Costco Craft Beer: New Multi-Packs and Rodenbach Grand Cru

In September, I wrote about Costco’s growing craft beer selection. Although it varies by region, I thought I’d share what they’re offering in the Portland area.

Recently, I’ve noticed a growing number of 22 oz. bottle (bomber) variety-packs. This month, Costco is offering an 8-bottle variety pack from Portland Brewing Co ($19.89) and a New Belgium 6-bottle IPA variety pack ($18.99). 

However, a 750 ml bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru priced at $7.59 caught my eye. This price is about $2 less than what a local grocery store charges for the same item. Brewed in Belgium, this Flanders Red (one of my favorite style) is a blend of young beer (33%) and older beer (67%) aged in oak vats for two years.  I previously tasted Rodenbach Classic, but not Grand Cru. I picked up a bottle and will write about it soon.  If I like it, I might just stock up...

If you’re not familiar with Rodenbach, I highly recommend you read Jeff Alworth's excellent post where he shares his brewery tour experience and explains why this is a special beer.

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Homebrew #19: Blackberry Royale (w/ Yogurt Cultured Lactobacillus)

One of the highlights of summer in Oregon is berries. We are awash in berries!  Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, tayberries—the list goes on and on. Each year, we take our kids to you-pick farms and load up on whatever berry is in season.

As I was picking (mostly eating, actually) blackberries on a gorgeous afternoon this summer, I realized their tart and sweet flavors would taste great in a sour beer. Inspired, I decided to make one one--but two sour blackberry ales using the same base wort. The first, a blackberry lambic, will take between 18-24 months to make. That’s a very long time to wait, so I decide to use a sour wort technique for the other. The benefit of the sour mash / wort is that can take as little as a few weeks.

This post focuses on Blackberry Royale, the sour wort version. To sour the beer, I used a technique developed by Sean Burke from The Commons Brewery, in Portland, OR.  I wrote about Sean’s sour wort technique and you can see detailed instructions here.  I made 7 gallons of base wort for both beers and split it into two batches. For simplicity, I’ve scaled the recipe down to a 5 gallon batch:

  • Style:  Blackberry Sour Ale
  • Type:  All Grain
  • Boil Volume:  5.95 gallons
  • Batch Size: 5.0 gallons
  • Boil Time:  75 min.
  • Stats:
    • Target OG: 1.052
    • Target FG: 1.013
    • ABV:  5.2%
    • IBUs:  7
    • SRM:  5.4
    • Efficiency:  75%
  • Grains:
    • 6.0 lbs. Pale Ale Malt  (60%)
    • 3.5 lbs. Rahr White Wheat  (35%)
    • 8.0 oz. Flaked Wheat  (5%)
  • Hops:  0.34 oz. Fuggles — 4.5% alpha acid (60 min)
  • Mash:  12.5 quarts (1.25 qt / lb) water @ 178.6° and hold for 60 min @ 154.0°F
  • Sparge:  6.653 quarts of 170°F water over 60 min
  • Yeast:  German Ale  (WLP0013)
  • Bacteria:  Yogurt Lactobacillus Starter

Brew Log:

Sep 8:   Made one liter lacto starter (using 3 oz. DME) with Nancy’s Yogurt using Sean Burke’s instructions.

Sep 11:   Brewed base wort (recipe above) and inoculated with lacto starter (3.8 pH) into 3.5 gallons of 120°F wort. I maintained the wort at a range of 100-125°F for four days. The high temperature is needed for the lacto to sour the wort. I documented this process here.

Sep 15:   The wort achieved a 3.6 pH reading, so I decided I was ready to boil the wort to halt the souring activity. I performed a 75 minute boil, adding Strisselspalt hops at 60 minutes. OG = 1.06. I pitched the German Ale yeast into 70°F wort at 10:30 am.  By 6pm, I had strong airlock activity. 

Sep 16:  By 7 am, I had a huge amount of yeast at the top of the carboy, but the airlock activity had slowed dramatically. It appeared that high krausen had already occurred, far sooner than I expected. I guess this makes sense since I pitched a full vial of yeast into just 3 gallons of wort.

Since high krausen occurred, it was time to add the blackberries. I wasn’t sure exactly how much fruit to add.  I wanted some flavor and color from the berries, but I didn’t want to turn the beer purple, or overwhelm it with berry flavor. So I took a guess and decided to use 15 ounces of blackberries—Triple Crown Blackberries, to be precise. The fruit was frozen, so I heated it up in a pot to 170° F.  I pureed them with an immersion blender (making a bit of a mess in the process) and cooled it to 70°F.

I dumped the berry slurry in to the carboy, and gently swirled the carboy to mix it all up. After the berries were added, it took on a light purple color.

The yeast enjoyed snacking on the berries, and strong airlock activity resumed. The carboy looked like this at 5:30 pm.

Sep 21:  Airlock activity slowed down quite a bit.

Nov 1:  The beer has clarified, and I decided it was time to bottle. My FG was 1.007, which implies a 7.0% ABV (excluding the impact of the sugar from the berries), which is well above my target of 5.2% ABV.

I added 0.75 cups of dextrose to carbonate and filled twenty three 12 oz. bottles.  So I ended up with 2.3 gallons of finished beer, much to my surprise. I expected another 3/4 gallon. Darn angels! They’ve taken more than their share. I ended adding too much dextrose and am worried about over carbonation and possible bottle bombs. I’ll keep a close eye on it.

Nov 12:  First carbonated taste!  Carbonation is very light. It has a light purple tinge and is hazy in appearance. Blackberry is present in aroma. In taste, the berry is present as well as a medium level of lacto tartness. It’s light bodied and will benefit from some additional carbonation.

Nov 19:  Second taste. The carbonation has increased in the last week. Head retention is very good, and lasted for most of the drink. I think a little more carbonation will make this even better. Overall, I’m thrilled with my first attempt replicating Sean’s technique! I’ll definitely brew a variation of this again with a different fruit. Next time, I might even let the wort get a bit more sour.

More updates coming...

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Review: Downward Spiral, Widmer Brothers

Downward Spiral
Widmer Brothers Brewing — Portland, OR

  • Style:  Imperial India Pale Lager
  • Bitterness:  84 IBU
  • ABV:  9%
  • Malts:  2 Row Pale, Munich, Caramel 80L, Dextrapils
  • Hops:  Alchemy, Cascade
  • Sampled:  12 oz bottle

Description:  Downward Spiral is an imperial version of our Hopside Down india style pale lager that was aged on new oak spirals. This bold wood-aged beer is an aggressively hopped, cold-fermented brew that brings together the clean, crisp finish of a lager with the hop character of Anipa, balanced by distinct oak flavors and aromas. Wood is good. Prost! — Widmer Brothers Brewing

Random thoughts:  Downward Spiral is the latest installment in Widmer Brothers W Series. I’ve tasted and enjoyed a few oak-aged Imperial IPAs. The oak adds an extra dimension which can work well with the style—especially imperial versions. This beer was not aged in oak barrels. Instead oak sprials were added to beer (in fermentation tanks) for the final 10-14 days of fermentation.

The tasting:  Deep golden in color, clear, with a white head that dissipates fairly slowly. The aroma is full of citrus and tropical fruit. Grapefruit, mandarin orange, mango, as well as a bit of alcohol are present in the nose. The taste starts with grapefruit bitterness. In the middle, biscuit and light caramel malt flavors emerge along with some boozy alcohol. Hop bitterness is moderate to high, but the malt backbone helps to keeps the bitterness in check. Downward Spiral is medium bodied, has a creamy mouth feel, and finishes with grapefruit and toasted oak. 

4 star. Really Good! I want this again!  When it comes to oak, less can be more. It usually adds a unique complexity, but too much can overwhelm. Downward Spiral has a great balance of oaky, hoppy, and malty flavors. Downward Spiral should be available until early 2014.

Have you tasted Downward Spiral? 

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Full Sail Brings Home Lager Bling

During the last few years, Full Sail has been giving lagers some extra TLC. In fact, their Session and LTD lines exclusively feature different styles of lagers. I’ve tasted, enjoyed, and written about several.

Full Sail just returned from the 2013 World Beer Championships with a truck load of medals! They earned a total of 11 medals (7 gold and 4 silvers). What’s even more impressive is the fact that every lager they entered into the competition won a gold or silver medal! Impressive, to say the least.

You can see the details in the news release below.  Here are the links to my reviews of some of the award-winning beers.

Congrats to the Full Sail crew for this amazing accomplishment!  What are your favorite Full Sail lagers?

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Full Sail Lagers Sweep the World Beer Championships
Hood River, Oregon – Seven gold and four silver medals from the World Beer Championships have just been added to Full Sail Brewing’s impressive list of awards and accolades. Every single lager crafted by Full Sail has earned gold or silver medals at this year’s competition.

“This is such an extraordinary accomplishment. The sophistication and complexity of lager beers highlight a brewer’s skill and passion for quality. To bring home a medal for every single one of our lagers is testament to the craftsmanship that comes with our 26 years of brewing. Balance and elegance are our defining brewery characteristics and we’re thrilled to once again earn the highest awards for our beers,” said Jamie Emmerson, Full Sail’s Executive Brewmaster. “We don’t brew our beers to win medals, but we’re honored when we do. Our customers are the ultimate judges and we strive to consistently brew all our beers with them in mind. This is further validation of renowned beer writer John Foyston’s declaration that Full Sail is ‘Oregon's biggest, best lager brewery.’ Thanks to all our beer fans and friends for your ongoing support,” Emmerson added.
Session Premium Lager
Session Fest Premium Red Lager
LTD 06 Black Bock Lager
LTD 04 Pale Bock Lager
LTD 03 Bohemian Pilsner Lager
"26" Cascade Pilsner
Big Daddy J's Imperial Lager
Session Black Premium Dark Lager
LTD 07 Oktoberfest
LTD 05 Vienna Lager
Vendell Veizen Weizen Bock

The World Beer Championships are a blind tasting competition conducted by the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) of Chicago, Illinois. The competition included beers from many highly respected brewers from around the world including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and the United States. Tasting notes from the competition are available at

About Full Sail Brewing Company:
The independent and employee-owned Full Sail Brewery is perched on a bluff in Hood River, Oregon, overlooking the most epic wind and kite surfing spot in the world. At this very moment our specialists in the liquid refreshment arts are crafting barley and hops into your next beer. Among the company’s most popular brews are Full Sail Amber, IPA, Limited Lager Series, Pub Ale Series, Session Premium, Session Black, and Session Fest lagers. Founded in 1987, the Full Sail crew has been fermenting award winning godlike nectar for 26 years, and is committed to brewing great beer sustainably. The Full Sail Brew Pub is open seven days a week. Swing by for a pint, grab a bite, tour the brewery, or just soak up the view.

Review: Ovila Abbey Saison, Sierra Nevada

Ovila Abbey Saison with Mandarin Oranges and Peppercorns
Sierra Nevada Brewing — Chico, CA 

  • Style:  Saison
  • Bitterness:  25 IBU
  • ABV:  7.5%
  • Malts:  Estate-Grown 2-Row Pale, Wheat, Carmel
  • Hops:  Summit, Styrian Golding, El Dorado, Mandarina Bavaria
  • Special Ingredients:  Mandarin Orange and Peppercorn
  • Sampled:  375 ml bottle (provided by brewery) 

Description:  An homage to the monks’ noble work, this unique farmhouse ale is incredibly complex with notes of lemon, pepper, straw and herbs balanced by the tang of Mandarin oranges and a spicy kick of pepper. The Mandarin oranges used to make this beer were locally grown, including a portion grown on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux and picked by hand by the community of monks living there. We hope you enjoy this collaboration ale. — Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  I picked up this bottle of during a trip to the Boston BeerBloggers Conference. Sierra Nevada’s Ovila brand of beers is produced in collaboration with monks of the Abbey of New Claivaux. I just finished reading Ken Grossman’s Beyond the Pale, which chronicles the history of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. In chapter 15, Grossman explains how this unique collaboration was formed. The book itself is excellent, and I plan to write about it in detail soon. 

The tasting:  Golden orange in color and hazy. Its white head dissipates very quickly leaving a ring around the edge of the glass. The aroma is very spicy with notes of coriander, clove, and pepper. Mandarin orange is also prominent in the nose. Flavor starts with a rush of spices—essentially the same ones from the aroma. In the middle, biscuit malt comes through along with some spicy and herbal hop flavors. Overall hop bitterness is low. A touch of alcohol is present in both aroma and taste. Ovila Saison is light bodied, has a prickly effervescent mouth feel, and finishes dry with spicy pepper and light alcohol. 

4 star.  Really Good! I want this again!  I was surprised by how well the Mandarin orange paired with the spice notes. It’s a great combination! If you enjoy saisons, this is one you should try. On a related note, I’m thrilled to see Sierra Nevada releasing some of the Ovila beers in 375 ml bottles. The smaller size encourages consumers to experiment with less risk and enables them to enjoy smaller portions. I hope to see more breweries do the same! 

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2013 Holiday Ale Festival: Introducing Angel

2013 has flown by. The 18th Annual Holiday Ale Festival kicks off in just 15 days! I can't believe it's already time for one of my favorite holiday events!  Full details for the festival including dates, hours, and prices are listed at the end of this post.

I'd like to take a moment to introduce Angel, the official pinup model / hostess  for the 2013 Festival. As you can see, Angel is dressed warmly in a fur jacket (faux, of course--this is Portland). I expect to see that chivalry will be alive and well in Pioneer Square as cheerful festival attendees graciously offer to check Angel's coat at the charity coat check.

To re-acquaint yourself with the pinup girls of Holiday Ale Festivals past, click here and here.  If you haven't already done so, make plans to attend. It's going to be great!

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18th annual Holiday Ale Festival 
Pioneer Courthouse Square, located at 701 SW Sixth Ave. on the MAX Light Rail line
Wednesday, Dec. 4 through Sunday, Dec. 8
Noon to 10 pm Wed, 11 am to 10 pm Thur-Sat, and 11 am to 5 pm Sun
To avoid lengthy lines, the recommended days for attendance are Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.
While eggnog and hot toddies are commonly associated with the holidays, it’s no surprise that in the beer Mecca of the Pacific Northwest, craft ales are the drink of choice: specifically, big, bold ales designed to fend off the cold chill of a long winter night. The 18th annual Holiday Ale Festival gathers together more than four dozen of these winter warmers for a joyous five-day celebration. The beers featured are rich, robust and full of complex flavors. From Belgians to barleywines, porters to winter warmers, and spiced ales to stouts, these beers have either been crafted or blended specifically for the event or are hard-to-find vintages. What they all share in common is their rarity - the festival works with every brewery involved to make sure they are sending a product that has either been made specifically for this event, or is a rare or vintage beer that isn’t commonly tapped in the state - which has solidified the event’s reputation as the premier winter beer tasting venue on the West Coast. 
Despite being held outdoors during one of the coldest months of the year, more than 17,000 festival attendees stay warm and dry over the five day festival under clear-topped tents that cover the venue. Gas heaters create a cozy ambiance beneath the boughs of the region's largest decorated Christmas tree. In addition to beer tasting, the festival also features meet the brewer events, a root beer garden, food vendors, beer pairings with cupcakes & cheese, event merchandise and a coat and bag check that raises funds for the Children's Cancer Association.
To enter and consume beer, the purchase of an entry package is required. The general admission package at the door costs $30 and includes the 2013 tasting mug and 10 taster tickets. Advance general admission packages cost $30 and include the tasting mug, 12 taster tickets and expedited entry all five days. Advance VIP packages are available for $75 and include the tasting mug, 28 taster tickets, a bottle of water, access to VIP lines (including special tappings) and express entry all five days. Express re-entry requires a wristband and the 2013 mug, and is subject to the festival's capacity. Previous year's mugs will not be filled. Advance packages are available online at Once inside the festival, a full mug of beer costs four taster tickets, and a four-ounce taste costs one ticket. Certain limited release and special tappings may not be available in full mug pours, or may cost double tickets. Additional beer tickets can be purchased for $1 apiece. Designated drivers in a party of two or more may purchase a designated driver wristband for $5, which includes Crater Lake Root Beer or bottled water for the duration of the stay.
The event is for ages 21 and over.


Review: Florida Cracker, Cigar City

Florida Cracker
Cigar City Brewing — Tampa, FL

  • Style:  Belgian White
  • Bitterness:  Not specified
  • ABV:  5%
  • Malts:  Not specified
  • Hops:  Not specified
  • Sampled:  12 oz. can

Description:  The Cracker Cowboys of Florida were colonial-era settlers, often of Scots-Irish descent, who arrived in Florida when Spain traded their territory of La Florida to the English. The term Cracker in Florida usage relates to the whip these "cow hunters" used to herd cattle in Florida’s Palmetto Prairies. Called Quáqueros by the Spanish, these hardy and hard working Cracker Cowboys helped to shape the history of Florida, the nation’s oldest cattle raising state. We brew Florida Cracker White ale with unmalted wheat, orange peel and coriander and then ferment it with a French Saison yeast strain to give it a spicy and dry finish. Perfect for a warm day on the Palmetto Prairie. — Cigar City Brewing 

Random thoughts:  I’ve long heard about Cigar City Brewing. But since they don’t distribute in the West, I’ve never had the chance to taste their beer. Gerard Walen, writer of Beer in Florida, brought some Cigar City beers to the Boston Beer Bloggers Conference this summer and graciously gifted a few cans for me to sample. Thanks Gerard!  

The tasting:  Stamped with a canned on-the date of July 16, 2013. Pale yellow in color, clear, with a white head that dissipates very quickly. I realized I should have gently rolled the can to release the yeast settled at the bottom. After I did that, and poured the rest of the beer into the glass, it turned cloudy. Aroma of wheat and coriander. Taste starts with tangy wheat. In the middle, of a rush of spicy notes comes throughcoriander, white pepper, and a touch of clove. Light earthy hops are present in the middle, but overall hop bitterness is low. Alcohol is not noticeable in aroma, but a touch is present in the middle. Florida Cracker is light bodied, very softly carbonated, and finishes tangy with pepper and spice. 

4 star.  Really Good! I want this again!  Although I'm writing about this beer in the fall, I actually tasted it near the of the summer—and it’s ideal for the season. I loved its tangy and dry finish! My first Cigar City experience did not disappoint. I’ve got their Jai Alai IPA and Maduro Brown Ale in my fridge. I expect they’ll be just as good!

Have you tasted Florida Cracker? 

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McMenamins' Kris Kringle Takes Flight

Do you know which Oregon holiday seasonal beer has been brewed since 1986? The answer is McMenamins' Kris Kringle. Tomorrow, McMenamins will release the 27th edition of its Yuletide Holiday Ale. Does that make Kris Kringle the longest running holiday seasonal in Oregon? I expect it does. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

Strangely enough, I don't think I've ever tasted it. Well, that's about to change. The brewing team at McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse kindly invited me over to pick up a growler and a bottle their holiday treat. I didn't get a chance to taste it yet, but wanted to share the news of the release. I'll include Kris Kringle in my upcoming series on winter seasonals and will share my tasting notes soon.

For more details about Kris Kringle, check out the description below. You can find it tomorrow though December 24th at a McMenamins location near you.

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McMenamins Seasonal Beer Release
Kris Kringle
Official Release Date: November 15, 2013

Just in time for the holidays, the busy-as-elves McMenamins brewers have created another wonderful gift for your taste buds this holiday season.  The 2013 version of Kris Kringle is a hearty and robust ale with a big and bold malt complexity as well as an intense and flavorful hop profile.  This “winter warmer” highlights the rich, toasty, aromatic and chocolaty malt flavors as its very sturdy foundation.  Generous amounts of four different hop varieties were added in five different additions, which delivers a magnificent and massive hop assault.  McMenamins brewers hope you enjoy this years’ version of our old Holiday favorite, Kris Kringle.  Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year!

Malts: Pale Ale, Munich, Wheat, 15L & 120L Crystal, Chocolate

Hops: Nugget, Chinook, Cascade, Santiam

OG: 1.068   TG: 1.015   ABV: 6.84   IBU: 90   SRM: 15

Buzz words: Robust, Hoppy, Festive

Review: Green Head IPA, Newburyport Brewing

Green Head IPA
Newburyport Brewing Co. — Newburyport, MA

  • Style:  IPA
  • Bitterness:  Not specified
  • ABV:  7.2%
  • Malts:  Not specified
  • Hops:  Not specified
  • Sampled:  12 oz. can

Description:  An assertive and hoppy west coast-style India Pale Ale. Bright hop aromas and flavors fade to a brief, smooth malt undertone and a clean, crisp, slightly bitter finish. This beer is brewed to bite you back! — Newburyport Brewing
Random thoughts:  This is the first beer I tasted from Newburyport Brewing. I picked it up during my trip to the the Beer Bloggers Conference in Boston earlier the summer. 

The tasting: Deep golden orange in color, slightly hazy, with an off-white head that dissipates very slowly. Aroma starts with sweet caramel and has loads of juicy grapefruit and citrus. From the first sip, grapefruit and piney hop flavors dominate. Underneath all the hops, lies a caramel and bready malt backbone. Alcohol is not noticeable in aroma, but is present in taste. Overall hop bitterness is high. Green Head IPA is medium bodied, has a resinous, yet smooth mouth feel, and finishes with sweet caramel and long lingering grapefruit hop bitterness.

Rating:  4 star. Really Good. I want this again!  While not balanced, the malt backbone is solid and stands up well against the strong hop flavors. These East Coast guys sure know how to make a good West Coast IPA! 

Have you tasted Green Head IPA? 

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BridgePort Trilogy Series Celebrates 30 Years of Brewing In Oregon

BridgePort Brewing Co. is turning 30! To celebrate, they will release three limited edition beers in 2014 as part of the BridgePort Trilogy Series. The first installment, a dry-hopped pale ale, to be released in January will showcase the Crystal hop.

The BridgePort Trilogy Series will be released in bottles (12 oz. & 22 oz.) and draft and will be priced similarly to BridgePort's regular year-round offerings. Check out the news release below for the details.  I’ll be sure to write about the first release as soon as I get my hands on a bottle.  Congratulations to BridgePort on their 30th anniversary! 

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The “BridgePort Trilogy Series” to premiere in January
PORTLAND, Ore.—November 6, 2013—  BridgePort Brewing Company, Oregon’s oldest craft brewery, will celebrate 30 years by releasing the “BridgePort Trilogy Series,” three limited edition beers. The first two beers in the series will honor pivotal moments in BridgePort’s history by highlighting the adoption of aroma hops and the IPA movement.  In contrast, the third and final beer in the series will explore what’s still to come for craft beer in Oregon.

“It’s great to be turning 30, but it’s even more exciting to see how far the craft brewing industry has come in the last three decades,” commented brewmaster Jeff Edgerton. “Hop breeders in Oregon began developing varieties of aroma hops in the ‘60s and ‘70s that had intense and interesting qualities. The large domestic brewers weren’t interested at the time because the hops were ‘too intense’ for the products they were making. BridgePort and a handful of other craft brewers picked up on these varieties and started making flavorful, all-malt beers that had incredible taste and aroma. The rest is history.”

Given that aroma hops ignited the Oregon craft beer movement, it only made sense for the first beer in the “BridgePort Trilogy Series” to honor one of Edgerton’s favorite, the Crystal Hop, a varietal known for it’s slightly spicy and citrus notes.

Ninkasi's Sleigh'r and Imperiale Return for the Holidays

The start of the long rainy season in the Northwest makes me crave rich, malty, dark beers. Ninkasi Brewing must have the same idea. Sleigh’r and Imperiale are now widely available for your malty drinking pleasure!

Sleigh'r, Ninkasi's Dark Double Alt Ale, has been brewed since 2009.  This beer is meant to be enjoyed fresh, but last winter I sampled a two-year old bottle. I was impressed by how well it held up. It was incredibly smooth! You can see my review of both fresh and two-year old Sleigh’r here.

Imperiale, an Imperial Stout brewed since 2011, is also available. I have not yet tasted this beer, but will do so soon.  For more details about Sleigh’r and Imperial, take a look at the information provided by Ninkasi below.

I’m also glad to see that Ninkasi is shipping a 12 bottle variety pack. The winter edition feature bottles of Total Domination, Oatis, Believer, and Sleigh’r.

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 Sleigh’r Dark Doüble Alt Ale and Imperiale Imperial Stout Return this October 

EUGENE, Ore. — Cheers to winter with returning cold-weather favorites from Ninkasi Brewing Company. Inspired by the cold winter months, traditional beer styles, blissful days on the mountain, and even a little heavy metal, Sleigh’r Dark Doüble Alt Ale and Imperiale Imperial Stout are the perfect remedy to rock any winter day.

“The motivation for creating Sleigh’r was to make a beer that was different than other Northwest winter beers that feature big hop profiles and rich caramel flavor,” says Jamie Floyd, co-owner and founding brewer of Ninkasi. “We created a malt-forward yet dry, toasty and hardy beer brewed in the traditional German Alt way, only darker.”

Also offered this winter, Imperiale Imperial Stout is a rich, smooth but warming beer with lots of roasted malt flavor to fight off the winter months. “This is a great beer to have when reading a book in a cozy nook on a cold wintry day,” says Floyd.

Both beers pair well with the hearty foods served during the holidays and the winter months. “These beers make home-cooked meals and big banquets even more memorable.”

Each beer will be available in bottles and on-draft October through December.

Sleigh’r Stats
Style: Dark Doüble Alt Ale
Series: Seasonal Release Series
ABV: 7.2
IBU: 50
Starting Gravity: 1068
Malt: 2-Row Pale, Crystal, Munich, Carahell, Roasted Barley, Chocolate
Hops: Nugget
Available: On draft, 12 and 22-ounce bottles, fall variety 12-pack, winter variety 4-pack
Distribution: Oregon; Washington; Idaho; Montana; California; Alaska; and Vancouver, British Columbia

Description: A delicious Northwest seasonal brewed with winter in mind. A dark doüble alt ale, malty and delicious, it's sure to keep the winter at bay. And yes, Sleigh'r does rock!

Tasting Notes: An alt ferments with ale yeast at colder lagering temperatures. This effect gives alts a more refined and crisp lager-like flavor than traditional ales. The doüble alt means that it has been “Ninkasified." Regular alts are 5 to 5.5 percent ABV and 40 IBU's. Sleigh'r has a deep, toasted malt flavor that finishes dry and has 7.2 percent ABV and 50 IBU's keeping it in a perfect alt balance!

Imperiale Stats
Style: Imperial Stout
Series: Special Release Series
ABV: 9.1
IBU: 70
Starting Gravity: 1090
Malt: 2-Row Pale, Munich, Crystal, Flaked Barley, Roasted Barley, Black Malt, Carafa
Hops: Nugget
Available: On draft, 22-ounce bottles, winter variety 4-pack
Distribution: Oregon; Washington; Idaho; Montana; California; Alaska; and Vancouver, British Columbia

Description: Rich, full bodied and surprisingly smooth, Imperiale Stout has a big roast hit up front. Dark malt flavors are balanced with an ample hop bitterness to finish.

Tasting Notes: Roasted malt up front, with a smooth and creamy body warming the mouth. Caramel, toffee, molasses and a touch coffee notes are present but unified in one amazingly drinkable beer. Let us bundle you up!
Learn more about Ninkasi’s line-up of craft beers at

About Ninkasi Brewing Company
Founded in 2006 by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge, Ninkasi Brewing Company continues to grow from its first batch of Total Domination IPA, to a 55-barrel brewing system located in Eugene, Ore.  Ninkasi’s Flagship beers—Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, Believer Double Red, Oatis Oatmeal Stout, and Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout—are sold throughout Oregon, Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Washington, and British Columbia. The brewery remains privately-owned and is committed to community support and giving. Ninkasi’s Beer Is Love program offers in-kind donations and support for organizations throughout its footprint.
For more information, call 541.344.2739 or visit