My Oregon Brewers Festival beer picks (2011)

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.

One Response to My Oregon Brewers Festival beer picks (2011)

  1. Jon says:

    Actually, I don’t think the Grätzer is unhopped, even though I mention that above; however, the Mint Kölsch from Gilgamesh is, though.