Saturday, October 29

35 years of the Horse Brass

Great "Oregon Live" Article about the 35th anniversary of the world-renowned Horse Brass celebration that is happening now through Nov. 4th. Get in there, and try some of the late Don Youngers favorite styles among others.

Article HERE if you didn't notice it above.

4534 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR

I wish I had the opportunity to meet Don. I was a day late and a dollar short. Reading, and learning a lot about him... I think I would have gotten along with him very well. I could only imagine long nights of discussion while drinking many ESB's, Pales, and smoking all kinds of cigs...

Pop in, and have one of the many killer beers brewed in Don's memory and taste.


Brewmance Perry

Wednesday, October 26

Beer Review: Lagunitas Bavarian-Styled Doppel Weizen

"Our Own Bavarian-Style DoppelWeizen
A Brand-Spankin' New Beer Inspired by Rolec: The Builders of our New Brewing System. They Sent Us a Traditional Yeast Sent From Their Friends in Bavaria & We Way-Overfed It To Take It All Up A Bit!

ABV: 9.0%"

Appearance: (3.5)
- Nice zesty orange cloudy brew... finger and a half of foam settled to a very foamy thin blanket and lacing up and down the sides of the glass. Not as foamy as I would have expected it to be at the pour.

Smell: (3.5)
- Yep, Bavarian yeast. Common zesty bready sweet banana and clove-like aromas. Light brown sugar, slight roasty grain touch, and zesty sweet. Overall not so bad.

Taste: (3.5)
- Robust Bavarian brew here.. sweet sugary grain, biscuity, bready, and more sweet. Wheaty zesty and fruity brew with some grassy hops and an earthy flare. Big Bavarian banana yeast with hints of herbs, and clove. Brown sugary.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Little syrupy and cloying. Little touch dry, and overall medium bodied. Well carbonated. Interesting brew indeed.

Overall: (3.5)
- Not a bad beer, but just a bit too sweet for my taste. It hits the style pretty well.. but is just too big of a hitter. Worth the try though, but may not buy another.

B- / 3.5

( Rating Scale)

Sunday, October 23

2nd Annual Night Of The Living Ales

"Back for it's second year, Night of the Living Ales is the ultimate Halloween party for the craft beer minded drinker featuring eight unique and special beers from seven Oregon breweries. This years festivities take place inside the elaborately decorated south brewery space of Burnside Brewing Co. and the adjacent covered outdoor beer garden. To entertain you while you sip fine brews and cocktails, we have lined up live music by The Ascetic Junkies and Boy Eats Drum Machine, fabulous sexy Halloween themed Burlesque from Meghan Mayhem and Hai Fleisch of Rose City Shimmy and amazing fire performers. Throughout the evening expect on-stage costume contests and amateur burlesque with prizes like gift cards and swag from Burnside Brewing Co.

Brought to you by Burnside Brewing Co., Maletis Distribution, Yelp and Ninkasi Brewing this year's celebration brings together seven of Oregon's best breweries with some unique holiday themed beers:

Burnside Brewing: Permafrost - is Burnside Brewing Co.'s first winter elixir. It's a big strong ale brewed with 7 different malts and copious amounts of Columbia and Amarillo hops pillowed in the middle to give this warming brew a chewy complex malt body and a unique fruity juicy hoppiness throughout. You wont want to sip this dangerously strong and tasty beer like you should but pound it . 8.3% abv 77.4 IBU

Burnside Brewing: Peanut Butter Chocolate Alt - A one-off keg of Burnside Brewing's take on the traditional German-style Alt bier malty and carmelly with reese's peanut butter cups infused into the beer to complement the creamy body and nutty dry finish. It's all the favorite flavors of Halloween candy you loved as a kid infused into your favorite adult beverage!

Fort George Brewery: North V - This year we took another Holiday Icon, The Fruitcake, and designed our Winter Seasonal in its’ honor.
A mash of barley, oats, wheat, rye, rich caramel and honey malts are mildly spiced with Cascade and Saaz hops, fermented with Fort George House Yeast then allowed to condition on hand-splintered, rum inspired oak. A Glase Fruit concoction that includes cherries, pineapple, orange and lemon peel is dissolved into the finished beer to add the final touches.
While designed and bottled to age, we are sure this version of the Fruitcake will not be passed down for generations, but opened and imbibed at many a cheerful gathering. 7.5% abv. IBU’s Hard To Tell

Oakshire Brewing: Big Black Jack (Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter) - Oven roasted pumpkins, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and ginger round out this burly Imperial Porter. Trick…. or Treat?

Lompoc Brewing: 2010 Bourbon Barrel Aged Monster Mash - this batch was aged in Bourbon barrels for 11 months and cellared for an additional two. This Imperial Porter has a slight Bourbon aroma with chocolate and licorice flavors finishing with vanilla notes (8% ABV).

Ninkasi Brewing: PK Ice
A slightly strong golden lager with Ninkasi's trademark hops.

Widmer Brothers: Nelson O' Ryely IPA
The latest in the rotator series of IPA's is made with Rye to coplement the hops with an added rye bread spiciness.

10 Barrel Brewing: India Session Ale
A low alcohol session beer you can knock back a few of without getting a buzz but sacrifice none of the hoppy goodness of an IPA."

Night of the Living Ales - Halloween Fest!
Saturday October 29th 8pm - 1am $8 cover 21+
Burnside Brewing Co.
701 E. Burnside
Portland, OR 97214

Friday, October 21

Don't Forget! Brewpublic 3rd Anniversary Killer WA Beer Weekend At By The Bottle!

"As the event name suggests, all of your Tap Room selections are KILLER BEERS brewed in Washington. Additionally, the entire tap list is simply not poured anywhere else in Southwest Washington. To enjoy these beers elsewhere you would have to drive to the vicinity of each brewery. Why not check 'em out right here in Vancouver, WA? Uh-hu, that's what we thought. Look for Tap List updates throughout the weekend at


Event hours: FR, SA, OCT 21/22, 2011, Noon to 11 SU, OCT 23, 2011, Noon to 6p


Ice Harbor Fresh Hop IPA
Kennwick, WA, 7.5% ABV

Elysian Idiot Sauvin IPA
Seattle, WA, ?% ABV
An India Pale Ale showcasing the distinct citrus and passion fruit character of Nelson Sauvin hops, featured at 2011 Oregon Brewers Fest.

Fremont Brewing Harvest Ale
Seattle, WA, 6.5% ABV
"Our Fall seasonal. A French farmhouse-style saison brewed with Northwest hops. Harvest Ale is our offering for this time between here and there, a Fall beer with fruit and bread aromas and white wine notes reminiscent of apricots and apple. Harvest Ale finishes dry and crisp. Fall into a Harvest Ale today, you won't be disappointed. Unfettered by spices. Two-row barley, white wheat, Citra hops."

Black Raven Wisdom Seeker Double IPA
Seattle, WA, 9.0% ABV
"Folklore and mythology present the raven as an omniscient creature with special powers and abilities. The Wisdom Seeker Double IPA gets its special powers from an enormous amount of hops and malted barley. Brewed in the West coast Double IPA style, this bold brew features massive citrus and herbal hop additions and a full hop aroma. Seek your wisdom cautiously; this hop feast packs a punch. IBU: 85 Malt: ESB pale malt Hops: Nugget, Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe, Amarillo, Summit, Citra."

Diamond Knot 666 Industrial Bavarian
Mukilteo, WA, 8% ABV
Availability: Never again
Bold, malty and quite hoppy, try this one-time batch while it's here! "Batch #666 from B2. Keeping with time-honored brewers' traditions, we used the 'Number of the Beast' throughout the process, to the point of absolute ridiculousness - 66.6 minute mash and boil, 2-666g dry-hop additions, fermented at 66.6F, etc. etc.

Chuckanut Brewing Helles
Bellingham, WA, 5% ABV
"Golden, medium body, bready, restrained bitterness Munich's response to the foreign pilsner was the "Helles". Less hop flavor and bitterness than Pilsner, the main highlight of Helles is its bready, malty character. It's malty, balanced, easy-drinking character has earned it the title of "liquid bread", and it is often served for breakfast in Germany."

Naked City Fleur D' Elise Saison
Seattle, WA, 6.5% ABV
A hearty Fall Saison with clean, refreshing, balanced spice flavors

Iron Horse Brewing Mocha Quilter's Irish Death Specialty Ale
Ellensburg, WA, 7.8% ABV
The base recipe for this specialty ale is Quilter's Irish Death, a dark, smooth, ale. Any attempt at classifying it just ends up sending beer geeks into a style guidelines tail spin. So forget style guidelines. Is your pursuit of micro beer about tasting copies of a style that fit guidelines anyways? (Neither is ours) Irish Death is a malt bomb. "We lovingly refer to it as beer candy. We heart our candy store." Despite the surprising approachability, this beer has a hefty abv weigh-in. This special Washington Beer Night version includes the addition of mocha for added chokolately and coffee delectability in the flavor profile."

By The Bottle
104 W Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver, WA

Wednesday, October 19

Washington vs. Oregon Fresh Hop Throwdown!

"At the innaugural WA vs. OR Fresh Hop Throwdown at The Noble Fir this past Saturday, fifteen fresh hop beers from both Washington and Oregon were poured from some of the region’s best breweries. Apparently, Seattle beer drinkers really like fresh hop beers, as The Noble Fir was hopping from the moment the doors opened at 4pm and it didn’t slow down too much throughout the night….."

Read the rest of the story here:

Courtesy of Fear No Beer Blog

Also a killer post on the event from Bill over at It's Pub Night

Sunday, October 16

Don't Miss More 3rd Brewniversary Brewpublic Goodies!

The BeerMongers
1125 SE Division St
Portland, Oregon

Wednesday, October 19 · 5:00pm - 11:00pm

"Our third installment of this event featuring craft breweries from Bend and Beyond. Mouthwatering goodies from Bend Brewing, Cascade Lakes, Deschutes, Boneyard Beer, GoodLife, Below Grade, 10 Barrel, and Three Creeks. Yee haw!"

Roscoe's in Portland is also throwing a Killer Beer Week Summit throwdown which started tonight.. beers should be on tap for some time. Get there if you can!


Tuesday October, 18th 5pm - Close

"Bottles has quickly asserted itself as one of the best places for great beer in not only the Beaumont Neighborhood, but also in Portland. Oregon is a big-ass state so we’ve decided to head south and wrangle up a nice assortment of craft beers from Southern Oregon breweries such as SOB, Caldera, Wild River, Klamath Basin, Standing Stone, Draper, and more."

5015 NE Fremont St. Portland, Oregon

By The Bottle

Thursday October, 20th 5pm - Close

"By The Bottle is undoubtedly Southwest Washington’s best place to find an array of craft brews. For the second year Brewpublic loads up the taps here with Washington pours unavailable in Oregon. Look for specialties and one-offs from Naked City, Silver City, Fremont, Ice Harbor, Black Raven, Chuckanut, Boundary Bay, and more!"

104. West Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, WA

Check out more on Angelo's BREWPUBLIC Events page. Say hi to him, and give him thanks for being such an important part in spreading the beer around town.

Saraveza, and Hop & Vine has some goodies in store too! Too Much to handle? Try it!

Beer Review: Alaskan Perseverance Ale - 25th Anni. Russian Imperial Stout

Perseverance Ale
Release: September 1, 2011

This limited edition Imperial Stout is brewed with glacier-fed water, birch syrup from the Alaska Birch Syrup Co., fireweed honey from BeeAlaskan Apiaries, brown sugar and an array of different malts including malted oats and a dash of our world famous alder-smoked malt.

More info HERE.

Paid $9.99 for this 22oz. bottle at a QFC.

Appearance: (4.5)
- Lovely thick fingers of mocha colored head.. slowly builds up the glass to a point of foaming over. Settles with lace all over the glass to a thin foamy pillow above a very dark stout. Solid jet brown brew which can't be seen through. Very pretty stout.

Smell: (4.5)
- Sweet and grainy chocolate, coffee, and light syrup.. all melded very well. Grassy bitter hops with a slight pine and fruity flare. Hops shine, but don't over do the stout. This smells very good.

Taste: (4.0)
- Lovely sweet chocolate grains, light coffee bitterness, and a fantastic blend of woody syrups. Nice earthy grassy hop flare, and certainly not overly sweet. Nice subtle honey touch as well to it. This puppy is well balanced, and delicious.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Slightly dry but not dry enough for me. Perhaps the sweetness is at fault for that from the syrup and honey. Medium to heavy bodied, well carbonated, and a tad chalky. Overall not too sticky sweet at all.

Overall: (4.5)
- This is a very solid beer, and most likely the best that I have seen bottled from Alaskan. It is very well balanced, and dangerously smooth. A very good job on this one. It's not too sweet, and not too heavy. Certainly a must try.

A- / 4.22

( Rating Scale)

Thursday, October 13

New Laurelwood Seasonal IPA & Collaboration Dinner

Laurelwood Public House & Brewery
5115 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213

Migration Brewing 2nd Annual Halloween Party

New Beers & Music

"Come join Migration for a night of freaky fun on Saturday 10/29 starting at 7pm. We'll be hosting a costume party with a grand prize of $100 gift certificate plus plenty of other free giveaways!

The night will also feature music by world renowned DJ Queasy and of course special Halloween beers will be pouring on draft. We'll also have a vintage photo booth to capture all those great costumes!"

Migration Brewing
2828 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR

Elysian’s Pumpkin Road Show Rolls Into Saraveza For Its Only Area Stop!

"Sat, Oct. 22nd, 5pm – Midnight: Eylsian Brewing’s raucously delectable hoedown pulls into Portland for a night of over 8 Pumpkin Beers (with some real rarities) flowing between Saraveza & our Bad Habit Room, with ‘Sugar Pimp’ Pumpkin Cupcakes, live music, costumes (don’t forget yours!) & a VERY special tapping of the Great Pumpkin itself! It’ll be filled with delicious pumpkin beer for all in attendance to sample FREE! If that’s not enough, we’ll also be having our first Jack-O’-Lantern Contest with Prizes! (Submit your Jack-O’-Lantern to Saraveza before 2PM the day of the event…We’ll keep ‘em fresh.)

Admission is $20 in advance, and includes an awesome Elysian glass with 8 tasting tickets. See you there!"

1004 N Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97217

Killer Pumpkin Festival At The Green Dragon

"Join us for a killer lineup of 15+ pumpkin brews on tap including two hollowed-out pumpkin "casks". This is an all pumpkin affair featuring pumpkin cocktails a pumpkin food menu with pumpkin pie, toasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin cookie and more!"

Oct. 17th, 5PM to Close

Green Dragon Bistro & Brew Pub
928 SE 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Sunday, October 9

Beer Review: Midnight Sun XXX Black Double IPA

"XXX Black Double IPA
8.5 % Alcohol By Volume
87 International Bittering Units (IBUs)

Originally brewed in 2009 to celebrate Specialty Imports’ 30th Anniversary, XXX Black Double IPA is now produced each winter. XXX offers bold, American hop character — comfortably cloaked in dark, luxurious malt. This exciting “winter warmer” will take the chill right out of your bones. Curl up with this session-beer-meets-nightcap.

Sometimes XXX just means 30.

In 2009, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Specialty Imports' specialty wine and beer import business, Midnight Sun Brewing Company brewed a very special beer--a black double IPA--to honor this Alaska company's long-term success. In 2010 this beer was added to MSBC's "seasonal double IPA" line-up.

AK - 22-oz bottles and draft (JAN thru MAR)
WA, OR, CA - 22-oz bottles (JAN thru MAR)"

Well, it's 2011, and this is in the rotation of their usual seasonal Double IPA's.. though it may still be a few months old. I had to try it. Grabbed it at Vancouver's new NW Liquid Gold for $10.71 as well as the Hop Dog.. which is slightly steep, but about the same everywhere else. Who else in Vancouver even had it I ask myself. My SN Life & Limb I bought at the same time was only $9.99 and was corked and caged.

I won't get into the CDA/Black IPA argument.. because I feel it is unimportant. What I find to be more important is calling it a double. I don't think there should be a double or single type of the style because it is new. Doubles were unheard of because nobody really ever brewed stronger versions of their current styles. Whether a CDA/Black IPA is 5% ABV, or 14% ABV... it should just simply be that brewers version of a CDA/Black IPA. Period.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Rich dark brown brew.. can't see through it... heavily poured into a glass.. rendered about a finger and a half of light mocha colored bubbly foam. Settled to some creamy spotting like a nice porter. Big bubbles left about.

Smell: (4.5)
- Lovely roasty chocolate and bitter coffee touch.. perfectly sweet and grassy bitter with hops. Nice grainy malt, and plenty of bittering hop here.

Taste: (4.5)
- Yum. Perfectly solid and balanced brew. Taste is rather light actually, but melds so well. Chocolate grainy malt, bitter husky barley flare.. light coffee skunk, and grassy earthy bitter hops.. perfectly melded. This is a really good Black IPA.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Creamy medium to heavy body.. though the flavor was certainly smooth and drinkable. Bitter dryness, and chewy. This is a light meal in a bottle. Carbonation is just right, and leaves a slight chalky finish as it should.

Overall: (4.5)
- A beer I would buy many more of if more available. On tap I am sure this beer would be bliss. It holds up to my favorite CDA's and has certainly found its spot at the top. Get it.

A / 4.43

( Rating Scale)

Beer Review: Midnight Sun Hop Dog Double Wheat IPA

"Hop Dog Double Wheat IPA
8.0 % Alcohol By Volume
100 International Bittering Units (IBUs)

If you’re looking for an ordinary wheat beer, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Designed to take the edge off the hot dog days of summer, Hop Dog Double Wheat IPA offers both quenching wheat character and a big hop bite.

After a long winter, it’s time to take the party outside. Hop Dog Double Wheat IPA compliments quintessential summer fare: grilled fish, chicken, pork, shrimp and veggies. And try pairing it with desserts that feature citrus--like, key lime pie or lemon curd cheesecake. This beer works with all that is summer.

Hop Dog Double Wheat IPA packs a punch that won’t stray, which means you need to find a sweet spot and stay. Sure…you may feel like chasing tail and howling at the moon but keep your cool. Find some shade, dog. And just relax.

Unleash Summer.

AK - 22-oz bottles and draft (JUL thru SEP)
WA, OR, CA - 22-oz bottles (JUL thru SEP)"

Grabbed this bottle at the newly opened NW Liquid Gold here in Vancouver. Seems they will continue to have a lot of offerings from Midnight Sun Brewing which is great, because I and many others really love them. I did also mention that they should try to get some Anchorage Brewing stuff too since that is Midnight Suns old Brewmaster who continues to brew some amazing beers. 22oz. bottle bottled on the 5th week of June. Purchased for $10.71. Bit of yeast sediment in the bottom of the bottle.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Pours a mostly clear light glowing copper color. Nice thin finger of white foam which has slowly settled to a very creamy thin layer and sticky ring around the glass.

Smell: (3.5)
- Big zesty hops.. lots of lemon, citrus, grassy herbal aromas, and a light malt presence. Doesn't smell overly sweet, but does have a slight green aroma. Very light wheat and bready smell.

Taste: (3.5)
- Very solid taste here, and is very light on the malt sweetness. The wheat lends itself well with the hops. Super zesty lemon and citrus hops with a great grassy bitterness up front. It still just has a slight tartaric green taste though that is just a touch offsetting. But overall it is quite good. Grassy too!

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Medium bodied and well carbonated brew. The tartness and lemon-like qualities really make the mouth water while the hop bitterness really dries it out all at the same time.. and I do love a dry beer. I also like the lack of sugary sweetness as well. Slightly cloying, not overly chewy.

Overall: (3.5)
- Solid beer, and would certainly try it again. I am wondering if they are consistent from the bottle. A fresh keg in Alaska would probably be bliss of this beer, but as a 4 month old bottle.. it seems just a touch off. But it is in the brewers window of enjoyment and distribution. Just a little green. Perhaps that is due to the massive hops.

B / 3.58

( Rating Scale)

Saturday, October 8

Beer Review: Full Sail Brewing Session Fest Lager

“Session Fest is a Czech-style strong lager (gotta love the Czechs!) called polotmav√© or literally ‘light dark or semi-dark.’ Brewed with 2 Row Pale malt, Munich malt, Caramel malt and Wheat malt, and hopped with a blend of Glaciers and Cascades, Session Fest has a medium-to-full body balancing candy caramel and full malt flavors that are underscored by a spicy hoppiness that provides a nice perfume with citrus and pine overtones and a long clean finish.” 6.2% ABV 26 IBU

Finally got my hands on a couple of these. Full Sail seems to be trying to bend the envelope a little.. but I am curious on the plans with the session beers. Are they trying to bland out the beers, or will they continue to develop even more Brewmaster Reserve Series.. what will be next? Guess time will tell!

Appearance: (3.0)
- Pours a clear dark copper brew.. quickly dissipating white foamy head.. leaves some light dust and a small ring in the glass. Overall a simple look.

Smell: (3.5)
- First thing that hits the nose is Full Sails traditional yeast aroma.. a grainy, bready, earthy dry malt. A touch of light caramel sweetness, spice, and molasses. Earthy grassy hops, and a light pine flare.

Taste: (4.0)
- Wonderful Full Sail character.. they do brew a one-of-a-kind character-filled beer. Great grainy and bready malt, big meaty yeast, light spice to balance.. perhaps some sweet caramel, molasses, and allspice.. but light enough to only balance the beer, and create a solid flavor. Light bitter grassy hops, and not too much at all in the aroma department. Very solid flavor.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Light to medium bodied brew which is bubbly, and typical of Full Sails brewing yeast. Not overly creamy, though there is a slight thickness to this session beer. It's a touch dry which I like, and rather chewy which is a standard for them.

Overall: (3.0)
- It's a solid drinker. A sessionable beer? Perhaps for the cool holiday's yes, but I can see this recipe as more of a marketing ploy. If it were bottled in 6-packs and sold for more, I doubt it would do as well as it is as a new session series. The flavor is very good, but the rest falls short. I am more keen to the likes of their latest imperial IPA, because that beer didn't taste like the rest of theirs. This one does.

B / 3.6

( Rating Scale)

My First Run To NW Liquid Gold In Vancouver WA w/ Sound Brewery is a brand new craftbeer bottleshop and tap house located closer to the east side of Vancouver WA on Fourth Plain. I decided to stop in for the first time after work today a little after 5pm, and was pleasantly surprised that Sound Brewing was there doing a tasting and meet-the-brewer as well.

As I stopped in, the partners who run the joint immediately greeted me and asked me if it was my first time stopping in. I mentioned it was, and I was greeted with a very warm welcome. I then introduced myself, and mentioned that I run this local blog. They knew the blog, and also mentioned that they had received my email I sent introducing myself, and welcoming them to the scene. Owner Travis Carter and partner Peter Wallace were certainly great to talk to, and really have a good thing going.

(In the image from Left to Right is: Mark Hood; Brewmaster of Sound Brewery, Peter Wallace, and Travis Carter of NW Liquid Gold)

Sound Brewery really has only just started up about 6 months ago out of Poulsbo, WA. After sampling 3 of their beers, I was automatically a fan. Brewmaster Mark discussed doing both traditional styles, and styles he liked to state were 'Liberated' which I thought was quite catchy and cool. I started with their double IPA which had some wonderful hop aromas as the brew was hopped and dry-hopped. Then I had a more 'Liberated' Belgian Style ale which had some very glorious hop aromas from both Galaxy, and Citra hops. I finished with a Tripel that was astounding. I really enjoyed the beers. Brewmaster Mark Hood has lots more goodies planned.

The first thing I heard about Northwest Liquid Gold, and read, was that they had some extremely good prices on growler fills, as so far that is about all they can do on tap currently. They currently do not sell or pour pints. But they will fill your growler, sell you some bottles, and get you all the kegs you need. This place is, and will be moving some major beer. The tap selection right out the gate is very note worthy and loaded with some local favorites, and rare treats that you just don't see around very often. I was floored when I saw Deschutes 'The Stoic' being filled in growlers for $15. Yes, that is no lie. It also seems that their Twitter account '@NWLiquidGold' is being updated quite regularly with future, and current tappings for growler fills.

They just opened their doors to the public, and have been selling beer through the mail for some while now, getting local northwest favorites to folks across the country. I was stoked to see a comment on their Facebook PAGE from Randy Plew, owner and founder of Plews Brews in St. Johns, Portland, OR. After all, what are good craftbeer buds for? Seems they are stepping out the gate with a bang.

So far the bottle selection is limited, but they just opened, and are still getting distributors on board who are known to be a bit messed up in Vancouver. Some just ship old beer, others cheat and try to push the rest of the market aside, and others are just plain ruthless. Those are my words, and not the words of any establishment in Vancouver. I just know the distributors up here can suck. They also like to leave and even sell bottles that are years old to grocery stores and the like.

There is nothing out that way in Vancouver as far as craftbeer hot spots. I look forward to spreading the word, and supporting what seems to be a great beer spot for us beer geeks, and an ever expanding market for good craftbeer. It is also very nice to see this happening in Vancouver. There is certainly a lot of room for more good beer here.

I urge all who read this to just go check it out, bring some empty growlers, and get a feel for the place... you will not be disappointed.

They are closed currently on Sundays, and Mondays, and are open each other day from 11-8pm. They may adjust Fri. & Sat. nights from 12-9pm or later depending on their traffic and customer count.

They have future plans next year to open an outdoor seating area where they will serve pints of on-tap beer, just not inside the establishment where they will be filling growlers, slinging kegs, and selling bottles.

I look forward to seeing, and helping their growth!

Northwest Liquid Gold

11202 NE Fourth Plain Road, Vancouver, WA 98662

(Sorry about the rough pics, I had just stopped in, and all I had was my phone!)

Monday, October 3

Hood River Hop Fest Recap

First, I was lucky enough to get the weekend off to even make the fest, and second, my #pdxbeergeek bud @DrSci & family hooked me up with the ride out there. That was most excellent. The ride also seemed to go much faster without me having to do the driving.

The line was small at opening when the fest started at Noon. The entrance was a little clustered and didn't seem to be overly organized. They had a cash-only side, and a cash/debit/credit side as well. I thought the wording on the signs were interesting.... explaining the package deals etc. The beer cup was called a 'stein'. I thought "great, perhaps a stein, or glass!". Nope. A typical plastic fest cup much like the one at the Oregon Brewers Festival. I went ahead and purchased the $35 package for the entrance fee, cup, 14 tokens, and a T-shirt.

The line getting in eventually wrapped around the block, but overall wasn't too bad. Parking was free downtown all that day which was great. It wasn't difficult for us to find a spot right on the street behind the fest.

It slowly got going, and the folks pouring the beers were very polite and greeted us with a big smile, and enthusiastic pouring manner. I was happy to see lots of bigger than usual pours.. meaning over the 4 oz. mark in the bottom of the plastic mug (which I am happy to say didn't have nearly as bad of a plastic chemical flavor that I got at the Cans Fest in Portland).

I was a bit disappointed with the beers overall. Some were respectfully not fresh hop beers which is just fine, but I found a lot of the fresh hop beers.. to not really taste like fresh hop beers should for me. Perhaps it was the mix of styles. Perhaps pale ales just showcase the hops more because of the lighter malt body and alcohol content. But many just didn't come across as fresh hop beers. There were some big hitters there in the strength department, and some others that were just plain good and true to the style.

I didn't go for the Pelican or Deschutes beers because I have been drinking them around town anyway. I also didn't try some others because I can easily get them around where I live, and in town in Portland. I was happy to try some that I knew would be difficult for me to find.. unless I stopped in the BeerMongers which I am sure some of the rare stuff would turn up there.

The goods for me:
- The first beer I tried was the local Logsdon Fresh Hop Sezoen. That was a very good beer with a wonderful aroma. Very good job on that one.

- Also another local, Big Horse Brewing presented their Vernon the Rabbit Slayer.. which was an imperial IPA.. and was certainly awesome. Their Red Fang red ale was also stellar.. and perhaps better than the Vernon.

- Everybody's Brewing had one called Head Stash. I really liked it, and thought it too stood out above many of the others.

- Elysian Karma Citra was kick ass.. and unique. Certainly a winner.

- Amnesia had two that were very similar to one another, but I liked them both a great deal. For me though the malt character is what stood out for me, not the hops. Both just very solid pale ales. Though they did lack a little of the fresh hop character I was looking for.

- Double Mountain Killer Red was ok, but didn't really hit the high marks for me.. but it certainly won't get placed in any bad category.

- Ninkasi's Fresh Hop Tricerarillo was pretty damn good. It stood out and was very good and unique.

- One of my more favored, and least expected favorites.. was Rock Bottom's Hop Harvest Ale.. what a damn good brew! Makes me wish I was a mug club member, and there with some fatty pints right now as I type this! Very solid and might just be my #1 pick of the fest.

- Rogue's 'Good Chit' was a super good bitter Oktoberfest style brew that I thoroughly enjoyed.

- Hopworks certainly showed up with some goodies. Fest of Fury was very good, and Give me Liberty was very solid.. though, I did expect a little better.

- Laurelwood had a fantastic fresh hop lager, and the fresh hop free range red ale was super good and smooth.

- Oakshire's Triune Pale was very solid.. but still seemed to lack some big hops.

The not-so-good:
- Beer Valley's fresh hop Leafer Madness was one I was really looking forward to... but it ended up being a butter bomb. The diacytl in the beer made it undrinkable.. and I had to pour it. I was also hearing they were having the same issue in their bottles. I hope that gets worked out very quick-like.. because I really love that beer.

That's about all I tried there, and I still plan to try others in town that were there at the fest. I may miss a few though as I always seem to. Perhaps I can make Roscoes Fresh Hop Summit too soon to try a lot more since I am missing the Oaks Park fest this weekend.

Maybe 3 of the beers at the fest stood out as a great fresh hop brew.. but the rest really fell short for me. A bit of a disappointment. Deschutes, Pelican, Rock Bottom, Laurelwood.. great job with the fresh hop beers. I certainly hope to hit up Coalition soon too to try some that I hope will still be on tap.

I was pretty tired that day, and was up late drinking the night before as well. I wish I had slept more, and wasn't in a fog.. but the beers helped me get out of that fog. I hope next years is even better! I left feeling like this years was just a little short of being very good. Also the pissers seemed to be occupied quite often as well. Maybe a couple walk-through urinal ones for the men would have made it a little more easy for everyone. It was also a bonus that the whole time we were there, it didn't rain.

Sunday, October 2

Beer Review: Elysian Dark O' The Moon Pumpkin Stout

Grabbed this at Bridgetown Beerhouse for 9- which I thought was a bit steep for this one. I regular stout should be around 5-. I would maybe think 6.5- would be a little more fair. But that is the going rate just about anywhere you go for this one. I am not overly impressed with the initial pour of this stout. It seems rather under-carbed.

Appearance: (3.0)
- Heavy pour into a glass hardly rendered even a finger of head. Quick light mocha fizz settled immediately to a light bubbly ring, and some scattered thin skin on top. Stout is rather dark, and I can't see through it. Light ruby at the edges.

Smell: (4.0)
- Sweet chocolate grains, and spicy pumpkin pie notes. Lots of clove and cinnamon action going on. Perhaps a little grassy earthy hop bitterness. Some nice fig and esters as well going on.

Taste: (4.5)
- Taste is saving the overall experience of this beer so far for me. Very good chocolaty smooth grainy stout with a nice kick of bitterness to boot. Very well balanced bouquet of spices.. vanilla, clove, fig, nutmeg, hops. Nice roasty pumpkin touch, seeds perhaps.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- This brew is somewhat dry like a good stout should be, a bit chewy as it should be given its strength, and is actually well carbonated minus the lack of head. It must be brewed with just some standard house ale yeast, which does get on my nerves sometimes. Medium bodied stout, and a nice dry finish.

Overall: (4.0)
- My initial reaction at the pour was not so good, as I poured it heavily into a glass with little to no head or glorious mocha foam like I was expecting.. but with a good smell, and an even better taste.. the beer still holds high marks. I don't know about being worth the $9, but it would be one to buy a lot of if it were fairly priced.

A- / 4.18

( Rating Scale)