Beers Made By Walking, Bend tapping, September 16

The Beers Made By Walking program visited Bend three times this past summer, inspiring brewers from Worthy Brewing, Crux Fermentation Project, and Deschutes Brewery to create unique beers incorporating elements from Oregon’s High Desert. And coming up September 16, Broken Top Bottle Shop will be hosting the release party and the tapping of these three beers. Proceeds from the event will go to benefit the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA), which led the hikes.

Beers Made By Walking Bend tapping September 16

Here are the details from the press release:

ONDA experts led brewers from Crux Fermentation Project, Deschutes Brewery, and Worthy Brewing Co. through current and proposed wilderness areas and including the Oregon Badlands Wilderness, Scout Camp at the confluence of the Deschutes River and Whychus Creek, and Black Canyon at Sutton Mountain. The beers that come out of this collaboration are inspired by the surrounding high-desert.

For the event Worthy Brewing brewed “Walk on the Wild Side,” which was inspired by the Badlands, just east of the brewery. Their beer is with buckwheat, sage, local honey, and yarrow. After a hike at Scout Camp, Crux Fermentation Project brewed “Redbarn Farm,” a red Saison ale with rye, rosehips, and fermented with Brettanomyces, a wild yeast strain. Fresh off the hike at Black Mountain, Deschutes brewer, and BMBW veteran, Veronica Vega was leaning toward making an IPA with yarrow and black currant and is putting finishing touches on the recipe.

Entrance is free; beers may be purchased in sample or pint sizes.

All of these BMBW beers are such a distinctive expression of place that you’ll want to attend this event to taste them if you can. And I would say the High Desert in particular is such a unique environment compared to other BMBW locations that these beers could be particularly interesting—I was intrigued to see two of them incorporating yarrow, for instance.

The tapping event will be taking place from 6 to 9pm on that Wednesday the 16th, and you’ll be able to meet the brewers, pick their brains about their creations, and learn more about what ONDA does.

Oregon Beer News, 08/24/2015

Oregon BeerHappy Monday! Here’s some Oregon beer news for your perusing pleasure. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news as I find it, so check back often. If you have news to share, please let me know and I can get that updated as well.

Mondays are “Growler Mondays” at McMenamins locations, featuring $8 growler fills on a select beer at each location (higher-gravity fills are $10). Over at Bend’s Old St. Francis School, the special is Mandalorian Double IPA, while at Hillsboro’s Cornelius Pass Roadhouse, you’ll find Squeeze Play IPA on tap.

This Saturday, August 29, there’s yet another brand new beer festival taking place: the Beaverton Craft Beer Festival (I probably don’t need to mention where it’s taking place). For first year fest the price seems a bit steep—$30 but that gets you the glass and 12 tasting tickets, though they will donate $1 per ticket to HomePlate Youth Services. You can pre-purchase online or wait til entry. Brewpublic has the beer list, so check it out and if you’re in the Beaverton area Saturday, you might want to look into this new Fest.

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Public wake for Fred Eckhardt at the Crystal Ballroom, today (Aug. 23)

Fred EckhardtIf you are in or around Portland today the public wake for Fred Eckhardt is taking place at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom from 2 to 6pm. Eckhardt, widely credited as the Dean of American Beer Writers as well as Craft Beer’s Muse, passed away August 10 at the age of 89. A slideshow will be running throughout the event as well, celebrating Fred’s life in pictures.

John Foyston wrote an excellent obituary for the Oregonian, which you should read if you haven’t yet. I love this bit about how Fred became interested in good beer and brewing:

Eckhardt was a U.S. Marine in World War II and Korea, a photographer and a swim instructor well before he was a beer guru. His epiphany came with the Cuban Missile Crisis in the early 1960s: If the nukes did hit the fan, as seemed likely at the time, the post-apocalypse world would have little need of either swimming instructors or guys who took portraits of cute babies.

He remembered when he was a Marine, the mess sergeant always had a still going within hours of hitting the beach. “That sergeant was much loved,” Eckhardt said, “and I realized people who make booze always are.” That’s when he set out to teach himself and others how to brew at home and take beer back from the mega breweries that had made it a bland, fizzy commodity.

Today there will be many stories told and much beer consumed in Fred’s honor. If you can’t make it, Lisa Morrison posted a link to the funeral home’s online guest book so you can pay your respects online.

Three new beer festivals coming up

Everyone knows Oregon is a great beer state, and the number of beer festivals we have going on throughout the year is but one of many testaments to this. Indeed, it seems like there’s a brewfest of some sort going on every weekend during the summer somewhere in the state, and new ones are popping up all the time. Case in point, here are three new ones to check out, two this weekend and one in September.

Wilsonville Brewfest

The first annual Wilsonville Brewfest takes place this Saturday, August 22, at The Piazza at Villebois in—you guessed it—Wilsonville. It’s running from noon to 8pm and will be featuring 12 breweries, including the new Vanguard Brewing which has yet to open but will be located in Wilsonville. Their beer is a collaboration with Lake Oswego’s Stickmen Brewing, and the other 11 breweries will pour two beers each (for a total of 23 beers).

No, it’s not a big brewfest, but it’s only their first year. It is family friendly, and the cost is pretty standard: $15 will get you the commemorative mug and seven tasting tickets (and I expect additional tickets will be $1). And they will have live music and food trucks as well.

Volcanic Bike and Brew Festival

In Bend, the Mt. Bachelor ski resort is holding their very first Volcanic Bike and Brew Festival, combining two of the region’s great loves—the outdoors and biking, and beer. Lasting all weekend, from Friday through Sunday (the 21st through 23rd), it features heavily on the biking component but also has the “brewfest” portion taking place from 3 to 9pm each day Friday and Saturday, for their beer garden sampling sessions.

Featuring 18 breweries (and cideries, and one winery), many of which are local (of course), the cost for the beer fest portion is $15 which nets you the pint glass plus eight tasting tokens. And if you are into outdoor biking, definitely check out the full schedule of clinics and bike events open to all.

Burns Brewfest

Technically, the Burns Brewfest isn’t new—it debuted last year, so this year’s event coming up on Saturday, September 19 is the second annual Burns Brewfest. But it’s so relatively new and I suspect off-the-radar that I wanted to include it here.

Burns’ own Steens Mountain Brewing Company is a big proponent of this fest, naturally, and back in June they posted some details of what they’ll be pouring:

For the Second Annual Burns Brewfest September 19th we will have two new brews: 1) Chukar’s Revenge- a hoppy Cascadian Dark Ale (SG 1.059; IBU 61.7; color 42.5 ABV 5.6% and; 2) Big Indian ESB a classic English Ale (SG 1.058; IBU 44.5; Color 15.3; ABV 5.1%). Both use heirloom hops found in Harney County!

It takes place in Arrowhead Plaza in downtown Burns, from noon to 7pm, and last year’s Brewfest featured eight breweries pouring samples (with pretty standard festival pricing). This year I would expect to see more.

Oregon Beer News, 08/20/2015

Oregon BeerHere’s the news in Oregon beer from around the web for Thursday, the 20th of August. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day, so check back often. If you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that posted as well.

Belmont Station (Portland) tonight is hosting a book signing and meet the author with Steven Shomler and his new book, Portland Beer Stories, from 5 to 7pm: “Steven Shomler first came on to the Portland scene with his book, Portland Food Cart Stories. During that time, he fell in love with the craft beer scene and decided to make his second book about the key players and places that make up our unique community. Portland Beer Stories is that book! Come meet Steven, and if you buy one of his engaging books, he will even sign it for you!”

McMenamins Kennedy School (Portland) is holding a limited-edition beer tasting tonight starting at 5pm, featuring a cask-conditioned Scattershot IPA: “We love getting new hops and this IPA is showcasing a brand new hop to us: Galaxy. This Australian hop lends flavors of citrus, pineapple, and, if you taste studiously for it, peach. It’s not going to last long, so better to enjoy it while you can.”

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