Oregon Beer News, 07/01/2015

Oregon BeerHappy first of July! This isn’t Oregon-specific, but today marks the second anniversary of Mississippi’s legalization of homebrewing—the last of the states to do so (as late at 2013). That’s worth raising a beer to! Here’s the rest of the news in beer from around Oregon for today; as usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often for updates. And if you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that updated as well.

Burnside Brewing (Portland): Today is the release of their new summer seasonal, Sunsplash Kölsch, a “Jamaican inspired rendition brewed with hibiscus, orange zest & thai ginger.” And they are celebrating today at the pub as the brewery “is giving away a pair of tickets at their brewpub, to see Ziggy Marley at the Oregon Zoo on August 8th. Anyone who comes into the pub beginning at 4pm receives a raffle ticket and you get another raffle ticket for every pint ordered. Winner will be randomly selected after 6pm, must be present to win.” Be sure to swing by to try the beer and try to win Ziggy Marley tickets!

Laurelwood Brewing (Portland): They are releasing canned beer for the first time, their Red Elephant IRA, and today at The BeerMongers they are holding the can release party starting at 6pm: “Tonight we celebrate the first can release from one of Portland’s favorite breweries. There will be stuff given away. We’ll also have Red Elephant and MegaFauna pouring from the tap. Should be fun.” The Laurelwood brewers behind the beer will also be in attendance to talk about the beer and the cans. And, Laurelwood is running a can photo contest you’ll want to check out, too.

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Tuesday Tastings: High Desert Museum Pale Ale, Bakke Hill Black Lager

Two tasting reviews for you for this week’s Tuesday Tastings, one very local and one from Washington.

Silver Moon Brewing High Desert Museum Pale Ale

Silver Moon High Desert Museum Pale AleThis beer was brewed for Bend’s High Desert Museum‘s Brewing Culture exhibit than ran the first half of the year, and to be honest, I thought it was a re-packaging of an existing beer (which Silver Moon has done lately for a number of private label clients)—but, I cannot find a corresponding beer so I have to assume that this was brewed, specifically, for the Museum. Nice.

It’s labeled a “Pale Ale” but is 7.8% alcohol by volume, nothing to sneeze at and to my mind puts it solidly into the IPA camp. And needless to say, because it was brewed for a specific purpose, it is extremely limited; you might yet find some for sale in the Museum gift shop, but you’ll have to come to Bend for it! Fortunately I do have one more bottle.

Appearance:  Strikingly clear, golden orange color with a crisp white head. Amazingly bright.

Smell: Tropical fruits, some of that Citra character (mango, citrus), nettles, and a hint of cattiness.

Taste: Hoppy-bitter and a bit woody, steely malt with a touch of tannic astringency. Not overpoweringly hoppy but definitely in IPA territory. Crisp, with a well-attenuated dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and finishes on the dry side.

Overall: Hard to call a nearly 8% beer “Pale” but it does have more of a Pale Ale hopping flavor than IPA, otherwise solid IPA characteristics. Nicely drinkable.

Untappd. No corresponding BeerAdvocate or RateBeer pages.

Fish Brewing Bakke Hill Black Lager (Leavenworth Biers Series)

Fish Brewing Bakke Hill Black LagerI just drank this tonight in fact (the same night I’m writing up this review), and this was a bottle we picked up a week and a half ago in Welches (Oregon), coming back from an anniversary trip to the Astoria region. I initially thought it was from a Leavenworth (Washington) brewery, but actually it comes from Fish Brewing in Olympia.

Apparently it’s a bit out of season: it’s one of Fish’s winter seasonals, an “Alpine-style Seasonal Schwarzbier” normally available October through December, and is 5% abv. Here’s their description:

Bakke Hill Black Lager has an opaque, black color and a full, chocolaty or coffee flavor with a hint of vanilla. Although it shares some similar flavors, this German style is milder tasting and less bitter than British stouts or porters.

It is a light to medium-bodied, malt-accented dark brew, very opaque and deep-sepia in color, with a chewy texture and a firm, creamy, long-lasting head. In spite of its dark color, it comes across as a soft and elegant brew that is rich, mild, and surprisingly balanced.

Despite being six months out of season, I enjoyed it.

Appearance: Black as advertised, opaque, with a tan irregular head. Deep garnet color when held to direct light.

Smell: Roasted malts with that light char/coffee character that’s grainy with a touch of astringency. Clean with a depth of maltiness.

Taste: Clean coffee profile with roasty woodiness from the dark malts, low hoppiness but a good smooth balance. Mellow, has an almost creamy coffee profile as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, clean and balanced finished, very smooth.

Overall: A nicely done, well-brewed lager, restrained.

Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer

Oregon Beer News, 06/30/2015

Oregon BeerHere’s the news in Oregon beer for the last day of June! As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day, so check back often for the latest news. If you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that updated as well.

Cascade Brewing (Portland): For tonight’s Tap It Tuesday they are hosting a special guest, writer Niki Ganong who wrote The Field Guide to Drinking in America, who will be signing and selling copies after the tapping. The tapping itself is in honor of July 4, a “Live” Red, White and Blue blend: “This NW style sour ale features sour Wheat and Blond ales aged in white wine barrels with red cherries and blueberries. 7.4%” It starts at 6pm.

If you’re attending the Oregon Brewers Festival this year, there are still tickets available to the 9th annual Brunch & Parade that’s taking place Wednesday, July 22rd from 9 to 11:30am at Metalcraft Fabrication: “Brunch tickets cost $45 apiece, which includes brunch, live music, two beers, a T-shirt, the OBF tasting glass and four tokens. Tickets are NON-REFUNDABLE, so be sure you want them before ordering. 600 tickets will be sold.” Tickets will continue to be on sale through this Friday, July 3 at 5pm. Don’t miss out!

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Weekend in review: 2 anniversaries plus cider

Actually, this is more of a review of this past Saturday rather than the entire weekend, and is mostly in photos.

Both Deschutes Brewery and Crux Fermentation Project celebrated anniversaries on Saturday, Deschutes their 27th and Crux their 3rd. Since Crux was starting their party earlier with their annual Cruxapalooza, we headed there first for lunch, arriving shortly before they officially opened at 11:30. We had to beat the heat, considering it was supposed to be 100+ degrees that day.

Cruxapalooza kicks off at Crux Fermentation Project today!

A photo posted by @brewsite on

Cruxapalooza tickets

Cheers to 3 great years Crux! @cruxfermentationproject

A photo posted by @brewsite on

I enjoyed the Parkway Pilsner (one of my go-to beers there) and a Banished Peaches and Pears Saison. One of the food vendors present was Lardo Sandwiches, right out of Portland—one I’d never seen in Bend before, so that was a treat! By the time we left (around 2pm) it was getting busy, despite the heat.

Portland-based Lardo Sandwiches is at @cruxfermentationproject today for Cruxapalooza

A photo posted by @brewsite on

Cruxapalooza getting busy

Deschutes Brewery was celebrating their “Golden Birthday”—that’s where your age (in this case, 27) falls on the same numerical day of the month (27th). So there was a gold theme throughout, along with the 27 beers on tap, the Black Butte XXVII, and so on. Of course I enjoyed a flight of four Black Butte XX* Imperial Porters that also came with a regular Black Butte Porter and a bacon-wrapped date. And there was live music and the usual back-alley party—with cake even.

Golden taps at Deschutes' 27th

Golden growlers at Deschutes' 27th

Happy Golden Birthday @deschutesbeer ! 27 beers for 27 years!

A photo posted by @brewsite on

Deschutes' 27th back alley bash

From their Facebook page, photo by Gina Schauland

Deschutes 27th Birthday Cake

Cake! From their Facebook page, photo by Gina Schauland

In between was a surprising and fun bonus—after we left Crux we stopped just down the road (about a quarter of a mile) to check out Atlas Cider’s brand-new tap room. Really impressive—not only have they build out a stylish, comfortable space (complete with pool table and classic arcade games) but they have a great selection of their ciders, cider blends, and beers on tap, as well as a cooler full of the widest selection of bottled and canned cider that I’ve seen in Central Oregon. Well worth a stop!

Atlas Cider bar taps

Atlas Cider tap room couches

Pints of Atlas Ciders

Atlas tap room games

Great selection of ciders

Hopefully everyone had as good a weekend!

Oregon Beer News, 06/29/2015

Oregon BeerMonday is back and kicking off a new week and nearly a new month! I hope your weekend was a good one, we’re back into the news in Oregon beer once again. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news as I find it, so check back often. And if you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that posted as well.

Burnside Brewing (Portland) has a new summer seasonal Kolch hitting the taps and bottles this Wednesday, July 1: Sunsplash Kolsch, “a Jamaican inspired rendition brewed with hibiscus, orange zest & thai ginger.” From the press release: “To celebrate the release of Sunsplash Kölsch in bottles and draft, this Wednesday July 1st, Burnside Brewing is giving away a pair of tickets at their brewpub, to see Ziggy Marley at the Oregon Zoo on August 8th. Anyone who comes into the pub beginning at 4pm receives a raffle ticket and you get another raffle ticket for every pint ordered. Winner will be randomly selected after 6pm, must be present to win.”

Belmont Station (Portland) is doing a tasting of “Fancy-Pants Beers” with Merchant du Vin that were not at this weekend’s Portland International Beerfest, from 5 to 7pm today: “We always love having Merchant du Vin’s Tom Bowers in house for a tasting. Not only does he offer up some tasty imports to sample, but he tells a great story and you really get to learn a lot about each beer. As is tradition, Tom joins us right after the Portland International Beer Festival to share a few more delicious imports that weren’t featured at the fest. This year he’s bringing: Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel, Rochefort 8, Traquair House and Lindeman’s Faro. We also will be pouring a very special, rare keg of Ayinger Maibock in the biercafé!”

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