The 1st Annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival was held this past weekend at Burnside Brewing. I attended on Saturday and was treated to glorious weather (especially for early June) and an amazing tap list. I arrived at 2pm and was greeted by a line that wrapped around the parking lot. It moved quickly and I was in within 10 minutes. There was a good sized crowd, but the serving lines moved along nicely.
I had a tough time choosing which beers to sample. The vast majority of "regular" beers were one-of-a kind brews. Here's what I tasted, in the order I tasted them:
- Dogfish Head Festina Peche (4.5% ABV): I first tasted a Berliner-Weisse at Bailey's GermanFest and fell in love with it. Bready malt with a bit of lemon citrus, but I didn't taste much peach. Nice beer, but I wanted more fruit—consistent with my experiences with DFH's Aprihop and Punkin' Ale.
- Burnside Brewing Gooseberry Berliner-Weisse (3.35% ABV): The gooseberry was subtle, but strong enough to make its presence known. Nice sour lactic twang! At 3.35% ABV, I could drink these all day long!
- Laurelwood Mango Mint Pale Ale: I sampled from a fellow blogger's glass. I didn't taste much mango and will conclude by saying mint will always have a friend in toothpaste. For more on festival beer sharing, check out Bill Night's recent post. For the record, I have no problem sharing, as long as I know the person. Length of time varies—depending on how long I've been at a given fest.
- Block 15 Psidium (6% ABV): This beer received a lot of pre-fest buzz, and rightfully so. The guava gave it a tropical flair, the farmhouse yeast provided some funky flavors, and it finished hoppy. I need to get down to Corvallis and check out Block 15.
- Oakshire Blind Date (6% ABV): Smooth mouth feel, but I didn't taste the dates.
- Fort George Badda Boom! Cherry Stout (6.9% ABV): I tasted more raspberry than cherry.
- Breakside Mango IPA: Mango was added at three different stages of the brewing process, but it was very subtle in flavor. Nice beer, but I wanted more mango.
- Widmer Bros Himbeere Gose mit dem Eibisch (5.3% ABV). This is the pink one in the picture below. You can't miss it. Great raspberry flavor and an ever-so-light touch of salt (used in this style) comes through. Very nice!
I then moved indoors to the Rare Beer Taproom for my final samples:
- Double Mountain Devil's Kriek (8.3% ABV). WOW! What do you get when you take a brown ale, add 70 pounds a bing cherries, infect it with Brettanomyces, and age it for 12 months? Art in a glass... By far, my favorite of the day! Great sour flavors, a bit of funk, and a very stealthy 8.3% ABV. I want this one again!
- Hopworks Chupababra Chili Stout (5.3% ABV). A medley of six varieties of pepper that melded perfectly with a rich organic stout. The heat was there, but was not overbearing. My second favorite!