Hopworks' New HUB Hard Cider

The popularity of hard cider continues to skyrocket in the Northwest. Hopworks is joining the trend with its new HUB Hard Cider. Beginning June 1, it will be available in 16 oz. cans and draft. Later this summer, you can find it in 22 oz. bottles. For more details check out the brewery'sor I should say cidery's news release below.

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Hopworks Urban Brewery Expands Its Core Line With Release of HUB Hard Cider

Portland, Ore - Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) announced the release of HUB Hard Cider in 16 oz. cans and on draft. Beginning June 1, the cider can be found throughout HUB’s distribution networks in Oregon and Washington, with a wider distribution beginning in the summer. In Portland, the release of the cider is celebrated with three release parties at local taprooms.

Nearly two years in the making, HUB Hard Cider represents HUB’s first packaged departure from beer. Receiving a winery license in August of 2014, HUB immediately began honing in recipes and testing them at both Hopworks’ brewpubs.

“As brewers we have had a lot of fun crafting this delicious cider with the local bounty of the Pacific Northwest,”  said HUB Brewmaster and Founder, Christian Ettinger. “We use our beer brewing experience and knowledge to bring a fresh approach to cider making. Our cider is simple and delicious and we are proud to serve it alongside our organic beer.”

With a goal of making a year round cider with high-organic content, HUB Hard Cider is proudly made from 60% organic apple juice concentrate and 40% fresh pressed apple juice. The cider juice is sourced entirely from the Northwest.

HUB Hard Cider is a semi-dry hard apple cider, straw colored with fresh apple aromas. Slightly tart with a Champagne-like acidity, HUB Hard Cider finishes slightly sweet and fruit-forward. The cider is naturally gluten-free and is 6.8% ABV. HUB will also offer HUB Hard Cider in 22 oz. bottles this summer.

HUB Hard Cider Release Parties
To celebrate the release of HUB Hard Cider in cans, Hopworks is throwing three release parties in Portland. Each party will have games, giveaways, and cider on tap.

Mon. June 1, 5:00pm - 9:00pm, at Produce Row Cafe - 204 SE Oak St., Portland
Wed. June 3, 5:00pm - 9:00pm, at Roscoe’s - 8105 SE Stark St., Portland
Tues. June 9, 5:00pm - 9:00pm, at Hop & Vine - 1914 N. Killingsworth St., Portland

About Hopworks Urban Brewery
Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB), a certified B Corporation, strives to revolutionize and inspire the brewing industry with practices that drive quality, protect the environment and improve the community we live in. Utilizing organic malts and a combination of locally-sourced organic and Salmon Safe hops, the company’s 20-barrel brewery produces 16,000 barrels of beer a year for HUB’s two brewpubs and for distribution throughout the Northwest. In 2015 Hopworks expanded its range of sustainably-made offerings with HUB Hard Cider and will open its third pub at the Pine St. Marketplace in Downtown Portland. HUB is 100% renewably powered and “cradle to gate” carbon neutral. Visit Hopworks online at hopworksbeer.com.

Ecliptic's New Collaborations

John Harris and his crew at Ecliptic Brewing have been busy brewing special releases with some of the nation's top craft breweries. Both beers are available now, for a limited time.

White Asteroid Imperial Wit IPA (collaboration with Stone Brewing Co.)
White Asteroid Imperial Wit IPA is a recipe developed in collaboration between Ecliptic Brewing and Stone Brewing Co. in 2014. Motueka hops provide a citrus flavor that combines with sweet orange peel and coriander for a nice fruity character. Belgian yeast spiciness and dry hop aging makes White Asteroid a very drinkable beer with a classic IPA finish.

Sagittarius B2N (collaboration with Dogfish Head Brewery)
A Saison brewed with Hibiscus, Grapefruit, and Lemon Juice and dry hopped with Amarillo hops. The genesis of this collaboration was sparked when friend and Dogfish head founder, Sam Calagione sold our John Harris the brewhouse that Ecliptic uses today. We offer this special beer in celebration.

Deep in the center of our Milky Way galaxy, some 26,000 light years away, lies a massive ethanol cloud designated Sagittarius B2N. While it is often imagined that alcohol is a creation of our earthly fermentation pursuits, Sagittarius B2N and other interstellar clouds like it prove that alcohol has existed long before we humans. So raise a glass to the cosmic brewery that is our universe.

Portland Brewing's Summer S.M.A.S.H. Pale Ale

Portland Brewing's Co.'s new Summer S.M.A.S.H. Pale Ale represents the ultimate in simplicity. Most beers utilize several base and specialty malts and multiple hop varieties. Doing so allows the brewer to layer different flavors into a beer. However, when this happens, it's hard to identify the flavor that each of the ingredients contributes to the end result.

SMASH is short for Single Malt and Single Hop. That's right—there's just one malt variety (Goldpils Vienna) and one hop variety (Simcoe) in this beer. The SMASH technique is popular with homebrewers because it enables them to understand the flavor profile of each ingredient.

I've seen smaller breweries employ the technique, but this is the first time I've noticed a large brewery releasing a SMASH beer.

Tasting Notes (sample provided by brewery):  Deep gold in color with head that dissipates very slowly and leaves lacing on the glass. Aroma of bready malt with herbal and spicy hop notes. Flavor mirrors the aroma. It's light bodied, has a crisp mouth feel, and finishes with a mild herbal hop bitterness.

Simcoe hops typically produce flavors of pine and citrus, and was intended by the brewer (see news release below). Oddly enough, I didn't taste citrus and pine. Instead, I noticed spicy and herbal notes. 

While Summer S.M.A.S.H. may not have many layers of flavor, the few elements that are present shine through and meld nicely together. It's an easy drinking beer that will serve you well this summer. Also, at less than $3 for a bomber, it's a good value.

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Portland Brewing Welcomes Summer with S.M.A.S.H. Pale Ale
Sip the Simplicity of the Season with this Singularly Special Brew

Portland, Ore. -- Summer is a season for simple times and simple pleasures. It warrants rest, relaxation and refreshing flavors. Look no further for that perfect thirst-quencher during these warmer months, Portland Brewing has you covered with its new single malt and single hop (S.M.A.S.H.) Pale Ale.

Simplicity reigns as one hop and one malt are singled out to create this satisfying new brew. Goldpils Vienna malts and Simcoe hops combine to give S.M.A.S.H. Pale Ale a rich, bready base with lush pine and citrus notes. Its full body and well-rounded taste complement warm summer evenings, and is the ideal companion for backyard barbeques. “What I love about this beer is that it is deceptively simple, but still manages to be a very engaging, flavorful ale,” says head brewer Ryan Pappe. He explains, “It has the bright hop character northwest beer drinkers love, supported by a crisp, light malt that keeps the experience clean and refreshing. It just screams summertime.”

Like the passing of summer, S.M.A.S.H. will come and go in a flash. Look for it in Oregon and Washington stores and bottle shops, and the Portland Brewing Company Taproom, between April 1st and August 15th.  S.M.A.S.H Pale Ale is offered in six-pack and 22 oz. bottles, as well as on draft. Find the seasonal ale and other Portland Brewing favorites though the beer finder at http://www.portlandbrewing.com/finder/.

Widmer Brothers Launches Hefe Shandy

Finally! Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. announced an extension to its flagship Hefeweizen. Wheat beer pairs wonderfully with fruit, and other craft breweries (and macro breweries) have been capitalizing on the wheat / fruit combination for years.

Widmer Brothers' new Hefe Shandy combines the flavors of lemonade along with Hefeweizen. But in a new twist, the Hefeweizen is brewed with a new hop varietal called Lemon Drop.

I haven't tasted it yet, but will share my tasting notes as soon as I get my hands on a bottle. For more information, check out the brewery's news release below. I hope Hefe Shandy is first of many new Hefeweizen variants!

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Oregon’s Favorite Craft Beer Gets New Lemon Twist for Summer

PORTLAND, Ore. – May 12, 2015 – Widmer Brothers Brewing today announced the release of its new summer seasonal offering, Hefe Shandy. Hefe Shandy pays homage to the brewery’s flagship beer, Hefe, playing on the ritual of adding a lemon to the rim, which dates back to the creation of the beer in 1986.

“Hefe has been served with a lemon since the early days,” said Rob Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers Brewing. “The lemon on the rim of the glass has become a recognizable icon for Hefe fans in Oregon and across the country as Hefe’s popularity has grown over the years. With Hefe Shandy, we’re bringing the lemon ritual to life in a whole new way.”

Hefe Shandy features the classic appearance and flavors of Hefe, but is brewed with the new hop varietal, Lemon Drop, and natural lemonade flavor. The result is a bright and refreshing wheat beer with heightened citrus aroma and flavor. Hefe Shandy was crafted with summertime in mind, and at 4.2 percent ABV, it is ideal for long, hot summer days and nights. 

“We have been brewing Hefe for almost 30 years now and Hefe Shandy is a great complement to our flagship,” said Kurt Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers Brewing. “I lived in Germany before we started Widmer Brothers in 1984, and adding fruit juice or soda to beer to make shandies and radlers is quite common there. It is a great way to bring down the alcohol a bit and adds a bright, refreshing flavor. We feel like Hefe Shandy accomplishes just that, and we are excited to release it as our new summer seasonal.”

This new addition to Widmer Brothers’ seasonal line-up will be available across the country on draught, and in six- and 12-packs. Hefe Shandy can be found using the Widmer Brothers beer finder at widmerbrothers.com/find-beer.

About Hefe Shandy
Bright, refreshing and sessionable, Hefe Shandy is made for summer. The Original American Hefeweizen gets a bold, new citrusy aroma and flavor and lemon drop hops and natural lemonade flavor. Soak up the summer with Hefe Shandy.

MALTS: 2-Row Pale, Wheat
HOPS: Alchemy for bittering, and Lemon Drop for aroma
OG: 10.75 P
AE: 2.85 P
ABV: 4.2%
Color: 5 SRM
IBU: 12

Please visit www.widmerbrothers.com for more information about the brewery, or follow Widmer Brothers on Facebook for the latest news and happenings.

Cider Summit Portland '15: June 19-20

If you're a fan of artisanal ciders or want to learn (and taste) more, I highly suggest you visit Cider Summit Portland. Now in its 5th year, this two-day event, held June 19-20, is a great place to sample a wide variety of ciders. Best yet, you'll be able to meet and chat up the cider makers. I attended for the first time last year and enjoyed it.

To get an idea of what you can expect, take a look at my recap of Cider Summit Portland '14. For more details, check out the news release below or visit the Cider Summit web page.

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Cider Summit Portland Celebrates 5th Anniversary!
Region's Largest Cider Festival Returns to the Pearl

(Portland, OR)   SBS Imports and the Seattle Beer Collective are pleased to announce the return of Cider Summit NW Festival to Portland, OR.  The fifth annual event will take place Friday, June 19 from 2p-8p and Saturday, June 20 from 12n-6p.  Cider Summit will be returning to its new home in the Pearl District - The Fields Neighborhood Park at NW 10th/Overton.  The event is presented by World Foods & Bushwhacker Cider.

This will be the 15th 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 San Francisco.  This year's event will feature over 150 ciders from producers around the country and around the world including regional favorites and international classics.  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 special 5th anniversary souvenir festival glass.

A brand new feature at the 2015 event will be the Fruit Cider Challenge sponsored by Oregon Fruit Products.  Several of our participating cideries will produce pilot batches specifically for the event. Consumers will vote for their favorite during the festival with the winner of the first annual Fruit Cider Challenge announced on Monday, June 22.

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, Road Dog Sausage and others.  The Jim Miller festival stage will once again feature some of Portland's most legendary performers produced in conjunction with event beneficiary, Cascade Blues Association.  For those seeking public transportation the Portland Streetcar stops within one block of 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 are thrilled with our move to The Pearl," added event co-founder Alan Shapiro of SBS Imports.  "We are grateful for the area's cider community ongoing support as we work together to make this the region's signature cider event."

Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 (cash only) at the door and are available online via Stranger tickets,  and onsite at both World Foods locations, Bushwhacker Cider, Umpqua Bank Pearl District branch, and at many of the area's leading bottle shops.  Admission includes a 5th anniversary souvenir tasting glass, 8 tasting tickets, and a $1 donation to the event beneficiary pool.  Additional tasting tickets will be available for sale onsite at $2 per ticket.

A special VIP ticket is available for $40.  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 the producers page.

Cider Summit Portland 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, Oregon Fruit Products, The Portland Westin Hotel, Umpqua Bank, KNRK 94/7 Alternative Portland, Portland Mercury, Maletis Beverage, and Portland Streetcar.

For more information contact:
Alan Shapiro - SBS Imports

BridgePort's 8th Edition of Stumptown Tart Features Raspberries

BridgePort Brewing Co. just announced the featured fruit for the latest installment of Stumptown Tart. This year, it's all all about the raspberry. The brewery is holding a release party on Thursday, May 20 at their brewpub in NW Portland. Stop by, take a selfie with model Bernie Dexter, and sample the new release.

I haven't tasted it yet, but I was a huge fan of last year's installment which featured cranberries and blueberries. For more details about Stumptown Tart and the release party, check out the news release below.

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 BridgePort’s Big Brew, Stumptown Tart, Features Northwest Raspberries 

PORTLAND, Ore.— May 8, 2015 — BridgePort Brewing Company’s own pin-up gal and Stumptown Tart, Bernie Dexter, is back on shelves for its eighth year. While the past eight years have celebrated popular berry combinations, this year’s brew brings the focus back on a northwest favorite – the raspberry.

“It’s hard to believe that we have been making this beer for eight years now,” commented brewmaster, Jeff Edgerton. “We knew it was only a matter of time before we would want to bring back a fan favorite like the rasp."

Available in limited quantities, this year’s Stumptown Tart is a Belgian Style Ale infused with northwest grown raspberries. Since the initial release of a raspberry infused Stumptown Tart, the fermentation process of this ale has evolved to deliver a subtle, yet noticeable, Belgian yeast characteristic. A perfect warm weather beer, this easy to drink ale carries a lighter body and a refreshing tart finish.

BridgePort will host a ‘Tasting with the Tart’ party Thursday, May 20 from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the BridgePort Brewpub in Portland. Come by to taste this year’s beloved Stumptown Tart. Giveaways will be plentiful, and bottle model Bernie Dexter will be there ready to pose with guests for a Stumptown Selfie and to sign bottles of this new brew.

For more information on BridgePort Brewing Company, visit: www.bridgeportbrew.com

BridgePort’s Stumptown Tart Stats:
IBUs: 15.0 ABV: 7.7% OG: 17.0 Color:  Pink
Ingredients: Pale malt, wheat malt, crystal hops, Belgian yeast and raspberry puree.

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 www.bridgeportbrew.com.


Fort George 3-Way IPA 2015

Fort George Brewery just announced the details for the 2015 edition of its popular 3-Way IPA series. This year, Georgetown Brewing and Prfriem Family Brewers are joining the collaboration.

This 5.7% ABV IPA features Simcoe, Meridian, Citra, and Equinox hops. Look for it on draft and at retail beginning May 22. You can get a preview taste at the 3-Way Tour, coming soon to a city near you. For more details, check out the news release below.

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Behind the Scenes of 3-Way IPA 2015.  A Fort George Collaboration with Georgetown Brewing And Pfriem Family Brewers

Preparations for a 3-Way IPA can be intricate, as you may imagine. Where do you begin? How does one approach a 3-Way IPA with a collaborator? With all of the amazing brewers out there, how do you choose? Well, it turns out the first step is to invite them out to dinner. 

This year’s collaboration began back in January at the Fort George Indian & IPA Brewer’s Dinner. Manny Chao arrived from Seattle with a keg of Eddie IPL, and Josh Pfriem brought along a Double IPA from Hood River. Jack Harris and Chris Nemlowill (and Beta IPA and Vortex) filled out the table. After five courses of spicy food and hoppy ales, a leisurely tour around Astoria’s nighttime establishments, and a few awkward late night photos in front of “The Pig,” everyone retired for the night in their respective rooms.

The following day - bright and early at 11 am sharp - the recipe meeting commenced behind closed doors in the Lovell Taproom.

Jack: I really like the way you guys make your IPAs.

Manny: Thanks Jack. So, do we shoot for something different, or keep it something West Coast?

Jack: We can make anything you guys want, as long as it’s an IPA.

Potential hop varieties, packed into 8-oz Mason jars, circulated around the table. Aromas were analyzed, ideas were bandied about, and samples were sampled. 

“I think we all agree, we want it to be dry, we want it to be aromatic, and we want it to be hoppy,” Manny summarized. 

“And bright!” Josh added, diving into the specifics of the hop additions - amounts, times, and temperatures. “A little bit of Citra makes Equinox pop,” he explained.

“Landing in that sweet spot, right around five and a half percent,” Manny continued.

“A 5.7% ABV beer with over four pounds per barrel...you’re going to get a LOT of hops,” Jack noted.

Duly noted.

From the moment you pop the can, hop aroma hits you right in the nose. Fruit forward, with a crescendo of tropical and citrus flavors - 3-Way IPA presents an ensemble of Simcoe, Meridian, Citra, and Equinox hops. Enjoy a lustrous and lively play across the palate. 

Fort George’s 3-Way IPA is a collaboration of craft, a chance to exchange ideas and knowledge with brewers who are doing fantastic things with IPAs. Every summer features a new collaboration, a different recipe, and a unique 16-oz can design, but with the same 3-Way IPA name. 

Come hang out and grab a pint of 3-Way IPA, along with several other IPAs from Fort George, Georgetown, and Pfriem. The 3-Way IPA Tour is coming to a Pacific Northwest city near you.

Vancouver, WA - Thursday May 14th - By the Bottle - 5pm to 8pm
Cannon Beach, OR - Thursday May 14th - Cannon Beach Hardware - 4pm to 7pm
Portland, OR - Friday May 15th - Roscoe’s - 5pm to 8pm
Eugene, OR - Saturday May 16th - The Bier Stein - 5pm to 8pm
Longview, WA - Wednesday May 20th - Porky’s Public House - 5pm to 8pm
Bend, OR - Saturday May 23rd - Crow’s Feet Commons - 6pm to 9pm
Bellingham, WA - Thursday June 4th - The Archer Ale House - 5pm to 8pm
Seattle, WA - Saturday June 13th - The Pine Box (Tricycle Races) - 4pm to 7pm
Spokane, WA - Friday June 19th - Lantern Tap House - 4pm to 8pm
Seattle, WA - Saturday June 20th - The Masonry - 5pm to 8pm
Seattle, WA - Friday June 26th - Beveridge Place Pub - 5pm to 8pm

A Seattle craft brewery focused on doing one thing right... draft beer. Started by Roger Bialous and Manny Chao... a couple of beer loving local boys who brewed up a pretty darn tasty beer in the garage (actually it was the back deck, but garage sounded better). Sorry, no brewpub, but they do have a retail shop where you can pick up kegs to go, growlers, and perhaps get a taste of their newest beer before it's released. Or you could be social and get out to your favorite local watering hole. If Georgetown beer is not on tap, let them know and they'll do their best to pester 'em into submission.

The goals for the brewery were modest: to build a business that was tightly integrated with their family lives, to honor the place they call home, and to create a warm, friendly space where others could experience the creations. The goals for the creations themselves are anything but modest.
Pfriem artisanal beers are symphonies of flavor and balance, influenced by the great brewers of Belgium, but unmistakably true to their homegrown roots in the Pacific Northwest. Although they are served humbly, each glass is overflowing with pride and a relentless aspiration to brew the best beer in the world.            

Locally owned and operated in historic downtown Astoria, Oregon, Fort George crafts original beers available only in the Pacific Northwest. Whether in cans or kegs, at the pub or on your front porch, Fort George beer brings people together in aromatic headiness and lupulin ecstasy. For more information about Fort George, go to www.fortgeorgebrewery.com or follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @FortGeorgeBeer.

3-Way IPA is available in 16-oz four-packs and draft starting May 22nd. Fort George beer is distributed only in the Pacific Northwest.