Here’s the news in Oregon beer for this final Friday (and final weekend!) of May. TGIF! As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often. If you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that posted as well.
Hopworks Urban Brewery (Portland) participated in a very cool historic beer recreation that will be available to try this weekend; here are some details: “A couple months ago we were invited to participate in an unusual collaboration between the Archaeology Roadshow at Portland State University and the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives (OHBA). The resulting beer is a pre-prohibition Lager based on a recipe from 1883. The beer is available at the Archaeology Roadshow this weekend and will soon be on tap at our brewpubs. We’ll fill you in on how the beer came to be; the community connection in this collaboration made the whole experiment a lot of fun for the brewery.” The Archaeology Roadshow is taking place tomorrow, Saturday the 30th, from 10 to 3pm, on the Portland State University campus.
McMenamins Bagdad Theater (Portland) is celebrating its 88th birthday this weekend, so on Sunday the 31st they are holding a block party to celebrate with specials all day: “Bagdad Ale pints, $4.25 property-wide all day. Greater Trumps (opening at noon on this day). Edgefield Winery Port tasting 2 p.m. ’til 5 p.m.” Not to mention birthday cake, special beer and distillery tastings from 2 to 5pm, and more. Sure to be a fun party!
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Portland, Oregon-based beer writer Brian Yaeger is coming to Bend this weekend, as part of his signing tour for his recently-published book Oregon Breweries, and he’s got a three-day schedule of signing appearances—including teaming up with yours truly for a dual signing event this Saturday at Crux Fermentation Project, pairing his Oregon Breweries with my own book Bend Beer: A History of Brewing in Central Oregon.
The signing at Crux takes place from 2 to 4pm, and I believe we’ll be situated outside by the trees on the edge of their patio area—with some of the best views in town! Be sure to come by, it’s going to be a great day and you won’t be able to beat our books paired with terrific Crux beer!
As for Brian’s other signing events, he will be at the High Desert Museum’s “Open ‘Til Dark” event Friday evening (that runs from 5 to 9pm, with $5 admission and $5 for the beer tasting package because there will be beer!), and then on Sunday Brian will be at Worthy Brewing from 1 to 3pm. You have no excuses not to pick up a copy of his book this weekend! (Not to mention my own!)
Here’s the Oregon beer news for Thursday, the 28th of May. 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.
The Bier Stein (Eugene) is holding a special horizontal tasting of Ballast Point Brewing‘s various Sculpin IPAs today from 5 to 8pm: “Go fish! And make sure you bring some beer. Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA, named for an adaptable, funny looking, bottom feeding fish, comes in many forms. We will be tapping the Original, Grapefruit, Habanero, and a specially made firkin of Grapefruit Sculpin with grapefruit added directly to the cask! Come in and grab a flight and hang out with our Ballast Point rep Skip.” Ballast Point is probably my favorite San Diego brewery, this will be a great tasting event.
McMenamins on Broadway (Portland) has a special beer tasting and meet the brewer event tonight starting at 5pm featuring the McMurtrey’s Respite Scottish Export Ale that was at the Tavern & Pool yesterday: “The Scottish Export (formerly known as 80 Shilling) is an old, durable style that will satisfies all pub-goers looking for a brew light on ABV yet full of flavor. We used Scottish Ale yeast to ensure authenticity of the brew, and fermented it with the care and attention of an ancient Pict. Named after our brewer’s Scottish ancestry and his affinity for a good spot to kick up his feet and enjoy a brew this ale definitely lands on the malty side of the beer spectrum with a very restrained dose of hops and rich, bready finish. Sláinte!”
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Today doesn’t feel like a Wednesday because of the holiday and short work week, but it is—the last Wednesday in May in fact. Here’s the news in Oregon beer from around the web; 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.
Breakside Brewery (Portland) has new bottled beers coming out as well as other new beers hitting the draft lines. From the press release: “Breakside Brewery is releasing new limited edition beers in bottles “Back to the Future IPA” for Portland Beer Week and “Oui, Chef” the latest in the Farmhouse, Fruit & Funk Series. In addition to the 2 highly anticipated bottle releases are two new draft-only IPA’s in the form of “Old World IPA” (available now) and “Session Double IPA” (released later this week). Back to the Future IPA (a collaboration with Seattle’s Fremont Brewing Co.) will be available primarily during Portland Beer Week at participating locations on draft and in 22oz bottles. Oui, Chef is available right now on draft and will be available everywhere in bottles in June. The new Session Double IPA is a test-run on a new IPA the brewers are particularly excited about that may become a new year-round IPA exclusively for Breakside’s upcoming 12oz bottles and 6-packs.” Always interesting things coming from Breakside!
McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse (Hillsboro) has their monthly Roadhouse Beer Invitational beer tasting tonight from 6 to 9pm, featuring their own beer as well as several other McMenamins breweries on guest taps. This month’s theme is “Aged Effects,” cellared and barrel-aged beers—yum! Beers on tap are: Barrel Aged Pole Ax from CPR, aged in whiskey barrels from CPR’s own distillery; Revelry from Thompson Brewery, red ale fermented with sake yeast and aged in a whiskey barrel; Cerberus Noir Wild Ale from the Edgefield, “a blend of Belgian Wit, Imperial Porter, and Pale Ale” inoculated with Brett; and Bonne Chiere Triple Grand Reserve from the Old Church, a Belgian-style Tripel barrel aged for over a year. This sounds like a spectacular lineup! Be sure to get a sampler tray of all four.
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Seeing press releases for the Portland Fruit Beer Festival next month puts me in the mood to review some fruit beers for this week’s Tuesday Tastings.
Coalition Brewing Space Fruit IPA
Space Fruit is Portland, Oregon-based Coalition’s entry into the citrus-infused India Pale Ale trend. This year’s version is currently being bottled and I believe this will be showing up and making the rounds at the various festivals. I don’t have a specific description but Untappd says:
A special seasonal India Pale Ale brewed with five different citrus zests, accompanied with a light malt backbone to give a substantial dry and tasty west coast finish.
At 7% abv it’s solidly in the Northwest IPA range.
Appearance: Pale golden yellow, a bit of haze. Fluffy white head, lacy with nice legs.
Smell: Lightly bready with hints of citrus peel, almost like a White IPA or Witbier. Hops have a spicy kick to them.
Taste: Bread crust and grapefruit peel. Other bitter citrus peel notes as well. It’s got a nice refreshing zest to it, solid bitterness up front. Kind of a pithy bitterness at the back, and a really nice breadiness throughout.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, light and zesty finish.
Overall: Interesting, and makes a good summer beer.
Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer
Renaissance Brewing Enlightenment Great Punkin
Yes, I slipped a pumpkin ale into this week’s tastings, but pumpkin is botanically a fruit so it counts. Renaissance Brewing is located in New Zealand and was established in 2005 and has since been collecting awards and acclaim on that side of the globe. Their Enlightenment series is their experimental, outside-the-box range of beers, some of which are one-offs. I don’t think the Great Punkin is a one-off, but I can’t be sure either.
The description of Great Punkin as it appears on RateBeer is:
“Great Punkin” Brewed with roasted pumpkin and a blend of spices to yield ’pumpkin pie’ notes and a deep red/orange colour. Lightly hopped with NZ Fuggle and fermented with ale yeast; medium body and moderate bitterness allow the flavour of pumpkin, spice and caramelized malts to shine through.
Appearance: Brown color that matches the brown of the bottle glass, with a minimal head that vanished quickly.
Smell: Chocolate, pumpkin pie spices, caramelized sugar. Sweet, creamy, slightly artificial like a pumpkin pie latte (syrup?).
Taste: Very sweet, almost cloying. Vaguely chocolatey, with caramel, some spices, but it’s the sweet character running right through the middle that dominates. A touch of chocolate and hints of squash show up at the end.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a cloyingly sweet, thick feel.
Overall: Not bad, but too sweet for my taste, and with a touch of that artificial spice character reads like a syrupy pumpkin coffee drink.
Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer
Sierra Nevada Ovila Abbey Quad with Plums
Sierra Nevada’s collaboration Ovila series are possibly some of the most underrated beers I’ve tasted in a while. It’s a great concept:
Our Ovila® Abbey Ales series is a collaboration with the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux in Vina, CA. Each beer is a modern twist on a traditional Belgian-style abbey ale—monastic inspiration and American innovation.
And of this beer specifically they say:
Ovila Abbey Quad is heady with aromas of caramel, rich malt, and dark fruit balanced by the spiciness and delicate fruity notes of a traditional Belgian yeast. This complex beer is a collaboration between Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux. It features sugar plums grown on the grounds of the Abbey and harvested by the monks in Vina.
It’s a whopping 10.2% abv so I really appreciate the smaller bottle size these come in.
Appearance: Dark brown with ruby(ish) highlights; nice bit of light brown head that broke fairly quickly but leaving nice legs.
Smell: Rich, malty, and fruity, with a restrained Belgian yeast character. Brown sugar, toffee, caramelized/lightly burnt sugar, dark fruits. A bit of leather, spicy phenols. Very nice.
Taste: Straightforward and very good: a malty, fruity Quad with a rich, molasses-y character and a hint of roasty malts. Malty-sweet character that’s not cloying, a nice depth of malt grain complexity. You cannot tell it’s 10.2% abv, it hides it nicely. Very tasty, a nice dessert sipper.
Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full-bodied with a nice dry, fruity finish.
Overall: One of the best-valued beers I’ve had lately (only cost $3.79 at the time). Very nice, a textbook Quad, very enjoyable and super drinkable.
Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer