Apple Pressing at Cider Riot!


The vast majority of commercial hard ciders are made from the juice of dessert apples. These are the varieties you'll typically find in grocery stores. They're crisp, sweet, tart, and look picture perfect. While they're great for eating, these apples are not the best for making cider because they lack tanninswhich provide depth and complexity to cider.

Cider makers often add fruit, spices, hops, or other adjuncts to add layers of flavor when using juice from dessert apples. On the plus side, dessert apple juice is relatively inexpensive and widely available in bulk year-round.

The best apples for making traditional or "proper" cider are bittersweet or bittersharp apples. Bitter is the key word here. These apples are packed with tannins are are mouth puckeringly bitter. While not great for eating, they're ideal for making cider. These apples are grown specifically for the cider market and can be difficult to procure due to limited supply.

Each fall, Abram Goldman-Armstrong and his crew at Cider Riot! purchase bittersweets and bittersharps from Willamette Valley apple growers. They press the fruit and use the juice as the base for Burncider Dry Draught Cider, their limited release 1763, and other single varietal ciders.

I stopped by the brewery a few weeks ago, along with a band of intrepid volunteers, to lend a hand with the apple sorting and pressing process. Take a look at my video below to view the rack & cloth pressing process from start to finish.


The final yield was 1,000 gallons of juice pressed from many varieties including Dabinett, Yarlington Mill, Harry Master's Jersey, Porter's Perfection, Brown's Apple, Eliss Bitter, Sweet Coppin, Muscadet de Bernay, Muscadet de Dieppe, Muscadet de Lens, Champagne Reinette, Hereford Redstreak, Kingston Black.

It was a lot of work, but the end result is definitely worth it!

Never tasted a proper cider? You'll soon get your chance. On November 18th, Cider Riot! will host Pressing Matters: Proper Cider & Real Ale Festival. For more details, check out the event Facebook page.


A few of Cider Riot!'s single varietal ciders


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Homebrew #35: Obscuration Wet Hop IPA


Back in September, in the midst of hop harvest season, I decided to brew my first wet (or fresh) hop beer. My home hop garden produced a decent crop and a friend gave me big box of beautiful wet Cascade hops.

Wet Cascade Hops!

Since my goal was to showcase the hops, I opted to brew an IPA. I modified a recipe to use my wet hops and named the beer in commemoration of the total eclipse that captured the hearts of Oregonians this summer.


Obscuration Wet Hop IPA
Recipe Specifications (click for PDF recipe)
--------------------------
Boil Size: 6.32 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.42 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal 
Bottling Volume: 4.90 gal
Estimated OG: 1.074 SG
Estimated Color: 6.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 62.8 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 72.8 %
Mash Time & Temp: 60 min @ 150°F 
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


Ingredients
--------------------------
6 lbs, 2-Row Malt (41.9%)     
6 lbs, Pale Ale (41.9% )     
1 lb, White Wheat Malt (7.0%)       
8.0 oz, Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (3.5%)       
7.0 oz, Munich Malt (3.1%)       
6.0 oz, Wheat Malt, German (2.6%)       
0.50 oz, Zeus (dried) – 60 min   
10.00 g, Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) – 60 min           
0.50 oz, Zeus (dried) – 30 min
6.00 oz, Cascade (wet) – 10 min     
6.00 oz, Centennial (wet) – 10 min     
1.00 tsp, Yeast Nutrient – 10 min
6.00 oz, Cascade (wet) – 5.0 min
6.00 oz, Centennial (wet) – 5.0 min           
5.00 oz, Cascade (wet) – Steep/Whirlpool   
5.00 oz, Centennial (wet) – Steep/Whirlpool     
1.0 pkg, Joystick (Imperial Organic Yeast #A18)


Taking the 33 Brews Homebrewing Log for a spin


9/2/17 (Brew Day):  I used the BIAG (brew in a bag) method and my brew session went along without any issues. I hit my mash temperature and target OG. Since this was my first wet hop ale, I used a large volume of hops. Nearly 2.2 pounds went into this 5 gallon batch! Since the water content of wet hops is very high, a lot of hops are needed. The aromas produce during the brew session were incredible—juicy grapefruit, pine, and tropical fruit!



I hit my target gravity, and pitched a can of Imperial Organic Yeast’s Joystick strain. I never used an Imperial yeast, so I decided to give it a try. Eight hours after pitching, I saw initial fermentation activity, and after 20 hours, it was bubbling along quite rapidly and a nice krausen had formed (picture below).



9/24/17 (Bottling):  Final gravity = 1.01. Primed and bottled with 3.85 oz. corn sugar to achieve 3.2 volumes. I took a quick taste and was pleased with the citrus and pine flavors. Can't wait to try it when it's carbonated!


11/1/17 (First Taste):  I finally opened a bottle and had my first taste! I was glad to see it carbonated nicely. Head retention was good, and lasted for the entire drink. The color and body were exactly what I was looking for.

The overall bitterness was lighter than I expected. The challenge with brewing with homegrown hops is that you don't know the precise alpha acid data content of the hops. Due to the lack of this data, I used averages, which can be misleading. That said, if I brew this again (and I likely will next fall), I would double the 60 and 30 minute additions that utilized dry hops.

In terms of flavory, grassy is the the dominate hop aroma / flavor that I smell and taste. It has a bit of spice and grapefruit, but grassy notes dominate. I was hoping for more citrus and pine in this beer. I tasted those flavors at bottling, and am surprised they're no longer dominant. I expect most of the volatile hop aromas were lost during the five weeks I let the beer carbonate. I should have sampled a bottle a few weeks sooner.

Next time I brew this beer, I'll also augment the late additions and whirlpool with dried hops. I wouldn't change the malt bill.

Overall, I'm happy with it and think this was a decent first attempt at a fresh hop beer. With a few tweaks to my hopping strategy, I think I can do better next fall!


Have you brewed a fresh hop IPA?  Do you have any tips, tricks, or recommendations you can share?


First carbonated taste!

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Level Beer Grand Opening!


Level Beer is hosting their grand opening this Saturday, November 4! The day will be filled with brewery tours, live music, and special beer releases. In addition, BREWVANA Brewery Tours will provide shuttle services from Bailey's Taproom and NEPO 42. The event is family friendly!

For more details about this and other Portland beer events, check out the Oregon Beer Event Calendar.


Grand Opening Party 

5211 NE 148th Ave
Saturday, November 4th 11 am-10 pm


SHUTTLE by BREWVANA!
Brewvana is doing us a super solid and will be running a kick-ass party shuttle to and from our event. Check back for a schedule and pick up/ drop off sites.

LIVE MUSIC! 
We will have various local bands throughout the day and DJ DynoMike from 8-close. Bring your party pants.

BREWERY TOURS!

From noon-3pm we’re opening up the brewery to the public for the first time ever! Come see where the magic happens and meet the brewers. They like beer. You like beer. Talk to them about beer. And other stuff too, they’re pretty cool guys. 

RAFFLE!

We’re raffling some special prizes:
Brew day with the Level crew! Collaborate and develop a recipe with the brewers then make your beer in our facility. #homebrewdreamscometrue
Various swag: T shirts, gift cards, a logo Stanley Growler, and many other prizes. You’re all winners!

FUN FOR THE KIDS!
We’ll have a bouncy house shaped like a pony, face painting starting at noon, toys, a coloring contest, and more.

SPECIAL BEER RELEASES!
Hazy IPA - Hazing is Socially Unacceptable - On draft and cask conditioned pin 
English Dark Mild - And the Crowd Goes Mild
Imperial Hazy IPA - Six to Midnight

SOME OTHER COOL STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW!
-Wear your Level gear and get a 15% discount
-Photo booth by @MotoFotoPDX
-Hazy Bar! We will have an additional bar for Hazy IPA's: Draft and pin of Hazing is Socially Unacceptable, and draft Six to Midnight, our Imperial Hazy IPA. 



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Oregon Beer Events: 10/27 Update


The upcoming week in beer brings us several Halloween themed beer celebrations, the climatic conclusion of Brewpublic's Killer Beer Week, the Horse Brass Pub's 41st Anniversary, and a slew of other festivities!

This calendar is being constantly updated, so please click on my Oregon Beer Event Calendar link or the image below to see the latest and greatest, as well as details about each event.

If you know of other events, please send details to info@notsoprofesionalbeer.com, and I'll do my best to add them. Have a great weekend. Cheers!


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Lindemans Strawberry Lambic


Lindemans recently released a Strawberry Lambic. Before we go much further, what the heck is a lambic? In simple terms, it's a spontaneously fermented beer that comes from a specific region in Belgium. The ultra-vast majority of beers are fermented with a cultured dose or "pitch" of a specific yeast strain, purposely selected by the brewer. Lambics are fermented with whatever wild yeast or bacteria happens to land in the wort. Nature, variation, and time (via long fermentations) make lambics special.

While Lambic-inspired ales can be produced in America, lambics cannot. Jeff over at Beervana wrote several informative pieces about lambic over the years. You can educate yourself here and here.

I'm a big fan of American wild ales, so I was excited to taste Lindemans Strawberry Lambic (sample provided by Lindemans). Here are my tasting notes:

Packaged in a 12 oz. corked and capped bottle. The strong essence of strawberry punches through the air after the bottle is opened. It pours hazy garnet in color with a light pink head that dissipates slowly. In addition to strawberry, I noticed some hay and mild funk in aroma. Juicy strawberry dominates the taste. In the middle, a moderate level of tartness emerges. It finishes with strawberry and a light taste of umami. The strawberries provide a moderate level of sweetness that is not overdone or cloying.  

Strawberry is very delicate in beer, and usually doesn't come through very well in the finished product. When tasting strawberry beer, I'm usually left wanting for more. Not the case with this beer. Lindemans delivers strawberry in spades!

 For more details, check out the brewery's press release below.






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Lindemans Strawberry Lambic: When the most noble of fruits meets the most magical of beers

Vlezenbeek, Belgium, and Seattle WA, USA --  Family-owned Lindemans Brewery, Belgium’s largest independent lambic brewery, is proud to introduce its latest addition to their fruit beer line, Lindemans Strawberry Lambic. It is the brewery’s first new fruited lambic in over a decade.

Choosing strawberry, one of the most noble of fruits, was easy: the complex sweetness of the fruit matches perfectly with the sourness of lambic, resulting in a unique balanced marriage of sweet and sour. Furthermore, strawberries were once widely grown in the Senne Valley, the only region where lambic can be brewed.

“We have been thinking of a strawberry lambic for a long time,” says Geert Lindemans, Managing Director of Brewery Lindemans and sixth generation in his brewing family.

“It took us several attempts to get the absolute perfect balance in this new beer,” adds Dirk Lindemans, cousin of Geert and Co-Managing Director of the brewery.  “Our huge expertise in blending fruit lambics unfortunately doesn’t guarantee we get it right from the first attempt.  Finding the perfect balance took us countless batches and a lot of patience. But, we are very proud of the result of this process.”

Available now in 12 oz., & 25.4 oz. bottles, and 25L (6.6 gal) kegs, Lindemans Strawberry Lambic is an exciting new variety for the Lindemans brewery that was developed specifically for the ever-developing demands of the US market. First imported to the US in 1979 by Merchant du Vin, Lindemans beers are the top-selling lambics in America and have helped build the fruit beer category in the United States.



Oregon Beer Events: 10/13 Update


We've got a bunch of great beer events planned for the rest of October! This weekend brings us  release parties from Lompoc and McMenamins, Oktoberfests, Portland's first Kölsch Fest at GABF award-winning Zoiglhaus Brewing, and even a Local Love Fest at Everybody's Brewing! One of my favorite events, The Willamette Week's Cider and Beer Pro/Am, will also be held tomorrow. The snapshot below gives you a summary view of what's in store.

This calendar is being constantly updated, so please click on the NW Beer Festival link or to see the latest and greatest, as well as details about each event.

If you know of other events, please send details to info@notsoprofesionalbeer.com, and I'll do my best to add them. Have a great weekend. Cheers!




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McMenamins Releases Thundercone Fresh Hop Pale & Black Widow Porter in Cans


For the first time, McMenamins is releasing Thundercone Fresh Hop Pale Ale and Black Widow Porter in 16 oz cans.


Thundercone Fresh Hop Pale Ale

This year's Thundercone was brewed with fresh (or wet) Cascade hops. Five pounds were added to each barrel in three separate additions. Fresh hop beers are are unique because the hops must be used within hours of being picked from the bine. Here's more of the story from McMenamins...

"Fresh, or wet, Cascade Hops were frantically delivered straight from the hop fields to over 20 McMenamins Breweries and each batch of Thundercone was brewed within hours of the hops being picked off of the vine. This beer starts with a smooth foundation and just a slight maltiness. The real star of this show is the fresh hops that’re used for both flavoring and aroma."

The brewery sent me a sample, which I quickly opened (these beers don't improve with age). Immediately after cracking open the can, I could smell the fragrant hops. In taste and aroma, grapefruit and pine are plentiful, and are layered atop a simple biscuity malt base which allows the hop flavors to shine. It finishes with light grassy notes. While Thundercone oozes hop goodness, it's not overly bitter.

If you haven't had a fresh hop beer this season, or are looking to try another, check out Thundercone Fresh Hop Pale Ale. It's available now for a limited time, until it runs out.




Black Widow Porter

If the cool, crisp weather has you craving a dark roasty beer, you'll be glad to know that Black Widow Porter is on the way.

"Originally created at the Thompson Brewery on October 15th in 1991, Black Widow’s web now envelops the entire company every year. Each sublime deep-black goblet is packed with the robust notes afforded by generous amounts of Black and Roast Malts, and further spirited with ethereal wisps of caramel and licorice."

Black Widow Porter will be available October 15 through Halloween. The 23rd Ave. Bottle Shop is holding a release party on 10/15 where you can sample 2016 and 2017 Black Widows side by side, as well as a coffee variant.


Image courtesy of McMenamins


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Great American Beer Festival '17: Oregon Medal Winners


Oregon breweries pulled in 17 medals today at the Great American Beer Festival! Here's a roundup of the award winning Oregon breweries, beers, and style categories!

  • Alesong Brewing & Blending, Bronze, Touch of Brett: Mosaic (Brett Beer)
  • Base Camp Brewing Co., Gold, Rye Saison (Specialty Saison)
  • Breakside Brewery
    • Bronze, Breakside Rye Curious? (Rye Beer)
    • Bronze, Breakside IPA (American-Style IPA)
    • Bronze, Breakside Stay West (American-Style Strong Pale Ale)
    • Bronze, Breakside Passionfuit Sour Ale (Fruited American-Style Sour Ale)
  • Coldfire Brewing, Silver, St. James (Double Red Ale)
  • Elk Horn Brewery, Bronze, Lemon Pils (American-Style or International-Style Pilsener)
  • Full Sail Brewing, Silver, Sesión Cerveza (American-Style or International-Style Pilsener)
  • Flat Tail Brewing Co., Gold, DAM Wild: Hops and Lemon Verbena, (American-Style Sour Ale)
  • GoodLife Brewing Co., Gold, Sweet As Pacific Ale (American-Style Wheat Beer)
  • Groundbreaker Brewing, Gold, Dark Ale (Gluten-Free Beer)
  • Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, Silver, ZuurPruim (Belgian-Style Fruit Beer)
  • Sunriver Brewing
    • Gold, Fuzztail, (American-Style Wheat Beer with Yeast)
    • Gold, Cinder Beast, (Imperial Red Ale)
    • Small Brewing Company of the Year
  • Three Creeks Brewing Co., Bronze, Stonefly Session Ale (Session Beer)
  • Zoiglhaus Brewing Co., Gold, Zoigl-Pils (German-Style Pilsener)

Sunriver Brewing Co. had a very impressive showing this year by earning two gold medals and the prestigious Small Brewing Company of the Year award! Breakside Brewery won the most overall medals (4 bronze). Groundbreaker Brewing won gold for the 2nd year in a row with Dark Ale. Alesong Brewing & Blending medaled for the 2nd year in a row in the Brett category with their Touch of Brett series.

For a complete list of winners, take a look at the PDF file of 2017 Great American Beer Festival award winners. For a look back at last year's GABF award winners, click here.

Congrats to all of these breweries and thanks for making world-class beer for our enjoyment! I happen to have two award winners in my beer fridge. I think I'll crack them open to toast all of our amazing Oregon breweries!


Two Oregon GABF Awards Winning Beers from my Beer Fridge





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Full Sail Releases Session EZ IPA and Blood Orange Wheat Ale


Full Sail Brewing Co. just announced the launch of Session EZ IPA, an unfiltered IPA with citrus and tropical notes. In addition, they also revealed that Blood Orange Wheat Ale will now be available year-round in 12 oz. cans.

I profiled Blood Orange Wheat Ale when it was first released in May 2016. Here are my original tasting notes:

"Golden in color, hazy, with a white head that dissipates slowly. Bright orange pops immediately in the aroma. Light herbal and grassy notes are also present. The taste starts with tangy wheat, with orange flavor emerging in the middle.  Hop bitterness, mostly herbal, is low. It's light bodied and softly carbonated. It finishes with a touch of pithy orange. Alcohol is not noticeable in aroma or taste. At 5.2% ABV, this is essentially a session beer, and a great choice for summer. I like that it has fruit aroma and flavor, but is subtle and not overwhelming."

For more details about EZ IPA and Blood Orange Wheat Ale, check out the news releases below.


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New Session EZ IPA is Everything You Always Wanted in an IPA
Life’s hard enough. Your beer should be EZ.

Hood River, Oregon – Full Sail Brewing Co. announced the release of Session EZ IPA, the newest member of the Session family of beers. It’s everything you always wanted in an IPA, only less. Wait. Less? You got that right. It’s an unfiltered IPA with all the aromatic hops, fruit notes and citrus vibe that you and your taste buds desire – minus the mouth-puckering bitterness or the high-octane ABV. After all, it’s not called EZ for nothing.

“Our IPAs are always well received, but we’re not ones to rest on our laurels, or on our hops for that matter,” says Full Sail Brewmaster Jim Kelter. “New Session EZ IPA is a well-balanced, easy-drinking beer that’s not bitter, while fully packed with tropical and citrus aromas.” 

When Full Sail launched the Session brand 12 years ago, it quickly became the hottest new craft-beer brand on the market, which has since brought home over 100 medals, including 58 golds. Session’s not a micro, a macro, or an import, but in a way it’s a little bit of each. You see, virtually everyone who likes beer likes Session. It’s a brand that’s accessible without being ordinary. Totally drinkable, but never at the expense of character. Drinking shouldn’t be hard. We’ve made it EZ. Session EZ IPA is available year-round on draft and in 6-packs and 12-packs. 4.8% ABV, 35 IBUs.



Now in Cans: Full Sail Blood Orange Wheat Ale
Blood orange provides a delicate flavor in this refreshing wheat beer with a twist

Hood River, Oregon – Meeting a demand for quality craft brew in cans, Full Sail Brewing Co. is pleased to announce that refreshing Blood Orange Wheat Ale is now available in 12 oz. aluminum cans. “Blood Orange Wheat Ale became the favorite of many when we added it to our rotating Pub Series last year, so now we’re thrilled to brew it year-round in 12 oz. cans,” says Full Sail Brewmaster Jim Kelter.

If you already love Full Sail Blood Orange Wheat, you’re not alone – this brew brought home gold medals from the 2016 World Beer Awards and the 2017 World Beer Championships. Brewed with 2-Row Northwest Pale, malted and unmalted wheat, and a hint of citrus, this beer has a medium malt body with subtle orange and a crisp wheat finish.

Blood Orange Wheat Ale pairs well with mayonnaise-based salad, fruit salad, fresh seafood, smoked Gouda and soft cheeses like triple crème Brie, chèvre, and mascarpone, meringue desserts, and of course it tastes great on its own. Bring your Blood Orange Wheat Ale to the coast, the trail, and anywhere else bottles aren’t the best. Full Sail Blood Orange Wheat Ale is now available year-round in aluminum, 12 oz. cans in 6-packs and draft. 5.2% ABV, 23 IBUs.


About Full Sail Brewing Company
Perched on a bluff in Hood River, Oregon, overlooking the mighty Columbia River’s epic wind and kite surfing and the snow-capped volcanic peak of Mt. Hood, Full Sail is a true craft-brewing pioneer. Since 1987, Full Sail has been pouring pure Mt. Hood water, local ingredients and responsible processes into each and every pint. Full Sail’s brews and sustainable practices have garnered more than 300 national and international awards, including more than 200 gold medals and Beverage World’s “Craft Brewer of the Year” distinction. From Full Sail Amber and IPA to Session Lager and bourbon barrel-aged beers, Full Sail consistently strives to brew complex, balanced and ridiculously tasty beers. Learn more at www.fullsailbrewing.com.

NW Beer Festival Calendar: Take Two


In late 2017 and early 2018, I created a Beerfest Calendar page.  Once summer hit, the number of beer fests rapidly grew and my inefficient method of updating the calendar became unmanageable. So I stopped updating it. Bad me...

But fear not, I've figured out a better way! I will now use a Google calendar that is superior in several ways. First, it's easier for me to keep it updated in real-time. Second, it will allow me to share a quick summary as well as complete event details within the calendar. Finally, it will enable you to easily add items to your personal calendar with the click of a button.

To view the calendar, click on my blog's NW Beer Festival Calendar  tab. You'll then see an actual calendar instead of a list I used to use. Click on the event name to see a summary as well as a link to the event website.

Calendar view

If you click the Agenda tab, you'll see the events in list form. Again, click on the event name for more details.

Agenda option
While summer beer fests are over, you'll see that there are a lot of great events planned for fall. Check 'em out!

I hope this calendar will be helpful as plan your beer adventures. I'd really appreciate your feedback on how I can improve this calendar!

Finally, feel free to send me details (info@notsoprofessionalbeer.com) for any NW Beer Festivals, and I'll be happy to add it to the calendar. Cheers!


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Opening Day at Portland Fresh Hops Beer Fest


The Portland Fresh Hops Beer Fest opened yesterday at Oaks Park. This was the first time I attended in 7 years. When I last attended in 2010, the event was known as the Oregon Bounty Fresh Hop Beer Tastival. Besides dumping the word Tastival, the event has changed little over the years.

Prior to the fest, I downloaded and studied the detailed beer list. My intent was to cover a range of styles and different varieties of fresh hops. Here's what I sampled, in the order I tasted them:


Baerlic "Pioneer Fresh Hop ESB" featuring Mt. Hood

Montaville Brew Works "Pocketful of Goschies" (Red Ale) featuring Strata

Yachats "Fresh Hop Amarillo Sour" (Lacto Sour) featuring Amarillo 

Great Notion "Fresh Hop Juice Jr." (Hazy IPA)  featuring Mosaic

Hopworks "Total Blackout" (Imperial CDA) featuring Centennial

Little Beast "Hop Smakken" (Belgian Pale Ale) featuring Liberty

Breakside "Fresh Hop Cascade Wanderlust" (IPA) featuring Cascade, Summit, Mosaic, and Amarillo

Crux "Dr. Jack" (IPA) featuring Cascade




In total, I enjoyed the beers I selected. Great Notion's Fresh Hop Juice Jr. and Little Beast's Hop Smakken were the most memorable to me. The former because it's just chock full of juicy hops. The latter for the distinctive flavors produced by Little Beast's house blend of yeasts. While I love sour beers, I found the aroma of Yachat's to a bit off putting.

So, what makes fresh hop beer truly different? Some will argue that there are subtle differences in aroma or flavor. While I love these beers, I'm fairly confident that I would not be able to identify fresh hop from regular beersand I'm really into hops! I grow my own, and I just brewed a fresh hop IPA a few weeks ago.

For me, community is what makes these beers special. Staring with the family farmers that lovingly grow the hops, to the brewers that take care and effort to use them at their optimal freshness, to the event organizers to curate these unique beers. All of these things bring beer geeks together in anticipation to gush all over these beers! That's what makes fresh hop beers special to me.

If you haven't tasted any fresh hop beers, get yourself down to Oaks Park today and experience them for yourself. The festival opens at noon and ends at 8pm!






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Aaron Trotter Releases The Oregon Beer Trail Playing Cards

Aaron Trotter, Portland artist and creator of Illustrated Playing Cards, is releasing The Oregon Beer Trail, a new deck of playing cards that celebrates Oregon breweries. Each of the 52 playing cards features a unique hand-drawn scene from breweries in the Columbia River Gorge, Central Oregon, Oregon Coast, and Willamette Valley. The new deck joins the Portland Brewery cards that Trotter released in 2013. 

The Oregon Beer Trail cards will be released at the Portland Fresh Hops Beer Fest on September 29-30. The artwork on these cards is incredible! So be sure to check them out if you're attending the festival next weekend. The holidays are coming up and these are likely to please the beer geek in your life. For more details, check out the news release below or Aaron's website.  


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Public Coast Brewing, a scene from Aaron' Trotter's Oregon Beer Trail Deck



Acclaimed Portland artist Aaron Trotter releases new Oregon Breweries deck in Illustrated Playing Cards series


PORTLAND, Ore. – Local artist Aaron Trotter has announced the release of a new deck of Illustrated Playing Cards featuring Oregon breweries from Central Oregon, the Columbia River Gorge, the Oregon Coast, and the Willamette Valley. The first printing of 100 decks will debut at the Portland Fresh Hops Fest at Oaks Amusement Park, Sept. 29 from 5pm to 9pm and Sept. 30 from 12pm to 8pm.

Marking his seventh anniversary in the playing card business, Trotter's new deck expands on his original Portland Brewery Cards, reaching far beyond legendary Beervana to document the craft beer community and connect the dots of the Oregon Ale Trail. The 52 drawings span Central Oregon from Redmond to Bend; the Columbia River Gorge from Cascade Locks to Hood River; the Oregon Coast from Astoria to Newport; and the Willamette Valley from Hillsboro to Eugene.

Meant to inspire exploration – the deck includes a map, checklist, and Oregon beer facts – each card illustrates a different brewery, hand drawn by Trotter on site while tasting the beer. 

"Illustrated Playing Cards are made to be played, displayed, and used as a guidebook,” explained Trotter. He added, “The deck serves as a guide to discovery of the unknown, as well as a beer tour souvenir. And don’t worry: no beer was wasted in the making of these cards!"

The drawings were sketched with pen and ink on location in a succession of road trips over the last two years, then finished at Trotter's studio at 1627 NE Alberta St. The cards are digitally printed on cardstock in Portland; each box is signed and numbered by the artist. 

About Illustrated Playing Cards
First released in November 2010, Illustrated Playing Cards debuted with Landmarks of Portland, featuring famous signs and downtown icons. Other Portland-centric decks followed: Portland Breweries (2013), Secrets of Portland and Oregon Wineries (2014), and Old Portland (2016). Trotter hasn't drawn all the cities of the world yet, but that's his goal. In the last seven years he has sketched over 30 different cities (each collecting 52 drawings) from Los Angeles to New York, Paris, Tokyo and beyond. The Portland cards are available at Powell's or Made in Oregon. Other decks are available at select museums around the country including the Seattle Art Museum, Griffith Observatory (Los Angeles), Mob Museum (Las Vegas), Denver Art Museum, Guggenheim (NYC), and National Building Museum (DC). Trotter and his decks can be found at Portland Saturday Market every weekend near Skidmore Fountain or by chance at his cavernous art studio on Alberta St. Learn more at www.illustratedplayingcards.com

# # #

Contact the artist directly:
Aaron Voronoff Trotter
aaron@illustratedplayingcards.com
503-490-5630


Featured Oregon Breweries
Central Oregon: Bend Brewing,  Boneyard, Bridge 99, Cascade Lakes, Craft Kitchen, Crux, Deschutes, Good Life, Immersion, McMenamins, Monkless, Wild Ride, Worthy
Columbia River Gorge: Big Horse, Double Mountain, Full Sail, Mt. Hood, Pfriem, Solera, Thunder Island
Oregon Coast: Astoria, Buoy, Fort George, Pelican, Public Coast, Reach Break, Rogue, Rusty Truck, Seaside
Willamette Valley: Ambacht, Block 15, Claim 52, Coldfire, Elk Horn, Falling Sky, Flat Tail, Gilgamesh, Golden Valley, Grain Station, Kaiser, Ninkasi, Oakshire, Plank Town, Salem Ale Works, Santiam, Seven Brides, Silver Falls, Sky High, Two Kilts, Vagabond, Vertigo, Waltz





Full Sail's 8 Pound Pale Fresh Hop Ale Showcases Centennial in '17


Fresh hop beer season is here! Full Sail Brewing Co. is celebrating this wonderful seasonal event with the second release of 8 Pound Pale Fresh Hop Ale. Last year, the brewery showcased Magnum hops. This year, it's all about Centennial!

This is a limited Brewmaster Reserve release, and will be available from late September until it's gone. It didn't last long last year, so don't wait too long. For more details, check out Full Sail's news release below.



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Oregon’s Hop Harvest Shines in Full Sail’s 8 Pound Pale Fresh Hop Ale
Farm to tank in three hours, 8 Pound Pale explodes with bright tropical notes

Hood River, Oregon – Full Sail Brewing Co. is excited to release this year’s Brewmaster Reserve 8 Pound Pale Fresh Hop Ale, brewed with eight pounds of local, freshly harvested Centennial hops per barrel. Full Sail brewers Chris Davis and Greg Doss drove to B&D Farms in Saint Paul, Oregon on harvest day last month to procure fresh, wet hops from the field, immediately heading back to the brewery to work their magic on this small-batch brew that goes from farm to tank in three hours.

“This year’s 8 Pound Pale Fresh Hop Ale explodes with bright tropical notes,” says Full Sail brewer Greg Doss. “A blend of pale and wheat malts created a light golden base which we packed with Willamette Valley-grown Centennial Hops, only hours off the vine. Beautiful fresh-hop aromas of tropical fruit and citrus are complemented nicely with subtle malt notes. This refreshing beer is high on hop aromatics yet well balanced.”

Brewmaster Reserve 8 Pound Pale is a hop lover’s delight. Each fall, Full Sail brewers look forward to brewing a fresh hop beer to celebrate the hop harvest, using eight pounds of fresh hops per barrel. Each hop variety reaches peak maturity at a different time during harvest, so each year’s brew is unique. Be sure to try this batch of 8 Pound Pale before it’s too late!

Full Sail’s Brewmaster Reserve series allows the brewmasters to put their creativity, innovation and passion into small, limited-release beers. These craft brews highlight the direct connection with Full Sail’s farmers, celebrate the art of barrel aging, and explore the effects of time. Over the years, Full Sail’s Brewmaster Reserve series has earned 26 gold medals. Some of our beers, like our fresh hop brews, are meant to be enjoyed just after harvest, intensely fresh from our farmers’ fields. Brewed in small batches, Brewmaster Reserve 8 Pound Pale Fresh Hop Ale is available in limited quantities from late September until it’s gone - in Brewmaster Reserve 6-packs, 12 oz. bottles and draft. 5.6% ABV, 54 IBUs.

About Full Sail Brewing Company
Perched on a bluff in Hood River, Oregon, overlooking the mighty Columbia River’s epic wind and kite surfing and the snow-capped volcanic peak of Mt. Hood, Full Sail is a true craft-brewing pioneer. Since 1987, Full Sail has been pouring pure Mt. Hood water, local ingredients and responsible processes into each and every pint. Full Sail’s brews and sustainable practices have garnered more than 300 national and international awards, including more than 200 gold medals and Beverage World’s “Craft Brewer of the Year” distinction. From Full Sail Amber and IPA to Session Lager and bourbon barrel-aged beers, Full Sail consistently strives to brew complex, balanced and ridiculously tasty beers. Learn more at www.fullsailbrewing.com.


Altabira's Craft Beer Dinner with Ninkasi


Altabira City Tavern is teaming up with Ninkasi Brewing Company to bring us a seasonal craft beer dinner on Wednesday, September 20th. Last fall, I had the opportunity to attend a similar beer dinner at Altabira, created by Chef Luis Escorcia. You can read about it and see pictures of the beautiful (and delicious) dishes here!

There are only 25 seats available for the dinner, so take a look at the tantalizing menu below and make your reservations!





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CRAFT BEER DINNER AT ALTABIRA CITY TAVERN FEATURES NINKASI BREWING COMPANY

PORTLAND, Ore. Altabira City Tavern welcomes Ninkasi Brewing Company from Eugene, Oregon, to its first seasonal craft beer dinner on Wednesday, September 20th. Guests will enjoy a four-course menu paired with craft beers from Ninkasi and prepared by chef de cuisine Luis Escorcia and pastry chef Natalie Harkness.

Reception at 6:30 PM
Four-course dinner 7:00-9:00 PM
25 seats available
$50 per person includes beer and food. Gratuity not included.

Reservations available by calling Altabira at (503) 963-3600.

Craft Beer Dinner Menu with Pairings from Ninkasi Brewing Company

Passed Appetizers
Andouille deviled eggs
Sour cream and onion chicharones
Explorateur cheese tarts with blackberries
Paired with Helles Belles Lager, a light, flavorful lager that strikes a balance between satisfyingly crisp and deliciously crafted.

Starter Course
Corn and summer squash, Aleppo chili, cheddar and beer biscuit
Paired with Dawn of the Red, bursting with tropical notes with the bright complexity of El Dorado and Mosaic hops. An assertive hop presence is carried by a subtle caramel backbone, creating a flavorful, juicy beer.

Second Course
Soft shell crab French toast, tomatoes, basil oil and microgreens
Paired with Pacific Rain, a fiercely flavorful and refreshingly drinkable beer crafted with water from Oregon’s McKenzie River and a band of four distinguished hops. This Northwest Pale is citrusy, crisp and tailor-made for easy drinking.

Main Course
Beer-braised short rib, purple potatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes, Maitake mushrooms
Paired with Oktoberfest, crafted with Oregon-grown hops married to Northwest ingredients with a traditional German style. This light-bodied beer celebrates the harvest with a toasty malt bouquet and a touch of hop bitterness. Prost!

Dessert
Peach tarte tatin with vanilla oatmeal stout ice cream and huckleberry syrup
Paired with Vanilla Oatis, a divine blend of vanilla, coffee, chocolate and roasted malt notes swirled together to create a crisp finish. The true signature of this beer comes from adding whole vanilla beans to the final stage of conditioning – the process used to dry hop a beer. This oatmeal stout is slightly sweet with a rich complexity and is decadent and delicious.

Luis Escorcia, Chef de Cuisine
Natalie Harkness, Pastry Chef



About Altabira City Tavern
Altabira City Tavern offers regional American cuisine focused on updated classic dishes with 16 taps of local craft beers, select Northwest wines and locally distilled spirits. The restaurant and bar is open for lunch and dinner in a modern setting with large floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of Portland’s downtown skyline and inner eastside. For more information and menu, please visit www.altabira.com.

About Ninkasi Brewing Company
Founded in 2006 by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge, Ninkasi Brewing Company continues to grow from its first batch of Total Domination IPA to the 33rd largest craft brewery in the United States. Independently owned and operated in Eugene, Ore., Ninkasi’s Flagship beers include Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, Dawn of the Red IPA, Hop Cooler Citrus IPA, Pacific Rain Northwest Pale, Helles Belles Helles Lager, and Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout. Ninkasi beers are sold throughout Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Maryland; Nevada; New York; Oregon; Utah; Washington; Virginia; and Vancouver, British Columbia. Committed to community support and giving, Ninkasi’s Beer Is Love program offers donations to 501(c)(3) organizations throughout its footprint. For more information, call 541.344.2739 or visit www.NinkasiBrewing.com.

Portland Fresh Hops Beer Fest: September 29-30


It's hop harvest time in the Northwest! That means brewers across the state are busy brewing fresh hop beers. Also known as wet hops, due to their high water content, fresh hops are unique because they not kiln dried. As a result, these hops are extremely perishable and must be used within hours of being plucked from the bine.

What's all the fuss about?  First, these beers can be brewed only at harvest time. Second, the delicate hop aromas and flavors are very volatile and beers using them are best consumed fresh. Most fresh hop beers never make it to bottles and cans, so you'll need to seek them out on draft. Or better yet, head to the Portland Fresh Hops Beer Fest, where you can sample from five-dozen fresh hop beers! For more details, check out the news release below.

Fresh hops are coming...


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Portland Fresh Hops Fest tickets now available
14th annual event returns to Oaks Amusement Park Sept. 29 and 30

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Fresh Hops Fest, a celebration of the Oregon hop harvest that annually takes place between mid-August and mid-September, features more than 60 Oregon craft beers made with hops freshly picked off the vine and used within hours of harvesting. The 14th annual event will take place Sept. 29 through 30 at Oaks Amusement Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way. Hours are 5pm to 9pm on Friday and 12pm to 8pm on Saturday.

Admission to the Portland Fresh Hops Fest is free. Drinking packages cost $20 for a souvenir tasting glass and eight drink tickets. Advance discount tickets are on sale now at MercPerks (www.portland.altperks.com), offering two tasting glasses and 16 drink tickets for $28 ($40 value). General admission tickets will go on sale in September at www.oregoncraftbeer.org/freshhopsfest. Additional tasting tickets are sold on-site for $2 each or four for $5. Event parking is free.

The festival annually features around five-dozen Oregon brewed fresh hop beers; the beer list will be announced in mid-September. As only one beer from each brewery is available, attendees are encouraged to arrive on Friday or early on Saturday for the greatest selection. The festival will also feature homebrew demonstrations of beer, kombucha and root beer from Portland U-Brew; a number of commercial vendors; and on-site food from Urban German Grill.

Minors are not allowed on Friday, but are permitted on Saturday until 5pm (Oaks Amusement Park is closed that day, but the train will be running from 12pm to 5pm for kids accompanied by adults). Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome.

The Portland Fresh Hops Fest is organized by the Oregon Brewers Guild. Learn more at www.oregoncraftbeer.org; follow the Oregon Brewers Guild on Twitter, Facebook and the Portland Fresh Hops Fest Facebook Event (#freshhops and #oregoncraftbeer).

About the Oregon Brewers Guild
The Oregon Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the state’s craft brewing industry and the common interests of its members. Founded in 1992, the Oregon Brewers Guild is one of the nation’s oldest craft brewers associations. The Guild, which receives no state funding, comprises 160 brewing companies, 130 associate or supplier members and more than 4,000 enthusiast members or S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer).

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