Sunday, July 31

Coalition Brewing One Year Anniversary Party

Already a year? Wow...

Saturday, August 20 · 12:00pm - 11:30pm

"Join us to celebrate one year of making and drinking delicious beer! To thank you for your patronage, we will be....

- Hosting live music in our beer garden!

- Indulging in Happy Hour all day!

- Having a beer brat BBQ in addition to the Grilled Cheese Grill

- There will be a cornhole tournament (still a few spots available. Email info(at)coalitionbrewing with your team name to sign up).

- A mid afternoon live brewing demo

- A special small batch release of a new CDA!

- Late(ish) night Soul Train on our Projector

The party starts at noon and goes all day, so join us for the good times and good beers!"

Saturday, July 30

My Friday At The Oregon Brewers Festival

Living in Vancouver, WA., it was very nice that I could take a C-Tran bus, which is pretty much at my front door, and take it to the Max Yellow Line at Delta Park in Portland. Other than a few crazies, and a big guy with massive B.O. who liked to shove his hand down his pants and scratch himself, the trip was overall pleasant. A buddy of mine and I got off the Max at Oak st. downtown, and walked only a few blocks right to the entrance of the fest.

We arrived at about 12:30 PM just shortly after the fest had opened for the day. It first hit me that the place was way more packed at that time than I remembered it being the year before. I recall the first wave of OBF hoot'n'holler at about 1:00 PM which was way early. Last year I recall the chants starting at about 4:00 PM.

The weather was fantastic, and will remain to be for the rest of the event. In the beginning there wasn't much of a breeze, and the tents felt quite stuffy. I always like to complain about the heat, though, since I am a pale Scandinavian guy who's genetics require a cool and cloudy 60 Deg. F.

Overall there were a few good beers that stood out for me. I briefly made it into the Buzz Tent where I ran across a few really good brews. The entire lineup fell short for me. Yes, I know there are lots of people who haven't even been introduced to many of them, but to see the same regular offerings from some brewers there year after year gets a bit old. Some may think that 21st Amendment only brews Hell or High Watermelon.

But overall, it is a festival which helps our local economy as many who attend it are not from town. The fest brings in a lot of outside craftbeer geeks, and some other not-so-polite douche bags. The fest isn't like hanging out at a local SE pub with kind and polite people always. You get your mix of homies, thugs, jocks, sluts, and downright disgusting drunks... but hey, it's a festival to celebrate craft beer right?

I loved the little marching band that really seemed to help break up the groups of people that got in the way of those who simply wanted to get in line to get a beer. It was fun, and cool to see a line forming for those who needed to dance a little and have fun. Too bad the marching band didn't break up those etiquette-lacking groups of people who felt they had to form a beer clot right at the lines.

I always go with the intention on enjoying some good beer. And I do of course.. but get a little sidetracked with all of the beautiful women around. Being a 'leg' guy, my jaw is still taking time to fit back into place. Now if they weren't mostly trendy dumb jock sluts, but craft beer loving beer nerds.. that would have been much better. Just remember... personality. Right?

The buzz tent beers I tried, I had at the end of my regular beer tasting. I didn't get a chance to try all that I had wanted to, but I tried enough. I didn't want to walk out of the place totally hammered. I was lucky enough after all to get a ride home from my buddies wife, who I must say is totally cool. I envy him.

Here are the beers I tried, and recommend:

Buzz Tent:

- Cascade Winter Gose
This was a solid sour which I know many have probably had, but it was a nice start to what followed.

- Cascade Port Barrel Super Sour
I loved it. I love port barrel sours, and this was a solid port barrel-only red prior to it ever being blended with another.

- Fifty Fifty Brewing Imperial Eclipse Stout
This puppy was a fantastic stout.. so good I had 2 tasters.

(These probably won't be tapped again, or will still be rotating this weekend since there are no planned taps at the Buzz Tent.)

The Beers:

I will start with my favorite two that I had.

- Old Market Berried Alive
The Brewmaster Tomas is a bud of mine, and not the reason I really liked the beer. It was brewed with boysenberries, and aged in Pinot Noir barrels. It was light, refreshing, and very tasty.. probably my favorite. I feel Old Market doesn't get a lot of local credit or hype as they should. The sours there are fantastic as well.

- Burnside Brewing Gratzer
This Polish smoked wheat beer was delicious! The perfect amount of wheat and smoke. It really stood out from the other more 'basic' stuff at the fest.

- Boundary Bay Double Dry-hopped Glacier Pale
I just only first tried this brewers IPA a few days before, and thought it was fantastic. This Glacier-Hop only pale was a killer treat. Highly recommended.

- Columbia River Brewing Nyctophobia CDA
I was kind of on a Cascadian Dark Ale kick, and had to try most of them all. This one stood out above many of the others there that were offered.

- Elysian Brewing Idiot Sauvin
A great zesty and fruity IPA brewed with 4 additions of Nelson Sauvin hops. A must try.

- Great Divide Rumble Wood-aged IPA
This beer was solid, but overall didn't do it for me. It has a slightly meaty flavor to it.

- Hop Valley Alpha Centuari Binary Imperial IPA
Name is a bit long, and so was the line for this beer. I could see why, it was nothing short of great.

- Hopworks Evelyn's Imperial Sunshine IPA
I feel bad for never having tried this, but I finally did. It's a great IPA with the perfect balance and hop character.

- Natian Brewing CuDA Cascadian Dark Ale
A smooth and solid CDA. Worth the try for sure.

- Pyramid Discord Dark IPA
They might as well call it what it is.. a CDA. A very solid beer, and something I would like to see in a 6-pack. Didn't quite top the other CDA's though.

- Surly Hell (Munich Helles)
Solid, zesty, grainy, and balanced. Love the brewery. Get it.

- Upright Brewing Offen Weisse
Damn tasty, light, and smooth. Would like some chilled kegs please.

I think I had a few others that were not listed in the guide, but that is what I am going off of a day later. I only made it down for one day, and that's really all I plan to do. It's a fest that is nice to look forward to each year, and I always plan some vacation days for it.


A special thanks goes to Big Al's in Vancouver, WA for their kind gift and help with enjoying the festival.

2011 Puckerfest Recap

Puckerfest is an event held annually at Belmont Station in SE Portland, OR. This was my first opportunity to attend the event, and I am glad I did for at least three nights of it. Each night for the first 5 week days, a different brewer and flight of sours were available as well as other rare and sour beers.

The first night I attended which I think was Monday, Flat Tail Brewing was represented. Their line-up of sours were fantastic and I especially loved their 1st Anniversary sour (which is actually again on tap now as I write this). It was a wonderful 100% barrel fermented blonde which was then again rested over oak spirals. I didn't have the full Flat Tail flight of tasters. but I did manage to try two of them. The light and refreshing "Corvaller Weiss" was fantastic. A blended beer which wasn't over-the-top sour and perfect for a hot day.

I went back Tuesday and met the brewer and barrel man from Block 15 Brewing and did get a chance to enjoy their entire flight of sours. I will say that I was most impressed with this brewer out of the lot that I had tried.

The entire flight was nothing short of fantastic. I especially liked the 'Enchanted'.

"Inspired by Belgian Oud Bruins, though uniquely an American Wild. A deep silky brown ale Barrel aged in bourbon casks with Lactobacillus & Brettanomyces for 6-15 months"

The Golden Canary was another favorite of mine too. But the Ferme de la Ville, and Wonka's Wit was freakin' delicious too.. was very hard to pick a favorite. The flight was spread out just right too as most were very different from one another.

The brewer Nick Arzner was a very cool and dedicated guy. I loved the passion he had for his art, and of course had to let him know how much of a fanboy I had become since the entire flight of sours were the first beers I have had a chance to try from Block 15. I also met brewer/lead cellarman Matt Williams who also shared the love for the art, and was a very nice dude to talk with about beer.

I missed Wednesday which was Upright Brewing's night for their flight and 'meet the brewer' event. I had to work that night, but was fortunate enough to have talked to Alex Ganum. We pretty much discussed his beer and plans, as well as the other beer offerings at the fest. We discussed a little about his changes in yeast over the recent past. He was a gentleman and a man of great character. I was fortunate enough to still try a few Upright Brews throughout the Puckerfest since they were mixed in the list throughout the weeks event. Alex brewed up a special 14th Anniversary Belmont Station brew which I really liked and thought had the perfect dry gin touch.

"This is a special blend of four Upright beers, including three aged in Ransom Old Tom Gin barrels, two with brett and lacto and one with apricot puree!"

Also the following Thursday on the last day I made it (That was Double Mountain night), Upright's cellared 1st Anniversary beer was still on tap from the night before.

"This intense beer started out as Upright #4 before being poured into an Old Tom Gin barrel with apricots and wild yeast. There it transformed into a magical elixir that's full of skin fruit, wood, and herbal notes from the gin. This is a truly rare treat that we're overjoyed to have."

I loved them both. I had another from Upright, which I know I loved, but can't remember what it was. I know it wasn't a very sour brew, but was an aged Farmhouse as well. Maybe it was one of the above beers.. it's tough for me to remember at this point.

Friday, I enjoyed some Double Mountain Rainier Kriek. I loved the beer, and it was very different from their Devil's Kriek which is also a very stellar beer. I thought it was very cool to see the brewmaster, Matt Swihart, bring in some nice cherries as well and handed them out among those there to enjoy his fine creations. The beer is great, and I noticed that among all the other sours there, Double Mountains seemed to be up there much more in price. Heard the kegs were quite the pretty penny. They are worth it, but there comes a point where the hype machine needs to be shut down for maintenance.

One of my favorite, if not my favorite beer, was the last keg and tapping ever of BJ Pizza's 2007 Enfant Terrible, which was one of Laurelwood's current brewmaster Vasilios Gletsos beers from when he was a brewer there. It aged very well, and was the perfect sour for the fest.

"Returning for the fifth and most likely final time, Enfant Terrible is a golden-hued Belgian-style strong ale which was aged in freshly emptied Bourbon barrels and dosed with blend of lambic yeasts and other microorganisms. Vinegar, "skin fruit", and tart berry flavors wash over the palate on the way to a long, dry finish."

I loved the setup for flights, glasses, and pints. I also didn't mind that the bar was cash only. Belmont Station owner Carl Singmaster was out and about talking with most everybody, and being very courteous. It was a pleasure to be there for such a great event.. which for me I think puts most every other event to shame. Maybe that is because I really love sour beers.

I am sad that I hadn't been there for the other nights to try sours from other great brewers such as Big Horse Brewing and some of the imports. I'm also very sad that I didn't bring my regular camera, and talk more with the brewers. I was too busy drinking.


Many I am sure know what the #31beers hashtag on Twitter was all about. If not, here is a small description:

July is Oregon Craft Beer Month (#ocbm), and a trend was started for folks to count their way up to drinking 31 Oregon craft-made brews. If you were more hardcore (which I wasn't) you would have done 31 breweries too. (#31breweries).

My beer list isn't too eclectic, artisan, or all around groovy. But like the #pdxbeergeek that I am, I wrote the list down, and am posting it. I had my 31st full pint of Oregon-made beer the day before I went to #OBF (Oregon Brewers Festival). Needless to say that for #ocbm I was rather #thirsty, enjoyed many types of #craftbeer #inpdx and abroad. I really dig #pdxbeer and have a special #brewmance for it.

31 Oregon Beers Consumed by yours truly:

  • Boneyard Brewing - Hop Venom Double IPA
  • Boneyard Brewing - Armored Fist Imperial CDA
  • Hop Valley Brewing - Vanilla Infused Porter
  • Coalition Brewing - Mr. Pigs Pale Ale
  • Coalition Brewing - Two Dogs IPA
  • Laurelwood Brewing - Workhorse IPA
  • Pelican Brewing - Ankle Buster Belgian Pale
  • Widmer Brewing - X-114 IPA Rotator Series
  • Caldera Brewing - Pale Ale
  • Bridgeport Brewing - Summer Squeeze Bright Ale
  • Full Sail Brewing - LTD 03 Pilsner (Limited Edition Lager)
  • Fort George Brewing - Vortex IPA
  • Beetje Brewing - Flemish Kiss Pale
  • Coalition Brewing - Wheat The People
  • Coalition Brewing - Coalator Tuscan Wheat (Cheers to Mike Marsh for that wonderful cantaloupe infused wheat!)
  • Lucky Labrador Brewing - Cask Conditioned Dog Day IPA
  • Full Sail Brewing - Elevation Imperial IPA
  • Boneyard Brewing - RPM IPA
  • Brideport Brewing - Blue Heron Pale Ale
  • Fort George Brewing - Quick Wit Wheat Ale
  • BJ's Pizza (& then brewery) - '07 Enfant Terrible Sour Golden Belgian (Puckerfest, kicked ass)
  • Flat Tail Brewing - 1st Anniversary (Oaked mash-hopped blonde, blended and soured)
  • Double Mountain Brewing - Rainier Kriek (sour)
  • Upright Brewing - Belmont Station 14th Anniversary beer (Great gin-barrel light sour brew)
  • Deschutes Brewing - Sour Saison
  • Upright Brewing - Lambicus 6
  • Upright Brewing - 2010 Apricot Gin Barrel Farmhouse
  • Block 15 Brewing - Enchanted (Freakin' Delicious Sour)
  • Widmer Brewing - Nelson Imperial IPA
  • Widmer Brewing - Pitch Black IPA
  • Hopworks Brewing - Deluxe Organic Ale

You can pretty much see where I hit up Puckerfest for the 3 days that I managed to. I would have to say that I have never had such great beers at one place, and at one given time frame. It's been an expensive month!

There's the list! Anyone else geek out and make one?

Cheers to #OregonBeers!

Wednesday, July 27

Beer Review: Boundary Bay IPA

I have never tried a beer from this Washington state brewer. It was nice to see this offering at By The Bottle here in Vancouver. It was your basic average priced bomber of IPA, and it clocks in at a perfect 6.4% Alc. by Vol.

"Inside Passage Ale (IPA) A style developed during the days of the British Empire; IPA's higher alcohol content & big hop character were natural preservatives that protected the beer during its long voyage eastward to India. As one story goes, a shipwreck washed many cases of IPA to England's shore & the locals tasted the beverage... the rest is history.
Original gravity 1.065"

Appearance: (4.0)
- This beer has the standard clear new copper penny color. A quickly fizzling finger of head has left a thin spotty later on top, and creamy lacing above a large ring of creamy foam.

Smell: (4.0)
- A rather sweet and fruity caramel malt base. Husky grains, and sugars. Very floral and citrus hops in the nose. Light pine exists as well. Overall sweet, fruity, and caramel.

Taste: (4.5)
- This is a good IPA. Wonderful smooth caramel malt flavor up front, then the hop bitterness hits along with a husky grainy and bready character. The finish is more bitter pine hops with a great blend of both citrus and floral character. Very balanced and tasty.

Mouth Feel: (4.5)
- This is a medium bodied brew... yet full bodied, which doesn't mean thick and oily. It is very drying from the bitterness which is as it should be. The sweetness keeps the palate going while not leaving this beer very chewy or sticky. Overall impressive.

Overall: (4.5)
- This is a truly great IPA. Perfect carbonation, bitterness, sweetness, and balance without any off flavors to boot. They did a very good job bottling this beer, and were able to maintain a fantastic balance. This beer is a must have.

A / 4.38

( Rating Scale)

I will also be using this beer to cook up some sea bass. It will be used in a batter, and then fried in olive oil which simmered with small diced sweet onion. I will later put up a one-off recipe for it. I am sure it would work well with other frying fish like swordfish, sturgeon, and catfish.

Roscoe's 2nd Annual Oregon Craft Beer Summit

Roscoe's has been known to throw a pretty good summit here and there, and they always have great local, and not-so-local craft beer offerings.

This weekend is the start of their 2nd Annual Oregon Craft Beer Summit which will have some 16 of the finest and more rare beers from around town.

The even starts Friday, July 29th, at 4:00PM. It will run until closing Saturday.

The beer is as follows:

- Amnesia - Dopacetic
- Upright - Blend Love
- Double Mnt. - Devils Kreik
- Ninkasi - Helles Lager
- Fort George - The Resistance Imperial IPA
- Cascade - Barrel-Aged Diesel Stout
- Oakshire - Glenn's Hop Vice
- Deschutes - 2010 Nitro Jubel
- Boneyard - Bourbon-Barrel Backbone
- Hopworks - Bourbon-Barrel Ace of Spades Imperial IPA
Also many more...

New Old Lompoc Presents "15 Beers For 15 Years" In Honor Of Its 15th Anniversary

"PORTLAND, Ore. - July 27, 2011 - The New Old Lompoc brewery will celebrate its 15 anniversary later this summer in a big way: 15 Beers for 15 Years! A Northwest institution, the New Old Lompoc will host a one party on August 20, the first official day of Portland Beer Week, serving 15 unique and specialty Lompoc beers in addition to its mainstay lineup. Organizers anticipate nearly 30 different beers will pour throughout the day.

The party will start at 11 am in the parking lot of the New Old Lompoc at 1616 NW 23 Ave. In addition to the myriad of beers, there will be a cornhole tournament, live music and food specials. The event will also feature a toast to the memory of Don Younger, who was part owner of the brewery since 2000.

Some of the specialty beers scheduled to be on tap include Saazall Pilsner, Pale Ryeder, two vintages of Old Tavern Rat, Vintage Batch 69, 2009 Pre-Dawn Imperial Stout, a few barrel aged beers, additional vintages, at least one firkin, and many more offerings.

Although the New Old Lompoc building has been around for more than a century in a number of capacities - including a carriage house for the 1906 World Fair, trunk storage, the original Food Front, and Jack Keith Antiques - it didn't become a brewery until 1996, when then-owners Pete Goforth and Bob Rice teamed up with Jerry Fechter on the project.

The original brewery name, the Old Lompoc, was borrowed from the New Old Lompoc House, a well-known establishment on SW First and Arthur in the 1950s and 1960s. Goforth used to visit the pub during his years at Portland State. With fond memories of the bar, Goforth and partner Rice patterned the Old Lompoc after its namesake. After a discussion over a game of golf, they hired Fechter to build and run the brewery. Fechter, a homebrewer, spent two weeks at the Seibel Institute of Technology to learn all aspects of running a brewery, then got to work.

Fechter built the 440-square-foot brewery with grundies - utilitarian, cheaply made and mass-produced tanks on wheels that rolled in and out of the brewery. A local craftsman fabricated a kettle and a mash tun, and the Old Lompoc Brewery was born. Fechter brewed 300 bbls a year for the first few years, distributing them to the Goforth and Rice network that included Virginia café, Tonic Lounge, Mulligans, Putters, O'Malleys and O'Briens.

In late 1999, Fechter, interested in purchasing the property, approached Younger. "To find people with money to invest was easy. I needed a partner who already was established to make Lompoc more reputable," explained Fechter. "Don made sense. He was smart, had a lot of connections and was a hell of a guy."

Together they purchased the property in 2000 and re-opened as the New Old Lompoc. "The name was all Don's idea," according to Fechter. "Every time we told somebody where it was going to be, they'd say 'Oh, it's where the Old Lompoc was.'"

The New Old Lompoc continued to produce beers for the Goforth & Rice pubs, while buildings its own stream of customers. When Fechter and Younger opened Hedge House, the pub increased production; in 2004, it produced 1,089 bbls of beer, an outstanding feat for a brewery of that size.

Fechter and Younger opened a second brewery at the Fifth Quadrant in North Portland in 2006 to accommodate increased growth within the brand. New Old Lompoc brewery continues to produce mainstay beers and seasonals for all five pubs that now include New Old Lompoc, Hedge House, Fifth Quadrant, Oaks Bottom and Sidebar.

The anniversary party may be a swan song of sorts - demolition of the New Old Lompoc is rumored for 2012 to make way for apartments and upscale retail. To Lompoc fans, this will be a blow to the neighborhood; enjoy every bit of it while it lasts."

How To Be A Beer Fest Pro

Staying in the Game

Hydrate & Eat: Drink plenty of water before, during and after the fest, and make sure to eat, too. Not only will this lay a base, but it replenishes your system, makes you want to consume alcohol slower, and decelerates the absorption of alcohol. Just note that regardless of your intake of food and water, alcohol is still alcohol.

Drink In Moderation: Appreciate and prolong the enjoyment of the beer offerings vs. getting drunk in a few hours and possibly regretting it later. Seriously, there's plenty of beer to be had, with plenty of time, so pace yourself. Drink for flavor, not just for impact or alcohol content.

Challenge Your Palate: Try something new. Not only will this help prevent palate fatigue and boredom, but it'll open your mind and taste buds to new paths on your beer journey.

Beer Fest Line Etiquette

Believe it or not, you're not the only person at the fest. Look around. There are thirsty people surrounding you. And if you follow these simple tips, you'll go from an inconsiderate beer fest noob to a courteous veteran in three easy steps!

1. Get your sample, say thanks, and move so others can do the same.
2. If someone has to ask if you're in line, and you're not, you're in the way. Move!
3. However, if you feel compelled to talk to a brewer or ask a question about beer, and it's going to take more than 5 seconds ... please move to the side to geek out.

That's it. Cheers to you, courteous beer fest pro.

Respect Beer.

(Shared from Beer Advocate Magazine Issue #53)

Jason & Todd Alstrom
Founders & Editors

Tuesday, July 26

Beer Review: Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer

I love many wheat beers from the area where Boulevard brews. I haven't yet had a bad wheat beer that I have even traded for. I found this fancy aluminum bottle/can at By The Bottle for about $2.50 that I can recall. The 16oz. package looks much like a 12oz. package in its glass form. But still though.. that's only $2.50 for a pint. Seems spendy, but then not.. at the same time :/

Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice cloudy unfiltered creamed corn yellow. Light zesty orange hue sits beneath a quickly fizzling white fluffy finger of head. Leaves just some scattered dusting about the surface.

Smell: (4.0)
- Nice fruity and zesty smelling wheat beer. I immediately want to start chugging this bad boy just based on the wonderful smell. Light sweet malts, lightly bready and biscuity.. somewhat grassy and earthy. Fluid hides much of it all though.

Taste: (4.5)
- Wonderful citrus and zesty fruity wheat. Light sweet wheat malts, light honey, and bready character. Lemon zest, grassy and herbal. Certainly a refreshing sessionable brew. Very good and solid.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Light bodied, slightly creamy, and certainly mouth watering. Slightly drying and a touch chewy. Overall this beer has some great qualities.

Overall: (4.0)
- Certainly a stand-out wheat. Light bready and zesty this one is. Very refreshing while still having some great flavor. I love the packaging and the fact that the aluminum bottle is a full pint. The price was a bit steep for my taste, but it doesn't affect my judging of what's inside.

A- / 4.22

( Rating Scale)

(I had once previously rated this beer, and gave it a 3.98. I think it is a much better and more fresh of a beer now. Before I had to trade for the beer in a regular bottle. Now I can get it locally in a full pint aluminum bottle.)

It's That Time Of The Year Again! OCBF!

"The Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the nation's longest running and best loved craft beer festivals. Situated on the west bank of the Willamette River, with towering Mt. Hood as a backdrop, it is the ideal venue for anyone who loves craft beer. With a laid back attitude and scores of award-winning beers, the festival reflects the essence of the city of Portland.

The Oregon Brewers Festival exists to provide an opportunity to sample and learn about a variety of craft beer styles from across the country. Eighty-four craft breweries from all parts of the nation offer more than 30 styles of handcrafted brews to nearly 80,000 beer lovers during the four-day event. A Buzz Tent offers another 50+ rare and specialty beers.

The festival's focus is craft beer, but there's more than sampling involved. The event features live music all four days, beer-related vendors, beer memorabilia displays, beer writers and publishers, homebrewing demonstrations, and an assortment of foods from a variety of regions. The Crater Lake Root Beer Garden offers complimentary handcrafted root beer for minors and designated drivers. Minors are always welcome at the festival when accompanied by a parent.

The Oregon Brewers Festival strongly encourages responsible drinking, and urges patrons to take advantage of the MAX Light Rail line, located just one block west of the festival on SW Oak Street. Go by bus, train or taxi, just don't drink and drive. The festival also offers free, on-site bicycle parking."

July 28, 29, 30 & 31, 2011 — "Always the last full weekend in July"

Thurs through Sat, taps are open from Noon to 9 p.m.
Sun, taps are open from Noon to 7 p.m.
Token & mug sales close one-half hour prior to the taps shutting off

Admission into the festival grounds is free. In order to consume beer, purchase of a 2011 souvenir mug is required and costs $6. Mugs from previous years will not be filled. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens. Tokens cost $1 apiece. Patrons pay four tokens for a full mug of beer, or one token for a taste.

Where? Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon Main entrance at S.W. Oak Street and Naito Parkway.

Check out the beer list HERE.

I hope to get down there early on both Thursday and Friday!

BuzzTent Pours (rotating all 4 days, 2 tokens ea.):

10 Barrel: Monkey Juice
21st Amendment: Old Glory
Alameda: Siberian Bear
Alaskan: Alaskan Smoked Porter
Ale Industries: Dry Hogged Bacon Brown
Ale Industries: Grand Cru Barrel Aged Sour
Bear Republic: Old Baba Yaga
Beer Valley: Heavy Sugars Braggot
Beer Valley: Delta 9 IPA
Bison: Organic Belgian Ale Brewed with Marmalade
Black Diamond: Grand Cru Bourbon Barrel
Boneyard Beer: Notorious IPA3
Boneyard Beer: Bourbon Backbone
Boulevard: Collaboration No. 2
Boundary Bay: Boundary Bay Imperial IPA
BridgePort: Stumptown Tart
Cascade Brewing: various sours
Coalition: Hanso vs. Bulleit
Deschutes: Conflux
Eel River: Onyx
Elysian: Sextacula
Fearless: Fearless Strong Scotch Ale
FiftyFifty: Imperial Eclipse Stout
FiftyFifty: Baril Rouge Baltique
Fort George: Magnifera Ludica Belgae
Full Sail: Old Boardhead Barleywine Ale 1995
Gilgamesh: Mega Monster Imperial IPA
Goose Island: Adeline
Hollister: Black Ice
Laht Neppur: Little Boy Stout
Lompoc: Bourbon Barrel LSD
Lucky Lab: Super Gin Dog Ale
Mad River: Le Frambic
Maui: Imperial CoCoNuT Porter
Maui: Oaked Father Damien Abbey
Maui: Oaked KGB Russian Imperial Stout
McMenamins Crystal: Mils Flur Na H’Alba
McMenamins Fulton Pub: Crimson and Clover
McMenamins Thompson: Northwest Lassie
McMenamins West Linn: Twister
Mt Emily: Organic Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine
Natian: Hint O’Mint
Ninkasi: Gin Barrel Aged Collaboration Ale
New Belgium : Trip IX Downunder IPA
Oakshire: Old Tom’s Imperial Overcast
Old Market: Eaki’s Gold
Riverport: 5/5 Pepper Beer
Rogue: Rogue Creamery 75th Anniversary Ale
Seven Brides: Port Barrel Aged Weezinator
Squatters: Pequeno Imperial
Stone Brewing Co: Stone Smoked Porter w/Vanilla Beans
Surly: Five
Uncommon Brewers: American Special Bitter
Vertigo: Barrel Aged Dark Ale

Friday, July 22

Beer Review: 21st Amendment Hop Crisis Imperial IPA

I first tried this beer shortly before the Cans Fest at By The Bottle on tap and thought it was a pretty darn good beer. I have had a few from San Fransisco's 21st Amendment Brewery and they always seemed to fall a little short for me. I like their ideas, and attitude in the industry, and have enjoyed seeing them push the envelope where others haven't. Many may not realize that they were a few of the first to start canning a decent selection of their beer. I bought a 4-pack of cans for about $11. I have seen them under $10. Either way, that is a pretty good price point for 48 oz. of imperial IPA. That's roughly $5 a bomber. Plus, it is in an aluminum can that can't be light struck, and keeps the beer more fresh overall. This beer ranks in at an all mighty 9.7% Alc. by Vol. This regular brew is also aged in oak. Yes, a canned imperial IPA aged in oak for roughly $5 a bomber. 94 IBU's.

"Hop Crisis. Crisis? What Crisis? A few years ago, when hop prices shot through the roof and the worldwide hop market went into a tailspin, at our pub in San Francisco we decided there was only one thing for us to do. We made the biggest, hoppiest IPA we could imagine and aged it on oak for good measure. This Imperial IPA breaks all the rules with more malt, more hops and more aroma."

Appearance: (4.0)
- Pours a dark clear golden yellow and bright copper. Big fluffy white head with large bubbles popping all over the place. Settles to a light bubbly light froth leaving lace all about. A rather sparkling ale with big bubbles hitting the surface hard.

Smell: (3.5)
- Big roasty caramel malts. Sweet sugars, biscuit, and creamy brown sugar. Hops are massive in the nose. Big fruity citrus, grassy, and earthy hops. Smells like laying down in a frying pan full of melting caramel with a fresh sticky hop field all about. Not too bad, but smells a bit malt-forward for me. Perhaps a little woody character.

Taste: (3.5)
- The beer is balanced. Earthy fruity oakey caramel malts without being too sugary sweet. Seems well balanced among a fresh dry-hopped bitter grassy hop blast. Very grassy and earthy. Hops really shine, and the malt doesn't taste as strong as it smells. Slight oakey, and phenolic background.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- This is where this beer is interesting. It is a touch watery, and rather thin bodied. It's bubbly, light, and doesn't really hit big with thick malts and cloying chewiness. It makes me think that perhaps a lot of grain wasn't used, but more adjunct.

Overall: (4.0)
- This beer grabs every angle and takes it. It's a great offering in a can, it is loaded with hops for the hop lover.. adds a flare of oak aging, and is rather light bodied. I am thinking this could be very dangerous pulling out of an ice cold cooler while not really knowing its might. It's something I would buy again just for a big hop bomb with some strength. It really isn't that hot of a beer.

B / 3.63

( Rating Scale)

Thursday, July 21

Beer Review: The Bruery Mischief

This is a Belgian Style Golden Ale which is dry-hopped and quite strengthy. Ranks in at 8.5% Alc. by Vol. It's a 750 ml bottle which I can't quite remember what I paid for it. I think about $12.

"Not quite evil, yet not to be trusted, this Golden Ale is effervescent, dry, hoppy and crisp-you'll want to keep an eye out."

Appearance: (4.5)
- Perfect yellow and light orange brew, not very cloudy at all, quite clear. Huge fluffy inches of head slowly dissipate with lace all about the glass, leaving a bubbly blanket of light white foam laying about with no place to go.

Smell: (4.0)
- Big grassy and floral hops dominate the nose. Lovely light sweet bready grain with the essence of banana and clove from the yeast. Big earthy, spicy, and zesty hops. Lovely roasty touch to the biscuit malt.

Taste: (4.0)
- Big balance with this one. Bready and slightly sweet biscuity malt, big yeast flavors with clove, spice, banana, and light esters. Hops are big and full of citrus and a floral quality. Fresh, zesty, spicy, and quite herbal. Very well brewed.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Slightly sticky and cloying. The dryness is quite nice and leaves the dry-mouth wanted another wash. Light bodied, and very well carbonated.

Overall: (4.0)
- This beer stands out among other golden Belgian-style ales of this type. The zest and spice stand out while yet melding well with the rest of this beers complex flavors while leaving it very balanced, but yet dry and hoppy. Certainly a must try in my book.

A- / 4.03

( Rating Scale)

Documentary: Women In The Craft Beer Industry

Alison Grayson has created the fine work of a beer documentary focusing on women's involvement in the currently exploding craft beer industry. It used to be commonly perceived that women had no interest in beer, or the consumption of it. Beer has changed and times have changed. Many women are influencing and shaping the industry as well as enjoying it much the same as us dudes.

The documentary will be showing at the Bagdad Theater in Portland, OR. The event will be on Saturday, August 20th, at 7:30PM. It starts with a meet-and-greet, then a panel discussion on stage at 8:30, followed by the film at 9:00. Tickets are $6 in advance and can be purchased online at Cascade Tickets.

A more thorough writeup about it can be found at Brady Walen's 'The Daily Pull'.

The Love of Beer from Lingering Illocutions on Vimeo.

"Alison Grayson is a true production junkie. Though camera operation is her passion, she'll happily work as anything on set! As much as she adores production, she's equally at home in front of the computer, editing commercials, shorts, and documentaries.

Transplanted from the east coast, Alison graduated with a BS in film and video production from Drexel University. She spent a year and a half with and The Today Show creating "man on the street" interview segments in Philadelphia, New York, and later in Portland. She's worked with companies such as Special Olympics Oregon, CBS radio, LG, TLC, The Portland Trail Blazers, and Clackamas County Government Channel.

She is currently producing a documentary focusing on the women involved in the NW's beer community, and her goal as a documentarian is to celebrate people who are fighting the odds to pursue their dreams. In her non-production time, she can be found hiking, at a coffeeshop or bewpub with friends, or taking Krav Maga."

American Brewing Company

Ever hear of American Brewing Company? Skip Madsen is the brewmaster of this newly formed brewery. He has brewed for the likes of Pike and Boundary Bay. They are located in Edmonds, Washington and have been around now for a short 5 months so far. Now they are ready to start bottling some beer.

For their first release, an IPA of course. What do folks drink the most of in these parts? Got to be the northwest hop favorite, the IPA.

"On Monday, July 25th we will begin bottling Breakaway IPA!
You can buy your very first bottle on Wed, July 27th in the tasting room."

American Brewing Co.
180 W. Dayton St.
Warehouse 102
Edmonds, WA 98020

Monday, July 18

Beer Review: Anchorage Brewing Whiteout Wit

Just home from having two great sours from this weeks 'Puckerfest' at Belmont Station (see below). Since I'm in the sour mood...

Many may or may not know that this is Gabe Fletcher's new brewery. He recently left as brewmaster of Midnight Sun Brewing. I am kind of shocked to already see his first released beer with a screen printed bottle. It seems as though it has been less than a year since he left Midnight Sun Brewing. As I recall, I think I paid around $12 for this beer which is a bit steep for such a light style. The 750 ml tall bottle was caged and corked. I would have preferred a cap if it would have made the beer cheaper.

Appearance: (4.5)
- Pours a fantastic glowing yellow straw color with a creamy white couple fingers of head. It looks like a great wit, or berliner weisse. The head settles and has a bit of lace in the glass, and leaves a thing creamy top with scattered rings where the bubbles seem to keep appearing. This is a fantastic and spot-on looking brew.

Smell: (4.0)
- Wonderful light wheat, a bit of funk, and some light tartness from the brett. A bit bready and sweetly creamy. Some light spices, perhaps a touch of clove, and herbs. Light esters and an earthy oak presence really smooth this puppy out. Fantastic.

Taste: (4.0)
- Nice subtle wheat and oak rides lightly on a crisp and tart medley. Certainly a light spice and earthy character with a nice touch of funk. Overall it seems a touch mild as of yet. I bet this would transform even further with a little time on it. Seems very spot on for a berliner weisse. As it warms up, certainly some peppercorn shows through which is nice.

Mouth Feel: (4.5)
- This beer is dry. I love dry. Light bodied, a touch chewy, and just plain dry. I love it. Perhaps the dry feel isn't for everybody. Perhaps the chardonnay oak plays a bit of a role here, but the brett is king.

Overall: (4.5)
- Brettastic first release from Gary. A light sessionable wit with a really great funky and tart character. I hope to get a couple more to sit on for awhile and see what happens. I knew this guy would kick off with a killer start. It's an amazing feat to be able to brew such specialty beers, and actually distribute them.

A- / 4.18

( Rating Scale)

The beer was brewed with lemon peel, peppercorns and corriander. I got a bit of tart from the lemon peel... which is really a characteristic of a good wit anyway. The peppercorn shined through as it warmed a little, and left a spicy touch on the tongue.

Puckerfest 5

It's time for the 5th annual Puckerfest which is held at Belmont Station bottle shop & Biercafé.

July 18 through 24 at the Biercafé.

If you haven't introduced yourself to funky horse blanket, wet dog, sour and the like.. you should. There is nothing quite like the classic taste of barn hay bedding. Metaphorical jokes aside, these styles of beers have been around for ages, and are often brewed with extreme finesse. This is a great opportunity to dive right in and try some of the most rare and local brews around. Most of which are not year around or even seasonal offerings.

Check out the beer list 'HERE'.

If you can, at least get down there for one day. You won't regret it.

The Biercafé is cash only. The bottle shop accepts debit/credit.
4500 SE Stark St Portland, OR 97215

Sunday, July 17

Brewers Feud At Migration Brewing

This is bound to be hilarious. At 2pm on Saturday, July 23rd, join 6 different brewery folks, and others in the industry for a fun filled event hosted by both Migration, and Amnesia Brewing.

This will be held at Migration Brewing

Migration Brewing
2828 NE Glisan Street
Portland, OR
T: 503.206.5221
E: info(at)


Mt. Tabor Brewing Preview & Cruising The Gut

I certainly enjoyed the festivities last night in Vancouver for their 3rd annual Cruising The Gut classic car, rod, and custom cruise up and down Main St. in downtown Vancouver.

By The Bottle sponsored a beer garden event called "The Divine Beer Garden". Turnout was ok, but I feel it wasn't promoted very well. They had two beers pouring on 9th st. off main in front of the soon to be opened Mt. Tabor Brewing.

I had the opportunity to check out the joint and see how Eric Surface has come along. We talked a bit about his future plans and when he expects to start brewing some beer. The cooler has come along, and his fermentation vessels are coming along well. Everything is just about hooked up and ready for some brewing. Eric stated that some beer should be brewing in about 2-3 weeks.

Unfortunately no Mt. Tabor brews were available for preview at the beer garden event. I look very forward to trying them as I never have had the chance to in Portland yet.

I asked what kind of beers Eric will be brewing, and what the regular line up will be. He stated about 5 regulars which will of course include his IPA, and a couple of Stouts. He also mentioned that about 8 or 9 seasonals will be rotated in. I asked about specialty brews and he stated that he doesn't brew sours. He brews what he likes to drink. He also stated that he will be doing some brewing with a friend who does a lot of Saisons and he hopes to nail down some Saison recipes to release in the future with Mt. Tabor Brewing.

The bar is nearing completion and I look forward to sitting at it quaffing some brews. Hopefully the joint will be open and ready to go in about a month and a half. The tile is set, and there is only primarily more decorative stuff left to go. It's nice to see the joint opening in downtown Vancouver. It seems as though the area wasn't the most friendly to small business. Now things have seemed to change for the better.

I was also able to meet Devon and Tom of the newly crafted Loowit Brewing. They are looking at a spot, and have their mind set on that spot which is just a couple of blocks south of Mt. Tabor Brewing. Both the guys were very kind, and seemed to have their hearts in brewing fully, and are anxious to get some brews going. Eric mentioned that he really likes there beers and that he feels they will do very well. Like stated at their site, BeerCouver is rising!

I am already starting to see a downtown Vancouver pub crawl in the works. We've got By the Bottle and Salmon Creek Brewpub. Mt. Tabor Brewing a block south, and then Loowit Brewing a couple down from there... Beering the gut? Groove in the couve? Beercouver pub crawl? Something! I can't wait!

By the Bottle was pouring Boneyard's RPM IPA which seemed to fit very well for the event. Also Double Mountain Brewing Kolsch was on for the lighter beer drinker. Both were as great as always. I really hope to see this become a large annual event for them. The street that was blocked off was in a great spot, and I noticed some room for some improvements. They did as well, and it is a work in progress.

I don't know about anybody else, but I can't imagine a better combination than classic muscle cars, and beer. Well, and some hot ladies too. I always get excited seeing such awesome staples of American history driving by. I hope Vancouver continues this event, and I hope to see it grow. I also hope to have a car ready in the future so I can be a part of the event as well. Seeing some of the same cars there that I have owned made me a bit sad and jealous.

Also an energetic cop just HAD to pull a guy over for revving his engine. Fortunately the guy just got a warning, but I got it all on tape just in case. The guy flew out of his car like some kind of a super cop in a movie. He must have been high on his own ego.

Anyway, I can't wait for it next year already. It's time to bring back the beer garden and draw out some more classics and rods. Cheers to Vancouver, and cheers to those who put such hard work and long hours both into their classic cars, and beers in which they produce!

Friday, July 15

Beer Review: Anderson Valley Summer Solstice

"Summer Solstice Seasonal Ale is not just your average summer seasonal. This unique copper colored ale is smooth, malty, and lightly sweet, with a delicate hint of spice for that oh-so-drinkable, extra velvety flavor.

As with all of our products, Summer Solstice Seasonal Ale is never sterile filtered nor heat pasteurized.

5% ABV
4 IBU"

I first tried this beer at the recent Cans Fest in Portland. I really liked it and it stood out to me. So I grabbed a 6-pack of cans at Beaumont Market in NE Portland. It was about $8-9.

Appearance: (3.5)
- Pours a lovely dark copper like a freshly minted penny. Fuzzy and creamy off-white fingers of head that slowly settles to a very tiny gray ring, and some scattered traces of bubbles.

Smell: (3.5)
- Smooth creamy malts. Caramel, biscuit, and bready with a touch of sweet cream. Not a very hoppy beer by any means. Perhaps a bit of ginger and molasses. Light spice.

Taste: (4.0)
- Very smooth and full flavored brew. Lightly sweet bready malts and light caramel. Touch of ginger and spice, molasses, yeasty biscuit. Great smooth malt forward beer. Very good full flavored brew for how light it is.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Creamy, full to medium bodied, slightly cloying. Dries the mouth just a touch. Very robust feel for how light the beer is.

Overall: (4.0)
- I really dig this beer. I really dig that it is in cans too. For the lack of use of hops, I would like to see a smaller price point so I could grab about 48 of these bad boys for camping. A very good full bodied and full flavored session ale.

B+ / 3.88

( Rating Scale)

Wednesday, July 13

Beer Review: Firestone Walker Parabola Imperial Stout 2011

Of course I had to grab a couple of these before they vanished. This is one of those beers with so much hype around it, that folks search high and low to buy them all up.

This 12.5% Alc. by Vol. stout is the 2nd limited series released. The first only 1000 cases were released. This series has a total of 3000 cases produced. The portion of the ale that was barrel aged, sat in bourbon barrels for 12 months. The bottle ran about $17.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice super dark murky brown and black. Thick fingers of mocha tan head, nice and creamy looking.. slowly settles to a thin blanket and large ring ready to create more rings the whole way down the glass.

Smell: (4.5)
- Lovely sweet toffee, vanilla, oak earthiness and a tart bourbon touch. Barrel aging has worked well with the aroma on this stout. Chocolatey smooth grain and sweet creamy candy. Light grassy bitterness.

Taste: (4.0)
- Very sweet toffee, vanilla, and bourbon flavors melded very well with a candy-like chocolate and dark bitter chocolate. Big bourbon notes with fantastic flavor. Dry bitter grassy and earthy hops are quite present as well to attempt to balance this sweet beast. Super good and doesn't taste too hot. Guessing this beer will taste even better with a few years on it.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Little sticky and syrupy as of now. Cloying, chewy, and drying. Pretty viscous body with a healthy amount of carbonation. Not too bad, but again, something I feel will get much better, and maybe even more creamy and less sticky with age.

Overall: (4.5)
- This is a stellar stout, and rises above many in its field. It is damn fine fresh, and is sure to be a real hit aged. I am hoping to find a couple more to cellar as I now only have one left in the cellar. Damn good, and get it while you can.

A- / 4.15 (I am sure this will move up greatly with age on the bottle)

( Rating Scale)

Sunday, July 10

Divine Beer Garden w/ By The Bottle, Mt. Tabor Brewing, and Little Italy’s Trattorria

What better than some good beer, classic cars and customs eh?

"By the Bottle, Mt. Tabor Brewing, and Little Italy’s Trattorria presents Divine Beer Garden, an outdoor festivity benefitting the non-profit, Divine Consign Furniture. Main Street and Washington will be fenced off at 9th Street, where the newest brewery in town, Mt. Tabor is located. Get your first open-house view of the Mt. Tabor facility before they officially open to pour their highly anticipated beers. Enjoy great beer, food, music, and classic cars! Cruising the Gut is happenning on the same day, so all the hot rods and classic cars will be cruising up and down Main Street. Bring a chair, get a brewskie, and a little something from Little Italy’s, and call it…Divine! 9th Street is just one block south of By the Bottle.
Event date: Saturday, July 16, 2011
Time: 4p-9p
Entrance fee: FREE"

Double IPA Fest At Saraveza July 16th & 17th 1-10PM

Insane is all I can say. 40 different Imperial IPA's? Really? I would really hate to be the person that tries all 40 if they even manage to survive. But what a way to get a lot of northwest beer geeks together to try one of our favored styles. If I can manage to make it after work, I will.. and will try to pick a few that I really want to try that can't regularly throughout the area.

PORTLAND, ORE. -- SAT & SUN, July 16-17th, 1-10pm: With over 20 rotating IIPAs on draft including fest special brews and a tapping of our staff’s first beer, team Saraveza and Brewpublic present to you our 2nd Annual IIPA Festival! Join us July 16th & 17th for lots of hops, housemade B.B.L.T.s (yes, that’s Bacon Bacon) and live music. Look for your “free jar” tickets the week before the festival. IIPA FEST entry is $15 for 8 tickets and 1 mug; or $25 for 16 tickets and 2 mugs.

Beer List:

Amnesia "Dopeacetic"*
Ninkasi special version of "Tricerahops"*
Upright "Alphaphylactic Hop"*
Fort George "the Resistance"*
Coalition "Double Dog Dare"*
Breakside “Saison De Roxana” Belgo-IIPA (Saraveza Staff Collaboration!)
H.U.B. "Evelyn Sunshine"
Burnside "Alter Ego"
Alameda "Yellow Wolf"
Oakshire "Glen's Hop Vice"
Flat Tail "Some Like It Hop"
Coalition "Double Dog Dare"
Boneyard “Notorious” TRIPA
Migration "Double Dry-Hopped Luscious Lupulin"
Hop Valley/The Bier Stein Collaboration "6th Element"
Block 15 "the Late Gift"
Full Sail “Elevation”
Lompoc Dry-Hopped "Peregrine"
Widmer "Nelson"
Beer Valley "Leafer Madness"
Deschutes "Imperial Hop In the Dark"
Walking Man “Iron Man”
Hale's "Aftermath"
Pike "Double IPA"
Lazy Boy "Anniversary"
Pizza Port "Cho Saikou"#
Pizza Port "Poor Man's"#
Russian River “Pliny the Elder”
Southern Tier “Oaked Unearthly”
Dogfish Head “90 Minute”
Sierra Nevada “Hoptimum”
Lagunitas "Hop Stoopid"
Nogne O “#500”
Avery “Maharaja”
Stone "Ruination"
Great Divide “16th Anniv.” Wood Aged
Great Divide “17th Anniv.” Wood Aged
Bear Republic “RyeValry” Belgo-IIPA
Bear Republic "Cafe 15"
Flying Dog “Raging Bitch” Belgo-IIPA
Lenny’s “R.I.P.A.”
Firestone Walker “Double Jack”
Victory “Hop Wallop”
...and more!

* denotes exclusive IIPA Fest release
# denotes special one-time in Oregon release

For more details, contact Angelo (at) Brewpublic (dot) com
or Jonathan (at) Saraveza (dot) com

Saraveza is located 'HERE' (map)

Beer Review: Bridgeport Brewing Summer Squeeze Bright Ale

I finally found this at my local WinCo and there was only one 6-pack left. It's about time they made their way up here in Vancouver. I grabbed this for about $6.

"Meet your new Summer Squeeze.™ The refreshing brew infused with lemongrass and yuzu, the exotic asian citrus fruit. The result is bright and crisp with a complex citrus finish. Perfect for hot summer days."

This style to me seems to be more of a Golden Ale. Using the term 'Bright' makes me think of a Belgian White though it wasn't brewed with a Belgian yeast.

Appearance: (3.5)
- Bright clear straw yellow brew. Quick fizzing finger of white head which leaves a bit of a ring and some floating island formations. Overall pretty standard looking for a golden ale.

Smell: (3.5)
- Certainly smells like a Bridgeport brew. Most if not all of their beers all share a common hoppy trait, and a roasted steel kettle aroma. Little bit of sweet citrus, lemon zest, heavy grainy profile. Very herbal and grassy hops. Overall it seems melded very well together though that signature burnt hop kettle steel aroma sits up front.

Taste: (3.5)
- Subtle smooth grain, almost a wheat touch. The fruit sits nicely in the background and is certainly present. There is quite a hop presence too. Perhaps almost too much of a hop for the style. Very pine-like resinous and herbal. Grassy and earthy. May be a touch of zest from the lemon grass to almost make this beer seem as though it was brewed with water that had lemon wedges in it. Would be more refreshing with less hops.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Overall this is a pretty light bodied beer with plenty of sparkling carbonation. It's a touch dry from the hop additions, and perhaps a little chewy. But then again, maybe this beer would be too much like a Zima without the generous Northwest hops.

Overall: (3.5)
- I think this beer sits too close to their pale ale. It certainly is a signature Bridgeport brew, but is too close to the Blue Heron in terms of malt and hops. The fruit is very light as is the zest from any use of lemon grass. It's an ok beer, but perhaps isn't something I would buy again. I have been a bit let down with most of Bridgeports latest offerings.

B- / 3.5

( Rating Scale)

Highlights: Portland Cans Festival 2011

It was nice to finally have a weekend off where I didn't have to take vacation days to attend a beer event. Good timing on either the event coordination, or my job. I would like to give the credit to the event coordination. It was nice to be able to get out, drink some beer with some really cool people after not having a weekend off in two months.

I'm still drooling over the sight of the refrigerated truck which housed the hundreds of cans of great craft beer. I also wanted to sit down inside of it out of the sun.

I showed up to the festival around 3:00 PM. I wanted to give a friend a little time to show up from Beaverton on the Max, and I was just guessing that the crowd wouldn't quickly become a flailing of the elbows and sweat tossing mosh pit.

When I arrived, it seemed a little busy, and Ezra (Samurai Artist(designed the Cans Fest logo among many other artistic endeavours)) stated that he was a little surprised it wasn't more busy. He also said I should try the Ska brews. I assured him it would pick up as it was still a work day for many.

I will briefly go over the highlights of the fest, and the cons:


- It was very cool to see a lot of fellow beer bloggers hanging out having a good time together. Just in my short time attempting to beer blog, I have met a lot of great faces both in the business, and those supporting it. That was of course one of by biggest goals blogging about beer was to meet a more diverse crowd of people who share a common interest.

- I thought the available selection of beer was very good. I would also guess that a brewer wouldn't can a beer unless it was one of their best flagship brands.

- The volunteers were all very kind and courteous. One of those volunteers being Bill of the blog 'Its Pub Night', who is always the kindest and most easy going beer blogger around.

- I thought the location was great, and the blocked off street access on 11th and Burnside was a great spot and idea. I also had never been to The Guild Public House which I found to be a very cool place with some fantastic grub. The rotation 8 beer selection there was great too. I also didn't have any issue finding parking a few blocks away either.

- I liked the price. $5 for a mug, and $1 for a taste was a great price. I was able to only spend $15 and try 10 very good beers. I wanted to round out my consumption to about a 40oz. I liked that the beers were mostly rather light and sessionable. Great hot weather brews that don't get a guy sloshed.


- The cups. They provided the typical beer fest mug that is widely used in fests in the area, but they almost seemed as if they just popped off the press and hadn't even hardly had time to set. The flavors the cup gave off imparted some interesting character to each and every single beer. In a way it was almost fruity, but the chemical taste was a bit steep. Perhaps they should have purchased the cups much longer ago, and let them sit for a couple years.

- Since I am a very fair skinned guy, the bright sun was an issue for me. I was also stupid enough to leave the house without putting on some sun screen. I feel though that fests should provide much more covered seating. They did have a few tables set up by the Honey Buckets, but they were not covered. I thought it was funny how table cloths were loosely laid upon the tables. They may have stayed on the tables for a total of 3 seconds.

That's really about it for the cons. I will keep my personal opinion about the music to myself as I don't really want to offend anybody. It's nice anyway to at least have some additional flare to a beer fest. The radio broadcasts on craft beer were a nice touch, and the outdoor cooking was a very good idea. The food was fantastic. The water they provided outside for everybody apparently tasted like crap according to my friend. Perhaps that was the fault of the sun beating down on the plastic jugs.

After I spent a good 4 hours at the fest getting sunburned, I decided to stop in the pub for dinner with my bud. I was quite surprised that it wasn't even really that busy given the fact that there were a ton of people drinking beer in the hot sun just outside.

It was air conditioned. That was just amazing. Hot weather bugs the crap out of my Scandinavian self.

The place had a great deal of seating, and the service I experienced from a woman with a mohawk and glasses was quite stellar.

The food was very good and was a touch off the normal path of pub grub standards. I was also able to experience Beetje Brewings Flemish Kiss which I had read a lot about, but hadn't had the opportunity to try. It was very good.

After a good meal, some ice water with lemon wedges in it.. I was able to comfortably leave the festival without heat stroke, intoxication, and a headache. It was a great opportunity, and I would like to see it happen again next year.

The beers I had that I thought were great standouts are as follows:

Anderson Valley Summer Solstice - A very tasty drinkable brew with a slightly cream ale-like approach. Was very good.

Caldera Brewing Pale Ale - I have only had their IPA in the can, and thought the Pale was much better. A very crisp hoppy pale that caught me off guard with such great flavor and body.

Central City Brewing Red Racer IPA - A very unique and hoppy IPA. I even noticed only the slightest skunky character mixed in with a very unique malt profile. I thought it was great.

Ska Brewing ESB - A very solid and tasty ESB. It had the perfect bitterness. When a beer states it's a bitter, it better be a bitter like so many aren't. This one was... finally.

Two Beers Brewing Panorama Wheat - This was one of my favorites. A great wheaty grainy smooth sweet creamy brew. It stood out greatly for me, and I hope I see it distributed down this way in Vancouver.

I didn't try many of the others that I can easily get over here anyway. I know 21st Amendments Hop Crisis is very good as I had already had it on tap just a couple of days previous. To see it in a can is killer. Fort George is always great, but I can get it anywhere. I wasn't able to try all of them, but I was able to try all the ones that caught my eye.