The Drunken Cobbler: Art-Inspired Beer

Portland has a plethora of summer beer festivals. But if you're looking for a beer event that's unique and unusual, let Eric Steen be your guide. Eric is the creator of Beers Made by Walking and Homebrewed by Design. I previously interviewed Eric about the former, and participated as a homebrewer in the latter.

This time, Eric has teamed up with Portland Art Museum and five local breweries to create beer that takes inspiration from The Drunken Cobbler, an 18th century paining by Jean-Baptiste Greuze. At the June 13 event, guests will learn about the painting and experience the art-inspired beers. All the details, including the beer list, are listed in the news release below.

If you attend the event, please remember you'll be in a museum. Feel free to admire the Drunken Cobbler—just don't emulate him.

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Art & Beer: The Drunken Cobbler
Beer inspired by art at the Portland Art Museum
Local Brewers inspired by 18th-Century Painting

Five Portland-based breweries have partnered with Eric Steen and the Portland Art Museum for the return of Art & Beer. Art & Beer is a program that invites local breweries to make beer inspired by a work in the Museum’s permanent collection. On June 13, the Museum will host an event where visitors will taste the art-inspired beer.

Widmer Brothers, along with four other Portland breweries have conducted multiple visits to the Museum to view and learn about The Drunken Cobbler, an 18th-century painting by French artist Jean-Baptiste Greuze in the Museum’s European art collection.

The participating breweries are Widmer Brothers Brewing, Breakside Brewery, Ecliptic Brewing, Humble Brewing, and Laurelwood Brewing.

At the June 13 event, guests will learn about the painting, the process of creating the beers, and the parallels between science of preserving art and the brewing process. Event (available here) tickets include half pint samples of each beer, commemorative glassware, light snacks, and Museum general admission.

Beers Include:
  • Breakside / The Man Who Made Dessert / 100% Brettanomyces fermented ale with apricots.
  • Ecliptic / Caelum Ale / A blend of 3 different beers, some of which was aged in Syrah barrels.
  • Humble / Servitude / Light-bodied, no-frills Saison crafted using the simplest of  'on-hand' ingredients.
  • Laurelwood / The Drunken Cobbler / A French/Belgian Grisette, historically a blue collar beer, with an added sour blend to upset the balance.
  • Widmer Brothers / The Drunken Cobbler / Biere de Garde with mostly French ingredients, aged on French Oak.

June 13, 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30)
Portland Art Museum, Kridel Grand Ballroom
1119 SW Park Avenue
$10 Museum members; $12 non-members

Art and Beer is generously sponsored by Widmer Brothers Brewing and both the Museum’s Young Patrons of the Portland Art Museum and the education committee.

About the Painting
Jean-Baptiste Greuze’s The Drunken Cobbler, painted in the early 1780s, represents a departure from the idealized and aristocratic subject matter favored by the French Academy—of which he was a member. In this painting, Greuze references the adage that it is always the cobbler’s children who have no shoes, while warning the viewer of the dangers of overindulgence.

About the Portland Art Museum
The seventh oldest museum in the United States, the Portland Art Museum is internationally recognized for its permanent collection and ambitious special exhibitions drawn from the Museum’s holdings and the world’s finest public and private collections. The Museum’s collection of more than 50,000 objects, displayed in 112,000 square feet of galleries, reflects the history of art from ancient times to today. The collection is distinguished for its holdings of arts of the native peoples of North America, English silver, and the graphic arts. An active collecting institution dedicated to preserving great art for the enrichment of future generations, the Museum devotes 90 percent of its galleries to its permanent collection. The Museum’s campus of landmark buildings, a cornerstone of Portland’s cultural district, includes the Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art, the Gilkey Center for Graphic Arts, the Schnitzer Center for Northwest Art, the Northwest Film Center, and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Center for Native American Art. With a membership of more than 22,000 households and serving more than 350,000 visitors annually, the Museum is a premier venue for education in the visual arts. For information on exhibitions and programs, call 503-226-2811 or visit

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.

About Eric Steen
Steen is an artist, event planner, and award-winning teacher. His work includes themes of place-based and interdisciplinary learning, outdoor education, food, and beverage. Eric is the founder of Beers Made by Walking and Focus on the Beer. He has worked with breweries across the country on innovative beer programming. He has built events for Performa, Food Bank Fair (NY), Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art (UK), Denver Beer Week during the Great American Beer Festival (CO), Portland Art Museum, and PDX Beer Week (OR), Charlotte Street Foundation (MO), and more. He has been featured in NPR, OPB, Outside Magazine, Portland Outsider, Heritage Radio Network,Christian Science Monitor, All About Beer, and Draft Magazine. He can be contacted at

Review: The Mitten, Virtue Cider

The Mitten
Virtue Cider — Fenville, MI

  • Style:  Bourbon Barrel Aged Cider
  • ABV:  6.8%
  • Ingredients:  Michigan apples, yeast, and sulfites
  • Sampled:  750 ml bottle (provided by cidery)

Description:  When the leaves fall, there’s a chill in the air and the evening greedily takes hours from daylight, we stand strong and embrace the wintertime. It’s a time of rich foods, roaring fires and our favorite sweaters. Drinks change from refreshing to intense and satisfying. The Mitten is a Winter cider, a blend of last season's best, aged in bourbon barrels, with the new season’s fresh pressed apple juice. Straight cider, aged for 3 seasons, finds notes of vanilla, caramel and charred American oak, balanced with the best of the orchard, over-ripe apples and their sweet, tart, earthy juice. Many barrels are filled, but only a small portion, the very smoothest, will find their way into The Mitten. We love wintertime, especially when we have The Mitten to keep us warm and happy through the long, cold night. — Virtue Cider 

Random thoughts: After selling Goose Island to Anheuser-Busch in 2011, Greg Hall decided to make a career change.  He left his role as Goose Island's CEO and Brewmaster and founded Virtue Cider.  Check out this interview to learn more about Greg's cider journey.  The Mitten is Virtue's winter seasonal, and happens to be the first Virtue Cider I'm tasting. 

The tasting:  Golden straw in color, hazy, with light effervescence floating through the glass. Aroma of tart apple, hay, and a touch of bourbon. Taste also begins with tart apple and is immediately followed by bourbon. In the middle, light melon and oaky notes poke through. The bourbon is light, does not overwhelm, and melds nicely with the other flavors. Overall sweetness is fairly low. The Mitten is light bodied, moderately carbonated and has a soft mouthfeel. It finishes semi-dry with tart apple and notes of bourbon.

4 star.  Really Good.  I want this again!  I could not get enough of this cider! My 750 ml. bottle was quickly gone and I wanted more. Before I tasted it, I expected the bourbon to overwhelm. It didn't. It actually enhanced the other flavors. Overall, The Mitten is wonderfully balanced—the levels of sweetness and acidity were ideal (for my palate)!  The Mitten may be a winter seasonal, but I think it makes a fine summer cider as well.  My first experience with Virtue Cider did not disappoint!  I can't wait to taste the next one.

Have you tasted The Mitten or other Virtue Ciders? What do you think?

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4th Annual Cider Summit Portland: June 20-21

Summer beer...and cider festival season is rapidly approaching!  Cider Summit Portland is returning for the fourth year.  I have not yet attended this event, and plan to visit for the first time this year.

On of the unique aspects of Cider Summit is that cider makers will be present and available to chat with you about all things cider.  So this will be a great opportunity to learn about and sample from over 120 ciders.  In the meantime, save a spot on your calendar!

Have you attended Cider Summit?  How did you like it?

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Cider Summit Portland Celebrates Fourth Year with Move to the Pearl
Diverse Gathering of Artisanal Ciders Expands to The Fields Neighborhood Park

(Portland, OR) May 14, 2014 SBS Imports and the Seattle Beer Collective are pleased to announce the return of Cider Summit NW Festival to Portland, OR. The fourth annual event will take place Friday, June 20 from 2p‐8p and Saturday, June 21 from 12n‐6p. Cider Summit is expanding to the new Fields Neighborhood Park at NW 10th/Overton in the Pearl District. The event is presented by World Foods & Bushwhacker Cider.

This will be the eleventh Cider Summit produced by SBS & Seattle Beer Collective, having launched the concept in Seattle in September 2010 and expanding to Portland, Chicago, and most recently Berkeley. This year’s event will feature over 120 ciders from producers around the country and around the world.

The owners and cidermakers will be on hand to inform and guide guests through the samplings which will be available in 4‐ounce tasting portions in a souvenir festival glass. In addition to the superb range of ciders, the event will feature the DoveLewis / Unleashed by Petco dog lounge, expanded food selections from World Foods & St. Honore Boulangerie, special dessert pairings from Smitten Truffles and even cider ice cream. There will be live music each day produced in conjunction with new event beneficiary, Cascade Blues Association.

The popular Brewvana Brewery Tours shuttle will run a continuous loop from SE Portland to the Park and Cider Summit also encourages use of the Portland Streetcar to the event.

“We believe we’ve created a unique event,” noted Ian Roberts of SBC. “Interest in artisanal cider is exploding right now, and this event is the premier sampling opportunity for both the cider enthusiast and cider curious.”

“We appreciate the generous support the South Waterfront community provided for our first three events,” added event co‐founder Alan Shapiro of SBS Imports. “However thanks to the great reception of the Portland cider community we simply outgrew the space. We look forward to a long and successful partnership at our new home in the Pearl.”

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 (cash only) at the door and are available online via Stranger tickets, Umpqua Bank Pearl District branch, and at many of the area’s leading bottle shops. Admission includes a tasting glass and 8 tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets will be available for sale onsite at $2 per ticket.

New for 2014 is a special VIP ticket available for $35. This ticket includes 4 additional tasting tickets and exclusive early admission on Friday from 2p‐ 3p. Only 200 of these tickets are available – exclusively online via the event website.

Re‐admission will be allowed at any time with event wristband and tasting glass. THE EVENT IS 21 & OVER ONLY. Dogs of all ages will be allowed on event grounds. For more information including a list of participating ciders please visit

Cider Summit NW benefits Northwest Cider Association, The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research, DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital, and the Cascade Blues Association.

Cider Summit NW is presented by World Foods & Bushwhacker Cider with supporting sponsors, Brewvana Brewery Tours, St. Honore Boulangerie, Umpqua Bank, The Portland Westin Hotel, KNRK 94/7 Alternative Portland, Portland Mercury, Cidercraft Magazine, Maletis Beverage, and Portland Streetcar.

For more information contact:
Alan Shapiro ‐ SBS Imports

Portland Brewing's Oregon Honey Beer Returns

What's old is new again.  Portland Brewing is bringing Oregon Honey Beer back for the first time since it was retired from the brewery's lineup in 2009.  At 4.8% ABV, this is yet another option if you're looking for a summer session beer.  For more details, check out the brewery's press release below. It should be available at grocery stores and bottle shops shortly.

Did you try Oregon Honey Beer before it was retired?  How did you like it?

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Portland Brewing Creates a Buzz with Oregon Honey Beer
You’ll be “pollen in love” with this seasonal all summer long

PORTLAND, Ore. (May 19, 2014) — Oregon is arguably one of the best places to enjoy outside summer activities. It’s not uncommon to see bicyclists lugging freshly filled growlers from the pub, to inhale the sweet smell of barbeque in the air, and to see flowers in full bloom with bees a-buzzing. It’s the perfect time for Portland Brewing’s summer seasonal — Oregon Honey Beer.

Brewed with Oregon-sourced white clover honey, 2-Row Pale malt and Willamette and Nugget hops, Oregon Honey Beer is crisp and refreshing with just a hint of sweetness. Its light body pairs well with both fatty BBQ and refreshing salads, and at 4.8% ABV and 17 IBUs, you won’t regret reaching for a second round as the temperature rises.

“More than any other beer in the Portland Brewing archives, Oregon Honey Beer is the recipe we’ve been hearing the most about over the years since it stopped flowing from our taps,” says Portland Brewing head brewer Ryan Pappe. “Once we started revisiting beers from the archives, it was always a matter of when, not if, we would brew the next batch of Oregon Honey Beer.”

But like a flower in bloom, Oregon Honey Beer won’t be around forever. Find it in Oregon and Washington stores and bottle shops, as well as the Portland Brewing Company Taproom, between now and August 15. Oregon Honey Beer is available in 22 oz. bottles, 12 oz. 6-packs and on draft. Find Oregon Honey Beer and other Portland Brewing favorites through the beer finder at

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4th Annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival: The Taplist

The Portland Fruit Beer Festival is back for its fourth year. This year's extravaganza of fruit will be held June 6-8 at Burnside Brewing.  While PFBF always has a great tap list (most of the beers are created especially for the fest), this year's offerings promise to be the best yet!  Take a look a the tap list below.  You may might want to plan multiple visits so you can enjoy them all!  For more details, including hours and prices, check out the Portland Fruit Beer Festival website.

Which of these fruity concoctions sound the most appealing to you?

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Final Main Festival Beer List

10 Barrel Brewing - Bend, OR
Cherry Sour Brown
Beer Style: Sour Brown Ale aged on tart cherries
IBUS: 16 BUs
We brewed this malty brown ale, soured it and aged it on tart cherries for
the perfect mix of sour, malty, refreshing and just plain strange. 
Unlike anything we've ever done before...

Alameda Brewing - Portland, OR
Mayme B
Belgian Dark Golden
6.6% ABV
45 IBU's
Description: The Mayme B is a Belgian Dark Golden bier brewed with Mamey fruit(Pouteria sapota). This tropical fruit native to the Caribbean and Central America has a flavor which could be described as a mix of sweet potato and pumpkin topped off with maraschino cherry and a almond twist. The mamey was added post boil in the kettle and also post fermentation lending this beer a lovely almond/vanilla character. Subtle hops meld with a simple malt bill of Belgian Pilsner malt, Special B, and the clean Belgian yeast to create an interesting and nuanced brew. Enjoy.

Barley Browns - Baker City, OR
India Purple Ale
Style: IPA
ABV: 7.2%
IBU: 55
Description: American Style IPA brewed with experimental hops and Concorde Grape Juice.

Breakside Brewery - Milwaukie, OR
Passionfruit Sour Ale
Style: American Sour Ale
ABV: 4.5
IBU: 4
Description: Award-winning sour beer conditioned with passionfruit!

Burnside Brewing - Portland, OR
Nero's Fiddle
Style: Graff
ABV: 7.0%
IBU: ?
Description: Burnside Brewing and EZ Orchards Cidre came together to create this
Belgian-style graff.  A blend of late harvest Roman Beauty, Pink Lady, and Granny Smith
apples was whirlpooled into the kettle at flame-off.  The wort/juice blend
was then fermented with a  Belgian yeast to create aromas of apple, pear,
vanilla, and rose.  The proprietary blend of apples drive the flavor profile
of this tart and dry summertime hybrid.  Play the fiddle.

The Commons Brewery - Portland, OR
Citrus Royale
Style: American Sour
ABV: 5.8% ABV
IBU: 11
Description: A sour spelt based beer with Navel Orange, Murcott Mandarin, Meyer Lemon peel and orange and lime juice.

Deschutes Brewery - Portland, OR
Peach Slap
Style: Sour Ale with Peaches
ABV: 3.2%
IBU: 22
Description: Peach Slap is a crisp, tart Belgian ale with a generous helping of peach puree.  The base beer is light but well-rounded thanks to a portion of unmalted wheat, and gains complexity from the addition of juniper berries and pink peppercorn.  

Ecliptic Brewing - Portland, OR
Lacerta Frambuesa
Style: Belgian Framboise
ABV: 6.5
IBU: 20
Description: Lacerta is the lizard constellation. We're sure the Aztecs had to deal with them in their caves. This frambuesa is made in the Aztec style. The base beer is a light ale and it was infused with Cocoa Nibs in the mash. Hopped gently to let the malt flavors shine through. Once fermentation was going strong pounds of Raspberries were added to the fermenter. Lacerta has a nice belgian yeast spiciness that blends well with the fruit. The Cocoa nibs add a layer of flavor to the malt profile

Elysian Brewing - Seattle, WA
D'Mango Unchained
Style:  Pale Ale
ABV: 6%
IBU:  32
Description: The D is silent. We think its light bitterness and mango fruitiness give it just the right splatter to hasten spring amid all this rain.  A simple, almost antebellum malt bill of pale, Munich and honey malts, bittered with Centennial and finished with Citra and Mosaic.  Four pounds per barrel of puréed mango added to the fermenter make it just the thing to order up for two weary travelers.  SG 14°P/1.056; 32 IBU; 6% abv

Falling Sky Brewing - Eugene, OR
Marionberry Smoked Ale
Style: Fruit and Smoke Beer
ABV: 5.4
IBU: 17
Description: Looking for a summer pink drink? Need a beer for the afternoon BBQ? Don’t catch your hair on fire with this unique offering combining two of our favorites summer brews. Painstakingly home-smoked malt by our brewers using Peach wood and Oregon Grown Marionberries provide subtle sweet smoke character and a refreshing tartness.
Malts: Weyermann Pale, MFB Munich, Weyermann CaraFoam and Peach wood Smoked Malt. Hops: Mosaic. Extras: Over 100lbs of sustainably harvested Oregon Grown Marionberries (Stahlbush Island Farms)

Flat Tail Brewing - Corvallis, OR
Brettberry Wit
Style:American Wit aged on blueberries w/Brett B
Description: Our white tail wit, aged and fermented with Oregon blueberry purée' and Brett B.

Fort George Brewery -  Astoria, OR
Pi Beer
Style: Fruit Wheat Beer
ABV: 5%
IBU: 3.141592653358979323846264338372950288419716939937510
Description: A 40% Wheat beer with a secondary fermentation on strawberries and rhubarb. It is light, tart, fruity, pink and very drinkable. We love making beers that are drinkable.

Gigantic Brewing - Portland, OR
Boysen The Hood
Style: Golden Tart Boysen Belgian
ABV: 6.4
IBU: 19
Description: The latest from "The World's Most Crafty Brewery": A tart Belgian-Style Boysenberry Golden, soured in the kettle and hand crafted using only the finest world class pilsner, crystal and wheat malts, locally grown Mt Hood and Crystal hops. Taste the Awesome!

Hopworks Urban Brewery - Portland, OR
Organic Fruit Cocktail
Style: Belgian Fruit Beer
Description: Take a fermented step back in time and grab a pint of Fruit Cocktail. Featuring organic juice from the five fruits that make up the USDA definition for fruit cocktail, specifically 40% Peaches, 35% Pears, 10% Pineapple, 10% Grapes, 5% Cherries. This fruity golden ale is dry, effervescent and the perfect excuse to cut class with your friends.

Laurelwood Brewing - Portland, OR
Aren't You Glad I Didn't Say Banana?
Style: Citrus Wheat Ale
ABV: 4.4
Description: A tart old world wheat with mixed citrus (Various including Orange, Lemon, Lime, grapefruit and whatever else we can scare up)  zest and juice. 100+ International Citrus Units

Lompoc Brewing - Portland, OR
Pear’n Kramer
Style: Golden Ale
ABV: 5%
Description: A golden ale fermented in stainless steel with pears that were handpicked in Salem, OR by the brewers and bartenders of Lompoc in August 2013.  This beer sat on those pears for 5 months before being transferred to another tank for conditioning where it was inoculated with a touch of gueuze.  Pear aroma with a slight barnyard like character.  5.0% ABV

Oakshire Brewing - Eugene, OR
Oude Bes: Strawberry Balsalmic
Style: Flanders Red
OG: 12.7
ABV 6.2
IBU: 12
Description: Our brewers dug through the barrel room and uncovered several of our oldest Fladers Red-style beers aging in pinot noir wine barrels.  A few had strawberry and plums added and were dosed with Brett and lacto. We then blended 5 of our favorite barrels and aged them for a month on Strawberry puree and added a balsalmic vinegar reduction for a slightly tart and acidic Flemish-style red ale with hints of strawberries, ripe fruit, and a mild lambic-like barnyard funk. Savor this unique summer fruit salad we've created!

Pelican Brewing - Pacific City, OR
Style: Apricot Saison
ABV: 6.14%
IBU: 20
Description: Saison du Pelican aged with organic apricots.

Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider - Portland, OR
Sweet Triple Hot ¡Tepache!
Style: Pineapple wine with peppers
ABV: 3.2
IBU: 0
Description: Partially fermented pineapples with three hot peppers: Habanero, Aji and Ghost (but not too hot)

Stone Brewing Co. - Escondido, CA
"The Tiger Cub" Saison aged in White Wine Barrels w/Sour Cherries
ABV: 7.8%
Description: After we made our initial blend of Tiger Cub, we held on to 8 of the White Wine Barrels from the original blend that had developed additional secondary fermentation flavors "funk", and allowed them to age for a total of 14 months.  One of the barrels developed naturally occurring sourness, and all developed funk from secondary fermentation in the barrel.  Once blended together, the blend was tart, with some peach and apple flavors, and a little acetic acid.  To further intensify the brew, we added sour cherries to the tank.  The end result is puckery goodness, with funky, horsey Brettanomyces, citric acid and fruit sweetness from the cherries, some acetic roughness, and lactic peach flavors.  An intense and complex sour that will age well.

Stormbreaker Brewing - Portland, OR
Name: TBD
Style:Belgian Pale Brewed and Minneola Tangelo and aged on 100lbs of Cherimoya
ABV: 5.78
IBU: 21.7
Description: Belgian Pale Brewed and Minneola Tangelo and aged on 100lbs of Cherimoya

2 Towns Ciderhouse - Corvallis, OR
Made Marion Cider
Style: Cider
ABV: 6%
Description: Ripe & Juicy, The Made Marion is made with fresh-pressed NW apples and Oregon-grown marionberries.
"There's gonna be a big to do in Nottingham"

Upright Brewing - Portland, OR
Style: Aquavit barrel aged rye saison
ABV: 8%
IBU: 25
Description: NecTørr is Upright's rye based dark saison matured six months in Aquavit casks from House Spirits, where the beer sat on dried persimmons, mellowing the spiciness while accentuating the honey notes of the Scandinavian spirit. A bit of pomegranate is included to balance the natural fruit and oak tannins.

Widmer Brothers/5 Stones Artisan Brewery - Portland, OR
Up From San Antone
Style: Grapefruit White IPA  
ABV: 6.6%
IBU: 55
Description (including fruit): Up from San Antone is a White IPA brewed with coriander and the zest and juice of 100+ pounds of fresh grapefruit.  This limited release collaboration was brewed with 5 Stones, a small brewery in Cibolo Texas (near San Antonio) that specializes in brewing with fresh produce and non-traditional ingredients.  Named after a line in the song “Amarillo by Morning,” the name is a nod to the location of our collaboration partner and the liberal use of Amarillo hops.  Up from San Antone has a wonderfully hoppy and grapefruity aroma, and the flavor is crisp and refreshing.  Citrusy and bright, this is an amazingly drinkable IPA with loads of character.  Perfect for summer, whether you’re in Texas, Portland or anywhere in between!

Worthy Brewing - Bend, OR
Peachy Keen
Style: Cream Ale brewed with Peaches
ABV: 5.1%
IBU: 24
Description: A smooth and delicate ale brewed with milk sugar and peaches. Golden in color, this is a summery session ale.

The Portland Fruit Beer Festival is presented by Burnside Brewing, Oregon Fruit Products and Maletis Beverage with additional help from Yelp, Willamette Week and Backdraught. The Fruit Beer Fest is the first festival in the world dedicated to fruit beers and still the largest. Each year the PFBF attracts beer and fruit fans from across the world and continues to expand to meet demand and the growing popularity of fruit beers.

Twitter: @FruitBeerFest

Wünderbier: Ninkasi's New Summer Seasonal

There's a new kid on Ninkasi's block!  Wünderbier, a Kölsch-style ale is replacing Radiant (pale ale) as Ninkasi's summer seasonal. At 4.4% ABV and 22 IBUs, this session ale sounds like a great hot weather beer. Check out the details in Ninkasi's press release below.  I haven't tried it yet, but will be sure to share my tasting notes after sampling it.

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Wünderbier is Available in Bottles and On-Draft June Through August
EUGENE, Ore.—May 19, 2014— With warmer months and endless adventures ahead, Ninkasi Brewing Company aims to help craft beer admirers appreciate summer even more with the release of Wünderbier to its Seasonal Release Series. A Kölsch-Style ale, Wünderbier is perfect for summertime enjoyment, offering a beer that is crisp, sweet and luminous.
Brewed in the traditional fashion, Wünderbier ferments at ale temperatures and is conditioned at colder lager temperatures, giving this golden-colored beer a subtle, crisp sweetness with a light flavor. Wünderbier has a light body and a dry yet crisp finish, offering a beer that is a balanced and sessionable.
“This Kölsch-style beer is perfect for chilling with friends,” says Jamie Floyd, founding brewer and co-founder of Ninkasi. “Crisp, delicate, bright, and light this beer allows us to enjoy each other’s company without distractions and is an exceptional pairing to summertime fare.”
Available for the first time, Wünderbier can be found in 12 and 22-ounce bottles and on-draft June through August.
Wünderbier Stats
Style: Kölsch-Style Beer
Series: Seasonal Release Series
Available: June – August 2014
ABV: 4.4%
IBU: 22
Starting Gravity: 1044
Malt: 2-Row Pale, Pilsen, White Wheat
Hops: German Spalt
Packaging: 12 and 22-ounce bottles, draft
Distribution: Oregon; Washington; Idaho; Montana; California; Alaska; Nevada; and Vancouver, British Columbia
Description: Conquer summer with Wünderbier in-hand and say “cheers” to the pure and unadulterated fun of the season. In tribute to the favored beer of Cologne (Köln), Germany, this German-Style Kölsch is golden-colored with a subtle, crisp sweetness. A wonderful summer story awaits in every sip; it’s Wünderbier! 
Tasting Notes: Fermented at ale temperatures and conditioned at colder lager temperatures, this golden-colored beer has a subtle, crisp sweetness with a light flavor. With a light body and a dry yet crisp finish, this beer is a balanced and sessionable, perfect for summertime enjoyment!
Food Pairings: Soups, Salads, Sandwiches, Pastas, BBQ, Most Meats, Shortbread Cookies, Fruit Tarts
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 two brewhouses, a  55-barrel and a 90-barrel brewhouse, 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; 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


Lompoc Youth Soccer Fundraiser

Lompoc Brewing is hosting a Portland Timbers viewing party and silent auction on Saturday, May 24 to benefit the West Side Premier Soccer Club U13 Copa. This team is headed to play soccer in Mexico after winning the Oregon State Cup!  All the details are below.

Don't miss this chance to drink some great beer and help make the soccer dreams of some local kids come true!

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Lompoc Brewing Teams Up with MLS Legends for Soccer Youth Fundraiser

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland soccer legends John Bain and Timber Jim are joining with Lompoc Brewing for a Portland Timbers viewing party and silent auction to raise funds for the West Side Timbers Premier Soccer Club U13 Copa; the youth soccer team recently won the Oregon State Cup and is now heading to New Mexico to participate in The US Youth Soccer Far West Regional League June 16 through 22. The fundraiser will take place on Saturday, May 24 from 3 to 6pm at Lompoc’s Fifth Quadrant patio and brewery, 3901 N Williams Ave.

A silent auction will begin at 3 pm and feature various soccer memorabilia, MLS items, Adidas merchandise and brewery packages. All monies raised at the silent auction, as well as the majority of beer sales during the event, will be donated directly to the team to help offset travel expenses.

The Portland Timbers vs New York Red Bulls game will be show from 4 to 6pm on a big screen on the patio (and in the brewery for those over 21). Just prior to kick off, Lompoc Brewing will present the Timbers Army 107ist with a donation from the 2013 season sales of Kick Axe Dry Hopped Pale Ale; Lompoc Brewing donates $5 from every keg sold. This year’s funds will be directed to Operation Pitch Invasion for a new field at Jefferson High School.

A Portland staple since 1996, Lompoc Brewing creates 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: Fifth Quadrant and Sidebar in North Portland, Lompoc Tavern in NW, and Hedge House and Oaks Bottom in SE. For more information, visit

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Jeff Edgerton Talks Stumptown Tart '14

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending a Media Day hosted by BridgePort Brewing Co. Among the many beers we sampled was Stumptown Tart. This year's version showcases Cranberries and Blueberries.  I tasted it for the first time at the event, and loved it. This is probably my favorite installment of the series! I'll post a detailed review with tasting notes after I taste it again.

As a home brewer, I enjoy the process of making beer. I've also experimented with a few fruit beers. In the video below, Jeff Edgerton, BridgePort Brewmaster, talks about Stumptown Tart '14 and explains how he and his team created this beer. If you're into brewing, I expect you'll find this especially interesting. If you're just a fan of good beer, you'll learn about the effort and care that goes into a beer like this.

If listening to Jeff whets your appetite, go pick up a bottle of Stumptown Tart. It was just released and should be available through June.

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Review: Go To IPA, Stone Brewing Co.

Stone Brewing Co. — Escondido, CA

  • Style:  IPA
  • Bitterness:  65 IBU
  • ABV:  4.5%
  • Malts:  2-Row Pale, Light Crystal, Vienna
  • Hops:  
    • First wort: Magnum
    • Bittering: none
    • Late kettle: El Dorado, Crystal, Cascade, Steiner 06300
    • Whirlpool: Mosaic, Crystal, Ahtanum,  and Sterling
    • Dry Hop: Mosaic, Citra, Cascade
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle (provided by brewery)

Description:  Since Day One, we've been abundantly forthright and fully transparent about our lust for hops. It's led us to craft many an IPA, most of them imperial—some intense for their time and all timeless in their intensity. For Stone Go To IPA, we are embracing our hop obsession in a new way, funneling an abundance of lupulin-borne bitterness into a "session" IPA delivering all the fruity, piney character of a much bigger IPA. To accomplish this, we employed "hop bursting," a new technique wherein an irrational amount of hops is added during the final phase of the brewing process to coax out extreme flavors and aromas while also imparting a burst of desirably pleasant bitterness. The result is an Alpha-acid-rich beer that fans can enjoy more of without missing out on the assertive hop character you, like us, crave. So, sit back and go two with your new everyday go-to IPA and bask along with us in the glory of the almighty hop. — Stone Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  2014 is shaping up to be the year of the session beer. Recently, I've noticed many breweries releasing low alcohol beers (mostly IPAs). Stone is joining the party with Go To IPA, a new year-round release. Go To IPA is unique because it uses no bittering hops, which are added early in the boil to extract bitterness. Instead, it loads up on hop aroma and flavor though extensive late addition, whirlpool, and dry hopping. 

The tasting:  Pale golden in color, slightly hazy, with an off-white head that dissipates slowly.  The aroma is strong and full of tropical fruit flavors. I noticed mango, guava, mandarin orange, as well as grapefruit. The taste starts with grapefruit and a bit of pine. In the middle, a biscuity malt flavor emerges. The tropical fruits that dominated the aroma are not present in taste. Overall hop bitterness is moderate. While it has lots of hop flavor, it avoids the overwhelming bitterness. Alcohol is not noticeable in aroma or taste. Go To IPA is light bodied, has an effervescent mouth feel, and finishes with lingering grapefruit hop bitterness.

4 star.  Really Good.  I want this again!  When I started writing this blog, I gravitated towards high alcohol and extreme beers.  More is better, right?  While big beers are fun, sometimes less is more. These days, if a lower alcohol beer option is available, I tend to chose it.  That said, I have no interest in light beer. I still expect all the flavor.  So I'm glad session beers are making a comeback. Stone may be well known for big IPAs, but this new little brother is a welcome addition to the family.

Have you tasted Stone's Go To IPA?  What do you think of it?

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Supply, Demand, and the Dark Lord

I studied economics in college. It's a fascinating subject. Here's a simple lesson for you. Shortages are created when demand exceeds supply. The extent of the shortage impacts human behavior.  This is where it gets interesting. In the first world, when shortages are combined with hype, people do seemingly irrational things. Does anyone remember Cabbage Patch Kids? 

A similar phenomenon happens in the beer world. A handful of beers (including Russian River's Pliny The Younger, Westvleteren 12, and Three Floyd's Dark Lord) have achieved a cult-like status. Beer geeks will spend hours in line and/or travel far and wide for the chance to obtain a small taste. 

The near hysteria occurs in Portland every February when Russian River's Pliny the Younger comes to town. You can get an idea of what happens by reading this and this.  Although I've never spent hours in line (yet), I'm a beer geek and am captivated by the charms of these scarce beers.

Last week, one of these gems unexpectedly ended up in my hands. A friend (who is the brother of a beer geek) attended Dark Lord Day in his hometown of Munster, Indiana. He bought his allotment of bottles and thought I would appreciate one. He was right. A shiny new bottle of the elusive Dark Lord! I haven't opened it yet. This is a beer that should be shared, so I'll wait for the right occasion to crack it open.

It's very well rated by both Beer Advocate and Rate Beer.  While I'm sure Dark Lord is an excellent, I expect it will be nearly impossible for it to live up to the hype. Even if it doesn't, that's OK with me. Taste is just one part of the experience when it comes to these beers!  For a first hand account of Dark Lord Day, check out this post from an Indiana beer blogger.

Finally, a huge thanks to my friend Champ for sharing the Dark Lord with me! It's a special treat!

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BridgePort's Stumptown Tart '14: Cranberries & Blueberries

BridgePort Brewing Co. just announced the details for the 7th installment of their Stumptown Tart series. This year's edition will feature cranberries and blueberries. Complete details are listed in the news release below. It's already making its way onto grocery store shelves. I actually saw a bottle this past weekend and plan to profile it in the near future.

In the meantime, take stroll down memory lane with Stumptown Tart '13, Stumptown Tart '12, and Stumptown Tart '10.

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Seventh Generation Stumptown Tart will debut on May 15 at BridgePort Brewpub in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. – May, 5 2013 – Staying true to its namesake, this year’s Stumptown Tart ups the tart factor with the addition of Oregon cranberries paired with the popular blueberry from last year. Typically  reserved for Thanksgiving feasts and brightly colored juice, this is the first time BridgePort has used this Oregon grown berry in a beer. Jeff Edgerton, brewmaster at BridgePort Brewing Company, explains the unusual choice:

“I loved the blueberries in last year’s Stumptown Tart and ever since it came out I’ve been thinking about what would pair well with blueberries again. We played with the tartness of cranberries against the mellow sweetness of the blueberries and the whole brewing staff is pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Trying out new fruit year to year challenges the brewing team and this year’s Stumptown Tart was no different.

“We were surprised about two things when it came to brewing this beer,” commented Edgerton. “The first was that once we combined the cranberries with the base beer, it actually mellowed out the bitter flavor that most of us associate with cranberries. The second was the color. We expected a bright red beer when in fact the skins of the cranberries hardly produced any color leaving the beer light red in color.”

BridgePort will host a Stumptown Tart release party Thursday, May 15 starting at 5:30 p.m. at the BridgePort Brewpub in Portland. Come be one of the first to try this year’s beloved Stumptown Tart. Bottle label model Bernie Dexter will also be there ready to pose with guests for photo opportunities and to personalize guests’ bottles with an autograph. For $1, guests can snag a smooch from the Stumptown Tart herself along with a picture in the kissing booth. All Donations will go to The American Cancer Society.

BridgePort’s Stumptown Tart Stats:
IBUs:   21        ABV:  7.8%    Color: Soft Bluish-Purple      OG: 17.0

Ingredients:  Pilsner malt, white wheat malt, Belgian yeast, ale yeast, lager yeast, blueberries and cranberry puree.

Description:   Brewed with two row pale malt and malted white wheat, the 2014 edition of this big Belgian-style ale features the crisp sweet and tart balance of Oregon blueberries and cranberries. The hazy brew is double fermented and only lightly filtered to retain the fresh fruit flavor.

About BridgePort Brewing Company:
Celebrating 30 years in 2014, Oregon's oldest craft brewery continues to evolve from a microbrewery to a regional leader committed to producing high quality craft ales. Lead by Brewmaster Jeff Edgerton, the team of BridgePort brewers prides itself on using hops from an hour away and clear glacial water from Mount Hood. The BridgePort family of ales includes IPA, the Hop Czar IPA Series, and Kingpin.  BridgePort Brewery is located at 1313 N.W. Marshall St.  For more information, call 503-241-7179 or visit      



Salt & Straw and Pelican's Ultimate Beer and Bacon Ice Cream

Beer, ice cream, and bacon are three of my favorite foods. They're not only delicious on their own, but also pair well with other foods. Have you ever pondered the possibilities of what might result if you combine all three together? 

I recently found out when my family made a trip to Salt & Straw on NW 21st Street. Salt & Straw is well-known in Portland for their small batch, handcrafted ice cream made from sustainable, locally-grown ingredients. They're also known for combining unusual ingredients in unlikely combinations to create offerings such as Pear with Blue Cheese, Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Black Pepper, and Bone Marrow & Bourbon Smoked Cherries (yes, you read that correctly).

They also feature limited-release seasonal offerings. Right now, you can celebrate spring with a cone of Mint Leaves with Sea Urchin Meringue or Dandelion Sorbet with Spring flowers. They may sound odd, but you just need to try them. Anyway, when I visited in late March, I stumbled on my dream flavorDouble Bock Bacon Ale. Here's Salt & Straw's description:

A re-incarnation from Salt & Straw flavor history. This combination of a malty, caramel-heavy beer paired with sweet, molasses-heavy bacon was our first seasonal we ever made. This year, we have teamed up with Pelican Brewing to use their Doppelbock to flavor the ice cream, which is a malt-bomb and creates the perfect base for our candied bacon.

Sounds tasty, but did it live up to expectations? Absolutely! The malt from the beer provided a solid base that wasn't overly sweet. The caramel added a wonderful sweetness that was perfectly balanced by the salty bacon. This experience goes to prove that bacon DOES, in fact, make everything better and it also furthers my belief in a benevolent creator.

While Double Bock Bacon Ale was a limited release, Salt & Straw periodically features ice cream made with local craft beers. Check their website to see the menu. Have you visited Salt & Straw?  What's your favorite flavor?

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Review: Hop Czar Citra Dry-Hopped IPA, BridgePort

 Hop Czar Citra Dry-Hopped IPA
BridgePort Brewing Co. — Portland, OR

  • Style:  IPA
  • Bitterness:  60 IBU
  • ABV:  6.5%
  • Malts:  Not specified
  • Hops:  Citra (others not specified)
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle

Description:  Our new Hop Czar® IPA series highlights the glory of hops. The first in the series, the Citra Dry-Hopped IPA adds a decidedly American twist to a British original. The complexity of the English malt is complemented by aggressive dry-hopping with Oregon’s Willamette Valley Citra hops, for this transatlantic, full-bodied IPA with an intensely aromatic character. — BridgePort Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  Hop Czar has been re-branded as a rotating IPA series. I shared the news about this change back in January. The first release in the new series is a Citra dry-hopped version.

The tasting:  Golden orange in color, hazy, with an off-white head that disappears fairly quickly. Aroma consists mostly of grapefruit and grass. Taste starts with grassy and herbal notes. In the middle, flavors of bread and light caramel emerge. Alcohol is not noticeable in aroma but a touch is present in the middle. Hop bitterness is prominent throughout. Hop Czar is light bodied, softly carbonated, and finishes with a lingering grassy hop bitterness.

3 star.  Good.  I would drink this again if it was given to me.  I was excited to taste this beer because I love Citra hops. I've used them in my homebrews and enjoy their big citrus and tropical fruit flavors. So was surprised (and a bit disappointed) by the grassy hop flavors that were so dominant. Overall, it's a nice beer. I was just expecting something different.

Have you tasted Hop Czar Citry Dry-Hopped IPA?  How do you like it?

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The Muse Enters Angry Orchard's Cider House

Angry Orchard Cider Co. just announced the addition of The Muse to its Cider House Collection of specialty ciders. The details are listed in the press release below.

While I primarily drink beer, I do enjoy ciders from time to time. I just can't drink overly sweet ciders, so I tend to avoid the mass-market options. I haven't tasted The Muse yet, but it seems intriguing to me for a few reasons. First, it's semi-dry. I enjoy a touch of sweetness in cider--but not too much. Next, inspired by sparkling wines, the added effervescence should help to lighten the body. Finally, I'm a big fan of anything aged on oak, as it can add spicy notes and an extra softness to the mouth feel.

The Muse sounds great on paper. I'll have to give it a try and see how it compares!

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Angry Orchard Cider Maker Reveals the Newest Member of the Cider House Collection – The Muse

The cider maker’s newest specialty hard cider is inspired by
European demi-sec champagne and sparkling wine

CINCINNATI, May 1, 2014 – This spring, the Angry Orchard Cider Company is releasing a new year-round Cider House Collection specialty cider - The Muse. Inspired by the festive nature of slightly sweet demi-sec champagnes and sparkling wines, the cider makers at Angry Orchard experimented with select apple blends, wood-aging and fermentation methods to create this specialty release. The Muse is an effervescent, fruit-forward cider perfect for celebratory occasions or as an unconventional alternative to white wine. First launched in 2012, Angry Orchard is the number one selling hard cider in the US[1], and continues to introduce new hard cider styles to drinkers who are exploring hard cider as a beverage alternative to craft beer and wine.

“For The Muse, we drew upon our nearly twenty years of experimentation with apple blends, wood aging and fermentation techniques to develop a specialty sparkling cider,” says David Sipes, cider maker for Angry Orchard. “Ultimately, we chose to use a blend of apples from the Alto Adige region of Italy and from Normandy and Bretagne, France and to age the cider on French oak staves in order to create an effervescent, fruit-forward cider akin to slightly sweet demi-sec champagnes and sparkling wines.”

The Muse has a distinct juicy apple aroma and is slightly sweet upfront, balanced by a bright acidity, and finishes slightly dry with a lingering flavor of sweet, fresh apples. The newest addition to the Cider House Collection is aged on French oak staves, which adds a subtle wood impression and imparts notes of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and hints of vanilla. To craft this demi-sec cider, the cider makers used a blend of culinary apples from the Südtirol, also known as the Alto Adige region of Italy, a fertile valley known for wine making. Apple juice is then added from traditional bittersweet apples grown in Normandy and Bretagne, France, a region with a historic and thriving culture of growing apples unique to cider making. With the addition of The Muse, the Cider House Collection expands its portfolio to three specialty ciders, including Iceman and Strawman, all offered year-round in a 750ml, corked-caged bottle.

“The Muse displays the qualities of a fine, sparkling beverage enjoyable on its own and as an alternative to sparkling wines like Italian Proseccos, Spanish Cavas, and German Sekts,” says David Sipes. “The Muse offers drinkers a refreshing way to explore specialty ciders, especially as a novel pairing with food, while also satisfying the American drinker’s evolving and more sophisticated palate.”

The Muse complements a variety of foods and is perfect for celebrating drinking occasions or for sharing with a friend over dinner.   This well-balanced, fruit-forward specialty cider, pairs well with a broad range of flavorful foods, from spicy to creamy dishes. With its medium body, light effervescence and alcohol content of 7.7% ABV, The Muse also pairs well with dishes of varying weight and texture, from creamy goat cheese to grilled chicken. Similar to a white wine, the Cider House Collection ciders should be served cool, but not cold, around a temperature range of 45-52˚F.

About Angry Orchard’s Cider House Collection:
The Angry Orchard Cider House Collection ciders are similar to wines as they use a select blend of apple varietals to create a balance of tannins, acidity, and sugars and are fermented with a carefully selected white wine yeast to showcase the apples’ complex and extraordinary flavors.

In addition to The Muse, the Cider House Collection features Angry Orchard Iceman, inspired by traditional Quebec ice ciders, and Angry Orchard Strawman, an American take on a French farmhouse cider. Strawman was influenced by centuries-old European farmhouse cider making techniques and pairs perfectly with a variety of cheeses and charcuterie, while Iceman took cues from the traditional ice ciders of Quebec, creating a cider that is both delicate and sweet and a perfect pairing for desserts. The collection’s unique apple blend and fermentation methods make these ciders suitable for all occasions. The Angry Orchard Cider House Collection is now available nationwide[2] for a suggested retail price of $14.99 - $17.99 per bottle (price varies by market).

About Angry Orchard Cider Company:
Angry Orchard Cider Company's cider makers have been experimenting with apple varieties and unique flavors to develop cider recipes for almost 20 years. Angry Orchard's hard cider line-up – Crisp Apple, Apple Ginger, Traditional Dry, Elderflower, Iceman and Strawman – first experimented with a blend of Italian culinary apples from the foothills of the Alps and French bittersweet apples from Normandy. Year-round style Green Apple and seasonals, Elderflower and Cinnful Apple, are made with apples from the Pacific Northwest. The apple juice goes through a lengthy fermentation process, with some ciders aged on oak for additional complexity and balance, before bottling.

All Angry Orchard hard ciders are gluten-free. Angry Orchard Crisp Apple, Apple Ginger, Traditional Dry and Green Apple is available year-round in 6-packs for a suggested retail price of $7.99 - $9.99 (price varies by market). Angry Orchard Crisp Apple is also available on draft nationwide. Angry Orchard Elderflower is available April through August in 6-packs for a suggested retail price of $7.99 - $9.99 and in variety 12-packs with three other Angry Orchard styles, Crisp Apple, Green Apple and Apple Ginger, for a suggested retail price of $14.99 - $17.99 (price varies by market). Angry Orchard Cinnful Apple is available September through March.

To find where Angry Orchard hard cider is served near you, visit the "cider finder" at Cider lovers can explore the orchard online at, like us at, and follow us at

Angry Orchard, Iceman, and Strawman are registered trademarks of the Angry Orchard Cider Company.

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[1]Angry Orchard is the #1 Cider Brand according to IRI, Total U.S. Multi-Outlet, last 13 weeks ending 4/20/2014
2 The Cider House Collection (The Muse, Iceman and Strawman) is not available in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Virginia.