Oregon Fruit Products & Breakside Brewery's Fruitful Colloboration

When I was a kid, growing up in the Midwest, I knew nothing about Oregon. Well, almost nothing. My awareness of Beaver State was limited to seeing Oregon Fruit Co.'s colorful cans at the local grocery store.

So many years later, I was excited to see the press release belowespecially since I enjoy homebrewing with fruit. My first attempts (sour cherry ale and sour blackberry ale), were made with fresh fruit and I'm intrigued by the possibility of using aseptic canned fruit.

Even better, OFP has partnered with Breakside Brewery to produce three beers that sound amazing! I need to get my hands on these. If you have any experience using OFP (or other) canned fruit in your homebrews, I'd appreciate hearing about your results!   

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April 7, 2014 - Oregon Fruit Products (Salem, Oregon), national leaders in aseptic fruit purees for brewing, recently collaborated with Portland, Oregon's Breakside Brewery on a project to better understand brewers needs and how they use fruit. With Breakside's help, we developed three innovative fruit beers with our premium purees that showcase the diversity, ease of use and high quality of our product for use in beer styles of increasing popularity. See the “making of” video at http://youtu.be/JGJZRy1bMLY.

Oregon Fruit Products sells purees to brewers of beer, cider and mead nationally, but identified Breakside Brewery as an innovative regional brewer and offered our product in exchange for their knowledge. Initially the goal was to develop fruit beers for the Craft Brewers Convention in Denver, CO from April 7-10th, but soon realized the project would have a farther reaching impact.

Oregon Fruit Products’ objective was to explore how brewers use our fruit purees. We have a product tailored for brewers’ needs, but beyond a pedestrian fruit beer, what potential is there for craft brewers? With Breakside Head Brewer Ben Edmunds’ inspiring ideas, OFP got a firsthand look at the innovation involved in the burgeoning fruit beer category. Each beer was created to highlight the fruit and berries and explore the styles that Breakside does so well. We were involved in the craft brewing process from concept to glass...with these respected craftsmen.

The Fruits of our Labor
  • Gooseberry Tart Wheat - Enjoy this traditional American wheat beer made sour with the natural tartness of Oregon gooseberry puree added after fermentation.
  • Barrel-Aged Blackberry Baltic Porter - The Blackberry puree in this brew was added to the barrel for finishing, contributing rich, fruit complexity to the porter.
  • Sour Cherry Brett Kriek - This strong ale was fermented with a proprietary blend of “wild” yeast. Both red tart and dark sweet cherry purees were added during and after fermentation for color, flavor and acidity.

Visit our updated web site at www.FruitForBrewing.com with more information and ideas about brewing with fruit.
About Oregon Fruit Products
Oregon Fruit Products has been producing fruit purees for decades in our Salem, Oregon facility. The company is over 75 years old and is the #1 branded specialty fruit in the canned grocery aisle. Oregon Fruit Products began selling to the brewing segment when craft and microbrewing first emerged over 25 years ago – and has expanded to become a leading national supplier to this growing beverage segment. We are constantly striving to provide more than just product to our customers - providing knowledge and practical application support.

BridgePort Trilogy 2 Revealed: Aussie Salute IPA

Today, BridgePort Brewing Co. revealed the next installment in their 30th Anniversary Trilogy Series. Aussie Salute IPA, brewed in collaboration with the creator of BridgePort IPA, will be dry-hopped with Australian hop varieties. Here are the details from the brewery:



This new release will be available from May to July.  Until then, don’t miss the opportunity to sample (or stock up on) BridgePort Trilogy 1.   

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ZigZag River Lager Returns as a Portland Brewing Year-Round Release

Last year, Portland Brewing brought ZigZag River Lager back from the beer archives and released it as a summer seasonal. I profiled it in August and you can see my full review here

The brewery just announced that ZigZag is making its return as a year-round release. In terms of lagers, I think it's a great choice for year-round drinking. It has a solid malt presence that isn't found in many summer lagers. At 5.1% ABV, it's nearly a session beer. Check out the details in the news release below.

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Portland Brewing Adds ZigZag River Lager To Its Year-Round Beer Selection
Another Portland Original To Continuously Flow From Taps And Bottles

PORTLAND, Ore. (March 31, 2014) — The Zigzag is a river for all seasons. It flows down from the snow-covered ski slopes of Mount Hood through spring alpine flowers to the swimming holes and summer playgrounds of Portland. Portland Brewing, known for its all-season's MacTarnahan’s Amber, is now offering a refreshing, easy-drinking beer served year-round and inspired by this ever-active river: Portland Brewing's ZigZag River Lager.

ZigZag’s delightful crispness comes from 2-Row Pale, Munich, and a touch of Wheat malts along with Nugget and Tettnang hops. The result is a refreshing German-style lager with an ABV of 5.1% and 25 IBUs. This brew is easily enjoyed on the sunny banks of the Sandy or while hiking a trail near the Zigzag River itself.

“As spring advances towards summer, it’s great to make ZigZag available to pair with the start of backyard barbeque season, family camping trips, sunny afternoons at the beer garden, or a day of fishing on the river,” says Portland Brewing head brewer Ryan Pappe. “The maltiness of Munich is unique in that it can come across as bread or toast with hints of caramel, but not as heavy on the tongue as the caramel malts that are common in many ales. The cool lager fermentation and cold conditioning keeps the beer light and quenching despite its sweet maltiness, and the judicious use of spicy Tettnang hops provide a nice balance as well, cutting through the sweetness, leaving a very smooth finish.”

ZigZag River Lager is available year-round in stores, bottle shops, and the Portland Brewing Company Taproom in 22 oz. bottles, 12 oz. 6-packs, and on draft. Find ZigZag River Lager and other Portland Brewing favorites through the beer finder at http://www.portlandbrewing.com/finder/.

About Portland Brewing
Founded in 1986 by craft brewing pioneers, Portland Brewing was a forerunner of the Portland craft beer movement. Driven by a love for brewing great beer for the people of Portland, Ore. and beyond, Portland Brewing is committed to delivering the best every time. From unique small batches, to seasonal brews and new year-round offerings, beer drinkers can expect variety, innovation, quality and great-tasting beer in 2014 from a company that, simply, brews with a passion for beer. Portland Brewing is located at 2730 NW 31st Ave., Portland, OR 97210. For more information about Portland Brewing Company, head to the website, Facebook and Twitter.

27th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival Adds a Taste of Europe

Time to start planning. There are just 110 days until the start of the 27th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival! In a festival first, twelve European brewers (11 from the Netherlands and 1 from Germany) will join the festivities and bring us their beer from across the Atlantic.

The event runs from July 23 - 27.  I'll be there on opening day.  For the full details, check out the OBF press release below.

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Oregon Brewers Festival toasts 27th year of celebrating craft beer, adds a dozen European brewers to the mix
85,000 beer lovers from around the world will take part in the annual celebration of craft beer

PORTLAND, Ore. — On a sun-soaked July afternoon, there’s no better place to sip suds with friends than the Oregon Brewers Festival, one of the nation's longest-running and best-loved craft beer festivals. Nearly 85,000 fans will travel from around the world to take part in the 27th annual event, which will run July 23 through July 27 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. Event hours are Noon to 9pm Wed. through Sat., and Noon to 7pm Sunday.

Admission into the festival grounds is free. In order to consume beer, purchase of a 2014 souvenir 12.8-ounce tasting glass is required and costs $7. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens, which cost $1 apiece. Patrons pay four tokens for a full glass of beer, or one token for a taste. There are no advance tickets sold to the festival; all purchases are made on-site.

In the main tents, the Oregon Brewers Festival will serve up more than 30 beer styles from 86 craft breweries from around the country; there are 88 different beers served, one per brewery plus two gluten-free offerings. From Belgians to Braggots, Pales to Porters, Radlers to Reds and Sessions to Saisons, there’s a style for nearly every palate.

New this year, the Oregon Brewers Festival has invited eleven brewers from the Netherlands plus one from Germany to send over their beer to be featured in the festival’s Specialty Tent, an area where an additional four-dozen vintage, barrel aged, blends and esoteric one-offs are offered. The festival is also flying over the European brewers, who will be available for daily meet the brewer sessions at the event.

Dubbed NL to PDX (#NLtoPDX), the program started when festival director Art Larrance learned that Portland has a Friendship City relationship with the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Upon visiting, he discovered a growing craft brewing movement that reminded him of the Northwest craft beer industry in the 1980s; brewers who are just beginning to explore new flavors and styles.

“Featuring international brewers is a natural extension for the OBF,” explained Larrance. “We want to develop a long term cultural exchange and share our passion, knowledge and friendship with these brewers as part of a collective celebration of great craft beer.”

The Oregon Brewers Festival is first and foremost a celebration of beer, but the event also features five days of live music, food booths, craft vendors, homebrew demonstrations and industry displays. The Crater Lake Root Beer Garden provides complimentary handcrafted root beer to minors and designated drivers; minors are allowed into the event when accompanied by a parent.

The OBF encourages responsible drinking and urges patrons to take the Tri-Met MAX Light Rail, which has a station just one block away from the main entrance. Attendees can also take advantage of the Hopworks Bike Corral, where volunteers from Rotary Club of Portland–Westside’s Cycling 2 Serve Fellowship will watch over bikes for free (donations will benefit Rotary International’s “End Polio Now” efforts to eradicate polio worldwide).

For a complete list of participating breweries and additional information, visit www.oregonbrewfest.com.

The Oregon Brewers Festival was founded in 1988 as an opportunity to expose the public to microbrews at a time when the craft brewing industry was just getting off the ground. Today, that industry has flourished, especially in Oregon, which currently has 166 brewing companies operating 207 brewing facilities in 66 cities in Oregon. Portland alone has 53 breweries — more than any other city in the world. The Portland metropolitan area is the largest craft brewing market in the US with the most number of breweries at 73. A study conducted at the 2013 Oregon Brewer Festival estimated the economic impact of the festival on the local economy to be $31.2 Million; it also showed that out-of-state and international visitors accounted for 52.5 percent of attendees. For more information about the Oregon Brewers Festival, visit www.oregonbrewfest.com.

Widmer's 30th Anniversary: A History Through Beer

Yesterday was a special day in Oregon beer history. Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. celebrated its 30th Anniversary! To commemorate the milestone, the brewery launched the 30 Beers for 30 Years series. The first three beers in the series, which celebrate the brewery's first three years, were released. 

If you look through the news release below, you'll learn about the brewery's early history and the serendipitous events that led to the creation of Widmer's flagship Hefeweizen. 

The 30 Beers for 30 Years releases are in very short supply. They were brewed at Widmer's Rose Quarter 20 barrel pilot system and only 20 cases of each will be available in the Portland area. Suggested retail price is $4.99 each. 

If you see these bottles in the wild, don't hesitate to pick them up!  Prost to the brothers Widmer for 30 excellent years and countless beers!

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PORTLAND, Ore. – April 2, 2014 – On this day 30 years ago, brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer founded Widmer Brewing Company in Portland, Oregon. In 1984, the two brothers began cobbling together their first brewery on NW Lovejoy using a mismatched variety of reclaimed equipment, including retired dairy tanks and vessels initially intended for use in a nuclear power plant that was never built. Though they didn’t know it at the time, opening their small, hand-built brewery would help shape craft brewing history.

To celebrate this major milestone, today Widmer Brothers Brewing announced the first three beers in the anticipated 30 Beers for 30 Years Series, the brewery’s most ambitious effort to date and one of the most elaborate series of beer releases from a brewery in the United States. The three releases – Altbier, Weizenbier, and Hefeweizen – were the first three beers that the brothers brewed, and each represents one of the first three years of Widmer Brothers’ existence: 1984, 1985, and 1986, respectively.

The three beers each hold a huge place in Widmer Brothers’ history. Altbier was the first beer brewed and sold by Widmer Brewing Company. While development of the beer began in 1984, Altbier wasn’t actually released to the public until 1985 after the brothers brewed and dumped the first twelve batches. It’s a testament to Kurt and Rob’s commitment to quality; they wanted the beer to be just right, a value that’s evident in every Widmer Brothers beer and one that has helped drive the brewery’s success since the beginning.

As Kurt and Rob recall, to the beer drinking public in the mid-80s, there were essentially two styles of beer: dark- and light-colored beers. At the time, Altbier was considered too bold, too hoppy and too dark by some, so Kurt and Rob decided that they needed a lighter beer to both satisfy consumer demand and help grow the brewery. With an eye toward their German heritage, in 1985, they decided to start brewing a filtered wheat beer, Weizenbier.

The two brothers sold Altbier and Weizenbier exclusively until 1986 when the late owner of The Dublin Pub, Carl Simpson, asked if they would brew a third beer. Since they had limited resources and space, the request put Kurt and Rob in a tough position. To meet the request, they improvised, took an innovative approach and decided to leave a portion of their Weizenbier unfiltered and sell it as a Hefeweizen. Thus The Original American Hefeweizen was born, creating a completely new beer style that would become the brewery’s flagship and reshape the craft beer landscape. The rest is history.

“Looking back at these three releases puts our early days and growth of Widmer Brothers Brewing since then in perspective,” said Rob Widmer. “Like many young entrepreneurs, we were flying by the seat of our pants, and it’s truly surreal to revisit that time in our lives when Altbier, Weizenbier, and Hefeweizen were our only three offerings. I suppose it’s an understatement to say we’ve come a long way.”

Each re-release in the 30 Beers for 30 Years series is brewed in small batches to original specifications from archived recipes drawn up on notebook paper in the 80s. While Kurt and Rob were meticulous about keeping records, they didn’t necessarily take the most detailed notes.

“For these initial few releases, we were literally working from pieces of notebook paper, cross-referencing notes from various brews to figure out exactly how Kurt and Rob were brewing these beers 30 years ago,” said Ben Dobler, Widmer Brothers innovation brewer, who helped spearhead the series. “It’s a real challenge to replicate the recipes perfectly, especially when we consider the imperfections that likely made these beers great at the time. But we’re working hard to maintain the original character, intent and quality of these beers, which were extraordinary for their time.” 


1984 Altbier
Drawing inspiration from traditional German beers, Altbier was the first beer Kurt and Rob brewed when they opened Widmer Brewing Company. Often described as “ahead of its time,” Altbier was named The Oregonian’s “Beer of the Year” in 1985 by celebrated beer writer, Fred Eckhardt. The beer is still brewed in small batches and is a favorite at the Widmer Brothers pub. 5.0% ABV, 35 IBU

1985 Weizenbier
Inspired by German-style Weizens, Kurt and Rob’s take on the filtered wheat beer features a pronounced American hop profile. Weizenbier was the brewery’s second release and became the starting point for the unfiltered version, Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen. 4.9% ABV, 30 IBU

1986 Hefeweizen
When Portland’s Dublin Pub asked for a third beer offering from the Widmer Brothers (at the time, they were only brewing two styles) Kurt and Rob didn’t have the capacity to brew another new beer, so they improvised. Leaving a portion of Weizenbier unfiltered, they were able to offer a third beer, and Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen was born. 4.9% ABV, 30 IBU

Each release in the 30 Beers for 30 Years Series features label artwork by Portland-based artists. Keegan Wenkman of KeeganMeegan, Tim Weakland of Sincerely Truman, and Aaron Rayburn of AC Rayburn, created the Altbier, Weizenbier, and Hefeweizen labels, respectively. To see all three labels and to find out more information on the artists, please visit www.30beersfor30years.com.

The 30 Beers for 30 Years beers are available in extremely limited quantities. Thirty cases of each release, packaged in 22-ounce bottles, will be available only in the Portland market. Limited draught beer will be available in select markets. Interested fans will be able to try all three original versions on Thursday, April 3, at the newly remodeled Widmer Brothers Pub. In addition to releasing these three beers on Thursday, the brewery is unveiling the recent pub remodel at a public Grand Re-Opening Party. For more information, please visit www.widmerbrothers.com.

Stone Brewing Releases Project Cr(He)am Ale with Helium

Leave it to Stone Brewing Co. to go where no brewery has gone before. Most beers are infused with carbon dioxide. Some are charged with nitrogen. In an industry first, Stone has launched a helium-infused beer. Cr(He)am Ale will be released in 16 oz. cans under Stone's new Stochasticity label.

For more details, take a look at the behind-the-scenes video posted below. This is a limited release, so be sure to check it out before it floats away...

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Stone Brewing Co. Releases Next Beer in Stochasticity Project:
Stone Stochasticity Project Cr(He)am Ale with Helium

ESCONDIDO, CA (April 1, 2014) – This is what happens when a beer-obsessed scientist has free rein to create beers that push the boundaries of the craft beer industry and science alike—a beer infused with helium. Wait, what? Is that even possible? Yep. And not only did Stone Brewing Co. do it first, we did it with a cream ale and double dry-hopped it to add that extra tropical, bitter goodness one would expect of a lupulin-obsessed craft brewery. Mind blown! Starting today, Stone Stochasticity Project Cr(He)am Ale with Helium is available in 16-ounce cans at retailers, restaurants and bars in select markets nationwide.

The beer is the brainchild of Stone Quality Assurance Supervisor Rick Blankemeier. He came up with the idea for a helium-infused beer after playing around with nitro beers and thought, “What would happen if helium was added to a beer?” The idea was presented to Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele, who at first assumed it couldn’t be done. After a brief science lesson from Rick, Mitch decided it was worth a try and the beer would be perfect for the Stone Stochasticity Project.

“I think Mitch thought I had been drinking too much of the beer when I went to him with my idea of a helium ale,” said Blankemeier. “I’m really pleased with this beer. The hop aroma punches you in the nose and there is a slight tingle in the back of the throat that is unique to this brew. The ale provides the drinker with a distinctive sensory experience.”

“This beer is tasty and very strange, but in a good way,” explains Steele. “I’ve never experienced the tingly feeling in the back of my throat that the helium addition provides. I think our fans are really going to like this, and we look forward to brewing other unique beers for the Stochasticity Project.”

Despite its unique and unexpected ingredient, Stone Stochasticity Project Cr(He)am Ale with Helium is an easy-drinking session beer with light notes of toast and an effervescent floral, spicy, and strong hop character from the addition of Helga hops. Helium is introduced to the beer via a widget that activates when the can is opened, streaming helium into the beer. The result is a very smooth mouth-feel and a tickle that produces a curious effect on the drinker, unlike any other beer.

Stone Stochasticity Project Cr(He)am Ale with Helium is a refreshing beer meant to be enjoyed fresh or within 90 days to maximize the robust hop flavors and aromas. While only available for a limited time, fans will find this beer to have an everlasting effect on their palates…and psyche.

Stone Stochasticity Project Cr(He)am Ale with Helium Quick Facts

Name: Stone Stochasticity Project Cr(He)am Ale with Helium
Stats: 4.1% ABV, 75 IBUs
Availability: Limited 16-ounce cans, beginning April 1
Hops Bill: Willamette and Fuggles, dry-hopped with Helga
Special addition: Helium
Distribution: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, and WA 

Tasting notes, provided by Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele
Appearance: Deep gold with a creamy white head. When poured, the beer cascades similarly to a nitrogen-infused beer.
Aroma: Huge hop presence, lots of tropical fruit goodness from the Helga hops.
Taste: Light notes of toast and effervescent floral, spicy hop character from the addition of Helga.
Palate: A creamy, coating mouth-feel is lightened by the infusion of helium that also adds a slight tickle to the finish.
Overall: This beer is tasty and very strange, but in a good way. I’ve never experienced the tingly feeling in the back of my throat that the helium addition provides. I didn’t think it would be possible to add helium into a beer, but after Rick explained the science behind it, I thought it was a very intriguing idea and something we might be able to do something really neat with. The Stochasiticity Project is an avenue for us to explore new techniques and ingredients that might not fit our normal approach to brewing, so the helium idea perfectly dovetailed into this concept. I think our fans are really going to like this ale, and we look forward to brewing other unique beers for the Stochasticity Project.

Suggested pairings, provided by Craft Beer Ambassador "Dr." Bill Sysak
Appetizers: Pickled herring, Funyuns®, deep-fried mozzarella sticks, Blooming Onion
Soups: Cheddar, Garlic & Stone Ruination IPA Soup, beef, chicken or pork bouillon
Entrees: Vegetarian lasagna, chimichangas, cuy
Cheeses: Humboldt Fog, Kraft singles, Cheez Whiz®
Desserts: Crème brulee, Niederfranks vanilla ice cream, aged Hostess Twinkies, Heath Bar
Cigars: Dutch Masters, Swisher Sweets, White Owl Peach, blunts

Review: Upheaval IPA, Widmer Brothers Brewing

Upheaval IPA
Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. — Portland, OR

  • Style:  IPA
  • Bitterness:  85 IBU
  • ABV:  7.0%
  • Malts:  2-Row Pale, Wheat, Caramel
  • Hops:  Alchemy, Simcoe, Chinook, Willamette, Brewer's Gold, Nelson Sauvin
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle (and glass provided by brewery)

Description:  Upheaval IPA is the result of our brewers’ relentless pursuit of the perfect IPA. With more than two pounds of hops per barrel, Upheaval IPA unleashes huge hop flavor and aroma with serious bitterness and a balanced finish. Brewed with wheat, the result is a hazy, bold IPA that’s Unfiltered. Unexpected. Unapologetic. Uncompromised. — Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  Upheaval IPA is Widmer's new year-round IPA. I first learned about Upheaval back in November after listening to the Craft Brew Alliance 3rd quarter earnings call. Based on management's comments, I hypothesized the end of the Rotator IPA Series. When Widmer formally announced the launch of Upheaval last month, they confirmed the end of Rotator. 

The tasting:  Golden in color, hazy, with a white head that dissipates slowly. Aroma is full of tropical fruit (mango and guava), in addition to grapefruit and a bit of pine. Taste starts with grapefruit. In the middle, a light biscuit malt flavor pokes through the hop bitterness. Overall bitterness is fairly high, but does not dominate. Upheaval IPAs just light to medium bodied, moderately carbonated and finishes with lingering grapefruit hop bitterness and a touch of alcohol.

4 star.  Really Good! I want this again!  I enjoyed Upheaval. It's a solid IPA, and I expect it will do well as Widmer's flagship IPA. The challenge is that craft beer drinkers are fickle. While this is a fine beer, I wonder how long it will live. The beauty of the Rotator Series was that it frequently offered sometime new. I imagine Rotator was a costly proposition for Widmer Brothers given the frequent changeovers and SKU management. However, it made a very appealing offering. Time will tell how long Upheaval lasts. I hope it's a long time...

What do you think of Widmer's Upheaval IPA?  Will you miss the Rotator Series?   

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Oregon Garden Brewfest '14: The Taplist

The Oregon Garden Brewfest just released the taplist for their 10th annual event. The festival will be held April 25-27, at The Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon. This will be a great opportunity for you to sample from 130 different beers, ciders, and meads. Many of Portland's beer festivals tend to feature limited release beers. Most of OBG's selections are widely available. So if you try something you like, it should be easy to find it after the fest is over.

On the evening before the festival starts (April 24), a six-course Brewers Tasting Dinner will be held. To get an idea of what to expect, take a look at my recap of the 2012 Brewers Tasting Dinnner. A few tickets to this year's tasting dinner are still available.

For the full taplist and all the details, including hotel packages, check out the press release below.

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Oregon Garden Brewfest Announces Beer Lineup
for 10th Annual Spring Event
Northwest’s most scenic beer festival features beers & ciders from 65 breweries

SILVERTON, Ore. — The Oregon Garden Brewfest presented by Growl Movement – the Northwest’s most scenic beer festival – has released the lineup for its 10th annual event, taking place April 25 through 27 at The Oregon Garden in historic Silverton. A record 65 breweries will each feature two products, for a total of 130 beers, ciders and mead. Event hours are Noon to 11pm Friday & Saturday, and Noon to 5pm Sunday. The festival also features live music from regional bands and food vendors, as well as a Brewers Tasting Dinner and a Brewfest Brunch Buffet.

Advance admission includes a one-day ticket for $15 that features a tasting glass and five tasting tickets; a three-day ticket for $35 that includes a tasting glass and 10 tasting tickets; and a VIP ticket for $50 that includes three-day admission, a tasting glass, 35 tasting tickets, a souvenir T-shirt and a food voucher. Designated drivers pay a cover charge of $5 and receive a bottled water. The Oregon Garden Brewfest is for ages 21 and over on Friday and Saturday; minors are welcome all hours on Sunday, cost is $5 for minors ages 5 to 20. Advance tickets are available at www.oregongarden.org/events/brewfest/.

Once inside, a full glass of beer costs four tickets, and a taster costs one ticket. Additional tasting tickets may be purchased for $1 apiece. The event is cash only, with an ATM on-site. Parking at The Oregon Garden is $5 per car; free shuttles will be available to various locations in town.  A shuttle is also available from AleWays Brewery Tours, leaving from The Grand Hotel in Salem for $15 per round-trip. There is limited availability on the shuttle, and advance tickets can be purchased online at www.eventbrite.com.

This year’s participating breweries & beers include:
  • 10 Barrel Brewing Co: Project Failed Red & Pub Beer
  • 2 Towns Ciderhouse: Cherry Bl'awesome & Serious Scrump
  • 21st Amendment Brewery: Hell or High Watermelon Wheat & Brew Free or Die IPA
  • 7 Devils Brewing Co: Blacklock Oat Porter & Lighthouse Session Ale
  • Alameda Brewing Co: Yellow Wolf & P-Town Pilsner
  • Amnesia Brewing: Damnesia IPA & Crystal Red
  • Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits: Sculpin IPA & Calico Amber
  • Base Camp Brewing Co: Ripstop Rye Pils & Lost Meridian Wit
  • Blue Moon Brewing Co: Blue Moon Belgian-Style White Ale & Blue Moon Valencia Amber Ale
  • Boring Brewing Co: Big Yawn IPA & Hot Scotch
  • BridgePort Brewing Co: Trilogy 1 & Mettle and Mash Series
  • Cascade Brewing: Oblique Black and White Coffee Stout & Raspberry Wheat
  • Coronado Brewing Co: Islander IPA & Orange Avenue Wit
  • Crispin Cider: Crispin Cider & Fox Barrel Blackberry Pear
  • Crux Fermentation Project: Outcast IPA & Half Hitch Mosaic Imperial IPA
  • Deluxe Brewing Co: Deluxe Resurrection & Pure Sin
  • Double Mountain Brewery: Kolsch & Hop Lava
  • Eel River Brewing Co: California Blonde & Organic IPA
  • Elysian Brewing Co: Super Fuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale & Immortal IPA
  • Falling Sky Brewing: TBA
  • Feckin Irish Brewing Co: Feckin Stoned & Irish Oatmeal Porter
  • Firestone Walker Brewing Co: TBA
  • Fish Brewing Co: Organic Amber Ale & Hodgson's Bitter End IPA
  • Flat Tail Brewing: Tailgater  & 6 am Stout
  • Fort George Brewery: Suicide Squeeze IPA & Divinity
  • Georgetown Brewing Co: Manny's Pale Ale & Lucille IPA
  • Gigantic Brewing: Gigantic IPA & Firebird
  • Gilgamesh Brewing: Mamba & Oedipus
  • Golden Valley Brewery: Geist Bock & Bald Peak IPA
  • GoodLife Brewing Co: Comatose Imperial IPA & Sweet As Pacific Ale
  • Goose Island: Goose Island 312 & Goose Island India Pale Ale
  • Hop Valley Brewing Co: Citrus Mistress IPA & Hop Valley Pale Ale
  • Hopworks Urban Brewery: TBA
  • Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co: Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy & Leinenkugel's Big Eddy Imperial IPA
  • Kells Brew Pub: Kells Irish Style Red & Miley Citrus India Session Lager
  • Lagunitas Brewing Co: IPA & Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale
  • Laurelwood Brewing Co: Laurelweizen & Free Range Red
  • Logsdon Organic Farm Brewery: TBA
  • Mazama Brewing: TBA
  • Nectar Creek Honeywine: Ginger Session Mead & Raspberry Session Mead
  • New Belgium Brewing: Snap Shot & Spring Blond
  • Ninkasi Brewing: Spring Reign & Pravda Pils
  • Oakshire Brewing: Watershed IPA & Smokin Hell
  • Old Town Brewing Co: TBA
  • Oskar Blues Brewery: Dale's Pale Ale & G'Knight
  • Pelican Brewing Co: The Governor & TBA
  • Plank Town Brewing Co: Reggie English IPA & Odd Fellow Wit
  • Portland Cider Co: Kinda Dry & Sorta Sweet
  • RAM Brewery: Jimmy Hoppa's IPA & Big Horn Hefeweizen
  • Reverend Nat's Hard Cider: Hallelujah Hopricot & Revelation Newtown Pippin
  • Rusty Truck Brewing Co: TBA
  • Salem Ale Works: Misery Whip IPA & Hootenanny Honey Basil
  • Santiam Brewing: Pirate Stout & Spitfire
  • Sasquatch Brewery: Oregon Session Ale & Celilo CDA
  • Seven Brides Brewing: TBA
  • Shock Top: Shock Top Belgian White & Shock Top honey bourbon Cask Wheat
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Co: Hoptimum & Ovila Saison with Mandarins and peppercorns
  • Silver Moon Brewing: Voodoo Dog ISR & Nelson The Spacefish IPA
  • Stella Artois: Stella Artois & Stella Artois Cidre
  • Stone Brewing Co: TBA
  • Twisted Snout Brewery: Razorback RyePA & Raspberry Truffle
  • Uptown Market Brewery: Uptown Session Ale & Stop Work Stout
  • Vagabond Brewing: Wild Ride & Down and Out Stout
  • Wandering Aengus Ciderworks: Anthem hops & Anthem Cherry
  • Woodchuck Hard Cider Co: Woodchuck Hard Cider & Woodchuck Hard Cider

A Brewers Tasting Dinner takes place on Thursday, April 24 at 7 pm in the Oregon Garden Resort and features a six-course dinner paired with beer tastings from selected participating brewers, including BridgePort Brewing, Cascade Brewing, Golden Valley Brewing, Rusty Truck Brewing, Salem Ale Works and Stone Brewing. Tickets cost $45 and are extremely limited; they are available at www.eventbrite.com.

New this year is a Brewfest Brunch Buffet, hosted by Seven Brides Brewing, that will take place at the brewery at 990 N 1st St in Silverton on Friday, April 25 from 9am to 1pm. Tickets are $20 and available at www.eventbrite.com.

Overnight packages are available at the Oregon Garden Resort and The Grand Hotel in Salem. Sponsors of the Oregon Garden Brewfest include Growl Movement, Venti’s Café + Basement Bar, The Gallon House, Wave Broadband, Portland General Electric, Pepsi, Renewal by Andersen, The Oregonian and Oregon Beer Growler. Follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter (#ogbf) for the latest updates. For more information, visit www.oregongarden.org/events/brewfest/

Oregon Garden Brewfest '14: April 25-27, Save the Date

The 10th Annual Oregon Garden Brewfest will be held April 25-27 in Silverton, OR.  While Oregon's got plenty of brewfests, OGB has the most incredible venue! The festival grounds are held on an 80 acre botanical garden that is home to the only Frank Lloyd house in Oregon. For those who aren't into beer, OGB also features a nice selection of hard ciders.

I attended for the first time two years ago. Check out my '12 OGB recap to get a glimpse of The Oregon Garden and the Brewfest. I'll share more details of the event as they become available. But for now, consider saving the date on your beer calendar...

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Stone Wants To Be Your Go To IPA

Stone Brewing Co. is well known for big, hoppy beersespecially their IPAs. In the past, I've written about Stone IPA, Stone Ruination IPA, and most recently the ultra-fresh Stone Enjoy By IPA. Since there's no such thing as too many IPAs, they've just released Go To IPA.

A few interesting tidbits about Go To IPA.  First, it's a new year-round release that will be available in 12 oz. six-packs, cases, and on draft. It's not replacing any beers in the Stone lineup. Second, this is a session beer. A session beer is low in alcohol, typically less than 5% ABV. Third, Stone uses the "hop-bursting" technique to provide loads of hop flavor and aromatics without adding intense bitterness. Finally, this beer is meant to drink fresh. Within 90 days is ideal, but the sooner the better!

Recently, session beers have been increasingly popular in the craft beer world. I think it's a great trend, and am glad to see Stone participating with Go To IPA. Now I just need to taste it...

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Stone Brewing Co. Introduces Stone Go To IPA
A New Addition to the Stone Year-Round Release Lineup

ESCONDIDO, CA (March 3, 2014) – Intensely hopped and big-flavor brews are known to be quite the passion for Stone Brewing Co. Taking another step in their lupulin obsession, the craft beer company is pleased to introduce Stone Go To IPA. This vibrant hop-bursted session IPA is the tenth addition to Stone’s year-round lineup and, starting today, fans will be able to find the new release in 12-ounce bottle six-packs and on draft at retailers in all of the states where Stone beer is distributed.

Stone Go To IPA is 4.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and, therefore, considered a “session” beer. Session beers are defined as ales or lagers below five percent ABV, which allows for greater drinkability within a reasonable stretch of time. Stone Go To IPA is a very refreshing beer, loaded with intense peach, citrus and melon aromas and all the complex hop flavor that Stone IPAs are known for…meaning, it’s a hop bomb.

To achieve these glorious hop qualities and still maintain a low ABV, a technique called “hop bursting” was implemented. This contemporary approach involves infusion of a massive amount of hops during the final phase of the brewing process to coax out the robust flavors and aromas of the hops. Stone Go To IPA achieved its fruity, citrus notes by dry-hopping with mostly Mosaic and Citra, plus a complimentary addition of Cascade hops.

“Hop bursting really helped us overcome the challenge of making a lower alcohol full-flavored brew that doesn’t taste thin or watery,” explained Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele. “By using this method, we created an intense hop aroma and flavor along with a smoother bitterness. We’re thrilled to add this to our regular lineup, especially since most of us at Stone are ready to call this our own personal ‘go-to’ beer.”

Stone Go To IPA is brewed with nine different hop varietals and meant to be consumed fresh or within 90 days, before the bountiful hop characteristics fade. The session IPA will be available all year long, so IPA enthusiasts and curious craft beer novices alike will be able to satisfy their appetite for the almighty hop with this everyday go-to ale.

Stone Go To IPA Quick Facts
Name: Stone Go To IPA
Stats: 4.5% ABV, 65 IBUs
Availability: 12-ounce bottles in six-packs, beginning March 3
Hops Bill: Mosaic, Citra, Ahtanum, Cascade, Crystal, El Dorado, Magnum, Sterling and 06300
Distribution: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT and WA

About Stone Brewing Co.
Known for its bold, flavorful and largely hop-centric beers, Stone Brewing Co. has been brewing in North County San Diego since 1996. Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner, Stone is the 10th largest craft brewer in the United States—a position it achieved without paid advertising, discounting or compromising standards. In addition to brewing, Stone owns two eclectic farm-to-table restaurants—Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido and Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station—and Stone Farms, an organic farm located near the brewery which grows produce for the restaurants. Stone also operates Stone Distributing Co., which distributes more than 30 craft beer brands throughout Southern California. For more information on Stone Brewing Co., please visit stonebrewing.com or the company’s social media sites: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube and The Stone Blog.