Tuesday, May 31

Beer Review: Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp - California Common Ale

As I noted earlier in a post, I was in the process of reviewing the Beer Camp 12-pack from Sierra Nevada which consisted of 4 different beer styles that ranked the highest as favorites from a killer summer beer camp program they do. Website 'Here'.

My first was the Juniper Black Ale, which was for the most part a Black IPA brewed with juniper berries. I thought the beer was outstanding, and I scored it with high marks. Let's see if the California Common Ale hits the spot. All my beer reviews here are typed live as I flow through the reviewing process.

Appearance: (3.5)
- Bottle contained no yeast residue. Poured a clear new penny copper color with a fluffy finger and a half of white head. Slowly it left but a small white ring and barely a dusting left on top. Looks like your standard American Pale.

Smell: (3.5)
- First thing that comes to mind is the word 'floral'. I personally feel the term is overused, and doesn't describe many accurately. This beer however is about as floral as they come.. with the use of hops. Very light biscuit malt, and maybe a touch of bread. The scent seems to be masking what will most likely be a more robust flavor.

Taste: (4.0)
- This beer is reminding me that I have a cavity that needs taking care of. A very thin sweet malt is super clean with light bread and biscuit. Sweet malty sugars.. but not overly sweet. Certainly a grainy earthiness with a crisp hop, but more so floral hop again like the scent. Leafy green, and floral fruits are abundant.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- This beer is rather medium in body, slightly syrupy, and chewy. It's great floral qualities wet the palate to make up for the dryness in the sweet and bitter.

Overall: (4.0)
- Overall common is a great way to put it. Where the greatest part of this beer is, is in the floral character. This beers focus isn't on sticky piney resin, but more a solid base malt body with a surprisingly good spring character. Unfortunately the look and smell I'm afraid didn't allow this beer to top my latest review in the camp series.

B+ / 3.88

(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Thursday, May 26

Beer Review: Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp Juniper Black Ale

Finally managed to grab this at By The Bottle. A 4-brew series in a 12-pack. Starting with what I think will be my favorite in the bunch.

The wonderful 12-pack consists of the Juniper Black Ale (at 8.0% Alc. by Vol.), the California Common (at 6.5% Alc. by Vol.), the Weizenbock (at 6.8% Alc. by Vol.), and the Double IPA (at 8.5% Alc. by Vol.).

I have been very excited to try these beers. They all seem very well made, rather strong, and solid. Lately I have noticed that Sierra Nevada has really been sticking to the styles of beer.. something I had been openly critical about in the past. All four of these beers are very unique from one another, and all sound great to me. I will do a 4-part review process of these beers, and only through my live reviewing will I even learn myself which one I like better of the bunch.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Super dark black brew, only a hint of ruby brown seen through the very edges of the liquid in my cheater pint. The head was a quick 2-fingers of light tan/mocha that leaves a good amount of lace in the glass.. leaves a thin film on the beer.

Smell: (4.0)
- A rather subtle smell. Like a velvet bed of black IPA hiding something. I get an ester and bright fruit zing from the juniper, a roasted porter-like malt cocoa, and some fine bitter and grassy hops. Overall the smell is quite good, and light.. but very well rounded.

Taste: (4.5)
- Wonderful woody flavor with a great roasted chocolate, bitter bitter hops, grassy, earthy, subtle juniper, and almost a smoked wood flavor. A great unique taste, and am quite thrown back and impressed. Not overly sweet by any means, and so very balanced. This is one tremendously good beer. Hard to describe the world of flavors.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Well carbonated, slightly chalky, and medium bodied. Bitterness creates a dry palate, and the flavors force the palate to ready itself.

Overall: (4.5)
- Get it. This beer is excellent excellent. I certainly hope this beer can be found again after this beer camp pack. It is so well balanced, unique.. and screams of quality. It will be very tough for the next 3 to beat this one.

A / 4.33

(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp

Meet The Brewer: Everybody's Brewing

"Stop by to meet Doug Ellenberger, brewer & owner of Everybody’s Brewing. He’ll tell you that his family friendly brewpub is situated on one of the most beautiful perches in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. You simply cannot ask for more than sitting on their outside deck with an awe-inspiring view of Mt. Hood, and a jaw-dropping session ale from Everybody’s Brewing.

Featured Beers: to be announced

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Event time to be announced

Tasting fee: FREE"

Everybody's Brewing 151 E. Jewett Blvd., White Salmon, WA 98672, 509-637-2774




New Beers This Weekend At Lompoc Sidebar

As stated at their website, this weekend a nice mix of beers will be released at the Sidebar.

"Friday - Saturday, May 27th - 28st at Sidebar.
Willy's Wheat Release Party Friday at Sidebar!

Willy's Wheat
Brewed with strictly Willamette hops. A light, crisp wheat beer with a slight nutty flavor, a great beer for spring time. 3.8% ABV

Drunken Robin
Condor Pale Ale fermented in Bourbon barrels with 35 pounds of sour cherries and cellared for 20 months. Burnt orange in color with strong cherry and oak aroma. 5.2% ABV

Lompoc Sour Draft
Our LSD brewed in February 2008. Aged in Maryhill Winery Merlot barrels for two years. A sour ale that has an oak aroma and a lot of cherry and berry flavor. 6.9% ABV

Centennial India Pale Ale
A classic Northwest IPA brewed with crystal malts that give it a rich golden color. Centennial hops provide a floral nose and sharp bitter finish. 6.0% ABV

Kick Axe Dry Hopped Pale Ale
Our tribute to the Timber’s Army. A crisp, easy drinking pale ale. Dry hopped in the fermenter with Cascades giving off a huge hop aroma. 5.2% ABV

Oyster LSD
LSD that sat on 1 pound of smoked Hama Hamas (WA) for 5 days. There is a smoky flavor with a sweet brininess from the oysters. 6.9% ABV"

I don't know about you, but I think a visit this weekend is certainly in the works.

3901A N Williams Ave
Portland, Oregon (Map)

Tel - 503-288-3996

Fri 4 - 10PM
Sat 2 - 10PM

Tuesday, May 24

Full Sail Brewing Releases New Brewmaster Reserve Beer, Elevation Imperial IPA

"Hood River, Or – Oregon’s Cascade Mountains are named for the multitudes of cascading waters that rush from their glacial peaks. Oregon’s rushing rivers, cascading streams and thundering waterfalls all flow through the deep forests and rolling foothills. It is from these epic elevations that every batch of Full Sail beer sources its water. Full Sail’s new Brewmaster Reserve release, Elevation Imperial IPA, is brewed to celebrate these snow-capped mountains and their bounty of pristine, crystal clear water.

This Imperial IPA’s full malt body is elevated by the richness of hop flavor and bitterness. Generous amounts of Citra, Chinook, Columbus, Cascade and Centennial hops give this beer a wonderful aroma of orange zest and lemon. The citrus from the hops is complemented by a caramel biscuity malt flavor that comes from the pale and crystal malts blend. Elevation finishes balanced with a pronounced hop kick. Available in 22oz Bottles and Draught from June to September. ABV 7.5% IBUs: 80

“We are excited to add this new brew to our Brewmaster Reserve Line-up, as a small, independent craft brewer we have the freedom to be creative and explore different beer styles. Every eight to ten weeks we come out with a different beer that showcases the brewer’s art. We began the program back in 1998 as a way of celebrating our independence and creativity,” said Full Sail’s Founder and CEO, Irene Firmat.

The next beer in Full Sail’s 2011 Brewmaster Reserve program with be Sanctuary, a Belgian Dubbel, and will be released in September. Click here for a full list of Full Sail’s Brewmaster Reserve beers."

Monday, May 23

Roscoe's 2nd Annual Belgian Beer Summit

"Roscoe's 2nd Annual Belgian Beer Summit is coming up on Friday May 27th beginning at 4 PM, the great Belgian and Belgian-Style Beers will run all weekend.

This Summit will feature 14 Belgian and Belgian-Style beers on tap from all over the world. Some of the Breweries (and beers) will include: Saison Dupont, De Ranke (XX Bitter), Double Mountain, Hair of the Dog (Michael), Stillwater/Mikkeller (Two Gypsies-Our Side), Struise, Oakshire, Upright, New Belgium (La Folie), The Bruery (Tradewinds Tripel) and many more.

There will be trays of 5 ounce tasters available. We hope to see you there."

Sounds like some delicious brews. I hope to make it.

Corner of SE 81st and Stark.

Sunday, May 22

North American Organic Brewers Festival

Many don't realize how much I personally appreciate organic beer, food, farms, and the people involved with such a difficult endeavor. Sustainability too is a huge plus to any building and/or industrial process in our environment. This brewers festival encompasses these many fine traits, as well as the enjoyment of craft beer, and good people. Many don't know that I am a big environmentalist when it comes to treating our planet well, being as sustainable as possible, and using fresh, organic, farm raised, subsidized-free, hard working people products. We're not talking slaughter house cattle here eating a bunch of junk corn.. we are talking free range beef cattle with a smile. Politics aside, check it out.

The days of bad tasting organic beer has been long over for some time. It's more a stereotype now, though some still haven't figured out how to make an organic beer taste as good as Hopworks 7-Grain Survival Stout. I never made last years event, but heard that a good lot of the beers were quite bad. I think this year is going to be different. I think this year is going to be more packed, and I really think this entire idea is really going to catch on.. a bit too much. I am sure it will have to move to some fair grounds in the future. Perhaps a fair.. where the idea can also educate people on organics, and sustainability.

I hope to make it as I reserve other beer events for vacation days. If some additional time off lands during the event, you will find me there!

7th Annual North American
Organic Brewers Festival
June 24-26, 2011 in Overlook Park in Portland, Oregon

Noon to 9 p.m. Fri & Sat and Noon to 5 p.m. Sun

Admission into the event is free. The purchase of a $6 reusable, compostable cornstarch glass is required for tasting beer, as are tokens, which sell for $1 apiece. A full glass of beer costs four tokens (more for select beers), and a four-ounce taste costs one token. Patrons receive a $1 discount toward the tasting glass with a validated MAX ticket, a ticket from the onsite bike corral, or three cans of food for the Oregon Food Bank.

Mass Transit
The Interstate MAX/Yellow Line "Overlook Park" Station is directly across from Overlook Park and is the second stop from the Rose Quarter transit mall, heading North. Use the Tri-Met website for directions from your door to Overlook Park (1301 N. Fremont St. Portland, OR 97227).


Twitter: @naobf

Friday, May 20

Beer Review: Stillwater Artisanal .Existent. (Dog Brewing Co.)

Like many, I missed the Saison Fest held at Cascade Brewings Barrel House a short time ago. I read however that this beer was there. A couple short days later, I saw this at Belmont Station for a rather hefty price, but what the hell, I said to myself. Seems like an interesting mix of a dark wheat ale, and farmhouse.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Poured a beautiful dark murky brown with a fizzy, planet-like crater-filled valley of light mocha head. It took a short time for it to settle down to a bubbling dark brew, that seems like it is alive and ready to go.

Smell: (3.0)
- I can't help but notice a slight homebrewy odor of aceto, or green apple-like cider notes.. but it isn't heavy enough to kill the beer. Esters, roasted chocolate, grain, prune, fig, and spice.. slight clove touch. Almost a touch of purple grape juice.

Taste: (3.0)
- Certainly one of a kind. Roasted chocolate.. tart esters, grape, dark tea leaf, fig, tobacco.. smooth dry malt character leaves an earthy flavor. Perhaps a light early grassy hop addition.

Mouth Feel: (3.0)
- Leaves the palate a bit dry, and chalky. Overall a medium bodied beer that is rather well carbonated. Slightly chewy.

Overall: (2.5)
- The beer isn't bad. It certainly didn't hit the spot as I was expecting from the fancy packaging and marketing even all the way over here in the northwest. It's much like a very good homebrew, but a farmhouse ale that falls short compared to the pros. The highlight was certainly the look of the beer.. but the rest fell short. Not worth the money.

C / 2.95

(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Beer Review: Widmer Brothers Citra Blonde Summer Brew

Found a 6-pack of this already at the East Vancouver 192nd QFC. They usually roll in some new stuff even before some of the Portland stores oddly.

This brew is apparently brewed with both Alchemy and Citra hops, and weighs in at a very sessionable 4.3% Alcohol by Volume.

Appearance: (3.5)
- Poured almost two bottles in a Widmer imperial pint glass. Nice finger and a half of white foam, pours a very clear light copper color. Foam settles to a nice ring and a floating thin layer on top. Light lace.

Smell: (4.0)
- Big citrus, spicy, and grassy aromas. Light sweetness, sugars, subtle grain. Light bread. Mostly hops dominate the smell of this one. Big grassy hops.

Taste: (3.5)
- Light citrus bite. Grassy touch, light malt sweetness. Zingy lemon, grassy herbs, light spice and floral quality. Quite refreshing and light. Not much malt, but a light clean sweetness is present.

Mouth Feel: (3.0)
- Light zesty touch makes the palate water. Not drying really, and rather light bodied. Well carbonated.

Overall: (3.5)
- Overall this is a great cold drinker for a hot day. It's very light on the malt side, and you can tell they really played with the hops to create this beers flavor. It's light, bubbly, and refreshing. A beer I am sure most anybody would enjoy, or be able to get started on for a path through craftbeerdom. Overall the beers looks are average.. not a huge amount of lace or cloudiness. A little too typical for my liking, but the hops certainly stand out among others. Worth a try.

B / 3.55

(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Thursday, May 19

Boneyard Beer To Celebrate 1 Year! Already!

Whenever I get a chance, I always try to get myself some Boneyard Beer. These guys work hard, and are totally cool. I love their ideas, their ways, and their beer. They do things proper. If you are in Bend, hit up The Old Stone Church to celebrate their 1 year anniversary.

"Boneyard Birthday Bash! Boneyard is celebrating year #1! Come get your chug on while enjoying great food from Island Wild and groovin tunes from Truth Hero! Charge is $2.00 entry, and $3 beers. No minors will be allowed. Free schwag giveaways!! Don’t miss the first ever BBB! After party to follow at Velvet downtown Bend!"

From the Bend Bulletin:

“Our first brew batch was on April 18, 2010. That was our brand called Brand 13, and it was 13 barrels. Today we are on brew batch 86,” [Founder and Brewer Tony] Lawrence said. “In our first year we did 1,300 barrels, and in our second year we are going to probably hit 3,500 to 4,000 barrels.”

When the partners brewed their first batch of beers they had four used brewing and fermenting tanks ranging in size from five to 14 barrels, and now all but one of those original tanks have been replaced with five 20-barrel tanks and one 40-barrel tank, and three more 40-barrel tanks set to arrive in the next few weeks will more than double Boneyard Beer’s capacity, he said.

When asked what brand of Boneyard Beer is the best seller, Lawrence said, “without a doubt it’s our RPM IPA,” which he said will be available in six to eight weeks in 16-ounce cans featuring the Boneyard Beer black label with a white skull and crossed blades.

Other than the soon-to-be released canned Boneyard Beer, which will be distributed from Seattle to San Francisco as well as in the Bend area, Lawrence said Boneyard primarily manufactures beer “pretty much for the wholesale trade” to sell to bars and restaurants.

“We’re not like all of the woodsy, outdoorsy brewpubs in the area. We don’t have a restaurant in our brewery,” Lawrence said. “We aren’t brewery intellectuals. We’re gearheads. We work on cars, we ride motorcycles and we brew beer.”

Like I said to Tony when I met him at the Green Dragon in Portland for a meet the brewers night... I mentioned his RPM IPA was responsible for my breakup with my Ex. He sincerely was apologetic! I told him I was kidding, though that is what I was drinking from a mason jar that a buddy filled up for me. At that event, I was one of the first folks to try Armored Fist Imperial CDA.. and was seriously impressed. I told Tony it was one of the best beers I had ever had, and I wasn't lying.

I wish Boneyard the best, and hope to see a lot more of their beers in Portland, and in Washington! Washington... Please!!! ;)



Coalition Brewing To Open A New Patio!

Also their anniversary coming up.. new growlers.. more drinking space! All sounds like good news to me!

"For those of you who haven't heard the great news yet, we have been recently approved by the OLCC for the addition of our beer garden! Even better, it will be shared in the same lot as the Grilled Cheese Grill's Southeast location; directly behind our pub. We will have about 1500 square feet to offer for our patio, which sits in the sun the whole day long...and the sun seems to be coming out these days... My guess is that it will be up and running in about 3 weeks time (potentially sooner) and will be the host for our 1 year anniversary event happening on June 25th. We will have 3 dollar pints the entire day, music, and more. Details to come.
Also- Don't miss out on our Seasonal, Wheat The People- an American Wheat just released on Tuesday. You can also find Wheat The People at the Single Hop Fest happening at Amnesia brewing June 4th from 12-8. Other breweries involved are Amnesia, Burnside, Caldera, Cascade, Double Mountain, Migration, Rogue, and Upright. Sweet!
And on a side note- our growlers are finally in! Come check 'em out.
See you soon,

2724 SE Ankeny, Portland, OR, 97214 | 503.894.8080

Our current list of beer includes -

5.74% ABV, 59 IBU, 11.6 SRM
5.5% ABV, 55.6 IBU, 7.2 SRM
5.0% ABV, 54 IBU, 6.4 SRM
6.8% ABV, 71 IBU, 39.3 SRM
6.1% ABV, 70 IBU, 8.0 SRM
4.8% ABV, 29 IBU, 6.0 SRM
5.48% ABV, 38 IBU, 20.2 SRM

Sunday, May 15

Beer Review: Oakshire Hellshire Series I - Barleywine Aged In Bourbon Barrels

I was lucky enough to get a couple of these thanks to my friend @mmcooljam. I got these from him yesterday. Bottles are roughly $15 a piece no matter where you go.

There's a lot of hype around this beer, some comparing it to the release of Darklord etc. Many lined up early morning May 7th at Oakshire in Eugene, OR to snag these up. The bottles were to be later released May 9th. Let's see if all the hype is well granted shall we?

The label is quite cool on the bottle. It reminds me of playing Doom 3 on the PC when it was released. Lot's of devilishly dark artwork and goblins etc. This beer is aged for nearly nine months in the depths of Oakshire.. a realm of carefully fermented beers as the bottle states.

I poured the glass, and held it up to both artificial light, and natural to show the amber, and ruby colors of the barleywine. Forgive my use of a Rogue glass as I have yet to build back a glass collection after a breakup of days passed.

Let's begin.

Appearance: (4.0)
- The beer pours a whiskey brown and ruby copper, and seems rather clear though there was a patch of yeast at the bottom of the bottle, and some murky floating drifting clouds within the bottle before opening. The two fingers of tan head quickly dissipated leaving a healthy ring and floating bed of foam on top.

Smell: (4.0)
- Wonderful aroma of sweet brown sugar, caramel malt, and spicy hop character. All seems to meld very well. Light vanilla, and almost a cream soda-like aroma. This smells like a perfect good dessert barleywine. Little spicy alcohol heat.

Taste: (4.5)
- I let this warm a bit, and the flavors are showing through amazingly. Wonderful amounts of vanilla show through with an oak and herbal touch. The sweetness is present, but not overly powering. A roasted caramel touch presents itself well, balancing any heat. A wonderful hop bitterness tops it off with earthy and grassy notes. This is a fantastic barleywine. Light esters play a finishing role.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Great hop additions seem to leave the mouth a touch dry, as well as not being overly sweet which I like. Medium bodied, slightly chewy, and not overly sticky at all. Seems and is, as it should be.

Overall: (4.5)
- Overall this is a great barleywine. It does seem that a lot of care went into the production of this beer. The oak, vanilla, and bourbon notes are a fantastic touch to this barleywine, and I am a much bigger fan of bourbon barrel barleywines than I am stouts. This is perfectly balanced, and only yet slightly hot. I bet this beer would rest very well, but guessing it won't get any better after only a few years or so. Get it while you can. It's great, and worth the price.

A / 4.33

(BeerAdvocate.com rating scale)

Thoughts On Burnside Brewing Company

Last night I went to Burnside Brewing Company for the first time to meet a fellow beer blogger/tweeter/enthusiast to pick up some Oakshire Hellshire Series 'I' bottles that he had picked up for me as a killer favor. I decided to pick Burnside thinking it might be a little more quiet than Breakside Brewing since it was Breakside's 1 year anniversary party.

Upon entering, I just made it in when I had the option to seat myself. The only spot available was a small table right at the entrance which sat two. Luckily I snagged it because many poured in right after, and it was pretty much standing room only at that point. It was about 6:45pm when I entered.

It took but only a few minutes for a gentleman to come over with a menu, and a green wine bottle filled with water, and glasses. He was very polite, and I feel did an excellent job serving me. The water in the bottle was a fancy touch, and was quite cool. It served its purpose very well between tasting the beers, and food.

Before my friend @mmcooljam showed, I ordered the Sweet Heat Wheat Ale. I have read a lot about the beer, and looked very forward to trying it. It didn't disappoint at all. The blend of wheat malt, apricot puree, and Jamaican peppers was a perfect blend. The spice was there certainly, but not overly hot. I thought it was a very well made beer, and one I plan on filling growlers of for sure (Growler prices are $14 w/ glass, and $10 for fills).

After my friend showed up, I ordered the cured meat sampler platter. The menu was quite fancy, and about half of it I couldn't figure out what the items even were. Very fancy la-di-da kind of menu. This is not your regular pub grub. After sampling some of the fine French meats, pickled deali-bobbers, and toasted bread to serve as a catalyst, it clicked. The menu serves as an excellent food and beer pairing tool. The cured meats were nothing short of amazing, as was the beer. I certainly hope to get in there as often as I can (And as often as the wallet can allow). I want to try everything on the menu. Because everything on the menu typically can't be found on any other menu. The pricing was very fair, and they served full pints. What could be better? I later got a second beer, and it was a pint of their house IPA. It was a great solid beer with a fantastic hop flare. My only slightly negative critique of it, was that the malt had a slightly homebrewy taste to it. But overall was still very solid.

Another cool thing I noticed, was a lot of zombies across Burnside at what I believe was the Bossanova Ballroom. A Zombie Prom of sorts was going on. That made for a particularly interesting evening as I am kind of partial to zombies. I had a great time there, and service was great, and the food was great. The only real downside of the whole experience was the fact that everybody waiting at the door to be seated seemed to be waiting for just me and my friend to leave. As if the tiny two-seated table by the entrance was the only one there. I felt rushed, and stared at by the patrons at the door, and some of the servers walking by. The gentleman that waited my table didn't rush at all, and took his time. A fantastic server, and perfect for the establishment. Some of the folks in there were certainly snobs, and not the beer snob type. I was simply wearing jeans with a tucked in Salmon Creek Brewpub T-shirt, and wasn't any more over dressed, or under dressed than anybody there. But I felt like a naked bum in a mansion full of yuppies. Perhaps it was just because my table was the only one visible at the time, and they couldn't tell that all the seating was around the other side of the bar. Or the patrons just felt that they were more important. Yes, it was a Saturday night, and perhaps it was a little more busy than the place could really handle or seat for that matter.

I also wish they would open earlier as well. The have mainly evening time hours. I would love to be able to pop in there for lunch at Noon or 1:00 PM some days, but they typically open at either 2, or 3 PM.

Either way, the place was great. The meat platter I had was stellar. Really well made quality stuff. I was thoroughly impressed.

I recommend that everybody try Burnside Brewing when in town, or if you live in town. It stands above so many others.

I was also going to bring my camera, but decided not to. So sorry about the poor original Android quality in the pictures ;)



Saturday, May 14

Tis The Season For A Sessionable Regular Fridge Beer

As Spring hits, an array of light sessionable ales and lagers will be hitting the super market shelves. Leaves are growing, squirrels are digging holes in flower beds, and you need to keep the lawn mowed, and trash taken out. Where days off have an earlier start time, and a much later bed time. We want beer, and we want it for lunch, and dinner in the hotter months. So I am making a list of just regular light ales and lagers that can easily be found for a small price, and in large fridge filling quantity. I'm not talking about a $9 6-pack of Stone Levitation, or a 750ml bottle of Upright Brewing Four (though they are super good brews). I am talking about that half-rack on sale at Win Co, Fred Meyer, and/or QFC among many others. There are many, and I am only going to post a few that fit the bill. These beers are the ones I like to have regularly while I can still enjoy the more rare and expensive beers in between and on more special occasions.

1. Bridgeport Summer Squeeze.

I have not yet had this beer, as I haven't seen it yet. I do feel however that this beer will be delicious, light, and refreshing. Look out for it, I think it is going to be a winner, and one of Bridgeport's better beers to date.

2. Bridgeport Blue Heron Pale Ale.

This has always been a favorite local pale ale of mine. It is light, balanced, and well made, and I believe still to this day that it is one of Bridgeport's best beers. I heard that somewhere along the line the recipe changed, and my palate has changed as well. If that's the case, I still love the beer.

3. Full Sail Pale Ale.

This too is another great pale ale, and one with a lot of flavor. It's still light, and not so filling, and can be found anywhere around Portland for a great price. I like this one ice cold, and it delivers the perfect northwest bite.

4. Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager.

A great regular crisp pilsner. Nice touch of spice, and hop.. and can be found with ease during the spring and summer months.

5. Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefe.

This is one fantastic hefe. I was surprised at how good it was when I had it. Full of flavor, and really seems to be spot on for the style. It can usually be found in most places, but I will admit, it is slightly more difficult to find as their pale ale.

6. Red Hook Sunrye.

A couple years back, I bought a 6-pack just to try it. I fell in love. Great light flavor, and unique with a touch of rye which I love. A great beer, and was easily found anywhere for a good price. Now I will admit, I haven't seen it, and am certainly hoping they don't pull this beer from their regular seasonal lineup. I like it much better than their Slim Chance seasonal which for me fell kind of flat.

7. Widmer Citra Blonde.

This one I look very forward to trying. Widmer has continued to astonish me with a lot of new and tasty, experimental beers. I haven't seen this one hit the shelves yet, but I bet it will be a big hit this summer. Price is always usually quite good for Widmer products.

8. MacTarnahans Summer Grifter

For me this brewery fell kind of flat for quite awhile, and I rarely if ever purchased any of their beers. Last year they released Summer Grifter. I bought it then, and I buy it now. This is quite a good light very hoppy IPA, and was kind of surprised by it. Give it a shot!

This is only 8 beers, and there are others that can easily be found. I didn't mention Full Sails Session series because it is sort of a given, but I find myself getting half-racks and 6-packs of the above beers before I dig into a Full Sail Session lager. I hear there is a new Session brew coming, and I look forward to trying it.

I will most likely make another list of great session beers that will be a little more specific and robust than this, but my main point of this article was to post some simple sessionable favorites that can be found for cheap while doing some grocery shopping.

Cheers, and I have to finish my laundry..


Wednesday, May 11

Breakside Brewing Celebrates 1 Year!

Breakside Brewing celebrates their first year this Saturday, May 14th, from Noon til closing. Get in there and congratulate Ben Edmunds for the first big, and successful year.

Also a release of a wheat wine will be available, and free 5oz. pours will be handed out as much as possible. Cheers, and congratulations to Breakside Brewing!

820 NE Dekum St.
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 719-6475

Monday, May 9

Beer Review: Avery Brewing Dugana IPA

Saw this at Belmont Station today. Had to try it. I have read a little about it, and saw nothing by good reviews.

As usual, a fancy package with a very fantasy-like artful image on the label. Reminds me of the old Rowena, Boris, and Ploog cards I used to collect a lot of.

The beer ranks in at 8.5% Alc. by Vol. which pretty much puts it into double IPA category. Bottle states 93 IBU's. Here we go...

Look: (3.5)
- Pours a clear new penny copper color with a light & bright white foam that quickly leaves but a ring of bright white creamy head, and some scattered traces floating about. Subtle yeast floaties, just a dusting floating about.

Smell: (4.0)
- Big fruity blast, earthy and grassy hops, wet hops, wet dog, grain, caramel, sweet fruit salad, and a roasted candied touch. A little nutty Waldorph's salad in there.

Taste: (4.0)
- Smooth caramel, roasted caramel, candy, fruity hops, and bitter pine and dry-hopped madness. All melded together extremely well. This tastes so clean. Like a new heated steel tank, deflowered with fine beer. Well made, and slightly sweet.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Overall it is a medium bodied, slightly syrupy brew. Slightly chewy and drying. Sweetness keeps the palate dripping and begging for hops.

Overall: (4.0)
- A very well made beer, and very true to the style of an imperial pale ale. This certainly isn't a west coast IPA by any means, but a very well made hoppy beer from Boulder, Colorado. Worth seeking, and having a few!

B+ / 3.98

(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Friday, May 6

Tomorrow, Celebrate The 1 Year Anniversary of Apex in SE PDX!

Looking back to their grand opening on SE 12th and Division, I was a little curious. Then I heard they clean their lines religiously. They know their beer, and always have stellar beer on tap. Just a short time ago, they offered 12 different Bear Republic brews on tap for a meet the brewer night. Who regularly does such awesome stuff as that around these parts? They've got their act together. They are also kitty-corner from one of my more favorite Portland bottle shops and tap rooms, The BeerMongers. Take a look back at Brewpublic's original write-up of the Apex grand opening 'HERE'.

According to the Brewpublic blog, Jesse McCann has been stashing kegs all year, and plans to tap all of them tomorrow starting at 11:30am, and will run into the very early next morning until 2:30am closing time.

Brewvana Portland Brewery Tours is offering a shuttle service to the event, as well as hitting up the Cascade Barrel House for the Saison fest.

If you are lucky enough to have the day off (sniff), you don't want to miss these events.



Thursday, May 5

Upcoming Changes to Brewmance NW & About Brewmance NW

Hello, my name is Perry, and I created Brewmance NW. Yes, another beer blog. Below I will explain a little bit about myself, and what I intend to do here.

At the time of writing this, I am 32 years old. I was born and raised in NE Portland, OR. I grew up quite close to the Rose City Golf Course in the Rose City neighborhood. I actually attended Rose City Park Elementary for grades 4, and 5. I later attended Gregory Heights Middle School, and then finished High School at Benson Polytechnic High School, class of 1997. I also attended MHCC with an associates degree, and still continue my education at many other various institutions.

Needless to say, I began my craft beer experiences long before many had the opportunity to across the country. I feel Portland, and Oregon in general plays one of the biggest parts as to what craft beer is today.

I am simply here to continue my craft beer experiences, and log them. After all, that is what a blog is isn't it? Well maybe not just that. It has become a tool to promote. Blogs and beer websites have become a marketing masterpiece. With ads that pay the folks running them, to companies paying to promote their product.

I am one who would gladly accept monetization for simple advertising, and presenting an existing brand etc. I won't however alter a review, or try and promote a new release of a beer with a bias. I always speak my mind, and judge based solely on what I feel the quality of the beer is. Price does not affect my judging (User: Docer @BeerAdvocate).

With every new release, or follow up of a release, I will speak as to what I think.

On another note, I am always happy to try and spread the word. I love promoting small business, and especially a business in which I support and promote. Great people, hard work, excellent food, and fantastic moments are only part of this entire blogosphere.

I'm still learning, and have tried to incorporate my website knowledge, geekiness, beer drinking, personality, and local touch into this world of craft beer fandom. I recently moved north to Vancouver, WA, and plan to help promote what I feel is an up-and-coming growth of the industry which has boomed just south in Portland. Right at this very time I feel Portland is hitting it's stop sign. Not in beers created, style, and artistic approach.. but in sprawl of new and up-and-coming breweries. It will become a much more difficult playing field for the little guys.

So here I am. Happy to promote those who work hard, and play hard in the craft beer industry. Because craft beer is much more than just drinking a good beer. Through watching other local bloggers, and bloggers from afar, I have seen many blossom into careers. Huge money making opportunities. Others just wasting time because they have time to spare.

To me that feels like bottling what spilled on the floor, and selling it. I don't have time to spare, but yet I must... I want... I need to promote craft beer. It's a true passion of mine, and one in which I endure responsibly.

I work a full 40 hours a week. Really this is just a hobby. But I am amazed at how many new and great experiences I encounter as a result of this hobby. And having a file cabinet in my head of various craft beer knowledge is something I hold dear. I love having an answer, or recommendation.

My goal is to push, promote, and offer critique on craft beer. That's it.

I am also open to allowing other writers to be a part of the brewmance. After all, this blog is intended to spread the word, and promote local brews and business! It is what it is, and will remain to be... what it is!


P.S. Sometimes I may be repeating what another blogger has posted! That is either because I read the same newsletter, or because I read their blog! It's all about spreading the word right?


Wednesday, May 4

Portland Festival of Saisons at the Cascade Barrel House

One of my first Saisons, as many, was Saison DuPont, which will be available at a small one day event that takes place this Saturday at the Cascade Brewing Barrel House in SE Portland off 10th & Belmont St.

Cascade will have the famous Saison DuPont on tap as well as their own Saison Fume, which is a smoked Saison, and La Petite Morte, Saison Minuit, a Black Saison.

Other saisons to be there are as follows:

Block 15's Hatter's Riddle (Brewed w/ Dandelion & two unknown ingredients)
Oregon Brew Crew/Green Dragon Thai-son, brewed with lemongrass and ginger.
Breakside Amarillo Saison (Brewed with Brett)
The Bruery Saison de Lente (Brewed with Brett)
Oakshire's Frederic's Lost Arm, brewed with green tea.
Stillwater Cellar Door, with ingredients such as sage.
Stillwater Existant
Buckman La Petite Morte
Double Mountain Bonne Idee
Two Rivers Cider Saison, a cider brewed with saison yeast.

The event is on Saturday, May 7th, from Noon til 10pm.

Bring your own 14 oz. festival mug, or buy one there for $3. Each 4 oz. pour is 1 ticket ($1), or fill the 14 oz. mug for 4 tickets ($4).

I wish I could make it to taste many from one of my favorite styles, but work has to come first! Cheers!


Portland Fruit Beer Festival

The refreshing taste of fruity beers. As far back as my beer drinking goes, fruit beers have always been around, yet isn't a style that is created and abused as many others. My memories go back to the likes of Pyramid Apricot Ale, Widmer Widberry, and Thomas Kemper Weizenberry. My more recent ventures with beers have included many interesting fruits and ingredients. Raisins, fig, cherries, and many others. When a great brewery such as Cascade Brewing phrases a beer like: "This barrel aged sour blend is laid on a bed of raspberries.." gets my tongue in a flailing frenzy.

You can expect many well made beers from over 15 breweries, mostly local, held at one of Portland's newer breweries & pubs, Burnside Brewing.

The event is all ages, and most of the beers will be pouring in a covered tent in the parking lot. There will be overflow seating as well.

Saturday June 11th 11-9pm
Sunday June 12th 11-6pm

Burnside Brewing will remain open during their regular business hours for good eats and beers.

Also on another note, there will be a fruit beer homebrew competition organized by the Oregon Brew Crew at the event as well.

Tasting cups are much like those at various local beer fests. Tickets are each $1, and each ticket covers a 4 oz. pour. Pints are available for 4 tickets. The glass itself is $6, and is required for the tastings.

Mark your calendars! Cheers!



Tuesday, May 3

Beer Review: Firestone Walker 2011 Abacus Barley Wine Ale

I was lucky enough to find one of these bombers at a Whole Foods in East Vancouver, WA about a week ago for $14.99. I love barleywines, but more so love barrel aged barleywines. Unfortunately not much of this barleywine was actually barrel aged due to some stupid laws in California. As far as I know, about 20% or so was actually barrel aged. Good fellow beer advocates in California told me to drink it fresh, and not to worry about aging it as it wouldn't get any better than it is now. Now for the review..

Appearance: (3.0)
- Pours a dark ruby brown which as far as I can tell, is clear.. not cloudy. Very quick fizzling light brown bubbles which practically vanished and left what looks to be a port in the glass. Can't say it's an overly pretty beer. Guessing this aspect will be the beers low points. Nice thin oily film in the glass.

Smell: (4.0)
- Fig, prune, esters hit the nose. Thick sweet raisin molasses and brown sugar with a sweet malt presence. Little bit of alcohol, but not much. Overall this smells like a wonderful sweet desert beer.

Taste: (4.5)
- Caramel and molasses come to mind at first.. then a blend of vanilla, earthy oak, burnt brown sugar, and prune show themselves. Very tasty, sweet, and balanced. Not overly loaded with alcohol flavors. Perhaps some earthy and grassy hops. Finishes with a nice spicy touch.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Not as thick as I thought it would be. Plenty carbonated, just doesn't leave any head. Slightly chalky and sticky. Somewhat chewy and drying.

Overall: (4.0)
- Overall this is a killer barleywine. Has a wonderful array of flavors and a desert-like quality that can be rare in such a style. Overall not the prettiest beer, but is quite nice and a bomber worth sharing with some fellow beer advocates!

A- / 4.13

(Based on BeerAdvocate.com's rating scale)

Bridgeport Brewing to Release New "Summer Squeeze" Bright Ale.

One popular trend lately has been light session brews. After a wave of double and/or imperial ales (strong ales usually between 8 & 14% alc. by vol.), session beers (light ales usually between 3 & 5% alc. by vol.) have been the latest trend. Many want a great flavored beer which they can drink a lot of, and not fall asleep or pass out drunk. I personally find it hard to have any strong beer for lunch because I feel it will drag the rest of my day down. I love a good light crisp ale during the heat of the day.

Bridgeport Brewing has an answer for that thirst. Summer Squeeze Bright Ale. This light crisp ale is brewed with the lemony essence of lemon grass (which oils are also used as a preservative), and the tangerine-like flavors of the yuzu fruit.

I think this could quite possibly be their best new beer to date. I was however a bit disappointed with their latest red ale, and porter. I hope this will bring me back to more Bridgport brews. After all, their IPA was my regular go-to beer back in the day before there were so many more choices!

Bridgport Brewing is having a release party for this beer at their pearl district brewpub location. It will be held on June 2nd at 5:30 PM. Check out their website "HERE" to sing up for their newsletter.

Later I will be compiling a list of my favorite session beers for summer and the hot months. Ones that I feel anybody would easily be able to slam down a few without feeling the need to take a nap, and lounge the rest of the day.

Let's see if this brew holds up to the likes of Red Hooks Sun Rye brew which happens to be one of my most favored session ales.