BridgePort recently launched CandyPeel IPA. If you take a quick glance at the label, you'll notice a different look from BridgePort's current beers. That's because they've launched an entirely new STUMPTOWN brand.
I contacted Jeff Edgerton, BridgePort Brewmaster, to learn more about CandyPeel and the new brand...
BridgePort's new STUMPTOWN brand is a stark departure from current branding. Can you explain the reasoning behind the new brand? What type of beers will you release under the STUMPTOWN name? Will it exist with the current brand?
Jeff Edgerton: STUMPTOWN definitely has a different look. The inspiration for STUMPTOWN came from our long-time Big Brew, STUMPTOWN Tart – under this brand we’ve been brewing limited edition Belgian-Style Ales for eight years and counting. All labels have featured Bernie Dexter – a popular fellow Portlander who specializes in the pin-up modeling style. Over the years, STUMPTOWN Tart has grown this cult following and because of that, we decided to unleash the potential of STUMPTOWN by introducing a whole new line with a brand new look that we believe will grab the attention of craft beer lovers. One of the first times we experimented with fruit-style beers was with STUMPTOWN Tart, and in the same sense, the new STUMPTOWN brews are all about going back to our roots at BridgePort of experimenting with new styles, being bold and creating exceptional craft beers.
I noticed you didn't use the classic BridgePort 12oz bottle in CandyPeel IPA. What was the reason for this? Are you phasing out the use of your unique bottle?
JE: We’re keeping the classic BridgePort bottle for our BridgePort brews, but since STUMPTOWN is unique, we decided to mix it up a bit.
CandyPeel IPA is your new year-round IPA release. Is it replacing any of the hoppy beers in your current lineup?
JE: STUMPTOWN CandyPeel most certainly is new and available year-round. This brew is an add-on to the current portfolio; there are no plans to replace any of our other beers that are still favorites of many BridgePort fans.
Have your customer tastes changed in the last few years? If so, how?
JE: Not necessarily, IPAs are still king but customers certainly have more choices. When BridgePort opened as Oregon’s oldest craft brewery there were less than 100 craft breweries in the country, now there are over 4,000. There’s a lot of noise out there in craft brewing, which is why it’s important to us to constantly review our brands and bring out new options to keep consumers engaged.
Can you give us any clues to what you have in store for us in 2016?
JE: All I can say is that we definitely have some things brewing – more to come and we’re excited to share.
A big thanks to Jeff for taking the time to chat with me! I can't wait to see what he and his brewing team have in store for us in 2016.
Now let's get down to the tasting... BridgePort sent me a bottle of CandyPeel IPA, which I just sampled. I noticed plenty of orange and spicy hops in aroma and taste. In the middle, biscuit-like malt and a mild nuttiness emerged. These flavors, while different from the malt base of a typical IPA, nicely complemented the orange. Given the name CandyPeel, I expected a bit of sweetness, which wasn't present. Overall, this isn't your typical IPA, and that's a good thing...