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 http://BrewfestinthePark.com/participating-breweries.

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 http://merctickets.com/events/43891630/brew-fest-in-the-park.

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: http://www.oregongarden.org/brewfest-5k/.

“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 www.oregongarden.org/events/brewfest. Tickets and camping spots are available for sale now at https://nightout.com/events/oregon-garden-brewfest/tickets.

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 www.oregongardenresort.com/special-pkg 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 https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brewers-tasting-dinner-2017-tickets-28794852178.

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 www.oregongardenresort.com/special-pkg 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 www.oregongarden.org/events/brewfest.

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 www.fullsailbrewing.com

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 PintsInThePearl.com, 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 

Ninkasi Brewing Co. Re-Releases Beer Run IPA

Ninkasi's Beer Run IPA is returning for its sophomore season. New this year, Beer Run will be available in 12 oz. six-packs for the first time. Look for it now through September as part of the Ninkasi's Special Release Series. For more details, check out the news release below.

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Beer Run IPA Available In Bottles and On Draft, May Through Sept., 2017

EUGENE, Ore. —Based in the heart of Track Town, U.S.A., Ninkasi Brewing Company returns Beer Run IPA to its Special Release Series. Available May through Sept. in 22-ounce bottles, on-draft, and for the first time in 12-ounce 6-packs, this IPA is crafted specifically with runners in mind marrying a rich malt complexity with a clean, tropical hop profile.

Originally debuted in 2016, the recipe for Beer Run IPA was developed with the help of runners across the country. Before officially released to the public, a test batch of Beer Run IPA was brewed and featured at more than 25 community running events. Participants were asked to provide feedback on all aspects of the beer including taste and aroma. Ninkasi’s brewing team gathered that feedback and used it to craft the final Beer Run IPA recipe. Later in the year, the brewery partnered with nonprofit, TrackTown USA, to become the official beer of TrackTown USA. 

“The momentum behind this beer is humbling,” says Jamie Floyd, Ninkasi co-founder and founding brewer. “From elite and Olympic-level competitors to those who simply like to get out and explore local trails, it’s exciting to see all kinds of runners enjoying a beer we made just for them. This beer even inspired me to get back into running.”

“The Ninkasi team really did a phenomenal job sculpting a beer that fits every level of running,” says two-time Olympian Andrew Wheating of Oregon Track Club Elite and Ninkasi Team Total Domination member.

At 7.3% ABV and 80 IBUs, this IPA features hints of cherry, tropical fruit and spice paired with a bright, clean, bitter finish, and an earthy, tropical and juicy hop profile. Beer Run IPA can be found on the shelf and on-draft starting May 1, 2017. To track some down, visit the Ninkasi Beer Finder.

Beer Run Stats:  Whether making a run to the corner store or through the mountains, this gloriously crisp and flavorful IPA is worth grabbing. With bold hops and a lively citrus kick, enjoy Beer Run from start to finish.
  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Series: Special Release Series
  • Available: May – Sept.
  • ABV: 7.3%
  • IBU: 80
  • Malt: 2-Row Pale, Vienna, Carapils
  • Hops: Equinox, Eureka, Chinook
  • Packaging: 12oz. 6-Pack, 22oz. Bottles, Draft

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 two brewhouses, a 55-barrel and a 90-barrel brewhouse, located in Eugene, Ore. Ninkasi’s Flagship beers—Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, Dawn of the Red IPA, Easy Way IPA, Hop Cooler Citrus IPA, Pacific Rain Northwest Pale, Helles Belles Helles Lager, and Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout—are sold throughout Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; D.C.; Colorado; Idaho; Maryland; Nevada; New York; Oregon; Texas; Utah; Washington; and Vancouver, British Columbia. The brewery remains privately-owned and is committed to community support and giving. Ninkasi’s Beer Is Love program offers in-kind donations and support for organizations throughout its footprint. For more information, call 541.344.2739 or visit www.NinkasiBrewing.com.