Wednesday, May 30

Beer Review: Churchkey Can Co. Pilsner


It's been about 50 years since flat-top beer cans have seen the grocers shelves. An actor (Adrian Grenier), and former Nike designer (Justin Hawkins) got together to create the company which is next door to Two Beers Brewing where this pilsner is brewed. The base recipe for the pilsner is from two Portland homebrewers, Lucas Jones and Sean Burke (Now brewing at The Commons Brewery in PDX).

Churchkeycanco.com 

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Appearance: (4.5)
- Pours a clear straw-yellow brew. Big fluffy white head, about 4 fingers, pillowing and slowly settling. Lace is left alla bout, and a thick bed sits behind. Pretty pilsner for sure.

Smell: (4.0)
- Right as I poked the can, I got a wonderful hoppy aroma. Wonderful creamy bready and grainy smell with an earthy herbal and grassy pine hop. This puppy smells good, and full flavored.

Taste: (4.0)
- Nice bready creamy pislner.  This puppy is packed with spicy hops, earthy, bitter and pine-like. It has a wonderful bite and grainy flavor, like a true pilsner should. There is however a slight tinny taste or metallic taste that sits deep in the back row.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- This is a chewy dry pilsner for sure. A spicy burning dryness sits behind from a rather medium bodied pilsner which is very well carbonated. So well-carbed that almost every can in the six-pack was bulging at both ends.

Overall: (4.0)
- The beer is a solid and tasty recipe. I am impressed with it's great pilsner taste and quality. It's tough for me paying $10 for a 6-pack, but it is a higher-than-usual quality pils. Other than the slight off-flavor, it is solid and drinkable. The packaging is rather cool. I guess it's nice to have Two Beers right next door, otherwise shipping a beer for packaging to them from afar might up the price quite a bit on it. This puppy would be near a "5" if it wasn't for that metallic off-flavor.


4.03/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Saturday, May 26

Beer Review: 10 Barrel Brewing Oregon Brown

"In typical 10 Barrel style, we took a traditional American Brown, threw it through the ringer, and put our own unique twist on it. We took a standard brown malt bill and augmented with Aromatic, Marris Otter, Cara-Crystal wheat, flaked barley, chocolate, and special roasted malt. We then overloaded it with Cascade, Centennial, Northern Brewer, Simcoe, and Chinook hops, leading to a complex battle of pine and citrus flavor and aromatics."

***Edit - Lot's of Simcoe were used in this years batch, but it was dry-hopped with a lot of Citra hops. My review doesn't change, since this is my first Oregon Brown, and I always do a live review. (Didn't get much from the dry-hopping at all.) ***

Had this beer on tap today for the first time. Loved it. I also brought a bottle home to review. I am usually a bit skeptical about beers from this brewery, because most have been a tad unfavorable for me. This one is damn good though. Let's see how the bottle fairs: (This bottle states a 7.1% ABV)2012))

Appearance: (4.0)
- Medium cloudy dirty molasses brown. Minimal head which settles to a rather spotty and bubbly floating mass not paying attention to either portion of the glass. Nice bubbly ring sits quietly.

Smell: (3.5)
-  Lot's of grain. Bready and biscuit grain with a touch of sweet caramel, molasses, and brown sugar. A tart ale yeast represents itself as well as an influx of herbal and grassy hops. Nothing too floral or citrus-like which I like. Pretty much smells ale-like, and beery.

Taste: (4.5)
- Lovely balance. Grassy earthy herbal hops play a huge roll in bittering this beer. The balance is astounding against the grainy, wheaty, and bready malt. The malt isn't so caramel at all. This is a tasty and balanced number. Super high marks in flavor. The bitterness is very separated from the flavor.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Lovely medium body, very well drinkable, and perfectly carbonated with what seems to be a pretty standard ale yeast. It is a dry brown, and leaves the tongue a tad dry. It's a touch cloying, and is a chewy number without the heavy caramel sweetness like so many other browns.

Overall: (4.0)
- This beer is damn good. It's is a little more dry and bitter compared to what most of us know as a brown ale. It is a bit stronger, with no notice in its drinkability, and finishes perfectly. High marks from this guy!


4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)


Beer Review: Black Diamond Rampage Imperial IPA


"A massive brew that is enormously aromatic with huge hop flavors wonderfully structured with a great malt body. The flavor comes on with huge notes of citrus, pine and resin which last into the crisp dry finish."

Black Diamond Brewing 

"My bottle states 9% abv."

Appearance: (4.0)
- Pours a rather clear straw yellow and light caramel color with a thick finger of white frothy head which has settled to a thin spotty layer that sticks around and a lace-making ring. Overall the way a beer of this caliber ought to look.

Smell: (3.5)
- Bold bready and caramel malts without an overpowering sweet touch. Resinous pine and super-floral hop notes. Kind of a burnt sulfur aroma and roasty malt touch. Don't know if that was intended. Quite fruity.

Taste: (3.5)
- Quite the fruity brew. Roasted grain, bready and biscuity flavor with some tangerine, grapefruit, and even esters such as raisin. Like a Waldorph's salad without the mayonnaise and nuts. Not bad, and it has a nice bitter grassy touch to balance things out. Zingy and tart.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Nice dry approach in the finish, and well carbonated and drinkable. It has a rather light medium body and isn't so thick and syrupy like many double IPA's might have....  which I don't like. This one however is nice in the feel for sure.

Overall: (3.5)
- It's a solid and unique double IPA. It has flavors that set it apart from others, and at least those flavors are not of those that taint or disfigure a beer. It's bitterness is really nice and takes awhile to really show up for the game. Overall very nice, and a nice price point.

3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)


Saturday, May 12

Full Sail Brewing Releases New Brewer’s Share Experimental Beer, Allman’s All Mild

Hood River, Oregon –   To celebrate American Craft Beer Week (May 14-20th),  Full Sail Brewing will release a new beer in their Brewer’s Share Experimental line up: “Allman’s All Mild” crafted by Lead Lab Technician Joshua Allman. Inspired by traditional English mild style beers he found in London pubs in his early 20s, Joshua wanted to honor his English heritage and those fond memories by brewing his own mild style ale.

Allman's All Mild is a beautiful light copper colored English Mild Ale, using a blend of 2-row Pale, Munich, English crystal and brown malts that provide a toasty biscuit character and a dry and balanced finish. Golding and Willamette hops impart an herbal aroma and subtle hop finish that complements the malt complexity. The ale's low carbonation delivers an incredibly refreshing and light beer perfect for summertime enjoyment. ABV 4.1% IBU 25

"Coming from English heritage, I was very excited to brew this easy drinking and sessionable ale for Full Sail," says Joshua. "This is a great beer for the warm and sunny days ahead, and a beer that you can enjoy pint after pint with friends. I selected English malts that provide the flavor I remember fondly from that first pint in London. I hope you all enjoy the simple beauty of this Old World brew. Cheers!"

Full Sail has scheduled two Meet the Brewer and the Beer” events to showcase this new beer. The first Meet Brewer and the Beer event will be at Full Sail at Riverplace in Portland, Tuesday, May 15th, from 5:00 – 6:30PM. The second is at the Full Sail Tasting Room and Pub in Hood River, on Thursday, May 17th from 5:00 to 6:30PM. Join the Full Sail crew to celebrate and toast a pint of this new brew.

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. Joshua has chosen to support the Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute, so every keg of Allman’s All Mild benefits this organization whose mission is to create life-long learning opportunities that foster a sense of wonder and community stewardship in the natural systems of the Columbia River Gorge.

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 Brewer, Clinton Wertzbaugher and is planned for late summer.

Monday, May 7

Beer Review: Widmer Bros. Brewing Oatmeal Porter


"Our Oatmeal Porter boasts a serious malt backbone. Premium pale and Munich malts, and a custom oatmeal roast create a rich flavor drenched in the velvety mouthfeel of toasted oats and dark chocolate malt. Hints of caramel and toffee provide a touch of sweetness and the perfect compliment to an enticing mocha aroma and smooth finish. Prost to roasts!" 

Malts:
Pale, Bro-oats, Munich 20L, Dark Chocolate, Dark Roast
Hops: Alchemy, Cascade
O.G.
14.2 Plato
IBU
27
ABV
6.0%
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I waited awhile, and didn't seek this puppy out right away. It is part of their limited release '924' series, and won't be around all year long. It was apparently released in 6-pack bottles, and a bomber like what I found in my neck of the woods at a QFC. Let's review...

Appearance: (4.5)
- Nice big foamy fingers of light tan and greyish head. Pretty beer indeed. It's a solid jet-brown brew which I can't see through in the goblet. Lace is left about, and a bubbly island of light mocha froth is waiting.

Smell: (3.5)
- Certainly a nice semi-sweet and earthy aroma to it, and coupled with a fruity and spicy hop aroma. A grainy and oatmeal aroma is present, and awaiting a taste. Interesting esters, cocoa, and dark fruits really.

Taste: (4.0)
- Nice cocoa malts, bready and light sweet grain and oats for sure. A subtle grassy hop bitterness sits lightly, and finishes with a light zesty tart porter kick. This is really a tasty porter. It's a little more hop forward, and lacks the cocoa chocolate like your standard English porter. Nice earthy hop, clean and light malt, and a tobacco flavor melded with an earthy grass. Overall very well balanced.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- The brew is well carbonated and bubbly, but yet super drinkable without the carbonation getting in the way. Odd really. It's a medium bodied brew, with a little cloying attribute, and certainly a bit dry in the finish. The finish is more like a dry Irish stout.

Overall: (3.5)
- If this beer were called a stout, I wouldn't complain. It's certainly a hop-forward and dry choco-brew. The oats lend some nice bread and feel to it, and yet it isn't really an overly sweet beer with the hop additions. It's astray from the style, and could very well be an Irish stout in my opinion. Either way, it is still a tasty beer. But not a shockingly great experience. I wasn't expecting that anyway, but a solid porter from Widmer. That I got. Or a solid beer anyway.

3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Friday, May 4

Portland Breweries Unite To Fight Breast Cancer




PORTLAND, OR – May 12th, 2012 Migration Brewing Company challenges other Oregon Brewmasters to a friendly competition to raise much-needed funds for the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer early detection and local patient service programs at the 3rd Annual Brewers For Boobs Saturday, May 12th from 12 a.m. – 9 p.m. at The EastBurn (1800 East Burnside).

With the overwhelming success and high demand for amazing beers and unique breweries last year, Brewers for Boobs will not only be doubling in size but will be taking over the entire EastBurn block. Breweries included are: Migration, Coalition, Lucky Lab, Amnesia, Gigantic, Everybody’s Brewing, Firestone Walker, Oakshire, Breakside, and the New Old Lompoc.

Along with amazing brewers and beer, Eastburn head chef Joe Dougherty will be cooking up some simple yet delightful fare, live bands will be playing throughout the afternoon for your listening pleasure, and you may even get a chance to enjoy a delectable boob cupcake made locally by Sweet Chaos.

For the asking donation of $10 you will receive a commemorative pint glass, 5 drink tickets, and a chance to meet a wide variety of NW brewers. This event is a great way to donate to an amazing cause while enjoying a variety of great beers you don’t see at the 3 major beer festivals throughout Portland’s summer. So grab your mom for an early Mother’s Day treat and join us for an afternoon of great music, amazing beer, and exceptional company.

If you have any other questions regarding the events please feel free to contact me at Colin@migrationbrewing.com or cell: 971.404.4173

Beer Review: Elysian Brewing Prometheus IPA (Manic IPA Series #2)



The IPA
An unapologetically fierce Northwest IPA, Prometheus sparks with hop flavor and aroma.


Our Manic IPA Series allows us to indulge in our hop obsession and share with you some of our favorite varietals.


Brewhouse
Elysian Brewing Company operates three brewpubs in the city of Seattle and has won Large Brewpub and Brewmaster of the year three times at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado.

a.k.a. Prometheus Stolen Fire IPA

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Pale orange, fruity hoppy and strong. A bold, unapologetically hoppy northwest-style IPA. Brewed with Pale, Munich and Crystal malts with a portion of sugar. Bittered and finished with Chinook, Centennial and whole flower Cascade hops all over the place.


Manic IPA Series beer #2, May-Aug.

With much thanks to Elysian Brewing Company, this bomber was gifted to me via FedEx this morning. 


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Appearance: (4.0)
-Nice vibrant orange and copper IPA with a finger and a half of fluffy white head that has settled to some lacing, a medium sized ring, and a thin island of foam covering most of the brew from the center. Looks like a Northwest IPA to me. Does have a nice slightly cloudy appearance.

Smell: (3.5)
- Zesty pine and resinous hops hit first, and then fade. What is left is a fruity punch, sweet bready malts, and more fruit. Little pineapple, mango, and grassy hop aromas. Sweet subtle grains. Overall not bad, comes out of the bottle strong, but settles a bit in aroma.

Taste: (4.0)
- This is certainly a beer with a focus on aroma and flavor hops. There is a fantastic bright stinging bitterness which is quite good to balance out the lightly sweet and bready malts, and all with a finish of fruity zesty hops. Certainly a great barrier between the bitter and finishing hops, quite interesting.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Medium body, well carbonated, and hardly chewy or cloying at all, very drinkable. This stuff flows fast. The nice bitterness does dry it up a bit at the end. Good stuff.

Overall: (4.0)
- Like I said, the range between the bittering, and finishing hops is very great. It balances quite well. The malt end seems a bit light which is just fine. It's not overly sweet, and is a little bready. I think any good west coast or Northwest IPA should almost glow orange, be a little cloudy, and certainly be bready and grainy without the overly sweet caramel attributes. This one gets pretty close to all of the above. Certainly would drink this again.


3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

(I noticed that I had this on tap at the Beer Mongers back in 2010. My review of it was slightly higher then, so I went in and edited it with my new live tasting score. Perhaps because it was on tap I liked it more, or maybe that is how much my palate has changed in the last couple of years?)

Gigantic Brewing To Open Wednesday


Wednesday, May, 9th, Gigantic Opens
Yes, another brewery in Portland. But a brewery with some very familiar names behind the beer. Former Pelican and Hopworks brewer Ben Love, and former long time Rock Bottom brewer Van Havig are making something special here.

I have already had one collaboration beer from them that was tapped at Breakside Brewing. Hoppy Hoppy Nano Beer was the name, and I was thoroughly impressed by that beer. I hope to see it again. I have also heard that the Gigantic IPA is quite good. Can't wait to get down there and try some brews.

Doors open at 3pm, shall remain open til 9pm.

Gigantic Brewing Company
5224 SE 26th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
Facebook | Twitter
http://giganticbrewing.com

Thursday, May 3

Redhook Unleashes Long Hammer IPA Cans



Now packaged to go anywhere;
Where will you crush your Redhook?

May 1, 2012 - Woodinville, Wash. - Making it easier than ever to crack open a Redhook anywhere - camping, hiking, tailgating, fishing, or wherever else glass is not allowed - Redhook Brewery has released Long Hammer IPA in cans. Hitting shelves nationwide this month, consumers can now enjoy an ice cold can of Long Hammer IPA just about wherever and whenever they please.

"Every great adventure deserves good beer, and with Long Hammer cans, Redhook is ready for anything," said Jen Talley, brewing manager for Redhook Brewery. "Cans are hot in craft beer right now, and we're excited to roll out Redhook's newest package just in time for Summer. We can't wait to hear about all the brand new places that our fans are able to enjoy Redhook now that Long Hammer IPA is available in cans."

Where do you crush Redhook?
Redhook's Long Hammer IPA cans were specially designed to weigh much less being packed out, than packed in, which means beer drinkers can enjoy Redhook in lots of places - especially those where bottles aren't allowed. In recent weeks, Redhook has been making his way to some of those places, crushing Long Hammer cans, and sharing photo's with Facebook fans along the way. Sure, not all of those places are ordained by city officials for beer drinking, but it's a lot easier to hide the sound of cans clanking together than bottles. And hey, while Redhook isn't looking for trouble, he's not opposed to it either.

Redhook IPA: One of America's Favorite IPA's, Now Available in Cans
First released in 1984, Redhook's Long Hammer IPA uses a generous amount of hop both during the boil and at dry-hopped at the end of the fermentation process to give the IPA its characteristic bitterness and piney citrus aroma and flavor. Redhook IPA has a medium body, crisp finish and moderate alcohol levels and bitterness (6.2% ABV and 44 IBU) making this one of America's most drinkable and best-selling IPA's.

Yup, 77 years after canned beer first went on sale in America, Redhook is introducing its first brew in a can. We just wanted to be sure this whole “can thing” wasn’t a fad. Plus, we wanted to make sure our IPA tasted as perfectly hoppy and delicious in cans as it does on tap and in the bottle. It does.

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Funny, just a few days ago I saw this in cans and it was an instant reaction to grab it and buy it, and immediately take it home to drink it. I'll be honest, I haven't purchased Long Hammer IPA for quite some time. The major reason is, I am in an area where bottles just sit on the shelves for far too long. The last 6-pack of bottles I bought was at a Rite-Aid and obviously after the first bottle (which was full of sediment) it presented itself as being rather old and past its prime.

The can has a canning date on the bottom, and is sure to last longer in the can than the bottle. This is a great move on Redhook's part, and I am now able to enjoy one of my more favored regular drinking IPA's around again.


Cheers to the CraftBrewersAlliance for the 6-pack. Quite the sample!