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

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30th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival!

The Oregon Brewers Festival turns 30 this year! The festival opens on Wednesday, July 26 for a five day run. Here are a few of this year's highlights:

  • The new Safe Ride Home program provides various discounts helping festival attendees to get home safely
  • The Specialty Tent is back featuring 90 rare, bold, and experimental beers on a rotating basis.
  • Untappd geeks rejoice! OBF is an official Untapped venue. Users of the app can easily check into their beers and receive push notifications about beer rotations.
  • Designated drivers and children accompanied by parents can enjoy free Crater Lake in the Crater Lake Soda Garden.

Last, but not leastthe main tents! They'll be serving 91 different craft beers, 64 of which are unique to OBF! Click here to download the taplist. For more details, check out OBF's full news release below or visit the Oregon Brewers Festival website. Happy 30th birthday to Oregon's biggest beer festival!

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30th annual Oregon Brewers Festival starts July 26, 
features Specialty Tent and introduces Safe Ride Home Program

PORTLAND, Ore. — An estimated 80,000 people will flock to Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park in less than two weeks for the 30th annual Oregon Brewers Festival. The milestone event will take place July 26 through July 30; hours are Noon to 9pm Wednesday through Saturday, and Noon to 7pm Sunday.

The main festival will feature 91 independent craft breweries, with each brewery serving one beer; this year’s participants come from 13 different states, plus one from The Netherlands. The festival is also bringing back its popular Specialty Tent, featuring more than 90 rare, bold and experimental beers from the participating breweries. These beers are extremely limited in quantity and will pour on a rotating basis; beers will be available by tasters only and each taster will cost double or triple tokens.

The Oregon Brewers Festival presents more than two dozen beer styles ranging from fruit beers to radlers to IPAs to sours. The complete list of participating breweries is currently available on the festival website, and on the event’s Facebook page, under Beer List. The Oregon Brewers Festival is an official Untappd venue, and attendees are encouraged to follow the event on the mobile Untappd app and subscribe to push notifications; this will be the best way to find out when beers change over in the Specialty Tent or tap out in the main festival.

The event also features live music, food booths, craft vendors and homebrew demonstrations. The Oregon Brewers Festival is not a ticketed event, and it is free to enter the festival grounds. In order to taste beer, the purchase of a 14 oz. souvenir tasting mug from the current year is required, which costs $7. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens, which cost $1 apiece. Patrons pay five tokens for a full mug of beer, or one token for a taste. The purchase of mugs and tokens is made on-site. The event is cash-only, with eight ATMs located on-premise.

The Oregon Brewers Festival’s top priority is the safety of its attendees, so it has partnered with Great Western Malting, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Portland Police Bureau, Radio Cab, SmartPark and Vision Zero to encourage its guests to get a Safe Ride Home. The Safe Ride Home program offers up to $18 in discounts for getting home safely. Attendees who park in a SmartPark garage can leave their car overnight and receive a $5 parking voucher, redeemable from 9am to Noon the day after attendance, making the overnight parking free. Attendees can also take a Radio Cab home and get a $13 discount off their fare. Check the website and look for the Safe Ride Home booths at the Festival for full details on the program.

Patrons are also encouraged to take Tri-Met, as the MAX Light Rail has a station one block from the main festival entrance. Those who ride their bikes can park them for free in the Hopworks Urban Brewery secure bike corral; people riding BIKETOWN bikes may also use the Hopworks Bike Corral as a drop off station location. For those who bring a designated driver, the Crater Lake Soda Garden provides complimentary handcrafted soda (no mug purchase required). Minors, who are allowed into the event all hours when accompanied by a parent, also receive free Crater Lake Soda, and there is a face painter available Friday through Sunday from 1pm to 5pm.

The Oregon Brewers Festival was founded in 1988 as an opportunity to expose the public to microbrews at a time when the craft brewing industry was just getting off the ground. Today, that industry has flourished, with nearly 5,000 craft breweries in America, according to the Brewer’s Association. The economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival on the local economy is annually more than $30 million. For more information visit or join @OregonBrewfest on social media.

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Public Coast Brewing Launches The People's Pale

Today, Public Coast Brewing is launching The People's Pale in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Oregon Beach Bill. This 5.7% ABV pale ale features five hops (El Dorado, Horizon, Crystal, Cashmere, and Columbus).

The brewery sent me a preview crowler, which I shared with friends over the holiday weekend. From my tasting, the quintet of hops delivered a delicious blend of tropical, floral, and spicy flavors. The People's Pale will be available starting today at the brewery followed by broader distribution later this summer.

For more details about Public Coast Brewing Co. and The People's Pale, check out the news release below.

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Public Coast Brewing Co. Introduces The People’s Pale 
In Honor Of Oregon and in Celebration of the 
50th Anniversary of the Oregon Beach Bill
Cannon Beach’s newest brewery pays homage to 
Oregon’s 363 miles of free and open coastline

CANNON BEACH, Ore.- Public Coast Brewing, named after Oregon’s 363 miles of free and open coastline, introduces The People’s Pale, brewed in celebration of Public Coast Brewing’s first birthday and in homage to the Oregon Beach Bill, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of its signing on July 6. This American pale ale will be unveiled and celebrated on July 6 at Public Coast Brewing with live music, complimentary beer samples and more. The People’s Pale is crafted with grain and hops grown in Oregon and malted in Baker City. It boasts a bounty of flavors, including citrus and bitters, making this a true pale ale for the people.

“Public Coast honors the welcoming spirit of the Oregon Coast,” said Ryan Snyder, owner of Public Coast. “That is why we have created a new pale ale that is approachable and filled with the flavors of summer. The People’s Pale is the beer for everyone from the novice to the aficionado and was brewed combining the natural and rich flavors of Oregon.” 

  • Malts:  2-Row, Pale and Pilsner, all malted with "Full Pint" barley - Gold Rush Malt, Baker's City, OR
  • Hops:  El Dorado, Horizon, Crystal, Cashmere and Columbus 
  • Barley:  Full Pint - Hay INC, North Powder, OR
  • Profile:  ABV: 5.7%, IBU: 38.5

The People’s Pale is currently available at Public Coast’s brewery in Cannon Beach (264 E 3rd St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110), and will be distributed more broadly this summer and fall.

Public Coast features food and perfectly paired beverages to accompany a day filled with beachcombing, hiking, Haystack Rock gazing and kite flying. The Brewery uses only seasonal, local and fresh ingredients, including Oregon grass-fed beef, fresh-catch fish and house-made brats with tangy sauces, not to mention, Jacobsen Salt Caramel Sundaes. Public Coast even brews a housemade root beer - Stephen’s Root Beer - named for and brewed with the founder’s 15 year old son. For a full list of beers on tap visit, 

About Public Coast Brewing
Located just 70 miles west of Portland in Cannon Beach, Ore., Public Coast Brewing is named after the only true public coastlines in America - the Oregon coast. The brewery features a 10bbl brewhouse with one 20-barrel fermenter and two 10-barrel fermenters. Public Coast Brewing also offers fresh and delicious food from local farms and ranches for adults and children alike. Boasting a large pet-friendly patio, wrap-around bar, shuffle board and tall windows for peering into the brewery, Public Coast Brewing offers a relaxed and welcoming spot for the whole family. For more information please visit,


La Pine Frontier Days Homebrew Contest

I spent the 4th of July weekend camping at La Pine State Park (27 miles SW of Bend) with several families. Although we were relatively close to Bend, we only ventured into the big city once to go float tubing on the Deschutes (highly recommended for all ages). Instead, we spent most of our time at the park. I brought two cases of homebrew and few other favorite beers to keep my friends properly hydrated over the weekend.

We also ventured into La Pine for Frontier Days, a four day 4th of July Celebration. In addition to events like Lawnmower Races, Apple Pie Contest, and Woodcutters Jamboree, they also hosted a Homebrew Contest.

In the six or so years I've been homebrewing, I've only entered one contest.  So I decided to enter two of my recent favorite creations into the Frontier Days Hombrew contest. My first entry was a Session Stout with Cacao Nibs (a.k.a. #33). I number my beers, and this was the 33rd beer I brewed. I also entered my Jalapeño Apricot Cider. I'm a fairly harsh critic of all my creations, but I was particularly proud of this beer and cider because they're well balanced, and pretty darn tasty. I'll post the recipes and brew logs for both in the near future.

Long story short, my Session Stout won 2nd Place in the contest. My prize was a sweet 64 oz growler made right in Bend by DrinkTanks!

Thanks to the La Pine Frontier Days Association for organizing a fun celebration and to The Harvest Depot for sponsoring the Homebrew contest prizes! This year's 1st place prize went to an IPA. I think my India Red Ale recipe has a chance to take home the big prize next year. I'll be back...

My two entries (two bottles of each)

The judging session

2nd Place Prize Hardware

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Home Hop Garden '17: June Update

My hop garden is progressing. But not as I had expected. Take a look at the two bines in the picture below. While they look very different, they have one thing in common. They're both 2nd year plants, grown from rhizomes planted in spring '16. The Centennial on the left is dwarfed by the Chinook on the right. What's the difference? Well, I've come to realize that it's nutrition. The Chinook had several advantages over its less fortunate neighbor.

Two 2nd year plants: Centennial (left) and Chinook (right)

The first advantage occurred last fall. I harvested the Centennial first and cut down the bine before plucking off the hops. Shortly after, I read an article which recommended that the hop bine should not be cut down. Instead, the hops should be carefully plucked off, and the bine should be left intact, allowing the leaves to send energy down to the roots. It suggested that the bine be cut down only after the leaves turned brown. So that's what I did for the Chinook. I lowered the bine (without cutting it), removed the hops, and raised it back up again.

The second advantage occurred in the spring. The Chinook was originally planted in small pot, so I transplanted it to a larger container. During the transition, I added fresh potting soilwhich likely had more nutrients than the 2nd year soil which surrounded the Centennial.

I first noticed something was awry last month. The Centennial's growth was stunted, it hadn't added any height in a month, and the leaves were pale green. A few weeks ago, I finally added some plant food granules, and that seemed to help. The leaves turned bright green, and the plant started growing again.

Anyway, this lesson may be obvious to most, but I learned it on my own. First and foremost, I will not cut down the bines immediately after harvest. I'll give the plant some time to regenerate its energy before cutting it down for the winter. Second, I'll be more liberal with my use of fertilizer in the spring and summer.

Other than that, things are looking good. The picture below is my 3rd year Willamette, which is now my 2nd largest plant. Three of my 1st year plants have surpassed the growth of my poor nutrient deprived 2nd year Chinook. I expect a month from now, my larger plants will have burrs (hop flowers). Stay tuned!

3rd Year Willamette

The Not So Professional Hop Estate

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Scenes from 7th Annual Cider Summit PDX

The 7th Annual Cider Summit PDX was held last weekend. This was the third time I attended the
event (I missed it last year), and it was a largely unchanged from previous years. Here's a pictorial recap for your viewing pleasure...

This year's tasting glass was made out of a high quality plastic that looked very much like glass. While not as heavy as glass, it had a solid feel to it.

Here are a few of the ciders I sampled.  Similar to past years, the diversity was vast. 

All that cider makes one hungry! The good folks from Cypress Grove provided complimentary samples of four of their delicious cheeses. OK, I'll admit itI went through the sample line more than once.

This year, one cidery stood above the rest in my mind. Founded by brothers Victor and Monte Jones, Mission-Trail Cider Co. from Bradley, California, served a trio of rarely produced jerkums. What the heck is a jerkum? It's a non-apple based fruit wine made with stone fruit. Pears are used to make perry. Plums and nectarines make jerkum. Got it? Anyway, Mission-Trail's jerkums were each made with 100% plum, pluot, and nectarine juice. They each had a tart, bright, and juicy fruit flavors without the sweetness. They were absolutely delicious! Sadly, Mission-Trail doesn't distribute in Oregon. I hope this will change in the future.

Here's the detailed Mission-Trail taplist. I tasted all four of their offerings, and each was amazing. Just so you know, I rarely taste more than one cider from any producer. To say I liked Mission-Trail would be an understatement. I hope they return next year!

It was a beautiful afternoon at the Cider Summit PDX. The Fields Neighborhood Park is the perfect location for this event. It's easily accessible, wide open, never feels crowded, and has great views! 

Looking forward to next year. Cheers!

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Unibroue Releases Éphémère Elderberry Ale

Unibroue has added a new seasonal flavor to its long-running line of Éphémère Belgian-style ales. Éphémère Sureau showcases elderberry. Previous editions of this beer have included apple, blackcurrant, peach, raspberry. A few years ago, they released a Cranberry Éphémère for the winter.

The brewery sent me a sample, which I quickly opened. Immediately after I cracked open the bottle, a waft of fruity berry essence emerged. It was bright garnet in color and had an off-white head that dissipated slowly. Both the aroma and taste were full of bright berry and spicy notes. In the middle, the flavor of wheat emerged along with a gentle tanginess. There was no alcohol heat, and hop bitterness was not noticeable. It finished just as it started, with lots of berry and spice!

I appreciated the fact that Éphémère Sureau's offered bright berry flavors, but without the sweetness. If you're looking for a change of pace for your summer fruit beers, consider this one. I'm glad to see that this release will be available in 12 oz. bottles. I find it much easier to enjoy beers in smaller format bottles. For more details, check out Unibroue's press release below.

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Unibroue Adds a New Elderberry Flavoured Ale to its Éphémère Family
A unique taste reminiscent of Muscat grapes' aromatic charm

Chambly, Canada — Quebec’s top craft brewer Unibroue is adding a brand-new flavour to its family of seasonal ales with the launch of Éphémère Sureau (Elderberry). The new Éphémère will gradually be available as of May 1st in 12 oz. six packs and Sommelier Selection variety packs at retailers across the United States, as well as on tap in selected bars et restaurants. Like its other seasonal flavors, Éphémère Elderberry will only be available for a limited time.

Éphémère Elderberry is a Belgian style fruit-wheat ale brewed using a balanced blend of elderberry fruit and flowers.

“This is the first time we’re using both the fruit and flower in making an Éphémère beer,” explains Jerry Vietz, Unibroue’s Master Brewer. “The elderberry flower’s aroma is a perfect complement to the fruit’s rich, delicious flavour.”

In fact, its berry flavours, subtle floral notes and hints of tropical fruit evoke Muscat grapes’ notable bouquet from the very first sip.

Elderberries’ deep purplish-blue color and unique flavour resemble that of blueberries and blackberries. There is nothing sour about this fruit as its French name, “sureau”, might lead some to believe! It is used in countless recipes, and its aromatic flower adds notes to many refined drinks and cocktails. Moreover, elderberries are an increasingly popular choice in dish recipes due to their high antioxidant levels and subtle flavours. Moreover, North America’s First Nations tribes, who made use of the berries, flowers, bark and roots, also prized their medicinal properties.

Éphémère Elderberry features a slightly cloudy and seductively reddish color with purplish hues, topped by a creamy pink head. Its medium bubbles and sustained effervescence make it a fun and refreshing choice when unwinding after a busy summer day.

“Éphémère Elderberry’s explosion of berry flavours and subtle floral notes make for a wide variety of pairings,” confirms Sylvain Bouchard, beer sommelier at the brewery. “This delicious beer goes very well with pork loin, grilled chicken, as well as fish and seafood dishes, and adds a refreshing touch to rosette sausages. It also pairs well with goat, Brie and Camembert cheeses.”

Cider Summit PDX Returns on June 16-17

Cider Summit PDX returns next weekend to The Fields Park in NW Portland! It also marks the beginning of Oregon Cider Week. Whether you're a seasoned cider connoisseur or just beginning your cider exploration, this is an event you don't want to miss.

To get an idea of what you can expect, here's my recap of Cider Summit PDX '15. The Oregon Fruit Products Fruit Cider Challenge will return for the third year. This will give you the opportunity to sample small-batch fruit ciders made specially for Cider Summit.

For more details, including hours and ticket information, check out the news release below.

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Cider Summit PDX returns to Portland June 16 & 17
Region’s largest cider tasting festival kicks off Oregon Cider Week

PORTLAND, Ore – The seventh annual Cider Summit PDX, the region’s largest hard cider tasting festival, will take place June 16 and June 17 at The Fields Park, 1099 NW Overton St. in the Pearl District. Event hours are June 16 from 3pm to 8pm (VIP session starts at 2pm) and June 17 from Noon to 5pm. The last pour is 15 minutes prior to the close of each session.

Cider Summit PDX will showcase more than 150 ciders, including regional favorites and international classics, from the industry’s leading cidermakers, many of which will be on hand to inform and guide guests through the tastings poured into the commemorative festival glassware. The event also serves as the official kick-off to Oregon Cider Week.

“Artisanal cider has become one of the fastest growing segments of the craft beverage market in recent years,” noted event co-founder, Alan Shapiro. “The Cider Summit exposes thousands of cider lovers and the cider curious to these artfully crafted beverages.”

The event will feature a variety of food vendors, a Dog Lounge, and live music featuring several of Portland's legendary blues artists.

Tickets are now on sale at General admission includes a souvenir tasting glass and six tasting tickets and costs $25 prior to June 1, $30 prior to June 16, or $35 at the gate. GA tickets will also be available starting June 1 at World Foods (NW), World Foods (SW), Cider Bite Taphouse (Pearl), Umpqua Bank (Pearl), and selected bottle shops throughout the City.

VIP tickets include a souvenir tasting glass, exclusive entry from 2pm-3pm on June 16, and 10 tasting tickets; VIP tickets cost $35 prior to June 1 or $40 prior to June 16. VIP tickets are available online only, with limited quantities.

Designated Driver tickets are available at the gate for $5 and include a bottle of water. No alcohol may be consumed with a Designated Driver ticket. All tickets allow re-entry on Friday and Saturday with a wristband and the tasting glass.

Once inside, most cider samples cost one ticket for a 4-oz. sample; select ciders may cost extra. Additional tasting tickets are available onsite for $2 each. Minors are not allowed at the festival, no exceptions.

Several of the cidermakers will participate in the third annual Oregon Fruit Products Fruit Cider Challenge, creating pilot batch fruit ciders using Oregon Fruit Product’s puree; attendees vote on their favorites via text, and the winners are announced at the conclusion of the event on Saturday.

Cider Summit PDX is presented by World Foods Portland and Ciderbite Taphouse. Supporting sponsors include Oregon Fruit Products, KRAVE Jerky, Hood River Juice, Umpqua Bank, Maletis Beverage and The Portland Streetcar. Media partners include 94/7 Alternative Portland, The Portland Mercury, and CIDERCRAFT Magazine. The event is a benefit for Cascade Blues Association, Northwest Cider Association, DoveLewis Emergency Pet Hospital and The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research.

For more information, visit, or follow @CiderSummit on Twitter, hashtag #CiderSummitPDX.

Lompoc Brewing Releases Proletariat Red in Cans

Lompoc Brewing is releasing Proletariat Red in six-packs of 12 oz. cans. To celebrate the occasion, Lompoc is selling six-packs for a mere $6!! This special pricing is available only during the Proletariat Red Can Kickoff BBQ on June 17 at the Fifth Quadrant. I'm a big fan of red ales, and this one is no slouch. It won a silver medal at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival.

In addition, the brewery is launching a new Select Series. The first release, Barrel Aged Red on Rye was aged in Heaven Hill Rye Whiskey barrels for 10 months. Sounds pretty tasty to me. For more details, check out the news release below.

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Lompoc Brewing releases Proletariat Red in cans, hosts a BBQ, 
and announces Barrel Aged Select Series in bottles

PORTLAND, Ore. – Lompoc Brewing’s award-winning Proletariat Red is now available in 12 oz. cans, sold as a six-pack, joining the flagship beer’s availability on draft and in 22 oz. bottles. The cans can be purchased at the brewery’s Fifth Quadrant and Sidebar locations (3901 N Williams Ave.), and in select stores throughout the Portland metropolitan area.

Lompoc has announced a BBQ party to celebrate the release of the cans on Saturday, June 17, from 4pm to 9pm at its Fifth Quadrant pub. There will be corn hole games, prizes, BBQ food specials and a fire pit. The six packs will feature special pricing that day, and the brewery’s Lömpocker Hoppy Kölsch and new Lomporter will be available on draft. Admission to the event is free.

A silver medal winner at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival, Proletariat Red is deep chestnut in color, and features toasted malt with biscuit undertones leading to caramelized pear and cinnamon. It strikes a complementary balance between malt and hops, and weighs in at 6.2% ABV.

Lompoc is also debuting a new Select Series later this month: Barrel Aged Red on Rye will be released in 500ml bottles and on draft on Thursday, June 22 at 4pm at Sidebar. Barrel Aged Red on Rye was aged in Heaven Hill Rye Whiskey barrels for 10 months. Crimson in color, it features oak in the nose to complement a malty body with caramel flavors. It was brewed with Rauch malt, giving off a touch of smoke and acidulated malt giving off a slight tartness (6% ABV).

About Lompoc Brewing
Lompoc Brewing creates eight flavorful year-round beers, plus a ridiculous number of seasonals. You can find Lompoc Beers in 12-ounce and 22-ounce bottles, 12-ounce cans, and on draft at locations in Oregon and Washington, and at its five Portland neighborhood pubs: Fifth Quadrant and Sidebar in North Portland, Hedge House and Oaks Bottom in Southeast, and the Lompoc Tavern in Northwest. Proudly brewed in Lompoc, Oregon, a state of mind; if you’re here, then you're already there.

Home Hop Garden '17: May Update

This has been a long, wet month! For most of May, growth in my hop garden was slow. My first year hops (planted from both rhizomes and root cuttings) were anemic, and appeared to be well off last year's pace. My older plants didn't fare much better.  That all seemed to change during the last week of the month. It's amazing how a few hot sunny days can kick the plants into high growth gear! Now, I'm pretty much on track with where I was at this time last year.

The first picture is of my three older plants. From left to right is Centennial (2nd year), Willamette (3rd year), and Chinook (2nd year). For most of the month, the Willamette was the tallest. But during the last week of warm weather, the Chinook has surpassed it.  I expect both are about 18 feet tall. The Centennial seems to have stalled out. I'm not sure what's going on with it, but it hasn't added any height during the last two weeks.

2nd & 3rd Year Hops

The picture below shows some of my first year plants. I've got a Mt. Hood, Cascade, Sterling, and several Zeus plants. The tallest is about two feet. I don't expect these will amount to much this season. Hopefully, they will develop strong root systems this year and produce some hops next year.

Overall, I had solid progress from last month, but I'm looking forward to some better weather!

1st Year Hops

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First Annual BrewFest in the Park: June 23-25

The beer festival formerly known as the North American Organic Brewers Festival, Organic Beer Fest, and Organic Craft BrewFest (for about two weeks), has been newly rechristened as BrewFest in the Park.

While ownership of the festival has changed hands, several key aspects of the event will stay the same.  It will continue to be held at Overlook Park—a beautiful wide-open space. It will feature mostly organic beers (which frankly, was never a big deal for me). Most importantly, it will remain family friendly. I'm thrilled to report that the Crater Lake Soda Garden will continue its never-ending quest to lull your children into a sugar-induced state of euphoria!

This was one of my favorite beer fests, so I'll be curious to see if the vibe of the event changes significantly. While I hope it doesn't, change can be a good thing...

For more details, check out the festival's news release below.

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Inaugural Organic Craft BrewFest rebranded as BrewFest in the Park; 
event will continue as scheduled June 23-25 at Overlook Park

PORTLAND, ORE – The Organic Craft BrewFest has been rebranded as the first annual BrewFest in the Park. The event will take place as previously scheduled, June 23 through June 25, at Portland’s Overlook Park, 1599 N Fremont St. Event hours are Noon to 9pm Friday and Saturday and Noon to 5pm Sunday. 

The festival was rebranded to eliminate confusion with the previously held NAOBF/Organic Beer Fest, which opted to not put on its event this year.

BrewFest in the Park will serve more than 60 organically brewed craft beverages, including beer, cider and mead. There will also be food carts, vendors, the Crater Lake Soda Garden for minors and designated drivers, games for adults, and a children’s area with face painting and activities – all taking place in a beautiful park setting.

BrewFest in the Park coincides with the Sunday Parkways North Portland route on June 25 from 11am to 4pm; the family is welcome to stop by after the ride, park the bikes in the Hopworks Urban Brewery Bike Corral and enjoy some refreshing craft beverages, including handcrafted soda. Picnic blankets, chairs, non-alcoholic beverages and outside food are allowed at the event.

The organically brewed styles at the event range from ciders to cream ales, ambers to lagers, and fruit beers to IPAs. All the products have been brewed using a minimum of 70% organic ingredients, per USDA guidelines. Some are certified organic, while most are one-off products made with organic ingredients. A list of participants, their products, and their organic status can be viewed on the website at

Tickets for the event are on sale now, and early purchasers receive an additional five tasting tickets. Advance packages cost $25 per individual and include the festival mug, 15 drink tickets, a wristband, and free re-entry all weekend (with wristband & mug). Packages at the door cost $25 per individual and include the festival mug, 10 drink tickets, a wristband, and free re-entry all weekend (with wristband & mug). Advance packages are on sale now through Bold Type Tickets at

Designated drivers may purchase a ticket for $5 at the door, which includes handcrafted Crater Lake Soda and a bottle of water; designated drivers are not allowed to consume any alcohol. Minors under the age of 21 receive free admission, but must be accompanied by a parent. Leashed dogs accompanied by responsible owners are welcome.

Most products cost one ticket for a taste and four tickets for a full mug. Select products, including some beers and most meads and ciders, will cost extra tickets. Additional drink tickets are available at the festival for $1 apiece. 

The festival encourages responsible drinking and urges patrons to take advantage of the MAX Light Rail; the Yellow Line Overlook Park Station is adjacent to the festival. Attendees can also take advantage of the Hopworks Urban Brewery Bike Corral, where volunteers watch over bikes for free. Patrons receive an extra ticket with a validated Tri-Met ticket or a ticket from the Hopworks Bike Corral (only one extra ticket per person).

This festival benefits the Timbers Army 107IST (Independent Supporters Trust), whose mission is to support soccer in and around Portland, Oregon, from the grassroots to the highest professional level. The 107IST is a member-based non-profit organization open to anyone who loves soccer, the Timbers/Thorns, and Portland.

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Twitter: @BrewFestinPark
Instagram: @BrewFestinthePark
Hashtag: #BITP17

Oregon Garden Brewfest Adds 5K Run and Camping

The Oregon Garden Brewfest returns on Father's Day weekend, June 16-18th.  This year, the event is expanding in a big way.  In addition to the Brewer's Tasting Dinner (see my recaps from 2014) and 2012), festival organizers are adding a Father's Day 5K Run, an artisan vendor market, and on-grounds camping! Bring your tent or RV, and stay for the whole weekend!

If you've never attended OGB, the beautiful 80-acre Oregon Garden is a provides a beautiful backdrop for the festival. With your festival entry, you'll have full access to stroll through its many gardens. For more details, check out the news release below.

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Spend the Weekend at the Oregon Garden Brewfest Presented by Venti’s Restaurants
The 13th annual Oregon Garden Brewfest adds camping, an artisan market and a Father’s Day 5K run!

SILVERTON, Ore. —The Oregon Garden is excited to announce the additions of camping, an artisan vendor market and a Father’s Day 5k run to their 13th annual Oregon Garden Brewfest, presented by Venti’s Restaurants taking place over Father’s Day weekend, June 16-18, 2017. New this year, attendees will have the option to camp inside The Oregon Garden, providing a unique way to fully enjoy the 120 handcrafted beers, ciders and meads available.

Event hours are 3pm to 11pm Friday, noon to 11pm Saturday, and noon to 6pm Sunday. The event will feature local food carts throughout the weekend, along with an artisan market featuring local vendors selling handmade goods. Bands from across the region will be performing live each day of the event.

The new family-friendly Father’s Day 5K run will start at 9am on Sunday, June 18th, and take place fully inside The Oregon Garden, winding through Garden paths and among 60,000 annual flowers planted in the Garden each year. Participants will receive admission into the festival, a t-shirt and a full glass of beer after the run. For more information visit:

“We’re so excited to announce all of these unique additions to our annual Oregon Garden Brewfest,” says Sara Hammond, regional marketing manager for The Oregon Garden. “We’re always looking for new ways for guests to experience the Garden, and camping and our Father’s Day 5K will encourage them to venture and explore more areas than they ever have before.”

The Oregon Garden is offering 150 campsites, located on Garden property, just a short walk from the event. Guests can choose between walk-in sites, RV sites and car-camping sites. Camping starts at just $120, and requires purchase of a 3-day festival pass. Keeping with the festival feeling, community camp fires will invite  guests to gather around and enjoy the evening.

Advance admission pricing starts at $15 and includes options for a one-day ticket, 3-day ticket or VIP ticket. All admission packages include a souvenir pint glass and tasting tickets. Minors are allowed from noon to 5pm on Saturday and all day Sunday. For more information about pricing for camping, the Father’s Day 5K and admission options, please visit Tickets and camping spots are available for sale now at

If you’re looking for a more luxurious getaway, there are also hotel rooms available at the Oregon Garden Resort, located just steps from the festival. Brewfest hotel packages start at $229 and include breakfast and event tickets. For more information and to book your package, visit or call 503-874-2500. 

Help the Garden kick-of the festivities at the Brewer’s Tasting Dinner on Thursday, June 15 at 7pm. Enjoy a six-course plated dinner paired perfectly with unique beers chosen from six breweries. This is a fun opportunity to meet local brewers and mingle with fellow beer lovers.Only a limited number of tickets are available at $60 per person. To purchase tickets, visit

The Oregon Garden Resort is also featuring a special Brewer’s Dinner overnight package starting at $259 that includes tickets to the Brewer’s Tasting Dinner, admission to Brewfest, food vouchers redeemable at the Oregon Garden Resort food booth and breakfast. Book online at or call 503-874-2500.

The Oregon Garden Brewfest is presented by Venti’s Restaurants and sponsored by the Oregon Lottery, Renewal by Andersen, Goschie Farms, Imperial Bottle Shop, Kona Ice and North Willamette Valley Habitat for Humanity. For more information, visit

New Ninkasi & Stone Variety Cases at Costco

As I was making my rounds at my local Costco, I saw a few new variety packs that are likely to please hopheads during the upcoming heatwave!

Ninkasi Brewing Co.'s Northwest Variety Pack
Pacific Rain  (Northwest Pale)
Dawn of the Red  (Red IPA)
Hop Cooler  (Citrus IPA)

Stone Brewing Co.'s Mixed 24 Pack
Stone IPA
Stone Ripper  (San Diego Pale Ale)
Ruination  (Double IPA)
Hop Revolver  (Single Hop)

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Full Sail Launches Session Watermelon Wheat

Full Sail is on a roll with its Session series. After the recent releases of Sesión Cerveza Mexican Style Lager and Session Black Cherry Black, the Hood River brewery is releasing Session Watermelon Wheat just in time for summer.

Sadly, I'm one of the 14 people walking this planet who don't like watermelon. But for the rest of you, I expect you'll enjoy this limited release that is available now through August.  For more details, check out Full Sail's news release below.

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Session Watermelon Wheat Ale Gives Watermelons the Respect They Deserve
This crisp, refreshing beer is a true slice of summer

Hood River, Oregon – May 17, 2017 – Because there’s no such thing as “beermelon,” Full Sail Brewing Co. has invented the next best thing – new Session Watermelon Wheat Ale. For years, watermelons have been slammed with sledgehammers, launched from catapults, and worn as helmets. We’re giving watermelons the respect they deserve. Session Watermelon Wheat is brewed with watermelon for a crisp, refreshing beer that smells and tastes like a slice of summer. Respect at last!

A refreshing wheat beer with an aroma of fresh watermelon, Session Watermelon Wheat offers a medium malt body with subtly sweet watermelon flavor and a crisp wheat finish. “Spring is here, with summer soon to follow,” says Full Sail Brewmaster Jim Kelter. “While the availability of beer knows no season, watermelon of course is another thing. Beer and watermelon, two quintessential summer pleasures, are paired here in Session Watermelon Wheat.”

Session Watermelon Wheat pours a deep gold with a white lacy head and a slightly floral aroma. Brewed with 2-row Northwest Pale, Malted Wheat, and Unmalted Wheat, Hallertauer and Crystal hops, and a hint of fresh watermelon flavor, Watermelon Wheat is a refreshing brew for the blue-sky days of spring and summer drinking.

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 more than 100 medals, including 40 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. And now in time for summer, there’s Session Watermelon Wheat Ale. Available in the Session Series, May through August, in 12-packs and on draft. Open a bottle of fine vine, and get your Sesh on. 5.4% 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 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

2nd Annual Pints in the Pearl: June 3rd

Pints in the Pearl returns for its 2nd annual one-day festival on Saturday, June 3. I had some big doubts about this festival when I first learned about it last year. The idea of not offering small tasters at a beer festival just seemed heretical to me. Since the event organizers gave me a media pass, I attended anyway.  I ended up enjoying it thoroughly!  My recap of last year's Pints in the Pearl explains why.

Five breweries will serve three beers, with each brewery offering one beer that was created exclusively for the festival. Similar to to last year, you'll only find full-pint pours here. So if you want to sample many beers, bring some friends and share! For more details, including ticket packages, check out the press release below.

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2nd Annual Pints in the Pearl, a celebration of craft 
breweries and local businesses from Portland’s Pearl District, slated for Saturday, June 3rd 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. –The Pearl District Business Association (PDBA) has announced the second annual Pints in the Pearl, a one-day craft beer festival that showcases some of the best beers that Pearl District breweries have to offer, while also celebrating many of the neighborhood’s superb restaurants and distinctive businesses. The event will take place on Saturday, June 3rd, from noon to 9 pm along NW 13th Avenue between Davis and Hoyt streets.  These blocks will be closed to vehicles.

Five craft breweries — 10 Barrel Brewing, BridgePort Brewing, Deschutes Brewery, Fat Heads Brewery, and BackPedal — will each host a station serving three different beers, including one made exclusively for the event.  Each station will be manned by brewery staff, allowing attendees to learn more about the beer from the very people who make and serve it. River Pig Saloon will also be on hand featuring both food and their own River Pig lager, and several local restaurants, such as Brix Tavern and Verde Cocina, will serve fresh fare to festival attendees.  Additional sponsors include Centrl Office who will be onsite with cold brew coffee samples and Portland Streetcar which will be running all day and into evening to support the festivities.

“We’re so thrilled to bring this festival to the Pearl District again,” says Carolyn “CC” Ciolkosz, executive director of the Pearl District Business Association. “Fans of beer come from all over the world to experience our neighborhood’s acclaimed — and award-winning — craft breweries. This is truly a community-wide event, and we’re especially excited this year to have collaborated with Portland Northwest College of Art (PNCA) on developing the design of our Pints in the Pearl poster and logo.” PNCA students submitted design ideas for the poster, and the student with the winning design received a $1,000 scholarship.

Pre-sale Pint Packages are $25, which includes a limited-edition souvenir stainless-steel pint and two tokens, valued at $5 each. Each token is good for one 16 oz. beer – food sales are separate. Additional tokens may be purchased onsite. Pint Packages go on sale May 11 at, and you can also purchase them for $35 at the door. (Note: only credit and debit cards are accepted onsite.) 

In addition to beer and food, Pints in the Pearl will present family-friendly entertainment ranging from cornhole and giant Jenga, to live music by bands including The Garcia Birthday Band, Redwood Son, The Quick & Easy Boys,  and Tony Ozier.  The event is open to all ages.

Pints in the Pearl is presented by the Pearl District Business Association, a nonprofit organization with the mission to promote the Pearl District as the region’s premier destination for shopping, dining, art, and living. Its goal is to enhance the vitality of businesses by providing value to its members and to the community.  The event is being produced by Stori, a Portland-based strategy studio with a 20 year track record of helping some of the world's most successful companies make their brands matter to the right audience.

Instagram: @pintsinthepearl
Hashtag: #pearlportland #pints