Oregon Garden Brewfest ’15 going strong this weekend

I know there are a lot of beer events competing for your attention this weekend, but the Oregon Garden Brewfest is continuing today and tomorrow out in Silverton, and if you can make it, you won’t be sorry! I once again got to attend the opening of the fest on Friday and quite enjoyed it.

Here are a few pictures to hopefully whet your appetite:

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It opens at noon both today and tomorrow and remember, tomorrow is Father’s Day and minors are allowed. Cheers!

Oregon Beer News, 06/19/2015

Oregon BeerHappy Friday! I’m off at the Oregon Garden Brewfest today so while I’ve got this post pre-scheduled with Oregon beer news for the weekend, I won’t be updating it throughout the day. However if you have news to share, please feel free to still let me know and I can get that posted soon.

Obviously the big news is the official start of the Oregon Garden Brewfest at noon today! This is a great festival due in no small part to the venue of the Oregon Garden itself, an amazing 80-acre botanical garden reserve. I wrote about the Brewfest in detail here (and no doubt you’re seeing updates here on the blog and the various social media channels), but it runs all weekend and is open to minors on Sunday (Father’s Day). There will be “68 breweries, pouring 136 beers, ciders and meads from throughout Oregon and across the country” as well as food, live music, and the Garden itself. Pricing short version is $15 for one day, and $35 for all three days, and the usual beerfest structure applies (tasting glass, tasting tickets, etc.). Hope to see you there!

Today is also the start of the Eastern Oregon Beer Festival, taking place in La Grande today and tomorrow (Friday the 19th and Saturday the 20th). From their about page: “This is our second annual festival and it promises to be huge. We are now a two-day event and we’ll be featuring beer from over TWENTY breweries across Eastern Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond. Live music throughout, local crafts, great local food, and Q&A’s with brewers will all be a part of the festival. Everyone with a Tasting Pass, or VIP Pass will be given a commemorative tasting mug!” It runs from 6 to 10pm today (Friday) and noon to 10pm Saturday, with a cost of $25 (per day). Yes, it’s a bit remote but they’ve got a nice beer list represented and it’s nice to see this taking off in the far eastern part of the state.

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Oregon Beer News, 06/18/2015

Oregon BeerHere is the news in Oregon beer for Thursday, the 18th of June. I am off to Silverton today for the Oregon Garden Brewfest and Brewer’s Tasting Dinner, so I won’t be updating throughout the day. If you still have news to share, please contact me and I can report on that when I get the chance.

Bend’s 4th annual Fermentation Celebration takes place today! This is a fun event hosted by the Old Mill District, a outdoor shopping and events center, and is a “beer walk” where nearly all of Bend’s breweries and cideries will be set up at stations throughout pouring samples of beer and cider. It takes place from 4 to 10pm, and costs $20 which “includes a fluted tasting glass and 9 drink tickets.” I’ve enjoyed this event for a number of years, sadly will miss it today since I’ll be out of town. One neat feature is the Central Oregon Homebrewers Club is represented as well, and will be pouring (free) samples of homebrews—including one of my own! Don’t miss out!

Today is the start of Oregon Cider Week, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago—a 10 day long “week” celebrating cider with quite a few events taking place around the state. To help kick it off today, McMenamins Kennedy School in Portland today is holding a special Cider Dinner starting at 7pm pairing six courses with (you guessed it!) ciders: “In honor of Oregon Cider Week, join us in the Kennedy School Library for a cider-themed dinner. Executive Chef Chris Lawrence has created a sumptuous menu, which will be paired with Edgefield ciders-apple, cherry and pomegranate-as well as Bordelet Sydre from France.” Cost is $75 and you can purchase tickets online here.

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Oregon Beer News, 06/17/2015

Oregon BeerHere is the news in Oregon beer for Wednesday, June 17. This will be the last consistent day of news this week as I’ll be heading to the Oregon Garden Brewfest, though I will try to have some posts queued up for the next two days. 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.

Big news today for the entire Oregon brewing industry as highlighted by Pete Dunlop: Oregon’s Brewpub Bill turns 30 today! “Without the law, craft beer would have been confined to the shadows and margins of taverns and bars. Brewpubs changed the game completely. Please recall that Oregon had only two craft breweries in 1985…Bridgeport (then known as Columbia River Brewing) and Widmer. The existing law prevented them from selling any beer directly to customers. They could self-distribute to bars and taverns or go through a distributor. But distributors weren’t remotely interested in craft beer in those days. Thus, the challenge.” Go read Pete’s full post, and be sure to raise a glass to the Brewpub Bill and the breweries and individuals involved in getting it passed!

McMenamins Murray & Allen (Beaverton) has a limited-edition beer tasting today starting at 3:30pm, featuring the Crystal Brewery’s excellent (and giant at 12.77% abv) 13th Avenue Barleywine: “To commemorate the brewing of our 5,000th batch here at the Crystal Brewery, we made a massive Barleywine. Big and boozy, this ale highlights the classic breadiness of British Maris Otter malt with underlying notes of toffee and caramel. Vigorous fermentation and a special blend of yeast imparted notes grape must and crisp apple as well.”

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Tuesday Tastings: Gosepalooza!

If the title of this week’s Tuesday Tastings post isn’t entirely clear, I’m focusing entirely on Gose beers this week. They are a great hot weather beer, light and tart and refreshing. (Incidentally, I want to use “Gosepalooza” as the name of an all-Gose beer fest…)

Anderson Valley Brewing The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose

Anderson Valley Gose (no I am not trying to type out that ridiculously long name!)Anderson Valley released the first Gose that I’ve seen in a can, available during the summer months as part of their Highway 128 Session Series. This is their “base” Gose, 4.2% abv, that they brew using the kettle souring method. Among the various (though not very many) Goses I’ve sampled thus far, this one is one of the best in my opinion. Their words:

With a bright, golden color and tight creamy head, the earthy wood undertones in our Gose develop into a light mineral aroma with a hint of lemon zest and tropical fruit. Before boiling, the wort is kettle soured with lactobacillus, imparting an initial refreshing tartness that gives way to a subtle fullness. Flavors of guava and peach are followed by a slight sea salt dryness and lemon sourness that is enhanced by coriander and post-fermentation additions of salt. The finish is dry, effervescent, and lemon tangy, reminiscent of a fresh sea breeze.

Appearance: Golden, straw-colored yellow, very clear. A fizzy white head that broke quickly.

Smell: Slightly soapy character in the foam, hints of coriander and possibly sea salt (brininess). A bit of raw wheat and a sour cherry tartness.

Taste: Bracingly tart that gets me right at the back sides of the tongue, mouthwatering. Really nice salty undercurrent that’s brisk and savory. Not a lot of spice (looking for coriander), but the salty sourness is appetizing (in an aperitif kind of way) and very clean.

Mouthfeel: Light and puckeringly sour, clean finish.

Overall: Deeply satisfying.

Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer

Anderson Valley Brewing Blood Orange Gose

Anderson Valley Blood Orange GoseSo I have to confess right away an issue I had with this beer: the can froze in the fridge! Essentially I inadvertently invented Eisgose. Overall I don’t think this hurt the experience, I just got to drink a concentrated version of this beer (normally 4.2% abv) so my notes about orange soda might not be the same experience with a regular can. But I really rather liked it.

The brewery says of this beer:

Our Blood Orange Gose is a tart, refreshing wheat ale that is kettle-soured with lactobacillus and brewed with sea salt and coriander. However, unlike traditional versions of the style, ours features liberal additions of blood oranges during fermentation. This imparts tangy citrus notes that complement the champagne-like flavors, creating a complex and sessionable ale perfect for any occasion.

Appearance: Because of the freezing, it’s concentrated into a deep orange color, shining golden at the edges.

Smell: Orangey—kind of like orange soda, with a bit of orange peel at the back. Good job getting orange essence in here without any detectable astringency.

Taste: Concentrated flavors, orange peel and salt and it’s tart but not as tart as their regular Gose. A bit of that orange soda character.

Mouthfeel: Light, puckery, a bit of a mouthwateringly tart finish.

Overall: Can’t really say, I will have to drink another.

Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer

The Monarchy/Kissmeyer Viking Gose

The Monarchy/Kissmeyer Viking GoseSo this was an unusual beer. It was a collaboration between Germany’s The Monarchy and Kissmeyer Brewing, and apparently is a “smoked Gose” if that’s a thing. And yes, that’s intentional; Viking Gose is imported by Shelton Brothers and their description reads:

A collaboration with Denmark’s Anders Kissmeyer, Viking Gose is a Nordic twist on the ancient German style, brewed utilizing distinctive & traditional Scandinavian ingredients: rye malt & juniper twigs, evoking the local Sahti; smoked malt, inspired by the indigenous Skibsøl ale, and Danish smoked salt.

It’s 6.5% abv, and when I bought the bottle I didn’t see the small text that reads “smoky, salty and zingy” (or brewed with juniper berries for that matter) so assumed I was getting a traditional Gose. It took me a little bit of time to work out what was going on.

Appearance: Orange color, an effervescent pour but the head fell quickly and it looks almost still. Honey-colored when held to the light.

Smell: Bacon! Salted, smoky bacon, not sure at first if the smoke is intentional? [Turns out it was.] It’s making me hungry.

Taste: Smoke along with some light salt and coriander notes. A comment on Untappd calls it a Gratzer and that suddenly clicks with me—was their target brew a Gratzer-inspired Gose? No real sour or tart character that I can find (looking for lacto) but I can’t fault the uniqueness here.

Mouthfeel: Light, smoky character lingering on the tongue with salty(ish) aftertaste.

Overall: Gratzer? Smoked Gose? Smoke is not what I was expecting, not sure how to interpret.

Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer