Received: 2 Towns Made Marion – in cans

Corvallis’ 2 Towns Ciderhouse has been on a roll lately, releasing a number of seasonals (for which I have some reviews coming up), rolling out a new package design, and adding to their can line-up. The latest to hit cans is their Made Marion cider, a six-pack of which arrived yesterday from the cidery:

Received: Cans of Made Marion cider

“Ripe and juicy, Made Marion unites fresh-pressed 100% Northwest apples with whole, locally grown Marion blackberries.” It’s part of their year-round line so you’ll be seeing it on shelves soon if not already.

I’ve sampled Made Marion before but I’ve never written about it; stay tuned.

June is anniversary month in Bend

Deschutes' 27th back alley bashFrom Facebook

Here in Bend, June is to be the big month for brewery anniversaries, with Deschutes Brewery, GoodLife Brewing, and Crux Fermentation Project all celebrating beer birthdays. Here’s a rundown of this month’s anniversary events, starting tomorrow with GoodLife:

GoodLife Brewing 5th anniversary – Saturday, June 18 (event page)

They’ll be celebrating from 2 to 8pm “with food trucks on-site, 8 taps flowing, and firkins all day!” They will also have lawn games in their beer garden and all ages are welcome.

Crux Fermentation Project 4th anniversary Cruxapalooza – Saturday, June 25

Crux’s fifth Cruxapalooza (the first one was on opening day) takes place from 11:30am to 10:30pm, with a total of 60 taps of beer (24 inside, 20 outside at the outdoor station, and 16 more in an extra refrigerated car), live music, and two special release beers in their Banished series: Bretted Farmhouse and Apricot Wild Farmhouse (Sour).

Deschutes Brewery 28th anniversary – Monday, June 27 (event page)

Quoting:

Join us as we celebrate 28 years of brewing! We will be featuring our anniversary beer, Black Butte XXVIII with vertical flights, culinary specials, back alley bash and more! Celebration is All day, kid friendly, with live music beginning at 5pm in our back alley. Wear an old Black Butte Porter shirt and receive free swag or a complimentary drink!

Vertical Flight: BBXXIV, BBXXV, BBXXVI, BBXXVII, BBXXVIII, N2 BBXXIV!!!

Pretty good start to the summer overall!

The Oregon Garden Brewfest returns for Father’s Day weekend

Oregon Garden Brewfest

The 12th annual Oregon Garden Brewfest returns this Father’s Day weekend, taking place in Silverton at the Oregon Garden from Friday, June 17 through Sunday, June 19. This year they’ve changed things up for the first time:

The Brewfest is relocating from its traditional indoor setting out into the forest, where breweries will be set up in booths dotted throughout the woods underneath the warm glow of bistro lights. The move will allow guests to take better advantage of the summer weather while exploring the 80-acres of botanical gardens with beer in hand.

For the first time ever, minors will be welcome on Saturday from Noon to 5pm as well as all day on Sunday; on Father’s Day, there will be a kid’s craft area and root beer. The new location is closer to the Children’s Garden, allowing families to be near the festivities as well as close to entertainment for kids.

This has been one of my favorite Brewfests in recent years, in large part because of the setting: the Oregon Garden is spectacular, and I think this year’s new open-garden layout could be amazing. Unfortunately, this will be the first year in quite a few that I won’t be able to attend, which is too bad, I’d really like to see how it works. They are featuring 60 different breweries, cideries, and meaderies which could offer pretty substantial coverage throughout much of the Garden.

If you get the chance, go! It’s kid-friendly this year which is exactly how a Brewfest on Father’s Day should be. In fact, take your father!

Additional details from the press release are continued below the fold.

Continue reading →

Bend: Meet Rob Widmer and drink Hefeweizen June 16

Widmer Hefeweizen

As part of the 30th anniversary of Widmer Hefeweizen, Widmer Brothers is touring Oregon with a Hefe camper, hosting pub crawls to celebrate the anniversary, and will be giving away the camper this summer. This Thursday, June 16, they are coming to Bend, and founder/owner Rob Widmer will be here too—so this is a great chance to come out and drink one of Oregon’s original craft beers and meet one of the folks who helped start it all.

Come join Widmer Brothers Brewing is we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen (Hefe). On May 15, 1986, brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer made their very first delivery of Hefe to the Dublin Pub in Portland. Three decades later, Hefe is still the best-selling craft beer in the state, and the brewery just released the beer in cans in Oregon only. Please join Widmer Brothers and Rob Widmer himself for a Bend pub crawl. Prost!

The pub crawl will run from 5 to (roughly) 9pm, with three stops planned in downtown Bend:

  • Sidelines Sports Bar, from 5 to 6:30
  • The Summit Saloon, from 6:30 to 7:30
  • Wall Street Grill, from 8 to 9

Astute local beer geeks (or nerds) will correctly note that those are three bars that are not normally known as “beer bars” though they certainly have decent taplists. I suspect these are probably the three largest Hefeweizen accounts in town. And they are all located downtown, within a few blocks of each other, so it works out to a good pub crawl route.

I’m planning to go crawling, it should be fun; readers will know I’ve been a long time fan of Hefeweizen and Widmer, and a chance to meet Rob Widmer (again) is too good to pass up. Come out and join us!

Portland Beer Week is jam-packed with events

Portland Beer Week Subcontinental IPA

Portland Beer Week starts this Thursday, June 9, and I’m pretty sure this year has more events than ever—possibly more than any other of the state’s beer weeks (though Medford gives it a run for its money). As with many of these “weeks” it actually runs longer, 11 days, and ends on June 19.

Portland Beer Week is eleven days of fun, educational, eye and palate opening eating and drinking events in the greatest beer city on earth. More than just a beer festival, Portland Beer Week is a celebration of craft beer culture and all of its tangents from food pairings to beer ice cream, artwork and design, film and science. Though our namesake is for the city of Portland, Oregon, we are not exclusive to only local brands and companies, we wish to bring the best of the beer world to Portland.

This year Portland Brewing and Double Mountain Brewery teamed up to brew the official collaboration beer for PDX Beer Week—Subcontinental IPA. “Inspired by the intriguing spice blends used in Indian cuisines, we carefully added our own blend of spices to help draw out the tropical notes from the El Dorado, Calypso, Centennial and Challenger hops,” said Portland Brewing head brewer Ryan Pappe in the press release.

Bookmark the events calendar—there are too many events to list here, but I did want to highlight some of the featured ones.

The Rooftop Kickoff Party takes place Thursday the 9th from 6 to 10pm: “Party with us on the rooftop of the Ecotrust Building in downtown Portland. There will be sweet vendors, cool beer and hot food! Plus there is no cover, we are all-ages and all proceeds will go to benefit charity New Avenues for Youth.”

The 6th annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival returns on Friday the 10th to run through the weekend: “Due to overwhelming support and overcapacity crowds, organizers are excited to announce a new and larger venue for 2016’s festivities at the North Park Blocks in downtown Portland. If you arrive early between the hours of 11am-2pm on Friday we will give you 4 extra drink tickets!” As usual they have a stellar lineup of fruit-infused beers, many brewed specially for this fest.

The Rye Beer Fest returns, also taking place on Friday the 10th from 4pm until the wee hours, at EastBurn. You guessed, it’s all rye beers and there’s even some rye whiskey to sample. “To celebrate the 5th year of the fest we are raffling off a $1500 travel voucher. Tickets are $20 each and all funds raised from the raffle go to the Children’s Cancer Association.”

On Monday the 13th the New School presents the New Oregon Breweries Showcase at Bailey’s Taproom starting at 5pm: “11 new breweries from Oregon, all opened in less than a year from the date will be present pouring two beers each. Meet-the-brewers and owners from the new school of breweries from across the state from 5-8pm, the beers run all night. NO COVER.”

Also that Monday, Belmont Station is hosting uber-popular Midwest Bell’s Brewery for Bell’s Beach Party starting at 5pm: “Belmont Station turns into Bell’s-mont Station as we herald in summer with Bell’s founder Larry Bell and the most popular summer beer across the Midwest: Bell’s Oberon Ale! With its cheery, sunshine-y label, this refreshing ale combines a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas — the perfect complement to any beach party. Larry himself joins us to welcome Oberon back into Oregon after a hiatus of many years. But that’s not all! We’re blowing out this beach party with a baker’s dozen Bell’s beers pouring in the taproom.”

Ecliptic Brewing is hosting a Barrel-Aged Beer Seminar on Wednesday the 15th, which looks pretty fantastic: “Oregon State University presents the Barrel-Aged Beer Seminar: Learn from the masters of non-sour barrel-aged beer on techniques, flavors, variations and different spirit aged barrels and oak. Our panel of brewing experts will each share their knowledge and 2-3 of their own rare barrel-aged beers for tasting.”

McMenamins Mission Theater is hosting the Women of Oregon Beer Gathering for the five-year anniversary of the movie “The Love of Beer.” In addition to a showing of the film at 7pm, there’s a meet and greet at 5pm and a Q&A afterward. “The night features special guests Tonya Cornett (10 Barrel’s R & D Brewmaster), Teri Fahrendorf (Pink Boots Society founder and R & D Brewmaster at Great Western Malting), Lisa Morrison (aka the Beer Goddess), Sarah Pederson (owner/founder of Saraveza), Lisa Allen (Head Brewer at Heater Allen Brewing), Natalie Baldwin (Brewer at Burnside Brewing), Sonia Marie-Leikam (co-owner of Leikam Brewing), Jen Kent (McMenamins Brewer), Lee Hedgmon (Assistant Brewer at Pints) and Alison Grayson (Director of “The Love of Beer” documentary).”

Finally, the final day of the Beer Week, June 19, sees SNACKDOWN! presented in collaboration with Gigantic Brewing. “SNACKDOWN! is a fun and entertaining food and beer pairing event where 10 of Portland’s best Chefs and 10 Oregon Brewers are paired into 10 Brewer/Chef teams to make their greatest snack and beer pairing. Guests will choose their favorite pairing and the winners will be awarded the SNACKDOWN Belt!” That one will be a lot of fun.

Oh, it’s going to be a good week to be in Portland. Pity those of us who aren’t!