One of the great things about the Portland beer scene is the plethora of specialized beer festivals. Instead of going a mile wide by tasting a variety of styles (which is fun), these festivals enable us to delve further and explore a specific style or theme at greater depth. I did just that at two festivals on January 28th. My first stop of the day was the Goose Hollow Inn.
Just completing its 4th year, the NW Coffee Beer Invitational celebrates the glory of two of Rose City's favorite beverages—beer and coffee. 16 beer and cider makers created coffee-infused beers (and ciders) specifically for the festival.
Festival co-founders, Dave and Jean Fleming, added a few new twists to this year's event. First, they included three SW Oregon Coast breweries (7 Devils Brewing, Chetco Brewing, and Yachats Brewing) whose beers aren't typically found in the Portland area. In addition, the Flemings asked these breweries to also bring their favorite non-coffee beers. This was a great addition! After drinking 3-4 coffee beers, I found that my palate needed a quick reset, and these beers did exactly that!
Besides the beer, there was a lot to like about NW Coffee Beer Invitational. The Goose Hollow Inn is right on the MAX line, so transportation doesn't get any easier. Although the festival tents (in the parking lot) were relatively packed, the beer lines were short and moved quickly. The event had a great vibe and the live music added to the ambiance. See my video below to check it out.
I won't get into specifics about the beers, but I was impressed with how the brewers used coffee, in different ways, to enhance each beer. I added a few pics of the tasting list. Take a look—it'll whet your appetite! If you missed the 4th installment of the NW Coffee Beer Invitational, don't worry. It'll be back next year, and I expect it will be even better!