Looping through Eastern Oregon for beer

This past weekend we embarked on an impromptu road trip into the wilds of Eastern Oregon as part getaway, part seeking-out-beer. I’d had on my “to do” list for awhile now to pay Steens Mountain Brewing Company a visit, located in Burns—a relatively easy two-hour drive from Bend. But since we hadn’t been to Baker City in ages, the decision was made to head out for an overnight trip first to Baker City then down to Burns—something of an Eastern Oregon “beer loop” if you will.

I have in mind a number of detailed pieces that can (and will) spin out of this, but for now here’s something of a brief synopsis on the trip, Eastern Oregon, and the three breweries we visited.

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Oregon Beer News, first week of September 2015

Oregon BeerHere’s beer news from around Oregon for the week of August 31 through September 4 and the weekend; because it’s Labor Day weekend and then back to school next week, so things will be slow here on the blog (no daily news posts). I’ll try to keep this post updated if more news pops up, so if you have anything to share please contact me to keep me in the loop.

General News:

Saraveza (Portland) is looking to hire a beer buyer and event coordinator—is that you? “This person possesses strong organizational skills that can motivate employees, has retail and event coordinating experience, can oversee budgets and inventory and is comfortable being in the public eye. This position is a full-time management position that includes some day and some night shifts that also act as support for the restaurant.” Read the full qualifications and expectations here.

Oregon City’s new Bent Shovel Brewing has their Winding Road Amber Ale on tap at Bigfoot Growlers at Damascus. (I’m not sure I’ve seen them on tap before?) “Winding Road Amber is light bodied, crisp and flavorful with a beautiful amber color. The clean yeast profile allows the European malt flavors and delicate hop aromas to shine. This beer is perfect for an autumn evening. 5.2% ABV 35 IBUs”

Deschutes Brewery (Bend) has posted the artwork for this year’s Jubelale label! “This piece is called ‘First Tracks First Cast’ by Taylor Rose & features a wintery hiking scene along a trout-filled riverbank. Get your poster signed by the artist at our Jubelale Celebration on September 28th from 5-8pm at our pub in Bend.”

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The 7th annual Little Woody returns to Bend Labor Day weekend

The Little Woody, Bend, Oregon

What started in 2009 as a small, local beer festival with a unique angle—all wood-aged beers—is back for its seventh year, taking place in Bend September 4th and 5th—The Little Woody Barrel Aged Beer, Cider & Whiskey Fest. The name has expanded along with the festival; when it originally started, it was beer only and all seven(!) of Central Oregon’s breweries participated.

It was unique from the start; I had never heard of a similarly-themed brewfest at the time, and the venue eschewed the regular open-field format in favor of taking place on the property of the Des Chutes Historical Museum in downtown Bend. It has taken place at that venue ever since, with beers (and now ciders) pouring in the parking lot along with food carts, and seating, games, and live music taking place on the lawn.

The Little Woody has grown from its original seven breweries (which really did represent all the active breweries here in Central Oregon at the time) to encompass some 23 breweries and cideries from around the Northwest this year. And, as they have been doing in past years, there will also be whiskey tasting taking place inside the Museum.

Here’s the description from their press release:

The Little Woody Barrel Aged Beer and Whiskey Festival will celebrate craft wood-aged beers from across the Northwest, along with small-batch American rye whiskeys and bourbons, and new this year, barrel-aged ciders, during the [seventh] annual festival September 4-5, 2015. The Little Woody takes place next to the Des Chutes Historical Museum, 129 Northwest Idaho Avenue in downtown Bend, Ore.

New on the Little Woody tasting lineup this year is cider. In celebration of the growth of the local and regional cider scene, there will be several barrel-aged cideries including Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Schilling & Co. Hard Cider, and Bend’s newest local cidery, Far Afield Cidery.

To commemorate one of Central Oregon’s hallmarks—craft beer—and lend a nod to the historic techniques used by brewers with oaken casks, The Little Woody will once again feature small-batch beers aged in wood barrels by top Northwest breweries including Deschutes Brewery, Ninkasi Brewing, 10 Barrel Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, as well as pours that include for the first time Lompoc Brewing, Burnside Brewing Co., Fremont Brewing, Vagabond Brewing, and Fort George.

The hours are 5 to 10pm on Friday the 4th, and noon to 10pm on Saturday the 5th. It’s strictly a 21-and-over event. The pricing structure looks like this:

Basic entry including commemorative glass: $12
Tasting package: $20. Includes glass, entry and 8 tokens
Whiskey tasting: Tokens will apply to both beer and whiskey
Tokens: $1 each and tastes cost 2-5 tokens each

You can pre-purchase tickets or packages online here.

And here is the full brewery and beer list they have online:

  • 10 Barrel Brewing (Bend):
    • Huckleberry Hound, Uber Berliner Weiss base, aged in Pinot barrels for a year, and conditioned with Oregon Huckleberries
  • 21st Amendment Brewery (San Francisco):
    • Hop Crisis Imperial IPA, aged on oak
  • Bend Brewing Company (Bend):
    • Raven – Bourbon Barrel Aged Baltic Porter
    • Currant Volkssekt, Cabernet Barrel Aged Currant Berliner Weisse
  • Burnside Brewing (Portland):
    • Curious Funk, “sour blend of our Stout and Strong Ale aged in Four Roses barrels”
    • Couch Select Lager
  • Deschutes Brewery (Bend):
    • Sour Pumpkin Bier de Gourd, 19 months in oak barrels with Brux and Lambicus
    • Barrel Aged Trees of Doom Dunkel, new Rye Whiskey barrels from Oregon Spirit Distillers for three months
    • X-Tap The Abyss 2014
  • Far Afield Cider (Bend):
    • Scallywag Cider, aged six months in One-Eyed Jon Rum barrels from Oregon Spirit Distillers
    • Temptation, a sweet(ish) cider with vanilla and honey.
  • Fort George Brewery (Astoria):
    • 3-Way IPA
    • Barrel Aged Plazm Farmhouse Ale, ged in French Oak Pinot Noir barrels
  • Fremont Brewing (Seattle):
    • Bourbon Abominable: Kentucky to Scotland, aged in 15 year old American oak bourbon barrels, infused with cherry wood soaked in peat smoked Islay Scotch
    • Summer Ale
  • Hop Valley Brewing (Springfield):
    • Hop Valley Oakeroo, 2014 Winter seasonal aged in bourbon barrels from Heaven Hill distillery
    • Bohemian Dub Hop Pale Ale
  • Lagunitas Brewing (Petaluma, CA):
    • High West-ified Coffee Stout, “vintage-ize an West High Rye and Bourbon Barrel”
  • Lompoc Brewing (Portland):
    • Port Barrel Aged Cimmerian, dark Belgian style ale aged in Maryhill Winery Port barrels for five months
  • Mazama Brewing (Corvallis):
    • Ginger Quad, Barrel Aged Quadrupel Aged 9 months in ginger mead barrels from Nectar Creek Honeywine
    • Nightside Eclipse Bourbon aged Baltic Porter
  • McMenamins Old St. Francis School (Bend):
    • Isle of Unicorn Scotch Ale, conditioned for 4 months in McMenamins Whiskey barrels
    • Caped Crusader Robust Porter, Aged in a McMenamins Hogshead Whiskey barrel and then keg conditioned for 6 more months
  • New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO):
    • Love Peach Oscar, Soured Oscar base aged in Leopold Bros peach Whiskey barrels
    • Love Apple Felix, Soured Felix base aged in Leopold Brothers Apple Whiskey barrels
  • Ninkasi Brewing (Eugene):
    • Oak-Aged Sleigh’r, “aged it for 15 months in Heaven Hills bourbon barrels, adding in cocoa nibs, apricots, and wild strawberries during the aging process”
    • Wünderbier
  • Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider (Portland):
    • Whiskey Barrel-Aged Soured Pippin with Makrut
    • X-Tap Cider, bourbon cherry barrel aged lacto-fermented Sacrilege Sour Cherry
  • Schilling Cider (Seattle):
    • Oaked aged cider
    • Wild Aged Cider X-Tap, “This sour style wild fermentation cider is aged in Mischief Whiskey barrels and is just under 2 years old.”
    • Ginger Cider
  • Silver Moon Brewing (Bend):
    • One Eyed Elf, 2014 Elf Brew aged in OSD One Eyed Jon Spiced Rum Barrels
    • Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Tranquility Stout
  • Stone Brewing (Escondido, CA):
    • Reason Be Damned, Belgian Style Abbey Ale aged in Red Wine Barrels
    • Barrel Aged Brown Ale W/ Balaton Sour Cherries, “Aged almost 3 years in wine barrels, followed by several months in our foudres”
  • Three Creeks Brewing (Sisters):
    • Whiskey a Cocoa, Rye Whiskey Barrel aged FivePine Chocolate Porter
    • Top Hat Belgian Tripel
  • Vagabond Brewing (Salem):
    • Fancy as Funk, classic Saison brewed with orange peel and rose hips, aged in Pinot Noir Barrels for a year
    • Belgian Pale in Pinot Barrels with Apricots, King Estate Pinot Noir Barrels
  • Wild Ride Brewing (Redmond, OR):
    • Bourbon Barrel Aged Brain Bucket Imperial IPA
    • X-Tap Saison, Fermented in Pinot Noir Barrels
  • Worthy Brewing (Bend):
    • Lyrical Genius Flemish Red, aged in oak Sangiovese barrels for 18 months with brettanomyces, lactobacillus, & pediococcus
    • Dream On, “We took our Farmhouse-style Saison, added a few pounds of raspberries, spiked it with lactobacillus and brettanomyces yeasts and then aged it in Pinot Noir barrels”

That is a stunningly good beer list! If you can make it to Bend for Labor Day weekend, don’t miss The Little Woody!

Oregon Beer News, 08/28/2015

Oregon BeerTGIF! The month of August is winding down and it’ll be September before you know it. Here’s the news in Oregon beer for the final weekend of this month; as usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often. If you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that posted as well.

Ninkasi Brewing (Eugene) announced earlier this week that they have two new beers dropping this September in their Special Release and Rare & Delicious series: Noir, a Coffee Milk Stout, and Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh’r, a Dark Doüble Alt Ale with pumpkin and brown sugar. From the press release: “Brewed with rich, roasted malts and blended with smooth cold brewed coffee from Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters, this beer [Noir] is a satisfying take on a Milk Stout. For the pumpkin beer lovers, Ninkasi introduces Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh’r to its Rare & Delicious Series. Serving up a fall-time rendition of the brewery’s winter seasonal, this Imperial Dark Doüble Alt Ale is brewed with 300 pounds of organic pumpkin and a generous helping of dark brown sugar.” Okay, those sound pretty good!

Roscoe’s (Portland) has one of their Beer Summits taking place this weekend, starting today: Sour Beer Summit! “Join us for our Annual celebration of tart and sour beers! There will be beers from Oakshire, Flattail (Smokey and the Lambic), Crux, Double Mountain (Peche Mode and Devil’s Kriek), Trinity, Russian River (Supplication), Mikkeller, Struisse, Hopworks, New Belgium, and More! Great sour beers on tap all weekend!”

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Oregon Beer News, 08/26/2015

Oregon BeerHere is the beer news from around Oregon for Wednesday, the 26th of August. 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.

Alameda Brewing (Portland) is celebrating their 19th anniversary today all day long, with an amazing beer deal: “We’re gonna party like it’s 1996 with $1.90 pints ALL DAY! We’ll do a huge raffle with some great giveaways and swag from 7pm-9pm and recognize many on our crew who have worked so hard to bring us this far! We want to see you there to celebrate with us and take home some awesome gear and prizes! Cheers to 19 years!” Congrats on 19, and here’s to 19 more!

McMenamins Crystal Ballroom (Portland) has a special beer tasting today taking place at Ringler’s Pub from 5 to 9pm: Dying Embers Imperial Stout. “The song, “Cold Old Fire,” by Dublin, Ireland, folk band Lynched, inspired this dark concoction. It’s meant to evoke grey days in Dublin & memories of good times and bad spent by a fire, whose flame, like a glass of tasty, strong beer, inevitably will disappear. We sought out flavors to mimic the atmosphere of sitting around the “dying embers of a cold old fire.” Tao of Tea’s pine-smoked black tea provides the smoke, while organic habanero peppers provide the slight heat. Wintergreen leaves bring up the last note on the palette, signifying the chill that sneaks up like a thief around such a scene. Stout and black tea-well, in terms of Dublin, they sort of speak for themselves, don’t they?” Yum!

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