Day 1 of Little Woody is in the bag

Yesterday’s foray down to the opening of Bend’s Little Woody was quite a lot of fun and successful; I missed last year’s event (I was in Florida looking for beer in between the family vacation moments) so my sense of scale might be off, but this year’s event (their fifth one, which is noteworthy) seems much bigger than before.

The album I’ve added below gives a good sense of how the evening went: big crowds, more breweries, more vendors, perfect weather. We hung out with friends and had a great time, and it was a bonus to even run into Portland beer blogger Charles Culp and his wife Teresa!

Here are the beers I sampled:

  • Red Rum (McMenamins Old St. Francis School); their Fireside Red aged in rum barrels for 4 months; light, sweet from the run, very tasty and good, a great starting beer.
  • Suge Nite (Boneyard Beer); the bourbon barrel aged version of Boneyard’s monster 13% abv Imperial Stout: it’s only 2 tokens (that’s as cheap as the beers get at the Woody!) and there was a line, so my wife figured I’d better get it while the getting was good. It’s deceptively drinkable as you cannot taste the booze. And very good!
  • PBR: Yes, I had a palate-cleansing sample of Blue Ribbon as at the wine station there is a kegerator of it (for 1 token). Just for grins, I told a couple of unsuspecting friends it was a “wood aged American light Bock” and yes, they fell for it at first!
  • Barrel-Aged Lights Out Stout (Worthy Brewing): Lightly-bodied and easy drinking, with a nice vanilla note.
  • Conquestador (Silver Moon Brewing): The rum-soaked oak-aged version of their Apocalypto, this is very good—the original heat from the Apocalypto has abated into the background and the rum sweetens it nicely.
  • Tumalo Kriek (GoodLife Brewing): A bit of a change from the listed “Sour Cherry Wheat” though conceptually the same, this is a nice lightly tart beer with a flavor of pie cherries.
  • Whiskey Barrel Big Bad Sisters Coffee Stout (Three Creeks Brewing): Really nice way to end the night, something of a coffee nightcap with really good coffee notes. Recommended.

Those were the main samples I had, but in addition I had sips from some other friends’ samples as well, here my very quick take:

  • Sweet Scot from McMenamins: unfortunately has a line of (unintentional) sour running through it, which brewer Kevin confirmed. Wouldn’t be bad if left to sour more.
  • The Falconator from 10 Barrel: a touch of acetone, otherwise not bad.
  • Framboise Rouge from Block 15: very good, very tart, exactly what I would look for from Block 15.
  • NBB Loves Leopold from New Belgium: La Folie from blackberry whiskey barrels, a really nice sour brown with hints of the blackberry.
  • Tart Lychee also from New Belgium: Tart, light, dry.
  • Hop Around The Oak from Phat Matt’s: Honestly didn’t know what to expect but this is actually quite good! Oaky without being too hoppy.

We’re heading back down today for Day 2 and I’ll have more pictures and beers to report on. Also, here are some additional changes from the beer list I posted yesterday:

  • Ninkasi Brewing from Eugene is at the Woody as well as the others I listed—bringing the total brewery count to 20! (Ninksai is listed on the LW site but without any beers or logo so I wasn’t sure of the status.) They are pouring a Raspberry Oatis Stout and RenewAle Porter—I don’t have the particular details but Oatis is a 7.2% alcohol by volume beer (and it might be the vanilla version too), and the Porter was their Winter 2012 seasonal (5.9% abv) so I’m guessing it’s been aging in a barrel for a good amount of time.
  • GoodLife Brewing‘s “Sour Cherry Wheat” is actually named Tumalo Kriek, as I mentioned above, well worth checking out.
  • Three Creeks Brewing had Stone Fly Rye listed as their second beer, in actuality they are pouring a Barrel-Aged version of Golden Stitches Hoppy Wheat Ale.

It’s going to be another beautiful day here in Bend so get down here and hit up The Little Woody!

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