Double Mountain celebrates 7 years this Saturday

This Saturday the 15th, Hood River’s Double Mountain Brewery is celebrating their seventh anniversary all day long in true Double Mountain fashion: closing the street and holding a big top block party on Fourth Street in front of the brewery! The party starts at 11:30 and runs until 10pm, and throughout the day will feature live music (beginning at 12:30), 20 beers that will be pouring, kids activities (kids will be allowed until 8pm) and more.

Cost for just the party is $5 entry (kids are free) which gets you a souvenir mug. (Nothing specific about the cost of beer—presume you’ll be paying for full (and half) pours, though there could be tokens as well.) But there’s also a VIP opportunity running from noon to 4pm:

Special for this year in the back room…Anyone can be a VIP this year. $25 will get you into the VIP tasting room (noon-4pm) to taste some of our brewer’s reserve beers, four 1/2 pour drink tokens, a souvenir mug, and entrance to all live music. Space is limited so please email or call 541-387-0042 to sign up.

Look for tastes of Terrible Two, Ferocious Five, the new Sinister 7, Devil’s Kriek, Rainer Kriek, and many more. And that Sinister 7, a Bourbon Barrel Brown Ale, is a special release for this 7th anniversary, described as:

Sinister 7 Bourbon Barrel Brown Ale is a strong brown ale base brew left to meditate in true Kentucky bourbon barrels for the better part of a year. The aging brings forth wondrous flavors and aromas of vanilla, coffee, caramel, black licorice, and dark fruit, accompanied by a pleasant bourbon warmth. 10.8% ABV, 33 BU [Via Brewpublic]

It will be available in limited-quantity half-liter bottles as well as on draft.

Looks to be quite a party on Saturday! Make it over to Hood River if you can.

Double Mountain 7th anniversary

Received: Shock Top Honey Bourbon Cask Wheat

It had been awhile since I received a PR package of beer with the type of flair that those from Shock Top usually come in—but today I received a bottle of their latest offering coming out, Honey Bourbon Cask Wheat. I’ll drink and write about the beer itself in a later post, and just let the pictures of the unboxing speak for themselves.

Box from Shock Top

Shock Top unboxing

Shock Top bourbon cask

The bottle is in the barrel

Shock Top Honey Bourbon Cask Wheat

Well, one additional note: In case you were wondering, no, I can’t re-use that barrel for liquid; there’s a hole in the bottle and no way to re-seal the lid on top.

Portland Brewing Rose Hip Gold

Portland Brewing Rose Hip GoldPortland Brewing’s spring seasonal, of which they sent me a sample recently, is their Rose Hip Gold, a “Belgian-style ale with notes of fruit and spice and a little citrusy bite from a generous addition of rose hips in the kettle.” I believe they had first released this last year as a new beer in the revamped (re-birthed?) retro line of branding Portland Brewing was undergoing (since they were originally Portland, then MacTarnahan’s, then back).

With 6% abv and 25 IBUs, I found a bit more of the Belgian-style character in this year’s vintage than I remember finding last year, which was nice. The copper-orange color looks like a dark honey in the glass, topped by a slightly off-white head that settled down to a skiff after the initial pour.

The light banana phenolics in the aroma combine with the sweetish malts to give a bit of that Belgian-y character, though I have to say I didn’t find the rose hips I was looking for—in the nose or the flavor. It’s a nice cross in taste between a Belgian strong and Belgian golden style, to my palate, with nice spicy phenolic character with a clean body. The barest hint of tang reveals the rose hips, and I would really like more.

It’s a bit on the heavy side, sweeter, medium-bodied with a yeast-spicy finish. A nicely drinkable beer, and I would really like to see the rose hips shine—it could do well with the tangy fruit lightening it up and bringing more of a bite to it. Overall though, it drinks easily.

Untapped. BeerAdvocate: 3.88/5 (only 2 ratings). RateBeer: 3.21/5, 66th overall percentile.

The Session #85: Why Do You Drink?

The SessionThis month marks another first Friday where I didn’t get my post for The Session written on the actual day—hopefully this won’t become a trend, but for now, let’s take a look at this month’s Session topic. It was hosted by Douglas of Baltimore Bistros & Beer, and he’s chosen a surely-provocative theme: Why do you drink?

There are plenty of people out there who wish that alcohol consumption ceased to take place and would be happy for prohibition to rear it’s ugly head once again. Others, while not looking to ban alcohol altogether, are quick to judge those of us who drink more than what they would consider a proper amount. As I get older, I’ve lost the urge to defend my life decisions, but there was a time when judgment about the liquids I chose to put in my mouth made me feel self-conscious.

And that’s where my idea for this month’s Session topic came from. It’s easy to find article after article on the internet telling us that alcohol is bad. As beer bloggers it’s safe to say we all disagree. Let’s take the opportunity as a group to tell people why we do drink and how it improves our life for the better. I know the default answer a lot of us fall back on is “it’s nice to sit back with a good beer after a stressful day of work”, and while that’s true, I’m looking for answers that aren’t so obvious to people who aren’t fans of our hobby. Beer is bigger than a liquid “chill pill” or we wouldn’t have gone about setting up a blog and dedicating so much of our time discussing it. So, what is it that compels you to drink and what would your life be missing if beer was no longer an option for you?

This seems particularly apropos as I’m currently neck deep in researching Prohibition for the book; doing a deep dive into the subject can definitely bring a new appreciation to questions like these. However, my answer to this particular question is probably a bit prosaic. Why do I drink? Pleasure.

Not the “pleasure” one derives from drinking to get drunk—there are far more efficient liquors than beer available for that—but the same kind of pleasure one gets from, say, eating gourmet meals. Why do you eat good food, when ordinarily, unremarkable canned foods will offer you the same nourishment? You do it for the experience and the pleasure of enjoying something that elevates the senses; you do it to enhance your understanding of what beer (or food, or whatever) can be.

And yes, sometimes you drink for the alcohol. And sometimes you shouldn’t have that second piece of cheesecake. But just as long as it’s not a habitual excess, well, then, enjoy responsibly.

Oregon Beer News, 03/07/2014

Oregon BeerHappy first Friday of March! Here’s the news in Oregon beer for the weekend of 7th, 8th and 9th. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day, so check back often. If you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that posted as well.

Today is the first day of the Malt Ball in Portland, which pairs music with beers in a two-day extravaganza: “What happens when you put together the two best things in the world: delicious beer and rocking bands? You get the third annual Malt Ball, a weekend-long fest that celebrates the staggering abundance of terrific music in our city AND the finest craft breweries that the Portland area has to offer. Your pals at the Mercury have partnered with Widmer Brothers Brewing and Oregon Brewers Guild to bring you the best-sounding beer festival in town, or the best-tasting music fest — whichever way you want to look at it.” It’s taking place at the Wonder Ballroom on NE Russell, and costs $20 per day or $50 for the two days together.

Double Mountain Brewery (Hood River) is tapping their Carrie Ladd Steamship Porter today: “Today at 5pm we are officially tapping this year’s batch of CARRIE LADD STEAMSHIP PORTER in our taproom. Although this chocolatey/roasty steam porter will be available in the taproom, it won’t hit the market until later this month in both bottles and on draft.”

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