The Portland Fruit Beer Festival is this weekend

Portland Fruit Beer FestThis Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8, the Portland Fruit Beer Festival is again taking place in the parking lot of Burnside Brewing, and is featuring an amazing taplist of fruit beers of all stripes. You can buy tickets in advance here, and this year they’ve also added a Friday VIP session from 4 to 9pm (though sadly tickets for that are already sold out). Here’s the pricing breakdown:

General Admission includes a 16oz branded glassware and 12 drink tickets, each ticket good for 3oz of beer with some exceptions on more expensive beers costing 2-3. 4 drink tickets for a full 16oz fill on 1 ticket beers.

In addition to the main lineup, there’s a special rotating taplist of rare fruit beers that will be variously available as well:

  • 10 Barrel: Cucumber Crush – Cucumber Berliner-Weisse created for the 2013 Fruit Beer Fest. Gold Medal Winner at the 2014 World Beer Cup.
  • Breakside: Brett Rouge
  • Breakside: Beaujolais avec Brett – Strong sour ale fermented with wild yeasts and Oregon­ grown Gamay grapes.
  • Breakside: Apollo & Dionysus – Cellar Reserve Beer; Not Usually Available to the Public. Gin Barrel-Aged Sour Saison w Sichuan Peppercorn
  • Burnside Brewing: Coconut/Lime Kolsch – Lime Kolsch blended with Thai Coconut water
  • Burnside Brewing: Cartel Michelada – Cartel Vienna Lager blended with salt, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, secret ingredient and black pepper (Tapping 11am Saturday 6/7)
  • Burnside Brewing: 2012 Red Light District – Imperial Stout with Belgian Chocolate, Strawberries and aged in local Rum barrels.
  • De Garde: Blueberry Bu Weisse (Tapping 4pm Friday VIP session)
  • De Garde: Blackberry Bu Weisse
  • Deschutes: Abbey Framboise – Raspberry infused belgian-style Abbey ale.
  • Double Mountain: Lyle Ryder – Bloody Mary/Red Beer! (Tapping 11am Sunday 6/8)
  • Elysian: Squeeze Box Berry Imperial IPA – 8.1% Abv Double IPA with 42lbs each of raspberry, boysenberry, and blackberry purée. (Tapping 4pm Friday VIP session)
  • Elysian: Yuzu Belgian-Style Golden – Belgian Golden with citrusy sweet Yuzu juice.
  • Flat Tail: Habanero Apricot Wild
  • Hopworks: Raspberry/Chocolate Army of Darkness – Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with Organic Raspberries and Cacao
  • Hopworks: Raspberry Triple – Belgian-style Tripel with Raspberries added.
  • Lompoc: Cherry Christmas – Barrel-Aged winter ale with Cherries.
  • McMenamins: Pavol’s Bublanina – Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter Aged on Cherries (Edgefield Brewery) ABV: 7.61
  • New Belgium: Guava Nectarine La Folie – one-off single 5 gallon oak firkin.
  • New Belgium: Cascara Quad – An ale brewed with Date, Coffee and cherries added
  • New Belgium: Dieu Du Ciel – An ale brewed with Feijoa and Hibiscus
  • Oakshire: Hermanne 1882 – Belgian-style ale with Muller Thurgau grapes aged in Pinot Barrels with Brettanomyces.
  • Thai Me Up Brewing: Chchchchc-Cherry Bomb – Silver Medal Winner at 2012 GABF and 2014 World Beer Cup from Wyoming. (Tapping 4pm Friday VIP session)
  • Upright/Bushwhacker: Ebony & Ivory – Upright Brewing’s Gose infused with white truffles blended with a cider from Bushwhacker infused with black truffles. (Tapping 4pm Friday VIP session)

Cask/Pins:

  • Alameda: Blackberry Black Bear XX Stout – Award winning Export stout with Blackberries added in the cask.
  • Cider Riot: Hedgerow Fruits – Special for the fruit beer fest (a nod to one of Michael Jacksons favourite beer descriptors). It will be a dry cider made with blackcurrants and Italian plums. (Tapped at 3pm Saturday 6/7 by the brewer)

It’s going to be a fantastic fest and one I will attend someday (sadly, I have not yet made it to Portland when it takes place. Someday!). Pete Dunlop has a good writeup of why you should attend to help whet your whistle and convince any fence-sitters.

Portland. Burnside Brewing. Fruit Beer Fest. This weekend. Be there!

First look at Wild Ride Brewing

This past Saturday for their official opening, we headed over to Redmond, Oregon’s new Wild Ride Brewing Company to check out the scene and try some beers. They had nine of their first ten beers on tap, and a handsome brewery and tasting room that looks really good. No kitchen, but two food trucks were parked outside. Here’s a first look in pictures, and some notes.

Wild Ride Brewing, Redmond

That barreled-off area is their outdoor seating patio. Incidentally, they do allow minors.

Wild Ride Brewing

It is definitely a nice looking brewery, with a nice big space available to them since they took over the former Parr Lumber building.

Wild Ride

Wild Ride firepit

Cool custom-fabricated firepit on their patio, gas fired.

Wild Ride lit firepit

Wild Ride beer board

Wild Ride beers

Because it is all about the beers, of course. From left to right: Cole’s Trickle Lager, Big Booty Golden Ale, Whoopty Whoop Wheat, Fly.P.A., 3 Sisters Red Ale, Hopperhead IPA, Mount Up Maple Brown, and Stand Up and Shout Stout. I have to say, all of these beers are really well-brewed and excellent first-batch beers—not something you see every day from a brand-new brewery.

The Lager was really well done, super clean and drinkable, both IPAs were nice (I preferred the Hopperhead, which will be a big seller), that particular stout was brewed with coffee and vanilla and was on nitro. Good beers across the board.

Wild Ride label posters

Wild Ride tasting room

Wild Ride beer menu

Wild Ride beer menu

Wild Ride brewery

Wild Ride brewery

It’s a 20-barrel brewhouse, with 40-barrel fermenting tanks. There is a ton of room for expansion and brewer Paul Bergeman has made sure they can do so in a logical manner, and has tried to be as forward-thinking as possible when designing this brewery.

One of the things that impressed me is that they are pre-treating their wastewater from the start, before it even hits the Redmond sewer system.

Wild Ride barrels

Yes, those barrels are filled already, with stout and their Maple Brown.

Wild Ride kegs

Reclaimed wood

I like the reclaimed wood: this is on the wall fronting the restrooms, just outside of the tasting room.

Wild Ride Brewing

One last shot on our way out.

Overall, I was really impressed: well-planned and though-out brewery, plenty of space to expand into, solid, clean beers from the start, head brewer with the history and the chops to crank out good beers, great tasting room and plenty of parking. This is a great addition to the Central Oregon brewing scene, and it’s going to be a huge hit in Redmond in particular. I’ll enjoy visiting when I get the chance.

They are located at 332 SW 5th Street in downtown Redmond, right on the main drag going north once you get off the parkway.

Putting the news on hiatus as deadlines approach

A little while back I switched from blogging daily Oregon beer news posts to weekly in large part because of the book I’m writing. And now I’ve got about two months on the final deadline and I’m finding I need to scale back those posts again to focus on that project even more. I will of course continue to post stuff here—I couldn’t not even if I tried, I think—but the weekly/daily updates need to be dialed back. At least until sometime in July, then I will re-assess.

Wild Ride Brewing, open this Saturday in Redmond

Redmond’s latest brewery, Wild Ride Brewing, is officially opening their doors this Saturday, May 10 at 11am (though I hear they are quietly open now, a sort of soft pre-opening). They are Redmond’s (and Central Oregon’s) newest craft brewery, a 20-barrel production brewery with a tasting room and patio, and are located at 332 SW 5th Street downtown.

Wild Ride Brewing patio

The don’t have a kitchen, but are planning on hosting food trucks for the hungry. And, while I was previously unclear as to how many beers they would have pouring on their first (official) day, it turns out they’ve been brewing up a storm and they might have the most beers (10!) on tap of any newly-opened brewery that I’ve seen:

Wild Ride Brewing beer board

If you’re keeping track at home, the beers are:

  • Cole’s Trickle Lager
  • Big Booty Golden Ale
  • Whoopty Whoop Wheat
  • Fly.P.A.
  • Hopperhead IPA
  • Brain Bucket Imperial IPA
  • 3 Sisters Red Ale
  • Mount Up Maple Brown
  • Bitch Stout
  • Stand Up and Shout Stout

That’s a nice selection, clearly head brewer Paul Bergeman (an alum of Portland’s Laurelwood Brewing and Hawaii’s Kona Brewing) has been busy. No idea yet if any of these are going to be part of their regular line-up or if Bergeman is still getting used to the system to see the beers evolve a bit (which is what I would expect). At any rate it’s nice to get a sneak peek at this taplist, they certainly have a little something for most everybody.

Wild Ride Brewing

From the pictures they’ve been posting on Facebook it’s certainly a nice-looking brewery and it’s interesting to see that they already have some barrel aging going on. All in all I’d say it’s going to be an eventful Saturday for them and plenty of beer will be flowing.

Saturday, 11am, Redmond—be there.

Central Oregon Beer Week 2014 is coming up!

Central Oregon Beer Week 2014This year’s Central Oregon Beer Week is taking place from Friday, May 23rd through Saturday the 31st, and with 26 official breweries in operation it’s bigger than ever! This year’s COBW has a ton of great events lined up, with something going on all week long (the “week” is really nine days), and it kicks off with the SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) fest hosted by McMenamins Old St. Francis School this year:

You’re invited to the release party for Central Oregon Beer Week’s signature beer style … SMaSH! Fifteen [17?] local brewers will be pouring SMaSH (Single Malt Single Hop) craft beers made specially to celebrate with COBW. Admission to the fest is $20 and includes admission, a punch card for 12 4oz tasters, and a commemorative 2014 COBW glass. Additional punch cards will be available for purchase. Food & non-alcoholic beverages will be served up by McMenamins and available for purchase.

Among the breweries who brewed up a special beer for this event are Below Grade, Bend Brewing, Boneyard, Bridge 99, Cascade Lakes, Crux, Deschutes, Juniper, McMenamins, North Rim, Oblivion, RiverBend, Solstice, Sunriver, Three Creeks, Wild Ride (I think) and Worthy. It runs from 3 to 9pm and you can purchase tickets online here.

Along with the SMaSH kickoff (and you can expect to see the SMaSH beers on tap afterwards as well), there will be the events that have been the hallmarks of COBW: Broken Top Bottle Shop’s beer-week-long pairing of local breweries and bands (this year it’s Beer Geek Week), Mt. Bachelor’s Brewski event on Memorial Day weekend, Deschutes Brewery’s Beer-lesque, and of course the Sunriver Brewfest put on by Sunriver Resort.

And that’s not even getting into the rest of the great events taking place! Tastings, dinners, music, and more—it’s all on the events listing page, and that’s one you’re going to want to bookmark.

You are definitely going to want to come to Central Oregon for this last full week of May! And with so many events going on, if you’re looking for someplace to stay, you can of course check out McMenamins Old St. Francis School, and Sunriver Resort—who has a Brewfest Lodging Package which might be just the thing. So make your plans now!