Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Willamette Week's 4th Annual Beer Pro/Am


31 Homebrewer + Pro Brewer Teams to Debut New Brews at Willamette Week’s 4th Annual Beer Pro/Am

Portland, Ore. -- Craft beer enthusiasts, get ready! On Saturday, October 15, 31 teams of one homebrewer and one professional brewer will reveal experimental beers and vie for your vote at Willamette Week’s 4th Annual Beer Pro/Am. Only 500 tickets are available to Portland’s original home/pro brewer collaboration event, happening at The North Warehouse (723 N Tillamook Street, Portland) from Noon to 6 p.m. for guests 21+.

“Beer Pro/Am has found its stride,” says Steph Barnhart, Willamette Week’s events and marketing manager. “After three years of having new homes, we’re excited to return to The North Warehouse, repeat our sell out crowd and offer 30 percent more beers. There is no other beer festival like this.”

Tickets range from $10 (designated driver) to a $55 “Super Rare” VIP Experience ticket, which allows guests one full hour of tasting where the brewer to guest ratio is 1:1. Translation: no lines and plenty of time to nerd out about simcoe hops, CBD infused IPAs or lavendar lagers. The general admission ticket is $25 and includes 31 three-ounce tastes, a commemorative pint glass and Brewvana pretzel necklace.

Food is provided by food carts PDX Sliders and Thrive Pacific NW. DJ Short Change brings the beats and more than a dozen additional vendors will be onsite, including: Bailey’s Taproom, Brewed Oregon, Brewvana, Digital Pour, Fairlane Coffee, Girls Pint Out, Good IV, Green Mountain Energy, Hidden Rose Tattoo, Kettle Brand Chips, Krave Jerky, Muv Training, Nature Commode, Sasquatch Sauces, SUM Architecture and Design, Wailua Shave Ice, Zythos Project and more TBA.

A full beer list is attached on the second page. Participating breweries include: 54-40, Baerlic, Breakside, Bridgeport, Burnside, Coalition, Culmination, Dean’s Scene, Drinking Horse Beer, Edgefield (McMenamins), Ex Novo, Fat Heads, Feckin, Fort George, Great Notion, Laurelwood, Lompoc, Montavilla, Ordnance, Pints, Rogue, The Oregon Mead & Cider Company, Sasquatch, Swift Cider, Three Mugs, Trusty, Unicorn, Uptown Market, Vanguard, Widmer and Zoiglhaus.

Tickets, home brewer roster and more information available at wweek.com/beerproam.


54-40 Brewing Company with Brett Wendorf
Liberty INXS | India Pale Lager | Over 17 pounds of freshly picked Liberty hops per barrel went into this hoppy lager. Our home-brewer extraordinaire developed the grist bill with a smidge of Munich and light crystal malt. This is what you need, we'll give you what you need.

Baerlic Brewing Company with Jarett Creason/ John Moore
Peel the Bern! "Make America Wheat Again!" | Imperial Wheat Imperial American Wheat ale with tangerine and orange peel fermented in a Bernheim Wheat Whiskey barrel.

Breakside Brewery with Ritch Marvin
TBA | Sour Witbier with Ginger and Kumquat | A tart farmhouse wheat ale brewed with a mixed culture of Saccharomyces and Lactobacillus. Spicy notes of fresh ginger and juicy kumquat balance the yeast and acid profiles in this refreshing quaffer.

BridgePort Brewpub with Dean Ehnes
Hop-Podge IPA | Autumnal IPA

Burnside Brewing with Jenn McPoland + Jeremie Landers
Fleur de CremE | Layered American 'Cream Ale' | Base layer: Pilsner malt and a touch of corn / Second layer: Bob's Red Mill rolled oats and wheat for added fluffiness and creaminess / Third Layer: Lactose for a bit of sweet creaminess and depth / Top Layer: Conditioned with Madagascar vanilla beans, soft and sweet, bring a subtle sweet flavor and aroma that is delicately balanced by French lavender (locally foraged by many of our beer hunter-gatherer friends in Portland).

Coalition with Parker and Jon Hall Bretta Persica
100% brett fermented IPA aged on necatrines Bretta Persica is a uniquely delicious creation. The base beer begins as an IPA, with galaxy and equinox hops providing tropical and citrus notes. This base is fermented with brettanomyces, a wild yeast which contributes a pleasantly dry finish and notes of fruit, funk, and farmhouse. Nectarines, a.k.a. Prunus Persica, are added mid-fermentation, adding delightful fruit notes that intermingle with the tropical hops and fermentation esters. Highly drinkable, unique, and all around delicious!

Culmination Brewing with Bill Schneller
The Trumpet Major | Modern interpretation of traditional Burton Old Ale with Brettanomyces Burton Old Ales were traditionally aged before release and many English strong ales were actually blends of fresh beer with older, barrel aged strong ales. These blended Old Ales had rich malt and fruity notes, but also had a vinous quality from the barrel aging with Brettanomyces. Our beer is a late 19th/early 20th century Burton Ale recipe blended with a barrel-aged strong ale that had Brettanomyes added. It has the strong, rich malt backbone with fruity and vinous notes from Brettanomyces and finishes with assertive bitterness that balances the malt richness.

Drinking Horse Brewing Company with Enrique "Ricky" Mendez
Ale Be Quirky | Hefeweizen Hefeweisen with mango, lime and habenaro.

Edgefield (McMenamins) with Mike Marsh
Sorcerer’s Apprentice | Nectarine Brett Pale 350 pounds of roasted Fantasia nectarines, Imperial Yeast’s Suburban Brett, 8 Hogshead whiskey barrels, Mike Marsh’s ingenuity and Edgefield Brewery’s know-how have combined to create a funky, lightly fruity, Brett primary fermented beer that spent its whole life in oak barrels.

Ex Novo Brewing Company with Jack Hall
It Burns When IPa | Jalapeño Cream Ale Spicy, smooth, and fruity. Cream ale brewed with Jalapeños and tropical fruity hops!

Fat Head's Brewery with Will Minderhout
Roll Tide Rye IPA | Red Rye IPA | The winningest beer made by the best coach in the business. Ready to take another National Championship. IPA with smooth red malt character balanced by dry, spicy rye malt and finishes with tropical fruit aroma and flavors of grapefruit, mango and pine.

Feckin Irish Brewing Company with William McAullife
It's a Feckin Mermaid | Fresh Hop Rye IPA | A twist on Feckin IPA made with a blend of Rye and barley. Fresh hops of Crystal and a mystery hop give it the profile.

Fort George Brewery with Chris McNeel
The Doomed Rider | Wee Heavy | Full bodied malty Wee Heavy with notes of caramel and coffee (hand-roasted by the brewers). Fuggle hops add a woodsy taste of The Old Country.

Great Notion Brewing and Barrel House with Chad Graham
Amprosia | Saison | Amprosia is a saison fermented with a mixed culture of lacto, pedio and brett and aged in stainless steel with local chenin blanc and merlot grapes for two months.

Laurelwood Brewery with Aaron Cohen
Hellfest | German-Style Helles/ Fest Bier | Hellfest is made with German malt, hops and yeast. It is brewed as much like a German beer as Laurelwood's Brewery can pull off! This beer is somewhere between a GermanStyle Helles and Fest Bier. It is a light, clean, very sessionable, somewhat malty, rich, lager bier perfect for celebrating the fall harvest season. We hope you enjoy Hellfest, prost!

Lompoc Brewing with Kyle Kozlowski
Just Once, Think Twice... | Belgian Tripel | So, we made a tripel. But we added a bunch of hops to give it a nice citrus finish. Then we dry hopped with more hops and some blood orange puree, because that sounded cool. Then we introduced the beer to some brett since that seemed fun. It all adds up to a truly unique beer.

Montavilla Brew Works with Steve Carper
Ein Prosit! Festbier | Festbier | Inspired by the modern beers found in the tents of the original Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, Germany. Deep golden color, rich malt forward flavor well balanced by assertive additions of Hallertau Mittelfruh hops. Ein Prosit!

Ordnance Brewing with Chuck Macaluso
Goofy Oak IPA | Oaked IPA | Our homage to a turn of the century style. This English IPA was brewed and fermented on oak to imitate the trip eastward in an oaken barrel to it's final destination. To keep this tried and true style fresh, we threw in a little west coast flavor with some Willamette and Crystal hops. Here's to the journey!

Oregon Mead and Cider Company with Brewvana
I Mead You To Mead Me | Barrel Aged Dry Sparkling Mead | A delicate blend of fruit, spice and honey with highlights drawn from the barrel.

Rogue Ales with Tracy Hensley
Golden Oak | Pinot Gris Barrel Fermented and Aged Belgian Golden Strong Ale Local Lange Estate Winery invented barrel-fermented, New World, Pinot Gris. Fermented two months in Lange barrel; “Golden Oak” blends Pinot Gris’ bright, intricate flavors with Belgian Golden Strong Ale’s subtle complexity.

PINTS with Mo Wark
Zingiber | Ginger-Infused Pale Ale | Pickled sushi ginger and powdered ginger in the kettle, fresh ginger root in the fermentor. The vibrant flavor and aroma of ginger is what is on display. Zingiber utilizes a clean malt bill of American 2-row and C-15 malts with Columbus hops for bittering and Amarillo and El Dorado for the late hop additions. But it is really all about the ginger, let's be honest with each other.

Sasquatch Brewing Company with Mitch Steele
Dr. Filbert | Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale | Bold dark malts and a choice Belgian yeast give off sweet, spicy aromas and flavors up front with a finish of smooth, earthy nuttiness from hand-toasted local hazelnuts. You'll like this one. We aren't doctors, but you can trust us.

Swift Cider with Miranda Karson
Purple Rain | Cider Juice from Newtown Pippin apples / Brewer's Gold to please your brain / pureed Oregon black currants / funky brett fermented / into Purple Rain. Purple Rain, Purple Rain....

Three Mugs Brewing Company with Jeremy Speer
I Want Samoa Dat! | Milk STOUT W/Caramel, Chocolate, Coconut | The Girl Scouts are knocking at the door, but, instead of a box of cookies, they’re bringing you a delicious Samoa cookie in a glass. Rich and chocolaty; caramel and coconut: We used hundreds of caramel cubes, plus pounds of cacao nibs and shaved coconut. Take a bite…I bet you can’t drink just one.

Trusty Brewing Company with Matthew Fields
OMFUQ (Oh My Favorite Quad) | Belgian style Quadrupel | OMFUQ is a Belgian style Quadrupel brewed with massive variety of classic dark malts, pale malts and traditional Belgian candi sugar. Fermented with a derivative of Trappist yeast, this beer showcases an amalgam of complex flavors. The aroma is loaded with fruity esters of date fig and plumb intertwined with spicy phenolic clove notes and some hints of banana. No spices or fruit were used in its production yet its complex aroma begs to differ, a small amount warming alcohol notes eludes to its dangerous drinkability.

Unicorn Brewing Company with Kevin Smith
Miahnator | Doppelbock Lager | Mianator is a classic German doppelbock in every sense of the style. Though rich and full of malt complexity it is not cloyingly sweet or syrupy in its body, and has a gorgeous nut-brown color with blood-red highlights.

Uptown Market Brewery with Warren Holmes
TBA | Herb/Spiced Beer | Yerba Mate infused smoked wheat with lemon zest Vanguard Brewing Company with Jim Telles There Can Be Only One | Wee heavy Scottish ale A malty beer for those fall days. Our version is easy drinking with some lightly smoked flavors to accent the Marris Otter grain used in its production.

Widmer Brothers Brewing with Steve Munch
Munchensteiner Spezial | German Spezial | This Spezial came about when Steve and Dan miscalculated how efficient their garage homebrew helles batch would turn out, and decided not to water it down back to 5%. We are excited to bring this elegant lager to the table. A long and cold fermentation temperature brings out the clean and rich flavors of the german malts. The restrained level of hops and dryness of the finish lend a drinkability to this otherwise robust showcase of 'less is more'.

Zoiglhaus Brewing Company with Nick Roberts
It is what it is... | Fruit-infused Saison | What it is is a strawberry-infused black peppercorn saison. That pretty much sums it up.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Wayfinder Beer Opens This Week


Creators of Double Mountain Brewery, Sizzle Pie, and Podnah’s Pit Ready to Open Doors of New ‘Slightly Refined,’ Lager-Centric Brewery/Restaurant

PORTLAND, Ore. (Sept 26, 2016) — Wayfinder Beer, Portland’s long-anticipated, lager-focused brewery and restaurant, is opening its doors on October 1st, 2016. Wayfinder is the brainchild of Charlie Devereux (Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom), Matthew Jacobson (Sizzle Pie, Quality Bar, Relapse Records), and Rodney Muirhead (Podnah's Pit, La Taq), and sits in the heart of Portland's dynamic Central Eastside neighborhood. A hybrid of a German-style beer hall and a Northwest brewery/restaurant, Wayfinder will quench beer-lovers’ desire for craft beer — especially great lagers — and delicious, made-from-scratch pub fare.

Located in a beautifully renovated 100+ year-old former grain warehouse, Wayfinder will feature 110 seats indoors and an epic raised deck with capacity for an extra 100+ patrons outside. The bar's 16 taps will initially feature a mix of collaboration brews made with great local breweries (Baerlic, Breakside, Hopworks, 54° 40', Widmer), along with some well-curated guest beers. A 10-barrel brewing system will come online soon, with award-winning lager specialist Kevin Davey (Chuckanut, Firestone Walker, Gordon Biersch) at the helm. Celebrated mixologist Jacob Grier brings finesse and style to Wayfinder's cocktail program.

In the kitchen, Muirhead, Willamette Week's 2011 Restaurant of the Year Winner for Podnah's Pit, has designed a beer-friendly menu of fine American cuisine in his signature style: inventive yet gimmick-free, and executed to the highest standards. Sandwiches (think smoked prime rib with beer cheese; house-smoked pastrami), house-made sausages and pretzels, and a wide array of snacks dominate the all-day menu. In the evening, a custom wood-fired grill will deliver steaks, chicken, coal-roasted vegetables, and much more. "We make everything we can from scratch," says Muirhead.

For the founding partners, the opening of Wayfinder is the culmination of a long process of creation and discovery. "We're three entrepreneurs who came together to see what we can add to the Portland scene," remarks Devereux. "The space looks great and we can't wait to open the doors and welcome our great local audience."

# # #

About Wayfinder Beer Wayfinder Beer is an 8,900 square foot space featuring a 110-seat taproom, a 100+ seat outdoor deck and a 10-barrel brewing facility designed for up to 7,500 barrels of beer production per year. Located at 304 SE 2nd Avenue in Portland’s hot Central Eastside neighborhood, Wayfinder will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week. For more information about Wayfinder Beer, visit their website at www.wayfinder.beer.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Laurelwood Brewing Company - Hollywood Theatre 90th Anniversary Ale

Hooray for Hollywood!
I guess you could say this post is all about milestones. This just so happens to be my 500th beer review. (big deal) It's also about a special beer brewed to celebrate a monumental milestone for a very special Portland landmark. The beer I'm talking about is Laurelwood Brewing Company's Hollywood Theatre 90th Anniversary Ale.

The Hollywood Theatre is a fantastic place to see a movie. It's one of the few theaters in the country that still has a 70mm screen and was part of Tarantino's recent 70mm Roadshow for the debut of his blockbuster The Hateful Eight. The theater is run as a non-profit and it continues to be lovingly restored. The facade is spectacular--seriously, they just don't build 'em like that anymore. One of my favorite events at the Hollywood Theatre is their periodic presentation of Kung Fu Theater: a showing of an original, restored print of a classic Shaw Brothers Kung Fu flick. So awesome!

Portland's Laurelwood Brewing Company brewed this special golden ale to celebrate and commemorate the 90th birthday of the theater that is right down the street from their brewery. How is it? Let's find out. Lights! Cameras! ACTION!

The beer poured into my pint glass a clear, golden orange color with a thick, white head. The head rose up to a finger thick and dissipated at a moderate rate. Webs of lace were left behind, along with a thin cap of suds.

Aroma was sweet earthy malt with light, lemony hops in the background. Some light, yeasty, floral notes.

Taste followed the nose. The malt is the star in this beer. Sweet, robust, biscuity malt. Light, grassy, lemony hops. It's an easy drinker.

Thin to medium mouthfeel. Good carbonation. Semi-dry finish. No alcohol taste to this 5.1% ABV beer.

Overall, this is a nice, easy drinking ale that would definitely go well with a corndog, nachos or a slice of pepperoni pie. Not really my style, but I could see a lot of folks enjoying one at the theater, for sure. I'm giving Hollywood Theatre 90th Anniversary Ale a respectable BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Culmination Brewing Company - Phaedrus IPA

Inspired brewing...OR MADNESS?
I've known quite a few bar stool "philosophers". You know the guys I'm talking about; the more beer they drink, the more deep thoughts they spew. Well, they think they're spewing deep thoughts--often they're just spewing. Anyway, today's review is about a beer with a deep, philosophical name: Culmination Brewing Company's Phaedrus IPA.

They have an ancient Greek reference going on here. I'm talking about Plato's Phaedrus. I'm not going to pretend I know anything about the subject. Everything I know about ancient Greek philosophers I learned from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure:

Bill S. Preston, Socrates: "The only true wisdom consists of knowing you know nothing."
Ted Logan: "That's us, dude!"

Phaedrus IPA comes with an ABV of 6.7% and 55 IBU's. The label advises that Millennium, Galena, Simcoe, Mosaic and Citra hops went into the kettle. Dang! That's quite an "A" list of hops varieties there, I'll say! The label art reminds me of the motorcycle chase in that a-ha Take On Me video...I'm pretty sure that wasn't intentional. Anyway, let's get on to the review!

The beer poured into my glass a slightly hazy, golden, light orange color with a foamy, creamy, bright white head. The head rose up to more than a finger thick and dissipated slowly. A thin cap and light, webby lacing were left behind. Quite a lovely beer. See photo above.

Aroma was sweet caramel malt and loads of tropical fruit up front. Passion fruit, yuzu and pineapple. Tangerine. Floral notes.

Taste followed the nose. Boatloads of tropical fruit flavors. Respectable hops bitterness balanced well against the sweet caramel malt. Some spicy herbal notes. Citrus hops flavor was left on the palate at the end. Nice!

Medium mouthfeel. Good carbonation. Semi-dry finish with lingering, subtle flavors visiting the taste buds after every sip.

Overall, this is a fantastic IPA with enough flavor surprises to make it a stand out among the plethora of world class Portland IPA's. Phaedrus IPA is a keeper and--dare I say--divinely inspired. I'm forking over another perfect BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Baerlic Brewing Company - Invincible IPA

Maximum fortitude in a bottle?
Baerlic Brewing Company just recently started bottling their beer. That's a good thing. Not just because it represents a significant milestone for a great local brewery, but because I NEED to buy beer in readily available packaged form. (Yes, it's all about ME.) I must admit that I'm not so good about growlers and such. Honestly, I've tried every form of beer conveyance ever invented. My problem is that I'm a lazy, forgetful doofus. I can't tell you how many times I've wandered into a brewery or taproom and discovered that I left my growler at home on the kitchen table. Doh! I was never a Boy Scout, as my constant lack of preparedness fully demonstrates.

Yes, I do much better if a brewery has their goods waiting for me in a bottle or can to take home. It's even better if I can buy their beer at my favorite bottleshop, which is what happened recently when I spied bottles of Baerlic brews in the cold case at Hollywood Beverage. I plunked a bomber of Invincible IPA into my basket ASAP.

I've had Invincible IPA before at the Baerlic Brewing taproom. It's one of their flagship beers. Brewed with Nugget, Cascade, Chinook and Amarillo, it has some of my favorite hops in the mix. It comes with an ABV at 6.7% and a reasonable 65 IBU's. Let's get to the drinkin' and reviewin', shall we?

The beer poured into my glass a slightly hazy, golden orange color with a bit of a peachy hue when held up to the light. The creamy white head rose up to almost two fingers thick in my IPA glass and demonstrated some staying power. Clumps of foam and webby lacing were left behind all over the glass.

Aroma was exactly what you'd expect with this hops profile: orange and tangerine; light, resinous pine. Fresh floral notes in the background. Some tropical fruit. Sweet, caramel malt.

Taste delivered a respectable hops bitterness with the flavors of grapefruit and orange citrus. Light pine and tropical fruit. The initial hops bitterness faded quickly and let the malt flavor shine through. Some spicy, herbal notes. No alcohol taste observed. This is an easy drinker.

Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Dry finish with a good hops and malt balance left to please the palate at the end.

Overall, this is an excellent Northwest IPA that belongs in every Portlander's fridge. It delivers big flavor, has excellent hops/malt balance, and the price of admission is spot on. I honestly can't find a flaw. I would drink Invincible IPA any day, every day with zero reservations or complaints. I'm right on the edge between a 3 1/2 and a perfect 4 crushed can score. The Droolie is a given. My blind, ninja master beagle left droplets of drool all over the living room floor while I sipped it down. Okay, I'm going with the 4 because everybody should start bringing this beer home. I want to see those yellow recycling bins FILLED with empty bombers of Invincible IPA on trash day. Let's make it happen, PDX!