Home Hop Garden '17: July Update

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

The Not So Professional Hop Estate, July '17

Some of my key observations from the past month:

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

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

1st Year Cascade

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

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

Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook

30th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival: Fun Facts

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

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

Photo courtesy of OBF

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

Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*  Samples provided by the brewery

Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook

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!

Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook

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 OregonBrewFest.com or join @OregonBrewfest on social media.

# # #

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.

Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook

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, http://publiccoastbrewing.com/beer/. 

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, http://publiccoastbrewing.com/


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 Jalape├▒o 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

Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook