Oregon Beer News, 01/14/2015

Oregon BeerWelcome to Wednesday, the work week is almost half over! Here’s the news in Oregon beer for January 14. 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.

Deschutes Brewery (Bend) has highlighted a terrific community involvement program they’ve been running for awhile now that not many people may know about: they give $1 of every barrel they sell back to the community, supporting a large number of nonprofits in Oregon and beyond. “In 2014, our community involvement program was able to reach more deserving nonprofits than ever before with a total donation of more than $285,000. This year we are looking forward to increasing our impact not only with our growing funds for giving, which will be $335,000, but also with the enhanced partnerships we are creating to help these organizations gain exposure in their communities.” They also initiated a program called “Community Pints” wherein each Tuesday they give $1 for every pint and $2 for every growler sold to the same nonprofit for that month. Cheers to a great community cause by Deschutes!

Laurelwood Brewing (Portland): Their popular Organic Portland Roasting Espresso Stout is returning this week, and Laurelwood has again teamed up with Portland Roasting Coffee (who provides the, er, coffee for the beer) to brew it. It’s available on tap now and in bottles on the shelves—make sure to stock up!

Full Sail Brewing (Hood River): I’d written last week about their new Session Export and mentioned in an offhand reference also the Session IPA; I had assumed it had already been released but then they issued a press release just for Session IPA—and it does sound tasty! “IPA’s are insanely popular these days. But let’s face it, sometimes it feels like there’s a hops arms race going on. That’s why we came up with Session IPA. It’s a Premium Pale Ale that thinks for itself. Not too hoppy. Not too bitter. Not too malty. Just right!” they wrote, quoting owner Irene Firmat. It’s only 5.1% abv and 47 IBUs, so I’m real curious as to how it drinks.

The Green Dragon (Portland): Tonight they have the latest in their Big Ass Beer Month release from the Green Dragon Brew Crew: Top It Off Stout. “This big bold brew was used as a “top off” to keep the crew’s barrels full during aging. One keg was set aside to sit quietly in the cellar and think about itself for over a year. Tonight it reemerges, bigger and stronger for the experience. Top gets tapped tonight at 5pm, the Crew talks about the brew at 6pm.” They don’t list the alcohol but I’m assuming it’s imperial…

PFriem Family Brewers (Hood River): They are getting to close their tasting room for a few days starting next week as part of some renovation work: “Lots of exciting change is happening at pFriem Family Brewers and part of that is a kitchen remodel! In order to revamp the kitchen though, our Tasting Room will need to be closed Jan 19th – Jan 23rd. We are sorry for the inconvenience and we hope to see you on Saturday the 24th when we re-open!”

Portland’s Breakside Brewery and the new Fat Head’s Brewery teamed up on a collaboration beer you’ll have to see to believe that is being released tonight at Saraveza (party from 6 to 9pm): Juggling Plums Salted Plum Gose. Yeah. “In a non-traditional twist, they derived all of the salt from an unlikely source: the Japanese salt plum or “Umeboshi”. Umeboshi are small Japanese plums that have been cured with Red Shiso (an Asian culinary herb, belonging to the mint family) and salt and spend a year fermenting in wooden barrels… different components of the beer were brewed at each of the participating breweries. Fat Head’s grew up the sour wort used to give the beer it’s tartness, while Breakside supplied the base wort and salt plums.” That is one I would very much like to try!

And speaking of Fat Head’s, according to the New School today they have signed a distribution deal with Point Blank Distributing, “making the company’s beer more available outside of the brewpub, including in Eugene and other cities. This is certainly good news for fans of the terrific Head Hunter IPA and Ultra Pilsner,” according to Ezra.

They’re not the only ones with distribution news: Eugene’s Ninkasi Brewing has signed on with Bigfoot Beverages as of today. Brewpublic further reports that Ninkasi’s new Washington distributor is the Odom Corporation. “Formerly territories covered by wholesalers owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI), this move marks Ninkasi’s commitment to partnering with like-minded, craft-focused distributors in the region.”

And what the heck, even more distribution news from New School: Astoria’s Buoy Brewing signed on with Maletis Beverage to get distributed in Portland, Salem and southwest Washington. And hopefully in Bend sometime soon, too.

Culmination Brewing (Portland): They are planning their new taproom opening for this Saturday, the 17th at 6pm: “We have worked very hard to get the taproom open ASAP and given all of the curveballs we have encountered, we need to move Taproom Opening date to Sat Jan 17th from 6-10 PM. We will be making Sat night very special with great beer and amazing food!” (They had planned to be open by today I think.)