Oregon Beer Events: 10/13 Update


We've got a bunch of great beer events planned for the rest of October! This weekend brings us  release parties from Lompoc and McMenamins, Oktoberfests, Portland's first Kölsch Fest at GABF award-winning Zoiglhaus Brewing, and even a Local Love Fest at Everybody's Brewing! One of my favorite events, The Willamette Week's Cider and Beer Pro/Am, will also be held tomorrow. The snapshot below gives you a summary view of what's in store.

This calendar is being constantly updated, so please click on the NW Beer Festival link or to see the latest and greatest, as well as details about each event.

If you know of other events, please send details to info@notsoprofesionalbeer.com, and I'll do my best to add them. Have a great weekend. Cheers!




Follow this blog on TwitterInstagramor Facebook

McMenamins Releases Thundercone Fresh Hop Pale & Black Widow Porter in Cans


For the first time, McMenamins is releasing Thundercone Fresh Hop Pale Ale and Black Widow Porter in 16 oz cans.


Thundercone Fresh Hop Pale Ale

This year's Thundercone was brewed with fresh (or wet) Cascade hops. Five pounds were added to each barrel in three separate additions. Fresh hop beers are are unique because the hops must be used within hours of being picked from the bine. Here's more of the story from McMenamins...

"Fresh, or wet, Cascade Hops were frantically delivered straight from the hop fields to over 20 McMenamins Breweries and each batch of Thundercone was brewed within hours of the hops being picked off of the vine. This beer starts with a smooth foundation and just a slight maltiness. The real star of this show is the fresh hops that’re used for both flavoring and aroma."

The brewery sent me a sample, which I quickly opened (these beers don't improve with age). Immediately after cracking open the can, I could smell the fragrant hops. In taste and aroma, grapefruit and pine are plentiful, and are layered atop a simple biscuity malt base which allows the hop flavors to shine. It finishes with light grassy notes. While Thundercone oozes hop goodness, it's not overly bitter.

If you haven't had a fresh hop beer this season, or are looking to try another, check out Thundercone Fresh Hop Pale Ale. It's available now for a limited time, until it runs out.




Black Widow Porter

If the cool, crisp weather has you craving a dark roasty beer, you'll be glad to know that Black Widow Porter is on the way.

"Originally created at the Thompson Brewery on October 15th in 1991, Black Widow’s web now envelops the entire company every year. Each sublime deep-black goblet is packed with the robust notes afforded by generous amounts of Black and Roast Malts, and further spirited with ethereal wisps of caramel and licorice."

Black Widow Porter will be available October 15 through Halloween. The 23rd Ave. Bottle Shop is holding a release party on 10/15 where you can sample 2016 and 2017 Black Widows side by side, as well as a coffee variant.


Image courtesy of McMenamins


Follow this blog on 
TwitterInstagramor Facebook


Great American Beer Festival '17: Oregon Medal Winners


Oregon breweries pulled in 17 medals today at the Great American Beer Festival! Here's a roundup of the award winning Oregon breweries, beers, and style categories!

  • Alesong Brewing & Blending, Bronze, Touch of Brett: Mosaic (Brett Beer)
  • Base Camp Brewing Co., Gold, Rye Saison (Specialty Saison)
  • Breakside Brewery
    • Bronze, Breakside Rye Curious? (Rye Beer)
    • Bronze, Breakside IPA (American-Style IPA)
    • Bronze, Breakside Stay West (American-Style Strong Pale Ale)
    • Bronze, Breakside Passionfuit Sour Ale (Fruited American-Style Sour Ale)
  • Coldfire Brewing, Silver, St. James (Double Red Ale)
  • Elk Horn Brewery, Bronze, Lemon Pils (American-Style or International-Style Pilsener)
  • Full Sail Brewing, Silver, Sesión Cerveza (American-Style or International-Style Pilsener)
  • Flat Tail Brewing Co., Gold, DAM Wild: Hops and Lemon Verbena, (American-Style Sour Ale)
  • GoodLife Brewing Co., Gold, Sweet As Pacific Ale (American-Style Wheat Beer)
  • Groundbreaker Brewing, Gold, Dark Ale (Gluten-Free Beer)
  • Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, Silver, ZuurPruim (Belgian-Style Fruit Beer)
  • Sunriver Brewing
    • Gold, Fuzztail, (American-Style Wheat Beer with Yeast)
    • Gold, Cinder Beast, (Imperial Red Ale)
    • Small Brewing Company of the Year
  • Three Creeks Brewing Co., Bronze, Stonefly Session Ale (Session Beer)
  • Zoiglhaus Brewing Co., Gold, Zoigl-Pils (German-Style Pilsener)

Sunriver Brewing Co. had a very impressive showing this year by earning two gold medals and the prestigious Small Brewing Company of the Year award! Breakside Brewery won the most overall medals (4 bronze). Groundbreaker Brewing won gold for the 2nd year in a row with Dark Ale. Alesong Brewing & Blending medaled for the 2nd year in a row in the Brett category with their Touch of Brett series.

For a complete list of winners, take a look at the PDF file of 2017 Great American Beer Festival award winners. For a look back at last year's GABF award winners, click here.

Congrats to all of these breweries and thanks for making world-class beer for our enjoyment! I happen to have two award winners in my beer fridge. I think I'll crack them open to toast all of our amazing Oregon breweries!


Two Oregon GABF Awards Winning Beers from my Beer Fridge





Follow this blog on 
TwitterInstagramor Facebook


Full Sail Releases Session EZ IPA and Blood Orange Wheat Ale


Full Sail Brewing Co. just announced the launch of Session EZ IPA, an unfiltered IPA with citrus and tropical notes. In addition, they also revealed that Blood Orange Wheat Ale will now be available year-round in 12 oz. cans.

I profiled Blood Orange Wheat Ale when it was first released in May 2016. Here are my original tasting notes:

"Golden in color, hazy, with a white head that dissipates slowly. Bright orange pops immediately in the aroma. Light herbal and grassy notes are also present. The taste starts with tangy wheat, with orange flavor emerging in the middle.  Hop bitterness, mostly herbal, is low. It's light bodied and softly carbonated. It finishes with a touch of pithy orange. Alcohol is not noticeable in aroma or taste. At 5.2% ABV, this is essentially a session beer, and a great choice for summer. I like that it has fruit aroma and flavor, but is subtle and not overwhelming."

For more details about EZ IPA and Blood Orange Wheat Ale, check out the news releases below.


Follow this blog on 
TwitterInstagramor Facebook





New Session EZ IPA is Everything You Always Wanted in an IPA
Life’s hard enough. Your beer should be EZ.

Hood River, Oregon – Full Sail Brewing Co. announced the release of Session EZ IPA, the newest member of the Session family of beers. It’s everything you always wanted in an IPA, only less. Wait. Less? You got that right. It’s an unfiltered IPA with all the aromatic hops, fruit notes and citrus vibe that you and your taste buds desire – minus the mouth-puckering bitterness or the high-octane ABV. After all, it’s not called EZ for nothing.

“Our IPAs are always well received, but we’re not ones to rest on our laurels, or on our hops for that matter,” says Full Sail Brewmaster Jim Kelter. “New Session EZ IPA is a well-balanced, easy-drinking beer that’s not bitter, while fully packed with tropical and citrus aromas.” 

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 over 100 medals, including 58 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. Drinking shouldn’t be hard. We’ve made it EZ. Session EZ IPA is available year-round on draft and in 6-packs and 12-packs. 4.8% ABV, 35 IBUs.



Now in Cans: Full Sail Blood Orange Wheat Ale
Blood orange provides a delicate flavor in this refreshing wheat beer with a twist

Hood River, Oregon – Meeting a demand for quality craft brew in cans, Full Sail Brewing Co. is pleased to announce that refreshing Blood Orange Wheat Ale is now available in 12 oz. aluminum cans. “Blood Orange Wheat Ale became the favorite of many when we added it to our rotating Pub Series last year, so now we’re thrilled to brew it year-round in 12 oz. cans,” says Full Sail Brewmaster Jim Kelter.

If you already love Full Sail Blood Orange Wheat, you’re not alone – this brew brought home gold medals from the 2016 World Beer Awards and the 2017 World Beer Championships. Brewed with 2-Row Northwest Pale, malted and unmalted wheat, and a hint of citrus, this beer has a medium malt body with subtle orange and a crisp wheat finish.

Blood Orange Wheat Ale pairs well with mayonnaise-based salad, fruit salad, fresh seafood, smoked Gouda and soft cheeses like triple crème Brie, chèvre, and mascarpone, meringue desserts, and of course it tastes great on its own. Bring your Blood Orange Wheat Ale to the coast, the trail, and anywhere else bottles aren’t the best. Full Sail Blood Orange Wheat Ale is now available year-round in aluminum, 12 oz. cans in 6-packs and draft. 5.2% 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 peak 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 more than 200 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.

NW Beer Festival Calendar: Take Two


In late 2017 and early 2018, I created a Beerfest Calendar page.  Once summer hit, the number of beer fests rapidly grew and my inefficient method of updating the calendar became unmanageable. So I stopped updating it. Bad me...

But fear not, I've figured out a better way! I will now use a Google calendar that is superior in several ways. First, it's easier for me to keep it updated in real-time. Second, it will allow me to share a quick summary as well as complete event details within the calendar. Finally, it will enable you to easily add items to your personal calendar with the click of a button.

To view the calendar, click on my blog's NW Beer Festival Calendar  tab. You'll then see an actual calendar instead of a list I used to use. Click on the event name to see a summary as well as a link to the event website.

Calendar view

If you click the Agenda tab, you'll see the events in list form. Again, click on the event name for more details.

Agenda option
While summer beer fests are over, you'll see that there are a lot of great events planned for fall. Check 'em out!

I hope this calendar will be helpful as plan your beer adventures. I'd really appreciate your feedback on how I can improve this calendar!

Finally, feel free to send me details (info@notsoprofessionalbeer.com) for any NW Beer Festivals, and I'll be happy to add it to the calendar. Cheers!


Follow this blog on 
TwitterInstagramor Facebook