Bend’s High Desert Museum exhibit: Brewing Culture: The Craft of Beer

High Desert Museum Brewing Culture ExhibitChalk up another mark as to why Bend and Central Oregon’s beer culture is great: the High Desert Museum has a new exhibit opening this weekend—Brewing Culture: The Craft of Beer, which will be open for 19 weeks through Memorial Day.

Oregonians love their stouts, ales and IPAs, and no Oregon town has more brewpubs per capita than Bend. So it’s only natural that Bend’s landmark museum would create a popular exhibit about the craft of beer-making.

Brewing Culture: The Craft of Beer opens January 17th and will be on display through Memorial Day weekend. Special brewing events, tastings, and beer-themed programs will be presented at the Museum throughout the 19-week run, starting with a big kick-off party on January 16th at 6:30 p.m.

The exhibit, conceived and designed by the High Desert Museum staff, will present the history of brewing, the ingredients used in craft beers, the process of brewing and the culture of the craft brewing industry.

I’ve had a bit of a sneak peek of the exhibit—at least, on printed 3D renderings the curator shared—and from what I can tell they have done a great job covering many aspects of the industry and brewing culture, and while there is an historical aspect to the exhibit, there is a strong focus on the brewing culture we have today. (Disclosure: the curator of this exhibit, Faith Powell, had reached out to me for a little bit of possible ideas and advice in putting it all together.)

Part of the exhibit experience is also going to be monthly beer events, consisting of tastings and talks on various topics. Here’s that schedule:

BEER TASTINGS (4:00 – 8:00pm):

  • Feb 5 Porters & Stouts
  • Mar 5 Winter & Spring Seasonals
  • Apr 2 Sessions & Imperials
  • May 7 Sours & Belgians

Members, $3; Non-members, $5; Beer tasting package $10, includes souvenir glass and five tasting tickets.
Additional tastings $1 per ticket.



Feb 19 6:00 – 8:00pm

Learn about current issues and trends in brewing from experts.


Apr 25 1:00 – 6:00pm

Take the full post-production tour from brewery to farm to pub.

Meet at GoodLife Brewery at 9:00 am for the brewery tour. By 11:00 am we will follow the spent grain to Anchor Heart Ranch on Deschutes Market Road to explore how the beer by-product is recycled for livestock. We will then travel just a short distance to a hog ranch to see variations of livestock that use the brewery waste. The trip will end at GoodLife Brewery’s tasting room for a pint and appetizers, which are included with the program costs. One of the appetizers will be GoodLife’s BlueBalls, a meatball made from both beef and pork that consume the spent grain and yeast.

9:00 am – 3:00 pm

$35 for all participants, limited availability of 15 participants
Registration and pre-payment required.

High Desert Museum brewing exhibit opening

And of course there’s a big opening event this month—this Friday, in fact—to kick off the exhibit, a special opening reception at the Museum running from 6:30 to 8:30pm. It’s going to be a big event: 10 local breweries will be on hand pouring beer, and there will be a panel discussion with myself (which I’ll also be loosely moderating), Paul Arney of The Ale Apothecary, and Veronica Vega, brewer at Deschutes Brewery.

The Museum will have its exhibits open for the evening, and cost will be free to members and $5 for non-members; all ages are welcome, but to drink you’ll need to be 21 and over (of course) and purchase a beer tasting package for $10 which includes the souvenir glass and 5 tasting tickets. Additional tickets are $1 each. There will be food and live music as well.

I’m really looking forward to this event Friday and to the exhibit as a whole; I’m very glad to see the Museum putting together a feature like this, and would love to see more (an exhibit on Prohibition is another one I would very much like to see). And for the next few months, it’s an added beer destination if you’re coming to Bend for a visit—tour some breweries, do the Bend Ale Trail, and visit the Brewing Culture exhibit at the High Desert Museum.

Oregon Beer News, 01/14/2015

Oregon BeerWelcome to Wednesday, the work week is almost half over! Here’s the news in Oregon beer for January 14. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often for updates. If you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that updated as well.

Deschutes Brewery (Bend) has highlighted a terrific community involvement program they’ve been running for awhile now that not many people may know about: they give $1 of every barrel they sell back to the community, supporting a large number of nonprofits in Oregon and beyond. “In 2014, our community involvement program was able to reach more deserving nonprofits than ever before with a total donation of more than $285,000. This year we are looking forward to increasing our impact not only with our growing funds for giving, which will be $335,000, but also with the enhanced partnerships we are creating to help these organizations gain exposure in their communities.” They also initiated a program called “Community Pints” wherein each Tuesday they give $1 for every pint and $2 for every growler sold to the same nonprofit for that month. Cheers to a great community cause by Deschutes!

Laurelwood Brewing (Portland): Their popular Organic Portland Roasting Espresso Stout is returning this week, and Laurelwood has again teamed up with Portland Roasting Coffee (who provides the, er, coffee for the beer) to brew it. It’s available on tap now and in bottles on the shelves—make sure to stock up!

Continue reading “Oregon Beer News, 01/14/2015” »

7 beer labels you might confuse with Lagunitas IPA

News broke today that Lagunitas Brewing has filed a legal complaint against Sierra Nevada Brewing, the heart of which is a trademark violation notice. From the Beer Street Journal:

While the SweetWater/Lagunitas situation is behind us, Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada now have a new legal issue to sort out. This one is over the labeling of Sierra Nevada’s forthcoming Hop Hunter IPA, as it relates to Lagunitas IPA.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Lagunitas Brewing Company vs. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was filed yesterday in the Northern District of California
  • Index No. 3:15-cv-00153
  • Lagunitas asserts four federally registered trademarks and two pending trademarks all relating to Lagunitas IPA, against Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA
  • Basically, the complaint states the black, bold, “IPA” lettering, with distinctive kerning (spacing) especially with “P” and “A” are too similar
  • Complaint asserts consumers might confuse the two brands, based on similar “IPA” branding
  • Additionally, Lagunitas notes the “Hop Hunter” branding appears to be a departure from usual Sierra Nevada labeling
  • Sierra Nevada’s proclivity for collaborations, along with the branding departure, could lead consumers to believe this is a collaboration between the companies
  • Tony Magee’s affidavit states that he personally reached out to Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman, with no resolution
Lagunitas vs. Sierra Nevada

The labeling in question.

Now, I have written before about the need for a company—any company and business—to defend its trademarks. In fact a company is obligated to defend its trademarks, or risk losing them—the whole point of a trademark is to protect the brand. Look, no matter how that might leave a bad taste in the mouth of the defendant, it’s a necessary fact of business, and generally I have to fall to the side of the trademark owner.

But in this case I have to say… really? Trying to assert trademark dominion over how you display the letters “IPA”? No. Just no. There’s no way I think anyone would confuse the two for branding, looking at the above pictures. Similar, sure, but then…

I mean, if Lagunitas really wants to go after companies who use similar branding to promote “IPA” then here are seven labels that people might confuse with Lagunitas IPA:

Knee Deep IPA

I mean, this seems pretty blatant.


Apocalypse IPA

This one is pretty blatant, too.



The colors here are reversed, but it’s still pretty obvious.


Tarantino IPA

Look at how similar that “IPA” is, once you get past the colors. And the elephant (though Lagunitas has a dog…)


True Brit IPA

Forget the background, “IPA” is pretty in your face here.


Point the Way IPA

Those palm trees can’t distract from how prominent the “IPA” is…


Bison IPA

Pretty blatant.


Tongue in cheek? Maybe a little bit.

Oregon Beer News, 01/13/2015

Oregon BeerHere’s the Oregon beer news for Tuesday, January 13. Sadly Oregon did not see a Duck championship this year, so I’m sure there will be plenty of need for beer today. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day, so check back often for the latest news. And if you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that posted as well.

McMenamins on Monroe (Corvallis), whom we don’t often hear much about, has a special beer release today, featuring Oak-Aged Wade’s Choice DIPA: “This is a so called double IPA. Aged with an Oak spiral soaked in Hogshead whiskey. First wort hopped with Nugget hops. Flavored with Perle and finished with 3 adds of Chinooks. Dry hopped with Centennial pellets. This is a beer for serious hop heads. Needless to say our Fearless Leader picked this beer style. Prost!” The beer is 8.75% abv and 100+ IBUs. The release runs from 5 to 9pm.

It’s Tuesday, which means Cascade Brewing (Portland) has their weekly Tap It Tuesday at the Barrel House starting at 6pm. Tonight’s featured beer is “Live” Vlad the Imp Aler—a cult favorite! “This NW style sour ale is a blend of Spiced Quads, Belgian Triples and Belgian Strong Blonds aged in Bourbon and selected wine barrels for over 18 months. Carefully chosen amounts of Spanish and Turkish orange peel, as well as coriander, were added to this blend to add an unrivaled layer of complexity. You will find a touch of sweetness coupled with layers of citrus, earthy spice and rich oak within the depths of your glass. Comes in at a whopping 12.6%.”

Continue reading “Oregon Beer News, 01/13/2015” »

Weird beer news

A couple of weird beer news stories popped up today—nothing “Oregon” about them, but they are definitely notable and unusual.

First, from the BBC, Iceland: Brewery makes ‘whale testicle beer’:

The Stedji brewery’s Hvalur 2 beer is being sold for a limited period to mark the Icelandic midwinter month of Thorri, the Visir website reports. The testicles of fin whales – which are an endangered species – are cured “according to an old, Icelandic tradition” before being salted and smoked, with one being used per brewing. “We want to create a true Thorri atmosphere, and therefore we decided to use smoked testicles from fin whales for flavouring the beer,” says Dagbjartur Ariliusson, a co-owner of the brewery. “We put a lot of effort into this and it’s a long process.” In 2013, Iceland resumed commercial fin whaling after a two-year suspension. Most of its whale meat is exported to Japan.

The Stedji brewery angered conservationists in 2014 by making a beer which contained other whale parts, including bones and intestines. At the time, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation group described it as “immoral and outrageous” to use whale meat to make beer. The product was temporarily banned by public health authorities, but later sold out in alcohol shops. This time around, all the permissions are already in place, the brewery says.

Um… no. I don’t even.

The other is pretty tragic: Beer Poisoning Death Toll Rises to 69 in Central Mozambique.

The number of victims who have died after drinking poisoned traditional beer in central Mozambique has risen to 69, with authorities concerned there will be more fatalities among those being treated in hospital.

People attending a weekend funeral became ill after consuming the beer in Chitima, a town in Tete province. Authorities said yesterday that 56 had died, prompting the government of Mozambique to declare three days of mourning. A further 169 people are being treated in hospital, the health department said in a statement today.

Those who were sickened drank phombe, a beer brewed from corn. The first deaths occurred early on Jan. 10, and the fatalities included the maker of the beer and members of her family, Radio Mocambique reported.

No word yet on what contaminated the beer, but it is not crocodile bile, as has been reported.

Strange days.