Oregon Beer News, 11/30/2011

Here’s the beer news from around Oregon for this last day of November. Don’t forget the Holiday Ale Festival kicks off today, heralding the… well, not exactly start of the Christmas beer season, but close enough. I’ll be updating this news page throughout the day, so if you have any to share, contact me and I’ll report it.

McMenamins is releasing a special 2011 vintage “Whiskey Widow”—a special barrel-aged version of their Black Widow Porter that I reported on last month—at 2pm on Friday the 2nd at the Kennedy School Boiler Room Bar. This special edition was brewed and barreled at the Concordia Brewery by brewers Matt Carter and Kevin Lee, who will also be on hand to talk about the beer. From the press release: “Seven weeks ago part of Concordia’s batch of the 2011 Black Widow found its way into a freshly emptied whiskey barrel from our own Edgefield Distillery.  For six weeks, the complex flavors of the Black Widow rested within the charred-oak barrel still swollen with whiskey.  The result is the ‘Whiskey Widow’, a sublime and even fuller-flavored porter.  You will experience plenty of whiskey aroma (and flavor) coupled with the obvious sensory impressions of hardwood.  In spite of it’s strength, the Whiskey Widow is surprisingly smooth and approachable. All combines to make Concordia’s annual Whiskey Widow release a rich, ebony colored and full-bodied winter warmer.”

GoodLife Brewing & Bend Brewing (Bend) are releasing a collaboration beer today in celebration of St. Andrews Day, the National Day of Scotland, “Scottish Heart Scotch Ale.” The beer was brewed by BBC’s Tonya Cornett and GL’s Curt Plants, and to help celebrate the release (which runs from 5 to 9pm tonight at GoodLife Brewing) there will be bagpipers on hand to get you into the Scottish spirit.

Flat Tail Brewing (Corvallis) received and installed a shiny new 30-bbl conical fermenter yesterday, and documented some of the process on their Facebook page. Needless to say adding a fermenter of this size should up their production considerably. Incidentally, looking at their beer menu reveals some of the more interesting beers I’ve seen being brewed; more on that in a separate post.

Deschutes Brewery (Bend) is having their annual “Garage Sale” this Saturday, December 3rd, from 9am until noon. This year’s sale is taking place in their Lower Warehouse rather than the Mountain Room, at 399 Shevlin-Hixon Drive in Bend; you’ll be able to get t-shirts, glassware, beanies, sweatshirts and more at discounted rates (because many of these are discontinued items), and the Brewery says, “We’ve also got some special items for you this year that have never been released and will only be avialable at this year’s Garage Sale.”

10 Barrel (Bend): This Saturday (the 3rd) is their 2nd Annual Pray For Snow release party and parking lot party—celebrating the release of their seasonal Pray For Snow Winter Strong Ale (this year’s edition is “bigger” than last year’s and aged for three months in brandy barrels) along with live music and the sacrificial burning of the “snowman,” a six foot tall wooden figure. The party is from 4 to 9:30pm.

The beer dinners keep on coming (is it the season?): yesterday I mentioned the Wet Dog Cafe (Astoria Brewing) and Burnside Brewing hosting ones on the 8th and 12th, respectively, and today there are (at least) two more to note, from Full Sail and Coalition.

  • Full Sail is hosting their December Brewmaster Dinner on the 15th at their Hood River tasting room and pub; four courses paired with their beers for only $30 per person which is a great deal. It’s a holiday themed meal of course, with a “Stout Buche de Noel” for dessert (a traditional French holiday dessert, a rolled cake that resembles a Yule log).
  • Coalition Brewing is featuring a beer pairing dinner at 23 Hoyt Restaurant in Portland on the 10th (Saturday) with a five-course meal capped by a Pumpkin Porter Cheesecake dessert. Time and cost aren’t posted (yet), but you can find out more by calling 503-445-7400.

Silver Moon Brewing (Bend): They now have their seasonal Winter Moon Strong Ale on tap. Winter Moon is a 7.4% abv dark(er) strong ale sure to help take the chill off on those cold winter nights.

Ambacht Brewing (Hillsboro) is releasing their Ambacht Honey Triple tomorrow (December 1st) at the brewery, and you can stop by for a taste from 4 to 6pm. Of this beer, they write, “This batch is made with my own wildflower honey and has been aging in the back corner since this spring. Because we use a low-temperature mash our triple is one of the driest available, so if you are tired overly sweet triples, give this one a try.”

Gilgamesh Brewing (Turner): I missed this news earlier, that Gilgamesh has opened up a seasonal store in downtown Salem: “Beginning last week, pints, bottles, gifts, gear and other swag will be on sale at the shop in the Reed Opera House, 189 Liberty St. NE, Suite 106, Salem. Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.”

Silver Moon Brewing (Bend): This week’s “Growler Power Hour” deal is for Hound’s Tooth Amber and Bridge Creek Pilsner. Growler fills between 4 and 5pm are only $5 from Tuesday through Friday.

McMenamins’ Old St. Francis School (Bend) and Cornelius Pass Roadhouse (Hillsboro) each have a “Limited-Edition Beer Tasting” event tonight: at Old St. Francis the tasting starts at 5pm and the beer is a cask-conditioned and “heavily dry-hopped” Kris Kringle; at Cornelius Pass, the tasting starts at 6pm and features a Hogshead Whiskey-aged Terminator Stout on nitro.

The Green Dragon (Portland) has a beer release tonight from the Green Dragon Brew Crew (in conjunction with the Oregon Brew Crew) for their “Falconer’s Flight Single Hop IPA.” It’s an 8% abv, 99 IBU beer using all Falconer’s Flight hops, it has “a delicate pine like aroma followed by a refreshing hint of grapefruit in each sip.” The release is from 5 to 8pm at the Green Dragon.

In the theme the last several days of (holiday) beer dinners, the Pelican Pub & Brewery is holding one called “Salmon Chanted Evening” on Friday, December 9th, in the banquet room of their Pacific City pub: “This is a reservations only dinner with limited seating featuring four courses of locally caught salmon, paired with our amazing beers. Join us for a wonderful evening in the banquet room. Cost is $50 per person and additional beer pairings can be added for $12. Call for reservations: 503-965-3674″

And in more Coalition Brewing news, tomorrow they are releasing their first winter seasonal of the year, Lost Glove—a strong ale that weighs in at 8% abv and is made with a Chilean caramel malt which gives it a “great sweetness.” Definitely one I’d like to see in Bend!

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