The Oregon Brewers Festival is now one week away so it’s time to start looking at the beer list and making plans! I’m examining the full list (which appears below) and I’ve done an informal tally of styles. This year definitely seems like the Pale Ale/IPA fest—there are some 27 beers that can fit into these categories—with a strong fruit-and-summertime showing as well; not too many darker beers this time around—though these might show up in the Buzz Tent. And, it’s important to note that this year there’s a new Sour Tent as well.
Here’s my tally; note that I’ve cross-categorized several of the beers, so don’t add up my numbers to get a definitive total. I’ve also combined similar styles for brevity’s sake.
- IPA (including Imperial/Double): 16
- Fruit Beer: 13
- Pale Ale (various iterations): 9
- Specialty/Experimental/Herbs and Spice: 9
- Cream/Blonde/Kolsch: 9
- Witbier and Wheat: 8
- Session Beer (including any <= 4.5%, though one marked “Session” was higher): 7
- Other Belgian/French styles: 6
- Pilsner: 4
- Gluten Free: 2
- Porter (including Baltic): 2
- Sour (not counting the Sour Tent): 2
- CDA/Black IPA: 2
- Bock (various): 2
- Amber/Red: 2
- Stout: 1
- Berliner Weisse: 1
- Alt: 1
- Scottish: 1
I’ll do my annual “must try” pick list later, but in the meantime here’s the full list with descriptions (I’ve included the list’s own style designation except where it should be blazingly obvious):
10 Barrel – Raspberry Crush (American-style Sour Ale) – 5.2% abv – 4 IBU
Acidulated white wheat, raspberries and an inoculation of lactobacillus in the fermenter give this American ale its tart, fruity taste. Low hop levels let the special sour flavors dominate, and rice syrup helps yield a particularly light finish and body. This is a real summer refresher.
21st Amendment – Bitter American (Session Beer) – 4.4% abv – 44 IBU
Don’t let this beer’s golden hue deceive you. Despite its hop-houndish name, this brew is malty and easy-drinking, meant to be one you can enjoy at a leisurely pace all evening without exhausting your palate or putting you at risk with heavy machinery. With just enough hops for balance, it’s a great one to enjoy with dinner.
Alameda Brewing – Huckleberry Hound IPA (Specialty Beer) – 6.5% abv – 55 IBU
Known for their innovation, Alameda’s 2012 OBF offering doesn’t disappoint. A robust hop schedule of Columbus, Cascade, Amarillo and Simcoe hops in the boil, whirlpool and fermenter complement the unique grain bill of German Pilsner malt, German Munich malt and Crystal rye. Then, the assertive juice of huckleberries pumps up the gravity and adds a sweet fruity touch to the dry but full-bodied brew.
Alaskan Brewing – Alaskan Oatmeal Stout – 5.7% abv – 28 IBU
This rich award-winning brew boasts a unique flavor ingredient: 1,000-year-old glacial waters! Dark and creamy, a generous dose of oatmeal provides a rich, smooth taste to counterbalance the roasty flavors of the various dark malts. A high finishing gravity means it has residual sweetness and body to balance the bitterness.
Anderson Valley Brewing – Summer Solstice Cervesa Crema (Cream Ale) – 5% abv – 6 IBU
This honey-gold elixir is crisp and clear, with an unusual lightness and dryness for such a full-flavored ale. The arousing abundance of Pacific Northwest hops adds both a floral bouquet and a lively, citrusy finish.
Ballast Point Brewing – Sculpin IPA – 6.6% abv – 70 IBU
2-Row, Caramel and Carapils malts provide just enough malty sweetness to balance this beer’s amazing seven – yes, seven – different hops added several times to the boil, as well as to the knock-out and in the fermenter. Northern Brewer, German Tradition, Columbus, Chinook, Centennial, Amarillo and Simcoe give it not only a bracing bitterness, but a rich, hop flavor.
Bayern Brewing – Bayern Dark Doppel Bock – 8.4% abv – 26 IBU
This award-winning beer begins life as a “mere” doppelbock, then graduates to even greater intensity as a concentrated Eisbock after spending seven weeks in secondary fermenters at 30 degrees F. Traditional decoction mashing of Pilsner, Munich and chocolate malts extracts all the malty goodness, complemented by a light touch of Hallertauer, Perle and Saaz hops.
Bear Republic – Black Racer (American-style Black Ale) – 8.1% abv – 75 IBU
Many IPA lovers look for a one-to-one ratio of bitterness points (IBU) to original gravity points. This beer not only does that, but throws in the unique character of debittered black malt to provide richness and roasty sweetness without the sharp edge, letting the hops shine through. Stout lovers and IPA lovers, unite!
Beer Valley Brewing – Oregonberry Wheat Ale (Fruit Wheat Ale) – 4% abv – 8 IBU
In some ways a simple, no-nonsense brew, the unique flavor of this beer comes from the “Oregonberry” concoction – a mix of plums, blueberries and cherries to sweeten and deepen the wort made from pale, light wheat and honey malts. The hop bill is also very Oregon: Cascade, which adds a bit more citrus and a delightful floral character. Light and refreshing, its low alcohol means you can go back for more, or fill the mug!
Bison Brewing – Honey Basil Ale (Herb and Spice Beer) – 6% abv – 12 IBU
About 7% of the fermentables in this beer come from organic clover honey. The rest is pale, Crystal and Munich malt, seasoned with Cascade hops and fresh organic basil. Yes, basil – about two pounds per barrel, added in the last 15 minutes instead of hops. Makes you wonder, how would this beer go with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella?
Boulder Beer – Mojo (IPA) – 7.2% abv – 68 IBU
Beautiful, first-use Rocky Mountain snowmelt comprises over – but just over – 90% of this beer. The fruity, estery house ale yeast has done great work converting the malt base of pale, wheat and 20L caramel malt. Centennial hops at first wort and Amarillo in the finish give it both a strong bittering kick to balance the malt, and a floral, citrusy nose and hop flavor. This is a classic IPA.
Boulevard Brewing- ZŌN (Witbier) – 4.4% abv – 15 IBU
ZŌN is Flemish for “Sun,” which should give you an impression of Boulevard’s classic summer seasonal. Coriander & orange peel spice this award-winning Belgian-style Witbier, derived from pale and wheat malts plus unmalted wheat. Lightly hopped with Bravo, CTZ & Simcoe, the spicy, zesty flavors of the wheat are allowed to shine through.
Boundary Bay Brewery – Double Dry Hopped Delta Pale Ale – 5.6% abv – 45 IBU
Successful innovation doesn’t always have to be complex. This single-hopped beer uses the earthy, minerally, somewhat spicy Delta hop, a relative newcomer to the hop scene, for all five additions – bittering, flavoring, aroma and two dry hop additions. Its almost as simple grain bill is comprised of 2-Row and Munich malts, fermented by a Northwest ale yeast.
BridgePort Brewing – Stump Town Tart (Fruit Beer) – 7.8% abv – 15 IBU
If you’re looking for a break from all the hops, this might be the place to start. Oregon raspberries are added to this beer after primary fermentation to impart a naturally tart finish. The Belgian Trappist yeast produces classic fruit and spice esters. The beer is then aged in French oak wine casks for six months. Complex? Ja, mein herr!
Caldera Brewing – Caldera Hop Hash (American-style Strong Pale Ale) – 6.5% abv – 100 IBU
This beer gets its name from the Hop Union Hop Hash nuggets – pure hop lupulin extracted from Yakima leaf hops – boiled for 60 minutes in the kettle. Premium two row, Great Western Munich, Crisp 60L and rolled oats comprise the grain bill designed to carry this load. Fermented warm using American Ale yeast to bring out the fruitiness, the resulting beer is designed to be a surprise on all fronts. Even the brewer has no idea how hoppy it’ll be.
Cascade Brewing – Razberry Wheat – 4.5% abv – 15 IBU
Put on your rose-colored beer goggles: this brew really is pretty in pink. Whole raspberries added to a sour mash Berlin-style wheat beer create a berry splash in this extremely refreshing beer. The raspberry is apparent on the nose, while the palate is tart and lemony with a hint of wheat. This may be the most quenching brew at the festival.
Coalition Brewing – Rooster’s Cream Ale – 4.8% abv – 28 IBU
American 2-Row pale, Munich, Carapils and honey malts along with flaked barley comprise this brew’s complex grain bill. By contrast, only two workhorse hops – Sterling and Perle – do the heavy lifting on the lupulin side, but they do double duty with two hop additions each. The low hop levels keeps this big brew malt-balanced and easy to drink.
Collaborator (Oregon Brew Crew/Widmer) – Pineapple Express (Fruit Wheat) – 5.7% abv – 7 IBU
Love for his wife inspired homebrewer Josh Huerta’s brew that became the latest in the Collaborator series. Pineapple added to the secondary fermenter adds a fruity sweetness as well as the flavor and aroma of the fruit, while leaving the acidity and bitterness behind. 2-Row, Munich and wheat malts are supplemented by corn sugar for a light-bodied sweet beer that’s not cloying.
Columbia River Brewing – Rye Not IPA – 6.5% abv – 77 IBU
This brew’s traditional grain bill of 2-Row pale, Crystal and wheat malts get a flavor boost from a dose of intense, rich rye malt, giving it a unique tangy flavor that merges well in an IPA. Four additions of Mt. Hood, Columbus and Cascade hops provide high hop bitterness, flavor and aroma, as befits an American IPA.
Deschutes Brewery – Armory XPA (Strong Pale Ale) – 5.5% abv – 57 IBU
Another winner from Deschutes! Northwest C-60 and C-40 – no, that’s not motor oil, it’s Crystal malt on top of Pale and 2-Row, and it gets this beer’s engines blasting. The beer’s high gravity is balanced by gobs of hops – Nugget for bittering, Northern Brewer for flavor, and three Cs (Citra, Cascade & Centennial) for aroma. An English Ale yeast strain provides distinct fruit esters with a malty, complex profile.
Deschutes Brewery – Gluten Free (Gluten Free North West Pale Ale) – 5% abv – 45 IBU
The terms “gluten-free” and “award-winning” haven’t often gone together, but don’t tell Deschutes that. This beer took silver at the GABF in 2010. The sweet fermentables in this beer came from rice syrup, local honey and a slight amount of dark Belgian candi syrup for color. Four additions of hops – Nugget, Crystal, Saphir and Galaxy – provide ample bitterness and hop flavor. Fermented slightly warm with a Weiss yeast strain, the herb meadowsweet was added to provide earthy, herbal floral notes.
Dick’s Brewing – Dick’s Dubbel Trouble (Belgian Dubbel) – 8% abv – 40 IBU
Belgian Dubbels are rich, complex, malty beers, and Dick knows Dubbels. 2-Row malted barley, Munich malt, aromatic malt and Special B provide a multi-faceted malt base with sweet, biscuity flavors, and a moderate Northwest touch. Magnum (bittering) and Mt. Hood (flavor and knockout) hops provide balance to all that sweet goodness. Get a driver, this one’s high alcohol.
Dogfish Head – Positive Contact (Experimental Beer) – 9% abv – 20 IBU
You’re ahead of the rest of the country if you’re tasting Positive Contact, since it hasn’t been released to the public yet. So secret is the recipe that they won’t tell us how it obtains its golden hue or which hops, lightly applied, provide its mild bitterness and hop flavor. A long track record of success suggests that you’ll be proud to be among the first to try it – and will consider yourself one lucky dog.
Double Mountain Brewery – Goliathon (Dark American-Belgo-Style Ale) – 11% abv – 28 IBU
Starting with soft Mt. Hood water (you might have skied over this beer!), the brewers add German Carafa and roasted barley to the base malt for color and flavor. A blend of Inglemunster yeast plus a house strain from Rochefort ferments this moderately hopped strong brown ale, blending U.S. and Belgian craftsmanship for a brew that’ll treat you well as you sip deep into the night.
Dunedin Brewery – IPA Chronicle: FL-Oregon Trail (IPA) – 7.5% abv – 125 IBU
Dunedin makes its debut at the OBF with a complex, high-gravity IPA and record-setting bitterness (an off-the-chart 125 IBUs). Sweet orange peel complements the Summit, Pacifica and Nelson Sauvin hops added in extreme proportions to overcome the high gravity produced by 2-Row pale, biscuit, Munich 20, Carafoam and Crystal 80L malts. Florida orange blossom honey adds flavor and fermentables to generate that high alcohol.
Eel River Brewing – Climax Extra Pale – 5.2% abv – 40 IBU
Like all Eel River brews, Climax is all-organic, and proof that organic brews are at least as flavorful as their non-organic competitors. The unique Zythos hop blend, designed for American IPAs, is used exclusively and provides distinct tangerine, citrus, floral, pine and grapefruit tones. A simple malt bill of organic 2-Row and organic wheat provide the fermentables and the clear golden hue.
Electric Brewing – Electric Beer (Kölsch) – 5% abv – 35 IBU
Weyermann Pils, Castle Cara 8 and Castle Pils malts are double-decocted to produce a fully-flavored but light, golden lager. Highly quaffable for summer, it’s moderately hopped with delicate Mt. Hood hops in the boil for bitterness, Hallertauer toward the end for flavor, and Sterling hops at the finish for a delicate aroma and spicy finish.
Elysian Brewing – Space Dust IPA – 7.2% abv – 62 IBU
Castle Pale Ale, Great Western C-15 and DextraPils malts give this full-bodied IPA its light amber hue and its serious alcohol kick, while a continuous series of additions of Chinook, Citra and Amarillo hops provide a balancing hop bitterness, flavor and aroma profile. Fermented fairly dry, you’ll taste citrusy hops on the finish, great for quenching a summer thirst.
Epic Brewing – Epic Hop Syndrome Lager (Session Beer) – 4.8% abv – 29 IBU
Epic makes a splash worthy of its name with this highly quaffable, moderately-hopped beer whose 4.8% alcohol content is low only by craft beer standards. It may be the only beer in the festival using French hops (Aramis) which, added to the hopback, provide a delicate, herbal German noble hop type aroma with a hint of lemon. Calypso and Crystal hops do the bittering on wort drawn from Weyermann Pils and Munich Malts and Briess 2-Row Carapils.
Fearless Brewing – Fearless Scottish Ale – 5.3% abv – 35 IBU
This rich, creamy Scottish-style ale – Fearless’ flagship brew -sports a forward malt nose courtesy of Golden Promise pale and Carastan malts, plus a touch of roast barley for complexity. The heady aroma leads in to a sweet malt palate with gentle fruitiness. The finish is smooth, malty and lingering, and not at all bitter.
Fire Mountain Brew House – Tan Line Summer IPA – 5.2% abv – 85 IBU
Tan lines are supposed to be gradual, and so are hop additions at Fire Mountain. Centennial and Saaz hops go into the kettle on a secret schedule, but rumor has it they don’t stop once they start. Pilsner and light caramel malts provide the grain base to carry all that hop bitterness. Dry English Ale yeast leaves some malt flavor behind to balance the hops.
Firestone Walker – Wookey Jack (Rye Black Ale) – 8.3% abv – 60 IBU
A brand-new beer, Wookey Jack is Firestone Walker’s first foray into the dark outer world of black IPAs. Rich, dark Midnight Wheat, Carafa Rye, 2-Row pale, Caramel 77 and spicy rye malts careen into bold, citrus laden Amarillo and Citra hops for an intense, rich flavor. At 60 IBUs, Wookey Jack is gnarly on the outside, yet complex and refined on the inside, left unfiltered and unfined to retain all of its texture and character.
Flat Tail Brewing – White Light / White Ale (American-style Wheat Wine) – 8% abv – 20% IBU
At 8% alcohol by volume, you might consider this an “Imperial” wheat beer. Weyermann unmalted wheat comprises more than half the grain bill, supplemented by Castle Pils and Weyermann acidulated malts. Lightly hopped with Hersbrucker hops, the brewers created an intensely malt-forward wheat that might challenge your definition of the style.
Flyers Restaurant and Brewery – Pacemaker Porter – 5.5% abv – ??? IBU
Fast becoming Flyers’ flagship beer, this dark, full bodied ale has notes of roasted barley, coffee and bittersweet chocolate from its grain bill of Maris Otter 2-Row, Munich, wheat, chocolate, brown and Crystal malts along with flaked barley. Challenger hops in the boil are followed by Cascade for citrusy flavor and Mt. Hoods in the finish for aroma.
Flying Fish Brewing – Exit 16 Wild Rice IPA – 8.5% abv – 56 IBU
In a nod to a once common food plant at Hackensack Meadows, Flying Fish brewed this beer with wild rice, organic brown rice and white rice, as well as pils and pale malts. That means lots of fermentables – and alcohol – which gets balanced by five additions of hops, including Citra, Columbus, Centennial and Simcoe. Don’t miss this exit!
Fort George Brewery – Quick Wit (Witbier/Herb and Spice Beer) – 5.22% abv – 0 IBU
Zero IBUs? Brewed from mostly organic ingredients, the unique flavor of this spicy wheat beer comes from ground organic coriander, dried organic elderflower and organic lemongrass. Organic 2-Row malted barley and organic malted white wheat form the base of this nearly white beer. A touch of Willamette hops along with some dancing and imbibing keep the boil under control.
Full Sail – Full Sail Brewers Share Chris’ Summer Delight Berliner Weiss – 4% abv – 9 IBU
Full Sail’s third beer in the Brewer’s Share Series is an unfiltered, refreshingly tart small batch Berliner Weiss beer, brewed with 50% wheat malt and just a touch of Hersbrucker hops. This German style sour brew with a dry finish is designed for a hot summer day. Also available in 22 oz. bottles, proceeds from sales of this beer benefit the Oregon State University Brewing Sciences Program.
Gigantic Brewing – Dynomite! (Imperial IPA) – 8.9% abv – 90 IBU
Gigantic amounts of hops, malt, alcohol and flavor. If that isn’t the textbook Imperial IPA, don’t tell Gigantic Brewing – they might not give you any of their high-demand beer. A little bit of Crystal malt is added to lots of base 2-Row pale and as many hops as they could find – especially in the hopback, to make sure you can taste hops in the finish. Did we mention hops?
Golden Valley Brewery – Rosé de Valleé (Fruit Wheat) – 5% abv – 8 IBU
Locally-grown Yamhill County raspberries add a sweet-tart fruitiness to this sour-mash beer brewed from Great Western white wheat and Yamhill County grown and malted IdaPils barley from Christensen Farms. A light touch of Czech Saaz hops allows the tartness to come through, accentuated by fermentation with Wyeast Lambic strains of yeast.
GoodLife Brewing – Traditions Oak Aged Pale Ale (Barrel-aged Pale) – 5.5% abv – 40 IBU
This unique beer is brewed with a process called hop bursting, a technique that extracts flavor and aroma from an all late-addition hopping schedule. By adding large amounts of Cascade, Centennial and Pacific Jade hops after the boil, they are able to retain essential oils that would ordinarily be lost to the ether. Aged in New American oak, the malt bill includes 2-Row, Melanoiden, C-60 and Carafoam.
Green Flash Brewing – Hop Head Red (American-Style Amber/Red Ale) – 7% abv – 70 IBU
Hop Head Red has elevated hop levels to the point where some might consider it a “Red IPA.” Whether true or not, it pleased the judges at the GABF (Bronze, 2009 and Silver, 2007) and World Beer Championships (Gold, 2008). Columbus hops for bittering and Nugget and Amarillos in the finish balance the velvety malt flavor from 2-Row, caramel and Carafa malts.
Hale’s Ales – Hale’s Supergoose IPA – 7% abv – 87 IBU
Supergoose IPA takes the original Hales Mongoose IPA a bit further – more hops (Centennial, lots of Amarillo, Simcoe and Columbus), more malt (Pale, Crystal 40, Crystal 60, Wheat and Munich) and higher extract. Backed by its huge malt structure, the resulting combination of flavors sets a benchmark for big craft-brewed IPAs. California Ale Yeast does the heavy lifting and allows for a deliciously lingering aftertaste of malt and hops.
Hopworks Urban Brewery – Evelyn’s Imperial Sunshine IPA – 7.4% abv – 90 IBU
Organic Gambrinus Pilsner malt paired with Magnum hops for bittering; a mix of Cascade, Centennial, Palisade, Summit and Magnum late in the boil and dry-hopping; plus a dose of Cascades in the whirlpool make this light-colored but full-bodied and full-flavored organic brew a crisp, enjoyable summer beer – that packs a wallop. Guzzle carefully.
Kona Brewing – Big Wave Golden Ale – 4.3% abv – 20 IBU
Say Aloha and hang out with this pretty blonde! Two-Row pale malt and Briess Caramel 10L malt give this beer its lightly suntanned appearance. Hops include Alchemy at the beginning of the boil and Citra & Galaxy for dry-hopping, providing a low hop footprint that’ll wash away with the next wave of goodness that splashes across your palate.
Lagunitas Brewing – OBF Fusion (Oregon Specialty) – ??? abv – ??? IBU
A special beer for Oregon only. Conceived by Oregon beer lovers, then brewed in Petaluma by Oregonians with a recipe so secret, even the brewers don’t know it. They overcome the risk of brewing blindfolded by hiring seeing-eye dogs to do all of the heavy lifting. In other words, typical Lagunitas beer!
Laurelwood Brewing – Portlandia Pils (Pilsner) – 5.5% abv – 50 IBU
Van fans, gather round! This “out of category” Pils boasts a special brewing technique – “the patented Van Havig 80 WP residency.” Organic 2-Row and German Kiln Caramel malts provide a playground in the wort for the full gamut of American aroma hops to play, including Columbus, Cascade, Ahtanum, Simcoe, Amarillo and Centennial.
Logsdon Farmhouse Ales – Kili Wit (Witbier) – 5.5% abv – ??? IBU
Organic African coriander provides the unique spicy flavor and aroma of this farmhouse ale from Dave Logsdon and Charles Porter. Pilsner malt, wheat and oats mashed in artesian spring water form the rich wort lightly bittered by a modest dose of whole cone organic Oregon hops. Round, rich and sweet, this one’s for the malt lovers.
Lompoc Brewing – Saison the Beach – 5.5% abv – 25 IBU
With perhaps the most unique spice mix at the festival, this beer’s modest hop bill of Perle and Crystal takes a back seat to the grapefruit zest, black peppercorns and candied ginger. Pale, Weyermann Pils, wheat, biscuit and rye malts provide an equally complex grain bill, yielding a full-flavored brew with a dry, spicy finish.
Lucky Labrador Brewing – Ale X (Experimental Beer) – 6% abv – 81 IBU
This beer’s complex flavor comes from a deceptively simple grain bill (pale, dark Munich and Crystal 15) and an even simpler hop schedule (Simcoe and CTZ), but at 81 IBUs on top of 62 original gravity points, its hop-centric nature will strike you as anything but simple. Don’t let the coppery color fool you – this one’s a hop monster.
Maui Brewing – La Perouse White (Witbier) – 5.1% abv – 18 IBU
This award-winning brew (silver, 2011 GABF and bronze, 2012 World Beer Cup) is spiced with coriander and fresh local mandarin oranges. Pilsner and wheat malts provide the nearly white hue and soft malty flavor, and noble German Tettnang hops provide a gentle spiciness and mild bitterness that leaves plenty of room to taste those special ingredients.
McMenamins John Barleycorns – Freewill IPA – 8.25% abv – 80 IBU
Huge on all fronts, this beer’s grain bill of Gambrinus organic Pilsner, Franco-Belges, caramel and Vienna malts work overtime to yield that huge original gravity, but the hop bill more than meets the challenge, with 80 IBUs worth of Simcoe at first wort hopping; Chinook for bittering; Chinook, Crystal and Perle for flavor; and all of them again for aroma. This makes for lots of alcohol, so imbibe with care.
Moylan’s Brewery – Pomegranate Wheat Ale (Fruit Beer) – 5% abv – 8 IBU
The hop levels in this wheat beer are kept low so you can taste the delicate flavor of Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice that gives this beer its unique fruit flavor. Great Western wheat and Gambrinus pale malts give the beer its base and golden color.
Mt. Emily Ale House – Organic Strawberry Honey Ale – 5.3% abv – 15 IBU
Organic strawberries and organic honey (from organic bees, natch) add special sweetness but also an exceptionally dry finish to this all-organic brew. A simple grain bill of organic 2-Row malt provides the wort, bittered and flavored by an early and a late addition of, you guessed it, organic Cascade hops. How can this beer not be good for you?
Natian Brewery – Elephanté Red Ale (American-Style Amber/Red Ale) – 7% abv – ??? IBU
The brewers are secretive about this recipe, admitting only that it reaches a robust 7% alcohol, has a reddish-copper color and is loaded with Falconer’s Flight, Xythos, Millennium, Centennial, Northern Brewer and Palisades hops. The “elephant” in the name should provide a clue, though – this is a big beer. Bring a big, empty mug.
New Belgium Brewing – Somersault (Golden Ale) – 5.2% abv – 28 IBU
Pale malt, oats and Crystal 80L keeps this beer simple but full of body-enhancing protein. Equally simple is the hop bill – Centennial in two additions. The special flavors you detect come from the creative use of apricot and ginger, lending a touch of sweet fruitiness with the zingy spiciness of a fine ginger ale.
Ninkasi Brewing – Lady of Avalon (Pilsener) – 5.2% abv – 20 IBU
Ninkasi used all German malt from Weyermann (Pils, Munich, Caramunich and Dehusked Carafe) to concoct this Prussian-style brew. Two early additions of U.S. Hallertau hops provide a spicy balance. This beer was lagered for two months before being centrifuged, and then lagered another two months for a clean, crisp tasting experience at the festival.
Oakshire Brewing – 25 (Imperial Oregon Ale) – 7.5% abv – 25 IBU
Celebrating 25 outstanding years of the Oregon Brewers Fest, Oakshire crafted a beer to celebrate the bounty in our state. Made with 25 ingredients including Oregon grown grains and hops, locally sourced honey, herbs, toasted hazelnuts, cranberries and more, 25 is a light to medium bodied amber ale with bright citrus aromas, a nutty malt character, a hint of fresh herbs and a clean, crisp finish.
Occidental Brewing – Occidental Kellerbier (Kellerbier (Cellar Beer)) – 4.9% abv – 25 IBU
Kellerbier, also known as Zwickelbier, is a unfiltered, unpasteurized brew of German origin. Pilsen and Carapils malt form the simple grist bill, while the wort is moderately bittered with Tettnanger hops for a slightly spicy flavor and aroma. The Budvar yeast strain yields a malty nose with subtle fruit tones. The yeast held in suspension makes it naturally cloudy – and full of vitamins. Get your vitamin B here!
Odell Brewing – St. Lupulin Extra Pale Ale – 6.5% abv – 46 IBU
St. Lupulin, the patron saint of hopheads, devotes endless summers to endless rows of hops, tending to the flowers and the beloved resin within the hop cone’s lupulin. Extraordinary oils in this yellow resin provide this dry-hopped extra pale ale with an undeniably pleasing floral aroma and clean, crisp finish. One sip of this seasonal summer ale and you, too, will believe.
Old Market Pub and Brewery – Cherried Alive (Fruit Beer) – 7.8% abv – 19 IBU
700 pounds of Oregon organic sweet and tart cherries in the secondary fermenter, on top of a five-grain malt bill, weren’t sufficient enough to make this beer stand out for the Old Market brewers. They then aged much of the brew in Pinot Noir oak barrels with even more cherries – 900 pounds in all. Low hop levels let you better taste the fruit and oaky, smoky notes.
Omission – Omission Pale Ale (Gluten Free) – 5.8% abv – 33 IBU
This hop-forward American pale ale was brewed to showcase the Cascade hop profile. Amber in color, Omission’s floral aroma is complemented by caramel malt body, with bready, toasty and toffee-like malt flavors balanced by a moderate bitterness that leaves behind subtle hints of citrus. We challenge you to blind taste test this beer against any other of the same style and tell us which one contains under 20 ppm of glutens (the international standard for gluten-free).
Oregon Trail Brewery – Oregon Trail Lavender Ale (Herb and Spice Beer) – 4.9% abv – 28 IBU
Oregon Trail concocted the starting wort from pale, wheat and Crystal malts. They lightly bittered it with Nugget hops in the boil and flavored it with Mt. Hoods late in the boil and at knockout. After fermentation, they infused the finished beer with crushed lavender flowers for a unique floral, spicy flavor and aroma. If you haven’t given your partner flowers lately, give them one of these – it may be your chance to redeem yourself.
Paradise Creek Brewery – Dirty Blonde – 6.3% abv – 22 IBU
If you like big, brassy dirty blondes, or think you can tame them, wrap your lips around this one. All-local grains (Northwestern pale with additions of Vienna, Munich, Crystal 15 and Dextra Pils) give this girl a great body and coppery hue. Perle and Cascade hops, both from the Yakima Valley, modestly applied, keep this girl from getting too bitter.
Pelican Pub & Brewery – Winema Wit (Witbier) – 5.1% abv – 18 IBU
Want to know a secret? This brew is loaded with them. Named after a local hidden beach with expansive views and its own distinct rock formation, this brew celebrates the best of summer. Fermented with Belgian yeast, Winema Wit is seasoned with orange peel, coriander and cardamom for a snappy, refreshing and fruity-spicy character. Winema Wit may soon become your new favorite discovery.
Phat Matt’s – Kölsch Ale – 4.9% abv – 30 IBU
Pilsner and Golden Promise amber malts form the simple malt backbone of this light, refreshing golden-hued brew. Nugget hops are sparingly added to the boil along with some Cascade for flavoring, and a bit more for dry-hopping. The beer is then cold fermented for maximum smoothness and pure summer refreshment.
Prodigal Son Brewery – Splendor in the Glass V: The Splendor Under the Stairs (American-style Pale Ale) – 6.2% abv – 36 IBU
This highly quaffable American pale ale begins life as 2-Row, Vienna, Maris Otter and Carapils malts in the mash tun. Exclusive use of Calypso hops in the boil and for dry-hopping provides ample bittering, as well as a pleasant, fruity aroma, with hints of pear and apple. Moderate hop levels keep the beer drinkable and balanced.
Pyramid Breweries – Outburst Imperial IPA – 8.5% abv – 80 IBU
Pyramid stuffs hops into every part of this beer, from the beginning of the boil right on through after it has finished fermenting. Nearly four pounds of hops are added per barrel of beer produced. The grain bill of pale, Munich, Cara-red, Caramel 40 and Caramel 80 malts yields a rich, slightly nutty malt flavor and a light copper hue. Big but balanced, expect long lines for this one.
Ram Restaurant & Brewery – Berry White (Fruit Beer) – 5% abv – 13 IBU
Once you taste this beer, you may find yourself singing in a low baritone about how you can’t get enough of this brew, baby. Pale malt, malted and unmalted wheat, acidulated malt and flaked oats set the stage. A light hand with Vanguard hops provides just enough bitterness to take off the sweet edge. Then raspberries added to secondary fermentation and the brite tank finish the beer with a tart, tangy berry flavor.
Red Rock Brewing – Red Rock Elephino Double IPA – 8% abv – 89 IBU
This beer’s big malt footprint comes from generous doses of premium 2-Row pale malt, 60L Crystal, Munich and CaraFoam. The resulting wort is blasted with multiple doses of Cluster, Cascade, Centennial, Columbus and Amarillo hops, providing an intense citrusy character and bracing bitterness to overcome the massive malt flavor and body.
Redhook Brewery – Peach Trippel (Belgian Tripel with fruit added) – 8.2% abv – 20 IBU
Redhook added a half-ton of real fruit peach puree to make a mere 35 barrels of this beer, which is being debuted at the Festival. A four-step mash process on 2-Row, wheat, Munich and Cara-20 malts produced a sweet wort, supplemented with dextrose and Candi sugar in the boil. A gentle dose of Northern Brewer and Saaz hops creates a light but slightly sweet beer with low bitterness to accentuate the aroma and flavor of the fruit.
Rock Bottom Brewery – Teddy’s Sunburn Red Kölsch – 5.5% abv – 35 IBU
This unique beer gets its uncharacteristic-for-style red color from its mix of Pils, Vienna and Carafa II malts. One of the few single-hop beers at the festival, Mt. Hood hops are added at 90, 80, 60, 40, 20 and 0 minutes prior to the end of the boil for a moderately bittered and hop-flavored Cologne-style beer.
Rogue Ales – Rogue 23 (Baltic-Style Porter) – 8.5% abv – 35 IBU
Eight different malts, including Great Western 2-Row, Vienna, Crystal 60 and 150, Briess Midnight Wheat, Black Prinz and Weyermann Carafa II, comprise this incredibly complex grain bill, leading to an equally complex beer, despite the simple hop bill of Perle & Crystal. Big in body and dark malt flavor, the moderate hop schedule lets all that malt complexity shine through. Rogue on!
Russian River Brewing – Row 2 / Hill 56 – The Story of Simcoe (American-Style Strong Pale Ale) – 5.8% abv – 40 IBU
There are only three farms in the world that grow Simcoe hops. This brew uses all three of them in different parts of the boil to tell the “Story of Simcoe.” IdaPils, Maris Otter, Crystal 20 and Crystal 40 malts set the stage for the story to be told, and California Ale Yeast spins the fermentation part of the tale. Now comes the big finish – in your mug.
Seven Brides Brewing – Lil’s Pils (Pilsener) – 5% abv – 33 IBU
This traditional bohemian pilsner is light, crisp, and has a floral hop bouquet that balances the complex malty taste of the all German Pilsner, Vienna and Cara Pils malts. A unique blend of hops – Hercules, Sorachi Ale and Hallertau Middle Frau – give it that delicate bouquet and moderate bitterness. Lagering helps keep it smooth.
Sierra Nevada Brewing – Beer Camp Imperial Pilsner – 5.6% abv – 38 IBU
Produced especially for the OBF, Beer Camp’s golden color and medium bodied sweetness comes from pale, Europils, Munich and acidulated malts. Magnum, Crystal and Pacifica hops provide a distinctly American bittering and hop flavor profile without going over the top. The result is a refreshing, balanced, crisp pilsner, easy to drink on a hot summer festival day – or to take with you to beer camp.
Sprecher Brewery – Sprecher Mai Bock – 6% abv – 25 IBU
A perennial favorite at the OBF, Mai Bock is Sprecher’s spring seasonal offering, a deceptively strong pale lager that’s big in alcohol and malt flavor, with rich hop character and a light fruit bouquet. Caramel, pale and wheat malts give it the big body and maltiness. Mt. Hood, Tettnanger and Willamette hops spice up the nose and provide just enough bitterness to balance. Eight weeks of aging rounds out this beer’s malty smoothness.
Stone Brewing – Dogfish Head / Victory / Stone, Saison du BUFF – 6.6% abv – 60 IBU
Rhymin’ Simon would love this one. Parsley, sage, rosemary and (lemon) thyme, all grown at Stone Farms (Stone’s own organic farm), make this beer more than “fair.” Its grist of pale ale malt, Pilsner malt, wheat malt and flaked rye produces a hearty golden wort, hopped with Centennial for bittering, Amarillo for flavor, and dry hopped with Citra. A Belgian/French Saison yeast adds extra spiciness.
Summit Brewing – Unchained #10 Belgian Abbey Ale – 8% abv – 30 IBU
Pils and Melanoidin malts are teamed up with the uncommon Abbey malt in a step-infusion mash in low pH water, then supplemented with Belgian candi sugar for a drier finish. German noble hops (Saaz and Tettnanger) add moderate bitterness and characteristic floral spiciness to accentuate the malt-forward balance of this beer. Don’t drive after two of these.
Terminal Gravity Brewing – X IPA (Double Hopped Double IPA) – 7.8% abv – 85 IBU
Brewed in collaboration with Double Mountain Brewery from Hood River, the Wallowa Mountain water extracts its malty sweetness (and yeast food) from Belgian Biscuit, Maris Otter and high-color U.S. pale 2-Row malts. Chinook, Styrian Goldings and experimental HBC342 hops are added into the boil, with the Goldings and HBC342s also added in the fermenter for an extra snappy hop flavor.
Uinta Brewing – Hop Notch (IPA) – 7.3% abv – 80 IBU
Bold and refreshing, this IPA combines an abundance of hops with a smooth malt profile. Pale 2-Row, Dark Munich and Crystal 40 malts provide the big fermentable base and light amber/copper color. Five different hops – Galaxy, Chinook, Bravo, Cascade and Apollo – cough up a whopping 80 IBUs for a decidedly hop-forward flavor and aroma profile.
Upright Brewing – Upright Alt – 4.5% abv – 30 IBU
This rich, dark malt-forward beer gets its deep color and malty flavors from pale, medium caramel, Vienna and chocolate malts. Moderately hopped with German spalt hops, its soft hop palate gets a flavor boost from a careful treatment of minerals added to Portland’s soft Bull Run water to give it a more authentic old-world mouthfeel.
Vertigo Brewing – Tropical Blonde (Fruit Beer) – 5.1% abv – 15 IBU
100% Key Lime juice gives this unusual beer its unique sweet citrus taste. This medium-strength beer was brewed from Gambrinus 2-Row pale, Rahr wheat, Crystal 10 and Cara Foam malts with flaked barley in the grist. Noble Czech Saaz hops bitter the wort, with Mt. Hoods added at 15 and 30 minutes before knockout for flavor and aroma.
Wasatch Beers – Wasatch White Label (Witbier) – 6% abv – 14 IBU
Prepare for a white-out! This easy drinking white ale is 6% alcohol by volume and subtlety seasoned with orange peel and coriander. Orange peel, orange granules, coriander and grains of paradise help season the lightly-hopped beer (Mt. Hoods), while the Belgian yeast imparts a slightly phenolic taste and leaves some residual sweetness from the wort of pale, red wheat and pilsner malts as well as flaked barley.
Widmer Brothers – Smooth Cream-N-Ale (Specialty Beer) – 5% abv – 25 IBU
The Brothers W always come up with something new for the OBF and this 25th year is no exception. Lemon zest, ginger and milk sugar give this beer a light, spicy flavor and aroma designed to quench thirst on a hot summer’s day while entertaining your taste buds. Pale malt, flaked barley and Carapils generate the golden wort, hopped with Alchemy and Mt. Hood hops. You might suspect other forms of alchemy are at work here as well, turning malt and spices into this golden ale!