Opening Day at Oregon Brewers Festival '12


The 25th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival kicked off two days ago.  While the crowds were fairly light when we arrived at 12:30, it seemed busier than during previous years. I guess the "secret" about attending on opening day isn't such a secret anymore.

The weather was spectacular, people were having fun, lines were short, and cold beer was flowing! That sums it up! It was a great afternoon. By the time we left at 5pm, it was getting crowded and the lines were growing longer. But that's why we attended early.

If you feel like a deer in headlights when trying to select from the massive beer list, I've got a few ideas listed below. I've tasted each of these (not all during this visit) and provide a reason that you might want to try them. Other than this list, I only have two suggestions. First, drink water between each beer! More water = more beer. It's true. Second, get out of your box and sample styles you've never tasted before. Each taste is only 1 token, so you can't go wrong!

If you haven't attended OBF yet, get yourself down to Tom McCall Waterfront Park today or tomorrow and do some beer tasting! For more information about OBF, check out my interview with festival organizers Chris Crabb and Preston Weesner.

One last thing, the Buzz Tent will shut down sometime Saturday afternoon and will not reopen on Sunday.  Don't fret when that happens, you still have 80+ beers to sample...




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Beer Name
Brewery
Style
ABV %
IBU
Why you should taste it…
Raspberry Crush
10 Barrel Brewing Co.
American-Style Sour Ale
5.2
4
Raspberries + LACTOBACILLUS = YUM!  This beer was oozing raspberries--in a good way!  It's very tart and mildly sweet. This was the only beer I tasted twice!
Cherried Alive
Old Market Pub and Brewery
Fruit Beer
7.8
19
Tart cherries are added to secondary fermentation, and then a portion is aged in oak Pinot Noir barrels. The flavor from the Pinot and the oak really comes through. Very nice beer!
Tropical Blonde
Vertigo Brewing
Fruit Beer
5.1
15
I really liked the lime flavor, which provided a nice accent without being overpowering. Overall hop bitterness is mild.
Smooth Cream-N-Ale
Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.
Specialty Beer
5
25
Brewed with lemon zest, ginger, and milk sugar. Ginger is at the forefront and I love the soft, creamy mouth feel that the milk sugar provides.
Peach Trippel
Redhook Brewery
Tripel with fruit added
8.2
20
A solid Trippel with mild peach flavor.
25
Oakshire Brewing
Imperial Oregon Ale
7.5
25
This beer has a lot going on! While I couldn't taste the individual components, I liked how they all came together.
Row 2 / Hill 56 - The Story of Simcoe
Russian River Brewing Co.
American-Style Strong Pale Ale
5.8
40
Every beer geek has to try the Russian River offering. This features, wait for it--Simcoe hops.  They call it a Pale, but it tastes like an IPA to me.
Climax Extra Pale
Eel River Brewing Co.
American-Style Pale Ale
5.2
40
I tasted this beer because I wanted to see what  the Zythos hop (the only variety in this beer) tastes like. I liked it, but it reminded me of Centennial hops, for what that's worth.
Positive Contact
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Experimental Beer (Lager or Ale)
9
20
I heard a lot about this beer so I had to taste it. It wasn't very memorable for me, but I'm adding it to my list because beer geeks like DFH.  It's a limited release so give it a try for a buck.
Quick Wit
Fort George Brewery
Herb and Spice Beer
5.22
0
Another wheat beer, this one has no hop bitterness! The flavor comes from coriander, elderflowers, and lemon grass.
Oregon Trail Lavender Ale
Oregon Trail Brewery
Herb and Spice Beer
4.9
28
Another with herbs, this lavender in this is present in aroma and flavor. Stick with the sample and tell me if lavender should be relegated to soap.
Wookey Jack
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
American
8.3
60
This Black IPA (or CDA, if you're so inclined) is made with Rye.  I've yet to taste it, but have heard nothing but greatness.
St. Lupulin Extra Pale Ale
Odell Brewing Co.
American-Style Pale Ale
6.5
46
Time to amp up the lupulin, with St. Lupulin.  Odell makes great beer, and they don't distribute in Oregon. So try this while it's here.
Sculpin IPA
Ballast Point Brewing Co.
American-Style India Pale Ale
6.6
70
This IPA also gets tons praise, and they also don't distribute in Oregon.  It's solid!  Try it while you can.
Black Racer
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
American-Style Black Ale
8.1
75
I didn't notice as many CDA's / Black IPAs at OBF this year. Personally, I'm starting to tire of the style.  But if you want to taste one, this is good!
Summer Solstice Cervesa Crema
Anderson Valley Brewing Co.
Summer Cream Ale
5
6
I'm not fan of cream ales, but this is great! This color is stunning in a glass.
Honey Basil Ale
Bison Brewing
Herb and Spice Beer
6
12
The basil provides a nice aroma and flavor. The honey gets fermented out, so don't expect to taste its sweetness.
 ZŌN
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Belgian Style Witbier
4.4
15
Witbiers (or Wit) are the style perfect for summer. This is brewed with Coriander and orange peel. Very light and refreshing.
Omission Pale Ale
Omission
American Pale Ale
5.8
33
Gluten free beers don't taste good.  That is, until this beer came along. Taste it and see if you can tell the difference.
Alaskan Oatmeal Stout
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Oatmeal Stout
5.7
28
The oatmeal gives this beer creamy mouth feel. Besides, you need to try a dark beer and this is a good one.
Bitter American
21st Amendment Brewery
Session Beer
4.4
42
Start your OBF tasting session with this low alcohol brew that packs plenty of flavor.  Now available year-round.
Outburst Imperial IPA
Pyramid Breweries
Imperial or Double India Pale Ale
8.5
80
This Imperial was a seasonal release, but is now available year-round.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did you try the Elysian Space Dust IPA? SO GOOD.

Sanjay said...

No I missed it. Didn't feel like sampling more IPAs. Many people liked that one!

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