Cascade Brewing Barrel House will host its 1st Annual Scottish Ale Festival on Saturday, January 29, from 3-11 pm. I visited Cascade in November and tasted their amazing barrel aged sour beers for the first time.
I wanted to learn more about this festival, so I contacted Cascade's Brewmaster, Ron Gansberg. He was kind enough to sit through an interview and share more details about the festival....
Are you Scottish? What type of beer would one expect to see at a typical Scottish pub?
I am Scottish on my father's mother's side. I've never been to Scotland. I would expect to see a big, rich brown ale.
How did you get the idea to hold a Scottish Ale Fest?
I've always been interested in Hogmaney and First Foot celebrations at New Years. We wanted to have the fest then but the time was too short.
You’ve got a great beer lineup planned for this event. Were any brewed especially for the festival?
Our McShagger Heavy as well as our Black Sheep Stout. There wasn't enough time for the other breweries to react. We hope to have more time next year.
The event press release has a great description of the Scotch Ale style. Were all of the festival beers brewed to this style?
I'm not sure all the beers will hold to the style...there is some license for interpretation. I think we will have a great range of flavors...but I haven't gotten to try many of them as yet...I sure look forward to doing so!
Tell me about McShagger Scotch Ale. Was it spiked with lactobacillus and barrel aged?
Our McShagger is a 20 Plato strong brown ale with full body, rich malts, heat from the alcohol and a little smoke in the finish. We first planned to have the fest on New Year's Eve and only later had to move it to the 29th of January...we didn't have time to barrel age the beer. We do plan to get some barrel time for this beer next year but we will do so without lactobacillus if we can.
What type of Scottish food be served? Are you whipping up a batch of haggis? Do you like haggis?
We plan to have a Scotch Broth and maybe some smoked Salmon. We may do a Haggis Ceremony...not sure what that is. I think eating Haggis is a personal choice best carried out at home. I have never had Haggis.
This is a no-cover charge event. Will you sell drink tickets? What's the cost?
I think beer will cost will be $4-5 and will be in a 14 oz plastic handled fest mug. We will do tasters for a buck. We encourage people to bring their own mug from one of the many Portland beer festivals that use this style. We have a supply of mugs from the OBF that we will sell for a dollar and we hope to have our own printed mugs for $3.00. We want people to reuse the mugs they already have and try to keep it a bit greener. We aren't doing script this year and will be reviewed for next year.
Will your barrel aged beers be available?
We will be serving all the Fest beers in the aging facility with tables and benches set out as well. Food will be ordered out of the pub where all our beers will still be served.
Tell me about your band Stone Porridge. Will you guys be sporting kilts?
Stone Porridge is our Irish Band, we do some Scottish songs as well. We also play as Black Lodge, doing originals, folk and bluegrass. Our flute and penny whistle player, Geoffry Fraisure will be in full regalia as his time will be split between the Fest and a Robert Burns Dinner. Geoffry will pipe us in and will be there for an early set. We will have some Scottish Poetry and hope to have another piper.
This sounds like it will be a great event and I look forward to checking it out! Thanks to Ron for taking the time to chat with me! For more details, check out Cascade's official press release below.