Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Oregon Craft Beer by the Numbers


In a Changing Craft Beer Climate, Oregon Drinkers Continue to Support Their Local Brewers

PORTLAND, Ore. (April 19, 2017) — Today, the Oregon Brewers Guild released their annual numbers report for 2016. Overall, Oregon is seeing strong growth in employment and brewing company numbers, while production numbers and sales continue to hold strong and steady. Oregonians are drinking more Oregon beer. Beer consumption increased in 2016, with 23.3 percent of the 3.04 million barrels of all beer (both bottled and draft) consumed in the state were made in Oregon. 707,000 barrels of beer consumed by Oregonians in 2016 were made by an Oregon brewery, an 8.7 percent increase from 2015.

Oregon draft beer consumption stole an even larger market share, with Oregon breweries producing an estimated 64.9 percent of all draft beer consumed in the state. Barrel production in the state increased by 4.8 percent in 2016, coming in at a grand total of 1,782,000 barrels. More beer meant more people, with approximately 369,000 people visiting an Oregon brewery, pub, or tasting room on a weekly basis, or approximately 19,000,000 total visitors in 2016.
The Oregon brewing industry continues to support job growth in the state, employing roughly 31,000 Oregonians directly and indirectly, and contributing $4.49 billion to the state’s economy. Oregon’s brewing establishments employed 9,453 people in 2016 according to Damon Runberg, Economist with the Oregon Employment Department. Runberg says:
The job growth rate of 8.3 percent over the past the year is really impressive given that statewide total nonfarm growth during the same period was only 2.5 percent. The craft beer industry added around 1,340 jobs over the past two years, a growth of nearly 22 percent, which compares to a growth of 6.3 percent for total nonfarm growth during the same period. The count of jobs is an underestimate of the total employment impact, as newer brewing establishments and small owner-operated breweries are not included in the total count. The 2016 numbers are provided by the Oregon Employment Department using payroll tax records.

Hops also contribute largely to the Oregon economy. As the second largest hop growing state in the country, Oregon had a 2016 crop value of $34,564,000. Oregon’s 230 breweries continue to support their local economies and communities donating an estimated $3,000,000 to non-profits in 2016.

“Oregon is a consistent leader in the U.S. for craft beer whether it’s the number of breweries per capita, the percentage of dollars spent on craft beer, or the economic impact per capita by Oregon’s breweries,” says Brian Butenschoen, executive director of the Oregon Brewers Guild. “We continue to see an increase in the amount of manufacturing and service jobs added in the state and we saw Oregon breweries increase their export sales by 25.6 percent (650,000 case equivalents) in 2016. Oregon’s craft brewers sold a total of 1.075 million barrels in the U.S. and around the world last year, including barrels shipped to five Canadian provinces and 37 different countries.”

As of December 31, 2016 the state had 230 brewing companies operating 261 brewing facilities in 73 cities across the state, an increase of 15 brewing facilities in 2016.

Brewery count by city and region:

70 in Portland — 105 in the Portland Metro Area
14 in Eugene — 45 in the Willamette Valley
26 in Bend — 36 in Central Oregon
6 in Astoria — 27 on The Coast
6 in Medford — 24 in Southern Oregon
5 in Hood River — 12 in Mt. Hood/The Gorge
2 in Baker City + Ontario — 12 in Eastern Oregon

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About The Oregon Brewers Guild
The Oregon Brewers Guild is Oregon’s non-profit trade association for the state’s independent breweries. The Guild, which receives no state funding, comprises 160 brewing companies, 125 associate or supplier members and nearly 4,000 enthusiast members or S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer). For more information, see

Monday, April 3, 2017

From the City of Roses and the City of Beer Festivals Comes “CITY OF GOSES” May 27 & 28


LABrewatory Hosts World’s Largest Celebration of Sour, Salted Beers

Beervana, OR, April 3, 2017 – CITY of GOSES, the largest and possibly first celebration strictly dedicated to gose-style beers is also the Portland Rose Festival’s first sanctioned beer fest. The two-day event held over Memorial Day weekend will feature 30 goses from Saxony to Stumptown. From über traditional versions on this salty, sour beer including imports from its source in Leipzig, Germany to takes from around Portland and across the globe, CITY of GOSES may require returning both days to fully enjoy the gamut gose has to offer. The fest takes place three blocks from the Albina/Mississippi Max station just one stop north of the Gose Quarter, er, Rose Quarter at LABrewatory (670 N. Russell St.). The event is Saturday and Sunday, May 27-28 from 1 - 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the gate. Tickets are available now at .

Nearly one year ago, New Zealand native and Portland staple John Lovegrove texted pun-loving event-producer Brian Yaeger. The note read, "Brace yourself...The City of Goses...That totally has a Brian Yaeger Presents feel about it." Yep. In a world where sour beers are increasingly sought after, lower-alcohol session ales have a foothold, and warmer weather always calls for the most refreshing beer, it’s no surprise today’s craft brewers are exploring gose (pronounced gose-uh). This wheat ale brewed with salt, coriander, and tart lactic acid originated between the 12th and 15th centuries in Goslar in Lower Saxony though it’s identified mostly with Leipzig in Saxony. Each participating brewery delivers a distinct spin via selected salts and additional ingredients.

Admission includes a souvenir glass and additional tasting tickets will be available for $1 each. With one exception, all beers will be one (1) ticket per four-ounce sample and four (4) tickets for a 14-ounce pour. Samples from the last keg on Earth of Cascade Brewing’s 2010 Summer Gose, will be two (2) tickets and not available as a full pour. LABrewatory will have a selection of non-gose house beers available as well.

The mostly Portland line-up includes: Baerlic, Burnside, Cascade, Coalition (featuring hemp extracted CBD), The Commons, Culmination, Deschutes-PDX, Ecliptic, Great Notion, Hopworks, Little Beast, Occidental (Germanic brewery’s first solo foray into German-style sour beer), Rogue, Stormbreaker, Widmer Bros., and Zoiglhaus (where braumeister Alan Taylor brews the original recipe from Goslar and has trained in Leipzig). Host brewery LABrewatory will have a collaboration with Cerveza Loba in Portland Sister City Guadalajara.

Some of the breweries from beyond the City of Roses include four from California—Anderson Valley, Bruery Terreux (getting into the spirit with a gose featuring rose petals, rose hips, and rose water), Modern Times, and Sierra Nevada—plus the GABF gold medal winning gose from Reuben's in Seattle, Oedipus (from Amsterdam), and naturally, Ritterguts the traditional classic imported from Leipzig.

CITY of GOSES is all-ages event. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Caldera, the Portland arts organization that serves as a catalyst for the transformation of underserved youth through art and environmental programs.

Pertinent links: Ticketing ($15 online, $20 at the gate.)
Twitter: @The_CityOfGoses
Visit LABrewatory online at or, y’know, in person at 670 N. Russell St.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

4th Annual Cider Rite of Spring - Saturday, March 25th


Sample over 100 unique ciders from 30+ Northwest cider-makers at the 2017 Cider Rite of Spring! Presented by Square Mile Cider.

Saturday, March 25, 12-6pm

The 4th Annual Cider Rite of Spring is a celebration of the blossoming Northwest Cider industry— a cider-exclusive festival welcoming the return of Spring. This year will be hosted in the beautifully renovated historic event space, The Evergreen in SE Portland, in partnership with Loyal Legion.

$25 General Admission includes a keepsake tasting glass and 8 drink tickets. VIP tickets available for the first time in 2017, including special ciders and cheese pairings.

CLICK HERE to buy tickets.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Cider Riot! - Plastic Paddy Irish Style Cider

Irish I had more cider!
Friday is St. Patrick's Day, that most contrived of American holidays--that's right, it's an American holiday, albeit with some traditional Irish roots. It started out as a somber religious celebration honoring St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland. Since the holiday's popularization here in the United States--where more than 33 million people now claim Irish ancestry--March 17th has lost any religious connotation and is now pretty much just a secular excuse to PARTAY! WOOOHOOOO!

Thus, on Friday, we will be subjected to endless construction paper shamrocks, green hats, and countless insipid drunks putting on the most attrocious Irish brogues. "Top o' the MORNIN' to ya!" Ugh, just shoot me now.

Of course, the most heinous St. Patrick's Day tradition is green beer. Ack! Seriously? Cheap beer colored green with copious amounts of unnatural dye that may or may not be carcinagenic, depending on who you ask? I don't know about you, but that's not how I like to imbibe. In any case, green beer is disgusting and should be avoided at all cost. Hey, in the very least, it'll turn your poo green... I'm just sayin'.

Gratefully, Portland's own Cider Riot! has brought back their Plastic Paddy Irish Style Cider just in time for St. Patrick's Day. This cider is owner and cidermaker Abram Goldman-Armstrong's homage to the bootleg cider he fremented in his dorm while attending college in Ireland. (I read all about it on the Cider Riot! website.) Plastic Paddy comes in a party-appropriate 2 liter flagon and has an ABV ringing in at 6%. It's infused with Irish tea to add the tannins that are absent in the Hood River apples used to make it. (Lots of information on that website.)

This St. Paddy's Day, I'm making a modest proposal that we refrain from swilling down green beer and drink Plastic Paddy instead! (It's PADDY not PATTY, by the way. Remember that and the ghost of my sainted Irish grandmother won't come back down to earth and smack you upside your head with her hymnal.) This cider is delightfully easy to drink. Pleasantly dry. The tea flavor is subtle and I really like it.

I picked up my 2 liter bottle at Green Zebra in Lloyd Center, should you have a hankering to stock up before Friday. I highly recommend that you do!


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Lombard House - The Biggest Little Taproom In Portland

Owner and Tapmaster Brian Koch pours
his heart and soul into Lombard House.
I'm always on the lookout for the quintessential neighborhood bar. You know the place: a friendly, cozy, tidy spot where you can drop in for a beer and the guy manning the taps remembers your gruesome mug, gives you a welcoming wave and calls you by name the minute you walk inside. The kind of place where nobody is trying to impress anybody. The kind of place where the genial attitude is pleasantly punctuated by an abbreviated but expertly curated taplist that is always on point and never disappoints. The kind of place where you can mount a bar stool and feel the tensions of the cruel world instantly melt off your shoulders while you sip on a fine craft beer.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. "Come on. Wolf, that place doesn't exist." Well, my Doubting Thomas of a friend, I'm here tonight to tell you that it does exist--in St. John's.

Lombard House is just such a bar. It's a tiny spot to be sure. True to its name, it's a converted house...on N Lombard Street. The compact size reminds me of my own little Shotgun Shack--the private speakeasy of Your's Truly. It feels like you're in someone's cozy living room because I'm fairly certain that the interior seating area WAS someone's living room at one time. However, even with the compact size, the room doesn't feel cramped. There's an open wood beam ceiling and the interior noise is minimal, even with a semi-full house. It's easy to carry on a conversation without shouting, which is always a big plus in my book.

The cozy interior of Lombard House.
Behind the bar, you'll find ten taps that owner Brian Koch rotates with an eclectic selection of craft beer and cider that is guaranteed to please the palate of the indiscriminate novice and the initiated beer snob alike. Brian knows his wares and can give you as thorough a description and analysis of the beer he's pouring as you may desire. He's passionate about craft beer and it shows.

Make no mistake, under its genteel, neighborhood bar exterior, Lombard House is a serious craft beer bar. I drink a lot of beer--as if you didn't know that already--and it's rare that I'll find a beer on tap in this burg that I've never even heard of before. Lombard House has presented me with some delightful surprises each and every time I've visited.

No food is served but there is a fantastic food cart pod directly across the street where you can find just about any kind of victuals your little heart desires. Pick something up and bring it on over!

Lombard House is surrounded by a large outdoor patio and garden area that I imagine will be very pleasant to relax on once this bitter cold bummer of a Portland winter is over. (Oh, please, no more snow!) I cannot wait to visit when the weather is nice!

My kind of taplist: succinct and sublime.
Lombard House is located at 7337 N Lombard Street, Portland, Oregon 97203. Hours are from 2PM to 12AM Tuesday through Saturday. Sunday until 10PM.  Closed Mondays.