Oregon Beer News, 08/14/2017

Oregon BeerWe’re back with a (semi) normal schedule for Oregon beer news as we start counting down to the total solar eclipse taking place one week from today. Here is the news for this Monday, August 14, and the coming week! As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news as I find it, so check back often. And if you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that posted as well.

There are several beer festivals taking place this weekend around the state. First, the first-ever Redmond Brewfest kicks off this Friday, August 18, and runs both Friday and Saturday in Redmond. Fittingly it’s an eclipse-themed beer fest with a number of breweries bringing a special “eclipse” beer as well as regular offerings. You can purchase your mug and five tokens online for $25 until the 17th, then it’s $30 at the door. There is a big brewery lineup and if you’re in town for this fest, you can stick around for the eclipse of course.

Over in La Grande, the fourth annual Eastern Oregon Beer Festival takes place on Saturday the 19th, at the Union Count Fairgrounds: “We will feature beers from breweries across Eastern Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond!! Live music, local crafts, great food and Q&A’s with brewers are all part of the biggest and best craft beer festival of Eastern Oregon. Everyone who purchases a General Admission (GA) or VIP tasting pass receives a commemorative glass tasting mug.” Tickets are $25 pre-sale, $35 at the gate, and $40 for VIP. Facebook event page is here. I haven’t seen a brewery list but I would expect a focus on the Eastern breweries in particular.

And in Portland, the Portland U-Brew & Pub is hosting their sixth annual Westmoreland/Sellwood Eclipse Beer Fest on Saturday as well. “Join us at this fun Dog and Family Friendly event Live Bands, Local Beer, Food Specials, Fun and Friends! As if drinking beer didn’t feel good enough, we will donation a portion of funds we raise in beer sales to benefit Family Dogs New Life Shelter! http://www.familydogsnewlife.org/ $20 ticket includes 10 Pours and a Logo Tasting Glass.”

Crux Fermentation Project (Bend): Some news lost in the shuffle in the past week or so (hey, it’s been busy!) is that Crux began canning their Half Hitch Imperial Mosaic IPA. Half Hitch has been available in bottles for awhile, and with the launch of cans it joins Gimme Mo, Crux Pilz, PCT Porter, and Cast Out IPA in the brewery’s canned offerings. Crux also brewed and bottled a special eclipse beer, Shadow Chaser Dark Lager, available now.

Bend’s Worthy Brewing is celebrating the eclipse by kicking off Worthy Eclipse Week on Wednesday the 16th. With their observatory (“Hopservatory”) in place this is a natural fit for them and they have a slate of speakers and events lined up for each day from the 16th through the 20th.

Rogue Ales (Newport) announced last week the availability of their Cold Brew IPA (coffee IPA) in cans. The IPA is blended with Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ Cold Brew Coffee and has been available on draft and in bottles already.

Ninkasi Brewing (Eugene) announced the release of First Rule IPA in bottles last week as well. “Originally released to Ninkasi’s Rare & Delicious Series in March 2017, the brewery is proud to elevate this beer to its Special Release Series in 12 and 22-ounce bottles and on-draft. Available August through December, beer drinkers can find First Rule IPA across Ninkasi’s distribution footprint. Crafted with the most sought-after hops, First Rule IPA is a testament to brewing without limitations. Ninkasi’s brewing team developed this recipe almost in secrecy, using the best hops available. The result? A flavorful IPA with an incredible hop profile featuring El Dorado, Calypso, Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra, and Amarillo hops.” Look for it in both 12 and 22 ounce bottles.

Portland Cider Company has a returning charitable program that sounds like a great idea: PDX Apple Recycling, “a program that collects bushels of apples from the backyards of neighbors in the Portland Metropolitan area and hand presses them into a community cider to support a local charity.” More from the press release: “Portland Cider Co. is encouraging the community to recycle their fallen and unwanted backyard apples, rather than throw them away. Edible quality apples will be accepted daily from 9am to 9pm from now until October 31, with drop off at the company’s Clackamas Taproom + Cidery, located at 8925 SE Jannsen Rd., Bldg. F. The community cider, appropriately named “Oregon Wild,” will be released in December at the Portland Cider Co.’s annual Wassail Party. One hundred percent of the net proceeds of the cider sales will be donated to the Oregon Wild, a nonprofit conservation organization that works to protect and restore Oregon’s wildlands, wildlife and waters as an enduring legacy for all Oregonians.” They need a minimum donation of a bushel (40 pounds) of apples, in order to claim a pint and/or a spot helping press the apples at the end of September.

Baerlic Brewing (Portland): They have a new beer release today, Early Bird Hoppy Pale Ale, a new year-round beer. “Earlier this year we starting experimenting with some new to us hop varieties—El Dorado and Azzaca—in a beer we were calling Test Flight. Test Flight took on many forms over the last year and we learned a ton about these varieties and how best to use them. The El Dorado ended up in our year-round New Noise IPA and the Azacca ended up mostly in a new pale we’re calling Early Bird Pale Ale. Brewed with Centennial, Columbus, Amarillo and Azacca hops, it jumps out of the glass with notes of tropic fruit, dank pineapple and candied orange in a sessionable 5% ABV. After we dial in the recipe a touch more, we’ll release it in bottles for another year-round bottled beer!” Check out the new beer starting at 4pm.

Monkless Belgian Ales (Bend) canned their latest packaged beer today—Peppercorn Imperial Wit, for which they will host the release party on Tuesday. I know “peppercorn” and “imperial” aren’t normally used in conjunction with witbiers, but this one is a tasty, balanced ale that is surprisingly mellow.