Oregon Beer News, 08/15/2012

Oregon BeerHere’s the Oregon beer news for Wednesday the 15th, halfway through the week and the month. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day, so check back often for the latest updates and news. And if you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that updated as well.

Widmer Brothers (Portland) has two releases going on now. The first is their seasonal OKTO Festival Ale, their 5.3% abv tribute to Oktoberfest (and a delicious one at that); oddly the press release maintains that Widmer is “resurrecting” OKTO which makes me wonder where it went if needed resurrecting? The other is the latest in their Alchemy Series of beers, a big barleywine (10.2% abv): Old Embalmer, which was first brewed in 1999 and has appeared periodically on tap at the Gasthaus. “Like all Alchemy Project beers, Widmer Brothers will brew Old Embalmer each year; however for this beer, the brewery will feature a different hop varietal in each vintage. Old Embalmer ‘12 features Bravo hops, a varietal is from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The Bravo hop was chosen for its fruit forward flavors that will balance the beer’s strong malt bill.”  I really like the idea of tweaking hop styles each year and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on some.

McMenamins Lighthouse Brewpub (Lincoln City) is celebrating their 17th annual Lighthouse Brewfest this Saturday the 18th all day long, and it’s going to be a party! “[E]ach McMenamins brewery creates its own distinct craft beer style while the Lighthouse serves up food and drink specials and brewery tours all day long. It’s big fun. As part of the annual tradition, the brewfest kicks off weeks earlier with the “Vallancing Act” (named for former Lighthouse brewer Rob Vallance) during which each participating McMenamins brewer picks a number. Then beer styles are pulled from a Portland Timbers hat to correspond to that number. The brewers are then required to brew an original recipe in that style.”  Check the event page for the list of beers each brewery is bringing, it’s going to be great.

McMenamins Cedar Hills (Beaverton) meanwhile has a limited-edition beer tasting going on today starting at 4pm: Brucifer Pepper Porter. “The Brucifer is a devilish beer. Join Oak Hills brewer Stephen Harper for a robust porter infused with jalapeño, serrano and habanero pepper. This dark nectar is sure to pack a spicy punch. The Brucifer is high in alcohol and flavor, and dark brown/toffee in color. Malt and hops take a back seat to the fiery pepper infusion.”  It’s 6.2% abv and when the keg is kicked, it’s gone.

Lompoc Brewing (Portland) tonight is celebrating the release of “Red Raisin”, their “Proletariat Red aged for three years in Bourbon barrles with 35 pounds of cherries”—a pretty good beer that I enjoyed for my final OBF beer at the Buzz Tent last month. In addition, Lompoc has invited some guest breweries to join in the fun: “There will also be a number of guest taps that night, including Alameda Brewhouse O.A.G. Lager, Breakside Brewing Farmhouse Golden, Eel River Brewing Acai Wheat Berry, Lucky Lab BENevolent Dictator, Sasquatch Brewing Pre-Prohibition Cream Ale, and 10 Barrel Road 41 Kölsch.”  Sounds great! It’s all taking place at their Sidebar from 4 to 10pm tonight, try to get down there if you can.

The fresh hops are continuing to roll out and breweries are gearing up with their soon-to-be-released fresh hop beers! Here’s a rundown for today:

  • The New School reports on Lucky Lab‘s upcoming Hop Harvest on Tuesday the 28th in Portland: every year they brew “The Mutt” with any fresh hops that people have brought it—hops grown in their yards, for decoration, and such—and then everyone is welcome to attend the hop picking. “The goal this year is to break the 300 lbs. mark. Show up at 6:00pm, where we will gather around the patio and start the picking. The barbecue grill will be fired up…” A great way to be hands-on with the fresh hops this year!
  • Seven Brides Brewing (Silverton) has a picture of their hops all set for brew day today. That’s a lot of hops!
  • Deschutes Brewery (Bend) has “50 pounds of fresh Tettnang Hops from Goschie Farms harvested yesterday!!” and is gearing up to produce their usual epic number (12 this year) of fresh hop beers.

Deschutes Brewery in Portland, meanwhile, is having their third annual Street Fare event tomorrow (Thursday the 16th) from 5 to 9pm: where they close off the block in front of the Pub, and have teamed up with a number of food carts to pair a specialty dish from each with Deschutes beer. It’s an all-aged, cash-only event, with live music, and proceeds will go to charity: “This year we’re excited to partner with Loaves & Fishes Centers, the Meals on Wheels People, so the proceeds will help provide hot, nutritious meals for the elderly in need.”

Solstice Brewing (Prineville): Check it out—there’s photographic proof of brewing equipment! Hopefully they’ll have it all hooked up and brewing soon!

Firestone Walker is invading Bend tomorrow night (Thursday): Travis Widdifield from the brewery will be here with “Double Jack IPA 9.5%, their DBA double barrel ale 5%, and their Wookey Jack 8.3%” and he’ll be holding a tasting at the Broken Top Bottle Shop from 4 to 6pm, and then over at the Platypus Pub for another tasting from 6:30 to 8:30 (where the Platypus will tap a firkin of the Double DBA). If you’re a Firestone Walker fan you’d better get on it!

The Ale Apothecary (Bend) posted a photo today: “First labeled bottle…La Tache (red twine) disguised as Sahalie for mock-up purposes!” Even if it’s not exactly the right beer according to the label, that’s a handsome-looking bottle! I believe this makes it all official—which means these should now be showing up on the shelves soon (wherever Paul decides those shelves should be).