Oregon Beer News, 01/29/2015

Oregon BeerHere is the news in Oregon beer for Thursday, the 29th of January. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day, so check back often. And if you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that updated as well.

Astoria’s Fort George Brewery and Portland’s The Commons Brewery teamed up with Portland-based Plazm Magazine to collaborate on a special Farmhouse Ale in honor of the magazine and design studio (aptly named “Plazm”), and this week the first of the official release events are rolling out, starting tonight with The Bier Stein in Eugene. The event runs from 6 to 8pm commemorating the beer, and I expect there will be reps from the breweries on hand—plus the Stein will have three additional beers from each brewery on tap as well. Don’t miss out!

McMenamins Highland Pub & Brewery (Gresham): They have a special beer tasting and meet the brewer tonight starting at 5pm, featuring Highland Smoked Porter: “A lovely, seasonally appropriate American porter for your palate with just a hint of smoke swirling in the midst of dark, roasty goodness. We went old school adding Brown malt to the recipe which was once a very common ingredient in porters making up as much as 100% of the beer. We also tossed in some flaked barley to enrich the mouthfeel and flavor with malty goodness. Perle and Tettnanger hops round it out with earthy, spicy aromas and tastes.” It’s 4.9% abv, and there are actually two versions available: the regular one, and one with habaneros.

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Oregon Beer News, 01/28/2015

Oregon BeerAnnoyingly I woke up to my clock radio playing that Geico camel saying, “Guess what day it is?!”. Yes indeed, it’s Wednesday, January 28, and here is the news in Oregon beer. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often for updates. If you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that updated as well.

Worthy Brewing (Bend): Today is the release of their Dark Muse Imperial Stout, returning for 2015 and they are running specials at the pub all day: “We’ll have 22-ounce bottles available for purchase, as well as 8-ounce draft pours of this 10.1% monster stout. Chad is also sharing a very limited amount of Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Muse on draft for one day only. On the menu: Roasted Tenderloin of beef with a Dark Muse demi glace, roasted baby reds with garlic and sauteed veggies. Paired with Dark Muse Imperial Stout. Dark Muse Brownie served warm with vanilla bean ice cream. Paired with Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Muse!”

McMenamins Crystal Ballroom (Portland) has their monthly Ringlers Beer Tasting at Ringlers Pub today from 5 to 9pm, featuring Onward Caravan Turkish Coffee Ale: “We teamed up with McMenamins Coffee Roasters Martyn Leaper and Kelly Ockinga to make an ale based on traditional Turkish coffee. Along with a nut brown ale base full of smooth caramel malt tones, we highlight flavors and aromas of fresh nuts, chocolate, heavy cream, and golden syrup from our Kenyan and El Salvador locally roasted coffee beans. A slight roastiness rears up at the end, along with the full floral spiciness of ground green cardamom seeds added during the brewing process and post-fermentation. A unique, satisfying brew.” It’s 5.68% abv.

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Oregon Beer News, 01/27/2015

Oregon BeerHere is the news in Oregon beer for Tuesday, the 27th of January. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day, so check back often for the latest news. And if you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that posted as well.

The Bier Stein (Eugene) tonight is doing a tasting with one of the great breweries of California, Firestone Walker: “It’s been a little while since we put on a bunch of these strong, barrel aged beauties from Firestone Walker– they’re certainly beers to showcase, to sip and enjoy. We’ll have Parabola Imperial Stout, Sucaba Barleywine, Double DBA, and Stickee Monkee, plus all of their regular lineup (Pivo Pils, DBA, Pale 31, Union Jack, Double Jack, Velvet Merlin, Opal Saison, and Wookey Jack) on draught– come enjoy with us!” It runs from 7 to 9pm.

Here’s an interesting bit of news from last week I hadn’t blogged yet: Astoria’s Buoy Beer Company is teaming up with Portland’s Growlers Hawthorne to brew a collaboration Imperial IPA to celebrate both companies’ one-year anniversaries, and the release is set for February 7 at Growlers Hawthorne from 6 to 8pm. From the press release: “Samples of the beer will be provided and representatives from Buoy will be on hand to talk about the Imperial IPA. A number of team members from Growlers Hawthorne traveled to Buoy Beer in Astoria to help brew the Imperial IPA, which is made with Galaxy and Mosaic hops. “Watching the brewing process showed me how creative, knowledgeable and committed Buoy is to making damn good beer,” stated Adi Zweier. “I am so excited to share the experience with our customers at Growlers Hawthorne.” The collaboration beer will remain on tap exclusively at Growlers Hawthorne and depending on demand, should be available throughout most of 2015.”

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Oregon Beer News, 01/26/2015

Oregon BeerHappy Monday and I hope you had a good weekend! Here’s the Oregon beer news kicking off the final week of January. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news as I find it, so check back often. If you have news to share, please let me know and I can get that updated as well.

This SuperBowl weekend will be a busy one, with a couple of big events taking place Friday and Saturday the 30th and 31st:

Saraveza (Portland) is holding their Super Barrel Weekend, featuring “all barrel-aged beer all weekend, til the big game.” Here’s the description: “This is not a festival, but a celebration if you will of sours, barley wines, imperial stouts, saisons, ipas etc. that have been aged in spirit or wine barrels. There is no entrance fee, there will be a few ticketed beers pouring out front and to make it easier on our beertenders there will be no flights, but we will be offering mostly 5oz pours of some of the best liquid you’ll ever put in your mouth!” They have a terrific taplist lined up, so be sure to swing by this weekend!

And the first-ever Salem Winter Brewfest is taking place this 30th and 31st as well, at the Capitol Mall in the heart of Salem. I wrote about this last week, and it looks like they’ll have a nice lineup for their inaugural event. Times are 4 to 11pm Friday, and noon to 11pm Saturday, with admission being $10 in advance, $15 at the door for (I assume) a standard brewfest-type package.

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Breaking: Anheuser-Busch buying Elysian Brewing!

The news is all over the internet and social media this morning: Anheuser-Busch is buying Seattle’s Elysian Brewing! I am completely stunned by this news, even moreso than the 10 Barrel news from last year—I never would have though Elysian would sell to AB.

Elysian Loser

From the AB press release:

Anheuser-Busch today announced it has agreed to purchase Elysian Brewing Company, based in Seattle, Washington. For nearly 20 years, Elysian has brewed an award-winning portfolio of beers, including Immortal IPA and some of the industry’s most innovative and sophisticated brands.

“For two decades, we’ve welcomed guests into our brewpubs and served them creative and impeccably crafted beers,” said Joe Bisacca, Elysian ‎CEO and co-founder, who will continue with Elysian along with his partners, Dick Cantwell and David Buhler. “After a lot of hard work, we’ve grown from one Seattle brewpub to four pub locations and a production brewery. With the support of Anheuser-Busch, we will build on past successes and share our beers with more beer lovers moving forward.”

Dick Cantwell, Elysian co-founder and Head Brewer added, “Throughout our journey we’ve been focused on brewing a portfolio of both classic and groundbreaking beers and supporting innovation and camaraderie in the beer industry through collaboration and experimentation. By joining with Anheuser-Busch we’ll be able to take the next steps to bring that energy and commitment to a larger audience.”

Elysian sold more than 50,000 barrels of beer in 2014, with Immortal IPA accounting for more than a quarter of the company’s total volume.

“Elysian’s story includes everything we look for in a partner,” said Andy Goeler, CEO, Craft, Anheuser-Busch. “The team has spent their careers brewing distinctive beers in the thriving West Coast beer community and building unique venues that celebrate beer. As the fastest growing brewer in Washington, their recipe is working. Elysian’s brands are an important addition to our high-end beer portfolio, and we look forward to working together.”

In addition to the Seattle Airport Way brewery, the acquisition includes the company’s four Seattle brewpubs, Elysian Capitol Hill, Elysian Tangletown, Elysian Fields and Elysian BAR.

Anheuser-Busch’s purchase of Elysian is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2015. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

And Ezra has a cryptic comment on the New School about this:

Word has come to us that the majority partner in Elysian Brewing has sold the company, possibly without the full blessing of partner Dick Cantwell. I have been hearing rumors for months that a Washington brewery was soon to sell but did not guess it would be the from the fiercely independent Dick Cantwell of Elysian, it makes sense that his majority partner may have been the one to pull the trigger.

I have no clue yet what this means for events like the Great Pumpkin Beer Fest and more. We’ll just have to watch and see.

And on an editorial note, I find it interesting that people who dismissed the 10 Barrel sale to AB as just the future of business, etc. etc., but are now suddenly alarmed that Elysian is the next to go…