Bottling Day at Alesong Brewing & Blending

Alesong Brewing & Blending is inching ever so closer to its first bottle release! The Eugene-based brewery, founded by Matt Van Wyk (former Brewmaster of Oakshire Brewing), Brian Coombs, and Doug Coombs specializes in small batch Belgian-inspired and barrel-aged beers.

I visited Alesong's West Eugene warehouse on Saturday to sample some beer and lend a hand with the bottling process. The crew bottled 150 cases of Hop Farm, a dry-hopped IPA bottle conditioned with a strain of Brettanomyces. A Touch of Brett, a French-style saison was bottled last weekend. In addition to these two beers, Gin Hop Farm, Tangled Up in Blueberry, and Blackberry Gose will round out the lineup for brewery's Inaugural Bottle Release on August 20. At the release event, Alesong will serve each of the 5 initial bottle releases in addition to 5-7 of its non-barrel aged beers (currently available on tap in Eugene and Portland) and various collaboration brews.

Alesong will release more details about these beers in the next week or two. For the most up-to-date information, including full descriptions and pricing, stay tuned to the Alesong Brewing & Blending website or sign up for the brewery's bottle release e-mail list, which will provide the option to pre-purchase beer and receive a guaranteed allocation.

Just a few more weeks, and the wait will be over!

8/23 update:  Here's an album of pictures from the 8/20 event.

From left. 500ml bottles of Hop Farm being filled, corked, and caged.

150 cases of Hop Farm. Bottle conditioning (with Brett) underway!

A few kegs of Hop Farm

Alesong Strawberry Gose

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Deschutes Jubelale 2016 Label Artwork Revealed

Yeah, I know.  It's the middle of summer. No one wants to think about fall, or even worsewinter beers. But seasonal creep is a fact of life, and soon these beers will be appearing on the shelves of your favorite beer retailer.

Each year, Deschutes Brewery features unique label artwork for Jubelale. The label for the 2016 release just received federal approval (yes, the government must approve each and every label design). You can see it in its full glory below. While I'm not ready to drink Jubelale right now, I always enjoy their beautiful label artwork.   

While that was nice, it's going to be a warm weekend. I think a Berliner Weisse should hit the spot...

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Three Mugs Brewing Co. Three-Year Anniversary, August 13

Hillsboro's Three Mugs Brewing Co. is turning three! I originally wrote about the brewery shortly after they opened for business. Time has flown by, and they're celebrating their 3rd anniversary on Saturday, August 13.  

I recently sampled a few of Three Mugs' newest releases, Meanderin' Mandarin Pale Ale and "We'll Make one More Sour" Sour Ale, at the 15th Annual Roadhouse Brewfest. Both were light and crisp, with loads of juicy fruit flavor. We'll Make one More was actually my favorite taste of the brewfest, and quite unexpected since the members of Jennings family aren't fans of sour beer. They may not like 'em, but they sure know how to brew 'em!

For more details, check out the news release below, or visit the Three Mugs Brewing website. Happy Third Anniversary!

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Three Mugs Brewing Company Three-Year Anniversary Par-Tay!

Hillsboro, Oregon—Three Mugs Brewing Company celebrates its third anniversary on Saturday, August 13, 2016, with a day of special beers, music, free food and fun. Three Mugs will have special, small-batch beers on tap just for this event, along with its “regular” beers and, of course local craft ciders and wines. The event will be held at the Three Mugs Taproom, 2020 NW Aloclek Dr, Ste 108, Hillsboro, OR 97124.

The party kicks off at noon. There will be games and drawings throughout the day. Three Mugs is pleased to feature Sons of Malarkey (SOM) as the musical headliner for this special event. SOM is the perfect blend of traditional Celtic music and Celtic rock. Their live performance begins at 7 pm.

Additionally, delicious free fare will be available starting at 5 pm and featuring pulled pork. This is a 21 and older event. There is no cover charge.


About Three Mugs Brewing Company
“Awesome Beers, Awesome Friends” sums up the premise on which Jay, Christopher and Wendy Jennings founded Three Mugs. They wanted to brew awesome beers for everyone to enjoy and wanted to create an environment in which everyone was welcomed as friends and family. Their first beers made their debut during the Oregon Brewers Guild event Zwickelmania 2014. Christopher has moved on to join Alameda Brewing. However, a new face arrived in June 2015: Joshua Jennings joined us after a 6 1/2 year stint in the Army. Joshua has taken on the bulk of the brewing at Three Mugs. Between them, Jay, Christopher and Joshua have almost 60 years of brewing experience as home and professional brewers. The "Three Mugs" of the logo actually represent Christopher (“Red Beard” or “Amish”) on the left with his red beard, Jay (“Stogie Dude”) in the middle with his cigar, and Joshua (“The Tongue”) on the right with, uh, his tongue. Wendy designed the original logo for the family's homebrew products business, Brew Brothers. We decided to use this very recognizable logo when we launched Three Mugs, as well.

About Sons of Malarkey
Sons of Malarkey (SOM) is a local band with a foot in Irish Trad and a foot in Celtic Rock…a perfect mix of the two. Founded in 2009, their smooth vocals and fantastic music capture listeners from the first note. What began as jam sessions around kitchen tables has become a seasoned live band that performs throughout the Pacific Northwest. SOM has always had a strong love of the traditional, but they love the modern elements as well. An SOM set includes covers of traditional Irish favorites such as “Finnegan’s Wake” and “Whiskey in the Jar”, as well as toe-tapping originals like “Gone, Gone, Gone”.

Puckerfest 10 @ Belmont Station: July 19 - 25

Sour beer lovers rejoice! Puckerfest 10 is almost here. Belmont Station brings us a week-long celebration of tart, wild, and sour beers. Each of the seven nights has a different theme and highlights various breweries or regions. The event runs from July 19-25.  For more details, and the taplist, check out Belmont Station's news release below or the Puckerfest 10 website.

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Yup, we have been celebrating the sour and wild side of beer for 10 years -- at  least officially! 
Below, find details on each day's "theme" and some of the beers we will be pouring. First, a few tidbits of general information:
  • Puckerfest 10 is a CASH ONLY event. An ATM is on site, but please plan accordingly.
  • There is no entry fee. You don't have to buy a glass. You don't need tokens. It's not that kind of fest. Just belly up to the bar and order the beers you want from the menu.
  • Puckerfest runs all taproom hours. Hours listed for special events are when brewers are expected to be on site.
  • Unless otherwise noted, all featured beers will be available at noon on the day that they are scheduled to pour.
  • We usually have one keg of each beer, so when it runs out, it's out.
  • We check ID. Bring yours.
  • We will have small, 5-ounce glasses available for most beers, so you can enjoy more of the beers. Please feel free to share your beers around with friends so you can enjoy all the beers responsibly.
  • While we are featuring specific beers each day, many more sours will also be on tap. The list of sours for each day will be on our website, and also posted on Twitter and Facebook.

Below are the details on each day's "theme." We will be adding info as we continue to finalize everything, so check back often!

Tuesday, July 19 | 5-7 PM 

Breakside & Friends Puckerfest Kickoff Party & Passion Fruit Sour Release
Join the Breakside gang and a whole bunch of their brewer friends as they help us kickoff Puckerfest 10! We will be the first place to pour this year's Passionfruit Sour and Breakside will also be giving us a sneak preview of three other sours they will be releasing in August. Here is their whole lineup:
  • Passionfruit Sour -- 100% sour fermented wheat ale, inspired by German Berliner Weisse and conditioned on passionfruit. 
  • Carte Blanche -- Gin meets Brett meets hops- a blend of some of our favorite flavors
  • God Only Knows --  Bourbon Barrel-Aged Sour Ale With Coconut
  • Next Thursday -- Pinot Noir and fruit-forward golden ale with a background of Bourbon and Brett. In collaboration with Alesong.

That's what Breakside is pouring. Here's what their friends are bringing:
  • Ale Apothecary - La Tache spiced with white fir tips. ON CASK
  • Alesong - Strawberry Gose
  • Boneyard - Gooze Cruze
  • Culmination -  2015 Kriek Lambicus
  • Upright - Single Cask Shades & Barrel Konducta Vol. 4
  • The Commons - Berliner Weisse  (OR Myrtle) & Khthonios Oud Bruin 

Wednesday, July 20 | 5-7 PM 

Gorge Night!
Always a customer and staff favorite Puckerfest event, this year's visit from our friends up in the Gorge brings us offerings from Double Mountain, Solera, pFriem Family Brewers and Logsdon Farmhouse Brewery. It's a sure bet that Double Mountain's Matt Swihart will bring bunches of his delicious cherries to accompany his krieks.

Double Mountain
  • Tahoma Kriek 2015
  • Devil's Kriek 2015
  • Devil's Kriek 2014
  • Devil's Cuvee Kriek 2014 (only keg in Oregon -- not even available at the brewpub!)

  • Cerasus
  • Conversion 2
  • 2015 Peche & Brett
  • Oak Aged Bretta

  • Oude Kriek
  • Blabaer
  • Mango Berliner Weisse
  • Frambozen

  • Valley Weisse Berliner Weisse-Style Ale, 4.0% ABV
  • Solera Kriek Cuvee -- A blend of 30%  2013 Pinot Noir BBL aged, and 70% 2015 from stainless. Both spontaneously fermented with local Balaton sour pie cherries. 5.5% ABV

Thursday July 21 | All Taproom Hours  

Belgian Independence Day 
Join us as we help our friends across the pond celebrate Belgium's Independence Day. We will have some cool Belgian-themed giveaways and will be pouring an amazing selection of rare and/or authentic and certainly delicious Belgian sours and wild ales to enjoy, including:
  • Rodenbach Alexander
  • Cantillon Iris
  • Cantillon Classic Gueuze
  • Hannsens Oude Lambik
  • Bockor Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge
  • Rodenbach Grand Cru
  • Liefman's Goudenband 

Friday, July 22 | 5-7 PM 
Battle of the Belmont Blends with Cascade Brewing

We split our Belmont Station staff into two teams, and each team trekked over to Cascade's amazing blending and barrel-aging facility to create their own beer. Cascade was kind enough to blend them both to our specifications. We will be presenting them and asking Puckerfest attendees to vote on their favorite Belmont Blend for the coveted title of Best Belmont Blender Team 2016! 
Plus, to make things even more interesting, Cascade's crew will also be on hand to talk about blending and sours -- and, of course, they will be bringing a few more tasty Cascade beers for us to enjoy as well! Here's the full Cascade lineup:
  1. Belmont Blend 2016 #1
  2. Belmont Blend 2016 #2
  3. The Vine 2013
  4. The Vine 2015
  5. Bourbonic Plague 2013
  6. Mission Fig Red 
  7. Kentucky Peach (bourbon, peach, cinnamon)
  8. Blueberriation (blueberry, lemon, vanilla)

Saturday, July 23 | 2-5 PM
An Afternoon with DeGarde & Block 15

Over the years, during Puckerfest, our friends at DeGarde and Block 15 have become friends, too! And they love celebrating Puckerfest together with us. Representatives from both breweries will be on site to talk about their beers and toast to 10 successful years of celebrating sour and wild beers!

Block 15 is bringing:
  • 2015 Framboise White
  • 2016 Ferme de la Ville Provision
  • 2014 Framboise Black
  • 2014 Cuvee Rouge

DeGarde is bringing an Unblended/Unconditioned Lambic-inspired lineup:
  • The Unblended
  • The Unblended Purple 
  • The Unblended Red Raz
  • The Unblended Black Raz

Check our website for updates on what Block 15 is bringing to the party.

Sunday, July 24 | All Taproom Hours 
Sweet on California Sours

We are bringing in a lovely collection of sour and wild ales from our friends south of the border, including:
Lost Abbey               
  • Cuvee de Tomme 
  • Framboise
  • Almanac   
  • Tropical Platypus
  • Firestone Walker      
  • Reginald Brett
  • Bretta Rosé 
  • Green Flash
  • Cellar 3 Oculus Sauvage

Russian River    
  • 2011 Consecration
  • 2012 Supplication
  • 2013 Consecration
  • 2014 Supplication

Bear Republic 
  • Tartare

Monday, July 25 | All Taproom Hours 
Kick the Kegs Day!

Help us kick some of these Puckerfest kegs and revisit some favorites or grab a taste of something you didn't get a chance to try!

Cornelius Pass Roadhouse 150th Birthday & Annual Roadhouse Brewfest

McMenamins' Cornelius Pass Roadhouse is turning 150! The Annual Roadhouse Brewfest is the place to celebrate.

Saturday, July 16, 2016
All Day, Free Admission
All ages welcome, 21 and over to drink

In addition to sampling beers and ciders from the many McMenamins breweries, you'll enjoy offerings from Ambacht, Anthem Cider, Burnside Brewing, Cider Riot!, Culmination Brewing, Fort George, Heater Allen, Hopworks, Reverend Nat's, Ruse Brewing, 2 Towns Ciderhouse, Three Mugs Brewing, Vertigo Brewing, and Wandering Aengus.  

You can take a look at the taplist, with full descriptions, here. The lineup is solid and the sours look especially inviting! For more details, check out the event website, or the details below.

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About Roadhouse 150th Birthday & Annual Roadhouse Brewfest

Join in this year's extravaganza, where we're throwing one big brewfest birthday!

To mark the occasion, we're expanding the offerings, stretching across the property! 

  • 20+ Beers from McMenamins & guests near the Roadhouse
  • 10+ Ciders in the Orchard
  • Exclusive Sour Ale & Barrel Aged Beer selection near the Octagonal Barn
  • Distillery & Wine Tasting, noon 'til 5 p.m.

As you sip these samples, meet and chat with the brewers; enjoy food from the BBQ; and groove to live music. Catch a History Tour at 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. with a McMenamins Historian.*

Bring your Passport and go on the Discovery Hunt on the grounds, and get your Brewfest stamp inked as well. *History tour does not qualify for the ‘Attend a History Pub Presentation' experience stamp.

Live Music Schedule
Imbrie Meadow
The Talbott Brothers • Noon 'til 3 p.m.
Cedar Teeth • 4 p.m. 'til 7 p.m.

Octagonal Barn
Old Yellers • 2 p.m. 'til 5 p.m.

Freak Mountain Ramblers • 6 p.m. 'til 9 p.m.

Oregon Brewers Festival '16: Dissecting the Beer List

The Oregon Brewers Festival recently released the beer list for the 29th installment of the event. You can download the spreadsheet complete with full descriptions and stats for each of the 112 beers. Take a look, and you'll see that we'll be treated to an excellent lineup!

In addition to enjoying beer, I like to analyze data (strange, but true). First, I identified the most popular styles. You can see the summary in the chart below. I omitted any variety or style that did not have at least two offerings. Here's what you'll find.

IPA continues to reign.    India Pale Ale (along with its variants such as Session IPA, Imperial IPA, etc) once again tops the list with 27 offerings! So if you're hankering for hops, you're in luck! Fans of Citra hops, known for its juicy tropical fruit flavors, will be thrilled to know that 16 of the festival beers use this hop as a featured varietal.

Fruit beers are perfect for summer. The cornucopia of fruit in this year's beer list includes mango, passion fruit, peach, grapefruit, blueberries, cherries, and even yuzu fruit! Your mom always told you to eat more fruit. Go to OBF and drink some.

Sour beers will take over the world.  I love sour beer and have even brewed a few. Just a decade ago, the Berliner-Weisse was nearly an extinct style. In a few weeks, you'll be able to taste eight at OBF. It's light, tart, plays nicely with fruit, and is an ideal session beer. In addition, five gose-style (traditionally made with coriander and salt) beers will be served. For the homebrewing geeks, you'll be interested to know that 9 beers mention the use of lactobacillus, and six mention the use of the kettle souring technique. It's my prediction (and hope) that the gap between the number of IPAs and sour beers will continue to narrow. Get your pucker on!

Session beers abound.  There are 41 beers with an ABV of 5.0% or less! I'm glad to see the continued popularity of session beers. You can try more of these beers, and still keep your wits about you.

Imperials:  If you'll looking to get loaded, there are a dozen beers with and ABV of 8.0% or higher. I tend to avoid these, but the Imperial Stouts look amazing!

Alcohol Range:  ABV content of the festival beers ranges from 3.5% - 11.0%, with a mean of 5.9%, and median of 5.5%.

IBUs:  Bitterness as measured by International Bitterness Units ranges from 1 - 102, with a mean of 35.1 and a median of 25.0.

So take a few minutes to check out some OBF fun facts, peruse the beer list, and map out your sampling strategy. As always, drink plenty of water in between tastes. More water = more beer! Finally, LEAVE YOUR CAR AT HOME. Walk, ride your unicycle, or take Tri-Met. See you at OBF!

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29th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival: Fun Facts

It's almost time for the Oregon Brewers Festival! The 29th installment of OBF will be held at Tom McCall Waterfront Park on July 27-31. Here are some fun facts provided by festival organizers:

  • 29th year of the festival.

  • 88 independent craft beers are poured in the main festival, from 87 different breweries (Deschutes has two entries, one Gluten-Free)

  • 24 independent craft beers are poured in the International Beer Garden.

  • There are 103 participating breweries: 87 from the United States (with 88 beers); one from China (with four beers); six from Japan (with 11 beers); two from Germany (with two beers); and seven Dutch (with seven beers) in the International Beer Garden.

  • Five countries are represented: China (1), Germany (2), Japan (6), Netherlands (7), and United States (87).

  • 15 states are represented: California (8), Colorado (3), Delaware (1), Florida (1), Idaho (2), Michigan (1), Minnesota (2), Montana (1), New Jersey (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (55), Utah (1), Washington (9), Wisconsin (1) and Wyoming (1).

  • In the states, Lakeland Brewing from Lakeland, Florida, traveled the furthest with a distance of 2,522 miles. Internationally, Jing-A Brewing from Beijing, China, traveled the furthest, at 5,492 miles.

  • There are 27 breweries making their first appearance at the festival this year, including 54° 40' Brewing Co, Aslan Brewing Co, Baird Beer, Brouwerij Frontaal, Coin Toss Brewing Co, Culmination Brewing Co, Doomsday Brewing Co, Everybody's Brewing, Feckin Brewery, Iwate Kura Beer, Jing-A Brewing Co, Lakeland Brewing Co, Lang Bräu, North Island Beer, Ordnance Brewing, Riverbend Brewing, Rusty Truck Brewing Co, Schooner Exact Brewing Co, Seaside Brewing Co, Shiga Kogen Beer, Shonan Beer, Slanted Rock Brewing Co, Three Mugs Brewing Co, Thunder Island Brewing Co, Van Moll, Y Market Brewing & Zoiglhaus Brewing

  • There are 36 beer styles represented.

  • 53 of the beers are unique to the festival.

  • The lowest alcohol beer is a three-way tie at 3.5% ABV: pFriem Family Brewers’ Mango Sour, Oersoep Brewery’s Schnappi and Buoy Beer’s Dragon Weisse.

  • The highest alcohol beer is a two-way tie at 11% ABV between New Holland Brewing Dragon's Milk Reserve Mexican Spice Cake and The Lost Abbey Serpent Stout, both bourbon barrel fermented stouts.

  • Number of volunteers at the festival: 2,000.

  • Number of anticipated attendees: 80,000 from all over the world.

  • Number of breweries that have participated in the Oregon Brewers Festival since its inception: 429

  • The following breweries have never missed a festival: Bayern, BridgePort, Deschutes, Full Sail & Widmer. Both McMenamins and Rogue have each missed only one.

For more details, check out the Oregon Brewers Festival website or Facebook page. See you at OBF!

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