Kells Rains Green for Local Children

Drink beer, help kids! Does it get any better than that? Actually, you don't even have to drink the beerbut you'll want to. Between now and February 24, Kells is teaming up with with Providence Federal Credit Union to raise money for The Center for Medically Fragile Children at Providence Child Center.

A big thanks to the McAleese family, owners of Kells, for supporting kids in our local community!  I had the pleasure of meeting them at Kells Brewpub a few months ago at a media event. They're great people, so please support them in this effort to help local children! All of the details are listed in the news release below.

Now let's talk about beer for a minute. During the holidays, I tasted Kells' Imperial Stout. It's smooth and creamy with loads of roasty coffee, chocolate, and a touch of vanilla.  I don't know if it's still on tap, but give it a try if it is!

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Kells Imperial Stout

Kells Irish Restaurant and Kells Brewpub team up with Providence Federal Credit Union for “Green Rain” fundraiser to assistmedically fragile children at Providence Child Center

PORTLAND, Ore. – It’s one of the rare times that Portlanders actually want to see umbrellas and rain. Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub and Kells Brew Pub have partnered with Providence Federal Credit Union for the annual “Kells Green Rain Fundraiser” to raise money for medically fragile children at Providence Child Center.

From now through Feb. 24, patrons at both Kells Irish Restaurant on NW 2nd Ave and Kells Brewpub on NW 21st Ave are invited to toss bills and change into clear umbrellas hanging from the ceiling; on Feb. 24, the money (green) will “rain down” from the ceiling and be collected and donated to Providence Child Center. Providence Federal Credit Union will then match up to $15,000 in donations made during the Kells Green Rain Fundraising event.

Providence Federal Credit Union will also match donations made online or onsite at any of its branches; donors will receive a coupon for 20-percent off of food at Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub. Large one-of-a-kind umbrellas are also available for purchase at any of the branches; for a list of branches, visit

The Center for Medically Fragile Children at Providence Child Center relies on donations from the community to bridge the annual $2 million gap between what Medicaid pays for care and actual costs of providing care for these children.

The Center for Medically Fragile Children at Providence Child Center is the Pacific Northwest's only pediatric skilled nursing facility offering 24-hour skilled nursing care for children with profound disabilities and chronic, complex, health needs. From birth to age 21, the Center lovingly cares for each child's needs-physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually so they may grow to reach their full potential.

Serving the Northwest since 1983, Kells Irish Restaurant is a local family-run establishment that is consistently voted and ranked among the top Irish pubs in the United States. With locations in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco, it is a touchstone of each community that stays true to its roots, annually hosting the largest St. Patrick’s Day festival in the Northwest. Owners Gerard and Lucille McAleese are also recognized for their generosity to a number of nonprofits and community organizations. Kells Irish Restaurant in downtown Portland is celebrating 25 years in 2015. For more information, visit

# # #

Bridgeport's Trilogy 1 Returns as Conviction Pale Ale

BridgePort Brewing Co. just announced the release of Conviction Pale Ale, a new year-round beer. Well, it's not entirely new. Conviction was released last year under the name Trilogy 1. The Trilogy Series was a rotating beer series that commemorated BridgePort's 30th Anniversary. They asked customers to vote on their favorite and Trilogy 1 won.

I'm glad Trilogy 1 got the nod. It was my favorite of the three and you can see my original review here. Honestly, the last thing we need in the Northwest is another IPA (in my humble opinion). BridgePort's year-round lineup has been without a Pale Ale for a few years, so I'm glad to see one return. For more details, check out the brewery's news release below.

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

 Trilogy 1, Winner from Trilogy Series, is back in 2015 as Conviction Pale Ale

PORTLAND, Ore.— January 27, 2015 — BridgePort Brewing Company, Oregon’s oldest craft brewery, proudly announced today the newest beer in its year-round line-up: Conviction Pale Ale, available now.

Throughout 2014, BridgePort fans had the chance to try each of the three Trilogy beers, created to celebrate the brewery’s 30th anniversary. At the end of the year, they placed their vote for which beer should come back as a year-round brew in 2015. Trilogy 1, a crystal dry-hopped pale ale, was the clear fan favorite and is now back on shelves in 2015 as Conviction Pale Ale.

“Last year, we came out with a record number of new beers for people to try. Don’t get me wrong, our team loves experimenting, but it’s also nice to have a beer that we all feel confident serving up to our fans throughout the seasons,” commented brewmaster Jeff Edgerton. “A large part of that confidence comes from the fact that Conviction was the fan-favorite so we know our fans already stand behind it.”

Conviction Pale Ale is an easy-to-drink, dry hopped pale ale that celebrates the incredible bounty of hops that come from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The soft malt flavor and light body associated with pale ales  make them the perfect base for showcasing the Crystal hop, a favorite  amongst BridgePort brewers. The presence of Rye malt gives this beer a slightly spicy malt character and the Munich malts add a soft mouth feel.

For more information on BridgePort Brewing Company, visit:

Conviction Pale Ale Stats
IBUs: 40        ABV: 5.2%    OG:     13.1     Color:  Light Carmel Brown

About BridgePort Brewing Company
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 the Conviction Pale Ale, IPA, Hop Czar Imperial IPA, and Kingpin. BridgePort Brewery is located at 1313 N.W. Marshall. For more information, call 503-241-7179 or visit

February = Fort George Stout Month

Although I enjoy stouts year-round, I think winter is the best time to enjoy them. Full of rich coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt flavors, they're the perfect antidote for cold winter days. Fort George Brewery must agree because they're dedicating the entire month of February to stouts!

For the special stout release schedule and details about Festival of the Dark Arts, check out Fort George's Stout Month FAQ below. To whet your appetite, here's my review of Fort George's Cavatica Stout. You can find it in 16 oz. cans. What's your favorite stout?

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Fort George Stout Month FAQ

Every year, as February approaches, Fort George receives a lot of messages via Facebook, Twitter, and email. Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about Stout Month.

What exactly is Stout Month?
Inspired by Fort George co-owner Jack Harris, Stout Month is 28 days of rich and roasty revelrie. All of the tap lists at Fort George turn black. Try stout taster trays, stout-inspired cuisine, or partake in the largest single-day stout festival in the World. For the month of February, Fort George becomes your stout Mecca. Forewarning: stout will stain - wear dark clothes. 

What stouts will you have?
Straight out of the gate, Willett Bourbon Barrel Cavatica Stout will be released, on tap and in 22-oz wax-dipped bottles. Along with a few guest stouts, look for Fort George stouts tapping every Sunday:

February 1st
North VIII (Russian Imperial), Willett Bourbon Barrel Cavatica Stout, Coffee Girl Stout, Polish’s Black Walnut Stout, Long Dark Winter (Milk Stout), Viva La Stout (Mexican Chocolate), Voluptas Stout (Oatmeal & Fig)

February 8th
A Shot in the Dark Breakfast Stout (Oatmeal, Chocolate, Maple Syrup, Coffee), Accasbel’s Dry Stout, Squashed Stout (Butternut & Acorn)

February 15th
Tuesday’s Lunch Stout (Roasted Peanuts & Blackberries), Midnight Dreary Brett Stout

February 22nd
Kentucky Girl, Murky Pearl (Oyster Stout)

The Festival of Dark Arts on Valentine’s Day will feature close to 60 unique stouts on tap. For the up-to-date stout list go to All adult beverages (beer, wine, cider) will be served in the tasting glasses and purchased with $1 tokens at the fest. Beers are either 1, 2, or 3 tokens for a 3-oz pour. Cider and wine are all 3 token pours.

Stout-inspired food sounds intriguing. What will you have to pair with my stouts?
In addition to the five-course Stout & Oyster Brewer’s dinner on Wednesday, February 25th, Fort George head chef Dana MacAuley will have a variety of stout specials at the pub. Look for Hanger steaks in a Cavatica Stout marinade, pulled pork sandwiches with house-made stout barbecue sauce, and #BurgerWednesday specials such as wood-fired boar burgers and smoked garlic burgers with sharp white cheddar. And finish your meal with a slice of double chocolate stout cheescake or an Irish Car Bomb cake, with a stout fudge center and Bailey’s cream cheese frosting.

This Festival of Dark Arts, is it just for witches and people who play Dungeons and Dragons?
Anyone may purchase a ticket to the Festival of Dark Arts. $30 will get you admission, a tasting glass, and 10 tokens. A non-drinking ticket is available for $10. Admittance onto the Fort George block is ticket only on February 14th, even for witches. Apparating into the brewery is not permitted.

Are seats still available for the Stout & Oysters Brewer’s Dinner? And the Festival of Dark Arts?
Yes, there are a limited number of seats remaining for the February brewer’s dinner. Reserve your spot online ( or by calling the pub at (503) 325-PINT.  Tickets to the Festival of Dark Arts are selling quickly, and hotel rooms on the coast are filling up. Tickets are sold online, exclusively at  All Tickets to Darkness will be mailed out the last week of January.

Is the entertainment already booked? I used to be a fire-eater in college.
On the day of the Festival of Dark Arts you can expect belly dancers, ice scuplting, metal smithing and glass blowing demonstrations, tarot card readers, the Dark Art Gallery, a tattoo booth, and a menagerie of roaming entertainment. There will be live music all day, and of course the fire dancers. But let’s enjoy the stouts and leave the entertainment to the professionals. Fort George also hosts live music every Sunday at 8pm, never a cover.  During Stout Month look for performances from:

February 1st
Brownsmead Flats

February 8th
There is No Mountain & Ghost Towns

February 14th - The Festival of Dark Arts
Derek Ecklund, Too Long Sparks, Blue Skies for Black Hearts, Orquestra Pacifico Tropical, Michael Hurley, Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra

February 15th
Will West and the Friendly Strangers

February 22nd
Anna Tivel   

Can I bring my children? Or pets? Grandma?
Fort George Brewery is always kid friendly until 10pm. The Festival of Dark Arts is open to all ages. Children 5-and-under may attend without a ticket. All other minors and non-drinkers should purchase a $10 non-drinking ticket for admittance. Pets are not recommended at the festival, and are not allowed inside the buildings. Grandma will love it. Sign her up for a tattoo and buy her a cigar.

What happens on leap year? Do you run out of stout on the 29th day?

Where are you located and when are you open? And do you offer tours?
There are free brewery tours every Saturday and Sunday at 1pm and 4pm.  Just meet by the big red pig in the Lovell Building.

Fort George Brewery
1483 Duane Street
Astoria, Oregon 97103
(503) 325-PINT

Monday - Thursday: 11am - 11pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am - midnight

Sunday: noon to 11pm

The Hypocrisy of Elysian Brewing Co.

Today, I bought my last bottle of Elysian beer.  In case you haven’t heard, Elysian Brewing Co. agreed to be acquired by Anheuser-Busch. This follows the recent news of A-B’s purchase of 10 Barrel Brewing Co. Let me start by saying I never hold it against the owners of a business to sell to anyone. They worked hard to build their business, took tremendous risks along the way, and deserve to enjoy the rewards, whatever they may be.

So why is this my last Elysian beer? When 10 Barrel got bought out, I said I would still drink their beer. What’s the difference? Well, that's simple. I’m done with Elysian because they suck. Now before you tell me to get off my high horse, please know that I’m not saying Elysian sucks.  Elysian said it!

The picture below is Elysian Loser. It’s a very nice pale ale that carries the tagline “Corporate Beer Still Sucks”. I think that speaks for itself. Congratulations Elysian, you’ve become what you despise!

So, while I reserve the right to occasionally drink 10 Barrel beer, I’m finished with Elysian because of this single marketing tagline. Am I being unfair or over-reacting? Probably. I just think it’s very hypocritical. It’s easy to poke fun of the big bad wolf when you’re the scrappy underdog. But when you then become the big bad wolf, don't expect others to laugh along with you.

What are your thoughts? Any suggestions on how Elysian should rename this beer?   

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Travel Portland & Base Camp Brewing Launch #PDXNOW Beers

We all know that Portland is THE beer destination in the United States. Travel Portland, Base Camp Brewing Co., and nine other Portland breweries are further proving it by releasing limited edition #PDXNOW series beers, as part of the Portland is Happening Now Campaign.

While this event may be targeted at visitors to Portland, I expect local beer fans will be especially interested in the kickoff event at Base Camp Brewing on Saturday, January 24. Attendees will be able to sample all 10 beers and meet the brewers at this family-friendly festival.  Check out the news release below for all of the details.

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

Exclusive beers released at Jan. 24 Collabofest, available through February

PORTLAND, Ore. — Jan. 15, 2015 — Travel Portland, the official destination marketing organization for the city of Portland, is partnering with Base Camp Brewing Company to introduce a series of limited-availability #PDXNOW beers as part of the organization’s larger “Portland is Happening Now” winter tourism campaign.

In a program spearheaded by Base Camp, 10 Portland breweries have paired up to create 10 different #PDXNOW brews. Each pair shares a particular beer style, but individual breweries have crafted their own interpretations, utilizing local ingredients to showcase the brewing talents found around the clock in Portland. The #PDXNOW beers will be available at the breweries’ respective taprooms from Jan. 24 through Feb. 28. Also available, while supplies last, will be the #PDXNOW “Beerport” passport with tasting notes on each of the beers.

“Portland is the ultimate destination for beer lovers. With more craft breweries than any other city on the planet, Portland is the craft brewing capital of the world,” said Courtney Ries, Travel Portland marketing director. “This limited-availability series showcases a variety of breweries in town, and we hope this encourages beer lovers to visit Portland before they miss this exclusive collection.”

“This initiative typifies the collaborative spirit Portland is known for,” said Ross Putnam, co-founder of Base Camp Brewing Company. “Portland has an amazing craft beer scene that has made this city home to some of the best beers in the world. We’ve very much enjoyed working with this group of exceptional breweries to create a #PDXNOW collection that both tourists and locals are sure to love.”

Here’s a look at the #PDXNOW brews, which debut on Jan. 24:

Shared Theme
Brewery & #PDXNOW Beer
Brewery & #PDXNOW Beer
Bridge Builder Bock
Mutual Fermentation
Hop-Lic Kellerweizen
Baer-Works Radlerweizen
Juggling Plums Gose
Weiss Weiss Baby
Downkriek Cosmic Storm Belgian Sour
Upkriek Cosmic Storm
Quadtastic B² + G + EX = #PDXNOW
Gose Either Way

Launch Event: #PDXNOW Presents Base Camp’s Collabofest, Jan. 24, noon–8 p.m.
Beer lovers will be able to meet the brewers and sample all 10 limited-edition beers in one location at the kickoff event. The family-friendly celebration will be held Saturday, Jan. 24, from noon to 8 p.m. at Base Camp Brewing Company (930 S.E. Oak St., Portland). Collabofest will cover two city blocks, feature iconic food trucks Koi Fusion, Gonzo and Grilled Cheese Grill, and host a free, all-ages ski and snowboard rail jam (7-10 p.m.), presented by local clothing brand All The Homies and complete with fresh snow trucked in from Mount Hood.

Collabofest Tickets
  • $20 for general admission, which includes a plastic mug, #PDXNOW Beerport and 10 pours
  • $35 for VIP entry, which includes a Klean Kanteen Collabofest steel pint cup, #PDXNOW Beerport,10 tickets (each good for a 5-ounce pour), tokens for two full pints and early admission at noon
  • Prices will increase by $5 on the day of the event
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Portland is Happening Now
The Portland is Happening Now campaign highlights three of Portland’s top tourism draws: tax-free shopping, the city’s robust culinary community (and the opportunity to enjoy it during Portland Dining Month) and the innovative craft beer scene (Portland has over 60 craft breweries, more than any other city in the world).

The campaign kicked off in Seattle in November with the unveiling of a giant handcrafted cuckoo clock featuring chainsaw-carved Portland icons such as Mount Hood, salmon, beer, bikers, Portlandia, Sasquatch, roses and rivers, among others. The tallest freestanding cuckoo clock in America at more than 24 feet tall and nine-and-a-half feet wide, this unique work represents the fact that something interesting is happening in Portland every hour of every day. The clock is on display at Portland International Airport until the end of March.

Winter Deal Wheel Offers Visitors Free Stuff
As if tax-free shopping weren’t enough, the Portland is Happening Now Deal Wheel highlights a dozen of the many discounts and deals around Portland available to winter travelers, including free dining, shopping and beer-related items. Visitors who book a Portland hotel stay for travel through March 31, 2015, on will be given access to a downloadable coupon pack that features more than 85 coupons valued at more than $1,000.

The items travelers can redeem without a purchase (deals are good through March 31, 2015) include the following:
  • Bunk: One FREE sandwich at any Bunk Sandwich or Bunk Bar location
  • Columbia Sportswear: One FREE Portland is Happening Now shopping tote by Portland Garment Factory at the downtown or airport location
  • Hopworks Urban Brewery: One FREE ceramic mini-growler from Portland Growler Co. (beer not included) at the North Williams Avenue or Southeast Powell Boulevard locations

March is Dining Month in Portland
Each year, Portland’s culinary leaders offer three-course dinners for $29 every day of the week during the month of March. Portland Dining Month showcases award-winning chefs and restaurants while making culinary exploration of one of the nation’s most talked-about food destinations even more affordable. In 2015, Portland Dining Month will feature more than 100 restaurants, including farm-to-table icons such as Paley’s Place and Higgins Restaurant alongside some newer stars like Smallwares and Ned Ludd. Find more information about the promotion and participants at Portland Dining Month donates a portion of the proceeds from each reservation made through OpenTable to the Oregon Food Bank.

About Travel Portland
Travel Portland is the official destination marketing organization for the city of Portland, Oregon. Its mission is to strengthen the local economy by marketing the Greater Portland region as a preferred destination for meetings, conventions and leisure travel. For more information on Travel Portland, visit

# # #

Full Sail Launches Session IPA

The trend started last year and sees no sign of slowing down in 2015. For the last few years, breweries have been racing to make big boozy IPAs with tongue scraping levels of bitterness. Now, they're headed in the opposite direction. This is a trend I like.  

Full Sail Brewing Co. just announced the latest release in their Session series. Session IPA weighs in at 5.1% ABV and a moderate 47 IBUs. While Session IPA may be new, Full Sail is no stranger to session beers. They launched their Session line of low alcohol, highly quaffable beers a decade agolong before other breweries hopped on the bandwagon. I'm looking forward to tasting this one! For more details, check out Full Sail's news release below. 

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook

New Year, New Beer!  Full Sail Brewing Releases Session IPA

Hood River, Oregon – “IPA’s are insanely popular these days. But let’s face it, sometimes it feels like there’s a hops arms race going on. That’s why we came up with Session IPA. It’s a Premium Pale Ale that thinks for itself. Not too hoppy. Not too bitter. Not too malty. Just right…we like to call it Session-ability!” said Irene Firmat, Full Sail Brewing Company’s CEO & Founder.

“When Session Premium Lager was launched ten years ago, it quickly became the hottest selling new craft-beer brand on the market. Neither micro, macro nor import (yet a little bit of each), Session rewrote the rules on how to launch a distinctive new brand that appeals to a wide cross-section of beer drinkers. You see, virtually everyone who likes beer likes Session. It’s a brand that’s inclusive and accessible -- without ever being ordinary. It’s totally drinkable – but never at the expense of character. Fast forward to 2014 and what’s the new hot trend in craft brewing? “Sessionable” beers, the category that Session unleashed a decade ago.  Given Session’s immense appeal, we’ve expanded our year-round lineup to include Session IPA.”  Available in 12 packs, 6 packs and on draft. ABV 5.1% IBU 47

Since the launch in 2005 Full Sail’s Session beers have earned a slew of shiny awards and trophies including 35 gold medals.  The newly released Session IPA was awarded a silver medal at the 2014 World Beer Championships and recently named  Session and Session Black  #1 in the “Top Ten List of lagers Brewed in the United States.”  Session was ranked the #1 American Pilsner, and Session Black was ranked #1 in the Munchner Dunkel. Session has truly earned itself a place at the bar. Not to mention the barbeque.

About Full Sail Brewing Company:
Founded in 1987, the independent and employee-owned Full Sail Brewery is perched on a bluff in Hood River, Oregon, overlooking the most epic wind and kite surfing spot in the world. Over the last 27 years, Full Sail has collected more than 300 national and international awards for their beers and sustainable practices, including 140 Gold medals and was recently named Craft Brewer of the Year by Beverage World Magazine for their years of “sustainable stewardship, quality, consistency and operational ingenuity. Among the company’s most popular brews are Full Sail Amber, IPA, Pilsner, Pub Series, Session, Session Black, Session IPA and Session Series. At this very moment their specialists in the liquid refreshment arts are crafting barley and hops into your next beer.  The Full Sail Brew Pub is open seven days a week. Swing by for a pint, grab a bite, tour the brewery, or just soak up the view.