BridgePort 2016 Hop Harvest Ale: Red IPA with Amarillo


The 2016 Hop Harvest is in full swing, and fresh hop beers abound! Now you just need to get your hands on some. Don't worry, there are many Fresh Hop Beer Fests planned throughout the state (click here to see my beer festival calendar). If you can't attend a fest, head to the grocery store. Last week, Full Sail announced the release of 8 Pound Pale Fresh Hop Ale. Just today, BridgePort Brewing Co. unveiled their 2016 Hop Harvest Ale. This year, it's a Red IPA with Amarillo hops from Crosby Hop Farm.

Interestingly, one of my very first blog posts was about BridgePort's 2010 Hop Harvest. Time fliesas does the release window for fresh hop beers! Find it soon, drink it soon...


Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook




BRIDGEPORT BREWING RELEASES NEW FRESH HOPPED BEER
 2016 Hop Harvest Red IPA Features Crosby Hop Farm Amarillo® Hops


Portland, Ore. – September 22, 2016 – BridgePort Brewing Company, Oregon’s original craft brewery, released today the newest beer in the lineup, Hop Harvest Red IPA. Taking advantage of the available hop bounty in Oregon, BridgePort Brewing partnered with Crosby Hop Farm in Woodburn, Ore. and chose their Amarillo® hop varietal. Originating from Virgil Gamach Farms in Yakima Valley, Washington, Crosby Hop Farm is the only Oregon farm licensed to grow and sell this unique hop.

On September 1, BridgePort Brewmaster Jeff Edgerton and his team of brewers took a trip out to Crosby Hop Farm and picked up 250 pounds of fresh hops. Immediately, the team returned to the brewery, located in the Pearl District of Portland, and dumped the hops into the fermenter tanks. The fermented beer was then poured over the Amarillo® hops, capturing that fresh hop flavor and aroma.

“We’re lucky to brew so close to where hops are grown as it allows us to start the fresh-hop process almost immediately after they are picked from the bines,” states Jeff Edgerton, Brewmaster of BridgePort Brewing Company. “This year we chose a very distinctive hop, the Amarillo®, which has a unique floral/citrus aroma that has helped create an exceptional fresh hopped IPA. All of us here at BridgePort are thankful to Crosby Hop Farm for growing such a phenomenal hop!” 

BridgePort’s Hop Harvest Red IPA Stats:
IBU’s: 60
ABV: 7.0%
Color: RED
OG: 16.7%

BridgePort Brewing will be pouring Hop Harvest Red IPA at the Hood River Hop Fest in Hood River this Saturday, September 24. Visit http://hoodriver.org/hops-fest/ to purchase tickets and for more information on the event. Hop Harvest Red IPA is now available on-tap and in 22oz. bottles at BridgePort BrewPub (1313 NW Marshall St., Portland, Ore.) and where BridgePort is sold in the Pacific Northwest.

About BridgePort Brewing
Oregon's original craft brewery continues to evolve from a microbrewery to a regional leader committed to producing high quality craft ales. Lead by Brewmaster Jeff Edgerton, the team of BridgePort brewers prides itself on using local hops and clear glacial water from Mount Hood. The BridgePort family of ales includes the STUMPTOWN Series, BridgePort IPA, Hop Czar Imperial IPA, Kingpin, and seasonal offerings. BridgePort Brewery is located at 1313 N.W. Marshall. For more information, call 503-241-7179 or visit www.bridgeportbrew.com.                

###

Willamette Week's 4th Annual Beer Pro/Am


In Portland, we've got beer fests for nearly every type of beer and every occasion. But the Willamette Week's 4th Annual Beer Pro/Am is truly different. It features beers crafted by pairs of professional and home brewers.  Here's the roster of participating brewers:


Brett Wendorf with 54-40 Brewing (Bolt Minister)
Jarett Creason/ John Moore with Baerlic Brewing (Ben Parsons)
Ritch Marvin with Breakside Brewery (Ben Edmunds)
Dean Ehnes with Bridgeport Brewing (Jeff Edgerton)
Jenn McPoland & Jeremie Landers with Burnside Brewing (Natalie Baldwin)
Jon & Parker Hall with Coalition Brewing (Elan Walsky)
Bill Schneller with Culmination Brewing (Tomas Sluter)
Martin Cizmar with Dean's Scene (Dean Pottle)
Enrique "Ricky" Mendez with Drinking Horse Beer (Emerson Lenon)
Mike Marsh with McMenamins Edgefield​ (Matt Bergfield)
Jack Hall with Ex Novo (Joel Gregory)
Chris McNeel with Fort George (Tobiah McNeel)
Will Minderhout with Fat Heads (Mike Hunsaker)
Chad Graham with Great Notion (James Dugan)
Aaron Cohen with Laurelwood (Shane Watterson)
Kyle Kozlowski with Lompoc (Brendan Murphy)
Steve Carper with Montavilla Brewing (Michael Kora)
Chuck Macaluso with Ordnance (Logan Mayfield)
Mo Wark with Pints (Alan Taylor)
Tracy Hensley with Rogue (Danny Connors)
Mitch Scheele with Sasquatch Brewing Co. (Mike Paladino)
Brewvana Brewery Tours with Stung (Brooks Cooper)
Mirand Karson with Swift Cider (Aiden Currie)
Jeremy Speer with Three Mugs Brewing Co (Jay & Josh Jennings)
Matthew Fields with Trusty Brewing (Gary Paul)
Kevin Smith with Unicorn Brewing (Jay Webb)
Warren Holmes with Uptown Market (Tyler Staples)
Jim Telles with Vanguard (Don Anderson)
Nick Roberts with Zoiglhaus Brewing Company (Alan Taylor)
Steve Munch with Widmer (Dan Munch)

The event will be held on Saturday, October 15, from noon to 6pm at The North Warehouse. The taplist is impressiveso take a look! For more details, including ticket packages and pricing, please review the press release below, or visit the event Facebook page.


Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook






32 HOMEBREWER + PRO BREWER TEAMS TO DEBUT NEW BREWS AT WILLAMETTE WEEK’S 4TH ANNUAL BEER PRO/AM


PORTLAND, ORE. -- Craft beer enthusiasts, get ready! On Saturday, October 15, 32 teams of one homebrewer and one professional brewer will reveal 32 experimental beers and vie for your vote at Willamette Week’s 4th Annual Beer Pro/ Am. Only 500 tickets are available to Portland’s original home/pro brewer collaboration event, happening at The North Warehouse (723 N Tillamook Street, Portland) from Noon to 6 p.m. for guests 21+.

“Beer Pro/Am has found its stride,” says Steph Barnhart, Willamette Week’s events and marketing manager. “After three years of having new homes, we’re excited to return to The North Warehouse, repeat our sell out crowd and offer 30 percent more beers. There is no other beer festival like this.”

Tickets range from $15 (designated driver) to a $55 “Super Rare” VIP Experience ticket, which allows guests one full hour of tasting where the brewer to guest ratio is 1:1. Translation: no lines and plenty of time to nerd out about simcoe hops, CBD infused IPAs or lavendar lagers. The general admission ticket is $25 and includes 31 three-ounce tastes, a commemorative pint glass and Brewvana pretzel necklace.

Food is provided by food carts PDX Sliders and Thrive Pacific NW. DJ Short Change brings the beats, and the Ground Kontrol Retro Gaming Lounge returns, with an expanded selection of vintage consoles and pinball machines. More than a dozen additional vendors will be onsite, including: Bailey’s Taproom, Brewed Oregon, Brewvana, Digital Pour, Fairlane Coffee, Girls Pint Out, Good IV, Green Mountain Energy, Ground Kontrol, Krave Jerky, Muv Training, Nature Commode, Sasquatch Sauces, Usnaps Photobooth, Wailua Shave Ice, Zythos Project and more TBA.

Participating breweries include: 54-40, Baerlic, Breakside, Bridge-port, Burnside, Coalition, Culmination, Dean’s Scene, Drinking Horse Beer, Ecliptic, Edgefield (McMenamins), Ex Novo, Fat Heads, Feckin, Fort George, Great Notion, Laurelwood, Lompoc, Montavilla, Ordnance, Pints, Rogue, The Oregon Mead & Cider Company, Sasquatch, Swift Cider, Three Mugs, Trusty, Unicorn, Uptown Market, Vanguard, Widmer and Zoiglhaus.

Tickets, a brewer roster and more information available at wweek.com/beerproam. Interested sponsors are encouraged to contact Steph at beer@wweek.com.

Home Hop Garden: Hop Harvest!


After months of patiently waiting and tending to my three hop plants, I finally harvested my hops! In late August, I noticed that some cones were starting to turn brown. I crushed a few in my fingers and unleashed strong citrus and pine aromas. As expected, they had a resiny / sticky feel from the hop oils. Based on that, I decided it was time to harvest the hops. On 8/23, I harvested the Centennial and Willamette. I waited until 8/29 to pick the Chinook.

Chinook Hop Cones on the Bine

Centennials

More Centennials

After separating the cones from the bines, I dried them overnight in a food dehydrator at 95°F. Here's a summary of my hop yield before and after drying:

  • 1st year Centennial: 4.4 oz wet, 1.2 oz dry
  • 2nd year Willamette: 1.3 oz wet, 0.3 oz dry
  • 1 year Chinook: 9.5 oz wet, 2.4 oz dry

Hop Cones Ready to be Dehydrated

As mentioned in my August update, my 1st year Centennial and Chinook plants outgrew my 2nd year Willamette. It seemed to get off to such a strong start in May. But it really fizzled out by mid-July. I expected more than 1 oz of hops from a 2nd year plant. I don't think Willamette is is a prolific producer in generalbut just an ounce?!? I'm a bit disappointed, but I'll give it another year to earn its keep. If it doesn't shape up, I'll replace it with something else.

On the positive side, I was thrilled with my 1st year plants. I didn't expect to get much from them, and ended up with almost of pound of wet hops. All in all, I'm call my 2016 hop growing season a success! I think I'll plant two new rhizomes next spring. I'm considering high alpha-acid varieties such as Nugget (known to produce large cones) and Magnum.

While I was originally hoping to grow enough hops to make a 3 gallon batch of Pale Ale, I produced with enough hops to make a 5 gallon batch of IPA. I want the IPA to be relatively simple in order to showcase my garden grown hops. But it needs a twist. I'm thinking of adding some oatmeal to give it a creamy smooth body. Stay tuned...


Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook


Hops dried and vacuum sealed


Full Sail Releases 8 Pound Pale Fresh Hop Ale


Just yesterday, I shared details about the Portland Fresh Hops Fest. If you can't attend it, don't worryFull Sail has your fresh hops cravings covered. Today, the brewery announced the release of 8 Pound Pale Fresh Hop Ale, which uses 8 pounds of fresh (or wet) Magnum hops per barrel. This is the first time Full Sail is releasing a fresh hop ale in 12 oz. six packs. I'm not aware of any other brewery that releases a fresh hop ale in this small format.

Fresh Hop season is short, as is the release window for this beer. It will be available now and into October. You should know that hop aromas and flavorsespecially for fresh hop beers are volatile. So don't age this beer! Drink it fresh!

For more details, check out Full Sail's news release below.


Photo courtesy of Full Sail Brewing Co.



Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook


Full Sail Celebrates the Local Hop Harvest with 8 Pound Pale Fresh Hop Ale
Magnum hops add a fresh, green character to this early-autumn brew

Hood River, Oregon – September 16, 2016 – Full Sail’s brewers wait with thirsty anticipation for each fall’s hop harvest and their chance to celebrate by brewing fresh hop beers. As soon as the hops are at their peak, the brewers head to the farm and select the best fresh hops, and rush back to the brewery. From the fields to the brewhouse in just a few hours, this year’s hop harvest has culminated in the ridiculously tasty Brewmaster Reserve 8 Pound Pale Fresh Hop Ale.

“As brewers we are always reliant on nature’s bounty, from the quality of the barley harvest to how the hops weathered through the Oregon summer, but no moment brings this relationship into sharper focus than our fresh hop beers,” says Full Sail Executive Brewmaster Jamie Emmerson. “When we brew with fresh hops, timing is everything. There’s such a small window to take advantage of these fresh hops. We need to get them to the brewery within hours of picking while their oils and resins are still at their peak as there are distinct flavors and aromas that you can only get brewing with fresh hops.”

Each hop variety reaches peak maturity at a different time during harvest, so each year’s brew is unique. This year’s fresh-hop harvest yielded big, juicy Magnum hops which add a slight anise note and a fresh, green character to 8 Pound Pale Fresh Hop Ale. Opening with aromas of lemon and spice, 8 Pound Pale has a golden orange hue with a thick frothy head and a full malty body.

“Every fall we look forward to brewing a fresh hop beer to celebrate the hop harvest,” says Full Sail Brewmaster Jim Kelter. “It takes five to seven times more hops to brew a fresh hop beer. We use eight pounds of fresh hops per barrel to brew this beer but it’s absolutely worth it.”

Full Sail’s Brewmaster Reserve series allows the brewmasters to put their creativity, innovation and passion into small, limited-release beers. These craft brews highlight the direct connection with Full Sail’s farmers, celebrate the art of barrel aging, and explore the effects of time. Over the years, Full Sail’s Brewmaster Reserve series has earned 18 gold medals. Some of our beers, like our fresh hop brews, are meant to be enjoyed just after harvest, intensely fresh from our farmers’ fields. Brewed in small batches, Brewmaster Reserve 8 Pound Pale Fresh Hop Ale is only available during harvest, late September through October, in 12 oz. bottles and draft. 5.6% ABV, 54 IBUs.

About Full Sail Brewing Company
Perched on a bluff in Hood River, Oregon, overlooking the mighty Columbia River’s epic wind and kite surfing and the snow-capped volcanic peaks of Mt. Hood, Full Sail is a true craft-brewing pioneer. Since 1987, Full Sail has been pouring pure Mt. Hood water, local ingredients and responsible processes into each and every pint. Full Sail’s brews and sustainable practices have garnered more than 300 national and international awards, including 150 gold medals and Beverage World ‘s “Craft Brewer of the Year” distinction. From Full Sail Amber and IPA to Session Lager and bourbon barrel-aged beers, Full Sail consistently strives to brew complex, balanced and ridiculously tasty beers. Learn more at www.fullsailbrewing.com.

###


13th Annual Portland Fresh Hops Fest


The hop harvest is one of the most exciting times of the year for craft beer. It's also the only time of year that brewers have the opportunity to utilize freshly picked hops before they are kiln dried. Also known as "wet hops" due to their high water content, fresh hops are known to impart unique and often intense aromas and flavors not found in beers using dried hops.

Fresh hop beers are usually brewed hours after the hops are harvested. They're made in small batches are are available for a short time in the fall. The Portland Fresh Hops Fest is your chance to sample more than 60 Oregon-brewed Fresh Hop Beers!

This fest was one of the first I wrote about when I started my blog six years ago (they called it a "Tastival" back then). Strangely enough, I haven't been back since then. The taplist (you can see it here) looks great and I think I'll need to end my long fresh hop festival drought!

For more details, check out the news release below or visit the Portland Fresh Hops Fest event page.


Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook


Photo courtesy of Oregon Brewers Guild


13th annual Portland Fresh Hops Fest returns to Oaks Park Sept. 30 and Oct. 1

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Fresh Hops Fest is a celebration of the annual hop harvest that takes place from mid-August to mid-September in Oregon. This year’s 13th annual event will take place Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at Oaks Amusement Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way. Hours are 5pm to 9pm on Friday and 12pm to 8pm on Saturday. The festival features more than 60 Oregon craft beers made with hops that are freshly picked off the vine and used within hours of harvesting.

This year’s festival will feature more than 60 Oregon brewed fresh hop beers; the list of participants can be viewed at http://oregoncraftbeer.org/freshhopsfest/. Beers may run out; for the greatest selection, arrive on Friday or before 3pm on Saturday.

Admission to the event is free; in order to drink, it costs $20 for a souvenir glass and eight drink tickets. Advance tickets are on sale here. Use code PFHF16 to save 10% off of tickets through 09/16/16 at 5pm. People who have purchased tickets to either the Handmade Beer + Bike Fest, the Willamette Week Beer Pro Am or The Wedge can receive $5 off the price of admission at the door (must bring previous event ticket; limit one discount per person). Additional tasting tickets are available onsite for $2 each, or four for $5. Event parking is free.

Food will be available from Monk’s Deli and the Urban German Grill. Vendors include the Timbers Army No Pity Van, the Oregon Hop Growers Association, Illustrated Playing Cards and Bottle Tap.

Minors are not allowed on Friday, but are permitted on Saturday until 5pm (Oaks Amusement Park rides will be open from 12pm to 7pm that day). Well-behaved dogs on leashes are allowed.

The festival is still seeking volunteers, which receive a glass, a t-shirt and a $5 food voucher, plus other perks. An OLCC servers permit is not required to participate as a volunteer server at this event. See details or sign up at www.ocb.events-connect.com.

The Portland Fresh Hops Fest is organized by the Oregon Brewers Guild, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the state’s craft brewing industry and the common interests of its members. Founded in 1992, the Oregon Brewers Guild is one of the nation’s oldest craft brewers associations. The Guild, which receives no state funding, comprises 156 brewing companies, 130 associate or supplier members and more than 3,900 enthusiast members or S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer).

# # #

Photo courtesy of Oregon Brewers Guild

Vertigo Brewing's New Look


Nearly six years ago, I wrote about Vertigo Brewing for the first time. Back then, Brewer Mike Haines was slaving away on a one barrel system. A lot of good stuff has happened since then. Vertigo has upgraded their brewhouse, launched retail distribution, and even opened up a great taproom adjacent to their brewery.

If you pay attention to craft beer, you'll notice that breweries often update their branding. Vertigo is in the midst of a branding refresh and I spoke with Mike Haines to get the details on their new look.


I’ve noticed that many breweries, including Vertigo, are updating their branding. Your new logo with the dizzy hop looks great! What are your trying to achieve with the refresh? 

Mike Haines:  The beer market place is getting pretty crowded. It's tough not to get lost in the noise. We wanted to present a fresh look that stands out from the crowd and yet stayed true to our name. I think we achieved that very well.



I really like your new label designs. How did you go about the process of coming up with these new designs?

MH:  First and foremost, we wanted a cohesive look regardless of what beer is in the bottle. When you see it on the shelf you will recognize it as a Vertigo beer immediately. We also think that the labels are compelling enough for people to hopefully put them in their cart. Getting someone to try your beer is tougher than getting them to buy it again.



Can you tell me about the Vertigo beers that will be available in bottles? 

MH:  First up on the rebrand will be our Razz Wheat which will simply be Vertigo Raspberry Wheat, our Arctic Blast is being rebranded as Madagascar Vanilla Porter to reflect less of a seasonal feel as this is a year round beer for us, and finally Friar Mike's IPA.


Where can we find Vertigo bottles?

MH:  Most bottle shops carry them as well as many of the New Seasons Markets and Whole Food Stores. We hope to be on Fred Meyer shelves again in the near future.


What else is new at Vertigo? Any events coming up?


MH:  Our 8th anniversary is coming this month. We will be celebrating in the taproom on September 24th (details here).  We try to release two beers every month. Some are old favorites that return and some new ones. In September, we are releasing an India Golden Ale that we collaborated with the Growler Cafe in Lebanon. Lots of Citra and Simcoe hops in this beer. Then at our anniversary party, we will release our fresh hop beer for the year.




Congrats to Vertigo on their new look and 8 years of great beer! If you haven't tasted any Vertigo beers, I highly recommend Madagascar Vanilla Porter and Raspberry Wheat. I've been a big fan of both of those beers for years! Better yet, visit the taproom for their anniversary party on the 24th, and sample their full lineup.



Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook









Lompoc Brewing Fall Events


Fall is near and Lompoc Brewing has a wide variety of special events planned for the new season! Here are the details from the brewery:


Oktoberfest Release Sept. 14
Join us at our Sidebar Tasting Room (3901 N Williams Ave) on Wednesday, September 14 from 4pm to close as we welcome in autumn with the release of our Oktoberfest Märzen Lager! Plus, meet the brewers and enjoy German food specials all evening long. 

Tolkien Trivia Night Sept. 22
Join us at our Sidebar Tasting Room (3901 N Williams Ave) on Thursday September 22 beginning at 7:30pm for Tolkien Trivia Night. Grab some friends and come test your knowledge of J.R.R. Tolkien's most popular works and their film adaptations. This multi-round event will feature trivia questions on The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson's film trilogies, and general Middle Earth miscellanea. Prizes will be awarded to the teams with the highest scores at the end of the night. 21+ only.

Shrimp Boil & Brewers BBQ Sept. 28
Join us on Wednesday, September 28 beginning at 4pm at the Fifth Quadrant (3901 N Williams Ave) for a Shrimp Boil in the brewery and BBQ specials in the pub. Grab a bowl of shrimp boil (shrimp, corn, sausage & potato) and a pint of Lompoc beer for only $5, plus the opportunity to hang out with the brewers in the brewery. Or head into the 5Q restaurant for BBQ specials (each BBQ Plate comes with your choice of two sides, corn bread & watermelon jicama salad): Pulled Beef Brisket 6oz $15; 1/4 Rack Hills Baby Back Ribs $15; 1/2 Rack Hills Baby Back Ribs $18; or the Best of Both (1/4 Rack Hills Baby Back Ribs & 6oz Pulled Beef Brisket) $18. Featured sides include Pepper Jack Mac, Herb Mashed Red Potatoes, Succotash and Bacon and Onion Wilted Greens.

Monster Mash Imperial Porter Release Party Oct. 5
We will be releasing our annual Monster Mash Imperial Porter at Sidebar on Wednesday, October 4 from 4pm to close. Monster Mash is an imperial porter featuring strong chocolate and roast flavors with a touch of red fruit (8.1% ABV). Join us for pints in the bar or take home 22oz bottles for just $4. Complimentary snacks will be provided.


For more details, please visit the Lompoc Brewing website.


Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook










September - November Northwest Beer Festival Calendar


Summer's over, but fall might just be the best time of year for beer in the Northwest! If you scan through the schedule below, you'll see plenty of Oktoberfest and Fresh Hop beer events. Fresh (or Wet) Hop beers are made from hops that have not yet been kiln dried. To ensure maximum freshness, these hops are rushed to the brewery and typically used within hours of being harvested at the farm. If you've never experienced a Fresh Hop beer, now's the time to taste one!

This is by no means a comprehensive list. If I'm missing anything (I'm focusing on annual, not one-time-only events), please send me the event details at info@notsoprofessionalbeer.com and I'll be happy to add it.  That said, here's a look at the upcoming festivals during the months of September - November. Check out my Beer Festival Schedule page for updates.


September
  • September 2-3:  The Little Woody Barrel-Aged Beer, Cider & Whiskey Festival, Bend     website 
  • September 4:  Oktoberfest @ Mt. Hood Meadows,   website
  • September 8-18:  Washington Cider, Seattle, WA    website 
  • September 9-10:  Bellingham Beer Week, Bellingham, WA    website 
  • September 9-10:  Cider Summit Seattle, Seattle WA    website
  • September 10:  Gold Beach Brew & Art Fest, Gold Beach    website 
  • September 10:  Septembeerfest, Corvalis    website 
  • September 10:  Stormtoberfest, Portland    website 
  • September 14:  Oktoberfest! @ Lompoc SideBar    website 
  • September 15:  Beers Made by Walking @ Bazi Bierbrasserie, Portland   website 
  • September 15-18:  Mount Angel Oktoberfest, Mount Angel    website 
  • September 17:  19th Annual Mid Valley Brewfest @ McMenamins, Eugene    website 
  • September 16-17:  12th Annual Bend Oktoberfest, Bend   website
  • September 16-18:  Southern Oregon Brewfest, Central Point    website 
  • September 24:  Hood River Fresh Hops Fest, Hood River   website 
  • September 26:  Beer for Breakfast @ Great Notion Brewing, Portland   website 
  • September 30 - October 1:  Portland Fresh Hops Fest, Portland   website 
  • September 30 - October 1:  Vancouver Brewfest: Fresh Hop Addition, Vancouver   website

October
  • October 1:  Sisters Fresh Hop Festival, Sisters    website 
  • October 1:  Fresh Hops Fest @ Claim 52 Abbey, Springfield    website 
  • October 7-8:  Handmade Bike & Beer Festival, Portland   website2014 recap
  • October 8:  Umpqua Brewfest, Roseburg    website   
  • October 8:  Peche Fest @ Saraveza, Portland    website  
  • October 8:  Elysian Great Pumpkin Beer Fest, Seattle    website  
  • October 8:  12th Annual Widmer Brothers Oktoberfest, Portland    website  
  • October 15:  Killer Pumpkin Festival @ Green Dragon, Portland    website  
  • October 15:  Willamette Week's 4th Annual Beer Pro / Am, Portland    website
  • October 15:  Alchemeat: Beer & Charcuterie Festival @ Culmination, Portland    website
  • October 21-23:  The Little Woody Barrel-Aged Beer, Cider & Whiskey Festival, Eugene     website 
  • Brewpublic Killer Beer Fest @ Bailey's Taproom, Portland

November
  • November 5:  Boone's Ferry Autumn Ale Fest, @ McMenamins, Wilsonville    website 
  • November 5-6:  McKenzie Cider and Craft Beer Festival, Springfield    website  
  • BelgianFest @ Bailey's Taproom, Portland
  • November 30 - December 4:  Holiday Ale Festival, Portland    website


Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook




Cascade Brewing's Cascade Kriek Receives Top Accolades from New York Times

  
I love sour beer. The very first one I tasted was Vlad the Impaler from Cascade Brewing back in 2010. Soon after, I visited the brewery and interviewed Brewmaster Ron Gansberg. Since then, my fascination with these unusual beers has grown. I've tasted many and have even brewed a few.

For those interested in the process of making sour beers, you should know that Cascade's beers exclusively use lactobacillus as the primary souring agent. They don't use brettanomyces, pediococcus, or other often pesky strains. But I digress...

For years, Portland beer geeks have known that Cascade Brewing crafts some of the best sour ales in the country. The New York Times recently agreed and rated Cascade Kriek 2014 as the top sour beer in America. Now, everyone will know! For more details, check out the brewery's news release below.


Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook






New York Times awards rarely achieved four stars to Cascade Kriek 2014, ranks it as the top sour beer in America

PORTLAND, Ore. – The New York Times has ranked Cascade Brewing’s 2014 Kriek project as the number one sour beer in America.

In an article that appeared in the August 18, 2016 edition, the paper announced the results of a recent blind tasting panel of 20 American sour beers. Cascade Kriek was the only beer to receive four stars, an accomplishment the paper noted as “rarely achieved.” The panel described the beer as “Bright, lively, tart and distinctive, with beautifully balanced flavors of sour cherries and citrus.”
The panel gave high praise to Cascade overall, noting it as a brewery that has mastered consistency with its sour beers. This marked the second time the panel has singled out Cascade; its 2010 Kriek also earned four stars in a 2011 tasting.

“We are extremely grateful for this honor and to have lightning strike twice,” stated Cascade brewmaster Ron Gansberg. “This is a testament to our people, our brewing philosophy and our process, in which our staff takes great pride in making the best sour beers possible. To be held in such high regard by this esteemed panel is an honor and exemplifies the hard work and dedication put forth by the brewers and cellar staff at Cascade Brewing.”

Added Tim Larrance, vice president sales and marketing, “To receive this kind of reception and accolade by someone of Mr. Asimov’s stature, as well as his esteemed colleagues, is truly amazing. We have always felt that our beers were something special but to have it confirmed by the New York Times panel is a great endorsement and validation that we are doing something right.”

Noting that sour beers have become “a total sensation and craze,” the panel tasted 20 beers from the United States with the beer names concealed; the beers represented a selection generally available in good retail shops, restaurants and on the internet. The panel consisted of Eric Asimov, New York Times wine critic; Matthew Pene, maître d’hôtel and beer director at Eleven Madison Park restaurant; Chase Rabenn, hospitality manager at a forthcoming restaurant for the residents of 432 Park Avenue; and Florence Fabricant, New York Times food critic.

Cascade Kriek 2014 is a blend of red ales aged in oak wine barrels with cherries for up to 14 months. Intense flavors of both sour pie and Bing cherries are supported by the rich red ale base beer with a touch of oak and hints of wood spices.

Since news broke of the ranking, bottles of 2014 Kriek have been swiftly selling at Cascade Brewing’s two retail locations, the Barrel House and the Raccoon Lodge and Brew Pub. Another four-dozen bottles will be made available for sale in-house this week, retailing for $24 apiece.

Cascade Brewing is distributed in 40 states as well as Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, UK and several countries in Europe. “The brewery already has a great network of wholesaler partners as well as retailers and consumers that continue to spread the good word about our brands,” explained Larrance. “We now look forward to bringing even more people into the world of Cascade Brewing sour beers.”

About Cascade Brewing
Cascade Brewing has been a pioneer in the sour beer renaissance since 2006 and is the proud innovator of the Northwest Sour Ale. Its award-winning sour ales feature a clean, lactic acid profile produced by a house culture of lactobacillus bacteria. The beers frequently rely on the use of fresh ingredients grown exclusively in the Pacific Northwest, including as cherries, apricots, berries and grapes. Its blending house currently holds more than 1,500 French oak, Kentucky Bourbon and Northwest wine barrels, plus nine foudres.

# # #

10 Barrel's Jamaican Me Pumpkin

  
This is the time of year when the onslaught of pumpkin beers begins. In the early years of writing this blog, I profiled a whole bunch of gourd beers (here and here). But in recent years, they'e started to bore me. In my opinion, these beers are really all about the spice—pumpkin itself lacks much flavor. However, this new release from 10 Barrel piqued my interest. Here's a snippet from the brewery:

10 Barrel’s brewers have been experimenting with the theory you could age almost anything in a Jamaican Rum Barrel and it would taste great. After barrel-aging this Imperial Pumpkin Ale for a full year, it turned out so good that we decided to continue the aging an additional year in the bottle. With over 24 months in the cellar, this beer is maturely aged to perfection – wish we could say the same about our brewers!
Jamaican Me Pumpkin comes in at 10% ABV and is available starting this week in limited release wax-dipped 22oz bottles, only at our pubs in Bend, Boise and Portland.

Two years in a rum barrel? That sounds tasty, I may have to check this one out!  



Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook