Portland Beer Week is jam-packed with events

Portland Beer Week Subcontinental IPA

Portland Beer Week starts this Thursday, June 9, and I’m pretty sure this year has more events than ever—possibly more than any other of the state’s beer weeks (though Medford gives it a run for its money). As with many of these “weeks” it actually runs longer, 11 days, and ends on June 19.

Portland Beer Week is eleven days of fun, educational, eye and palate opening eating and drinking events in the greatest beer city on earth. More than just a beer festival, Portland Beer Week is a celebration of craft beer culture and all of its tangents from food pairings to beer ice cream, artwork and design, film and science. Though our namesake is for the city of Portland, Oregon, we are not exclusive to only local brands and companies, we wish to bring the best of the beer world to Portland.

This year Portland Brewing and Double Mountain Brewery teamed up to brew the official collaboration beer for PDX Beer Week—Subcontinental IPA. “Inspired by the intriguing spice blends used in Indian cuisines, we carefully added our own blend of spices to help draw out the tropical notes from the El Dorado, Calypso, Centennial and Challenger hops,” said Portland Brewing head brewer Ryan Pappe in the press release.

Bookmark the events calendar—there are too many events to list here, but I did want to highlight some of the featured ones.

The Rooftop Kickoff Party takes place Thursday the 9th from 6 to 10pm: “Party with us on the rooftop of the Ecotrust Building in downtown Portland. There will be sweet vendors, cool beer and hot food! Plus there is no cover, we are all-ages and all proceeds will go to benefit charity New Avenues for Youth.”

The 6th annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival returns on Friday the 10th to run through the weekend: “Due to overwhelming support and overcapacity crowds, organizers are excited to announce a new and larger venue for 2016’s festivities at the North Park Blocks in downtown Portland. If you arrive early between the hours of 11am-2pm on Friday we will give you 4 extra drink tickets!” As usual they have a stellar lineup of fruit-infused beers, many brewed specially for this fest.

The Rye Beer Fest returns, also taking place on Friday the 10th from 4pm until the wee hours, at EastBurn. You guessed, it’s all rye beers and there’s even some rye whiskey to sample. “To celebrate the 5th year of the fest we are raffling off a $1500 travel voucher. Tickets are $20 each and all funds raised from the raffle go to the Children’s Cancer Association.”

On Monday the 13th the New School presents the New Oregon Breweries Showcase at Bailey’s Taproom starting at 5pm: “11 new breweries from Oregon, all opened in less than a year from the date will be present pouring two beers each. Meet-the-brewers and owners from the new school of breweries from across the state from 5-8pm, the beers run all night. NO COVER.”

Also that Monday, Belmont Station is hosting uber-popular Midwest Bell’s Brewery for Bell’s Beach Party starting at 5pm: “Belmont Station turns into Bell’s-mont Station as we herald in summer with Bell’s founder Larry Bell and the most popular summer beer across the Midwest: Bell’s Oberon Ale! With its cheery, sunshine-y label, this refreshing ale combines a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas — the perfect complement to any beach party. Larry himself joins us to welcome Oberon back into Oregon after a hiatus of many years. But that’s not all! We’re blowing out this beach party with a baker’s dozen Bell’s beers pouring in the taproom.”

Ecliptic Brewing is hosting a Barrel-Aged Beer Seminar on Wednesday the 15th, which looks pretty fantastic: “Oregon State University presents the Barrel-Aged Beer Seminar: Learn from the masters of non-sour barrel-aged beer on techniques, flavors, variations and different spirit aged barrels and oak. Our panel of brewing experts will each share their knowledge and 2-3 of their own rare barrel-aged beers for tasting.”

McMenamins Mission Theater is hosting the Women of Oregon Beer Gathering for the five-year anniversary of the movie “The Love of Beer.” In addition to a showing of the film at 7pm, there’s a meet and greet at 5pm and a Q&A afterward. “The night features special guests Tonya Cornett (10 Barrel’s R & D Brewmaster), Teri Fahrendorf (Pink Boots Society founder and R & D Brewmaster at Great Western Malting), Lisa Morrison (aka the Beer Goddess), Sarah Pederson (owner/founder of Saraveza), Lisa Allen (Head Brewer at Heater Allen Brewing), Natalie Baldwin (Brewer at Burnside Brewing), Sonia Marie-Leikam (co-owner of Leikam Brewing), Jen Kent (McMenamins Brewer), Lee Hedgmon (Assistant Brewer at Pints) and Alison Grayson (Director of “The Love of Beer” documentary).”

Finally, the final day of the Beer Week, June 19, sees SNACKDOWN! presented in collaboration with Gigantic Brewing. “SNACKDOWN! is a fun and entertaining food and beer pairing event where 10 of Portland’s best Chefs and 10 Oregon Brewers are paired into 10 Brewer/Chef teams to make their greatest snack and beer pairing. Guests will choose their favorite pairing and the winners will be awarded the SNACKDOWN Belt!” That one will be a lot of fun.

Oh, it’s going to be a good week to be in Portland. Pity those of us who aren’t!

Beer Bloggers Conference 2016: Tampa, Florida

Beer Bloggers Conference 2014, Beer Brands panel

From BBC ’14

The Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference is just over a month away, taking place July 8 – 10 in Tampa, Florida this year, and yes, there is still time to register if you haven’t yet. And yes, this year we’re participating!

Beer Bloggers Conference

(Yes, I’m happy to be going to the BBC once again, but at the same time… Florida in July? Oy…)

The agenda looks good too:

Friday, 7/8

  • Intro by Julia Herz
  • The Beer Industry in Tampa and Florida
  • Beer by the Numbers
  • Pre-Dinner Reception – Hosted by Green Flash
  • Dinner
  • Beer Social Expo
  • Night of Many Bottles

Saturday, 7/9

  • Breakout sessions:
    • Friends, Stories, and Sales – Actually Make Money Blogging
    • Increase Your Followers and Engagement on Social Media
  • Next breakout sessions:
    • Shareworthy (& Awesome) Visual Content Creation with Little to No Budget
    • Analytics – Know the True Story of Your Reach and Engagement
  • Lunch hosted by MillerCoors and World of Beers
  • Keynote Speaker – Stan Hieronymus!
  • Sour Beers
  • Live Beer Blogging
  • Progressive Dinner with three breweries

Sunday, 7/10

  • Over a Pint – Building Community in a Creative Way
  • Beer Tourism – The Next Big Thing
  • Wrap Up & 2017 announcement

There are also pre-conference and post-conference excursions available for anyone arriving early or staying late.

And at at cost of only $120 for “citizen bloggers” that’s still a great deal for a conference with as much as you get from this one.

I’m looking forward to attending this year… see you there?

Oregon Beer News – Summer Break!

I’m sure there are folks out there waiting with baited breath for my Oregon Beer News posts (hah!), but it’s time to go on hiatus and take summer break off from the daily posts. I’ll still be blogging, just not the ongoing-during-the-day news. Plus I’ll be prepping for the Beer Bloggers Conference coming up next month, and the calendar in general is filling up throughout the summer that will keep me away from the computer.

And there’s plenty going on this week, with Medford Beer Week continuing, and Portland Beer Week kicking off this Thursday filling the calendar out by themselves. I’ll post about the big stuff happening, as they come up.

On to the summer!

Public Coast Brewing is now open in Cannon Beach

Public Coast Brewing logoOne of the state’s newest breweries is now open on the Oregon Coast: Public Coast Brewing in Cannon Beach. They are joining the lontime Bill’s Tavern and the recently-opened Pelican Brewing pub. Cannon Beach (population 1,690) is becoming quite the brewery town!

Seems like a pretty organized affair, based on the press release they sent out:

Ryan Snyder, president of Martin Hospitality, announced the opening of Public Coast Brewing Co. today in Cannon Beach. Construction started in October 2015 on the former Lumberyard restaurant space, transforming it into a 10-barrel craft brewery and family-friendly pub. The brewery pays homage to the Oregon Beach Bill, signed into law in 1967 by then Oregon Governor Tom McCall, declaring all of state’s 363 miles of coastline free and open to the public. Opening in time for the summer season, and just steps from the beach, it’s the ideal place to relax and enjoy a delicious beer made onsite after a day exploring all Cannon Beach has to offer.

Public Coast Brewing fulfills a lifelong dream for Snyder, who always planned on opening a brewery at the downtown Cannon Beach spot. He and his wife Stephanie purchased the restaurant over 10 years ago. “Cannon Beach has been our home for over 20 years,” says Snyder. “I wanted visitors and locals to have a place that celebrates the free and open spirit of the Oregon Coast, where they can kick back after a beautiful hike along the cliffs of Ecola State Park or tide pooling at Haystack Rock. When people think of craft beer in Oregon, we want them to think of the North Coast.”

The brewpub, designed by Seattle architect Mike Skidmore and with branding concepts by Central Office, Lookout Co. and Sokoloff Creative, seats 110 inside and 42 outside on the patio. Interior décor reflects the northern Oregon coastline with heavy use of exposed timber and salvaged wood, and the signature Public Coast red throughout. Guests will dine and drink under a large-scale mural painted by Portland-area artist Zach Yarrington, a playful take on the brewery’s high and low tide inspired logo, and its motto, “Beaches forever. Beer for everyone.”

Public Coast Brewer Will Leroux, former Martin Hospitality corporate chef, spent time at Big Dogs Brewing in Las Vegas to prepare for his new role. A longtime beekeeper, farmer and forager, Leroux uses his extensive knowledge of locally-sourced foods to include Northwest flavors in the brews. The initial beers are a Blonde Ale, Pale Ale, Northwest Amber Ale and Stout. Public Coast will also be brewing Stephen’s Ankle Breaker Root Beer, named by Snyder’s 13-year-old son after his favorite soccer move. Stephen worked with Brewer Will to create the signature root beer. Fred Bowman, co-founder of Portland Brewing Company and Portland craft beer legend, is on board as a consultant.

Food options feature pub fare and locally-sourced coastal cuisine. The menu includes housemade brats, seven specialty burgers made with Harris Ranch beef, chicken wings, caramel sundaes, the Wayfarer Restaurant’s famous clam chowder recipe and fish ‘n’ chips prepared with the seasonal catch. Public Coast Brewing is committed to supporting local and regional businesses. Guests will enjoy food prepared with ingredients from Rogue Creamery, Tillamook Cheese, Jacobsen Salt Co. and Petaluma Poultry, among other local suppliers. Public Coast Brewing will also donate $1 from each “Save our Beaches Burger” sold to the Haystack Rock Awareness Program, which has provided an onsite education and preservation program for over 30 years to teach children and adults about the unique ecology of Haystack Rock.

Public Coast joins the world-famous Stephanie Inn, Surfsand Resort and Wayfarer Restaurant under the Martin Hospitality masthead. The brewery is located at 264 E Third St., and will be open daily from noon to 9 p.m. for the summer, with beer service continuing later in the evening.

Sounds like a very tourism-oriented operation, which makes sense considering the tourist traffic the town gets in the high season.

It’s been ages since I’ve been to Cannon Beach, but will keep Public Coast in mind next time I’m over there.

The Session #112: The Other Beer Economy

The SessionThis month’s edition of The Session is hosted by Carla Jean Lauter, The Beer Babe, who wants us to write about The Other Beer Economy:

Growing alongside of the boom of breweries are many small businesses that are supporting, or supported by the craft beer industry.

Yet, we rarely give these businesses a second thought. They are the second beer economy, often operating behind-the-scenes. I think we could give them a bit more credit for keeping things growing, sharing the products of our local breweries with more people, and sometimes even literally keeping the beer flowing.

For this month’s session, let’s talk about those businesses in the beer world that aren’t breweries. What are the roles that they can play? What opportunities still exist for new niche roles to be developed? What can local/state/regional governments do to encourage this kind of diversity of businesses around an industry?

Much of the final chapter in my book Bend Beer: A History of Brewing in Central Oregon is in fact on this secondary economy (I titled that chapter “Beer Town, USA”). I finished writing that up about two years ago and since then the local “beer economy” has grown even stronger. Here’s a bit of what I wrote:

Beer tourism is the primary and most visible of these ancillary activities, a natural evolution of the region’s history and dependence on tourism and recreation. Of course beer has long accompanied enthusiasts on their outdoor excursions, be they camping, fishing, skiing on the mountain, trips to the lake, and so on; and… the outdoor guide company Wanderlust Tours was among the first to explicitly link craft beer with the regional tourist industry, offering specialty beer tasting as a feature of several excursions. With the creation of the Bend Ale Trail by Visit Bend in 2010, several companies began offering customized “beer tours” that supplemented the Ale Trail and highlighted the region’s melding of craft beer culture with the local lifestyle.

For the summer of 2013, a Bend visitor survey revealed that 45% of respondents included brewery visits and/or the Bend Ale Trail among their activities (54% reported simply visiting a brewery), with 6% reported brewery tourism specifically as the main purpose of travel to Bend. To help put these percentages in perspective, Dean Runyon Associates reported the annual tourist spending for Deschutes County to be nearly $500 million that same year.

It’s not just in tourist dollars that beer feeds the local economy. In 2013, the brewing companies in Central Oregon employed approximately 870 people (1.32% of private-sector employment), up from approximately 450 in 2010. Hundreds if not thousands more were employed by businesses in some way impacted by the brewing industry, such as beverage distributors, construction, beer bars, growler fill stations, Silipints, and even hop growers.

Bend Cycle PubOff the top of my head, this is a quick list of the beer-related economic categories that we have here in Central Oregon now:

  • Beer bars
  • Growler fill stations
  • Growler manufacturers
  • Beer/brewery tourism, which can be further subcategorized:
    • Beer tours (guided tours in a van or vehicle)
    • Outdoor recreation (rafting, hiking, snowshoeing trips that incorporate beer)
    • The Cycle Pub — touring breweries on a group-pedal-powered “party bike”
    • The Bend Ale Trail — self-guided tour for stamps and prizes among over a dozen local breweries
  • Hop farms
  • Barley farm and maltster (one!)
  • Beer soaps
  • Silipints — recreation-friendly, silicone pint “glasses” that are flexible and nigh unbreakable
  • Beer festivals and similar events
  • Homebrew shops
  • Niche-y artists and crafters, producing everything from paintings using only beer, to handcrafted bottle openers, to coasters, to custom bottle and growler carriers and more
  • And of course, beer writing(!)

Silipints from the Bend Ale Trail

Farther out, coming out of the Portland area for instance, the growth and spread of mobile canning and bottling companies are servicing smaller breweries across the state that don’t have the finances or space to install their own packaging lines.

I didn’t even get into the distributors and related services like tap line cleaners because they’ve become common in many sizable cities and beer regions, but they certainly add to the list. The fact of the matter is, beer has become one of the tentpoles of the local economy here, along with tourism/recreation and (some would say) real estate.

I certainly think there’s room for more, though I’m not going to try to predict what, exactly; the range of beer-incidental business we have now is already much more varied than I would have thought even five years ago. I suspect we’ll continue to see more beer tourism and beer recreation type business ideas develop, based on this region, which is definitely something the City of Bend and Visit Bend (the official visitor center and tourism development agency) both encourage.

The good news is, there’s plenty of opportunity for anyone who wants to open a beer-related business in Central Oregon!