1st Annual SheBrew Homebrew Competition for Women

Calling all female homebrewers...  Whether you're a seasoned amateur or new to the hobby, this competition is for you! The Oregon Brew Crew, in conjunction with the annual SheBrew Festival, is holding their first homebrew competition for amateur female homebrewers.

The entry deadline is February 17th. For more details, check out the news release below or visit the event's website.

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1st Annual SheBrew Homebrew Competition
Presented by The Oregon Brew Crew
AHA/BJCP Homebrew Competition for amateur female Homebrewers, 21 and older.

In conjunction with the annual SheBrew Festival which features tastings of homebrewed beers and commercially produced beers by local breweries, the Oregon Brew Crew is pleased to announce our first homebrew competition for amateur female homebrewers.

Base Camp's 3rd Annual Collabofest, January 28th

If you follow the Portland beer scene, you know that collaboration among brewers is an integral part of Portland beer culture. It's one of the many reasons why Portland beer is special. Base Camp's 3rd Annual Collabofest is a unique (and tasty) example of this culture.

Each of the sixteen participating breweries was paired up with a different brewery. Each pair works together to create two different beers that share a certain idea or theme. Each of the beers are brewed specifically for the festival, and Collabofest is the only place where you can taste all of them in same place!

Check out the press release below for more details about the event. Base Camp's website also has nice descriptions about each of the beers. Cheers to brewery collaborations!

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PORTLAND – Base Camp Brewing Company is bringing together 16 local breweries for their third annual Collabofest. A celebration of the collaborative spirit of Portland’s craft brewing community, Base Camp’s Collabofest give attendees the opportunity to experience a unique offering from each participating brewery that was developed exclusively for the festival.

Base Camp’s Collabofest is the only beer festival in the world that presents an all-collaborative
brew lineup. Thanks to the involvement of key sponsors Travel Portland, ADX, and the Portland
Mercury, Base Camp Brewing Company was able to keep the momentum moving forward in its
third year.

“Yeah, the brews that have been made specifically for Collabofest the past two years were filled
with creativity,” says Base Camp’s Event Manager, Morgan Tashea, “the excitement that the
brewers have for the festival really shows through when they work together to create a new brew
that truly embodies Portland’s creative and innovative spirit.”

"We're thrilled to see so many Portland breweries collaborating and giving visitors an easy way
to experience the breadth of Portland's beer scene this winter,” says Greg Newland, executive
vice president of marketing and P.R. for Travel Portland. “We love that these limited edition
beers are also available at participating breweries during February for those who aren't able to
make the festival.”

Each participating brewery was paired up via a lottery-style drawing in November 2016, and
have developed their “collabobrews” to be debuted at the festival. Pairs and brew names are:
  • Base Camp Brewing Co. & Baerlic Brewing:  Honey Chestnut Pilsner / Sir Douglas MacStouterson
  • Widmer Brothers Brewing & Culmination Brewing:  Bashō IPA / Zen Wave IPA
  • Ecliptic Brewing & Mt.Tabor Brewing:  Space Mountain Sour IPA / Space Mountain IPA
  • Alameda Brewing & Stormbreaker Brewing:  Coffee and Donutella / The Passion of the Homer
  • Hopworks Urban Brewery & Ruse Brewing:  Astral Wavelength / Astral Frequency
  • Gigantic Brewing Co. & Uptown Market Brewery: Nevørmind Oyster Stout /  The Taming of the Shroom
  • Occidental Brewing & Fat Heads Brewery: Ding, Ding! I’d Like to Dry Hop a Toast / Smuggling Dunkel
  • Ex Novo Brewing Co. & Laurelwood Brewing Co.: In With The New / Out with the Old
With Collabofest, Base Camp further develops its close ties to the Pacific Northwest’s outdoors
and stewardship of Oregon’s wild spaces. Their partnership with the Oregon Timber Trail and
SheJumps will be in full effect at the festival, where each group will be in attendance and sharing
the latest in their ongoing efforts throughout the state. Base Camp and Travel Portland are proud
to provide financial support for the good work of both Oregon Timber Trail and SheJumps, the
official nonprofit beneficiaries of Base Camp’s Collabofest.

Join in on Collabofest on Saturday, January 28th at Base Camp’s brewhouse and taproom in
southeast Portland (930 SE Oak Street). To learn more about the festival, the participating
breweries, and the event’s collaborations, check out Base Camp’s website and Facebook page, or
#collabofest and #PDXNOW on social media. Tickets are available now at

Additional support for Base Camp’s Collabofest and Portland craft brewing proudly provided by
sponsors Imperial Yeast, New Season’s Market, GDI Distributors, Miir, and SKOUT

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The Base Camp Brewing Company family has been brewing innovative lagers and ales for the
adventurous palate since 2012. To experience the latest from the frontier of craft beer, visit Base
Camp at their brewhouse and taproom located in the heart of Portland, Oregon’s brewery district, or look for their beers on tap, in the beer cooler, and on the trail.

Widmer Brothers 2017 Beer Release Schedule

Widmer Brothers Brewing published their 2017 beer release calendar today. Some interesting tidbits:

  • PDX Pils is new to the year-round lineup. Even though this beer is in wide release for the first time, it has some good history. PDX Pils won Gold at the 2016 Oregon Beer Awards for the Pilsner/Helles/Kolsch category.
  • A new line of Hefe seasonal beers featuring fruit has been launched. I've been waiting years for this! The first of the rotating releases, Hefe Hopfruit, is made with grapefruit peel and grapefruit puree. Hefe Berry Lime and Hefe Blood Orange will be released later this year. While I wasn't a huge fan of Hefe Shandy, it showcased the tremendous potential of Hefe to serve as the anchor for its own series of beers. I can't wait to taste these! 
  • Drifter Pale Ale returns as a summer seasonal after a nearly four-year absence. It was retired in 2013 to make way for Alchemy Ale, which is no longer in the lineup. I guess Drifter gets the last laugh after all...
  • 2 sets of variety packs will be released three times per year. One pack will feature the current Hefe rotating release, the other will contain the current seasonal.

2017 is shaping up to be a good beer year for Widmer Brothers. Prost!

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Yoga + Cider @ Cider Riot!

Now here's an interesting pairingyoga and cider! Jana Daisy-Ensign will be leading an all-level yoga class from from 10:30am to noon, on Saturday January 28th at Cider Riot! Jana is both a registered yoga instructor and Finnriver Cidery's National Cider Ambassador. She's also a founding member of Pomme Boots Society, an organization for women working in the cider industry.

After the class, students will enjoy a complimentary pint of delicious cider! For more details, check out the news release below.

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Yoga + Cider @ Cider Riot! 
10:30am Saturday, January 28th

Exercise your commitment to health in the New Year and drink in tastes of the Pacific Northwest's thriving cider scene. 

Pomme Boots Society founding member and 200hr registered yoga teacher, Jana Daisy-Ensign leads an exploration of asanas and apples Saturday, January 28th at Portland's Cider Riot! Taproom. 

Doors open at 10am for check-in and drop-in registration. All-level yoga instruction runs 10:30am to noon. The event concludes with a complimentary pint served from the curated draft list.

This fun, dynamic flow class will offer foundational basics geared toward beginner students as well as options to add a more vigorous and complex postures geared toward the intermediate student. The class will be held in the cidery production space on finished cement floor. Fermenting cider requires a certain ambient temperature so the space is heated, but students are encouraged to dress in layers to accommodate changing body temperatures. Students are also asked bring their own mat and water bottle. A limited number of loaner mats will be available.

Space is limited - sign up today!
$23 Advanced  / $28 Drop-in 

Cider Riot is located at 807 NE Couch Street, Portland, OR 97232. 

Jana Daisy-Ensign has been exploring the ancient art of yoga for 20+ years and has been a certified instructor leading regular classes since 2010. She is also a certified cider professional who has worked in the craft beverage field for over a decade, currently representing Finnriver Cidery nationally. She loves sharing her passion for yoga with both new students and those with an existing practice.  

Pomme Boots Society an organization for women in cider is delighted to help advance the industry through networking, education and inspiration. Pomme Boots is honored to offer a series of yoga + cider classes quarterly in 2017, kicking off at Cider Riot!

Cider Riot! is an urban cidery and pub based just off East Burnside Street in the heart of Portland’s Inner East side, dedicated to the production of refreshing dry ciders from Cascadian grown apples. Cider Riot! ciders are sold throughout Cascadia, and in Alberta, Japan, and Norway.​

Samuel Adams Reformulates Rebel IPA

Samuel Adams' Rebel is reborn. Rebel IPA has a updated look and a new taste. The original Rebel IPA was launched in 2014 and I profiled it shortly after it was released. In 2015, the brewery expanded the family with the launch of Rebel Rider Session IPA and Rebel Rouser Double IPA.

Yesterday, the brewery announced that Rebel IPA has been reformulated. First, new hops were added. Mosaic, HBC 566 (Sam Adams proprietary hop), and HBC 683 (experimental hop) are all new to the mix. A total of seven hop varieties were used in this release.

While most IPA drinkers are all about the hops, I find this next change more intriguing.  The brewery tweaked Rebel's malt composition by removing Crystal malt, and utilizing only 2-Row. The change is intended to make the beer less malty, allowing the hops to shine through.

I think it would be interesting to do a side-by-side tasting (for research purposes, of course).  I'll try to track down an old bottle... For more details, check out Sam Adams' press release below.

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“Project Lupulus” Reformulates Rebel IPA Recipe with a New Proprietary Hop Varietal

BOSTON -  For the first time, the brewers at Sam Adams have completely reformulated a popular flagship beer: Rebel IPA.  After more than four years, the brewers undertook what they called “Project Lupulus,” an experiment that takes advantage of hops that were not readily available or have been newly cultivated since Rebel IPA first launched in 2014. As part of this project, the brewers collaborated, starting in 2013, with a hop breeder in Yakima Valley, WA to create a new hop variety proprietary and exclusive to Sam Adams called HBC 566. After months of experimenting with dozens of trial batches at the Boston Brewery, the brewers are now ready to release the new Rebel IPA recipe which is brewed with HBC 566 and another new experimental hop variety for bittering, HBC 682.  Rebel IPA now has a more intense juicy, tropical and citrus flavor supported by a leaner body and a crisp, clean finish to optimize the hop character.

About Rebel Reborn
So what changes? Paying homage to the original recipe, Rebel IPA is brewed with a few of the original hop varieties including Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe® and Chinook. For the 2017 release, the brewers added Mosaic hops, alongside HBC 566, a new hop proprietary to Sam Adams, and HBC 682, a new, experimental bittering hop.

Project Lupulus refers to the scientific name of a hop, Humulus lupulus, and its special lupulin glands which are the fundamental source of flavor, bitterness, and aroma in hops. For Project Lupulus, the brewers looked to optimize the flavor of each hop variety by changing up the blend and ratio of hops for the new Rebel IPA. Ultimately, seven hops were chosen for their unique character, including:

  • HBC 566: A Sam Adams proprietary hop variety, HBC 566 adds a touch of lemon/lime, orange and eucalyptus flavor that can be found with the addition of this exclusive hop variety. 
  • HBC 682: Experimental hop HBC 682 is used solely as a bittering hop in Rebel IPA to impart a pleasant bitterness with a strong and earthy aroma
  • Mosaic: New to Rebel IPA, Mosaic hops impart tropical, fruity, and pines notes. In 2011, Sam Adams was one of the first breweries to experiment with Mosaic hops in a collaboration beer with Dogfish Head called SAVOR Flowers;
  • Cascade: A leading hop in the new Rebel IPA, Cascade hops impart floral, spicy, citrus, and grapefruit character;
  • Simcoe®: A staple of IPAs, Simcoe hops impart a strong piney character as well as apricot and citrus notes;
  • Centennial: Centennial hops are intensely floral with hints of wood and a medium citrus character;
  • Chinook: Chinook hops provide a piney character and a light spice note; 

To dial up the hop impression, the newly reborn Rebel IPA removed caramel malt from the grain bill and now is brewed only with Samuel Adams special two-row malt blend.  By removing the caramel malt, Rebel IPA’s body is less malty, resulting in a cleaner, brighter IPA with more tropical, citrus, and pine-forward notes.

Founder & Brewer of Samuel Adams, Jim Koch, on Reformulating Rebel IPA:
“This is the first time we’ve significantly changed the recipe of a flagship beer.  As hop varieties evolve, we want to use the new varieties to keep brewing the best beer possible,” said Jim Koch. “Like with the original Rebel IPA recipe, this release isn’t a palate-scorching hop-bomb. Our goal was to showcase the intricate aromas and flavors of hops, especially with new, experimental hop varieties HBC 566 and HBC 682. Not that long ago, it was a challenge just to find quality, flavorful hops and now, we’re developing our own proprietary hop with unparalleled lemony-lime, orange and eucalyptus notes. It’s wild to think how far the brewing industry has come and that today, a beer can evolve.”

Nano Brewery Manager, Megan Parisi, on Rebel IPA test batches:
“Even before we started brewing Rebel IPA, we were exploring the many varieties of hops and how they affect the flavor of a beer with Project Lupulus,” said Brewer Megan Parisi, who manages the nano brewery. “We averaged at least one new test brew in the nano each week since we started tinkering with the Rebel IPA recipe and our new hop varieties. It was awesome being able to brew with a new hop variety that had never been used. After dozens of test batches of single hop brews, various blends, and of course, taste testing, it is a pleasure to finally share our new Rebel IPA recipe with drinkers.”

About the Rebel IPA Family
Rebel IPA was the first beer that originated in the Samuel Adams Nano Brewery, the epicenter of experimentation for new beers located within the Boston Brewery. When Samuel Adams launched Rebel in 2014, the brew became the most successful release of a craft beer brand. Now, IPAs are the primary driver of craft volume growth1. Since 2014, the Rebel family has expanded to include Rebel Rouser Double IPA, Rebel Grapefruit IPA, and Rebel Juiced IPA.

In January 2017, Samuel Adams Rebel Juiced IPA, a West Coast IPA infused with mango, will be now available in cans and bottles. At 55 IBUs, the brewers selected the hop varieties based on their tropical aromas and juicy flavors rather than for their bitterness. Zeus hops were used in the kettle and Mosaic and Mandarina hops were used to dry hop. The result is a medium-bodied beer with a slightly veiled golden color that brings a big tropical aroma of guava, passionfruit and mango.

Rebel IPA Availability
Samuel Adams Rebel IPA and Rebel Juiced IPA will be available nationwide in early 2017 on draft, in six-packs for a suggested retail price of $7.99-$9.99, and both brews will be in the Pack of Rebels variety pack (bottles and cans) which also includes Rebel Grapefruit IPA and Rebel White Citra IPA for a suggested retail price of $14.99-$17.99. Rebel IPA will be available in 12-packs (bottles and cans) for a suggested retail price of $14.99-$17.99. Price for each package varies by market. Drinkers should look for new Rebel Reborn packaging hitting shelves in coordination with the release of the new Rebel IPA recipe.

To find where Samuel Adams beers are sold near you, visit www.samueladams.com/find-a-sam.

Lompoc's 5th Annual Black Out Beer Fest

Hankering from some dark beer? If you're in the mood for porters, stouts, coffee beers, and black IPAs, reserve February 25th on your calendar for Lompoc's 5th Annual Black Out Beer Fest.

For the first time, the festival is expanding to a full-day of dark beer revelry. You can even fill your stomach with a pre-fest Brunch at Fifth Quadrant, from 9am to 1pm. This year's taplist will feature 25 rotating dark beers from Lompoc and 20 guest breweries from across the Northwest. For more details, including pricing, check out the press release below.  To learn more about other great beer festivals, check out my Beer Festival schedule page.

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Lompoc’s Chowder Challenge takes a hiatus; Black Out Beer Fest expands to an all-day event

PORTLAND, Ore. – Lompoc Brewing has announced that its annual Chowder Challenge will take a hiatus this year to address venue and space issues. In its place, the brewery has expanded its popular Black Out Beer Fest to an all-day event.

The 5th annual Black Out Beer Fest will take place on Saturday, Feb. 25 from Noon to 10pm at Sidebar, located at 3901 N Williams Ave, and in the heated & tented parking lot in front of the Fifth Quadrant restaurant (around the corner at the same address). The event will feature 25 rotating dark beers – including porters, stouts, coffee beers and black IPAs – from Lompoc and more than 20 guest breweries from around the Northwest.

Admission into the event is free; tasting packages are required to taste the beers and cost $20, which includes a souvenir 15.5 oz glass mug and eight beer tickets. Additional beer tickets are available for $1 apiece. It costs four tickets for a full mug of beer or one ticket for a taste. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Community Transitional School.

The event will kick off the morning of Feb. 25 with a pre-fest Brunch at Fifth Quadrant from 9am to 1pm, featuring an exclusive brunch menu paired with specialty dark beers.

Black Out Beer Fest ticket sales will take place at the door in Sidebar; advance tickets are not available. The beers will be served in both Sidebar and in the tented and heated parking lot adjacent to the Fifth Quadrant pub. The event is for ages 21 and over, although minors and attendees are welcome inside the Fifth Quadrant pub.

Follow LompocBrewing.com or @LompocBeer on social media for updates to the beer list.

About Lompoc Brewing
Lompoc (pronounced Lom-Pock, much to the chagrin of Californians) creates eight flavorful year-round beers, plus a ridiculous number of seasonals. You can find Lompoc in 12-ounce and 22-ounce bottles 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. For more information, call 503-288-3996 or visit www.lompocbrewing.com and @LompocBeer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Drink Local, Drink Lompoc!

# # #

4th Annual NW Coffee Beer Invitational, January 28

Portland is well known for its beer and coffee. If you're a fan of both, you should definitely head over the Goose Hollow Inn on Saturday, January 28 for the 4th Annual NW Coffee Beer Invitational. 14 breweries and 2 cideries will serve their beers (and ciders) made with locally-roasted coffee.

There is a $15 admission fee which includes a tasting glass and 8 taster tickets. Food and live music will be available and the event is family friendly.

Coffee and beertwo great tastes that taste great together! For more details, check out the festival's Facebook event page or the news release below.

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4th NW Coffee Beer Invitational
Saturday, January 28th, 2017
12:00 – 7:00pm
Goose Hollow Inn, 1927 SW Jefferson St, Portland 97201

This year is the 4th annual NW Coffee Beer Invitational where 16 talented brewers are asked to create freshly-brewed beer made with locally-roasted coffee. New this year, we have 2 cideries in the line-up alongside 14 breweries; a special focus on SW Oregon coast breweries — Chetco Brewing, Yachats Brewing, 7 Devils Brewing will be offering not only their coffee beers but also another beer for us to taste; all entered beverages will be judged and a winner will be announced at the festival. Our judging panel includes Fred Bowman (Portland brewing legend), Jess Caudhill (Head Brewer at Everybody’s Brewing) and Whitney Burnside (Brewmaster at 10 Barrel Brewing, Portland).

The cozy tent at the Goose Hollow Inn is our venue again, so join us for great beverages in a uniquely stimulating atmosphere. Great food from the Goose will be available throughout the event and we will have live music from The Michael Shay Trio (12:00-3:00pm) and festival favorites Logger’s Daughter (3:30-6:30pm).

$15 admission includes a festival glass and 8 taster tickets. Family friendly. Tickets at the door only.

Participating breweries & cideries:
7 Devils Brewing • Chetco Brewing • Cider Riot! • The Commons Brewery • Deschutes Brewing • Fire on the Mountain Brewing • Georgetown Brewing • Gigantic Brewing • Great Notion Brewing • McMenamins West Linn Brewery • Montavilla Brew Works • Portland Cider Company • StormBreaker Brewing • Uptown Brewing • Yachats Brewing • Zoiglhaus Brewing

Event sponsors:
Goose Hollow Inn, Ristretto Roasters, Practical Fusion and Gopher Kegs 

Full Sail Releases Slipknot IPA in 6-Packs

Full Sail Brewing Co. has been on a tear recently with the pace of its releases. They just announced the launch of IPApaya (Papaya IPA). Now the brewery is bringing back Slipknot IPA, an old favorite.

First brewed in 2004, and released periodically as part of the Brewmaster Reserve Series, Slipknot IPA is being released in six-packs for the first time. The hop varieties and malt profile have recently been tweaked. Citra and Mosaic are the newer hop varieties being used in addition to Cascade and Nugget. Slipknot IPA will be available from January through May. For more details, check Full Sail's news release below.

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Image courtesy of Full Sail Brewing Co.


Full Sail Brewing Company’s Brewmaster Reserve Slipknot IPA is now available in 6-packs for the first time. This three-time gold medal winner features a big Northwest hop aroma and robust bitterness balanced with a full malt body.
“Slipknot is, once again, the beer for the serious hop lover,” says Executive Brewmaster Jamie Emmerson. “When we first made our Classic IPA back in the 90s, hardly anyone was making IPAs. A lot has changed since then, but we’re still on the craft beer forefront constantly combining enthusiasm with expertise. With Brewmaster Reserve Slipknot IPA, we’ve added a Northwest influence and amplified everything.
Slipknot leads with aromas of citrus, pine and stone fruit and is balanced by a clean, caramel malt body, with multi-layered hop flavors that lead to a crisp assertive finish. “Brewed originally in 2004, Slipknot makes a rare reappearance updated with new hop varieties and a dryer malt profile,” says Full Sail Brewmaster Jim Kelter. “Slipknot features a big Northwest hop aroma and robust bitterness balanced with a full malt body. Cascade, Nugget, Citra and Mosaic hops deliver pungent scents of citrus and pine. Extensive dry-hopping enhances this character with flavors to match. Northwest 2-Row Pale and Crystal malts add a rich, spicy malt character. This full-bodied IPA pours a rich golden-orange hue that glows like the late winter sun.”
Full Sail recently rebranded the packaging on its entire core line of beers as well as its seasonal Brewmaster Reserve offerings. On Slipknot’s new 6-packs, the artistically rendered slipknot and water lines are hand-drawn in vibrant blues and yellows by Portland-based TWEEQiM creativeLab’s MiQ Willmott.
Slipknot IPA pairs well with Dungeness crab, roasted salmon, clam chowder, curried foods, hot wings, braised red meats such as lamb and beef, gingerbread or spiced molasses cake, and mild cheeses like Gorgonzola or Monterey Jack.
Award winning? Heck yeah. Incredible ingredients? Definitely. Full Sail’s Brewmaster Reserve series is small-batch, limited-edition beer made by brewers with an unwavering desire to make the best beer around using locally grown malt, hops, yeast and pure Mount Hood water. Brewmaster Reserve Slipknot IPA is available January through May in 6-packs, 12 oz. bottles, on draft and as Slipknot NITRO in the Full Sail Pub. 7.0% ABV, 80 IBUs. Full Sail’s Brewmaster Reserve – innovation, inspiration and Ridiculously Tasty Beer!

McMenamins Wassail Cider Fest: January 21

When I was in grade school (a long time ago), my 5th grade class performed "The Wassail Song" at Christmas. I still remember some of the lyrics. As a kid, I didn't know that wassail is a hot mulled cider. As an adult, I'd appreciate a few glasses of thatespecially given the frigid winter weather we've recently experienced.

McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse also has wassail on their minds as they prepare to launch their first Wassail Cider Fest. Wassailing is a medieval pagan ceremony performed to appease the tree spirits and bring on Spring. Somehow, I don't think grade schoolers would be allowed to sing of such things these days. But I digress...
About Wassail Cider Fest

Come and join McMenamins and over ten other cider producers for the first annual Wassail Cider Fest at Cornelius Pass Roadhouse! There will be all-ages live music, entertainment and general merriment, and for those 21 and up cider tasting of over 40 different ciders! We will parade down to the orchard for a “toast” to a bountiful cider harvest, and enjoy cider into the evening in the historic octagonal barn for more music and revelry. Admission to the event is free; commemorative glass and tasting tokens can be purchased online or at the event. Wassail costumes are encouraged!

Commemorative glass and tasting tokens can be purchased online or at the event. Wassail costumes are encouraged!

We welcome these cideries:
^5 Cider
2 Towns Cider
Alter Ego Cider
Baird & Dewar Farmhouse Cider
Bauman's Cider
Bull Run Cider
Cider Riot!
Edgefield Ciders: Estate, Crangerine, Pomegranate & Blackberry
Pear UP
Portland Cider Company
Reverend Nats Hard Cider
Woodinville Ciderworks
...and more!

Live Music
4 p.m. 'til 6 p.m. - Falcon Heart
7 p.m. 'til 10 p.m. - McDougall 

 For more details, visit the Facebook event page or the McMenamins event page.

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Image courtesy of McMenamins

Deschutes Releases Pacific Wonderland Lager

Here's another new release to look out for. Deschutes Brewery has announced the launch of Pacific Wonderland Lager as a new year-round release. This lager is made with pilsner malt and a trio of noble hops (European cultivars) that are low in bitterness and high in aroma. Pacific Wonderland is taking over the "session beer" slot in the Deschutes lineup that was formerly occupied by River Ale, which was recently discontinued.

I have not yet tasted it, but will be sure to share my thoughts after I get my hands on a bottle. For more details, take a look at Deschutes' press release below.

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Pacific Wonderland Lager: A New Year-Round Adventure from Deschutes Brewery
Oregon brewery releases sessionable lager with a distinct Northwest twist

Bend, Oregon – Nearly 60 years ago, the motto “Pacific Wonderland” first showed up on license plates in Oregon in celebration of the state’s 100th birthday. Oregon is still a place full of wonder and adventure, and Deschutes Brewery bottled it up in a new sessionable brew befitting of the Pacific Northwest: Pacific Wonderland Lager.

Deschutes Brewery brewmaster Veronica Vega said, “When we set out to create Pacific Wonderland, we wanted to capture the diverse spirit of Oregon in a single beer that we could share with everyone. Our team explored something a little different, creating a lager by style and then dry hopping it to make something unique – just like our home state.”

Pacific Wonderland Lager is made with a pilsner malt and a trifecta of Hallertau Herkules, Hallertau Mettelfruh and Tettnang Mandarina hops. The result is a crisp, bright beer with citrus, floral and herbal hop flavors, a delicate malt body, and a crisp, clean lager finish.

The beer’s colorful label depicts the endlessly diverse adventures that Oregon offers in all seasons, helping bring Oregon to life all the way across the country. “Pacific Wonderland” is a nickname used by many who come to the Northwest to enjoy skiing, biking, rock climbing, surfing, standup paddle boarding, hiking, golf and more. The area’s diverse ecosystems and microclimates are ideal for all kinds of outdoor recreation – and craft beer-sampling. This beer captures it all.

Pacific Wonderland Lager is 5.5 percent ABV and 37 IBUs. It will first be available on draft and in 6-packs throughout the brewery’s distribution area, and 12-packs will roll out in early spring.

Find out what inspired this beer in a video featuring Vega here: https://www.deschutesbrewery.com/introducing-pacific-wonderland/

About Deschutes Brewery
Family and employee owned since 1988, Deschutes Brewery – Bend’s original brewpub – has become the cornerstone of Central Oregon’s flourishing craft brew culture. Known for its generous use of whole hops in its defining beers such as Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, and Fresh Squeezed IPA, the brewery also keeps fans on the edge of their bar stools with the release of small batch experimental beers each season. Now available in 29 states and Washington D.C., Deschutes’ flagship brewpub has been joined by a main brewing facility overlooking the Deschutes River in Bend, a pub in Portland, and coming in 2021, a new east coast brewery in Roanoke, Virginia. www.deschutesbrewery.com


Obligatory Snowmageddon Beer Pics

Snowmageddon has finally hit Portland, dumping more than a foot of fluffy white stuff on the Portland metro area! While the Governor has declared a state of emergency, Portlanders seem to be taking it in stride.  Many playing outside, taking pictures of their kids and pets frolicking in the snow. Others clinging to their alcoholic beverage of choice in vain efforts to maintain sanity while occupying their kids on this 6th snow day of the year. As a beer blogger, I also took a few snow pictures. My subject was beer, of course.

So for your viewing (and my tasting) pleasure, I present High Voltage Winter IPA from Gigantic Brewing. The beer was quite fitting for this day. It's winter, obviously. But less than two blocks from my house, a high voltage overhead power line was downed by a snow weighted tree limb. So this beer selection was made by fateand the seasonally appropriate sample. Thanks Gigantic!

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Pyramid's New Spring Releases

The new year brings new beer! So, in the coming days, I'll highlight new releases that you'll soon find on shelves of your favorite beer retailer. Today, we'll take a look at two new spring releases from Pyramid. 

First up is Triangulate Citrus Pale Ale. This new spring seasonal is dry-hopped with the relatively new Lemondop hop variety as well as lemon peel. It also utilizes oats in the grain-bill, which should provide a smooth mouth feel.

Also released is Brewer's Reserve Railroad Avenue. This Imperial Porter is made with additions of vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Both will be available mid-January though April. For more details, check out Pyramid's press release below.

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Pyramid Breweries Looks Ahead to Spring with Debut of
Seasonal Brew: Triangulate Citrus Pale Ale
Pyramid also releases Brewer’s Reserve Railroad Avenue

SEATTLE  – Pyramid Breweries today announced the release of its spring seasonal, Triangulate Citrus Pale Ale, which hits shelves in mid-January. This refreshing new brew is dry-hopped with Lemondrop™ hops and real lemon peel for a big, citrusy nose and flavor.

“We are extremely excited to release our Triangulate Citrus Pale Ale as our new spring seasonal,” said Head Brewer Ryan Pappe. “The combination of fruited ales and white ales make this beer incredibly unique. The lemon peel and Lemondrop™ hops with wheat in the malt bill results in a juicy, flavorful recipe. Beer drinkers will enjoy the crisp and refreshing profile!”

Triangulate Citrus Pale Ale’s three hops sharpen the citrusy flavor and aroma, while a trio of malts and grains create a smooth, full body. With a huge helping of Lemondrop™ hops and real lemon peel, the accompanying Apollo and Cascade hops produce an additional layer of complexity to the seasonal pale ale. Wheat and oats take the malt body in a unique direction for a satisfying mouth-feel.

This month, Pyramid Breweries also unveils the limited time Brewer’s Reserve Railroad Avenue, which will be available mid-January to late April. This Imperial Porter uses deep roasted malts and roasted barley with dashes of vanilla, cinnamon and dark brown sugar. Railroad Avenue is a big, malty brew that conducts the palate to a nicely spiced, mildly sweet finish. 

“These beers are a fantastic addition to our flavorful lineup of seasonal and year-round brews,” said General Manager Robert Rentsch. “We discovered a distinctive take on some popular Northwest styles, and we expect Triangulate Citrus Pale Ale and Brewer’s Reserve Railroad Avenue to be popular additions to our collection of seasonal brews.”  

Spring in the Pacific Northwest is enchanting as snow thaws and daylight lengthens. Whether a day-hike, baseball spring training, or scenic road trip, Triangulate Citrus Pale Ale is the perfect seasonal brew to welcome spring adventure. For more up-to-date news and events, follow Pyramid Breweries on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @pyramidbrew.

About Pyramid Brewing Co.
Based in the Pacific Northwest, Pyramid Breweries began as Hart Brewing in 1984 with the flagship brand of Pyramid Ales. In 1996, the company was reborn as Pyramid Breweries and currently offers craft beers produced under the Pyramid family of ales and lagers. With breweries and Alehouses in Seattle and Portland, Ore., Pyramid has earned 17 medals at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), including the honor of Mid-size Brewery of the Year in 2008. The brewery also has been awarded seven medals in international competition at the World Beer Cup. For more information visit, www.pyramidbrew.com.


The Zen of Dumping Bad Beer

I had such high hopes for this batch. On Sunday, I dumped them down the drain...

I've brewed about 35 batches of beer during the last six years. It has always been hard for me to enjoy my beer for what it is. Rather, I always think about what I intended. Most of the time, there's a difference. Sometimes big, sometimes subtle. But I always notice it. It's funny, because friends who drink my beer have no preconceived notions and seem to enjoy drinking my beer far more that I do.

During my six years of brewing, only two batches have been undrinkable. One was a sour cherry ale that turned to vinegar. The second was this imperial stout. It was my homebrew version of Kate the Great from Portsmouth Brewery. I brewed in back in November 2014, and bottled it six months later. It don't know exactly what went wrong with it. It didn't carbonate fully, but worse was its odd oily mouthfeel. A friend described it as the worst beer ever made. He was right, and I respected him for telling me the truth.

Anyway, I held onto the batch hoping that a miracle might happen and it might magically evolve into something drinkable. Every few months, I'd crack open another bottle, but it tasted just as nasty as it did before. What went wrong? Was it because I overshot my mash temp by 3 degrees? Did I not rehydrate my priming yeast correctly? Were the planets not in the proper alignment? I don't mind a wasted batch if I can at least figure out what went wrong. But after wracking my brain for over 18 months, I found no answers.

So I decided to let go. I dumped the rest of my stash down the drain. You know what? It felt good! As my crappy beer swirled down the drain, it made me appreciate my good batches. Which fortunately, far outnumber the bad ones...

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