The Commons Releases Crème de Pêche

The Commons Brewery is releasing the next edition of its limited release Beetje Series this Saturday. I'm really looking forward to this one! Crème de Pêche was aged in gin barrels with fresh peaches and Brettanomyces Bruxellensis. I'm not a big fan of gin, but I love beers aged in gin barrels! This beer was aged in barrels previously used for Gin Enkel, one of my favorites from The Commons. For more details, check out the brewery's news release below. Save some for me!!

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

The Commons Brewery Releases Crème de Pêche

Portland, OR – The Commons Brewery will be releasing Crème de Pêche, a cream ale aged in gin barrels with fresh peaches and Brettanomyces, as part of the Beetje Series on Saturday, December, 27th, 2:00pm at the brewery Tasting Room.

Brewed in December 2013 for the Pêche Fest hosted by Portland’s Saraveza, Crème de Pêche was added into barrels in January 2014 that previously held our popular Gin Enkel. Fresh July Elberta peaches from Oregon’s Baird Family Orchard were added directly into the barrels giving the finished beer a bright, juicy aroma and flavor. Flaked corn provides a creamy body that compliments the dryness and floral characteristics from Brettanomyces Bruxellensis. Crème de Pêche can be consumed now to enjoy the fresh peach qualities or cellared to further develop its Brettanomyces profile. 

Crème de Pêche will be available in 750ml capped bottles for $15 per bottle and will be available on draft as well in limited quantities the day of the release. The beautiful label art was once again created by Adam Burke, brother of Head Brewer Sean Burke. More information about Adam Burke’s art can be found at

The Beetje Series is a celebration of The Commons Brewery’s nano roots. First brewed in 2010 on a one-barrel system in Mike Wright’s garage, these small batch beers pay homage to the rustic brewery that continues to inspire us.

The Commons Brewery opened in December 2011 and crafts small batch, approachable and balanced beers inspired by European brewing tradition and Northwest-grown ingredients. The tasting room is located at: 1810 SE 10th Avenue, Unit E (entrance on SE Stephens between 10th & 11th). Tasting room hours are Thursday 5-9pm, Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 2-9pm, and Sunday 2-6pm.

For more information, contact Josh Grgas at

Unibroue's Cranberry Éphémère

I first discovered Unibroue beer when I picked up a Unibroue taster pack at Trader Joe's back in 2011. Located in Chambly, Quebec (Canada), Unibroue specializes in Belgian-style beers. I loved their La Fin du Monde (Tripel) and gave it a 5 star rating.

Since 2001, the brewery has released Éphémère, a witbier. Over the years, different versions have been released featuring apple, blackcurrant, peach, and raspberry. For the first time in a decade, the brewery is re-releasing Cranberry Éphémère in the US.

The brewery sent me a sample, and I plan to uncork it this holiday season. Their beer cocktail recipe for Éphémère Cranberry Codder sounds particularly intriguing. I think it would appeal to both beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers alike. I'll make it at a holiday gathering and will let you know how it turns out.

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Just In Time For the Holidays, Unibroue Introduces Cranberry Éphémère, A Refreshing Beer Enhanced with Festive Cranberries

CHAMBLY, QC -- Unibroue, one of the most highly awarded breweries in North America, with world-renowned brands including La Fin du Monde, Blanche de Chambly, 17 Grande Réserve, Terrible and Maudite, is proud to introduce its latest seasonal release, Éphémère Canneberge, a unique beer enhanced with the refreshing tartness of ripe cranberries.

As its name suggests, Éphémère is an ephemeral ale that comes and goes with the seasons. It was developed as a series to feature a seasonal fruit in a refreshing, lightly spiced white ale. It first appeared in the Spring of 2001 and has since been celebrated on a variety of seasonal fruit ales featuring apple, cranberry, blackcurrant, peach, and raspberry. Ten years after its first introduction, the cranberry version is making its long-awaited return to the U.S. market in 2014. Of course, this new Éphémère will only be available for a limited time.

 "I'm especially proud to say that we are one of the few breweries in the world to referment 100% of our ales directly in the keg, one keg at a time. This is also the case for our Cranberry Éphémère," says Brewmaster Jerry Vietz. "This festive version of the Éphémère is a white ale flavored with fruit and spices, with fine bubbles and a white lacy head. It has a delicate cranberry flavor, with just the right balance of sweetness and acidity."

"Our Cranberry Éphémère is a great addition to holiday get-togethers", says Sylvain Bouchard, Unibroue's Beer Sommelier, "blending in perfectly with traditional Thanksgiving flavors. Surprise your guests with this delightfully refreshing beer. Serve Cranberry Éphémère with triple-cream cheese, poultry, or chocolate desserts with berry coulis, or try our succulent Cranberry Éphémère Pork Roast."

The new Cranberry Éphémère is now available as a limited time offer seasonal release in the United States, in 750 mL bottles and on tap in various bars and restaurants — but only while supplies last. Now is the time to bring new flavor to your Holiday celebrations.

See our inspiring videos with Unibroue's Beer Sommelier presenting our Cranberry Éphémère and our Éphémère beer cocktail or for festive recipe ideas, log on to

About Unibroue
Created in 1991, Unibroue is the leading craft brewery in Québec and among the foremost craft breweries in North America. Unibroue has carved out a special niche in the beer world with top quality products. It made history by becoming the first North American beer maker to use a brewing method inspired by the two-centuries-old tradition developed by Trappist monks in Europe—particularly in Belgium. Over the years, Unibroue has remained faithful to its origins even as it has grown to become an icon of the brewing world. It brews more than 15 beer brands and has won over 240 international medals since its inception. Unibroue is headquartered in Chambly, Canada, in the only brewing facility producing all of Unibroue's beers. For more information about Unibroue, please visit

New Additions to Ninkasi's Flagship Series

Ninkasi recently announced a few new additions to its upcoming 2015 Flagship Series. Lux, a German-style Helles Lager and Dawn of the Red will soon be available for your year-round quaffing pleasure. Check out the details in the brewery's news release below.

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Ninkasi Brewing Company Announces 2015 Flagship Series Lineup
Dawn of the Red and Lux to Join Ninkasi’s Year-Round Offerings

EUGENE, Ore.—Craft beer fans can look forward to a revamped Flagship Series lineup from Ninkasi Brewing Company starting January 2015, featuring new additions paired with steadfast favorites. Started in 2006 by Nikos Ridge and Jamie Floyd, the brewery first entered the Oregon craft beer scene with highly-hopped, Northwest India Pale Ales – beers that quickly made a name for the brewery. Since then, Ninkasi’s brewers have created a diverse offering of beer styles, including traditionally-inspired lagers; rich, complex stouts; ales brewed with experimental hops; and single-batch brews.

Released in 2014 for limited times, Lux, a German-Style Helles Lager, and Dawn of the Red, an India Red Ale, won the admiration of beer drinkers, giving the brewery reason enough to bring on the beers full-time to its year-round Flagship Series. In 2015, these beers will join the Flagship Series lineup alongside Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, Oatis Oatmeal Stout, and Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout with Vanilla.

“The 2015 Flagship Series offers something for every palate,” says Jamie Floyd, founding brewer and co-founder of Ninkasi. “With these six different beers you will find our very first recipes paired with beers that were created out of our desire to experiment and challenge ourselves as brewers.”

Total Domination, IPA
In 2006, founders Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge spent 18-hours brewing the very first batch of Ninkasi beer. The result? Total Domination IPA – a citrusy, floral IPA and a testament to Jamie’s love for Amarillo and Crystal hops. With a great malt backbone and fresh, citrus hop flavor, this beer finishes with a desire to return to this favored IPA again and again. 
Enjoyed Since: 2006 | OG: 1067 | IBUs: 65 | ABV: 6.7%

Tricerahops, Double IPA
Offering a double-dose of everything loved in an IPA, Tricerahops has acquired a cult-like following since it was first brewed in 2007. Offering a big, earthy, floral hop hit, this beer is balanced by a generous amount of malt, making for a very drinkable double IPA. 
Enjoyed Since: 2007 | OG: 1080 | IBUs: 100 | ABV: 8.0%

Dawn of the Red, India Red Ale (Available February – December 2015)
Originally released as a Rare & Delicious (R&D) Series beer, Dawn of the Red was brewed out of a want to brew an IRA using new hop varieties. Using El Dorado and Mosaic hops, this beer has an intoxicating tropical flavor. Dawn of the Red immediately became so popular that it was advanced to Ninkasi’s Special Release Series. Once again, the fanfare for this beer was so great, that making it a new addition to Ninkasi’s Flagship Series was an easy decision, available year-round starting in February 2015.
Enjoyed Since: 2014 | OG: 1072 | IBUs: 75 | ABV: 7.0%

Oatis, Oatmeal Stout
Brewed in 2007 as the second winter seasonal produced by Ninkasi, a love for Oatis developed right away. Named after a brewer’s dog, the popularity of Oatis promoted its move from a seasonal brew to a year-round offering in 2008. This stout has a dry finish with a significant amount of roasted flavor upfront. Its smooth mouthfeel comes from the use of rolled oats paired with a caramel complexity and coffee flavors.
Enjoyed Since: 2007 | OG: 1072 | IBUs: 50 | ABV: 7.0%

Vanilla Oatis, Oatmeal Stout with Vanilla
A more decadent take on Oatis, Vanilla Oatis features the addition of whole Madagascar vanilla beans. During the brewing process of Oatis, a portion of the beer is set aside in the brite tanks where hand-cut vanilla beans are added – the same process used to dry-hop a beer. This addition of pure vanilla acts as a natural sweetener, adding a more roasted flavor upfront followed by a vanilla finish.
Enjoyed Since: 2009 | OG: 1072 | IBUs: 50 | ABV: 7.0%

Lux, German-Style Helles Lager
Meaning light in German, Lux is Ninkasi’s lightest Flagship Series offering. Capturing the traditional and technical balance of the style, this Helles Lager has a toasty malt flavor balanced by the smallest amount of hops to bring about a quaffable drinkability. Allowed to ferment for a minimum of six-weeks, Ninkasi’s brewers accepted the challenge of producing a lager to the highest standards of balance. 
Enjoyed Since: 2014 | OG: 1050 | IBUs: 20 | ABV: 5.0%

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 two brewhouses, a 55-barrel and a 90-barrel brewhouse, located in Eugene, Ore.  Ninkasi’s Flagship beers are sold throughout Oregon; Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; Idaho; Washington; Nevada; and Vancouver, 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  


Pairing Food with Negra Modelo

During the last year, I’ve been writing more about beer pairing dinners. As more people discover good beer, the popularity of pairing beer with food will continue to grow. I recently received an interesting package from the folks at Negra Modelo. As you might expect, it contained beer (as well as matching glasses). But it also included four jars of spice rubs from The Spice House.  

The brewery suggested I use the spices to make a few dishes to pair with Negra Modelo. In full disclosure, they also included a gift card to buy the needed groceries. Since I like to cook (in addition to making beer), I thought it would be a fun and tasty project.

The label on each of the spice jars provided suggested uses. Since I couldn't decide which one to use, I endeavored to make a trio of meats. Mind you, I'm not a huge meat eater, but this seemed like the perfect opportunity to indulge. I gave each of the proteins a solid rub down with different seasonings. I used Bavarian Seasoning on the lamb chop. Bicentennial Seasoning on the chicken breasts, and Quebec Beef Spice on—you guessed it, the beef!

Negra Modelo is a Vienna Lager. The style features a malty sweetness that's balanced by hops, but not overly bitter. I thought it would make a good marinade, so I poured some beer over the lamb and beef and let it rest in the fridge for a few hours.

I roasted the chicken in the oven for about 40 minutes and grilled the lamb and beef in a pan for about 8 minutes each. I did a pretty decent job because the chicken was moist and the lamb and beef were cooked to medium-rare, my desired temperature.

So then it came time for the pairing! The beer itself has flavors of toasted and caramel malts. It has mild earthy hop flavors in the middle, and finishes with subtle nutty notes. It paired nicely with each of the proteins, but my favorite combination was with the roasted chicken. In general, I think chicken tends to be somewhat flavorless. The beer's malt sweetness combined with the spice rub (flaked salt, cracked Tellicherry pepper, sugar, minced orange peel, coriander, and turmeric) combined to provide a very flavorful combination! The beer marinade also helped to keep the lamb and beef tender.

Beer is an ideal complement to food. You can use it in the preparation of your meal, pair it with food, or both! Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless has partnered with Negra Modela to create some recipes that will pair nicely with the beer. Or if you're more adventuresome, create your own recipes or pairings. Don't overthink it—try different combinations, see what works best for you, and have fun!

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Widmer & Deschutes Collaborate on AltBitter

Last week, Widmer Brothers Brewing announced 6 new releases in their 30 Beers for 30 Years series. Now they're launching their latest 30th Anniversary collaboration. This time, Widmer is teaming up with Deschutes Brewery to create AltBitter, a blend of rye barrel-aged beers from each brewery.

For more details about the collaboration, check out the news release below.

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Two Oregon Craft Beer Pioneers Team Up For Widmer Brothers’ 30th Anniversary Collaboration Series

PORTLAND, Ore. – December 10, 2014 –Two of Oregon’s craft beer pioneers, Widmer Brothers Brewing and Deschutes Brewery, came together to brew a unique collaboration beer, AltBitter. The collaboration is part of a yearlong celebration of Widmer Brothers’ 30th Anniversary and an example of the great camaraderie in the Oregon craft brewing scene. AltBitter is inspired by two of the first recipes from each brewery and is available now in select markets across the country.

AltBitter is a unique blend of two favorites from the pioneering breweries: Deschutes Brewery’s Bachelor Bitter and Widmer Brothers Brewing’s Altbier. Imperial versions of both classic beers were brewed and aged separately in rye whiskey barrels for eight months. AltBitter is a two-thirds blend of the barrel-aged versions of each beer with one-third non-barrel aged beer. The result is a hoppy ale with a big, malty backbone, which pays homage to the breweries’ respective German and English influences, yet is still uniquely Oregon.

“We have been friends with Gary Fish since the early days of Deschutes Brewery,” said Rob Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers Brewing. “It really means a lot to have both of our breweries come together to create a beer. We have always respected Deschutes and love what they’ve done for the Oregon craft beer community. The beer is a blend of our histories and it’s great to have finally done something together after all these years.”

AltBitter is part of a series of limited release collaboration beers commemorating Widmer Brothers’ 30-year history. The 30th Anniversary Collaboration Series is a celebration of the Oregon brewing community and the unique bond among craft brewers in Oregon. The series has previously featured collaborations with Boneyard Beer, Breakside Brewery, 10 Barrel Brewing, and Gigantic Brewing.

“Getting together with Widmer Brothers for this beer was really a lot of fun,” said Gary Fish, founder of Deschutes Brewery. “The whole process – from brainstorming beer ideas to bringing this beer to life – was a pleasure. We are happy to be a part of their 30th Anniversary celebration.” AltBitter will be available starting today in 22-ounce bottles and on draught, with limited distribution in select markets, including Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Minneapolis, New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia.

For more information, visit or follow the brewery on Facebook.

About AltBitter
AltBitter is a unique, blended beer inspired by two classic favorites from two pioneering breweries: Deschutes Brewery’s Bachelor Bitter and Widmer Brothers Brewing’s Altbier. Imperial versions of both beers were brewed and aged separately in rye whiskey barrels for eight months. AltBitter is a two-thirds blend of the barrel-aged versions of each beer with one-third non-barrel aged beer. The result is a bold homage to the breweries’ respective German and English influences, done in a uniquely Oregon way.
  • ABV: 9.5%
  • IBU: 55
  • OG: 22P
  • AE: 5P
  • COLOR: 40 SRM

Cider Riot's Never Give an Inch Oregon Blackberry Cider

When I moved to Oregon from the midwest, I was captivated by Himalayan Blackberry. It grows like a weed, has thorns as sharp as needles, and tastes so good! I had never experienced anything like it. Native to Armenia and Northern Iran, the Himalayan blackberry now thrives in Oregon. Although it's technically classified as a noxious weed in Oregon, it has numerous admirers always willing to battle its thorns during late summer to pick its sweet and tart berries.

For the first time, Cider Riot! is releasing Never Give an Inch Oregon Blackberry Cider in bottles. If you're looking for a unique winter warmer for your holiday get-togethers, check out the mulled cider recipe below. Cheers to the most delicious and persistent berry in Oregon!  

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Cider Riot Releases Never Give an Inch Oregon Blackberry Cider

PORTLAND, Oregon -- Cider Riot!® releases Never Give an Inch™ Oregon Blackberry Cider. Already a cult hit on draught, Never Give an Inch Oregon Blackberry Cider makes its bottled debut in Portland bottle shops and food co-ops Wednesday, December 3.

“Growing up in rural Yamhill County, I saw folks try to fight blackberries with everything from caterpillar tractors, to goats, to chemicals, fire, machetes, you name it, says Cider Riot! founder and cidermaker Abram Goldman-Armstrong. “The blackberries always came back the next year. Never Give an Inch celebrates that Oregonian resiliency, the ability to carry on against all odds. Himalayan blackberries are a worthy opponent when we pick wild apples for Burncider®, plus they are tasty, so we thought we’d dedicate a cider to them.”

Oregon blackberries and blackcurrants give Never Give an Inch a fruity aroma and flavor and royal purple hue. Fruit flavors and tannins and the dry finish give it an almost wine-like character, though the balanced dry cider is fermented with ale yeast.

The label is features one of John Foyston’s “rusty truck” oil paintings (Foyston is a Portland oil painter and beer writer). "I come upon many of the subjects for my paintings during motorcycle trips on the backroads of Eastern Oregon, Idaho, Montana and the Palouse in Washington, and either paint on the spot or make reference photos,” says Foyston. “The truck in the painting is a '40s-era Dodge that languishes to this day by the side of Hwy 20 just east of Dayton, Wash. I'm drawn to old trucks and abandonment in general because of the way nature gentles and subsumes cast-off machines and buildings, and because rust, moss and decay create such great colors --- the perfect excuse to buy the BIG tube of Gamblin Indian Yellow."

Never Give an Inch is fantastic year-round, but for a special winter warmer, try mulling Never Give an Inch over low heat with holiday spices.

  • 2 bottles of Never Give an Inch
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves,
  • 2 juniper berries,
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice,
  • ¼ teaspoon mace,
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg,
  • ¼ teaspoon mace,
  • a dash of orange peel.

For more information contact Abram Goldman-Armstrong,, 503.730.5597, @ciderriot on twitter and Facebook. Cider Riot!® is a an urban cidery in Portland’s North Tabor neighborhood dedicated to the production of dry, flavorful ciders. 

Beer Run: Christmas Ales

Each year, Portland plays host to the Holiday Ale Festival, the nation's preeminent winter beer festival. The 2014 festival closed yesterday. I attended, sampled a few of the beers and had a great time. But I'm still in the mood for more winter beers. With Christmas just a few weeks away, I decided to taste a few brewed specially for the holiday. To make my tasting list, the beer had to have "Christmas Ale" in its name. Believe it or not, I found four that met my stringent criteria:

I hope to taste and write about all of these before December 25th. Anchor Brewing has also released a Christmas Ale for forty consecutive years. I wrote about the 2010 edition, but have not tasted it since. If you've tasted this year's version, please let me know what you think.

What beers do you like to drink at Christmas (regardless of their names)?

Follow this blog on 
Twitter or Facebook

12 Tastes at Holiday Ale Festival '14

Holiday Ale Festival is one of my favorite Portland beer events. The unique beers and cozy venue add to its charm. The 19th annual yuletide beer extravaganza opened on Wednesday and closes on Sunday, December 7.

During my four hours at HAF, I managed to taste 12 four oz. samples. In the pictures below, you can see the beers I sampled, in the order I tasted them. I captured my tasting notes on the fly using the Untappd app (a must for all beer geeks).

Now that we've discussed the beer, here are a few random thoughts and observations about HAF '14:

  • Clear tasting glasses (instead of the hazy mugs) were provided for the first time to purchasers of VIP packages. I was glad to see these and hope they can be offered to all guests in the future, perhaps as an upgrade.  
  • The entry fee of $35, which includes the tasting mug and 12 tickets, isn't cheap. But I suggest you look at it in terms of value. Where else can you find a large diversity of unique beers in one place? If you know of such a place, please tell me about it.
  • While OBF has changed their taster pour size to 3 oz., HAF still provides 4 oz. pours for $1.
  • These are generally high alcohol beers. I conducted this statistical analysis a few years ago.  It holds true today.
  • I used to believe it was a crime against humanity to dump beer. However, given the high alcohol content of these beers, I now have no hesitation about dumping something I don't fully enjoy. The way I see it (given the constraints of a functioning liver), consuming a beer I don't enjoy will prevent me from drinking one I might enjoy. As a result, three of my samples met their untimely demise (down the drain) during my tasting sessionand the beer gods didn't strike me down!
  • Most of the beers cost one ticket. Several cost two or three. Since the festival has so many great options priced at one ticket, there isn't a strong need to pay up. I tried two double ticket tasters, didn't like them, and dumped them.  
  • And I didn't drink a single IPA!

For more opinions, check out the thoughts of my beer blogging brethren at Beervana, The New School, and Beervana Buzz. Cheers to holiday beer!

What were your favorite and not so favorite tastes of HAF '14? 

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Widmer's 30 Beers for 30 Years: 2001 - 2006

Widmer Brothers' 30 Beers for 30 Years series marches on! The brewery just announced the release of six beers representing the years 2001 - 2006. Only 30 cases of each are being released in 22 oz. bottles.

If you want to try them all, head down to First National Taphouse for a release party at 5pm on Thursday, December 4. I recently attended a beer pairing dinner at First National Taphouse. If you've never visited, this is a great opportunity to check it out!

Cheers to 30 years of great beer!

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

New Beers Represent 2001 to 2006 in the Brewery’s 30-Year History

PORTLAND, Ore. – December 1, 2014 –Widmer Brothers Brewing today announced the next six beers in the 30 Beers for 30 Years Series, which is a series of 30 beers each brewed to commemorate a specific year and beer in the brewery's 30-year history. These beers are some of the most memorable, innovative or otherwise important beers in the brewery's history.

The beers announced today are: Hop Jack (2001), Cherry Bomb (2002), Dër Ubër Tübër (2003), Sommerbrau (2004), Broken Halo (2005), and Re-Gifted Red (2006).

All six beers are available now in the Portland area for a very limited time, with only 30 cases of each beer packaged and distributed. All were brewed at Widmer Brothers’ 10-barrel pilot brewery to the original recipes and specs from their year of origination. Each release in the 30 Beers for 30 Years Series features label artwork by Portland-based artists.

Hop Jack is our long time go-to Pale Ale that was named after a piece of trusty brewery equipment used to amp-up the hop character of a beer. Hop Jack is a classic NW Pale Ale that is always a fan favorite when Widmer Brothers brewing team does a small batch for the pub. Tyler Lang of Always With Honor designed the label.

Cherry Bomb was brewed specifically for the Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF) in 2002, marking the still-standing tradition of brewing one-off beers for this iconic fest. Widmer Brothers added Oregon cherries to our classic Doppelbock creating an incredibly robust flavor profile with Cherry Bomb. Rory Phillips of GoGo Picnic created the label.

Dër Ubër Tübër was Brewer Joe Casey’s brainchild for the 2003 OBF. Casey devised this brew to be made using Russett potatoes in the mash, resulting in a crisp, clean profile, and plenty of hops to balance it out. Dër Ubër Tübër clocks in at 7% alcohol by volume (ABV) and requires that you yell the name of this beer with a very strong German accent. The design team responsible for the Dër Ubër Tübër label consisted of Josh Kenyon, Colby Nichols, and Brett Stenson at the Jolby and Friends studio.

Sommerbräu was introduced as Widmer Brothers’ summer seasonal in 2004. The beer is the brewery’s take on a Kölsch – and only the second time in 20 years the brothers created one – this beer uses Widmer Brothers’ house Hefeweizen yeast, but was cold fermented for a crisp, clean profile. The Sommerbräu label was designed by OMFGCO.

Broken Halo was also borne out of a Portland beer festival creation. In 2004, one of Widmer Brothers’ brewers, Angel Marquez brewed an Imperial IPA called Halo for the Oregon Brewers Festival, which was met with rave reviews. Widmer Brothers then created a more sessionable IPA from the recipe, and since there’s a mix of good and bad in everyone, the beer was named Broken Halo. Sasquatch Agency created the Broken Halo label.

Re-Gifted Red is an imperial version of NW Red, better known as Brrr Seasonal Ale, which was originally slated to be launched as a seasonal in 1999, but never was due to Snow Plow Milk Stout’s release. With the eventual introduction of Snow Plow as the brewery’s winter seasonal, NW Red was shelved. The brewers loved the beer, however, and for the Holiday Ale Fest in 2006, Widmer Brothers brewed this aggressive version again to turn some heads. Ben Parsons of Ficusamongus designed the Re-Gifted Red label.

Widmer Brothers is hosting a launch party for all six beers at 5:00 p.m. on December 4, 2014, at the First National Taphouse in Downtown Portland.

To see all six labels and the rest of the labels in the 30 Beers for 30 Years Series labels, and to learn more about the artists and individual beers, please visit For more information about Widmer Brothers Brewing, visit or follow the brewery on Facebook.

About Widmer Brothers Brewing
Founded in 1984, Widmer Brothers Brewing is celebrating 30 years of beer in 2014. Founders Kurt and Rob Widmer helped lead the Pacific Northwest craft beer movement in 1984 when, in their 20s, they began brewing unique interpretations of traditional German beer styles. In 1986, Widmer Brothers Brewing introduced the original American-style Hefeweizen, which elevated the brewery to national acclaim. Since then, the brewery has continued to push the boundaries of craft beer, developing a variety of beers with an unapologetic, uncompromised commitment to innovation.

Based in Portland, Ore., the brewery currently brews a variety of beers including Hefeweizen, Upheaval IPA, Alchemy Pale Ale, Drop Top Amber Ale, a full seasonal lineup, and a series of limited edition beers. For more information about Widmer Brothers Brewing, visit

# # #

Commons 3rd Anniversary Party: December 6th

Look who's turning three! Just a few short years ago, Mike Wright renamed Beetje Brewery and moved it out of his garage. Since then, The Commons has grown, produced many amazing beers (has the medals to prove it), and grown some more. It's no surprise that they've outgrown their current space and are preparing to move to a new location on SE Belmont in 2015.

To celebrate the milestone, The Commons is hosting a 3rd Anniversary party from 2-9 pm on Saturday, December 6. Check out the taplist below and stop by to taste old and new favorites!

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Commons Brewery 3rd Anniversary
Commons Brewery Tasting Room
Saturday, Dec 6th, 2-9 PM
1810 SE 10th, Unit E

In December 2011 we unlocked our doors, feeling uncertain how many people would actually show up to our humble little brewery. Just about 3 years later we are still proudly making beer, a few of which have won awards at World Beer Cup and GABF, all the while scrupulously scanning over blueprints for our new building on SE Belmont. 

These past few years have taught us a lot and have also brought us new friends. On December 6, we hope you can join us to celebrate the last 3 years, from the great beers to the bruised backs, and wish us all many more. Our taplist will be a mix of a few favorites from the cellar, a few debut beers (including a special Imperial Stout made specifically for this event) and some sessionable mainstays.

Opening Taplist
1. Urban Farmhouse  - Our flagship saison has been on tap 1 everyday the brewery has been open for business.
2. Buckwheat Grissette - Belgian table beer with Buckwheat and Brettanomyces.
3. Trillium - Blended farmhouse ale aged in Pinot Noir barrels with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis, Brettanomyces Lambicus and house grown cultures.
4. 3rd Anniversary Stout - Imperial Stout featuring 10 different malts aged in Bourbon barrels previously containing Bourbon Little Brother and Brotherly Love. 
5. 2014 Bourbon Little Brother - Sneak preview of our popular winter bottle seasonal. Belgian Dark Strong Ale partially aged in Bourbon barrels. 
6. 2014 Maybelle - Farmhouse ale aged in wine barrels with BSI’s Brettanomyces Bruxellensis variant Drei.
7. Putin from the Wood - Baltic Porter aged in Bourbon barrels.
8. Pils - Because everyone needs a pilsner. Northern German Style with Perle and Spalt hops. 

5PM Tapping
Gin Enkel - This just might, possibly, maybe be the last keg of one of our most popular beers. Belgian table beer with spelt and rye aged in fresh Old Tom Gin barrels with apricots. 
Dark Czar - one off Baltic Porter / Imperial Stout blend with Stumptown Guatemala Finca el Injerto coffee and vanilla beans.

…plus a special to be announced keg from a friendly midwest brewery.

Beer Geek's Holiday Gift Guide

If you have a beer geek in your life, consider yourself lucky! They're easy to shop for. Just think beer and you can't go wrong!

Drinking beer:  Head over to your local bottle shop, and ask the friendly beer dude or dudette to recommend some special or limited release beers. Barrel aged or sour beers (assuming they like sours) are great choices.

If you need to ship the beer, consider a gift from The Rare Beer Club or the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club. Both offer single or multiple beer options. As a beer blogger, I get a decent amount of beer shipped to my doorstep. I can attest that it never gets old. I always feel like a kid at Christmas every time I open up a box 'o beer! All of their clubs offer discounts to readers of my blog. Enter one of these codes at checkout:

  • NOTSOPRO5 - $5 off any membership (valid anytime)
  • BF10 - $10 off any order of 3 months or more (valid 11/27/14 - 12/1/14)
  • NOTSOPRO10 - $10 off any prepaid order of 6 months or more (valid anytime)
  • NOTSOPRO15 - $15 off any prepaid order of 6 months or more (valid 12/3/14 - 12/31/14)
  • NOTSOPRO20 - $20 off any prepaid 12 month order (valid anytime)
  • NOTSOPRO25 - $25 off any prepaid 12 month order (valid 12/3/14 - 12/31/14)

Reading about beer:  While not drinking, beer geeks like to read about beer. These books are rich in beer history and provide great tips on places to visit. I'm honored to personally know all of these nice folks: 

Making Beer:  Some of us like to make our own beer!

Wearing beer clothes:  Beer geeks like beer emblazoned on their clothes, regardless of whether or not they're drinking beer. While donning these stunning items, your geek will be the envy of fellow beer geeks. 

Unique gifts related to beer:  Just because...

Traveling to Belgium to Drink Beer:  The gift of a lifetime! Send your beer geek (or yourself) on a 7-day Belgium beer oddyssey. $3300 is a lot of cash, but imagine the sheer joy on and in your recipient's mug as they visit the breweries that produce Cantillion, Orval, Chimay, Westvletern, Rodenbach, and more! There is surely a place in beer heaven for the sender of this gift!

In full disclosure, I have affiliate relationships with most (but not all) of these vendors. If you buy something, consider it your way of buying me a virtual beer without actually paying anything extra. Happy shopping!

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Lompoc Pamplemousse Citrus IPA

For the last few years, Lompoc's year-round bottle lineup has been missing something—an IPA. Bryan Keilty, Lompoc Head Brewer, told me that his brewery stopped production of Centennial IPA, their previous flagship IPA, a few years ago. Since then, Lompoc has released seasonal IPAs at their pubs on draft only.

Hopheads, fret no longer! Lompoc announced the release of Pamplemousse Citrus IPA earlier this summer. Pamplemousse's citrus flavors are the product of four hop varieties and grapefruit juice. The beer was originally conceived as the first release of a rotating IPA series. However, Lompoc has since received much positive feedback and has decided to keep it on as a year-round beer.  You can find Pamplemousse Citrus IPA in 22 oz. bottles and on draft at Lompoc pubs.

Lompoc sent me both the bottle of beer and the grapefruit pictured below. Is that a not-so-subtle hint that I can expect to experience some grapefruit flavors?  I'll sample the beer (and grapefruit) soon and will let you know.  In the meantime, check out Lompoc's news release below for more details.

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Let no risk go untaken: Lompoc Brewing celebrates scurvy 
old sea captains with year-round Pamplemousse Citrus IPA

PORTLAND, Ore. – Earlier this summer, Lompoc Brewing released Pamplemousse Citrus IPA as part of its mainstay of beers, complementing its lineup of C-Note Imperial Pale Ale and Kick Axe Dry-Hopped Pale Ale.

Pamplemousse, French for grapefruit, is a deep golden, medium-bodied Citrus IPA that offers up refreshment that promises to satisfy all the senses. Four hop varieties – Centennial, Chinook, Meridian and Tettnang – along with real grapefruit juice, build a solid hop bitterness highlighted by citrus notes, both on the tongue and in the nose.  

Pamplemousse is available on draft and in 22 oz. bottles at all Lompoc pubs as well as in various establishments around the Northwest. The label design, by local brand builders Woody Adams and Andrew MacKenzie of Waamco, features a backdrop of a richly textured deep green tapestry with an intricate hop design; upon that sits a wall-mounted moose trophy sporting an armored helmet, reminiscent of the helmet in Lompoc’s logo. One of the helmet horns is skewering a half grapefruit.

The label design quickly prompted the creation of a mascot: Sir Pamplemousse, leader of the Kingdom of Lompoc. Sir Pamplemousse makes appearances at most Lompoc events and tastings, and randomly about town, sporting a helmet with moose antlers, a sword, a tunic, and clacking plastic grapefruits.

The legend of the Pamplemousse says that a scurvy old French sea captain was the first to discover grapefruit on the island of Barbados. Lompoc celebrates these scurvy captains and their discovery every damn day.

A Portland staple since 1996, Lompoc Brewing produces seven flavorful year-round beers, plus a ridiculous number of seasonals. You can find Lompoc in 22 oz bottles and on draft at locations around town, and at its five neighborhood pubs: Lompoc Tavern in NW Portland, Fifth Quadrant and Sidebar in North Portland, and Hedge House and Oaks Bottom in Southeast. 

For more information, call 503-288-3996 or visit Drink Local, Drink Lompoc!

# # #

Sir Pamplemousse

Raven & Rose Beer Dinner Series: Goose Island

Beer dinners are a fun (and delicious) way to explore the pairing of various styles of beer with food. I've attended several and have enjoyed them because they've given me a greater appreciation for how food can enhance beer and vice versa.

Raven & Rose in SW Portland hosts a recurring beer dinner series. Previous brewery partners have included Breakside, The Commons, and Samuel Smith. Next up, on December 7, is Goose Island. They'll bring six of their beers to the event. Four of their hard-to-find limited releases will be paired with different courses.

The menu, pricing, and other details are shown below. The Raven & Rose kindly invited me to the dinner and I'm looking forward to attending! Stay tuned for a dinner recap. 

If you've never attended a beer dinner, here's my write up of a beer pairing dinner I recently attended at First National Taphouse. This should give you an idea of what it's all about.

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Warm up Fall with a Special Brewer’s Dinner Series
Raven & Rose pairs Signature Roast with Cult-favorite Goose Island Beers

Raven & Rose is about to add a palatable twist to its traditional English-style Sunday Roast, offering guests a whole new and unique experience. It’s turning over a half-dozen of its taps to feature sought-after Goose Island brewed-for-food beers and pairing them with dishes from its hearty, signature feast. It’s a natural collaboration, bringing together a shared love of all things barrel-aged. Goose Island pioneered the process of barrel-aging beer in the U.S., which is complementary to Raven & Rose’s single-barrel program.

Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.

Raven & Rose
Ladd Dining Room
1331 SW Broadway 
Portland, OR 97201

Start with a selection of seasonal snacks and salad. Main dishes feature beef tri-tip and Oregon King Salmon with a trio of sides: oven-roasted peppers and potatoes, roasted farm carrots and beets and fried cauliflower. Finish with a delightful dessert. Each will be paired with Goose Island beers. They include the limited-release Bourbon County Stout, Bourbon County Barleywine, Madame Rose and the Class of ’88, which is brewed with whole flower Mt. Hood hops.

$75.00 per person.  Includes all courses and beer flight pairings.

For reservations, please email Natalia Toral at

About Raven & Rose:
Raven & Rose offers classic farmhouse cookery and fine cocktails in Portland’s historic Ladd Carriage House. The dining room menu draws inspiration from the Irish and British countryside, driven by simple, pristinely sourced ingredients and exceptional execution in an atmosphere that is warm, welcoming and attentive. The Rookery—the upstairs bar—provides an exclusive hideaway for sipping cocktails inspired by the building’s exuberant history.

About Goose Island Beer Co.:
Founded in Chicago in 1988, Goose Island Beer Co. is one of the most successful craft breweries in the Midwest and produces some of the most popular, and award- winning beers in the U.S. Goose Island is credited with inventing barrel-aged beers in the U.S. in 1992. Since the beginning, Goose Island beers have won a variety of awards at acclaimed beer events including the World Beer Championships, World Beer Cup, World Expo of Beer and the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). 

# # #