Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Lompoc Brewing Announces Its Annual Holiday Beer Extravaganza...

(graphic courtesy of Lompoc Brewing)
...Releases Eight Holiday Beers Including Portland’s Original Hanukkah Seasonal


PORTLAND, Ore. – Just as Santa has eight reindeer, so does Lompoc have eight different holiday beers, including one brewed for Hanukkah. The annual Lompoc Holiday Beer Extravaganza will celebrate the release of them all on Monday, November 30th, from 4 to 11PM at Sidebar, Lompoc’s barrel tasting room at 3901 N Williams Ave.

This year's lineup of holiday seasonals includes 8 Malty Nights, Blitzen, Brewdolph, C-Sons Greetings, Cherry Christmas, Jolly Bock, Old Tavern Rat and Whores & Amateurs. A detailed description of each beer is provided below.

All beers will be available at the four other Lompoc pubs beginning Dec. 2, including Lompoc Tavern on NW 23rd Ave, Oaks Bottom Public House on SE Bybee Blvd, Hedge House on SE Division St, and Fifth Quadrant on N Failing and Williams. C-sons Greetings is also available in 22 ounce bottles.

Oregon Live recently did a blind taste test of 20 Oregon-brewed winter beers, and the top pick was C-Son’s Greetings. According to the posting, the panel found the beer “reasonably hearty and able to stand up to winter’s chill without burning too hot with spruce, pine and dried fruit characteristics.” Another voter noted, “It’s like an IPA and a winter ale had a baby.” (http://www.oregonlive.com/beer/index.ssf/2015/11/holiday_ale_taste-test_ranking.html)

About Lompoc Brewing

A long-time Portland craft beer fixture established in 1996, Lompoc (pronounced Lom-Pock, not Lom-Poke) creates seven flavorful year-round beers, plus a ridiculous number of seasonals. You can find Lompoc in 22 oz 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!


8 MALTY NIGHTSDark brown in color and lightly hopped with English style hops, this chocolate rye beer features a roasted chocolate flavor and a sweet finish. Raise a glass and toast l’chaim to Portland’s first Hanukkah seasonal. 6.5% ABV

BLITZENA bright straw colored holiday favorite, Blitzen is dry-hopped with Centennial hops, dried lemon peel and coriander. The hops and lemon peel combine for a citrusy aroma and flavor while the coriander gives a slight spice at the back end. 4.6% ABV

BREWDOLPHThis Belgian style red ale features a malty and creamy body. Brewed with the Belgian Ardennes yeast strain, it boasts a mild fruitiness and a spicy clove character. 7.7% ABV

C-SONS GREETINGSBrewed and dry-hopped with all seven “C” hops, this beer features a deep copper color with a piney, citrusy, floral and resinous aroma. A rich, caramel malt finish and an endless developing hop presence complement its full hop flavor. 8.0% ABV

CHERRY CHRISTMASThis red ale was aged for two years in Maryhill Winery Merlot barrels on 45 pounds of sour cherries. It has a malty body,  a strong oak aroma with hints of cherries, and finishes tart. 6.2% ABV

JOLLY BOCKThis lager was brewed with a generous amount of Munich malt to develop the deep amber color and rich malt flavor. The malty flavor is balanced with a spicy hop bitterness. 7.3% ABV

OLD TAVERN RAT: This dark amber-colored barleywine was aged for almost a year prior to its release. It has a strong bitterness that is balanced by the sweetness of caramel and toffee flavors. 9.4% ABV

WHORES & AMATEURSAged in bourbon barrels for six months, this beer is not for the faint of heart. Brownish red in color, this winter warmer has a big malt presence with notes of oak, raisins, toffee and coffee. Ladies of the night and rookies should steer clear of this awesome beer. 6.5% ABV

Baerlic Brewing Co. Releases WoodWorker Iniquitous Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout

(graphic courtesy of
Baerlic Brewing, Co.)

PORTLAND, OREGON - Friday, December 4th at 2pm Baerlic Brewing Co. releases the newest beer in their WoodWorker barrel-aged bottle series, Woodworker Iniquitous Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout.

The Woodworker Iniquitous Imperial Stout weighs in at 8.5% ABV. This devilishly drinkable imperial stout bursts at the seams with bitter chocolate, bourbon spice and vanilla and finishes rich, roasty and dry.

Taproom Bottle Release Party

A taproom bottle release party will be on Friday, December 4th starting at 2 p.m. This party will include a special tapping of the WoodWorker Iniquitous at Baerlic’s Southeast Portland Taproom is located at 2235 SE 11th Ave.

Bottle and Draft Sales

A limited run of 500 ml bottles that are hand bottled, wax-dipped will go on sale for $12 each at 2 p.m. on Friday Dec 4th. Customers can purchase bottles to go with a 3 bottle limit per person. Woodworker Iniquitous Imperial Stout will also be available on draft.

The Beer Here is Near & Dear

Woodworker Iniquitous Imperial Stout is the Kentucky Bourbon barrel-aged version of Baerlic’s Iniquitous Imperial Stout – an amped-up version of the brewery’s year-round Noble Oatmeal Stout. The name, which means “grossly unfair and morally wrong,” refers to the fact that “It’s just not right that so much epic flavor should be packed into just one beer,” says brewery co-owner Ben Parsons.“ Adding six months aging in Elijah Craig Bourbon barrels, definitely pushes it deep into the dark side,” adds co-owner Rik Hall.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hollywood Beverage Filling Crowlers in NE PDX

Heretic Brewing's Evil Cousin
poured from a crowler
I know what you're thinking: "A crowler? What in the Sam-frickety-Hill is a crowler?"

That's what I thought, too. Perhaps a creepy devotee of creepy 20th Century occultist, Aleister Crowley? Hmmm...that would certainly be interesting, but that's not it. Thank the Great God Horus for Google! I was able to find out that a crowler is an aluminum can that is filled individually, like a growler at a taproom or fill station, using a special machine designed and created by Dixie Canner Co. Read all about this coolest piece of equipment by clicking HERE.

When I read on Facebook that my favorite liquor store slash craft beer emporium, Hollywood Beverage had just installed a crowler machine, I had to make a special trip over there to see for myself.

I ordered a 32 ounce crowler of Heretic Brewing Company's Evil Cousin Imperial IPA from the lovely tap selection at Hollywood Beverage. The beertender filled up the can and sealed that puppy up for me in a matter of minutes. Way cool!

What I truly appreciate about a crowler is that it provides yet another option for craft beer lovers to enjoy fresh from the tap beer at home, camping, picnicking, wherever. Note that I paid an extra $1.35 for the can, but that's a price worth paying to a beer-toting vessel that keeps out all taste-destroying sunlight and carbonation-wrecking oxygen. 

The crowler machine in action...
Unlike a glass growler, the aluminum can crowler can keep the beer inside nice and fresh for days, until it is opened. Pfffffff! Even left unopened, a traditional glass growler will only keep beer appropriately fresh for 24 hours in the fridge. I've wasted a lot of fine craft beer that way.

The cans are 100% recyclable and far easier to transport than a glass container. Aluminum cans are also easier to transport and chill much faster than glass.

I anticipate you will soon find a large number of crowlers hanging out in my fridge. It should be relatively easy to mark the contents on the side of the can with a grease pencil. I'm surprised nobody came up with this idea a long time ago.

You'll find Hollywood Beverage at 3028 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland, OR 97321. HERE IS a link to their current tap list.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

2015 Beer Guy PDX Holiday Gift Guide, Part Two

It's a beautiful, crisp, sunny day in Portland. I just finished cleaning the remnants of my 2015 hops bines off my deck. That was a gooey, soggy mess. What to do next? I know! I'll finish my Christmas shopping! Presenting part dos of my anxiously anticipated, always appreciated Holiday Gift Guide. If you have a beer lover in your haus, I done did all the gift hunting for you. Hey, it's what I do. You're welcome!

(photo snagged from Bambeco.com)
First up, I found a very cool beer flight set from Bambeco. This stylish set of five flight glasses and taster tray is made entirely from recycled materials. The glasses are made from reclaimed wine cooler bottles and the tray is a repurposed wine barrel stave. The result is a unique and elegant flight that will impress your guests for years to come.

Portland 5 Beer Flight - Clear is priced very reasonably at $55, considering that each set is handmade right here in the U.S. of A. Click HERE for ordering information.

(photo linked from Portland
Growler Co.)
While we're on the subject of gift items handmade in the U.S. of A., here's one handcrafted right here in the best damn beer burg in the world, Portland, Oregon! Behold the latest from Portland Growler Company. These ceramic growlers are awesome. They come in a variety of styles and colors, but the gloss red is totally new and even more awesomer. (Man, I'm making my grammar checker freak out today!) 

I'm thinking there may be one or two beer-lovin' ladies out there who would LOVE to own a growler that matches her lipstick. My wife says these jugs provide a stylish panache that you don't typically find in a beer receptacle. It's a growler AND a fashion accessory! 

The gloss red growlers cost a little more because the glaze requires the precious metal cadmium to get that bright red color. I've seen these in person at a recent beer festival, and they are about a red as red can get. What a beautiful piece of pottery. You should own one...

The Loop / Gloss Red / 64 oz. Growler costs $79.00. Click HERE for more info.

(photo link snatched from
Gigantic Brewing)
Okay, it looks like I'm sticking close to home with my Christmas shopping this year. I've got another Portland-grown gift idea for you. How about a little label art to adorn the walls of your Beer-loved's man or lady cave?

Portland's Gigantic Brewing Company puts out some mighty fine beers, but their label art is amazing, too. Lucky you! They sell both!

Gigantic's labels are all designed by different artists. The artists are given complete artist freedom, which has resulted in some of the most amazing label art ever created. I'll admit it, whenever Gigantic puts out a new beer, I'm almost as excited to see what's on the outside of the bottle as I am to drink what's on the inside.

16 X 20 inch, high quality posters are available of a large number of label designs. They cost $60 each. Click HERE to check them all out.

(photo link from Things Remembered)
Wouldn't be cool if your Beer-loved could drink a beer out of a glass engraved with his/her very own, personal beer motto? You know, something like:


Whoa! How awesome would that be? I just got chills imagining it.

Well, you don't have to imagine it, Janet! You can get a set for four Spiegelau craft beer glasses, all engraved with whatever you want: name, initials, or previously aforementioned beer motto.

The set comes with the Spiegelau IPA glass, a stemmed glass, a pilsner glass and a hefe glass. That should cover just about all of your gift recipient's craft beer vessel needs. The price is $55, plus the cost for personalization of EACH glass, so this gift can be a bit Spendy McSpenderson, if you lack an economy of words. Still, it's a pretty cool gift.

The Personalized Spiegelau Craft Beer Tasting Kit is available from Things Remembered. Click HERE for ordering information.

(image snagged from Amazon)
I'm going to brag a little bit here. Sorry. Gotta do it. Given my consistent butchery of the English language in this little ol' beer blog, you would probably be surprised to hear that my son--the fruit my lions, the off of my spring--was recently appointed the newest Associate Professor of English at his mother's alma mater. How cool is that? I'm such a proud papa.

I was also quite touched when my boy told me that his appreciation for literature began when I would tuck him into bed each night and read him a bedtime story. That brought a little tear to my eye, especially considering that those stories were not always...let's just say "age appropriate" and leave it there.

I have no doubt that if the children's book parody Goodnight Brew had been around when my son was two, it would have been a regular in the bedtime story line-up. Hey! I have two granddaughters! I'm ordering this one ASAP!

Goodnight Brew is available in hardcover at Amazon for $12.58. Shipping is free with Amazon Prime. Click HERE to order.

Finally, a couple of stocking stuffers:

(image from
Even at age 50-zillion, I still like to find my stocking stuffed full of tasty goodies on Christmas morning. Hey! Here's a tip for you youngsters: don't forget about ol' pop's stocking! He's probably the guy who stuffed himself into that moth-eaten Santa suit every year, just to give you some extra holiday delights. He might not say anything, but if he wanders out into the living room on X-mas morn and finds that sock dangling there on the mantle limp and empty, his crusty heart will be breaking on the inside. On the INSIDE!

Feeling guilty, yet, you little bast*rds? Yeah, I hope so. Try to rectify your ungrateful oversights of Christmas Past and get your dad something for his stocking. You can start with these beer-flavored jelly beans! Honestly, that sounds just awful. Ack! But, in this situation, it really is the thought that counts.

A 1.75 ounce, beer can tin of Jelly Belly Draft Beer jelly beans sells for $10.03 on Amazon, with free shipping. Click HERE to order.

(image snagged from High Hoppage)
Stickers! What self-respecting beer lover doesn't want to cover every square inch of his/her bumper with beer stickers? Heck, I'd cover the fridge with stickers, if Mrs. BeerGuyPDX would allow it...but she won't. Something about not wanting to live in a frat house...blah, blah, blah...

These cool oval stickers are available at High Hoppage for only two bucks each. Yes, you will find the HOP and the IPA stickers decorating that rear windshield of the BeerGuyPDX mobile--right next to the Cascadian flag.

Click HERE to order the stickers and peruse some of the other unique beer-related items at High Hoppage.

Check out the gift items on my 2015 Beer Guy PDX Holiday Gift Guide, Part One.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

McMenamins Breweries - Kris Kringle Traditional Yuletide Ale 2015

'Tis the seasonal...
The holiday season is always a special time of year, but it is absolutely awesome in Portland, Oregon. Why? Well, if you know anything about me, you know that it's all about the beer. Oregon craft beer lovers absolutely revel in the releases of a multitude of highly anticipated seasonal, winter/holiday brews. There are so many! Quite a few are showcased at my favorite beer festival of all time: The Holiday Ale Fest. Oh, I can't wait!

One tasty, tasty holiday brew that I'm always anxious the get my lips on makes its appearance with very little fanfare. It's also available for a very limited time. I'm talking about McMenamins Breweries' Kris Kringle Traditional Yuletide Ale. This beer is only available at McMenamins locations from November 13th through December 25th. That's a mighty short window to get a pint of a dang delicious beer.

Here's what the McMenamins website says about the Kringle:

Just in time for the holidays, November 13th marks the release of this year’s McMenamins Traditional Yuletide Ale, Kris Kringle. The busy-as-elves McMenamins brewers have created another wonderful gift for your taste buds this holiday season. The 2015 version of Kris Kringle is a hearty and robust ale with a big and bold malt complexity as well as an intense and flavorful hop profile. This “winter warmer” highlights the rich, toasty, aromatic and chocolaty malt flavors as its very sturdy foundation. Generous amounts of two different hop varieties were added in five different additions, which delivers a magnificent and massive hop assault. There’s still some ginger and cinnamon added into the batch but the spices are a little more subdued than in years’ past. McMenamins brewers hope you enjoy this years’ version of our old Holiday favorite, Kris Kringle. Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year! 
Malts: Pale Ale, Munich, Wheat, 15L & 120L Crystal, Chocolate Hops: Centennial, Cascade 
OG: 1.068 TG: 1.015 ABV: 6.84% IBU: 76 SRM: 15
Buzz Words: Robust, Hoppy, Festive
I must say that the 2015 version of Kris Kringle is  probably the best I can remember. Delicious. I'm absolutely getting a growler fill of this brew before Christmas. You should, too! I'm giving the 2015 version of Kris Kringle a BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4.