Looking over the expanded list of beers I published last week for the Oregon Brewers Festival, there are always a bunch that stand out and make it onto my “must try” list. I don’t know how good they will be, but I guarantee they will be interesting; I don’t know in past years that I’ve ever stuck to my own list 100%, but even so, here are my picks.
(Also interesting to note that aside from the ubiquitous IPAs and variants, there are a good number of alternative beers this year—lots of fruit present, for instance. I’ve noticed my list might be a bit heavy with them, but I was also considering doing an “IPA Day” to focus on those as well. Why a separate day? Well, lots of hops tend to obliterate the palate…)
- Orange Kush, from Ale Industries; Hybrid Wit, 4.5% abv. “Spanish orange peel, locally grown coriander and Egyptian chamomile”
- Jackalope Imperial Pumpkin Porter, from Beer Valley Brewing; Pumpkin Porter, 7.5% abv. You know I’m the pumpkin beer guy; I have to try this one.
- Ginger & Meyer Ann, from Blue Frog Grog & Grill; Belgian Blonde, 6% abv. A Belgian-style with Meyer lemon peel and dried and fresh ginger.
- Grätzer, from Burnside Brewing; Grätzer, 5.67% abv. Unhopped, smoked wheat beer, one I’ve been anxious to try since I first read about it.
- Wu C.R.E.A.M., from Coalition Brewing; Cream Ale, 4.8% abv. I’m always on the lookout for a good cream ale, and I hear good things about Coalition.
- Black & Red, from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; Raspberry Mint Imperial Stout, 10.3% abv. Come on, it’s Dogfish and how can you not read “Raspberry Mint Imperial Stout” and not be intrigued?
- Mint Kölsch, from Gilgamesh Brewing; Kölsch, 5.3% abv. I’ve actually seen reviews of this coming across as only so-so, but I’m awfully curious to try it for myself.
- Cote de Or, from Golden Valley Brewery; Belgian Golden Ale, 7% abv. Barrel-aged and sounds quite tasty; I remember Golden Valley releasing a fantastic beer a few years back at one of the previous OBFs I attended that I thought was a best-of-show contender.
- Pepe Nero, from Goose Island; Belgian-Style Farmhouse Ale, 6% abv. I love the Farmhouse and Saison brews; and with this one including rye and Tellicherry peppercorns I won’t be able to pass it up.
- Altered State, from Hollister Brewing; German Style Sticke Beer, 6.7% abv. Classic German Alt style of beer. Enough said.
- Lemongrass Luau, from Kona Brewing; Ginger Lemongrass Quencher, 5% abv. I hope this is actually from Kona in Hawaii, and not just brewed here on the mainland (most available here are).
- Peach Hefeweizen, from Laht Neppur Brewing; Hefeweizen, 5.6% abv. I’m still waiting to try one of these fruit beers from Laht Neppur.
- Anubis Imperial Coffee Porter, from Laughing Dog Brewing; Coffee Porter, 9.2% abv. Perhaps save it for later in the day as a pick-me-up?
- Crazy Foyston Alt, from Lucky Labrador Brew Pub; Alt, 6% abv. Another German Alt! And from Lucky Lab who I really like.
- Golden Cap, from New Holland Brewing; Saison, 6.25% abv. See my Saison comments above; and this one has an unusual spelt-derived grain in the grist.
- Berried Alive!, from Old Market Pub & Brewery; Belgian Boysenberry Ale, 5.5% abv. Aged in Pinot Noir barrels, I hope this one is half as good as the description sounds.
- Bruce/Lee Porter, from Prodigal Son Brewery & Pub; Robust Porter, 8.1% abv. Ever since Jeff at Beervana gave this his Satori award, I’ve simply had to try it.
- Zombie Flanders, from Rock Bottom Brewery; Flanders Red Ale, 6.6% abv. Gotta have that wild element in there too.
There you have it: my “must try” beer picks, 18 beers. There are of course a bunch of others I’ll sample, given the chance: Offen Weisse from Upright, Foggy Bog Cranberry Ale from Widmer, Siamese Twin Ale from Uncommon Brewers, and Daily Dose Summer Ale from Oakshire Brewing have all caught my eye.