Monday, February 27

Beer Camp At Sunshine Tavern With Bryan Of Lompoc


The next installment of Sunshine Tavern's popular Beer Camp will feature Bryan Keilty, brewmaster at Lompoc Brewing. The event takes place this coming Saturday, March 3rd.

Join Bryan as he walks campers through an afternoon of learning and tasting, followed by a three-course cozy meal complete with beer pairings and a good buzz.

Beers on tap will include Kick Axe Dry Hopped Pale Ale, Batch 69 Baltic Porter, Bob's Memorial Braggot, Centennial IPA and Bourbon Barrel Aged LSD.

Lompoc Beer Camp at the Sunshine Tavern
Saturday, March 3rd
Camp starts at 4:00pm with dinner to follow
Cost: $60 (gratuity not included)
Call 503.288.6200 for a reservation.



Sunshine Tavern
3111 SE Division Street
Portland OR 97202

@SunshineTavern

Beer Review: Burnside Brewing IPA


"Burnside IPA is our flagship brand on our sparkling new 15bbl system. An IPA with plenty of malt body and thoroughly hopped with 6 varieties of the herbaceous perennial. Expect to taste notes of pine & grapefruit in Jason’s first offering.
abv: 6.6% ibu's: 84"


-------------------

I've had this on tap a few times and rather liked it. I picked up a bottle tonight at QFC just to give it a try and review it here. Perhaps it is different than the one on tap. We'll see.

Appearance: (3.5)
- Pours a nice light copper yellow with a slight bit of haze and dusty sediment in the brew. There wasn't much of a head to speak of, but there is a nice small ring and a light dusting above the brew.

Smell: (3.0)
- Nice light bready grain with a slight sweetness, some grassy and citrus hops. Some bitter earthiness and a slight vegetative aroma. There is just a very faint buttery diacetyl in the background. Not much though at all.

Taste: (3.5)
- Quite the grainy and bready malt profile with a nice bitterness. Grassy pine bitterness with a floral and somewhat citrus-like hop finish. Overall it is pretty good, and I think its bitterness is the highlight.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- This is a nice chewy bitter IPA. It is smooth, light to medium bodied, and well carbonated for a good drink. Nice lasting bitterness and dryness from the early boil hops.

Overall: (3.5)
- This beer is solid for the most part. The malt flavors are not up there for me though. Just a bit too much husky barley gym sock going on. The hops certainly make up a little for it though. I wish most IPA's were this bitter. I believe the 84 IBU assessment. I'd snag this on tap while at the pub, but most likely won't be buying bottles of it.

3.45/5 rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Thursday, February 23

Beer Review: Oakshire Brewing O'Dark:30 CDA/Black IPA


"ABV: 6.3% / IBU: 70 / O.G.:15.0 Plato

Dawn has not arrived, but we are awake – cooling one small batch of delicious beer, or starting the next. O’Dark:30 is a beguiling combination of dark malt and NW hops, a tribute to the brewers of our region. Dry hopped with Cascade and Centennial Hops, this beer has a powerful hop aroma and flavor tempered with a malt backbone."


--------------------

I think that I haven't yet reviewed this beer. I am sure I have had a few of them on tap in various locations around Portland and Vancouver, but I managed to grab this off the shelf at a Fred Meyer because it sounded good. Here is another live review from the Brewmance:

Appearance: (3.5)
- Super dark brown brew.. can see a thing through it but some ruby brown at the edges of the glass in the light. The beer didn't seem to pour a large head, but an off-white to greyish while finger formed and quickly turned into a spotty ring with a rice paper thing later over the brew.

Smell: (3.5)
- Nice roasted bitter grain, coffee bitterness, light chocolate, and light sweet grain. Coffee seems to play a nice roll here.. like a nice cold pressed coffee. Some light herbal and bitter grassy hops barely hit the nose.

Taste: (4.0)
- Great roasted bitter grains with a nice light coffee touch, and some fantastic chocolate notes. The great thing about this beers flavor is the balance. Some nice earthy bitter hops give it some flare and leaves the palate with a little zesty and piney touch. Not bad at all.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- A rather light to medium bodied brew which lends a little dryness in the mouth. Slight chewy touch, but overall a bit watery with a chalky finish.

Overall: (3.5)
- This is one of the better CDA's available around the Northwest. It seems to be a big hit at it's seasonal release around town complimenting various special tappings and parties. It's solid, well balanced, and quite drinkable.

3.73/5 rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Beer Review: Samuel Adams Alpine Spring Lager


"Brewed especially for the season, this bright citrusy unfiltered lager is both satisfying and refreshing. It’s the perfect transition from winter’s heavier brews to the lighter beers of summer. Borne of our brewers’ many trips to Germany, Alpine Spring features a unique blend of lager attributes: the balanced maltiness and hoppiness of a Helles, the smoothness and slightly higher alcohol of a traditional spring bock, and the unfiltered appearance of a Kellerbier. The beer is brewed with Tettnang Noble hops to add a unique, bright orange-citrusy aroma and flavor."

"This hazy golden brew is brewed with only pale malts for a crisp maltiness and honey malt for a slight sweetness. The beer is brewed with 100% Tettnang Tettnanger Noble hops, a half pound per barrel, to produce a unique, bright orange-citrusy aroma and taste of orange blossom honey. Several of our longtime hop suppliers in the Tettnang region grow these special hops in hop yards that have been under steady cultivation for over 100 years. We arranged for these very unique hops to be flown to the US as bales of fresh-picked whole flowers, collected specifically for dry hopping Alpine Spring. The resulting brew is medium-bodied, slightly sweet and warming with bright citrusy hop notes. It’s our idea of the perfect beer for spring."

----------------------

Appearance: (4.5)
- Pours a very pretty light zesty golden orange and straw yellow with some cloudiness to it. Fluffy white finger of head slowly settles and leaves a thin spotty pillow above the brew with lacing all about the glass. Very nice looking brew.

Smell: (4.0)
- This puppy smells good. Nice crisp bitter, pine, and grassy hops sit well with a light grainy bready semi-sweet malt bill. This smells solid and terrific. Seems a beer like this would make some stiff competition for some of my other favorite lagers of the sort like Fort Georges 1811. Nice zesty and fruity notes as well.

Taste: (3.5)
- Bready creamy and grainy malt bill. Like a touch of creamed corn bready grain with a zesty and earthy hop presence. Bit of grassy, pine, earthy notes.. and light sweet corn. Little touch of zingy lemon. Overall quite good.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- This beer has a rather medium body to it. It is quite creamy perfectly carbonated. It is yet a smooth and easy drinking session ale. Little drying and cloying.. perhaps even chewy.

Overall: (4.0)
- This is one of the better beers I have had from this brewer. I rarely if ever buy anything from Samuel Adams but to just try. I may actually buy some more of this one. It's a goodie!

3.8/5 rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Wednesday, February 22

My Stop To The Festival Of Dark Arts

Fort George Brewery and Public House held the event on Saturday, the 18th right smack in Stout Month February.

"30+ stout beers, and... dark art show, tarot, psychic, music, pirates, tattoo, blacksmith forge, stout art, belly dancing, fire breathing, dark cuisine, exquisite corpses, fire dancing."

Astoria is a beautiful small town with a ton of history. Fort George Brewing has recently expanded and ramped up production, and opened a taproom in a building right next to the brewery building. Also some nice new tanks sat in the space.

The admission was free, and the nice glass tasting mug was $8 to purchase. Each tasting ticket was $1, and all the stouts took only one ticket.

I didn't get a chance to see all of the special events and entertainment, but I had a blast either way. My Sister and Brother In-Law live out there, so I always have a place to stay when I take the trip out which takes me only a little over an hour and a half from Vancouver, WA. I hope to perhaps move out there at some point as well depending on my work situations.

I would have to say that most all of the stouts were very good. I will go into my favorites a little bit here:

Lompoc Brewing's Black Dawn III had to be my favorite. It gets best of show from me. It's a coffee stout with a wonderful full flavor and perfect bitter balance. It ranks in at 7.2% ABV. More than 3 lbs. of coffee was used per barrel.

Brewers Union Local 180 out of Oakridge had a wonderful flagship cask stout. As with all of their beers, the stout wasn't super cold, and didn't come from anything but a cask. It had wonderful flavors, was smooth, creamy, and just all around tasty and unique. High marks. 6.2% ABV.


Natian Brewing brought Lumberjane which was a nice medium bodied tasty drinker. I had no idea until now that it is an 8.6% Imperial. To me it tasted lighter, and was very drinkable.


Hopworks of course brought Army Of Darkness, a bourbon-barrel aged stout that sat in the barrels for 9 months. This beer stole the show, and I am sure would take 1st place if there was a contest among all the drinkers there. Not for me. I prefer a stout that isn't bourbon-barrel aged. But, that doesn't mean that I didn't think this beer was still fantastic. It is way up there in a class of its own vs. what else there was for competition.

McMenamins Marlow's Heart whiskey barrel aged stout was quite nice. It was light on the whiskey and barrel flavors, but it complimented the stout very well. I am a fan of seeing standard ABV beers being aged in barrels. 6.7%


Fort George offered a Kentucky Tart Stout which isn't listed on the flyer. It is a Makers Mark barrel aged stout that picked up some tart flavors and what I think must have been some bugs. It wasn't mega-sour, but the tartness complimented the brew very well, and I actually liked it quite a bit. ABV unknown.

Silver Moon Brewing busted out Darkside Stout. Nice roasted chocolate notes, and a very solid stout. I really liked this one as I usually do with most beers from this brewer.


Deschutes Brewing brought their End Of The World Stout. It was a very good stout which I thought was a nice change from their flagship Obsidian. 6.4% ABV.

Good Life Brewing displayed their Pass Stout. It was solid, stood out above many others, but still has a little more work to hit the big dogs.

The rest kind of fell short for me, and are not really worthy of a mention. I take that back... any brewer showcasing something for a pretty killer fest is worth noting, but I am discussing my taste here, and letting you all know my favorites of the festival. Fort George had some Cavatica with different fruits added.. but it wasn't enough fruit in each. I hardly got any of the fruit flavors which was kind of upsetting.


Stouts have never been my favorite style of beer, but this festival certainly had me drinking a lot of stouts. After the festival, we went back to the pad, and I drank some Rogue John John Dead Guy, Rogue Imperial Red Ale, and some Sake'. Still woke up the next day feeling great. I wonder if working up to the fest a few days prior.. drinking each night.. had anything to do with it?

The entertainment was a little odd at times for me, but wasn't anything very unusual from what can normally be seen in Portland, or even on the streets of downtown Portland.

One of the pouring few, Kendra, gave me a little information on a new brewery which she is a part of in Seaside which will be called Seaside Brewing. A couple of brewers have left Rogue Brewing on good terms, and Rogue is even helping them out with the new setup, and are also using their own tanks to get some beers going for them. That is pretty stand-up of Rogue to be so kind. It will only be about 20 minutes away from Astoria.

I highly recommend a trip out to Astoria. It is a fantastic town. Read a little bit about her history, our wars, and the people of the land. It is truly wonderful. Lots of great people, and small businesses there that would love to see you. Rogue has a wonderful joint out there, Astoria Brewing with their Wet Dog Cafe, and of course Fort George Brewing.


Cheers!

Tuesday, February 21

Pyramid Brewing To Make Outburst Imperial IPA A Year-Round Offering


Availability:
Year Round
Malts:
2-Row, Munich, Caramel, Carared
Hops:
Nugget, Chinook, Cascade/CTZ
Dry Hopped with:
Falconer’s Flight, Zythos
OG:
20
ABV:
8.5%
IBU:
80


Pyramid Outburst Imperial IPA
----------------------------

This in my eyes is pretty amazing. Last year at its release, it was a new Spring seasonal that really made a buzz in the craft beer world. A dry-hopped imperial IPA that honestly topped a lot of what Pyramid had been doing at that time.

It was in 6-packs, and 22oz. bombers at it's first release, and the prices were that of their regular beers... which I must say, are usually quite fair, and less than a lot of the competition on our grocers shelves.

I just saw it tonight in the 22oz. bomber, bought two for $2.99 Ea. That is an amazing price for a very good and hoppy imperial IPA. I am drinking one as I frantically type out this post. Can you tell I am a huge fan?

I haven't yet tried their CDA, Discord Dark IPA, that has been released, and really look forward to trying it.

Last year at this time when Outburst was released, it vanished as fast as it came. I think that rang a bell at Pyramid. Therefor, they are jumping at the opportunity and making it a year-round release. This is a smart move in my eyes.

They went back to their old labeling, which was also another very smart move. I guess MC Hammer's previous design didn't work out so well for them.

I suggest if you haven't already yet, get the brew, and enjoy it. I have a feeling that an IPA of this caliber and price will take a lot of sales away from the competition. This is a good thing.

Cheers!

www.pyramidbrew.com

Friday, February 17

Beer Review: Southern Oregon Brewing Black Heart Imperial Stout


"Black Heart Imperial Stout is startlingly rich and complex as its roasted, chocolaty malt aromas and flavors are balanced perfectly with Warrior hops. A slight alcohol heat lends a spice to this mammoth beer which finishes with a creamy smooth texture on the palate. Black Heart is full of body and not for the faint of heart." — Southern Oregon Brewing Co."

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Appearance: (3.5)
- Pretty heavy pour yielded about a half finger of light mocha colored head.. settled to a large island of foam in the center, and a small ring at the edges. The brew is super dark with maybe only a tiny bit of ruby red hue showing through.

Smell: (4.0)
- Nice mocha and chocolate notes, oats, grain, sweet aromas.. and a bit of sharp alcohol shining through. Some esters, fig... but overall just a smooth oatmeal-like aroma.

Taste: (4.0)
- Raisin, fig, esters, along with a wheat and oatmeal quality. Light cocoa and earthy grassy hop bitterness. Little touch of alcohol melded in. Overall not bad, and not overbearing.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Medium to heavy body.. quite creamy and rich feeling. Well carbonated, and only a touch chewy with a subtle dryness.

Overall: (3.5)
- This is a solid stout, and is a smooth drinker though some alcohols are present. i am sure this could be super smooth with a little time, not more than a year, on the bottle. It doesn't strike me with a bang, but it is solid and good.

3.88/5 rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Thursday, February 16

Beer Review: Lagunitas Brew Co. Imperial Red Ale


"It's back! Big on the Spicy, Skunky Hops, Bigger on the Rich, Red Malt. A Dank and Roasty Treat. The Recipe is a Variation of our Very First Beer From Back in '93 -- "Lagunitas Red".

ABV: 7.8%"


I'm a huge fan of a solid Red Ale. I find that my favorites of the style usually sit between 6.5 and 8.5% ABV simply because they use a lot more ingredients to create the flavor profile that I like. My best homebrew to date is an imperial red ale that I brew with orange blossom honey, and molasses using the Irish ale yeast from White Labs.

I can't say I have always been a huge fan of Lagunitas. I love what they do, I love their attitude.. but I feel their beers are usually too sweet, and must use a lot of adjuncts like sugar. That is my belief anyway. Here it goes..

---------------

Appearance: (3.5)
- Dark amber sun-tea color, clear. Quickly dissipating finger of white foam settles with a milky medium sized ring of lace in the glass.. and a spotty thin blanket above the tea.

Smell: (3.5)
- Huge citrus hops. Pineapple, apple juice, grainy sweet brown sugar, a little vegetable hoppiness.. slight onion and skunky hop. A bit sweet and candy sugary.

Taste: (4.0)
- The aroma fights against the nose, but the flavor later comes through. Light bready grain, brown sugar and a tea flavor from what must be an abundance of hops used late in the brewing process. Big citrus hops as well as onion hops.. much like what Widmer, or Oskar Blues uses.. Nice pine resin in the belch.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Medium bodied brew, slightly cream, a bit drying and chewy.. overall very well carbonated and easy to drink. Very impressive. Well carbonated, and done well.

Overall: (3.5)
- For me this is a more impressive beer than their IPA's.. but doesn't touch the browns and other rare special releases they have had, such as those named after Benny & the Jets, and others like Zappa. But it is a great drinker, and tastes quite good. The aromas though really fight for a space in your face. Worth the try.

3.78/5 rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Beer Review: Redhook Brewing Extra Special Birthday Blueline Series


"Extra Special Birthday Beer
Redhook is celebrating its big three oh – and what better way to celebrate then with an extra special beer. Redhook’s second release in the Blueline series is a highly modified version of ESB that replicates the flavor profile of Redhook Ale in the early 80’s, lovingly referred to by Seattle locals as “banana beer”. To bring out this unique flavor we fermented using a yeast strain that highlights these spicy banana notes. This special brew has a deep red color, bold hops and thick malty body. Don’t worry; no actual bananas were harmed in the making of this beer."


I have heard a lot of stories about the initial release of this beer way back in the beginning times of Redhook Brewing. This was a favorite of locals, and must be one of the first to use a Belgian Yeast strain more widely.

---------------------

Appearance: (3.5)
- Pours a dark iced tea brown, rather clear, and has a finger of fluffy head that quickly dissipates to a thin foamy layer with some light lacing about the glass.

Smell: (3.5)
- Certainly has some prominent clove, cinnamon, Belgian yeast notes along with a sweet brown sugar and molasses malt base. Little bready and also seems to have an interesting nutmeg flare to it. Not overly hoppy by any means, but a grassy herbal hop presence does exist.

Taste: (3.5)
- Light banana backing to a relatively light brown ale of sorts. This does have a nice light and sweet brown sugar and grainy molasses touch to the flavor. Light grassy bitter hops, and an earthy touch balance it out. Really quite good.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- A rather light to medium bodied beer with a bit of a chewy touch. Also a touch cloying and drying as well from the bitterness. Perfect carbonation, and very easy to drink.

Overall: (3.5)
- If this beer goes as far back as the early 80's, then this must have been one of the best around back then. I know Redhook was a much bigger hit back then with beers like this. This beer is solid, balanced, and has it's highlights.. but a few characteristics of it bring it back down to mediocrity. I would drink it on tap somewhere maybe.

3.55/5 rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Finally Made A Trip Out To Everybody's Brewing

I've had a lot of Everybody's Brewing beers around town, mostly the Daily Bread Common Ale, Cash Stout, and the Country Boy IPA. I knew they were located in White Salmon Washington as well, and knew that was just across the Columbia River from Hood River, where I have frequented Full Sail Brewing, and Double Mountain most often. I still haven't hit up Big Horse Brewing in Hood River yet. Also a new brewery called Pfreim Brewing will open soon in Hood River as well. The Washington side of the Columbia in that area is lucky to Have Everybody's Brewing in White Salmon, and Walking Man Brewing in Stevenson, though Walking Mans hours are gauged for a later dinner crowd.

I headed out early at about 10:30am with a work buddy. The trip wasn't really all that long, maybe an hour from Vancouver, WA. We drove up the Oregon side, though one could just as easily take Hwy. 14 up on the Washington side. We got there a bit early, and waited outside for a few minutes before they opened.

Once we stepped in at 11:30am opening time, we were greeted by a very friendly staff. We took our seats, and I immediately ordered a beer sampling which was $12 for 12 decent sized samples. That was every beer they had of their own on tap. I was surprised to see a number of guest taps such as Stone, Spaten, and Rainier.

The food was very good though I was kind of reserving more space for beer. We had some great chips and salsa, and my buddy ordered their well-known Mac 'n' Cheese. I of course had some of the Mac, and it was delicious. Almost a kind of alfredo sauce with many cheeses, bread crumbs.. it was just damn good. Next time out (Which will be soon) I look forward to trying the steak and cheese sandwich, and Cuban style pork sandwich which sounds right up my alley.

Some seasonal beers that were on included a Weizenbock which I though was very good. Also their Winter Ale, and a smaller 4% sessionable IPA were on which was great. The light IPA was just tapped, so the server couldn't ask my question if that beer had been brewed with the second runnings of the grain.

Of course their Country Boy IPA was tasting fantastic, as well as the Cash Stout... but of all the other beers, one stood out especially for me. The Bro Brah ESB was an amazing beer. I hope it is a regular because I am going back to drink much more of it, and fill a growler. I highly suggest this beer if you are a fan of ESB's. I usually am a fan, but have found it difficult to come across ones that are of this caliber.

The place was clean. Very clean, and the service was second to none. Some of the beers had a bit of a diacetyl flavor to them, but thankfully not the more favored ones. The view of Mt. Hood from the patio was very nice, and the place is just solid. Right after opening, the place filled up nicely and was rather packed by the time we headed out to go over to Full Sail, and Double Mountain.

I highly recommend going to Everybody's Brewing. The beers are fantastic, the food is super good, and the staff are all very welcoming and friendly. One thing I especially liked was that their beers were all very light in alcohol. Many can be had without getting too tossed!

It's a very small town, and is quite nice and comforting. A good get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. It's even worth spending a night or two out that way because there is so much to see, eat, and drink.

Everybodies Brewing
@EverybodysBrew
151 E Jewett Blvd, White Salmon, WA 98672

Also if on your way back to Portland, I highly suggest a stop in at the Pacific Crest Pub in Cascade Locks. They had some great local craft beers on tap, have great food, awesome service, and they are very well-known for having some of the best horseradish around which they also sell in jars. I highly recommend the horseradish if you are a fan. It's hot stuff. Also while there I tried a glass of the Amber Ale from Mt. Hood Brewing which was really good!

Pacific Crest Pub
500 NW Wanapa St, Cascade Locks, OR 97014

Some Meet The Brewer Events & Beer Releases At Belmont Station


"THURSDAY FEBRUARY 16 6 - 8PM MIDNIGHT SUN MEET THE BREWER. Brewer Jeremiah Boone will be here with a great draft lineup: Arctic Devil (oak aged) Barleywine, Obliteration VIII Imperial IPA, Sockeye Red IPA, Oak-aged Sockeye Red, and XXX Double Black IPA! Plus we'll have a brand new batch of Midnight Sun bottles for sale just off the boat from Alaska! http://midnightsunbrewing.com/


WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 22 5-8PM PHAT MATT'S MEET THE BREWER & TASTING. Phatt Matt's is a brand new brewery in Redmond, Oregon. Brewer Matt Mulder will pour tastes of their Gold, Red, and IPA and tell us how he made the leap from restauranteur to craft brewer in Central Oregon. We'll have a keg of their tasty IPA on tap. http://phatmattsbrew.com


TUESDAY FEBRUARY 28 6 - 8PM CELESTIAL MEADS MEET THE MEADMAKER & TASTING.
Michael Kiker is handcrafting meads in Anchorage, Alaska. He uses local fruit when he can but has to import all his honey. He'll make a special visit to Portland to pour the wide range of his Meads, including traditional meads and meads made with a variety of fruits and spices including red currants, black currants, marionberries, ginger, raspberries and some that are oak-aged. Fun! Read the intriguing backstory at www.celestialmeads.com


SUNDAY FEBRUARY 26 - TUESDAY FEBRUARY 28 PLINY THE YOUNGER (A FUNDRAISER FOR HABITAT FOR HUMANITY)
Ticketed event. The Biercafe will remain open to the public all 3 days so seats are first come first served but we spread this out so everything stays mellow. Ticket entitles you to one glass of Russian River Pliny the Younger and one glass of Pliny the Elder. You can buy as many tickets as you want to share with friends but we will not serve more than one glass of each to any one individual in one day (these are strong beers folks and you are welcome to share!). Tickets are $12 each with $6 going to Habitat for Humanity Portland/MetroEast. You must buy tickets for either Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday. You can come in any time the Biercafe is open during the day of your ticket (please arrive at least 45 minutes before closing time) as we have measured out how much beer we have. Tickets are CASH ONLY and go on sale tomorrow (Thursday February 16) @ 6PM. Don't worry about being here at 6PM sharp for tickets. If last year is any indication the tickets should last for about 3 days. But Thursday is a good day to get your tickets as you can enjoy some great Midnight Sun Beers while you are here! Note there is no gratuity included in the ticket price.


NEW BEERS
Dogfish Head World Wide Stout - Imperial Stout
New Belgium Cocoa Mole - Strong dark ale brewed with chilies and spices
New Belgium Biere de Mars - Biere de Garde
Ft. George Sunrise - Oatmeal Pale Ale
Lagunitas Imperial Red - Strong Red Ale
Three Creeks Stonefly Rye - Unfiltered session ale brewed with a hearty dose of rye.
Pyramid Discord - Black IPA / CDA
Full Sail Imperial Stout - The base beer which will become 2013 Black Gold after almost a year in the barrels.
Sam Adams Noble Pils - Bohemian-style pilsner brewed with all 5 varieties of noble hops. Now a year-round beer!
Dogfish Head Ta Henket - Another of DFH's "ancient Ales", this time based on an ancient Egyptian recipe. Brewed with with doum-palm fruit, chamomile, and zatar, and fermented with a wild yeast native to the region.
Black Diamond Brandy Barrel-aged Grand Cru - Belgian Dubbel aged 10 months in Brandy barrels.
Black Diamond Bourbon Barrel-aged Grand Cru - Belgian Dubbel aged 10 months in Bourbon barrels.
New Belgium Dig - Pale Ale brewed with Sorachi Ace, Nelson Sauvin, Cascade, and Centennial hops.
Stillwater/Emelisse Holland Oats - Belgian Amber ale brewed with toasted oats and apple syrup
Anchorage Galaxy IPA - IPA brewed with coriander, kumquats, and peppercorns, and bottled with brettanomyces.
Hof Ten Dormal/Stillwater Bronze Age - Belgian Farmhouse Ale brewed with estate-grown barley and raw spelt.
Stillwater Folklore - Foreign Stout with a hint of smoke.
Stillwater Premium - A ’Post Prohibition’ style ale brewed with Pilsner malt, corn, and rice, hopped at 2lbs per BBL with Cluster, Northern Brewer, and Saaz., and fermented with a farmhouse yeast and 2 strains of brettanomyces.
Evil Twin Freudian Slip - American-style Barleywine
Upright Oyster Stout - Stout brewed with oyster liquor and oysters in the boil, and "dry hopped" with oyster shells.
Epic Brewing / Crooked Stave Elder Brett - Belgian Golden Ale soured with brettanomyces.
BrewDog / 3 Floyds Bitch Please (Scotland) - Barleywine brewed with Laphroig malt, short bread, fudge, and candy floss in the boil. Single hopped with Nelson Sauvin hops throughout.
New Belgium La Folie (2012 vintage) - Flemish Sour Ale
Mississippi Mud (yes, the classic beer in a quart jug) - Black and Tan
Rogue Imperial Stout - Russian Imperial Stout available again in large bottles
Cascade Sang Royal
Cascade Kriek


NEW CIDER
2 Towns Pearadise - Pear Cider


WINTER HOURS
BEER STORE:
Monday - Saturday 10AM - 10PM
Sunday Noon - 9PM


BIERCAFE
Monday - Friday 3PM - 11PM
Saturday & Sunday Noon - 11PM"

Belmont Station

Tuesday, February 14

Beer Review: Cascade Lakes Brew Co. Centennial IPA


"Brewed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the city of Redmond, this beer boasts almost all Centennial Hops and 100 I.B.U.’s which makes this limited specialty beer a favorite of our locals.

Grains: 2-Row, Munich, Crystal
Hops: Warrior, Centennial
Available seasonally in 22 oz bottles, draft

100 IBUs
6.5% ABV"


--------------------

Picked up a bomber for $6.05 at Northwest Liquid Gold.

Appearance: (4.0)
- A very clear light copper penny color with fluffy fingers of light off-white head which has settled to a spotty thin blanket and lace all about the glass. Looks purdy.

Smell: (3.5)
- Pretty big caramel malt aromas. Sweet biscuity grain, light brown sugars, Grass herbal hops with a fruity touch. Little too husky and grain-like.

Taste: (3.5)
- Lightly sweet caramel malts. Fruit salad, husky grains, super light fruity bitterness with a side of earthiness and grassy lawnmower. Biscuit touch.. but a little too much on the caramel side of things for my taste.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Light to medium bodied brew, well carbonated, easy to drink, and a bit drying from its nice bitterness. Very thin creamy feel to it as well. Overall this is at least easy to put down.

Overall: (3.5)
- This beer has some really high marks with the aftertaste, and bitterness/aromas combinations.. but the malt kind of brings it back down a notch. I'm thinking the hop bill is about perfect, but I prefer my IPA's to be far away from a big malty caramel profile. It's solid, and would maybe drink it if it were on tap somewhere.

3.58/5 rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Monday, February 13

Uptown Market Hosting Homebrew Competition April 1st


"This is strictly an Imperial IPA competition."

The only rules are that it must be freshly brewed in February or later and it must be an imperial IPA. There are no restrictions on hops, grains, or yeast. Entrants will need to bring at least one growler (64oz) or three 22oz bottles.

There will be an eclectic group of judges, from distributors, to bloggers, to brewers, to actual beer judges! Not only that, but you can vote on the beer as well! Judging will be 50% by judging panel and 50% by popular vote. There is a $5 fee to have your beer judged. All proceeds go towards prizes and charity.

Why host a homebrew competition? Our goal here at Uptown Market is to get Westside excited about beer and homebrew! But really, brewing beer is not only fun, but a time honored tradition. Feel free to give us a call at 503-336-4783 for any questions or if you need help with your beer!


Sunday, April 1st 2pm, Uptown Market 6620 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Beaverton OR 97223

Breakside To Release New Beers & Bottles For Zwickelmania


"To celebrate Zwickelmania—the premier beer tourism event in Oregon--Breakside Brewery (820 NE Dekum) will debut three beers and release new bottles for the event. Beginning at 11 AM this Saturday, the brewery will be open for tours and free samples of beer. On tap for the event will be Breakside’s American Wheat—a classic American-style ‘Hefeweizen’ with a touch of Centennial hop character, as well as two versions of a dry-hopped gin barrel-aged IPA: Citra Gin IPA and Simcoe Gin IPA. The Gin IPAs will be on draught throughout the day and will be available in very limited quantities in 750 ml bottles for take away. Breakside brewer Sam Barber, who racked the Gin IPAs over this past weekend, said “the mix of hop and juniper character is truly lovely.” For the event, the brewery also plans to serve the rest of its specialty Lavender Fudge Stout, which was tapped earlier this week for an event at Saraveza.

In other brewery news, Breakside will be featured at a beer dinner at The Bent Brick on March 19. This dinner will include the debut of a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel that was made specifically for the dinner. Late last year, bar manager Adam Robinson and owner Scott Dolich purchased a single barrel’s worth of bourbon from Buffalo Trace distillery. The bourbon, now available at The Bent Brick, is their own ‘barrel select’ version, but in addition to getting the whiskey, Robinson and Dolich also became the proud recipients of the barrel that had held it. According to Breakside brewmaster Ben Edmunds, “Adam and Scott approached us about brewing a beer into the barrel that had held their bourbon, and so we sat down and planned out this beer as well as the dinner around it. The Bourbon-Barrel Tripel will be featured with the main course at the dinner, and I expect that over the next couple of months we’ll release unoaked, 100% barrel-aged, and blended versions of the beer.” Other beers for the dinner will include a new French farmhouse ale made with the Blaugies yeast strain, and the last keg of the brewery’s Sourdough Ale. Information regarding the dinner, including the full menu and pricing, is available by contacting The Bent Brick directly at (503) 688-1655 or by visiting The Bent Brick."


Breakside Brewery
820 NE Dekum St.
Portland, OR 97211

Beer Review: Brasserie Dupont Monk's Stout


"Sans doute, une autre sort de Stout
(Without a doubt, a different kind of stout)

Dupont has done it again. They’ve brewed the first true Belgian interpretation of Stout, not a simple recreation of the style. Dark, dry, and quenching as only Dupont’s incredible active and attenuating yeast can make it. Monk’s Stout has an intense black coffee aroma with a fine bitterness. It is light, almost astringent on the tongue – like strong iced espresso. It finishes with a wonderful attack of deep roasted almost charred malt that is bracing and refreshing without the slightest trace of heaviness. Stout lovers expecting a gentler roasted malt quality or a sweet, lactose roundness that lingers on the palate will find Monk’s Stout surprising, if not challenging.

But for those of us who have always found stout flavorful, but not sufficiently quenching, who like dark roasted malt, but not the lingering oftentimes coating mouthfeel now have a stout to call our own. Monk’s Stout–without a doubt a truly Belgian kind of stout.

Formats
Case, 12 x 75 cl (25.4 fl oz), cork finished
Keg, 20 liter"


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Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice super dark cola brown with ruby violet/red shading. Nice light tan fingers of head settle to a foamy thin pollow with lace sticking all about the glass. A nice pretty stout.

Smell: (3.5)
- Nice dry bitter cocoa and coffee-like roasted malt.. not too strong as this is a mild stout. Nice clove and bready Belgian yeast touch. Not too bad, but subtle.

Taste: (3.5)
- Subtle esters, light roasted grain with a chocolate flare. Little earthy, grassy bitter, and bready yeast. Overall a nice light drinking stout.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Rather light bodied, well carbonated, and a touch dry. Not at all chewy or cloying really. Light brew.

Overall: (4.0)
- This is a light stout for sure, and may throw a few people off thinking that this would be some big heavy stout. It's not, but a nice simple stout with a subtle Belgian twist. I like it, I feel it is solid, and one I would drink again. I just think I would be more likely to buy it if it were on tap at a lesser price.

3.68/5 rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Sunday, February 12

Beer Review: Brasserie Dupont Posca Rustica


"Since 1983, Dupont has produced a beer especially for a Gallo-Roman site near the brewery where Iron Age life is interpreted. Inspired by research into drinks of the Gallo Roman era, Posca Rustica is surely one of the Dupont’s most exotic beers. It is a “Cervoise” beer spiced with a gruit (an old-fashioned herb mixture used to bitter and flavor beer, that was popular before hops came to predominate). Sweet woodruff (known as Galium odoratum or wild baby’s breath) and bog myrtle are just two of a dozen different spices used. Posca Rustica has a unique, aromatic and spicy character and certainly is the sweetest beer from this brewery famous for its fully attenuated, dry beers. Altogether beguiling. Bottle conditioned.

Formats
Case, 12 x 75 cl (25.4 fl oz),
cork finished
Keg, 20 liter"


---------------------

Note** I have no idea if this beer was brewed with any hops, I am still trying to dig to find out. From what I can tell, it is a gruit blend. So any hop characteristics in my review are truly what I recognized)

Appearance: (5.0)
- Wonderful cloudy yellow brew with a hint of zesty orange. Big fluffy fingers of white head which slowly settled to a light thin layer over the brew with a thick half-inch ring of lace which is hanging on to the glass.

Smell: (4.5)
- Oh damn this smells good. Herbal grassy floral and zesty hops.. lovely herbal quality, a light skunky hop which is a good skunky, lemon zest, light citrus fruits, sugars, bready grain, biscuit. Right when I cracked the bottle I was in bliss.

Taste: (4.5)
- Bready sweet malt backing, light brown sugars, Belgian candy sugars melded with a great zingy citrus flare while noticeably playing well with great herbs, grassy and zesty peppery hops... light clove and banana from the yeast, and just an overall zesty fruity touch. Solid and fantastic.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Little syrupy, drying, and cloying... also chewy to a point. This is a well carbonated if not over-carbonated brew which is medium bodied. Overall a nice zingy tingle which makes the mouth water.

Overall: (4.5)
- This is one hell of a solid beer. Fantastic really. Everything seems to be balanced so well, and the 8% ABV is dangerously well hidden. One could crack this on a summer day and want it as a session brew, one with full flavor. One of my new found favorites from this brewery.

4.48/5 rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Deschutes Brewery Releases Chainbreaker White I.P.A.

Deschutes “white-knuckles” it from well-worn paths to create a thrilling ride with this new brew 25 January 2012 – Bend, Oregon – Why not? That’s a favorite question around the Deschutes Brewery brewhouse. This mindset spawned the creation of Chainbreaker White IPA a hop-forward, citrus-packed beer with an unmistakably smooth character. The new beer is slated to be released at the end of March to the Pacific Northwest, with distribution expanded to the remainder of Deschutes’ 19 state network over the next few months.

“We’re always experimenting with new ingredients and new styles at the brewery,” said Cam O’Connor, brewmaster for Deschutes. “In the case of Chainbreaker our experimentation really paid off: the marriage of wheat, spices, yeast and hops have all come together to make a very drinkable, complex White IPA.”

The name Chainbreaker White I.P.A. was inspired in part by a legendary mountain bike race in Central Oregon called the Cascade Chainbreaker. The challenging race features a demanding course with multiple terrains, just as this beer challenges the palate to expand with a fusion of wheat and spice low notes alongside significant hop highs. Sweet orange peel and coriander round out the flavor profile for a refreshing ride.

First introduced at the Deschutes Brewery Bend and Portland pubs, as well as appearing at various special events, Chainbreaker White IPA was so well-received that the team decided to take it to the next level and make it part of the brewery’s year-round line up.

Vital stats: 5.6 % ABV; 60 IBUs

Chainbreaker White I.P.A. will be available in six-packs and twelve-packs in Oregon, Washington, Idaho starting in late March 2012. The beer will continue to roll out to additional states in the brewery’s distribution network later in 2012.

Full Sail Brewing Releases Dan’s Satin Stout

Hood River, Oregon – This month Full Sail Brewing will release a new beer in their Brewer’s Share Experimental line up: “Dan’s Satin Stout” crafted by Assistant Operations Manager Dan Nakamura. Intrigued by the complexity of dark beer, Dan brewed a sweet, dark stout with a very smooth, satiny finish.

Dan’s Satin Stout is a creamy, dark beer with a soft and smooth finish and is complemented with the subtly sweet notes of chocolate and a hint of honey. A blend of pale, Munich, caramel, chocolate malt, and roast barley give Satin Stout its deep darkness and complex palate. Willamette and Mt. Hood hops provide just enough bitter to balance the sweet malitness; their slightly spicy aromas complement the floral notes from the addition of wildflower honey. Nitrogen conditioning is the final finishing touch providing a luscious satiny smoothness. 5.2% ABV 36 IBU

“I feel so fortunate to have a job I love in the place I grew up. I started my career at Full Sail as a keg washer over 21 years ago and have had the opportunity to move through many jobs at the brewery. In the process I have really gained a passion for great beer and a deep respect for the brewing art. When the opportunity to brew my own beer came up, I jumped at the chance to follow a long line of very talented Full Sail brewers. I sincerely hope that you enjoy this beer as much as I enjoyed brewing it. Cheers!” said Dan Nakamura.

Full Sail has scheduled a “Meet the Brewer and the Beer” event to showcase this new beer. The event will be at Full Sail Tasting Room and Pub in Hood River, on Thursday, February 16th from 5:00 to 6:30PM. Join the Full Sail crew to celebrate and toast with a pint of this special brew.

Dan’s Satin Stout will also be featured at Full Sail’s Zwickelmania brewery open house. On Saturday, February 18th, dozens of Oregon breweries and brewpubs will open their doors to visitors for the state’s 4th annual Zwickelmania. Hosted by the Oregon Brewers Guild (OBG), Zwickelmania is a free statewide event that offers visitors a chance to tour Oregon breweries, meet the brewers and sample their favorite beers. Full Sail Brewing will offer guided brewery tours at 11, 12, 1, 2, 3 and 4pm and will be offering samples of Dan’s Satin Stout paired with artisan chocolate. Tours and tasting are free of charge and each tour participant will receive a complimentary pint glass. Full Sail’s Brewery at Riverplace in Portland will also be open for tours.

With each Brewer’s Share series beer, Full Sail picks a local charity to receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the beer. Dan has chosen to support Hospice of the Gorge so every keg of Dan’s Satin Stout benefits this organization whose mission is to compassionately support patients and families through the end of life process.

The Brewer’s Share Experimental series is a line-up of small batch draft beers where each Full Sail brewer takes a turn hand-crafting their own single batch recipe. A portion of the proceeds benefit a local charity or organization of their choice. Full Sail’s Brewer’s Share Experimental beers will only be available on tap at Full Sail’s Tasting Room and Pub in Hood River, Oregon, and at Full Sail’s Brewery at Riverplace, in Portland, Oregon. Growlers to go are available. The next Brewer’s Share Experimental will be brewed by Lead Lab Tech, Joshua Allman and is planned for spring.

Oregon Brewers Guild Announces Participant List For 4th Annual Open House Event


During this once-a-year celebration, breweries across the state hold open-house style events that allow craft beer enthusiasts and novices alike the opportunity to get an up-close look at the state’s thriving craft beer scene.

“Oregon is at the epicenter of craft brewing in the United States – craft beer production is up, 19 new breweries and brewpubs opened up across the state since last year, and Oregon beers garner medals at the world’s top beer competitions,” said Oregon Brewers Guild Executive Director Brian Butenschoen. “There’s an excitement about the craft brewing scene here, and Zwickelmania offers the perfect opportunity to celebrate our beer culture by visiting some of the phenomenal breweries that call Oregon home.”

From 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., participating locations will open their doors to the public for beer and food pairings, brewer led discussions, beer samples and more. Additionally, the Oregon Brewers Guild will provide free shuttle buses in Portland, Eugene and Bend to ferry visitors among multiple breweries. Admission to Zwickelmania events and the shuttle bus service are free.

Zwickelmania takes its name from the zwickel sample valve on beer conditioning tanks. This sample port is an essential tool in the brewing process and allows brewers to take quality control samples during the fermentation process.

Zwickelmania has become one of the most anticipated beer events of the year and promises to keep growing. The first Zwickelmania event in 2009 featured 15 breweries. By contrast, this year more than 67 breweries across the state will be hosting events and 20,000 attendees are expected for the President’s Day weekend events.

For more information visit the Oregon Brewer’s Guild website: http://oregonbeer.org/zwickelmania/

Migration Brewing Celebrates 2 Years


You always hear people say it’s their birthday week, well February is Migration’s Birthday month! here is a list of the highlighted releases, parties and beers you can anticipate seeing.

February 15th 7PM @ The Horse Brass: Come celebrate 2 years of Migration hosted by the amazing folks at the Horse Brass Pub.  Migration and the Horse Brass will be offering an amazing line up of Migration beers: MPA (Migration Pale Ale), 2-year anniversary Deuce Double IPA, Old Silenus, Clem’s Cream Ale on nitro, and Black Hearted Black IPA on Cask. Don’t miss a chance to see new, old, and uniquely charged Migration beers which will be officially released on Feb. 18th for Migration Brewing’s 2 Year Anniversary @ 2828 NE Glisan.
 
February 18th 12PM: Migration celebrates 2 years of great beer with live music, specialty draft list and limited release bottles. Migration will be releasing the amazingly hoppy yet well-rounded 2-year anniversary Deuce Double IPA (95IBU's 9%ABV) on draft, nitro, and in 150 limited release 22oz. bottles. Also a Coffee IPA, and 1/4bbl of the Yearling bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout. So don’t forget to hop on the Zwicklemania bus and stop by to help celebrate 2 years young.

February 25th 8PM: Join us for the 2nd edition of Migration’s Beer Pong Tournament consisting of 2-person teams, [$20 buy in per team where the winner takes all.] Throughout the tournament Migration will be giving away plenty of swag, so come take a chance at upsetting the reining champs and win some cash!

Migration’s Weekly Specials:
Monday‘s: Every Monday $3.00 Pints all day 11am-12am
Tuesday’s: BINGO $2 per card winner takes all, games @ 7 and 8PM
Wednesday: Charlie’s Chug Club night $3.00 20oz pints all night
Thursday’s: Brews and Boulders, Boulder at either of “The Circuit’s” gyms and enjoy HH beer, food and climbing movies all night.
Sunday’s: We are offering $8.00 growler fills all day on Sundays, as well as Whistlepig string band will now be playing every Sunday from 7 to 9pm.

Fort George Brewing To Can Sunrise Oatmeal Pale Ale, Expansion News

We've just received our latest and brightest batch of cans, and we're elated to start canning Sunrise Oatmeal Pale Ale this month. The February release is timed so that you can have a can in your hands this spring. The beer has gone from the canning line to the retail cooler in our pub, to local stores, and onto the rest of Oregon and Southwest Washington. Some other big news, we’re planning to enter the Seattle market in March.

The can is orange and yellow, with a mandala designed around the molecular makeup of an oat kernel. Sunrise Oatmeal Pale Ale is light, refreshing, and it’s easy to drink a few of them due to the fairly mellow alcohol content, 5.2%. It has a lot of hop flavor, and the oatmeal gives it a subtle creaminess, and dryness. It’s a great beer to drink outside on a sunny spring day.

An employee favorite, we’ve found Sunrise Oatmeal Pale Ale, or “OPA,” as it’s affectionately referred to, is the beer the majority of Fort George workers tend to order for their shift beer after work.

Brewery Grows

In order to meet demand and can more beer, we needed more brewing vessels. Two shining new 120 barrel fermenters and a 120 barrel bright tank recently arrived and now adorn our production brewery in the Lovell Building. This increases brewing capacity by about 200%, but more importantly for you, it equates to Sunrise Oatmeal Pale Ale in cans, as well as Quick Wit coming soon.

“Its gorgeous, it really enhances the feel of being in our brewery. It's going to allow us to not only put more beers in cans, but free up our smaller system so we can continue to make more experimental beers," said Chris Nemlowill, Fort George Co-owner.

Metal Craft in Portland custom built these stainless steel beauties; designing equipment that would fit in our space was paramount. It was definitely all hands on deck maneuvering the tanks from our parking lot, through traffic on Duane Street, and finally into the entrance on 14th Street. Guiding the bright tank into place proved to be the biggest challenge, requiring a second-level hoist, in addition to a forklift on the ground floor.

Because this new equipment will take up space in the brewery that had been used for weddings and other special events, we are renovating the Showroom, which is adjacent to the brewery and Taproom, for such gatherings. Our general contractor, Tim Kennedy, says he’s “cheering up” the space. You can see it at the Stouts & Oysters Brewers Dinner on February 15th as well as the Festival of Dark Arts on February 18th

Friday, February 10

Beer Review: Elysian Brewing Nibiru Yerba Mate Tripel (Apoca-12 Series)


"Named for the mysterious planet X supposedly on a collision course toward Earth. The Elysian / Fantagraphics Nibiru will be a Belgian-style Tripel flavored with an infusion of yerba maté. Combining the tasty esters of Belgian yeast and the compelling tea-like flavors of the South American herb mixture, the beer will weigh in at around 7.6% alcohol by volume. A mixture of German Northern Brewer, Czech Saaz and American Amarillo hops round out the uniqueness of this first beer of the Apocalypse. Oddly enough there's another apocalyptic-themed Nibiru out there: a super volcano currently burbling most dangerously beneath Yellowstone National Park. It too is scheduled to end life as we know it very very soon."

------------------

Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice golden orange Tripel. Frothy fingers of white head settle to a medium sized spotty messy ring leaving a touch of lace about the tulip. Little bit of pancaking over the brew. Looks solid.

Smell: (3.5)
- Clove, banana, bready yeast, and a soft sweet simple grain. Little citrus, zesty herbal zing, and sweet candy. Nice.

Taste: (4.5)
- Nice blend of herbal flare, light bitter zest, sweet malt, candies, and grassy hop. This bad boy is balanced beyond belief. Not as zesty and yeasty as a common Tripel, but Elysian has certainly made it their own with this one while staying true to the style. The taste must be the best quality about this beer. Little spice, fresh herbs again hit the palate, zingy clean taste.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Medium to almost light body. It's certainly a drying brew. Light stickiness, touch syrupy, but more so puckering and cloying. Carbonation is nice and not overdone like so many of this style.

Overall: (4.5)
- Very solid, very balanced, and a very tasty beer. I really like it, and I rarely seek out a Tripel as a regular drinker. But I will buy more of this one. It's quite good, and a very nice start to the 12 beers of the Apocalypse series. This puppy seems near perfected.

4.22/5 rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Beer Review: Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series)


"Samuel Adams Wee Heavy was inspired by both traditional Scotch ales and Scotch whiskies, for a combination of deep roasted flavor and earthy smoke character. Traditional Scottish ales vary in intensity with the strong ales known as Scotch Ale or “Wee Heavy”. To create our own version of the style we added peat smoked malt to bring the unique flavor of Scotland to this complex and satisfying brew.

Scottish brewers have been renowned for their strong Scotch Ales for centuries. Their characteristic taste comes from the large amount of highly roasted malts to flavor and sweeten the beer rather than using brewing sugars or crystal malt. Barley is a signature ingredient of Scotland as used in their whiskies and its character comes through in their beers. By contrast, hops cannot survive the short Scottish growing season and are thus only used in limited amounts for these beers.

To achieve the dark and slightly sweet flavor for this brew, we use a variety of malts including a peat smoked malt only found in Scotland that is the signature ingredient of their scotch whiskies. Although this malt may not be used in classic Scottish ales, it imparts the aroma and flavor of the region that we wanted to bring to this brew. To achieve that flavor, the malt is smoked over peat giving it an earthy and smoky character that adds a layer of complexity to the beer. This is the same malt that we use in our Samuel Adams Scotch Ale, here in the Wee Heavy, it adds depth and complexity to the intense malt flavors.

These malt flavors are developed as the beer goes through a long cold aging, different from most ales. With a low hop bitterness the resulting beer is a big, complex, and warming. The beer will also develop with age as the flavors deepen and soften.

Flavor: Intense and full bodied with a deep roasted flavor, subtle sweetness, and earthy smokiness from the peat smoked malt.

Color: Deep reddish-walnut, 50 SRM

Original Gravity: 24.5° Plato

Alcohol by Vol/Wt: 10.0%ABV – 7.7%ABW

Calories/12 oz.: 348
IBUs: 30

Malt Variety: Two-row Harrington, Metcalfe, and Copeland pale malts, Caramel 60, Roasted malt, Peated malt

Hop Variety: Zeus Hops

Yeast Strain: Samuel Adams ale yeast

Availability: Year round

First Brewed: 2011"


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Appearance: (3.5)
- Super dark filtered rootbeer brown brew.. subtle finger of light tan head which has quickly fizzed down to a medium ring, and a thin island over the brew.

Smell: (3.0)
- Nice roasty caramel, earthy, woody and chocolatey grainy malt.. bit of strong alcohol aromas, a little like rubbing alcohol. Overall smells like a Wee Heavy blended with a little stout or porter.

Taste: (3.5)
- Smokey caramel, smokey chocolate, and overall quite smokey in the flavor. The smoked malt doesn't quite show like this in the aroma. Sweet esters, little fig, and some alcohol. Not too bad but seems to be outside of what I feel the style is.

Mouth Feel: (3.0)
- Medium bodied, bit syrupy, slightly dry, regular ale yeast-like carbonation. Bit cloying as well.. not too bad.

Overall: (3.0)
- Can't say this is really that great of a beer, but it is a nice strengthy offering from Samuel Adams. I was hoping it would turn out better than my opinion of their other beers.. but it really hasn't. It seems to be unique for sure, but doesn't touch what I think the style should be. Wouldn't really buy this again I think.

3.25/5 rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Thursday, February 9

Beer Review: Brouwerij Van Steenberge Gulden Draak Ale

Golden Dragon


"Did you know the Gulden Draak (Golden Dragon) owes its name to the gilded statue on top of the Belfry in Ghent?

The legend says the gilded dragon first featured on the prow of the ship with which the Norwegian king Sigrid Magnusson left on a crusade in 1111. He offered the statue to the emperor of Constantinople (the current Istanbul) to put it on the cupola of the Aya Sophia. Some hundred years later, the Flemish count Baldwin IX had the showpiece transported to our regions. Here, the Norwegian dragon ended up in the hands of Bruges. After the battle on the field of Beverhout in 1382, the inhabitants of Ghent took the dragon as war booty and put it on top of their Belfry. In the Belfry all communal charters were kept. The dragon had to protect these documents and it was also the symbol of the freedom and might of the city.

Such an imposing symbol that has lasted for over 6 centuries needs an equally imposing beer. Like the dragon shines at the top of the city, the Gulden Draak is part of the international top of beers. It is a dark triple, which in itself makes it an exceptional beer. But it is the complex taste with hints of caramel, roasted malt and coffee in combination with the creamy hazel head that makes it unique. It is a beer that is worthy of its name.

Like the other special beers of the Brewery Van Steenberge, Gulden Draak is a high fermentation beer with secondary fermentation. For the secondary fermentation, wine yeast is used. This also contributes to the unparalleled taste.

And of course, a unique beer deserves a unique presentation. That’s why Gulden Draak is presented in a white bottle. The white bottle, the black banner, the golden dragon and the red letters, constitute a stylish result that has no equal among the many Belgian special beers.

Gulden Draak can be drunk as an aperitif or dessert, or whenever you have the time to sit back and relax. But this barley wine is also perfect with and in stews, especially the Ghent variety. It is also a plus in sauces for red meat, such as a bordelaise. It is particularly suited as a dessert beer, especially in combination with dark chocolate.

Tip: Replace the whiskey in Irish coffee by Gulden Draak or have Gulden Draak with Pas de Bleu: surprising and typical for Ghent. You will be amazed.
Gulden Draak: discover its enchanting charm and taste how different it really is.

In the glass
Color : Dark with caramel-colored foam head Alcohol content : 10,5%
23° Plato Aroma : alcohol, burned malt and coffee
Taste : very full in the mouth with touches of chocolate, caramel and alcohol After taste : bittersweet and very long
Packaging : bottles 33 cl, 75 cl, 1,5 l and barrels 30 l
Fermentation both in the bottle as in the barrel, ensures a preservability for years with evolution in taste."


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Grabbed a 6-pack box of 330 ml bottles with glass from By The Bottle here in Vancouver, WA. Served at about 58 deg. F.

Appearance: (4.5)
- Frothy light tan fingers of foamy creamy head, settles to pillowing blankets and spotty patches all about the tulip. Dark filtered ruby red/brown brew. This puppy looks wicked.

Smell: (4.0)
- Sharp fruity esters. Belgian yeast galore. Sweet fruits, strawberry, banana, and some clove spice. Herbal and grassy. Sweet malt without a lot of bready and biscuit character. Certainly a unique smelling brew. Light alcohol aromas.

Taste: (4.5)
- Oh my. Esters, fruit, prune, light bitter strawberry, fig, and many herbal notes all over the palate. Lots of raisins. Sweet without being overpowering. Alcohol is absent in the flavors, but only shows up later in the stomach. Candy sugars, clove and molasses. Slight bready yeast notes. Fantastic brew.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- As usual,I have a slight beef with Belgian yeasts. I love the flavor character of them, but I rather dislike how bubbly they are. I like more mild carbonation in my beers. As it sits and warms, it remains quite bubbly. It's sticky, and cloying. Slight dry feel. Overall expected and not bad.

Overall: (4.5)
- Hard to find, expensive, and rare in these parts. I'm glad I ran across it. Your average consumer won't be out looking for it. I suggest anyone reading this to go seek it out. It's a stellar beer. It's to be had slightly warm, and is a sipper. Drink it, and pair it with some nice red meats and crisped veggies. Perhaps some spicy stuff as well. It's solid and truly shows the art form of brewing.

4.3/5 rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)