jamie Floyd from Ninkasi and Tripp Sommer raised a toast to Don Younger for everyone not able to make it to the wake at the Horse Brass.

In addition to the beer, KLCC hosts a music sale over the weekend. I picked up a handful of gems both new and old.
Crate Digging

Kris and Gayle celebrating another great year!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Don Younger R.I.P. 1941-2011

Don Younger in the back seat of his '72 Rolls Royce 

Scott, Lisa, and Don at the Brass last year on their shared birthday
By now most people know that the legendary owner of Horse Brass Pub Don Younger passed away a few weeks ago on January 31. Since that time I've been trying to come up with the words to post something about Don with little success. Like most people I didn't know Don that well. But I do know quite a few that did know him well. People like beer writer and radio host Lisa Morrison a.k.a. "The Beer Goddess" who helped organize the wake and the worldwide toast to honor Don that is happening today, Sunday, February 13,  in the parking lot of the Horse Brass Pub.  From Lisa's web site:

"Whatever you are doing, and wherever you are at 3 p.m. your time on Sunday, Feb. 13, make sure to hoist a glass to Don Younger, the venerable publican of the world-famous Horse Brass Pub, who died Jan. 31.

“In his hometown of Portland, a wake will be in full swing by 3 p.m. at the Horse Brass Pub. Attendees at the time will be raising their glasses to Don. But hundreds, if not thousands, of people around the world who knew Don and loved Don aren’t able to be there in person,” says organizer Lisa Morrison. “So we are having a worldwide toast — a virtual wake, if you will — to help bring us all together, at least in spirit.”

The toast will travel around the world, because it will happen at 3 p.m. in all time zones.

“So, at 3 p.m. your time on Sunday, organize a gathering of your own or just stop what you’re doing. Pour a glass of something you think Don would appreciate. And raise a toast to one of craft beer’s biggest champions and most colorful characters,” Morrison says.

Younger, a true beer pioneer, took the Horse Brass from a one-tap tavern to a beer mecca, consistently named among best beer bars in the world. It is a favorite hangout for brewers, beer geeks, neighbors and visitors alike."
Don at the Highland Stillhouse

Lisa interviewed Don not to long ago. I highly recommend giving it a listen.

Back in October of 2009 I was lucky enough to be invited to go drink with Don by my good friend Carl Singmaster (Don's business partner at Belmont Station). Carl wanted to get Don down to the Highland Stillhouse in Oregon City to drink some whisky and meet with the owners of the the pub. I had a great time and it is a memory I will hold dear for the rest of my life. I have some more pictures from that day that I never got around to posting.  I will try to post some more soon.

One thing that has struck me while talking to people in the beer business the last couple of weeks since Don's passing is the number of lives he touched. As Carl Singmaser said “More than anybody I’ve ever known, Don lived his life exactly the way he wanted, but he didn’t do that by stepping on anybody — we’d all be amazed if we knew all the people he helped without ever making a big deal of it. But he did live his life exactly the way he wanted to.” Almost everyone has a Don story to tell. He will always be remembered through those stories. And that is a beautiful thing. 

Death touches all our lives at some point. Each time it happens we are reminded of our own mortality and that nothing lasts forever. Don's passing reminds us all that we need to enjoy our friends and family while we still can. Here's to you Don! Cheers mate!

Other remembrances worth a read:
The Beer HereDouble Mountain, The New School (with some great stories in comments), Celebrator (with a great video interview of Don), Beervana, It's Pub Night.