Central Oregon Beer Week starts in exactly one week from today, and one of the big Monday events is the opening Kick-Off Celebration (FB event page) being held at Worthy Brewing: it’s a limited, ticketed event that will take place from 5:30 to 7:30pm and will be featuring a number of cool things to help start the Beer Week off right:
- Souvenir COBW glass
- Special beers pouring, featuring the official “SMaSH” style beer from several breweries (see more below)
- Tours/talks about Worthy Brewing from the brewers
- A raffle featuring some awesome prized donated by a number of sponsors
- Food provided by Worthy
Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased online here. And we’re working hard to make sure it’s going to be great!
About that SMaSH beer: “SMaSH” stands for Single Malt and Single Hop and is a method of brewing by which, yes, a single malt and a single hop are used. Brewer Brett Thomas from Silver Moon Brewing suggested this when discussions were underway about the possibility of an official COBW beer, and that became the one; each brewery participating has their own twist on the beer, and we’re working with Worthy on lining up each of those breweries at Worthy Monday night to pour their version.
Of course be sure to keep up to date on the website for current information.
Disclosure: I’m a co-founder and planner for Central Oregon Beer Week.
Updated: Some logistical changes to the event necessitated that I remove some lines about the beer with tickets.
Big news to come out of McMinnville’s Golden Valley Brewery this week: Brewmaster Mark Vickery is leaving to start his own brewing venture, and Hair of the Dog brewer Jesse Shue will be coming in to replace him. Here’s the press release:
Golden Valley Brewery in McMinnville, Oregon, is very pleased to announce that we have hired Jesse Shue as Brew Master to replace current Brewer Mark Vickery who is starting his own brewery later this year. A McMinnville Native, who worked at Golden Valley in the kitchen in 1994, Jesse Shue will be taking over the brewery operations at Golden Valley in late May. Jesse will be leaving his current position as brewer for Hair of the Dog Brewing Company in Portland May 19.
Jesse also worked at Nick’s Italian Café from 1991-1996 while attending high school. After graduating from McMinnville High School as senior class president in 1993, Jesse attended Califoirnia Institute of Technology then transferred and graduated in 1999 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology from Oregon State University cum Laude.
Jesse started his brewing career working for Darren Welch at Pelican Brewery in Pacific City in 2000 and has been brewing ever since. Over the past 13 years he has been developing his beer knowledge by brewing at the following breweries;
Pelican Pub, Pacific City, Assistant brewer
McMenamin’s Light House Brewpub, Lincoln City, Oregon, Head brewer
Rogue Ales, Newport, Oregon Shift Brewer
Silver City Brewery, Silverdale Washington Head Brewer
Hair of the Dog Brewing, Portland Oregon Lead Brewer
In 2010 he won the Glen Falconer Foundation Brewing Scholarship and attended the World Brewing Academy (Siebel Institute in Chicago, Illinois)
Jesse and his wife are excited to move back to the McMinnville area where both their parents live. Jesse brings a lot of great brewing experience and new ideas to his new position at Golden Valley and we are excited to welcome him to the Golden Valley Team.
It will definitely be interesting to see what Jesse brings to Golden Valley. AND what Mark Vickery will be up to!
A little background to this post… one of the things I love most about living in the Bay Area, especially compared to Southern California, is how commutable the area can be without a car. While hosting a pretty darned good mass transit system, San Francisco often ranks fairly high on lists of “most bike friendly city in the United States” and I can confirm this being true as a daily bike commuter. There’s another list, which I’m particularly interested in, that San Francisco (and the Bay Area as a whole) often ranks pretty high on—”best beer cities in the U.S.”.
When I was first speaking with Jon about contributing to The Brew Site one of the first ideas I had was to conduct an East Bay Bike to Brew, wherein I’d ride my bike to as many breweries as was reasonable in the span of an afternoon. Obviously, there’s the potential for danger and wanting to avoid any serious levels of inebriation I decided to limit it to simply drinking the house IPA at four local brewhouses: Pyramid, Triple Rock, Jupiter, and Elevation 66. With my wife and daughter out of town this past weekend I decided it was time to give this concept a go. With a good friend joining for the first three legs of the journey, we met out our first rendezvous point:
Phase One: Pyramid Brewery & Alehouse (distance from my house: 3.8 miles)
Pyramid Brewery & Alehouse is going to get a separate review one of these days soon (I’ve been lax in reviewing them for no real good reason… Lord knows I’ve been there enough times!) but it was a great place to begin as on Saturday’s they offer a discount on the bill if you ride your bike in. They have a large selection of house beers (and a half-dozen from Portland Brewing Company) and having a seat at the at bar, I began my IPA quest with a Thunderhead.
Now as I noted earlier, the original idea was to enjoy the house IPA before moving on to the next leg of the journey but my partner in beer noted they had five house IPAs on tap (and one from PBC)… that’s a little steep for one place so I limited it to three half-pints (love that they have that option). And in need of some protein we ordered a plate of chicken wings—excellent choice! The food’s pretty good at Pyramid and their beers are always consistent. I’ve always found their Thunderhead (and Outburst, which I didn’t try here–it’s their Imperial) to be decent IPAs but their Discord and Wheaten are both pretty standout. A great way to start the ride!
- Discord Dark IPA
- Wheaten IPA
Phase Two: Triple Rock Brewery & Alehouse (distance: 1.8 miles)
After a gorgeous ride through Berkeley, we arrived at our next location—the legendary Triple Rock Brewery & Alehouse. Another spot that I’ve not yet reviewed (but shall rectify soon!), Triple Rock, according to Good Beer Guide West Coast, is one of the oldest brewpubs in the Bay Area. Rolling up to the bar, we immediately ordered the only IPA they had on tap–the Ipax.
Aggressive hoppy and thoroughly refreshing we decided to order another plate of wings to compare to Pyramid’s. Much to our disappointment, and despite enthusiasm from the bartender, they came slathered in a hot sauce that overwhelmed our taste buds and made the remaining beer largely tasteless. Wrapping up it was time to onto our next stop—Triple Rock’s sister, Jupiter.
Phase Three: Jupiter (distance 0.3 miles)
Only a few blocks down, we coasted into Jupiter’s awesome beer garden in back (for a more detailed write-up, check out my review from earlier this year). We had to order our beers from the bar to enjoy the Adirondack chairs in back and it was worth it! After riding a half-dozen miles and drinking a handful of delicious beers it was nice to relax and absorb some Vitamin D. We’d been careful to try and drink about a pint of water for every pint of beer (hydration is key!) but this being our first Bike to Brew we were starting to slow just a bit. After a pair of IPAs and some sunshine, my partner in this hoppy adventure had to roll to a birthday party and I made a run at the final stretch of the adventure! Time to head out of Berkeley and back toward El Cerrito solo.
- Quasar (Imperial IPA)
Phase Four: Elevation 66 (distance 2.9 miles)
Making it safely to the final stop on the journey, I grabbed my favorite spot at the bar and ordered my final IPA of the day (for a more involved review of Elevation 66 read this). I was slightly disappointed as the day before, when I’d dropped in for a pint, the bartender had said their worthy Imperial IPA, the White Rabbit, would likely be on tap by the next day… but it wasn’t to be. The great Bike to Brew/IPA challenge had come to end. To commemorate the adventure, I had one more before hitting the road–their reliably good Esther’s Stout.
- Time: 3 hours
- Distance travelled: 8.8 miles
- Beers enjoyed: 8
It was an amazing afternoon (only sullied by the fact I got my bike seat stolen after making one quick stop on the way home… grrr!) and despite the number of beers consumed, we played it safe in preparation and execution (safety first!). Our plan is to do a second Bike to Brew, San Francisco edition, in the next month or two, likely coinciding with the opening of Magnolia Brewery’s new location in Dogpatch. That’s an adventure that I’m looking forward to!
I have been noticeably lagging on my blogging lately, and this is what has been taking up all of my spare time: planning this year’s Central Oregon Beer Week!
This year is the second year for COBW, and we’ve been working hard to make it the best possible Beer Week that we can, and we’ve been lining up a terrific slate of events and a ton of fantastic sponsors to do so. The dates are Monday, May 20 through Memorial Day, Monday the 27th—yep, eight days! And we’ve got stuff going on each and every day of it.
Be sure to check out the website, and especially the Events page where everything is up-to-date. An official printed Event Guide will be appearing in The Source Weekly next week (our free weekly that has great reach all over Central Oregon), but any updates or late additions will be on the website of course.
So be sure to come down to Central Oregon for the week leading up to Memorial Day. It’s going to be a great week, the biggest problem will be choosing what events you can make it to!
I am shamefully behind on blogging in large part because I am helping plan this, which I will have a post about soon; in the meantime here it is May already and I’ve got a couple of outstanding notes about Deschutes Brewery from April.
The first is the usual PR/received goods disclosure that I run whenever I receive beers or other marketing things from breweries:
Yes indeed, the 2013 edition of Twilight Summer Ale, a tasty beer if there ever was one. I don’t know if I’ll write up a review this year—I feel like everything I have to say has already been done with Twilight—but you never know.
Also early last month I stopped in for the Brewery’s release night for the Class of ’88 Barley Wine they brewed with Rogue Ales and North Coast Brewing: they were offering free samples of two of the three beers (sadly the North Coast didn’t show up in time) along with small-plate appetizers (including a quail-egg-based Scotch egg!). I enjoyed both beers, and surprisingly found the Rogue a bit hoppier, while Deschutes had more of a malty and fruity character like a classic English barleywine.
All in all a nice evening.