Wednesday, August 31

Beer Review: Deschutes 'The Stoic'

By The Bottle here in the couve got these rather promptly, and of course I had to buy a bottle to try. I only got one, and I threw it in my wine cooler only for about a week. This release has a 'best by' date of 08/04/12. This is unusual for their reserve series as many have been built (brewed) to age. I would even think a typical 'quad' style beer could be aged quite awhile. But as I have read, many are slamming this beer as not being true-to-style. That it is not a 'Quad' by any means, but is more a crazy, complex, and interesting brew. Well I just cracked a bottle, and will give you my take. I paid about $12.99 for the bomber. I am also upset that I haven't seen any later releases of Mirror Mirror for quite awhile. *hint

Appearance: (4.0)
- Pours a clear new copper penny color. Big fat finger of fizzy white head.. has settled to a large lace making ring, and thin light fluffy pillow above the fluids. Seems rather bubbly like a sparkling wine.

Smell: (4.0)
- The smell is fantastic. Large copious amounts of clove, and Belgian-like banana yeast. Very bready, lightly sweet, and spicy. Light citrus notes, grassy hops, roasted honey, and crispy currants. Not bad. A little sweet smelling, and perhaps green.

Taste: (4.0)
- Seems like a quad to me. Fruity sweet candies, Belgian sugars perhaps, bright currants and pomegranate do shine with an acidic quality. They do however sit in front of what many may know as a golden Belgian quad. It is there, but it is subtle behind the tweaks, and complex creation. I rather like it, and think it could turn out even better after about 6 months. Just a touch too acidic currently, but really does have the good qualities of a fine quad. I get maybe just a touch of oak and rye bittering, but not enough. Guessing a larger % of barrel blended would have been better.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- It's a tad thin, as a quad should be. A little more towards the light bodied side, while a tad syrupy. It is finely carbonated, and I am sure would remain so, if not more so over a little time. Little sticky sweet, and wateringly acidic.

Overall: (3.5)
- It's a great brew. But it does in fact fall short for me, compared to their other 'Reserve' series beers. It is also off the beaten path for them as a brewer as well. I am more impressed with rare brews like their sour saison compared to this. It's not one to cellar for over a year, and it is also not a beer to rave about, and include into the hype machine. But overall I sense the solid quad backing, and like the steps taken to create such a complex, and unique brew. I would love to try it again in another 8 months or so.

B+ / 3.85

( Rating Scale)

Hopworks Releases A Bike Beer Series With A Kolsch

"Celebrate our love of cycling with our new spin on a German classic. Bike Beer Kolsch-Style Ale is bright straw yellow with a smooth malt body and just enough noble hop character to balance. This crisp ale sets the stage for a sunny day filled with bikes, bands and beer! 11.5 Plato 4.7% ABV 23 IBU"

Also if you miss its tapping at the Bike Bar, it is also being bottled, and can be found at local bottleshops etc.

2011 Hood River Hops Fest

I've always liked Fall better than most seasons anyway. The atmosphere in Portland, and the rest of the northwest just seems to have this certain dark and spooky feel to it throughout the season before winter hits. Things seem to slow down, and life gets more in perspective. The more I got into craftbeer, the more I also found that my favorite beers seem to hit during my favorite season.

I freakin' love fresh hop beers. Just love them. Something about greeting the season with a beer like Deschutes Fresh Hop Mirror Pond that just readies me for many more throughout the Fall months. As I am not a big fan of Winter seasonals, tasty fresh-hop beers, pumpkin beers, and other darker styles that I can palate will satisfy.

Hood River is cranking up the famous Fresh Hop Fest this year once again with over 25 different fresh-hopped beers to sample. If you know where Full Sail Brewing is, then you also know about the large parking lot across the street from its front side. That is where the fest will be held.

Date: October 1, 2011
Time: Noon-9pm
Location: Between 5th & 7th Streets and Cascade and Columbia Streets in downtown Hood River

21 and older: $6 including a tasting mug, $1 per 4oz taste token
20 and under: Free admission until 6pm with parent or guardian

Pets are not allowed.

Entertainment Line-up:

Noon-2pm Spring Creek Bluegrass Band
2-4pm Tilly Jam
4-6pm Tess Barr Blues
6-7pm Tony Smiley
7:15-7:45pm Bellydancers
8-9pm Tony Smiley

"An expanded menu of local culinary food, over 20 arts and crafts vendors, a selection of Gorge wines, a robust children’s play area, and a day-long lineup of live music will guarantee fun for the entire family."

Stingy Jack Pumpkin Ale is back!

If I recall correctly, this beer was first released by Laurelwood last year. By the looks of the ABV, perhaps this one is a little more dialed in. It was a very solid pumpkin beer last year, and I look forward to tasting how much better it may be this year. It's on tap now at their NE 51st Sandy location, and will be at their Battleground location soon.

Also last year, Laurelwood debuted the beer at the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival up north which Elysian Brewing kicks off each year now. I don't see Laurelwood listed this year as a guest offering there. It's cool to see pumpkin beers pouring right from the... well.. pumpkin!

Sunday, August 28

Beer Review: Silver City Ridetop Red Ale

I enjoyed a recent tasting at By The Bottle of this brewer, and really liked the beers. This keg however wasn't a part of the tasting, and was later reserved for the WA brewers only event at Bailey's Taproom in Portland.

This red ale sits in at 6% alc. by vol., and is a pretty classic and standard take of what I feel is a forgotten, and underrated style. I grabbed the bomber at By The Bottle for a fairly low price. I believe it was under $5.

Appearance: (3.5)
- Pours a somewhat clear caramel brown color. Almost like a pitcher of sun tea ready to come in to chill. It had a quick light tan head that has fizzled to a small little ring in the pint glass, and some scattered dustings above.

Smell: (3.5)
- Caramel, and roasted husky grain. Some light molasses and bitter grassy hops ride the smooth wave into the nose. Pretty sharp and common red ale aromas. Lightly sweet, and zesty.

Taste: (3.5)
- Lightly sweet grains, and almost a wheat-like grain finish. Smooth caramel, and crunchy husks. Grassy and earthy hops play a small bittering role while a bready, and zesty malt bill play smoothly. Certainly a refreshing red.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Medium bodied brew with pretty standard carbonation. Slightly drying, but not overly so as it isn't a super hoppy red. Little cloying. Not at all syrupy or sticky.

Overall: (3.0)
- Overall this is a pretty standard and common red. Nothing about it really stands out though, and sets it apart from other common reds. Though it does stick pretty well it seems to the styles guidelines. Not a bad try, but not something to really go out of the way for. Reds are not very popular among any beer drinking crowd.. and if you plan to brew, and bottle one.. it had better stand out.

B- / 3.4

( Rating Scale)

And on another note, I would highly seek out their Imperial IPA Whoop Pass. My favorite so far that I have had from them, and it is pretty well known, and I think the beer that put them on the map. Beer List

Friday, August 26

Beer Review: Stone/JF & KS/Troegs Cherry Chocolate Stout

Snagged this collaboration beer up at By The Bottle recently to try. 12oz. bottle for under $4. 7.3% Alc. by Vol.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Pours a hearty dark viscous stout. Can't see through it anywhere in my little Rogue flute. Finger of dark mocha head with a reddish highlight. Settles to a medium sized ring and scattered foam on top.

Smell: (3.5)
- Roasty dark and chocolate malts with a velvety vanilla blanket. Cherry barely comes through with a light sweet fruitiness. Certainly a bitter chocolate quality though.

Taste: (3.5)
- Certainly a good background stout. Roasted bitter malt profile.. lots of chocolate, bitter grain, and bitter hop. Slight background vanilla cherry cream. Not overly much though. It's solid, but really is kind of a mixed bag. Flavors seem to be fighting each other a bit, and are not getting along very well.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Medium bodied, and drying to the palate. Slightly chalky and chewy. Overall it is well carbonated, and easy to drink.

Overall: (3.5)
- Not a bad brew.. but not worth any hype or out-of-the-way travels to acquire. It's a solid background stout with just the right alcohol content.. though the vanilla and cherry are not really doing it for me.

B / 3.53

( Rating Scale)

Thursday, August 25

Beer Review: Brouwerij Bavik - Petrus Oud Bruin

I decided 'what the hell' when I snagged this up at By The Bottle here in Vancouver. I rarely buy an international beer, but I get a rare itch, and am always interested in older styles, and sour styles of beer.

"Dark ruby red, as red wine. The style is also called the Burgundy of Flanders, and is a very typical and common beer in West Flanders. A sour-sweet balance is discovered, set off by the underlying bitterness of the hops. Light in alcohol, the alcohol doesn’t hide or overpower the exciting flavors and tastes in this unique beer. Although cold serving is recommended, taking your time to drink it will release more aromas and exciting wooden flavors towards the end of your glass.

Wooden flavors? Indeed, Old Brown beer is aged for over two years in huge oak casks. During this aging process, just like in wine, lactic acids develop. These acids are responsible for the sour part in the taste. Only tasting on a regular basis can tell the brewer when the beer is ready to come out of the oak barrels and to be blended with fresh brewed beer. This blend of beer is then bottled. The dark red color comes from the type of barley malts that are used, in combination with the aging in oak. Fine beer tasters recognize the "oak" and the "old", which are defining the complexity of this beer. PETRUS Old Brown may remind you of Port Wine.
Serve cool, between 45˚ and 54˚F.

FOOD COMBINATIONS: PETRUS Old Brown is an excellent thirst quencher thanks to its light sourness. It is an excellent beer to marinate fish or meat in it, or to steam shrimp. Richer meat dishes, or heavy pasta dishes where the light sourness of PETRUS is looked for to offset the sweetness of the sauce. Look at the PETRUS as an aoky better red wine, and you have an excellent food companion."

Appearance: (3.5)
- Nice dark cola-brown brew. Somewhat clear, but its darkness makes it hard to see through. Fizzy light tan molasses fingers of head.. settles to a small ring, and some traces of foam floating around.

Smell: (4.0)
- Nice bready dark malts, brown sugar, molasses, and candy sour tartness. Overall seems very well blended and old school.

Taste: (4.0)
- Nice light roasty biscuity malts. Lightly sweet and grainy. Nice touch of sour candy riding over the light malt bed. Esters are prominent, and is like a light beery port. Oak is present, and melded with an earthy fig presence. Not bad. Some grassy drying hops too.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Light to medium bodied, and well carbonated. Wets the palate, and leaves it a touch dry towards the finish. Little chewy and cloying.. but overall light.

Overall: (4.0)
- This is a great oakey, lightly bitter, lightly soured - slightly sweet brew. It seems to mix a lot of great brown ale, flanders, and oaked characteristics with an old school touch. Not bad at all. Worth the occasional purchase.

B+ / 3.98

( Rating Scale)

California Brewers Night At Apex

"One of Portland’s premiere taphouses plays host to many of the best breweries and beers of California. Try a selection of beers not available in the state of Oregon and meet many brewers and representatives including Stone Brewing Vice President, Sierra Nevada and for the first time in the state Ballast Point, Magnolia, Telegraph, Craftsman and Beachwood BBQ Breweries. Plus many other fan favorites."

August 26th - 5pm-2am

Apex Bar
1216 SE Division St.
Portland, Oregon 97202

Beer Review: Breakside Brewing Gin Barrel Double Wit

This beer is a Gin-Barrel Double Wit, a strong Belgian wheat ale that was aged in an Old Tom gin barrel inoculated with lactobacillus.

I hit up the pub last night and enjoyed the lovely Summer Gruit and IPA on tap. Unfortunately this sour gin-barrel aged double wit was no longer on tap, but there were still plenty 750ml bottles left of the 15 cases total. In fact, I don't think hardly any of them had sold but a half case or so. Better get on it! I paid $12 for each bottle, and grabbed only two. I am guessing that it sits at about 7% alc. by vol. And probably isn't a beer to be aged further in the bottle.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Pours a nice cloudy straw yellow and light orange wheat color. Couple of fingers of fluffy white head settle to a bumpy and spotty thin froth on top.

Smell: (4.0)
- Fresh zesty lemon and herbs hit the nose right off. Light sweetness, dryness, and sourness all melded in scent. Slight esters and a fruity touch. Certainly some woody character going on.

Taste: (4.5)
- Big spicy citrus zest. Light bready funk, and a tart sourness which seems almost too perfect for the brew. Light woody gin character certainly playing a big role. Light malt flavors, only slightly sweet which balances the whole array of flavors. Something about it makes me not want to put the glass down.. but forever keep it flowing across the palate. Light bitter herbal hops.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- A rather light to medium body, and very perfectly carbonated. The gin and hop character really makes for a very dry beer. Must be why I want to keep drinking it. Very clean.

Overall: (4.5)
- This beer is super good. The gin-barrel quality really highlights a very zesty, citrus wit. All around this beer spells win. It's super dry which I like. Only thing i would say is a slight downside is a slight soapy touch to the smell and taste. But it really is just the affect of the lacto and gin I believe. A great summer drinker as well. Super good stuff.

A / 4.33

( Rating Scale)

**On a side note, they will be releasing Bourbon-Barrel Aztec Aug. 31st!

Wednesday, August 24

Beer Review: Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

This release was very highly anticipated by me, and many others. This new emerging style has really hit the spot with me, and I find that I buy almost as many Black IPA's as I do regular IPA's. I grabbed this 22oz. bomber at By The Bottle for about $8.

Sure, Stone adds a little fun calling it a black IPA because of the whole ubber Cascadian Dark Ale branding argument. I think the CDA is a great style, but I also don't have much of a problem calling it a black IPA. Would the CDA bandwagon prefer it be called a 'blackened' IPA? I mean really.. that would fix the whole oxymoron grammar destructive titling. Most CDA's are hardly 'Cascadian' anyway. All I know, is that I like the style, and will spend more of my time and attention drinking them, and enjoying them. I think that is kind of Stone's point.

Appearance: (4.5)
- Pours a dark stout-like jet brown brew. Can't see through even a centimeter of it. Huge slow forming mocha head that gave my pour about 3 fingers of thick foam. It has settled slowly to an 1/8th inch layer of cream with lacing all about the glass. Looks like this one will stick the whole way down.

Smell: (4.0)
- This thick brew seems to be hiding a lot of its robustness within its liquid confinement. Lots of zesty pine and floral hops hit the nose.. as much as possible. Coffee, chocolate, and bitter dark malts stand out like a fine dessert. There is almost a salty and smokey touch to it as well.. perhaps just the roasted malts.

Taste: (4.0)
- Wonderful huge bitter pine hops, and floral-citrus flavor hops.. big hop punch riding a smooth black roasted malt bed of grain.. big bitter coffee, mocha, and cocoa... hops are big, and is close to being very balanced.. though the hops still remain huge. Alcohol in this 10.8% beast is hardly noticed.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Creamy smooth viscous beverage. Carbonation is well in place, and is perfect for the style. It is quite drying from its bitterness, and leaves a bit of a chalky film in the mouth. Certainly what it should be for the style.

Overall: (4.0)
- Overall this is a super solid imperial CDA. The hops are huge.. both bittering and aroma. I am impressed with it, but then again, it is a bit late in the game. Stone's Sublimely is a huge CDA in the game of CDA's.. and this one kind of sits there right with it.. but doesn't stand above it in overall quality. Certainly worth buying a few, and having on tap if you get the chance.

I don't think I would really age this beer, though I bet it would still be fantastic out of a cold fridge many months after the purchase. It would be interesting to see what would happen to it with age, but I am guessing that the massive hop additions would get a tad funky over a lot of time with warmer cellaring temps.

A- / 4.03

( Rating Scale)

Sunday, August 21

NEPo 42 Bar... Cool New Grub & Beer Spot

"Located in NE Portland's Concordia neighborhood we are a locally owned, family friendly pub with fantastic food and drinks. Stop in and enjoy a meal while watching a game, playing free pool or surfing the internet. We offer 14 beers on draft, a full bar featuring fresh squeezed juice and house made mixers and scratch made food. Children are welcome until 9pm daily and dogs are always welcome on the patio. Catering and take out are also available. Thank you for making us a part of a great neighborhood!"

Right near Concordia Ale House, another fantastic chill-spot hits the hood. I have a feeling the food is super good, and the customer service will be excellent. Let's hear a big cheers for NEPo 42!


Monday 8/22
Industry Night $3 Pints & Wells

Wednesday 8/24
NEPO Trivia
Timbers 8pm

Thursday 8/25
Laurelwood Brewers Dinner 6-9

Saturday 8/27
Timbers 4:30pm

Sunday 8/28
Happy Hour 3pm-close
Open Mic Hosted by Fred Stephenson 8pm

5403 NE 42nd Ave. Portland OR 97218

Thursday, August 18

Silver City Brewing Meet The Brewer Tasting

"Silver City Brewing has continuously won best brewpub, best family restaurant, best brewmaster, best business, and on and on, from many local Seattle press establishments, and People's Choice Awards. With dozens of gold, silver, and bronze medals for their widely known beers such as Fat Scotch (formerly Fat Bastard), Whoop Pass Double IPA, and Fat Woody, why wouldn't you want to check out their outstanding beers? I think you would, so I guess we'll see you on Saturday. Bring a friend, or two!"

Where: By the Bottle, 104 W. Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver, WA, 98660, 360-696-0012

When: Saturday, August 20, 2011

Time: 4p to 6p

Tasting Fee: 4 bucks, cash only, please

Parking: Free, ok to park in the lot across the street

Laurelwood IPA Release Party

An unnamed beer? What will this IPA be like? I have heard a couple had been released already with the battle of the IPA's, but perhaps this one will be the latest and greatest? Will be tough to top the fading Workhorse..

August 26th 5-7pm

5115 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97213

Name That Beer! At Concordia Ale House

Wednesday, August 17th thru Sunday, August 21st

NAME THAT BEER will once again TEST your taste buds and show off your "BEERKNOWLEDGY" by correctly choosing the NAME of each delicious beer on your taster tray. (We provide a list to help a little, on the back of your score card) This year we will also be asking you to choose your favorite brew so we can crown the best "NAME THAT BEER BREW"

The record of beers guessed correctly last year was 8. Can you do better?

The event started last night, and is still continuing.

Concordia Ale House

3276 NE Killingsworth Street
Portland, OR 97211

(503) 287–3929

Roscoe's Collaboration Beer Summit

Roscoe's Collaboration Beer Summit is coming up the last weekend of August. Great collaboration beers from Stone, Deschutes, Green Flash, New Belgium, Elysian, Mikkeler, Terrapin, and many more.

Aug. 26th - 27th

I am guessing most will be tapped Friday at about 2:00pm or later.

Also being tapped is the Elysian/New Belgium Kick sour pumpkin ale. It is named after Kim Jordan of New Belgium and Dick Cantwell of Elysian. Also the St. Fueillien and Green Flash Collaboration will be pouring.

8105 SE Stark St., Portland, OR 97215

Monday, August 15

Deschutes Stoic Release & Homebrew Battle At Belmont Station

Belmont Station
4500 SE Stark St.
Portland , OR
(503) 232-8538

Wed, Aug 17
8 pm - 10 pm

Deschutes Brewery’s latest Reserve Series beer, The Stoic, has finally arrived! Its five year journey from experimental beer at the Pubs to “ambrosia in a bottle” is complete. The finest Belgian traditions have inspired our contribution to the American Quadruple scene-a remarkably smooth, yet complex brew, featuring pomegranate molasses, dark candy sugar, Pinot Noir and Rye Whiskey barrel-aging, and a healthy alcohol content. The Stoic reveals itself this night. Join us to taste…and testify! Beer recipes, hop giveaways, special prizes, and flights of other Reserve Series fancy, like Black Butte XXI, XXII, and XXIII, guarantee an unforgettable evening.

As if that wasn’t enough… Attention homebrewers…stand up and be recognized! Escort your proudest homebrew to Belmont Station. We will transport it to Bend for a thorough Deschutes Brewery Sensory Panel evaluation. Prizes will be awarded for best label, story, and overall flavor. The Grand Prize Winner will earn a day with a brewer in one of Deschutes Brewery’s brewhouses in Bend or Portland!

To enter: Please bring one 22 oz. bottle of your brew to Belmont Station on August 17th. Attach a creative label to the bottle. Also attach this paper (download here) to showcase your beer. All with a rubber band. Then count yourself in!

Saturday, August 13

2011 Great American Nano Festival

August 27th & 28th, Sat 12-9, Sun. 12-7.

25+ Nano Breweries, and some Nano food carts!

Cost: $10 at the door includes 5 taster tickets (additional taster tickets are $1 each)

Buckman Botanical Brewery
928 SE 9th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214

Sounds awesome, will certainly try to make this one.

Friday, August 12

Beer Review: Fort George 1811 Lager

Formerly know as Pre-Prohibition Lager, this beer takes on the cooler lagering temperatures of what we know as a 'California Common Ale'. It contains a very small amount of cracked maize and is loaded with lovely northwest hops. It is the official bicentennial beer of Astoria. Many may not know that Astoria is the first US settlement and/or territory this side of the Rocky Mountains. There is a lot of great history there, especially WWII history. Goonies aside..

I just first tried this brew at Plews Brews on tap. At that time it was rather cloudy. This beer is not filtered. Out of the can, it is rather clear. Grabbed the 4-pack for around $8.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Clear yellow and light copper brew, slowly bubbling. Creamy thick finger of head which has settled to a lace-making layer of thick foam, which has the appearance of lily pads.

Smell: (3.5)
- Great crisp grain aroma. Wonderful pine and grassy hop aromas. Slightly sweet, and very well rounded.

Taste: (4.0)
- Wonderful and complex grain flavors, and not overly sweet. Certainly a full flavored ale. The hop bitterness is astounding, and I quite like it. Huge zesty pine and spicy saaz hops. Overall this puppy is super full flavored for only being 5.1% Alc. by Vol. If you don't like super bitter, this isn't for you.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Light to medium bodied, and well carbonated. Very drying from the mad hop bitterness. It's a touch cloying, and puckering. Slightly chewy as well. Once you swallow a gulp, you will understand why all those characteristics play a part.

Overall: (3.5)
- This is a solid, and bitter bitter brew. Many like hops for the aroma and essence. I personally like hops for the bittering properties and balancing properties. This beer isn't balanced. But it does have a solid backbone, and I love the dry bitter bite. Overall this would make a nice regular in the fridge. The 16oz. tall boys are a nice touch, as is their Vortex IPA.

B / 3.75

( Rating Scale)

Lagunitas Beer Circus PDX

First I heard of this.. I thought 'WTF' to myself. Then after thinking about it, and learning a little more about it... I then thought to myself that this has got to be the coolest thing since Tyco's Baja Bandit.

Here is a cool video from the big tent..


Saturday August 20th ($25 Adult Only Day), & Sunday the 21st. (All Ages, $10 kids, $20 Adults). Saturday it will go from 1pm til 9pm, Sunday Noon til 6pm.

Where: Under the Hawthorne Bridge

Facebook Page HERE.

Website HERE.

This looks interesting...

Beer Review: Deschutes/Boulevard Conflux Series No. 2

"Second in a series, this citrusy, smooth white IPA is a fortuitous meeting of Deschutes' hop skills and Boulevard's deft wheat touch. What's 1,800 miles when a great beer is at stake?"

Grabbed this up at a local QFC for just over $7 for a 22 oz. bottle. I never did try or even see the 1st in the series. Oh well.

This is a 'White' IPA brewed with wheat, orange peel, coriander, and other spices. This bottle has a best by date of 11/10/11, and ranks in at 7.3% Alc. by Vol.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Pours a light straw yellow with a fat finger of fluffy white head. Settles to a very spotty layer of light foam on top, leaving lace around the glass. Brew is mostly clear.

Smell: (4.5)
- Bready yeasty malts, wheat, lemon zest aroma, light citrus, effervescent. Light grassy and earthy aroma. Slightly sweet, and yellow cake-like. Rather herbal as well. All smells very smooth, balanced, and crisp for a hot day.

Taste: (4.0)
- Smooth light malts, bready, yeasty, wheaty. Little candy sugar. Big bitter hops make this a dry brew. Very herbal and full of citrusy zest. Coriander, lemon grass, lemon, orange.. Flavor is great. Also this beer is very floral.. it's like walking through a spring garden in your mouth.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- The brew is well carbonated, and light bodied without being overly thin and watery. It seems to be a very well made brew. I like a dry beer, but feel however that this beer is a touch too dry from its bitterness for the style.. though it is technically an IPA. I feel the dryness takes a bit away from the flavor.

Overall: (4.0)
- Overall this is a fantastic unique summer style brew full of zest and great flavors. Normally I don't like a super cold beer, but I feel this is a good candidate for being super cold as it fits the flavor profile for a refreshing summer drink.

A- / 4.05

( Rating Scale)

Oakshire Tap-Takeover At Bottles

Meet the brewer Matt Van Wyk, and enjoy many of their beer offerings tonight, Friday, Aug. 12th from 5-8PM.

On Tap:
Watershed IPA, Oakshire Amber, Nitro Overcast Espresso Stout, Rose Mountain Gruit, Bruine Von Brugge, Line Dry Rye, Daily Dose Summer K├Âlsch, and the last keg of 2010 vintage Hibernator Doppelbock anywhere!


5015 N.E. Fremont
Portland, Or 97213

Uinta Brewing Experience At The BeerMongers

Last Tuesday, I was fortunate enough to get down to The BeerMongers for a first ever in Oregon tasting of Uinta Brewing from Salt Lake City Utah. Past brewer, and manager Joe Mastrorocco was there sharing 8 different breeds of beer from Uinta.

We sampled 4 of their regular 12 oz. bottle beers, as well as 4 of their 'Crooked Line' series 750 ml. bottles.

Also at the tasting event (in the photo) is beer guru Jim, and Angelo of Brewpublic. It was nice to share thoughts and enjoy the beers. Joe was very informative and had an answer to all of our questions about the beer. At the event were other fellow tweeters and bloggers as well.

The tasting started with their lightest beer, the Sum'r Ale. This was a very good, and light beer created with Sorachi Ace hops. I was very impressed with this beer.

Following the Sum'r Ale was their Wyld Extra Pale Ale. This was another light balanced sessionable brew dry-hopped, and created with some great hops. Lots of Simcoe hops dominate the nose as well as flavor. If you are a big fan of that hop, you will love the beer.

Then the darker, more rich and balanced brews started pouring. The XVII Anniversary Barleywine was a favorite of mine. Very balanced, smooth, and put together very well. Lots of caramel, and bitter hops. Esters played a big role as well. Probably my personal favorite of the lot though many liked the one to follow.

Dubhe is a hoppy Black ale brewed with hemp seeds. The seeds played a big role in some spicy, herbal, and almost licorice-like flavors. I was very impressed with it, and later bought a bottle to pour. It was a hefty 9.2% Alc. by Vol.

Now the Crooked Line series started pouring. All four are stellar. Tilted Smile is an imperial pilsner which was super balanced, and lightly creamy. Wonderful bready malts and Saaz hops were put together very well to create this well-rounded brew.

Out of the four, the Detour Double IPA was probably my least favorite. That doesn't mean it was a bad beer at all. In fact, I quite loved it. Very good balance and take on caramel malts, and bitterness. I would take it over at least half of other local offerings. Some serious talent in brewing going on there.

The bourbon barrel aged barleywine was another fantastic hit. It took the great qualities of the Anniversary barleywine, and added a lot of rich toffee and wood flavors. I went back for a second taste of it as well as the next one..

Labyrinth Black Ale is a big 13.2% Alc. by Vol. multi-dimensional ale that blended the qualities of a stout, a cda, and porter all in one. Very smooth, chocolatey, and balanced.

I was impressed with each and every beer. I also liked how very different each beer was. I find that too many brewers make beers that all seem close to one another. These beers are set apart, and also set a high standard for many others to follow. I hope to see a lot more of these beers distributed over here in the Portland/Vancouver Metro area.

No adjuncts are used in their beers. Strictly a hefty grain bill and some very clean water makes their beers a fantastic offering. I highly recommend seeking these beers out.

The brewery is 85% wind powered, and 15% solar powered.



Wednesday, August 10

A Visit To Old Market Pub & Brewery

I've known Old Market Pub & Brewery's Brewmaster Tomas Sluiter for quite some years. I met him and his wife through my sister and brother in law. Must have been about the time they moved over here, and he started brewing for Old Market. I don't know who the brewmaster was before him previous to about 2002. All I know is that my trip out there was long overdue. I kept telling him that I would get out there, and I always managed to drop the ball.

I drove down on a weekday right around happy hour time. Tomas and his assistant brewer Bobby were working around the brewery, and saw me through the window as I approached. Tomas had just come back from a lengthy European vacation, and was still trying to adjust his clock back to our schedule over here. Surprisingly, he was sipping a cup of coffee.

I mentioned to Tomas, that his 'Berried Alive' barrel aged, and blended sour ale was my absolute favorite at this years Oregon Brewers Festival. It truly was. Nothing there was quite so unique, and tediously cared for and brewed. The blending of it took place when Tomas was away on vacation, and Bobby did a very fine job as cellarman & assistant brewer. He is on the fast track to brewdom.

Upon arriving, Tomas immediately went into pouring and beer mode. It was great to discuss what he has been doing with his sour program. I love a brewer that focuses on Pinot Noir Barrels, red ales, and other various creations with the souring agent we all know as 'Brett'. Tomas had a keg of unblended Berried Alive, and of course we poured some of that. He also poured straight from the barrel. He had a lighter golden sour as well which was fantastic. What a treat it truly was. I could stand all day next to a pouring oak barrel full of sour goodness. As long as I could keep standing anyway. He also had a Belgian Dubbel that was sitting in oak for some time, and the brett was developing a lot of character in it. I got a lot of dryness and brett character from it which I thought was very good. Tomas wasn't so happy with it. I found that hard to understand, but to each their own!

The pub is kind of off the beaten path, and in an area that I don't think is quite known for its craft beers, and unique styles that go along with the trend. Perhaps that is why it took a little time for me to get over there. I tend to drift towards any pub that creates a good sour which Tomas does. But I don't think that is the popular choice of the area... yet. A couple miles off Multnomah from I-5, past John's Market a little ways is where the pub sits. Sure, the area needs one, and it's got one right there where it ought to be. Locals should feel lucky to have such a nice and rather large establishment there pouring up many different beers on tap, and serving some delicious food.

The service was great. After hanging out in the brew area, we journeyed into the bar where I was poured numerous samples of the house regulars and some seasonals. I quickly became a huge fan of the Mr. Toads Wild Red Ale. Though the name has the word "wild" in the title, it wasn't what many of us would think. It's not a sour/wild ale. It's a truly solid and tasty red that I bet would be fantastic blended and soured in some oak. (hint hint ;)

With Tomas being gone all that time, there were sure a lot of empty kegs needing to be cleaned and filled. They had some busy days ahead of them. It's tough for Tomas to work in seasonals when the steel always has to be utilized for their house beers and keg orders.

As far as the beers go, we spoke a little about what he would like to do in the future with Old Market. Tomas discussed barrel aging beers in Japanese Sake barrels which I though would be killer, and very unique. I hope that happens soon, because I will be right there trying them. As I tasted the beers at the bar, I also really liked the Stout. The flavors where great. The IPA's and Pales were solid too.

The space overall was quite large, and could seat many people. I heard that the weekends there were just packed, and I can see why. Lot's of tables, a pool table area in the back, and even a few shuffle boards which the place is very well known for.

I likes the old antique signs, and collectables all about the place. It added a nice classic touch, and really brought out the history of the area as well. The menu is quite extensive as well with all kinds of food to choose from. Compared to most pubs menu's, I think theirs is about 3 times the size, and the plates are much more customizable.

One thing that is great about the establishment is their focus on the environment, and their sustainability practices. The joint gets a lot of their electricity from an array of solar panels on the roof. In the long run, I think that will be quite cost effective.

I would highly recommend people check the place out. If in the area, and if you are hitting up John's Market for their huge selection of beer, get into Old Market and grab a bite and one of their many house-made beers on tap. In the craft beer world in Portland, Old Market seems like the forgotten pub among them. With beers like the Berried Alive, and other sours.. I just wish they were perhaps more available and on tap there. Business is business though, and you've got to brew what the people are thirsty for!

Twitter: @OMPBrewery (newly formed, and just getting going)

I wish I had more details, but I waited a tad too long to write this up. All I know is that I am thirsty for more of those barrel brews.. mmm. I look forward to more unique beers from Tomas.