Oregon Beer News, 03/18/2015

Oregon BeerHappy post-St. Paddy’s Day—I hope the hangovers are minimal. Here’s the news for Wednesday, March 18. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often for updates. And if you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that updated as well.

Ninkasi Brewing (Eugene) sent yeast to space—seriously, they put brewer’s yeast on a rocket in a project dubbed the Ninkasi Space Program—and now they are releasing a beer made with that yeast: Ground Control Imperial Stout, due on April 13. From the press release: “Ninkasi is proud to introduce Ground Control, an Imperial Stout brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise and cocoa nibs and fermented with an Ale yeast that survived a trip to space and back… six vials of brewer’s yeast traveled 77.3 miles in altitude aboard a rocket, and returned safely to Earth. The result: healthy, hungry and viable yeast, ready for brewing. The yeast was cold-transported back to Ninkasi’s lab in Eugene, where it was propagated and tested before being used to ferment its first beer, Ground Control.” That… is the ultimate stunt beer.

Cascade Brewing (Portland) is expanding! The Oregonian ran a story on it yesterday: “The brewer, known for its sour beers, has maintained a warehouse off Southwest Denney Road for about a year but is expanding it to handle all of its sour/tart beer operations from fermentation to bottling. Its barrelhouse on Southeast Belmont in Portland will remain but largely for retail not brewing, said Ron Gansberg, brew manager. And, of course, Raccoon Lodge in Raleigh Hills will continue as a pub and brewery as it has since 1998. The site near Denney Road allows Gansberg and owner Art Larrance to expand from the 7,000 square foot former produce warehouse on Belmont to a 23,000 square foot warehouse with a 19,000 square foot cooler.” The space is formally in Beaverton; the Raccoon Lodge itself it technically in Portland though it’s effectively on the border between the cities.

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Tuesday Tastings: Hoodoo Voodoo IPA, Pinchy Jeek Barl, Pre-Flight Pilsner

This week’s edition of Tuesday Tastings features a beer from each of the contiguous 48 states that border the Pacific Ocean. (And yes, had I planned ahead better, I would have made this a St. Patrick’s Day theme. Alas.)

Three Creeks Brewing Hoodoo Voodoo IPA

Three Creeks Hoodoo Voodoo IPAOf course I’ve had Sisters, Oregon-based Three Creeks’ IPA more than a few times—but this was the first one I had that came in a can. Indeed, Three Creeks is now canning several of their beers, as part of their production brewery expansion, and besides IPA they also have Knotty Blonde and FivePine Chocolate Porter in cans.

Hoodoo Voodoo is 6.2% abv and 82 IBUs, and is named after the nearby Hoodoo Ski Resort (itself named after the geologic formation) as well as a play on the folk magic sense of the term. It’s a solid, classic northwest IPA. They say:

This big NW IPA might just put a spell on you! With a burnt, golden-orange color, 6 malts and 4 hops varieties, this beer is enchanting. The up-front hammering of NW hops swirls around with the sweet malt body of one mouthful at a time, producing a light and crisp finish with just a hint of dryness that leaves you wanting more.

Appearance: Deep amber, darker than normal for (what you expect in) an IPA, with a fluffy putty-colored head. Nut brown highlights. (If you didn’t know better, you might think this was a brown ale.)

Smell: Resinous, viney hops, caramel malt, that classic mildly citrus aromas of northwest hops.

Taste: Big and bitter and full of resin right up front, the malt is lighter and drier that expected based on appearance and aroma. There’s still some malt toffee character but the hop stickiness is first and foremost. It’s herbal, clean, and minty.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, finished dry and bitter—not quite coating-the-tongue, but close.

Overall: Darker than I look for in an IPA, but old-school northwest IPA, with great bitter hop character.

Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer

Anderson Valley Brewing Pinchy Jeek Barl

Anderson Valley Pinchy Jeek BarlDo you speak Boontling? I sure don’t. But I do enjoy Anderson Valley’s beers quite a bit, and their pumpkin beers especially. Pinchy Jeek Barl is the bourbon barrel aged version of (I believe) their Fall Hornin’ Pumpkin Ale, a 7% abv beer that is:

Aged for 6 months in Wild Turkey® barrels, this bourbon barrel-aged pumpkin ale is pleasantly creamy with a silky body and sweet caramel flavor. The aging process imparts notes of coconut, vanilla, and oak to compliment the tang of the spices and a hint of hops, all wrapped in a smooth, round finish.

I picked it up in Washington last year from Full Throttle Bottles, during Elysian’s Great Pumpkin Beer Fest.

Appearance: Molasses-brown with a cola-amber color at the fringes when held to the light; fizzy light tan head emphasizes this cola impression.

Smell: Very sweet, with vanilla, corn syrup, maple, spices leaning towards nutmeg and maybe anise. Pumpkin pie drenched in chocolate with a splash of bourbon.

Taste: Sweetish cola note, like a bourbon and Coke. Hints of roasty malts with vanilla woodiness that complements the sweetness well. Robust, spices are muted from the barrel aging, but still present. Rich, leathery.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied but goes a touch thin and woody/tannic in the finish, with a bit of spice.

Overall: Nice sipper, interesting and tasty flavors have been developed here—though not much actual “pumpkin.”

Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer

Airways Brewing Pre-Flight Pilsner

Airways Brewing Pre-Flight PilsnerAirways Brewing is located in Kent, Washington, and is celebrating their 5th anniversary this month, on the 28th. The airplane theme comes from brewer Alex Dittmar’s longtime employment with Alaska Air before starting the brewery.

Pre-Flight Pilsner is 5% abv and targets the traditional style:

Our take on a pre-prohibition style pilsner; fuller in body with a distinct, spicy hop presence. Next time you get that middle seat on a cross-country red-eye, this may keep you from clobbering that kid who keeps kicking the back of your seat.

Strangely enough, I started writing this post before I realized I apparently don’t have any written tasting notes for this beer, which is odd—since I took the time to take a picture of the beer in my usual manner.

I can tell you it was a darker gold than strictly typical for a Pilsner, and it had a nice hop spiciness to it (from the Saaz hops they use) both in the aroma and the flavor. The other impression I remember from this is that it seemed a bit heavy-handed for a Pils—not crisp and dry enough to my tastes. But a good effort and an enjoyable tipple.

Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer

Oregon Beer News, 03/17/2015 – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Oregon BeerHappy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope you have fun and safe plans lined up for this most stout of holidays (see what I did there?); if not, keep an eye on this post as I’ll list various goings-on and news that I find for the day. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day, so check back often for the latest news. If you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that updated as well.

St. Paddy’s Day is big at McMenamins, and accordingly all across the McMenamins properties you’ll find St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations featuring live music, Irish Stout, food specials, and more. See a list on their events page here. For instance, here in Bend at the Old St. Francis School, they’ll have Bend Fire Pipes & Drums roaming the property, as well as live music at O’Kane’s, Father Luke’s Room, the main Pub, and the Fireside Courtyard and of course there will be “Irish Coffee cocktails, and Irish Reubens and Corned Beef & Cabbage.” You’ll find similar merriment at other locations, so enjoy the day!

Belmont Station (Portland) is not only celebrating St. Paddy’s—it’s also their 18th anniversary they’re celebrating today! It’s a huge day for them and details are on their events page: “For our 18th Anniversary, we are super excited to once again feature some favorite beers. Each member of our awesome staff gets to select one, and they even get to write the description on the menu for their beer! Plus, we are honored to have Barley Brown’s brew our 18th Anniversary beer, a Cascadian Dark Ale called Belmont Black. Barley Brown’s founder, Tyler Brown, describes Belmont Black as, “A cross between Turmoil CDA and Chaos Imperial CDA with experimental hop 472 — Neomexicana. Warrior hops for bittering, Citra, Chinook, Cascade, Simcoe and Crystal.” We can’t wait to tap the first keg of Belmont Black on our anniversary on March 17 — and we will host Tyler at a Belmont Black bottle release party that very next Saturday afternoon, March 21.” Festivities start at 4pm and they have a terrific beer list lined up for today! If I were in Portland I’d be there, so don’t miss out!

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Oregon Beer News, 03/16/2015

Oregon BeerIt’s a Monday once again kicking off a new week. And this week, of course, includes St. Patrick’s Day, so I’ll be posting all of those updates for sure. And the rest of the Oregon beer news too; as usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news as I find it, so check back often. And if you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that posted as well.

Terminal Gravity Brewing (Enterprise): Their Tap Out Strong Ale is coming to bottles in a limited seasonal release. From the press release: “For the first time ever, Terminal Gravity’s TapOut will be available for a limited time in six packs and single 12 ounce bottles all across Oregon and Washington. Coming in at 9.8%, TapOut is incredibly smooth for the high octane ABV.” Tap Out is the first of several new seasonal bottlings coming from Terminal Gravity for 2015.

Cascade Brewing (Portland) and their Raccoon Lodge has their St. Patrick’s Day beer ready to pour: “Just in time for St Paddy’s Day, we offer our new Dry Stout, an easy-drinking stout designed to shepherd you at any time on your beer journey, be that breakfast, lunch or supper. Bitter chocolate and roasted malt aromas coupled with flavors of roasted barley and hints of cacao nibs are complemented by a crisp, dry finish. 4.8% ABV / 20 IBU $5 Pint / $2 Taster / $10 Grenade Refill / $17 Growler Refill”

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Oregon Beer News, 03/13/2015

Oregon BeerIt’s Friday the 13th—again! If your weekend plans include taking beer to any lakes, avoid ones with “Crystal” in the name (though crystal malts and Crystal hops should be fine). Here’s the news for the weekend; as usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often. If you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that posted as well.

Lompoc Brewing (Portland) has an Irish-themed release today at their Sidebar starting at 4pm, featuring Dagda Pan Gaelic Red Ale: “Kick off St Patrick’s Day early at Lompoc Sidebar on Friday, March 13 from 4pm to close with the release of Lompoc Brewing’s Dagda Pan Gaelic Red Ale. Join the Lompoc brewers for an Irish celebration including corned beef & cabbage, real live Irish music (on the radio) and pints of specialty ales. Dagda features a rich, malty body and underlying hoppiness. The brewers employed a small portion of black malt and a four-hour boil to give Dagda its ruddy red color and sturdy body.”

The Beer Station in Wilsonville tonight is hosting a “Salem Breweries Tap Takeover” featuring 5 of the Capitol’s newer breweries and cideries: Vagabond, Salem Ale Works, Santiam, Gilgamesh, and Wandering Aengus Cider. “We will have 2 brews on tap from each of the Salem breweries/cidery, as well as a rep/brewer from each to hang out and answer questions… and hopefully some swag giveaways as well!” That starts at 5pm, and it would be a great chance to sample a variety of Salem brews in one go.

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