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.  

Follow this blog on 
TwitterInstagramor Facebook

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

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.

Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook

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!

Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook


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!

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...

Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook

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).

# # #

New Belgium Releases Atomic Pumpkin Ale

Love 'em or hate 'em, a bumper crop of pumpkin beers will soon invade beer shelves for fall. Although I've tasted and written about many gourd brews over the years, I've generally found pumpkin to be tasteless in beer. When one thinks of pumpkin pie, they tend to remember the spice. I find it to be the same with with pumpkin beer.

New Belgium Brewing Co. announced today the release of Atomic Pumpkin Ale as part of their Voodoo Ranger line. In addition to the obligatory pumpkin, it's made with Saigon cinnamon and habanero peppers. I enjoy beers that have a bit of pepper kick in the finish, and I'll look forward to tasting this one. For more details about Atomic Pumpkin Ale, check out New Belgium's news release below.

Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook

New Belgium Brewing Introduces Atomic Pumpkin Ale, a Spicy Fall Seasonal with a Little Heat and Plenty of Kick
Latest Voodoo Ranger Special Release is pumpkin ale with a Habanero kick, available now through October

Ft. Collins, Colo., Aug. 22, 2017 –Get ready to welcome the fall season with New Belgium Brewing’s latest Voodoo Ranger Special Release. Brewed with Saigon cinnamon and Habanero peppers, Atomic Pumpkin Ale starts out sweet and finishes spicy with a little bitterness in between. The medium body ale pours bright pale amber with a light white lacing, and features Nugget hops combined with Pale Mena, Pale Rahr, Caramel and Munich malts to create a spicy and warming mouthfeel.

“Atomic Pumpkin is a twist on pumpkin ale for beer drinkers who like some heat,” said Bryan Simpson, public relations director for New Belgium. “Classic fall flavors like pumpkin pie and cinnamon offer a sweet counterpart to the fiery peppers, making it a great, full-flavored beer for the crisp autumn weather.”

Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Ale

  • Flavor: Starts with low sweetness and moves directly into a low bitterness and finishes with a warm habanero glow.
  • Mouthfeel: Spicy warming mouthfeel that builds in the back of the throat, lingering astringency with a slightly sweet middle.
  • Body: Medium body
  • Yeast: California ale yeast
  • Hop Varieties: Nugget
  • Malt Varieties: Pale Mena, Pale Rahr, Caramel, Munich
  • Fruits/Spices: Pumpkin, Habanero, Saigon Cinnamon
  • Color: Bright pale amber color with light particulate and light white lacing
  • ABV: 6.4%
  • IBUs: 10

Atomic Pumpkin Ale is available in 12oz. bottles and on draft now through October. To find it, along with others from New Belgium, visit the Beer Finder or download New Belgium’s Beer Mode app. For more information about New Belgium Brewing, visit NewBelgium.com.

About New Belgium Brewing
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale, New Belgium brews thirteen year-round beers; Citradelic Tangerine IPA, Citradelic Lime Ale, Fat Tire Belgian White, Voodoo Ranger IPA, Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA, Voodoo Ranger 8 Hop Pale Ale, Dayblazer Easygoing Ale, Tartastic Lemon Ginger Ale, 1554 Black Ale, Bohemian Pilsner, Abbey Belgian Ale, Trippel and a gluten-reduced beer, Glutiny Pale Ale.


Hail to the Hop Thief Double IPA: Stone's 21st Anniversary Beer

Stone Brewing Co. is turning 21! What type of beer might you expect them to brew to commemorate the special occasion? If you said IPA, you'd be right. Stone 21st Anniversary Hail to the Hop Thief Double IPA is a 9.8% ABV, 80 IBU unfiltered beer that features Pekko hops and a touch of wheat malt.

This limited release beer will be available nationwide in 22 oz. bottles and on draft. For more details, check out the brewery's news release below.

Follow this blog on 
TwitterInstagramor Facebook

Stone Brewing Celebrates 21 with a Distinctive Combination of Wheat Malt, Pekko and Mosaic Hops
That, which is unique, is all but original

ESCONDIDO, CA – Stone 21st Anniversary Hail to the Hop Thief Double IPA will hit stores this week, bringing with it a bold, hoppy profile, customary of the brewery’s anniversary beers. The beer’s distinctive combination of hops used alongside wheat malt are brand new territory for the Stone Brewing team, making it a beer to mark history, as it goes down in history.

Pekko is an under-utilized hop, which plays nicely with Mosaic to create a juicy flavor profile of orange and peach alongside just the right dankness. Grapefruit, pineapple, orange and even cherry candy come through on the fruity and floral aroma. Some wheat malt is included, adding to the nice malt backbone of the beer. Its unfiltered finish enhances the grainy characteristics of the wheat while bringing out the fresh fruit flavors and aromas of the hops.

“Our anniversary is a special time of year for us to celebrate where we have been, but especially where we are going,” professed Stone Senior Innovation Brewing Manager Jeremy Moynier. “This beer can stand proudly with the others as it showcases our love for brewing and beer. Sharing this love with our brothers and sisters at Stone Brewing as well as our fans, who continue on this amazing journey with us, is what this beer is all about.”

Stone 21st Anniversary Hail to the Hop Thief Double IPA rings in at 9.8 percent ABV and will be available nationwide in 22-ounce bottles and draft.

“It’s been said that ‘nothing is original,’ which infers that we’ve pilfered freely, stolen, thieved and otherwise taken inspiration from others in every step of our journey,” said Greg Koch, Stone Brewing executive chairman & co-founder.  “No problem owning that. We haven’t invented beer, just given it our take. And with this beer, we took all there is to love about the IPA, got creative, dry hopped it a lot and share it openly in the hopes that in some ways it may in turn inspire others.”

So the beer’s name is a celebration of thieving all things that inspire. The beer itself is a celebration of a brewer, which has devoured the inspiring for a prolific 21 years.

  • Name: Stone 21st Anniversary Hail to the Hop Thief Double IPA
  • Stats: 9.8% ABV, 80 IBUs
  • Availability: 22-ounce bottles and draft
  • Featured Hops: Magnum, Pekko and Mosaic
  • Distribution: Nationwide

Full Sail Launches Icon Series with Joey Harrington

Full Sail's latest project is a collaboration with Oregon Ducks legend Joey Harrington. As part of the brewery's Icon Series, Full Sail will donate a portion of beer's proceeds to charity.

Harrington's Bourbon Barrel Aged Northwest Red Ale was brewed with two-row pale, caramel red and caramel rye malts, along with nugget hops and was aged in Buffalo Trace whiskey barrels. It's available in 16.9 oz bottles and on draft for a limited time. For more details, check out the news release below.

Follow this blog on 
TwitterInstagramor Facebook

Joey Harrington’s Collaboration with Full Sail is in the Red Zone
Proceeds of the bourbon barrel aged red ale benefit Oregon’s Harrington Family Foundation

Hood River, Oregon – Joey Harrington led the huddle when Full Sail created his namesake beer. Developed and brewed with former Oregon Duck legend and NFL quarterback Joey Harrington, Harrington’s Bourbon Aged Northwest Red Ale is spicy sweet with a beautiful bourbon character and pours a deep earthy red. Harrington’s is the inaugural project in the brewery’s new Icon series, whose goal is to work with well-known influencers who share Full Sail's positive, community-minded, sustainability ethos, and to donate a portion of the proceeds to support cause-related missions.

“Collaborating with a local brewery that makes excellent beer was a way to have fun and do good,” says Harrington. “Not only does my love of smooth, balanced beer and of Oregon shine through with Harrington’s Northwest Red Ale, but through this project, Full Sail is also supporting my foundation.” Full Sail is donating a portion of proceeds from the sale of Harrington’s Bourbon Aged Northwest Red Ale to the Harrington Family Foundation, which provides collegiate scholarships and mentorship support to Oregon’s future leaders. “This beer is 100 percent in the red zone,” Harrington confirms.

Harrington and Full Sail Brewmaster Jim Kelter brewed this red ale with two-row pale, caramel red and caramel rye malts, along with nugget hops. “With 30 years of brewing behind us, it was a first to put someone of Joey’s stature ‘under center’ so to speak in our brewhouse,” says Kelter. “He deftly took the snap and the result is our Harrington’s Bourbon Aged Northwest Red Ale. This Imperial Red Ale, aged for months in Buffalo Trace whisky barrels, is deep red and offers aromas of vanilla, spice, and toffee.”

Harrington’s Bourbon Aged Northwest Red Ale made its debut at Portland’s Pearl Tavern, a joint venture in which Harrington teamed up with well-known names in Portland’s competitive restaurant environment to craft a family friendly, community atmosphere focused on quality food and drinks – and sports - with a percentage of profits benefiting his foundation.

“How could you not enjoy it?” Harrington joyfully asks of his new brew. “It’s the sweet nectar of life, and it’s for a good cause.” Harrington’s Bourbon Aged Northwest Red Ale is available for a limited time in 16.9 oz. bottles and on draft. 10.2% ABV, 39 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 peaks 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 150 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.

Sharing Beer at the Milwaukee Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference

Last week, I attended the 8th annual Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference (BBC) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Yes, there is a conference dedicated to beer bloggers! And yes, beer flows endlessly at this magical place! This was my fourth visit to BBC, with previous visits in Boulder, Boston, and my hometown Portland.

From a drinking perspective, it's best to approach the conference as a marathon, rather than a sprint. I opt for small tastes and plenty of water. Anyway, while conference organizers and brewery sponsors provide more beer than attendees can possibly consume, most attendees also bring their own beer to share and exchange with fellow bloggers. Conference attendees are largely beer geeks thrilled by the prospect of tasting beers we can't find at home.

With that in mind, I raided by beer fridge and selected a handful of Oregon bottles and cans that are difficult to find outside of the Northwest.

My contribution (of Oregon beers) to the Beer Bloggers Conference

I carefully packed the beer from The Commons Brewery, Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery, and Alesong Brewing & Blending in my suitcase. Protected by the force field of three large "Fragile" stickers my beer survived United Airlines and a transfer in Chicago. As far as I'm aware, it wasn't dragged off the plane in a state of diminished consciousness and arrived in Milwaukee in with it's precious cargo intact!

Over the next week or two, I'll share more details about the conference including the breweries visited. For now, I'll simply conclude the tale of my suitcase. Although I gifted or shared my fine Oregon exports with fellow bloggers, I still returned home with plenty of beer. I only purchased three of the cans pictured. The rest were given to me by fellow bloggers or were unconsumed brewery samples. Leftovers never tasted so good!

My Milwaukee BBC souvenirs

I actually returned with another beer. Sadly, the soldier pictured below didn't survive the journey home. This unfortunate happening was entirely my fault. I added the can to my luggage at the last minute without properly protecting it and it was crushed during the journey. On the plus side, pilsner scented laundry isn't such a bad thing...

Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook

Ecliptic Brewing's Eclipse Beer

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that the total solar eclipse will occur on Monday, August 21. The once-in-a-lifetime celestial event will make its United States landfall in Oregon.

To commemorate the event, Ecliptic Brewing is releasing Chromosphere Blonde Ale. This hoppy, yet sessionable ale should serve as a nice complement (and a fine souvenir) to the eclipse. For more details about the beer, and information about eclipse events hosted by the brewery, check out the news release below.

Follow this blog on 
TwitterInstagramor Facebook

Ecliptic and the Eclipse: Beer and Special Events

PORTLAND, Ore. - Ecliptic Brewing was opened based on Owner and Brewmaster John Harris’ two passions: brewing and astronomy.  As the total solar eclipse in Oregon approaches, it is only fitting that Harris’ space brewery is celebrating the big day with an eclipse themed beer and special events.

Ecliptic Brewing has started to release their Chromosphere Blonde Ale, brewed for the solar eclipse, in to their Oregon and Washington markets.  The beer style was inspired by the color of the sun and the desire to have a sessionable ale to drink while experiencing the eclipse on August 21, 2017.

In addition to the beer, Ecliptic will be taking part in and hosting several eclipse themed events, detailed below.

“This day has been one that I have been thinking about for a long time and having a beer for the day was of huge importance to me,” said Harris.  “The can design (done by Senior Art Director at Sasquatch Agency, Sean Haggerty) honors the event and the beer inside just as I had hoped and I can’t wait for you all to drink it while watching the eclipse.”

Chromosphere Blonde Ale:  A sessionable ale for the solar eclipse.  Amarillo and Cascade hops add citrusy flavors and aroma.  ABV 5.0% IBU 40

Ecliptic Brewing Total Solar Eclipse Events
For a full list of event details visit EclipticBrewing.com/Events.
  • Portland, OR.  Solar Eclipse Tap Takeover.  August 16th, 5pm. Beer O’Clock, 1205 SW Washington St.,  20+ Ecliptic Brewing taps, eclipse themed giveaways, and more!
  • Portland, OR. Beer, Brunch, and Bloodys for the Solar Eclipse.  August 21st, 8am.  Ecliptic Brewing, 825 North Cook Street.  Come watch the solar eclipse at Ecliptic Brewing! Reservations are required.  Email info@eclipticbrewing.com for details.
  • Tacoma, WA. Eclipse and Ecliptic: Peaks and Space Pints.  August 21st, 10am.  Peaks and Pints, 3816 N. 26th Street.  Five Ecliptic beers on tap in time to view the solar eclipse!

About Ecliptic Brewing
Ecliptic Brewing is a venture from John Harris, an Oregon beer icon whose background is steeped in the state’s rich craft brewing history. The name Ecliptic unites Harris’ two passions: brewing and astronomy, and as such, the brewery celebrates the Earth’s yearly journey around the sun through both its beer and restaurant menus. Executive chef Michael Molitor rotates his seasonally inspired menu every six weeks in accordance with the old world calendar. Harris’ signature beers include Spectra Hoppy Pilsner, Orbiter IPA, Carina Peach Sour Ale, and Capella Porter. For more information, visit: www.eclipticbrewing.com.


Ninkasi Brewing releases First Rule IPA

It's time for a new seasonal IPA from Ninkasi Brewing Co! First Rule IPA, originally part of the brewery's Rare & Delicious Series, will be widely available August through December in 12 and 22-ounce bottles and on draft. Brewed with six hop varieties including Simcoe, Citra, and Amarillo, First Rule IPA is sure to please hopheads. For more details, check out Ninkasi's press release below.

Follow this blog on 
TwitterInstagramor Facebook

First Rule IPA Joins Ninkasi’s Special Release Series, Available August - December 2017
EUGENE, Ore.—It’s no secret Ninkasi Brewing Company has a hop love affair. This continues to be evident in its newest Special Release Series beer—First Rule IPA. Originally released to Ninkasi’s Rare & Delicious Series in March 2017, the brewery is proud to elevate this beer to its Special Release Series in 12 and 22-ounce bottles and on-draft. Available August through December, beer drinkers can find First Rule IPA across Ninkasi’s distribution footprint.

Crafted with the most sought-after hops, First Rule IPA is a testament to brewing without limitations. Ninkasi’s brewing team developed this recipe almost in secrecy, using the best hops available. The result? A flavorful IPA with an incredible hop profile featuring El Dorado, Calypso, Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra, and Amarillo hops.

“Whatever it is you like about an IPA, chances are you’ll find it in this beer,” says Ninkasi founding brewer and co-founder, Jamie Floyd. “The all-star lineup of hops brings elements that are tropical, floral, juicy, resinous, bubble gum, and downright dank!”

Special Release Series: First Rule IPA
First rule of this IPA is: you do not talk about this IPA. Crafted in secrecy by our band of brewers, First Rule uses a fistful of the most sought-after hops around. Juicy, citrusy, tropical and dank, this IPA is a powerful combination of hop aroma and flavor.

•        Style: India Pale Ale
•        Series: Special Release Series
•        Available: August – December 2017
•        ABV: 7.5%
•        IBU: 60
•        Malt: 2-Row Pale, Vienna, Acidulated, Flaked Barley
•        Hops: El Dorado, Calypso, Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra, Amarillo
•        Packaging: 12oz. 6-Pack, Fall IPA Variety 12-Pack, 22oz. Bottles, Draft

Use the Delicious Beer Finder to track down First Rule IPA and local Ninkasi retailers.

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.


HAYDAY! Inaugural Beer Fest in Cannon Beach

There's a new beer fest in town. Well, really it's on the coast. Public Coast Brewing is sponsoring HAYDAY! 40 Oregon Beers, 1 Epic Beer Fest in Cannon Beach on Saturday, August 26. 

Check out the press release below for more details and pricing. I contacted event organizers to clarify pricing for Designated Drivers. DDs get in for free. As an option, they can also purchase a Designated Driver VIP package for $15 which includes early entry to the event, commemorative glass, lanyard, food voucher, non-alcoholic beverages and a pretzel necklace. 

Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook

Introducing HAYDAY! 40 Oregon Beers, 1 Epic Beer Fest
Presented by Public Coast Brewing Co., inaugural beer festival on Saturday, Aug. 26 to feature 40 Oregon craft brews

CANNON BEACH - Public Coast Brewing Co., named after Oregon’s 363 miles of free and open coastline, is the presenting sponsor of HAYDAY!  40 Oregon Beers, 1 Epic Beer Fest. Taking place on Saturday, Aug. 26 at Haystack Gardens in Cannon Beach, the event will feature 40 Oregon craft brews, including coastal breweries and beyond and - of course - the new People’s Pale from Public Coast.

“We are so proud to be a part of Oregon’s renowned beer industry. When we opened our doors in 2016, we truly felt the camaraderie and collaboration from our peers,” said Ryan Snyder, owner of Public Coast. “As the inaugural Cannon Beach beer festival, HAYDAY! is our way to showcase all those breweries who helped us from the start, and bring together some of our closest industry friends for a day filled with great beer, awesome food and a ton of fun.”

Guests will enjoy fantastic eats from the Wayfarer Restaurant & Lounge’s Executive Chef Josh Archibald and his mobile smokehouse, with desserts by Ruby Jewel Ice Cream. Music to be performed by Nate Bodsford.

Where: Haystack Gardens, 148 E. Gower, Cannon Beach, Ore. 97110

When: Saturday, Aug. 26 from 1 p.m. through 5 p.m. (VIP access begins at noon)

  • General: $25 (includes commemorative glass, lanyard and six event tokens)
  • VIP: $50 (includes early entry to the event, special barrel tastings, commemorative glass, lanyard, six event tokens, food voucher, non-alcoholic beverage offerings and a pretzel necklace)
  • Designated driver VIP: $15
No pets or minors will be permitted at HAYDAY!

To purchase tickets, please visit: www.haydayfest.com. Call 503.436.1197 with any questions.

Home Hop Garden '17: July Update

This is just the second year I've grown hops in earnest. I'm always amazed at how quickly hop plants grow in the heat of summer! Below is a shot from The Not So Professional Hop Estate. Compare this with a picture from just one month ago (listed at the bottom of my June update). They've grown a lot!

The Not So Professional Hop Estate, July '17

Some of my key observations from the past month:

  • Hop burrs are forming! This is important because burrs turn into hop cones. I expect to see many cones in development next month.
Hop Burrs Forming

  • My 2nd year Centennial and 3rd year Willamette have no burrs and have been surpassed in height by four of my first year plants. Three of my first years have formed burrs. I believe the reason for the underperformance of my older plants is the lack of self-produced nutrition. I discussed this in last month's update. My theory is bolstered by the fact that my 2nd year Chinook (which benefitted from extra nutrition) is looking great, and has the most burrs. It's growing like crazy and has attached itself to its neighbor!
2nd Year Chinook (on the right)

1st Year Cascade

  • I've got some sort of leaf rot on a few of the plants. If you look closely in the picture below, you'll see a white fuzz.  It's limited to the lower regions of the plant, and does not appear to be harming the top leaves where the hops are growing. I just pull these leaves off.

I can't wait to see how things will look in a month.  Check back soon!

Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook

30th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival: Fun Facts

The 30th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival opens on Wednesday, June 26. The list below, compiled by event organizers, features some interesting facts about this year's OBF. In my opinion, the MOST interesting fact isn't even mentioned on this list, and has not been largely promoted.

The $1 token sample pour has INCREASED from 3 oz. to 4 oz. this year. As you might expect, this is unusual because most festivals have tended to decrease pour size over time due to increasing costs. I guess we can consider it a 30th Anniversary gift to attendees! See you under the tents!

Photo courtesy of OBF

  • 30th year of the festival.
  • 91 independent craft beers are poured in the main festival, from 90 different breweries (Deschutes has two entries, one Gluten-Free).
  • Another 90 independent craft beers will rotate in the Specialty Tent.
  • Two countries are represented: Netherlands (1), and United States (89).
  • 13 states are represented: California (8), Colorado (2), Florida (1), Hawaii (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), Montana (1), New York (2), Ohio (1), Oregon (56), Tennessee (1), Washington (14), and Wisconsin (1).
  • There are 19 breweries making their first appearance at the festival this year, including Ancestry Brewing, Backwoods Brewing, Baerlic Brewing, Belching Beaver Brewery, Blackberry Farm Brewery, Chetco Brewing, Cloudburst Brewing, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, Druthers Brewing, Elk Horn Brewery, Falling Sky Brewing, Ghost Runners Brewery, Ghostfish Brewing, Heretic Brewing, Loowit Brewing, Oregon City Brewing, Perennial Artisan Ales, Two Kilts Brewing and Vanguard Brewing
  • 64 of the beers are claim to be unique to the festival.
  • The lowest alcohol beer is Elk Horn Brewery’s Berliner Style Weisse at 3.5% ABV.
  • The highest alcohol beer is a two-way tie at 11% ABV between New Holland Brewing Dragon's Milk Thai Curry and Caldera Brewing’s Cousin Rick Triple IPA 20th Anniversary Brew.
  • While IPAs are the most popular style, sours are close behind. 
  • More than 40 of the beers employ fruit in the brewing process.
  • There are three Gluten Free products this year, from Deschutes, Ghostfish and Omission.
  • Number of volunteers at the festival: 2,000.
  • Number of anticipated attendees: 80,000 from all over the world.
  • The following breweries have never missed a festival: Bayern, BridgePort, Deschutes, Full Sail & Widmer. Both McMenamins and Rogue have each missed only one.

Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook

Summer Seasonal Debuts from Widmer Brothers, Smuttynose, Full Sail, and Fort George

The summer beer season is in full swing! While there a multitude of summer seasonals on the market, I thought I'd highlight a few limited release beers that are making their debuts this season. I present, for your consideration, Widmer Brothers Hefe Berry Lime, Smuttynose Summer IPA, Full Sail Session Watermelon, and Fort George 3-Way IPA:

Widmer Brothers Hefe Berry Lime *:  Looking at the label, you might expect this to be a fruity beer. Make no mistake, this is first and foremost Widmer Brothers' classic Hefe, but with summery twist! The berry and lime flavors promised on the label are present, but the fruit notes augment the flavor rather than dominate it. While the fruit flavor is present, it's not sweet. It finishes with a surprising tart twang. Nicely balanced and very well done!

Smuttynose Summer IPA *:  This brand new summer seasonal from Smuttynose Brewing Co. is made with Zeus, Citra, Saphir, and Amarillo hop. It weight in at a svelte 5% ABV and 25 IBUs. It's light bodied, full of tropical and citrus flavors, with a dry finish. If you're looking for a new session IPA, give it a try.

Full Sail Session Watermelon Wheat *:  Full Sail's latest release from its Session line showcases one of everyone's favorite summer fruits. Make that everyone but me. I'm one of the few that isn't a fan of the melon 'o water. Undaunted, I cracked open bottle. The aroma has is similar to Session Premium Lager, and the watermelon flavor makes its appearance in the middle and finish. The watermelon is unmistakable, but not sweet. If you like watermelon, you should give this well balanced beer a try.

Fort George 3-Way IPA:  This year's installment teams Fort George with Ruben's Brews and Great Notion. Hazy IPAs (also known as New England or Vermont IPAs) are all the rage in craft beer these days. This cloudy hop bomb showcases the Azacca, X331, Mosaic, and Citra hop varieties. In a word, it's JUICY! It has tons of citrus, tropical, and piney flavors but without the harsh bitterness. Get your hands a can before it runs out!

While warm weather will still be with us for a while, the summer beer season is starting to wind down. So be sure to enjoy your favorites while they last. Autumn beers are already starting to find their way onto grocery stores shelves!

*  Samples provided by the brewery

Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook