Oregon Beer News, 02/28/2013

Oregon BeerHere’s the news in Oregon beer for Thursday, the last day of February. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with news and info as I find it, so check back often for the latest. And if you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that updated as well.

Laurelwood Brewing (Portland): Today at 6pm is their Connoisseur Brewer’s Dinner & Whiskey Pairing taking place at their southeast brewpub—$70 for a 5-course menu (that looks delicious) paired with whiskey and select Laurelwood beers (most of which are also barrel aged). While $70 might seem a bit bigh, you’re getting quite a spread with the food, beer and whiskey all together. Call 503-894-8267 to find out details and if you’d like to attend.

Cascade Brewing (Portland): Today is the start of their Cascade Fruit Fest that runs through the weekend: “Fruit Fest will start on Thursday Feb. 28th at 4:30 pm and run through the weekend. We will be talking over nearly all the taps of the Cascade Brewing Barrel House with our own tart fruit beers (plus a Pale and an IPA for the new to sour folks). Look for more than two dozen beers to rotate through the taps during the weekend. Official draft list to come after the blenders “taste” the library, but here are a few to get you in the mood…Figaro, Fruit Loops, Bourbon Barrel Aged Fruit, Blueberry Bourbonic Plague & Cinnamon Quad.”  This sounds like a fantastic event that would be worth heading up to Portland for… be sure to stop by this weekend!

McMenamins Highland Pub & Brewery (Gresham): Today starting at 5pm they have a meet the brewer and special beer tasting featuring the lengthily-named Bourbon Soaked Oaked Aged Riddle Box IPA: “This IPA uses a single hop called Brewers Gold for aroma and flavor and Zeus hops for bitterness. This IPA has a citrusy-herbal flavor and aroma from the Brewers Gold. Zeus provides a moderate bitterness to let you know that you’re drinking an IPA. Loads of Premium Two-Row gives this beer its strength while a small amount of light crystal malt provides a bit of color and sweetness to balance out the massive amount of hops. Fire roasted oak chips soaked in a top quality bourbon for two months then added directly to the keg and left to soak again for another two months adds complex flavors of oak, vanilla, and bourbon. The bourbon soaked oak chips blend nicely with the citrus flavors giving the brew an added sweetness that slightly mellows the bitterness of this IPA. Long live the northwest IPA!” Sounds like one to try—but you’d better get down there tonight because once it’s gone, it’s gone.

The Green Dragon (Portland) is hosting a meet the brewer tonight featuring Estacada’s Fearless Brewing: “Join our founder, owner and master brewer Ken Johnson at Portland’s famous PDX Green Dragon after work for some brews! Learn how he turned a home brew kit into one of Oregon’s most sought after breweries. Have the chance to ask questions about your favorite Fearless beers and taste a sampling of Fearless brews Ken will bring along with him!” The event starts at 5pm.

Stickmen Brewery & Skewery (Lake Oswego): They have a new beer coming out of their fledgling brewhouse tomorrow, Friday the 1st: “Releasing our 6th beer tomorrow at 2:00pm! Come down and welcome Big Honey Imperial Kölsch to the Stickmen lineup. Made with pilsner malt, tettnang hops, and Oregon blueberry honey. 7.1% ABV | 26 IBU’s”

Ninkasi Brewing (Eugene): They announced today a new addition to their Flashship Series core lineup: Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout. From the press release: “[A]vailable on shelves in 22oz. bottles starting in March and remaining on shelves year-round throughout the entire Ninkasi distribution footprint. As a new member of the Ninkasi Flagship Series, Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout will offer customers a tasty, more decadent alternative to the favored Oatis Oatmeal Stout. To create this brew, whole vanilla beans from Eugene’s Singing Dog Vanilla were added to the fermentation tank, essentially dry-hopping the beer with an intoxicating vanilla flavor. Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout will take the place of its predecessor, Oatis Oatmeal Stout, as the newest Ninkasi offering available in 22oz. bottles. Oatis Oatmeal Stout will remain on draft and in 12oz. bottles but will only be found in 22oz. bottles in Ninkasi’s mixed 4-packs throughout the year.” Like its predecessor, Vanilla Oatis is 7.2% abv.

McMenamins is rolling out a new spring seasonal as part of their seasonal line revamp tomorrow: Devil’s Bitter. This new, 5.55% abv beer is described as “a delightful Strong Bitter that is an English/American hybrid.  This beer style is characterized by a high level of drinkability and ‘Devil’s Bitter’ does not disappoint.  Mostly English style malts were used as well as the English derived US Golding hops.  The American twist comes in as we turn the emphasis to the middle and late addition hops as opposed to the bittering addition of hops up front.  Citrusy and floral American Centennial hops were used in the middle additions.” I really like what McMenamins have been doing with their beer in recent years, so I’ll be looking forward to trying this new one out. (And of course, tomorrow March 1st marks the release of their annual Irish Stout.)