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.


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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.

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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!  



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Home Hop Garden: August Update

I finally have hops! There has been quite a bit of progress since my June update. Surprisingly, my 1st year Centennial and Chinook bines have surpassed my 2nd year Willamette in height. Both first year plants grew past the vertical height of the twine (about 22') and flopped downward.

I water them deeply every 2 - 3 days, depending on the temperature, and use an organic fish fertilizer once a week, or so.  Regardless, the bottom 2/3 of all of the bines look quite ragged. They've dried out and lost many leaves. However, the good news is that the top of the plants, where the hops are growing, are green and lush. If anyone knows why I've lost leaves at the bottom, I'd appreciate some advice! Maybe I'm under watering them?

While the plants aren't pretty, I'm glad that my first year plants will actually produce. I expect I'll harvest them by mid-September. I think they'll give me enough for a small 3 gallon batch. I was told not to expect anything from 1st year plants, so that's a win in my book! 


From left, Centennial, Willamette, Chinook

From left, Centennial, Willamette, Chinook


1st year Chinook


Some 1st year Centennials


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Smuttynose Launches Short Weiss Series of Canned Berliner Weiss Style Ales


I love Berliner Weisse. Not too long ago, the style was nearly extinct. But in recent years, it has made had a resurgence. If you've tasted a Berliner Weisse, you might understand whyit's light and tart, and ideally suited to summer drinking and outdoor adventures. It also melds seamlessly with fruit.

Smuttynose Brewing Company recently launched its new Short Weisse series of canned Berliner Weisse style ales. The first release, Blueberry Short Weisse was released in June. Peach Short Weisse will be released this month, and Cherry Short Weisse will follow in the fall.

These beers make use of the kettle souring technique, where lactobacillus is added to the kettle at the end of the boil. Once the desired level of acidity is achieved, the kettle is fired up again to kill of the lacto and halt the souring process. Finally, yeast is pitched (in this case, German-style Weizen yeast) in the fermenter.

The brewery sent me some samples.  Here are my tasting notes.

Poured into my Luigi Bormioli Craft Beer Tester Glass. Deep crimson in color with a white head that dissipates fairly quickly. The aroma begins with a bright lactic punch, and provides a clue for what's in store. A touch of berry follows in aroma. The taste starts with a mouth puckering lactic twang. I should be more clearthis beer is sour, not tart. In the middle, notes of wheat and light bread come through. The berry reveals itself in the middle and adds a mild sweetness. It makes its presence known, but is not overdone. Blueberry Short Weiss is light bodied, softly carbonated, and finishes dry.

If you like your Berliner Weiss aggressive, this beer's is for you. While a traditional Berliner Weiss is not this sour, I found this to be a a nice change of pace.

I'm glad to see Smuttynose packaging it in a 12 ounce can. They previously packaged a series of smoked Berliner Weisse style beers in 500 ml bottles under their Smuttlabs brand. Those were great for sharing (or enjoying solo), but glass can be difficult to manager for outdoor adventures. A rotating canned Berliner Weisse will make a fine addition to their year-round lineup!


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McMenamins' Launches 16 oz. Cans of Ruby and Hammerhead


Cans have been all the rage in craft beer for the last few years. Beginning this month, McMenamins is joining the party with the launch of 16 oz. cans of longtime favorites Ruby Ale and Hammerhead Ale. Both will be available to go at all of McMenamins' 54 locations across Oregon and Washington. Both can be purchased as singles ($2.75 each) or 4-packs ($10). The brewery sent me a few samples that I'll be packing away to enjoy on an upcoming camping trip.

While Ruby and Hammerhead are the only two beers that McMenamins cans at the moment, you can stop by their 23rd Avenue Bottle Shop to pick up a custom filled Crowler of any of their draft beers or ciders.

To celebrate the launch of the cans, McMenamins wants you to show them your cans! Share a social media pic of the new cans using #McMenaCANS and @McMenamins and you'll earn a chance to win McMenamins Hammerhead overnight stays, Ruby Spa certificates, as well as other goodies. 



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2016 Organic Beer Fest Facts


The newly rechristened Organic Beer Fest (the beer imbibing event formerly known as the North American Organic Brewers Festival) opens in less than two weeks! 

To be perfectly honest, organic beerwhile it's all well and good, isn't of huge interest to me. But this festival is one of my favorites for few reasons. First, I love Overlook Park. It's ideal for a beer fest. Great views, lots of wide open spaces, and right on the MAX line. Next, this festival has a relaxed vibe unlike any other beer fest. I'm not sure how to explain it. It just is. I've never been to a hippy commune, but I imagine it would be much like this. Finally, in my opinion, it's the most family friendly beer fest in town. It's the only one that has become an annual outing for my entire family.

OK, time to get down to business... 55 fine beverages will be served for your pleasure. You'll find 49 beers, 5 ciders, and 1 mead. You can download the complete taplist here. For more festival facts, take a look at the festival's info sheet below. 


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photo by Timothy Horn


Organic Beer Fest Facts


Event Name
12th Annual Organic Beer Fest

Venue
Overlook Park
1599 N Fremont St, Portland, OR 97227 (intersection of N Fremont St & N Interstate Ave)

Dates
August 25-28, 2016

Times
Noon to 9pm Thursday through Saturday; Noon to 5pm Sunday

Admission
Admission into the event is free. The purchase of a $7 reusable, recyclable cup is required for tasting beer, as are tokens, which sell for $1 apiece. A full glass of beer costs four tokens and a three-ounce taste costs one token (select beers and ciders cost additional tokens). Patrons may receive an extra token with a validated Tri-Met ticket, a ticket from the on-site fenced Hopworks Bike Corral or with current ID showing they live in the Overlook zip code (limit one extra token per person).

Description
Designed to raise awareness about organic beer and sustainable living, the festival serves 55 organic beers, ciders and meads. There’s also live music, organic food, sustainability-oriented vendors and non-profits, a soda garden with complimentary handcrafted Crater Lake Soda for minors and designated drivers, and a kids area. The Organic Beer Fest is a family friendly event, and minors are welcome with parents. 

The festival goes beyond beer tasting by striving to be an earth-friendly beer festival. Onsite compost and recycling containers are provided at the event, along with recycling czars to make sure everything is properly sorted. Volunteers wear organic cotton and hemp t-shirts, and all event signage is reusable. Vendors at the festival promote sustainable living through their wares and services, and attendees are encouraged to take Tri-Met, walk or ride their bike to the event.

Parking
There is no parking at the event, attendees must park in the nearby Overlook neighborhood. We strongly ask attendees to use Tri-Met or bike or walk to the event. If they must drive, we ask them to be considerate of the neighborhood while attending the event – park politely, don’t litter, and keep the noise level down.

Mass Transit
The Interstate MAX/Yellow Line "Overlook Park" Station is directly across from Overlook Park and is the second stop from the Rose Quarter transit mall, heading north. 

Contact
Twitter: @OrganicBeerFest
Instagram: @OrganicBeerFest
Hashtag: #OrganicBF16


Stone Brewing Announces Stone Hotel

Greg Koch, Stone Brewing founder, has long talked about opening up a hotel. Just today, the brewery announced that Stone Hotel will soon be a reality. The hotel will be owned, constructed, and managed by an external entity and will operate with an exclusive license agreement with Stone. 

I expect amenities such as free beer upon check-in and growler delivery service will appeal to beer geeks! For more details, check out the news release below.


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Stone Brewing and Untitled Hospitality Announce Stone Hotel To Break Ground In North San Diego County
Specialty brewery hotel to debut in early 2018

ESCONDIDO, CA (August 11, 2016) – Stone Brewing, the 10th largest craft brewery in the United States, and San Diego-based hospitality collective, Untitled Hospitality, announce their partnership to develop Stone Hotel — the companies’ first-ever brewery hotel. The concept aims to open in the first quarter of 2018 and will be constructed, owned and managed by Untitled Hospitality through an exclusive license agreement. Located on thirteen acres of land adjacent to Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido, the Stone Hotel will offer an all-encompassing experience with amenities to captivate craft beer enthusiasts and novices alike, alongside the usual healthy dose of Stone’s disregard for convention.

Guests to Stone Hotel will delight in a craft beer experience complete from the moment of arrival. An inlay on the hotel’s driveway artistically displays beer flowing from a tap at the top of the driveway down to Citracado Parkway. Alongside rare historical Stone memorabilia, the watchful eye of the gargoyle will be discretely on guard throughout the hotel, and Stone beers will be available upon a moment’s notice. In addition to the normally incredibly wide array of Stone beers that will be on tap, archive special release beers and unique casks will be periodically tapped at the three on-site bars. Hotel amenities will be equally beer centric, epitomized by the availability of a complimentary Stone beer immediately upon check-in and in-room growler delivery service. Stone Hotel will mirror the philosophy of all Stone projects, exhibiting a high level of creativity and wow factor, ultimately creating a memorable, true craft beer experience.

The concept and inspiration for Stone Hotel comes from Stone co-founders, Greg Koch and Steve Wagner. Having founded the brewery in 1996 the team has made an incredible impact on the growth and evolution of the craft beer movement worldwide. One of the largest craft breweries in the country, Stone employs more than 1,200 team members and is committed to remaining independent in this era of craft beer sell-outs. Now in 2016, Koch and Wagner have selected Untitled Hospitality for the development of the Stone Hotel brand. Untitled Hospitality was founded by CEO Robert Cartwright who boasts more than 20 years of experience in operations and business development for leading global hotel and leisure companies, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Hilton, Marriott, Intercontinental Hotel Group and Key Hospitality Group. Alongside President and Chief Development Officer, Dan Klunk, and Vice President of Operations, Hopi Stradling, Cartwright has built Untitled Hospitality on the foundation of collaborating, sharing, and galvanizing the creative process to fashion uncommon hotels that celebrate each concept’s unique history, location, experience and design. Through a joint venture, Untitled will partner with prominent San Diego developer McMillin LLC to build-out the Stone Hotel property. 

“You can’t rush a good thing,” said Koch. “After originally envisioning a hotel on the property more than six years ago, we had put the project on permanent hold due to our need to focus on our core obsession of brewing. When Robert and Untitled Hospitality approached us with the idea of them taking the ball and running with it, we found a partner who was fully engaged in the idea of executing on the Stone ideals, ethos and creativity. Years of thought have gone into the development of Stone Hotel and it will be reflected throughout every corner of the place. I can’t wait to give our fans this amazing extension of the Stone experience.”

Designing the $26 million, 100,000 square foot build-out is one of the most prolific names in interior design, Paul Basile of BASILE Studio. The San Diego-based designer is credited for his ability to custom build progressive commercial, hospitality and retail projects with an exhaustive attention to detailed craftsmanship.

The design of Stone Hotel will be far from ordinary, offering a wide variety of unique guest experiences ranging from a bar-style lobby check-in to oversized guestrooms, all in excess of 375 square-feet. Underscoring Stone’s environmental sustainability efforts, each of the 99 rooms, including 6 suites, will utilize state-of-the-art energy efficiency and water saving features. Rooms will incorporate signature BASILE Studio details such as custom designed furniture and floor-to-ceiling window systems, which flip open to an expansive balcony, providing an open-air in-room experience. Stone Hotel’s event facilities will comprise of an 8,000 square-foot ballroom, a 10,000 square-foot rooftop garden located adjacent to the pool deck, as well as nearly an acre of outdoor event space.

Guests to Stone Hotel will enjoy extended perks beyond their overnight stay, with access to the hotel’s expansive fitness center, walking trails surrounding the property, and priority seating at the ever-popular Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido, located directly across the street. The hotel will also provide guests with a unique culinary experience to complement that of the neighboring Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido.

Stone Hotel will be located at 1990 Citracado Parkway in Escondido, California. For more information about Stone Hotel, visit stonebrewinghotel.com.




Widmer Brothers' Innovation Brewery


Are you into small batch beers? The Widmer Brothers name doesn't come quickly to mind when thinking of small batch beers. But that's precisely the focus of Widmer Brothers Innovation Brewery. Newly relocated from the Rose Quarter to Widmer Brothers' location on North Russell St., the Innovation Brewery focuses on small batch, specialty, and collaboration brews.

Better yet, you can pick up a custom-filled crowler of these beers at the adjacent Widmer Brothers Pub. You can even leave feedback about the beers that will be shared with the brewers! For more details, please see the news release below.


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NEW WIDMER BROTHERS INNOVATION BREWERY NOW ON LINE
Widmer Brothers Introduces New Small-Batch Brewery at the Pub, Crowler-Fill Station, Customer Feedback Program

PORTLAND, Ore. (August 9, 2016) – Exciting collaborations and new experimental beers are in the works at Widmer Brothers’ new Innovation Brewery, which is now brewing small-batch beers on site at Widmer Brothers’ main campus on North Russell Street.

With the new Innovation Brewery, the Widmer Brothers brewing team will continue its long tradition of experimentation, research and development with small-batch beers. The small-batch brewery was located at the Rose Quarter for the last several years, but now has returned to the brewery’s Russell Street location in a space attached to the Widmer Brothers Pub under the direction of Innovation Brewmaster Tom Bleigh.

“I’m thrilled to be part of a team with a tradition of excellence here at Widmer Brothers,” said Bleigh, who came to Widmer Brothers from Hopworks Urban Brewery, where he was director of brewery operations. “At the end of the day, I get to work with a team of incredibly talented individuals trying to create and enjoy what we are doing, and make the highest quality beer all at the same time.”

In the spring of 2015, Widmer Brothers Brewing announced a $10 million investment to expand its brewery on North Russell Street to 750,000 barrels and build a new state-of-the-art 10-barrel Innovation Brewery adjacent to its brewpub. Windows from the brewpub give guests a unique opportunity to watch Widmer Brothers brewers at work, while enjoying the latest offerings in the pub.

“It’s important to me personally that every one of our guests at the pub is served the freshest Widmer Brothers beer they will find anywhere,” said Rob Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers Brewing. “And, with the unveiling of our new state-of-the-art Innovation Brewery every guest can expect to find old favorites along with delicious new beers as we continue to explore the world of beer.”

It’s at the Innovation Brewery where Bleigh and the Widmer Brothers brewers create single-batch beers, as well as collaborate with others in the food and beverage industry on specialty brews. The small-batch beers will primarily be available at Widmer Brothers Pub, as well as at select bars and restaurants around Portland.

“We have some incredible collaborations out of the gate,” Bleigh said in reference to several beers that are in the works and expected to be released this summer.

Among the highlights of the first batch of collaborations:
  • Widmer Brothers teamed with noted soccer bar Bazi Bierbrasserie and owner Hilda Stevens to make a Kölsch for the American Outlaws supporter group that will be served at Bazi during Olympic soccer matches.
  • Widmer Brothers is working with heavy hitters in the food and beer industry, Charlie Devereux (formerly of Double Mountain) and Rodney Muirhead of Podnah’s Pit, for a collaboration brew with Wayfinder, the new brewery from Muirhead, Devereux and Sizzle Pie Owner Matt Jacobson. Supergeil, a traditional Festbier with a brilliant, light orange color and biscuit malt flavor, will be released in the coming weeks.
  • Widmer Brothers also worked with the brewing team at Japan’s North Island Beer, who was in Portland for the Oregon Brewers Festival, on a unique convergence of styles with a Wit-style CDA called NXNW, which will also be tapped soon.   

In addition to ongoing collaborations and small batch/specialty beers at Widmer Brothers’ Innovation Brewery, the Widmer Brothers Pub has introduced a new way for fans to bring home some these limited release beers. Widmer Brothers is now offering Crowlers, which are 32-ounce cans filled and sealed to order with fresh beer from the tap. Pub patrons can get their favorite small-batch beers canned on site, or get the freshest Widmer Brothers’ mainstay beers, such as Alt or Hefe, canned to go.

Additionally, the bar at the Pub will soon feature two iPads that will allow pub goers to offer direct customer feedback on beer. The same system used by Widmer Brothers’ tasting panel will be available to customers, and input will be directly available to brewers, who can consider feedback for future batches. This new system will truly make fans of the brewery part of new beer development and Widmer Brothers’ quality department.

For more information on Widmer Brothers Brewing, visit widmerbrothers.com or see what the brewery is up to on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


About Widmer Brothers Brewing

Widmer Brothers Brewing helped create the Pacific Northwest craft beer movement in 1984 when founders Kurt and Rob Widmer, then in their 20s, began brewing unique interpretations of traditional German beer styles. In 1986, Widmer Brothers Brewing introduced the original American-style Hefeweizen, which elevated the brewery to national acclaim. Since then, the brewery’s iconic Hefe, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2016, has grown to become Oregon’s favorite craft beer. For more than three decades, Widmer Brothers has continued to push the boundaries of craft beer. Based in Portland, Oregon, the brewery currently brews a variety of beers including Hefe, Upheaval IPA, Steel Bridge Porter, Drop Top Amber, Replay IPA, and a full seasonal lineup. Additionally, the brewery continues to make a series of limited edition, small-batch beers available in Oregon and at the Widmer Brothers Pub in North Portland.

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August - October Northwest Beer Festival Calendar

   
Summer may be starting to wind down, but there are still a lot of great beer festivals in store during the month of August! One of my favorite events, the Organic Beer Festival (formerly known as the North American Organic Beer Festival) will be held at the end of the month.

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 August - October. Check out my Beer Festival Schedule page for updates.


August
  • August 12-14:  Vancouver Brewfest, Vancouver, WA    website
  • August 13:  The Beer Stein Invitational Beer Fest, Eugene    website
  • August 18-20:  Bend Brewfest, Bend    website
  • August 20:  Alesong Inaugural Bottle Release & Brewery Opening, Eugene    websitearticle  
  • August 20:  21st Annual Lighthouse Brewfest @ McMenamins, Lincoln City    website
  • August 25-28:  Organic Beerfest, Portland   website2015 recap
  • August 27:  Beaverton Craft Beer Festival, Beaverton    website 
  • August 27-28:  IIPA Fest @ Saraveza, Portland    website


September
  • September 10:  Gold Beach Brew & Art Fest, Gold Beach    website 
  • September 10:  Septembeerfest, Corvalis    website 
  • September 15-18:  Mount Angel Oktoberfest, Mount Angel    website 
  • September 17:  19th Annual Mid Valley Brewfest @ McMenamins, Eugene    website 
  • September 16-18:  Southern Oregon Brewfest, Central Point    website 
  • September 24:  Hood River Fresh Hops Fest, Hood River   website 
  • September 30 - October 1:  Portland Fresh Hops Fest, Portland   website 
  • Hopworks Handmade Bike & Beer Festival   website2014 recap
  • Sisters Fresh Hop Festival    website  

October
  • October 8:  Umpqua Brewfest, Roseburg    website   
  • October 8:  Peche Fest @ Saraveza, Portland    website  
  • October 8:  Elysian Great Pumpkin Beer Fest, Seattle    website  
  • October 15:  Killer Pumpkin Festival @ Green Dragon, Portland    website  
  • October 15:  Willamette Week's 4th Annual Beer Pro / Am, Portland    website
  • Octoberfest @ Widmer Brothers Brewing, Portland
  • Brewpublic Killer Beer Fest @ Bailey's Taproom, Portland


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Altabira City Tavern: Fall Beer Dinners


Have you heard of Altabira? I hadn'tuntil I attended a a Media Dinner in June at Altabira City Tavern. Located in the Lloyd District atop the Eastlund Building, Altabira is on the MAX line and is a short walk from the Moda Center and the Oregon Convention Center. Altabira boasts beautiful views, a huge outdoor patio, as well as plenty of indoor seating. 



First, let's talk beer...  Altabira has 16 taps (14 beers and two ciders). The selection does not rotate frequently, but features a solid lineup of mostly Oregon breweries. If beer's not your thing, they also feature a full bar with wine and specialty cocktails.

Chef Luis Escorcia

While I'm all about the beer, Altabira's food is what truly impressed me. Chef Luis Escorcia prepared a diverse and expansive beer pairing menu for us. Chef Escorcia describes his food as "playful" and endeavors to "make it beautiful, and taste even better." After tasting the food, I must say—mission accomplished.

Rather than describe the food, I'll let my pictures do the talking.  If you think this food looks good, you should consider attending one of Altabira's fall beer dinners featuring The Commons, pFriem Family Brewers, and Worthy Brewing.  Details are at the end of the post.  

Now, back to dinner...


First Course, paired with The Commons Brewery Urban Farmhouse Ale

Fresh Baked Pretzel w/ Pimento Cheese & Beer Mustard

Grilled Levain Bread w/ Urban Farmhouse Mussels



Second Course paired with Ecliptic Brewing Zenith Grapefuit Gose 

Fava Bean and Strawberry Salad w/ Pea Tendrils, Pecorino, & Lemon Vinaigrette

Salmon Pastrami w/ Poached Asparagus Salad and Crème Fraiche Sauce Grabiche



Third Course paired with pFriem Family Brewers Pilsner 

Pork and Lemongrass Skewers w/ Pickled Papaya Salad and Crispy Shallots

House Made Charcuterie: Truffle Head Cheese, Country Pate & Chicken Liver Mousse



Fourth Course paired with Double Mountain Dry-Hopped Pale Ale

Roasted Wild Salmon w/ Braised Baby Artichokes, Morel Mushrooms, Lemon & Herbs

Baked Macaroni & Cheese w/ Peas, Wild Mushrooms, Leeks & Herb Breadcrumbs


Closing with an impromptu dessert course...



As you can see, it was an incredible dinner!  If you're looking for a scenic place to enjoy a beer, accompanied by elevated food, consider making a trip to Altabira!



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ALTABIRA CITY TAVERN ANNOUNCES DATES FOR FALL BEER DINNERS
Save the Date for Autumnal Dinners Paired with Some of Oregon’s Best Craft Brewers

PORTLAND, Ore. August 1, 2016 – Living up to its reputation as one of Portland's most popular beer-centric restaurants, Altabira has announced dates for its fall beer dinners.  Reservations are now open for monthly dinners in collaboration with craft brewers from around the state.  Guests will enjoy a 4-course gastropub-style menu prepared by chef de cuisine Luis Escorcia, paired with craft beers from the featured brewery.  Dates are:

Wednesday, September 28th - Commons Brewery
Wednesday, October 19th - Pfriem Brewery
Wednesday, November 9th - Worthy Brewery

Each dinner will follow the same format:

Reception at 6:30 PM
4-course dinner 7:00-9:00 PM
20 seats available
$75 per person, drinks, food and gratuity included

Reservations may be made by calling the restaurant at (503) 963-3600.

Altabira City Tavern offers regional American cuisine focused on updated classic dishes with
16 taps of local craft beers, select Northwest wines, and locally distilled spirits. The restaurant and bar is open for lunch and dinner in a modern setting with large floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of Portland’s downtown skyline and inner eastside. For more information and menu, please visit www.altabira.com.