Rogue Barley Harvest Celebration: July 3-5

When we think of how beer is made, we tend to think of the brewing process. If you take a step back, there's an essential backstory story about how beer's ingredients are grown. Hops are an important flavor element of beer. I've had the pleasure of visiting hop farms during harvest season. If you ever get a chance to visit a hop farm, I highly recommend it. Barley is also an essential component of beer, but I've never had the chance to see how it's harvested. I might get my chance this weekend.

Rogue is hosting a Harvest Celebration at Rogue Farms in the Tygh Valley. At the event you can see how barley is harvested. It's a family-friendly event, so pack up the kids and take a road trip! For more details, check out the news release below.

7/2/15 update: Today Rogue informed me that this event has been CANCELLED due to a fire.

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TYGH VALLEY, OR - Join us as we kick off the 2015 Rogue Farms Harvest Season. After months of growing and ripening in the brilliant sunshine of the Tygh Valley Appellation our 100 acres of Risk™ malting barley are ready to be reaped, threshed and winnowed.

At Rogue, we can't think of a better reason to celebrate. For the first time, we're opening the gates of Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley to the public so all of our friends can join us for a Harvest Celebration! If you've been to Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon, you've seen how we grow hops. Now join us in Tygh Valley and see how we grow our own malting barley.

The harvest of Risk™ malting barley is just the beginning of a four month harvest season at Rogue Farms in Independence and Tygh Valley, Oregon. Join us as we combine, pick, strip, sort, separate, kiln and bale. The harvest this year will include: seven varieties of hops, two varieties of malting barley, Dream Pumpkins, Dream Rye, McKercher Wheat, Prickless Marionberries, jalapeños, botanicals and honey from the 7,140,289 Rogue Farms honeybees. Each of these ingredients is destined to be mashed, brewed and distilled into a Rogue beer, spirit, cider or soda. Grow the Revolution!

Rogue Farms Barley Harvest Celebration

About the Event:
  • Corn hole and other lawn games for kids and adults
  • A farm style feast of hotdogs, potato salad and Rogue Farms beers
  • Tours of the Farmstead Malt House where Rogue is reviving the lost heritage of artisan floor malting
  • Bottles to Go
  • Admission is free. 
  • All Rogue events are family and dog friendly.

Directions to Rogue Farms, Tygh Valley, Oregon:

From The Dalles: Go 30 miles south on US 197 to the intersection of Tygh Valley Road and Oregon 216. Turn right on Tygh Valley Road. Follow the road into the small town of Tygh Valley and look for Wamic Market Road on your right. Follow Wamic Market road up the hill for seven miles and look for the signs to Rogue Farms.

From Government Camp: Go 17 miles east on US 26 to the intersection of Oregon 216. Take a left on 216 and follow it for 26 miles to where it joins US 197. Go left on US 197/Oregon 216 for seven miles to where 216 turns to the right. Tygh Valley Road will be to your left. Follow the road into the small town of Tygh Valley and look for Wamic Market Road on your right. Follow Wamic Market road up the hill for seven miles and look for the signs to Rogue Farms.

Cider Summit Portland '15 Recap

Cider Summit Portland held its 5th Anniversary cider sampling extravaganza at Fields Neighborhood Park on June 19-20. Over 3,000 people joined the festivities this year. My wife and I spent Saturday afternoon at the event. This was our 2nd time attending. We're not fans of the overly sweet industrial cider, and we enjoy Cider Summit because it's a showcase for what cider should be. It also demonstrates the wide diversity of cider.

During the course of the afternoon, some of the more memorable ciders we samples included a Spanish Sidra that tastes like blue cheese (strange, but it works), a whiskey cask aged Scottish Cider, a French pear cider, and a cider made with peach puree and saison yeast.

New this year, was the Fruit Cider Challenge sponsored by Oregon Fruit Products. The Salem-based company is a supplier of fruit that is widely used in the brewing industry. OFP made its fruit available to cider makers to produce limited-run pilot batches of fruit cider. Attendees sampled and voted for their favorites. The winners were:

1st place:  Black Lightning, Hi-Wheel Wine & Mead, Portland, OR
2nd place:  Strawperry, Portland Cider Company, Oregon City, OR
3rd place:  Strawberry Fields, Bull Run Cider, Forest Grove, OR

While Portland has plenty of excellent beer festivals, it's exciting to see cider getting some traction via cider-focused festivals. Whether you're a seasoned cider drinker, or just learning, make sure you pay a visit to Cider Summit next June. Another great event to consider is Cider Rite of Spring.

Did you attend Cider Summit? What were some of your favorite tastes?

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Grow Your Own Hops: Round 2

4 years ago, I planted some hop rhizomes. For a reason unbeknownst to me, it was an epic fail. Ever since then, I've been meaning to give it another try, but never got around to ordering new rhizomes in the spring (the only time of year they are available).

This weekend, I was browsing the garden center at my local Fred Meyer and was surprised to see hop plants. This was the first time I've ever seen hops for sale in plant form. I figured that was a sign that it was time to give my hop garden another try.

For $8, I picked up a Willamette variety (the only type they had) and planted it in the sunniest spot of my backyard next to my kids' play structure. That should give both the hops and my kids something to climb on. With some sun, water, and a little good luck, maybe it'll produce a few cones this fall! We'll see.

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Opening Day at Oregon Garden Brewfest '15

Last night, my wife and I attended the Brewer's Tasting Dinner at the Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton. This morning, we attended opening day at the Oregon Garden Brewfest. While there are plenty of great beer festivals in Portland, the beautiful venue makes OGB unique. The Oregon Garden contains 20 specialty gardens spread out over 80 acres.

In previous years, the Brewfest was held in April. Each season brings a completely different look to the garden as different flowers and foliage emerge. This was our first visit in June, so it was like we were seeing it for the first time. Entry to the Brewfest gives you full access to gardens, including a free 25 minute narrated tram tour.

OK, now time for some beer... We attended from noon to 3pm, so crowds were light and beer lines were non-existent. The taplist contains 136 beers, ciders, and meads from 68 producers. If you're a hophead, you'll be thrilled as more than a quarter of the taplist was devoted to IPAs and its numerous variants.

In recent years, it seems that beer festivals have reduced the standard 1 ticket/token pour from 4 oz to 3 oz. I can accept this as a unpleasant fact of life. Inflation happens. But I was a bit surprised to learn that the standard 1 ticket pour at OGB has been reduced to 2 oz. this year. While 3 oz. for a taster works is workable, 2 oz. really isn't enough to get a good sense of what you're drinking, in my humble opinion. I hope other beer festivals don't jump on this bandwagon anytime soon. Though I expect it's inevitable.

The Oregon Garden Brewfest runs through Sunday, June 22 (which happens to be Father's Day).  The weather forecast is glorious. So take your Dad out for a few beers and enjoy the great scenery!

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The 2 oz. pour

6 Courses at OGB Brewer's Tasting Dinner

Earlier this evening, the Oregon Garden Resort hosted the fourth Annual Brewer's Tasting Dinner. I attended for the third time (compliments of festival organizers). Always held on the eve of the Oregon Garden Brewfest, it's a great way to kickoff the weekend's festivities.

This year's dinner featured six small-plate courses prepared by Oregon Garden Resort Chef Sam Caldwell and crew. As you might expect, each course was paired with a beer. Let's get started...

First course: 
Humboldt Fog, aged Pecorino, chicken liver mousse crostini, and semolina crackers
paired with Apricot Gose — Ex Novo Brewing Company, Portland, OR

The tartness from the Gose paired nicely with the salt from the cheese. I didn't think I'd like the mousse, but I did.

Second course: 
Grilled peach with bleu cheese and warm pancetta vinaigrette on grilled zucchini
paired with DoubleCross with Cherries — Crux Fermentation Project, Bend, OR

A delicious combination of sweet and savory made this a unique treat. The tart cherry notes from the DoubleCross complemented the sweetness from the peach.  The beer was nearly 10% ABV, but you'd never know it. It was smooth and a great sipper.  

Third course: 
Smoked salmon salad with shaved fennel, snap peas, Savoy cabbage and citrus vinaigrette
paired with Indy Session IPA— Wild Ride Brewing, Redmond, OR

The beer had a wonderful tropical fruit aroma with herbal and grassy bitterness in the taste. I enjoyed the beer more with the salad than drinking it without food.


Fourth course: 
Basil ricotta gnocchi with herbed brown butter and parsley pesto
paired with Oregon Garden Lavender Saison— Buoy Beer Company, Astoria, OR

This beer was made with lavender grown at the Oregon Garden. I noticed very light lavender in the aroma. It wasn't overdone. The gnocchi was delicious! It was my favorite course of the evening, and I wish I had a big bowl of it.  

Fifth course: 
Beer-braised short rib, herbed polenta, and collard greens
paired with Capella Porter— Ecliptic Brewing, Portland, OR

Capella Porter was created by John Harris, the man behind Black Butte Porter and many of Deschutes' classic beers. Capella was surprisingly light bodied and well balanced. It's rich malt flavors served as a nice complement to the beef.  

Sixth course: 
Strawberry, lemon, and orange cupcakes
paired with Lemon Strawberry Wit— Vagabond Brewing, Salem, OR

I chose the lemon cupcake. While I picked up some lemon notes in the beer, I wasn't crazy about its combination of strawberry and lemon flavors. 

As you can see, this was an excellent dinner! Chef Caldwell and his team did a great job of working with the breweries to create each course. I'd venture to say this was the best Brewer's Tasting Dinner yet! They keep getting better every year.

Now that my stomach is full, I need to start developing my tasting plan for the main event, which opens at noon on Friday. You can see the full taplist here. For more details, including pricing, hours, and live music schedules, please visit the Oregon Garden Brewfest website.

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Oregon Garden Brewfest '15: The Complete Taplist

The 2015 Oregon Garden Brewfest opens on Friday, June 19. This year, OGB will feature 68 breweries pouring 168 beers, ciders, and meads. The full taplist is shown below. Traditionally held in April, the festival has moved to June for the first time. So take advantage of the great weather and surprise your beer loving Dad with a trip to this scenic beerfest on his special day!

For more details about the festival including hours, pricing, and live music schedules, please visit the Oregon Garden Brewfest site.

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2015 Brewfest Tap List
Oregon Garden Brewfest, presented by Venti’s Café

10 Barrel Brewing: JOE IPA/IPA
10 Barrel Brewing: Swill/American Style Radler
2 Towns Ciderhouse: OutCider: Unfiltered Hard Cider
2 Towns Ciderhouse: Imperial Hop & Stalk/Hopped Hard Cider
21st Amendment Brewery: Down to Earth Session IPA/Session IPA
21st Amendment Brewery: Hell or High Watermelon Wheat/Wheat

Alameda Brewing: Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA/Imperial IPA
Alameda Brewing: Klickitat Pale Ale/Pale Ale
ATLAS Hard Cider: The RADLER/Cider
ATLAS Hard Cider: Hard Apricot Cider: Cider
Awesome Ales: Southern Sky/French Pale Ale
Awesome Ales: The 4:19

Base Camp Brewing: Hop in the 'Pool Helles/Late-Hopped Helles Lager
Base Camp Brewing: Pilgrimage Saison/Saison
Blue Moon Brewing: Summer Honey Wheat Ale/Wheat Ale
Blue Moon Brewing: White IPA/Belgian Style IPA
BridgePort Brewing: BridgePort Conviction Pale Ale/Pale Ale
BridgePort Brewing: BridgePort Long Ball Ale/Golden Ale
Buoy Beer: Czech Pilsner/Pilsner
Buoy Beer: Oregon Garden Lavender Saison/Saison

Calapooia Brewery: Calapooia Chili Beer/Fruit/Chili
Calapooia Brewery: Calapooia Paddle me IPA/American IPA
Climate City Brewing: Nookie/IPA
Climate City Brewing: Yellow Belly/Blonde
Coin Toss Brewing: Black Hole/Cascadian Dark Ale
Coin Toss Brewing: George's Honest Ale
Coronado Brewing: Islander IPA/American IPA
Coronado Brewing: Orange Avenue Wit/California Wit
Crispin Cider: Crispin Original Cider/Apple Cider
Crispin Cider: Blackberry Pear Cider/ Pear Cider
Crux Fermentation Project: Half Hitch/Imperial IPA
Crux Fermentation Project: Impasse Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Deluxe Brewing: Va Va Voom NW Vienna Lager/Vienna Lager
Deluxe Brewing: Little Bo Pils/Bohemian Pilsner
Dick's Brewing: Dick's Danger Ale/CDA
Dick's Brewing: Dick's Cream Stout/Sweet Stout
Double Mountain Brewery: Kolsch
Double Mountain Brewery: Cluster

Ecliptic Brewing: Orbiter IPA/IPA
Ecliptic Brewing: Aurora Crimson Saison/Saison w/ Rhubarb
Elk Horn Brewery: Hop Cider
Elk Horn Brewery: Hemp Hop HooRed
Elysian Brewing: Dayglow/IPA
Elysian Brewing: Superfuzz/Blood Orange Pale Ale
Epic Brewing: Escape to Colorado/IPA
Epic Brewing: Hop Syndrome/Lager
Ex Novo Brewing: Eliot IPA/Northwest IPA
Ex Novo Brewing: Sour Hop Kids/Dry Hopped Sour Ale

Fat Head's Brewery: Head Hunter/IPA
Fat Head's Brewery: Bumble Berry/Honey Blueberry Ale
Feckin: Measure 91/Pale ale
Feckin: IRA /Red
Firestone Walker Brewing: Pivo
Firestone Walker Brewing: Easy Jack
Flat Tail Brewing: Rough Cut IPA/IPA
Flat Tail Brewing: El Guapo/Chile Beer
Fort George Brewery: 3-Way IPA/IPA
Fort George Brewery: Spruce Budd Ale/Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer
Fremont Brewing: Summer Ale/Pale Ale
Fremont Brewing: Interurban IPA/IPA

Georgetown Brewing: Eddie India Pale Lager/India Pale Lager
Georgetown Brewing: Johnny Utah Citra Pale Ale/Pale Ale
Gigantic Brewing: Gigantic IPA/IPA
Gigantic Brewing: White Light White Heat/Belgian-style White IPA
Gilgamesh Brewing: Radler/Grapefruit Radler
Gilgamesh Brewing: Hoot Attack ISA/ISA
Golden Valley Brewery: Carlton Kolsch/Kolsch-Style Ale
Golden Valley Brewery: Chehalem Mountain IPA/IPA

Hop Valley Brewing: Citrus Mistress/IPA
Hop Valley Brewing: Sir Orange A Lot/Pale
Hopworks: Pigwar White IPA /IPA
Hopworks: Ace of Spades Imperial IPA /Imperial IPA

Klamath Basin Brewing: Backroad Vanilla Porter/Vanilla Porter
Klamath Basin Brewing: Dog Days Wheat IPA/Wheat IPA

Lagunitas Brewing: A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale/American Pale Wheat Ale
Lagunitas Brewing: Day Time/American IPA
Laurelwood Brewing: Green Elephant IPA/IPA
Laurelwood Brewing: Free Range Red/Red
Leinenkugel's Brewing: Summer Shandy/Shandy/Radler
Leinenkugel's Brewing: Big Eddy Royal Nektar Ale/Braggot
Logsdon Farmhouse Ales: Kili Wit/Belgian Wheat
Logsdon Farmhouse Ales: Seizoen/Saison

Mazama Brewing: Mosaic Eruption/IPA
Mazama Brewing: Saison d'Etre/Saison
McMenamins Old Church Brewery: Lumber-sexual IPL/India Pale Lager
McMenamins Old Church Brewery: Bonne Chiere Grand Reserve/Belgian Triple

Natian Brewery: Everyday /Organic IPA
Natian Brewery: KnockBack/Organic Amber Lager
Nectar Creek Mead: Waggle/Wildflower Session Mead
Nectar Creek Mead: Sting/Ginger Session Mead
Ninkasi Brewing: Total Domination/IPA
Ninkasi Brewing: Lux/German Style Helles Lager
No-Li Brewhouse: Crony/NW Brown Ale
No-Li Brewhouse: Poser/Pale Ale

Ordnance Brewing: Rivercrest Kolsch/Kolsch
Ordnance Brewing: Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)/IPA

Pelican Brewing: Kiwanda Cream Ale/Cream Ale
Pelican Brewing: Umbrella IPA/Single Hop IPA

Ram Brewery-Salem: Big Reds IPA/Northwest IPA
Ram Brewery-Salem: Hammock Life/Apricot Summer Ale
Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider: Revival Hard Apple
Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider: Tepache
Rusty Truck Brewing: Cherry Chocoholic Baltic Porter
Rusty Truck Brewing: Cruiser Session IPA
Salem Ale Works: Hootenanny Honey Basil/Delicious
Salem Ale Works: Roasted

Santiam Brewing: Pirate Stout/Rum Barrel Aged Coconut Stout
Santiam Brewing: Ecotopia /Pacific Northwest Style IPA
Seven Brides Brewing: Emily's Red Ale/Amber/Red Ale
Seven Brides Brewing: Strawberry Blonde Wheat/Fruit Beer
Sierra Nevada Brewing: Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale/Fresh Hop IPA
Sierra Nevada Brewing: River Rye'd/Rye IPA
Silver Moon Brewing: Get Sum Pale Ale/Pale Ale
Silver Moon Brewing: VooDoo Dog India Session Red/Session Red
Sunriver Brewing: Fighting Falcon/Double IPA
Sunriver Brewing: S.U.P/Summer Ale

Terminal Gravity Brewing: Eagle Cap IPA/IPA
Terminal Gravity Brewing: Wallowa Lake Lager /Pre-Prohibtion Style Lager
Twisted Snout Brewery: Raspberry Truffle/Fruited Porter
Twisted Snout Brewery: Tail Curler IPA #5/IPA
Two Kilts Brewing: Crystal Kush/India Session Lager
Two Kilts Brewing: Scottish Ale/Scottish style Ale

Vagabond Brewing: Black Moon
Vagabond Brewing: Attack Owl

Wandering Aengus Ciderworks: Wanderlust/Cider
Wandering Aengus Ciderworks: Anthem Hops/Cider
Widmer Brothers Brewing: Replay IPA/Session IPA
Widmer Brothers Brewing: Hefe Shandy/Shandy
Wild Ride Brewing: Hopperhead IPA/IPA
Wild Ride Brewing: Whoopty Whoop Wheat/Hefeweizen w/ Lemon Peel
Woodchuck Hard Cider: Woodchuck Gumption/cider
Woodchuck Hard Cider: Woodchuck Seasonal Summer Time
Worthy Brewing Co.: Farm Out Saison
Worthy Brewing Co.: Prefunk Pale Ale

Sour Solstice Celebrates Berliner Weisse & Gose

The delightfully tart and refreshing Berliner Weisse and Gose styles were all but dead in the United States just a decade ago. They've staged a remarkable comeback in recent years, and that's a good thing. This weekend, Imperial Bottleshop is hosting Sour Solstice, a festival dedicated to these styles. Whether you're a newbie or a die hard fan, this is an event you should consider.

Sour Solstice
June 20-21
Imperial Bottleshop and Taproom
3090 SE Division St.
Portland, OR

Kick off the official start of summer at the 1st annual Sour Solstice Berliner Weisse & Gose Festival! Spend the longest day of the year sipping a selection of 10 tart and refreshing, German-style sour wheat beers brewed by breweries across the States. To turn up the flavor dial to your liking, a handful of house made syrups will be available for mixing with the Berliners, including traditional Woodruff, seasonal berry, peach, dry-hopped, bourbon ginger, and jalapeño agave.

Also from 2-8 each day, Portland’s first bicycle food cart, The Portland Crab Cart, will be onsite cooking up delicious Dungeness crab cakes. Initial tap list includes:

De Garde Imperial Orchard Bu
Bend Brewing Ching-Ching
Bear Republic Tartare Berliner Weisse
Bell's Oarsmen Berliner Weisse
Oakshire Gose to 11
DESTIHL Brewing Black Berliner Weisse
Breakside / Fat Head's Juggling Plums Gose
Ex Novo / Gigantic Blackberry Gose
Victory Kirsch Gose 
Commons / Occidental CBC 2015 Gose
And more world-class Berliners and goses will be tapped as these initial kegs kick!

A limited amount of early-bird tickets will be $15 and include entry, commemorative glass, and 5 drink tickets. Available at Tickets at the door will be $20. Pours will be a 6 oz and additional drink tickets will cost $2.

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The Rural Brewer Showcases Oregon's Smallest Breweries

Prime time for beer festivals is here! Here's an interesting event that you should consider. Brian Yaeger's The Rural Brewer showcases 13 of Oregon's smallest breweries from far-flung locations. $15 ($13 in advance) gets you entry and enough tokens to sample each of the beers. It's also kid-friendly, so bring the whole family!

The event will be held at Hawthorne Hophouse on June 14, from 2-7 pm. For more details, see the news release below.

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Brian Yaeger’s The Rural Brewer
Hawthorne Hophouse June 14th, 2:00-7:00 PM

Portland, Oregon -- June 5th, 2015 Hawthorne Hophouse will be hosting Brian Yaeger’s Rural Brewer on Sunday, June 14th from 2:00-7:00 p.m.  This beerfest will celebrate 13 of the smallest and most remote breweries in Oregon by featuring one brew from each brewery.  Tickets are $13 advance/$15 entry includes 13 tokens to ensure sampling from each of these remote, often obscure brewhouses.

The all-ages festival also boasts festivities such as an acoustic jug band, country-fashioned bbq eats, a kids zone, and a benefit for the Oregon Environmental Council.

“Beyond Portland, Bend, and Oregon's celebrated beer Meccas, great breweries exist all over the state”, says Yaeger.  The following far-flung yet truly great breweries are participating: Boring Brewing (Boring), Twisted Snout (Toledo), Wolf Tree (Seal Rock), Solera (Parkdale), Beer Valley (Ontario), Prodigal Son (Pendleton), Hermiston Brewing (Hermiston), Plough Monday (Veneta), Ochoco (Prineville), Fire Mountain (Carlton), Yachats Farm & Brewery (Yachats), Conner Fields (Grants Pass), and Dragons Gate (Milton-Freewater).  A variety of styles will be pouring, from fruit beers and other summer delights, to Belgian styles and naturally there is no shortage of IPAs and other hoppy creations.

Brian Yaeger ( has gone to extensive lengths to visit and cover these remote breweries, and has the goal of “introducing beer lovers to these off-the-beaten-path destinations—places like Yachats, Veneta, and Prineville—each worthy of its own beer-trip!”  Having said that, no road-tripping is necessary to experience a little slice of these rural breweries by attending the fest.

Yaeger’s book, Oregon Breweries, will be on sale during the event, and he will be available for book signing, as well. Oregon Breweries is the only comprehensive guidebook to Oregon's breweries. Each entry delves into the beers, people, and places that distinguish each brewery. Yaeger personally visited each brewery and brewpub and met with the owner and/or brewer (and yes, sampled the beers).

Hawthorne Hophouse: 4111 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland OR 97214
Oregon Environmental Counsel: