Oregon Beer News, 04/06/2015

Oregon BeerHappy post-Easter Monday, I hope everyone is over their chocolate bunny hangovers. Here is the news in Oregon beer for April 6; as usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news as I find it, so check back often. If you have news to share, please let me know and I can get that updated as well.

We’re just about a week away from the Craft Brewers Conference starting up in Portland, and there are more events being lined up than you can shake a stick at—in fact, while I will likely be writing about a number of them, I doubt there is any way I can reasonably cover all of them. Suffice to say it’s going to be the biggest week in beer Portland (and Oregon) has seen in some time, so keep a close watch on the CBC’s “week events” page in addition to this space. And yes, I’ll be in Portland next week covering the CBC, so the daily beer news posts will be on hiatus for the week—but there will be plenty of CBC coverage happening here on the blog and on social media.

PFriem Family Brewers (Hood River): They are hitting Portland this week with their bottle release parties celebrated their just-launched bottled beers (which they kicked off just last week). They will be at Belmont Station on Wednesday the 8th, Saraveza on Thursday the 9th, and The BeerMongers on Saturday the 11th. If you haven’t yet had a chance to check out their bottles make sure to hit up one of these events this week.

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The Session #98: Cans or bottles?

The SessionYesterday was the first Friday of the month, meaning time for another round of The Session was in order—collaborative beer blogging, inviting bloggers of all type to participate by sharing their thoughts on a common topic. My post is a day late because I had a book signing event yesterday where, ironically, there was discussion on this month’s topic (suggested and hosted by Nathan Pierce of Microbrewr): Cans or bottles?

I ask this same question to every guest of MicroBrewr Podcast. I think it’s an interesting study into both industry and consumer trends.

The craft beer industry is neat, in that the producers are often consumers as well. When a brewery owner answers this question, she gives her perspective not only as a manufacturer of an alcoholic beverage product, but also as a consumer of beer.

A bottling line or a canning line is a substantial financial investment. So this question is a significant consideration to anyone starting a brewery.

The answers give great insight. However, one thing I see lacking from the discussion is solid data.

What’s your perspective?

I’ve spent more than a few words on the topic of cans, so I’m not going to rehash any of the usual cans vs. bottles arguments—suffice to say, I love cans, and the best analogy I use to get people who might think they are inferior to thinking about cans differently is to compare them to mini kegs—after all, that’s what they are. If people love draft beer, straight from the keg, then why should canned beer be any different?

I do have a comment about Nathan’s line I quoted above: “A bottling line or a canning line is a substantial financial investment. So this question is a significant consideration to anyone starting a brewery.” Well, yes and no—here in Oregon in particular we’ve been seeing more and more examples of mobile bottlers and canners—basically, a mobile canning (or bottling) line on a truck that drives around from brewery to brewery, and packages the beer right then and there, no additional equipment needed. So I think it’s increasingly less important these days for startup breweries to have to consider can or bottle packaging equipment if this option is available to them—not to say, of course, that they wouldn’t invest in their own equipment, because many (most?) do once they grow big enough financially and physically—but to a certain extent I don’t think this question is as necessary when considering starting a brewery as it once was.

Case in point: at my book event last night, Three Creeks Brewing was (very generously!) pouring samples of their beer—which included their newly-canned beers, for which they use a mobile canner to package. (They bottle their beers as well.) And Kevin (their rep) was more than happy to talk up the virtues of the cans for folks who were asking the very question this Session asks. Three Creeks is making a bet on cans, particularly for the Central Oregon lifestyle, and once they grow big enough they will install their own canning line.

Bottles aren’t going away, of course. But I’m always excited to see new beers in cans and I hope to see many more.

Oregon Beer News, 04/03/2015

Oregon BeerHappy Friday and TGIF! Here’s the news in Oregon beer for the first weekend in April, to help you plan your weekend accordingly. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often. And if you have news to share, please let me know and I can get that updated as well.

This weekend is the 21st annual Spring Beer and Wine Fest taking place in Portland at the Oregon Convention Center—running Friday and Saturday from noon to 10pm both days. It’s not just beer and wine, there are also cheeses, chocolates, other foods and vendors (from what I understand, something of a “state fair” kind of feel)—but there’s plenty of beer to be had, never fear! Check out the site for pricing and head on out.

PFriem Family Brewers (Hood River): Today is the day for the first-ever release of PFriem’s beer in bottles, rolling out at their brewery in Hood River! “pFriem is set to launch 23 bottled beers throughout 2015 including: annual, seasonal, limited and barrel-aged varieties. The Classic Series will be offered in a capped 500ml German-style bottle while the Select Line and Barrel-Aged beers are being packaged in a corked and hooded 375ml bottle. The Barrel-Aged beers will include the long-anticipated Flanders Red and Blonde.” They’ll be following up today’s release with release parties in Portland and Seattle and beyond over the next few weeks as well, so if you can’t make it to Hood River then keep an eye out for their other events.

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Oregon Beer News, 04/02/2015

Oregon BeerHere is the news in Oregon beer for Thursday, the 2nd of April. 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.

McMenamins Old Church & Pub (Wilsonville) has their monthly special beer tasting today starting at 5pm, featuring Galaxy’s Edge IPA: “We’ve blasted our Hop Nova IPA with a heavy dose of Galaxy hops resulting in an IPA that is truly out of this world. A unique hop variety from Australia, Galaxy hops are known for their powerful aromas of tropical, citrus, and passion fruits. Add that to our already outstanding IPA and you’ve got a recipe for intergalactic awesomeness!”

Belmont Station (Portland) is hosting Bend’s Silver Moon Brewing today from 5 to 7pm for a tasting: “Fresh from Bend, Silver Moon Brewing will be on site pouring a variety of their bottled beers for you to taste. In the biercafé, we will be serving Highway 97 IPA on draft.”

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