Register for the Beer Bloggers Conference today, because the price goes up tomorrow

Beer Bloggers Conference 2014This year’s American Beer Bloggers Conference is taking place in San Diego on August 22 through 24. And if you’re interested in attending, be aware that today is the last day you can register for the early bird pricing—it goes up tomorrow.

Early bird pricing for Citizen Bloggers (like me) is $95; Industry Bloggers, $195; and $295 for general registrants (non-bloggers). After today, those prices go up to $120, $220, and $320, respectively.

Oregon Beer News, Week of 03/31/2014 and 4/1

Oregon BeerHere is the news in Oregon beer for the week of March 31, 2014 (and the first week of April). I have organized this post with general news first and then items broken down by the day of the week, and I will be updating this post throughout the week with news as I find it. As always if you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that updated here as well.

Full Sail Brewing (Hood River) announced last week that Beverage World Magazine named them “Craft Brewer of the Year” for 2014—kudos! The award is for 26 years of “sustainable stewardship, quality, consistency and operational ingenuity.” Full Sail is one of the consistently best breweries Oregon has to offer, so this is a well-deserved award.

Ninkasi Brewing (Eugene): They are offering an internship with Oregon State University for the college’s Brewery Startup Course this month. From the press release: “Oregon State University’s Craft Brewery Startup Workshop II, launching April 21, allows students to explore brewery startup by developing a business plan and receiving guidance on an entrepreneurial strategy. Ninkasi Brewing Company will host student(s) with the best plan for the opportunity of a lifetime–the chance to visit their facility in Eugene, Ore. and explore a brewery operation that began in 2006.” This is a great opportunity for folks attending the Workshop!

Continue reading “Oregon Beer News, Week of 03/31/2014 and 4/1” »

BridgePort Trilogy 1

BridgePort Trilogy 1The first in BridgePort Brewing’s Trilogy series coming out this year (to commemorate their 30th anniversary) is a pale ale: their Crystal Dry-Hopped Pale Ale. In this day and age leading a specialty series with a pale is a bold move—any more people are expecting exotic ingredients, unusual fermentation, specialty aging, something. So if you’re going to offer a pale, you’d better really know how to brew a good one—and BridePort does.

It’s a nod to those early pale ales of yesteryear, those first forays into a hoppier, more fuller-bodied style of beer as the early craft beer movement was still finding its way. It’s 5.2% abv and 40 IBUs, and I think BridgePort pulled it off nicely. Here’s their blurb:

This dry-hopped pale showcasing crystal hops is beer #1 in our series – made to honor the hop revolution that ignited the craft brewing movement thirty years ago. Slightly spicy with a soft mouthfeel, Trilogy 1 finishes with a pleasant citrusy dry-hop aroma and flavor.

It pours a clear honey-orange in color and is very bright; I got a nice big pile of slightly off-white head as I poured. You immediately notice it’s aromatic and bright with a lovely pop of hops in the nose. It’s citrus-fruity with a touch of earthy spiciness and a touch of cattiness; it’s really quite a lovely aroma, enticing, making you want to just keep inhaling.

On the tongue it’s nicely light with a bready malt and a deft touch on the hops: a super clean bitterness with a nice bit of resin on the back end. Sunny, if you could call it that. It’s very clean and balanced, light of medium-bodied, and very smooth—very easy drinking.

In short it’s an excellent pale ale, and you don’t find too many like this. It’s also not too laden down with caramel malts as a lot of early (and not-so-early) pales exhibited (including many I homebrewed); BridgePort definitely knows how to do the style justice. Highly recommended. (Disclosure: this was sent to me.)

Untappd. BeerAdvocate: 82/100. RateBeer: 3.14/5, 56th overall percentile.

Oregon Beer News, Week of 03/24/2014

Oregon BeerHere is the news in Oregon beer for the week of March 24, 2014, general news first and then day-to-day specific news broken up accordingly. I’ll be updating this post throughout the week with the latest news as I find it, so periodically check back in for updates. If you have news to share, please feel free to contact me and I can get that posted as well.

The 2nd annual Portland Farmhouse & Wild Ale Festival is taking place this weekend, Saturday and Sunday the 29th and 30th at Saraveza and their Bad Habit Room in northeast Portland. They’ve compiled a huge beer list of amazing beers, with an additional special bottle deal from The Ale Apothecary. “Festival entry is $25 and includes commemorative glassware and 10 drink tickets – Pre-sale entry is available now at the Beer Boutique.  Fest Entry and additional tickets will also be available for sale at the door (CASH ONLY!).  Minors allowed until 9pm when accompanied by an adult.” One not to be missed.

Whole Foods in Bend is holding their own 2nd annual Whole Planet Foundation Brew Fest this Thursday, the 27th from 5 to 8pm. It only costs $5 and features beer (and swag) from a bevy of local (and a few not-so-local breweries), as well as a silent auction. 100% of the proceeds benefit the Whole Planet Foundation. The first 150 attendees will receive a free pint glass as well. This is a great local event more than worth the low price. Whole Foods in Bend is one of the “good beer anchors” in the area, offering one of the best beer selections in town.

Continue reading “Oregon Beer News, Week of 03/24/2014” »

What exactly is Chocolate Cider?

Woodchuck Chocolate CiderWhile perusing my local World Market  for Valentine’s Day last month, I came across a unique find. Woodchuck Hard Cider‘s – Cellar Series “Chocolate”. I had to buy it and asked the employee stocking the wine shelves if it was good. She had said they had a tasting out over that weekend and had gotten good responses. That was good enough for me to purchase for a Valentine’s treat.

We did not get around to trying it on Valentine’s Day, nor the few weeks around it, but come mid-March, curiosity had gotten the better of me.

At first pour, it has a very light chocolate color, very straw like or dark caramel. At first smell, it smells like artificial chocolate or a non-chocolate candy my kids would eat. To me, it tastes the same way it smells, but aftertaste is like a tootsie roll.  Jon says he picks up Nestle Quick (after you first open a new box) and has a bite of chocolate caramel apple. I can see that and that’s where I pick up the artificial taste because it’s not traditional chocolate even though it is made with cacao beans and as it warms, the caramel tones do come out more.

How did they make Chocolate Cider? Check out the Woodchuck Cider Blog with pics of how they made the small batch cellar series by infusing crushed cacao beans with their famous cider.

I am glad that I picked it up to taste, but my tastes are more to the sweeter berry side of ciders & beers.

Update: Yesterday (3/29/14), I went to a winery that had a Chocolate Port and had a very similar character of the chocolate notes. To me, it tasted like a tootsie roll, yet again. My taste buds must attribute all chocolate alcohol with notes of tootsie roll.