By now, you've probably heard that Portland Brewing Co. is returning and you may have seen their newly re-branded packaging on retail shelves. I recently interviewed Ryan Daley, Brand Manager for PBC, about the change.
Portland Brewing is owned by North American Breweries. Last year, NAB did a nice job of refreshing their Pyramid brand, so I've been curious to see if they can rekindle interest in Portland Brewing.
Last Friday, my wife and I attended the re-launch party hosted by PBC at their NW Portland taproom. Four beers were served, each paired with a small bite of food.
- Oyster Stout: This new beer was brewed with whole Yaquina Bay oysters. This is a draft-only release that will be available only in Oregon. I liked it. It was smooth and roasty, but I couldn't taste the oyster / briny flavor.
- India Pale Ale: Another new beer, this will be a year-round release. I'll post a detailed profile after I find a bottle and sample it at home. My first impressions were positive. Well balanced, and not overly bitter.
- MacTarnahan's Amber Ale: An old classic that has stood the test of time. No changes were made to this beer, and it will continue to be a year-round release.
- Rose Hip Gold: I first tasted this new spring seasonal a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. Paired with Rose Hip Gold Ice Cream created by Salt & Straw, this was easily the best pairing of the evening! Made with the beer, the ice cream was delicious. It had a strong malty-sweet base and a light rose aroma.
|Fred Bowman, Portland Brewing Co's original co-founder, makes a toast.|
Bottom line, I'm encouraged by what I saw (and tasted). The Portland Brewing re-launch strategy is simple—it's focused on beer and reconnecting with the past. To that end, in 2013 we'll enjoy some old favorites such as Zig Zag River Lager and Blackwatch. We'll also see new releases and draft-only selections. In addition, I think they've hit the mark with the new packaging designs.
Funny how we always seem to end up where we started...
What do you think of the "return" of Portland Brewing Co.?