Thursday, July 30, 2015

Limited-Edition Lager Joins Portland Brewing’s Roster of Benefit Beers

(PRESS RELEASE)

Night Market Special Lager Celebrates Rose City’s Jade District

PORTLAND, ORE. (July 22, 2015) — Portland Brewing shines the spotlight on community, adding the Night Market Special Lager to its Guild’s Lake Series of neighborhood-focused beers. The unique, small-batch brews celebrate the Rose City’s collection of diverse and tight-knit communities, benefiting Portland one beer at a time.

The Night Market Special Lager honors the 2nd annual Jade International Night Market. The cultural event, hosted by the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), unfolds this August in SE Portland’s Jade District. The draft-only beer is an Asian-spiced lager brewed with lemongrass stalks, Kaffir lime leaves and ginger. It features Pilsner, Carapils and Munich 20 malts, along with Liberty hops. Citrus notes swirl as upfront aromas, while a subtle heat from the ginger rounds out the experience. “Inspired by the flavors and aromas of the rich food heritages throughout SE Asia, I created a light-bodied lager that is bright and refreshing,” explains Portland Brewing head brewer Ryan Pappe. “Crisp, lemony, spicy and quenching, I hope this beer is the perfect companion while exploring the sights, sounds and smells of the Night Market this August.” Portland Brewing is the exclusive beer sponsor of the Jade International Night Market. Todd Struble, Jade District Manager, is enthusiastic about the partnership, “We are thrilled to partner with Portland Brewing to highlight the Jade International Night Market. We love supporting Portland breweries and part of our event is to include Portland's vibrant beer culture with our community and visitors!” One-dollar of every pint sold at the two-day event goes right to APANO.

When: Saturday, August 15, 5:00pm – 10:00pm Saturday, August 22, 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Where: PCC SE Campus, 2305 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97216
What: FREE event featuring multi-ethnic food & retail vendors, multi-cultural stage performances, mini farmers market, kids activities and Portland Brewing beer garden.

The Night Market Special Lager is only available for a limited-time, and can be found at the Jade International Night Market, Portland Brewing’s Taproom, and select Portland-area bars and restaurants. It’s the third beer in the Guild’s Lake Series, with others in the works.

The Guild’s Lake Series derives its name from Guild’s Lake, a former wetlands in NW Portland where Portland Brewing is now located. These beers pull inspiration from the local community with one-dollar of the proceeds from each pint going to specific neighborhood organizations.

###

APANO: The Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon is a statewide, grassroots organization, uniting Asians and Pacific Islanders to achieve social justice. APANO uses its collective strength to advance equity through empowering, organizing and advocating with Oregon communities.



Portland Brewing: Founded in 1986 by craft brewing pioneers, Portland Brewing was a forerunner of the Portland craft beer movement. Driven by a love for brewing great beer for the people of Portland, Ore. and beyond, Portland Brewing is committed to delivering the best every time. From unique small batches, to seasonal brews and new year-round offerings, beer drinkers can expect variety, innovation, quality and great-tasting beer in 2015 from a company that, simply, brews with a passion for beer. Portland Brewing is located at 2730 NW 31st Ave., Portland, OR 97210. For more information about Portland Brewing Company, head to their website, Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Backwoods Brewing Company - Ridge Run Stout

Run for the border - of
Washington, that is...
Right now, I'm supposed to be penning my masterpiece review of the glorious 2015 Oregon Brewers Festival. Unfortunately, life's little surprises landed in me in the hospital for almost the entire duration of the event. Arrrrrgh! I hear that it was a total blast and that everybody had a great time. F...uh...fantastic for you, folks! Never mind me laid up in Legacy Emmanuel with all kinds of tubes and wires sticking out of me; Nurse Ratchet trying to stick yet another needle into my pincushion arms. That was freaking awesome!

Hey, I'm just joshin' ya. I'm so glad to be home and I'm well on my way to recovery. I'm hobblin' around with a cane, but I can still review a beer! Mind you, I can't DRINK the whole thing, but I can definitely get enough of a taste to form a semi-coherent opinion.

For my inaugural, new lease on life beer review, I've selected Backwoods Brewing Company's Ridge Run Stout. Wow! I'm glad I did! This delicious brew could probably raise Lazarus from the dead! It's that tasty.

The beer poured from bomber into my lil' stout glass a deep, dark mahogany--almost black--color, with a creamy, cocoa brown head. The head rose up to a finger thick and dissipated at a moderate rate. A spotty cap of lacing was left behind. What a pretty brew!

Aroma was amazing. Cocoa, coffee and a subtle, creamy vanilla scent up front. Roasted malt. Hints of molasses and toffee.

Dang! This stout tasted even better than it smelled! Everything the nose foretold was present and accounted for, but there was also an appreciable mild hops bitterness in the mix, too. As it warmed, a very pleasant smokiness made it's presence known. Delicious! Wish I could drink the whole bomber and I assure you that as soon as I get the doctor's okay, I'll be doing just that!

Medium to full mouthfeel. Fantastic balance all the way around and I do believe I have a new favorite stout! Buy this one! Wow, I bet it would make a wonderful beer float with coffee ice cream, too! I'm giving Ridge Run Stout a BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4.



Friday, July 24, 2015

Craft Brewing Capitals Merge Talent Through Beer Exchange

(Image courtesy of Oregon Brewers Festival)
(PRESS RELEASE)
Portland and The Oregon Brewers Festival Play Host to Five of New Zealand’s Best Brewers
PORTLAND, Ore. (July 22, 2015)  With the Oregon Brewers Festival in sight, a flock of beer-centric Kiwis migrate north to pour their beer and share some Oregon beer culture. In pursuit of malty and hoppy enlightenment, the five brewers from Wellington, NZ visit Portland — home to 61 different breweries. “Portland boasts more breweries than any city in the world and is known as the Beervana of USA, ” says David Cryer, the man responsible for building the partnership between Oregon and New Zealand. The brewers’ journey overseas is part of the Oregon and New Zealand Beer Culture Exchange, which encourages the sharing of ideas and experiences between Portland and Wellington, two of the world’s foremost craft beer capitals.  
During their weeklong knowledge quest, the traveling brewers visit with many of Portland’s renowned brewing talents. In addition, they tour an Oregon hop field, lead tastings of their own New Zealand brews at Belmont Station, and represent the international brewing community on stage at the OBF opening ceremonies.  
The exchange is a partnership between the Oregon Brewers Festival and Beervana — New Zealand’s preeminent craft beer festival. Last August, roles reversed as brewing representatives from Portland travelled to Wellington for Beervana. When describing their city’s passion for beer, the folks from Tuatara Brewery say, “It probably helps that we’re based in Wellington where beer appreciation is not so much a cult as a full-blown religion.” 
Each of the five New Zealand brewers will collaborate with a Portland brewery during his stay.
Oregon breweries will individually release their collaboration beers. See brewery websites for more information.  
    You can meet the visiting Kiwi Brewers at the following events during Oregon Brewers Fest week:
    Wednesday, July 22 – Saturday, July 25  
     12:00pm - 9:00pm — Oregon Brewers Festival
    Tom McCall Waterfront Park
    - Find the New Zealand Brewers in the international tent 
    Wednesday, July 22     
    11:30am — Brewers Parade                              
    - Parade Begins @ 723 N Tillamook St.                          
    Parade Ends @ Tom McCall Waterfront Park 
    12:00pm — OBF Opening Ceremonies
    New Zealand brewers are introduced onstage @ Tom McCall 
    Thursday, July 23          
    6:00pm — “Meet the Kiwis” at Belmont Station
    4500 SE Stark Street
    Taste New Zealand beers on-tap 
    Visiting brewers speak about their beers and breweries                                                                              
    Be sure to try one or all of the following New Zealand beers available at OBF:
    • Death From Above — an experimental beer from Garage Project Brewery 
    • Johnny Octane — an imperial red ale from Panhead Custom Ales              
    • Riwaka Secret — a double IPA from Parrot Dog Brewery                             
    • Suavinova — an international-style pale ale from Tuatara Brewing              
    • Gunnamatta — an American-style strong pale ale from Yeastie Boys          
    The Wellington brewer representatives are in town for just one week! 
    About the Players: In a combined effort, the Oregon Brewers FestivalBeervanaNew Zealand Brewers GuildNew Zealand Hops and Grow Wellington helped coordinate the 2015 brewer exchange in Portland. Grow Wellington is the official economic development organization of Wellington, NZ. The five visiting brewers represent the following New Zealand breweries: Garage Project BreweryPanhead Custom AlesParrot Dog BreweryTuatara Brewery and Yeastie Boys.

    HUB Releasing Another Collaboration Project With New Belgium - B-Side EP

    (PRESS RELEASE)

    Portland, Oregon, July 24, 2015 - Hopworks Urban Brewery and New Belgium Brewing are getting the band back together to create their second collaboration beer, Organic B-Side EP. This Peach Sour Ale is being brewed at Hopworks with members from both companies’ brewing teams and will be released at a Rooftop Party at Revolution Hall in Portland on August 19.

    The name B-Side EP celebrates the B Corp Certified status earned by both sustainably-minded breweries as well as their love of bicycles and bike culture.

    B-Side EP is a kettle soured ale made by brewing the wort on Friday and then letting it sit over the weekend in the kettle. On Monday the wort will be transferred to the fermenter where it will join with 50 pounds of organic peaches and dry hopped with juicy and bright organic Amarillo, El Dorado and Chinook hops.

    EP refers to “Extended Peach” and also the extension of the project into Portland. The first collaboration brew, B-Side Organic Peach IPA, was brewed in Fort Collins and made its debut at the Oregon Brewers Festival earlier this week. It is available now at both Hopworks pub locations for a limited time.

    “As friends and B Corp allies, our B-Side EP celebrates our passion for beer as a force for good,” said Hopworks Brewmaster and Founder, Christian Ettinger. “New Belgium has long been an inspiration to myself and the HUB team because of their great beer and their commitment to sustainable brewing operations. It is a true honor to work together. In this playful collaboration we have taken our greatest combined skills and squeezed them into an organic beer that is packed with fruit and citrus aromas and flavors, and a tart finish.”

    To help celebrate the brewing of the beer, brewers from both breweries created a playlist of their favorite B-Sides and EPs. Everyone is invited to join in and listen by tuning into our Spotify playlist.

    To learn more about New Belgium Brewing, check out NewBelgium.com and for more info on Hopworks Urban Brewing, visit HopWorksBeer.com. Additional details on the release party will be announced as the dates get closer.

    # # #

    About Hopworks Urban Brewery
    Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB), a certified B Corporation, strives to revolutionize and inspire the brewing industry with practices that drive quality, protect the environment and improve the community we live in. Utilizing organic malts and a combination of locally-sourced organic and Salmon Safe hops, the company’s 20-barrel brewery produces 16,000 barrels of beer a year for HUB’s two brewpubs and for distribution throughout the Northwest. In 2015 Hopworks expanded its range of sustainably-made offerings with HUB Hard Cider and will open its third pub at the Pine St. Market in Downtown Portland. HUB is 100% renewably powered and “cradle to gate” carbon neutral.

    About New Belgium Brewing Company
    New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews ten year-round beers; Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Slow Ride Session IPA, Snapshot Wheat, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Lager, Blue Paddle Pilsner, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel.

    Sunday, July 19, 2015

    High Tech Beer Tracking - There's an App for THAT?

    How do you track your brews?
    I started this blog as a way to keep track of all the beers I drink. That was the idea anyway. Unfortunately, I'm about as disciplined as a beagle running loose in a butcher shop. (I own a beagle, so trust me, that's the height of undisciplined behavior.) Thus, there's only about 435 actual beer reviews posted here on Beer Guy PDX. Come on! You know I've sampled thousands of beers...today! Well, not really, but I went to a bottle share, so it was at least a dozen today. I drink A LOT of beer.

    I've tried to be more efficient with my beer tracking, which has led me to download several smartphone applications meant specifically for that purpose. I almost always have my phone with me, snapping pictures of beers and posting them to Twitter and Instagram. It's kind of what I do. Please don't judge me.

    I have an Android phone. I know, I know, the great Android v. iPhone debate goes on. Let me address that for a second. Androids are great for customization and I like to tweak things. My wife has an iPhone. I have to say her camera is far superior, but there isn't much she can do to make her phone look exactly like a foamy glass of beer. See above. There you go. We all have our priorities in life.

    Since Android is my phone OS of choice, these app suggestions are going to be for that platform only. Sorry, iPhone folks, I only know what I know. If there are iPhone versions of these, I say try 'em out!

    Probably the best beer tracker app around is Untappd. It has a seemingly endless database of beers. Users can also add new beers to the list on the fly. There are social media and gamification aspects of Untappd that makes it more than a database and a lot more fun. You can make friends with other users and post comments about each others' latest beer conquests. You can also earn "badges" for different accomplishments: number of beers consumed, different beer styles tried, places, brands, country of origin, etc.

    With a focus on social media and gamification, Untappd is
    the most popular beer tracking app.

    Untappd allows you to "check-in", rate the beer, snap a photo of the beer, follow your favorite breweries, document your specific location and much more. There is a wishlist function and the app even utilizes your phone's GPS and Foursquare to figure out exactly where your imbibing. I've found Untappd to be a little buggy on occasion. Sometimes it crashes right in the middle of a check-in. However, it is usually very reliable. Click HERE to find Untappd at the Google Play Store.

    If all you're interested in is tracking and rating your beers, without all the friends and badges--we don't need no stinkin' badges--then you might want to check out the RateBeer app. You will find a huge database of craft beer and the ability to search locally for places to buy the beers your looking for via Google Maps. There's less social media focus and no game-like features on RateBeer, and that might be just the right fit for some folks. You will find in-depth information and reviews about individual beers and a great deal of statistical stuff--like the top 50 beers in every country, most popular beer styles, etc. You can bring up a beer's details by scanning its barcode, which is a cool feature. You can even find information about local beer events on this app. You can download RateBeer at the Google Play Store by clicking HERE.

    RateBeer is jam-packed with so much information, it's
    a beer geek's dream come true.

    Want even fewer bells and whistles? Just the facts, ma'am? How about a plain Jane database application that will collect the most basic information about the beers you're tracking? Memento Database is a free database app (ad supported) that you can easily customize to track beer. It takes a little work to figure it out, but there are plenty of features that make it more than just an electronic tick sheet. Location via Google Maps, barcode scanning, a photo feature, and plenty of room for free-form notes make this a solid choice for the beer hound who wants to keep their tracking light and easy. I just downloaded this app and I only have one entry in the database so far, but I really like the simplicity. Of course, you can also create databases for many other uses with this handy app. Download Memento Database at the Google Play Store HERE.

    Memento Database has very few frills but can keep track of
    your beers quite handily. 

    I only have one caveat about all of these apps, and that's to not overdo it. (There I go, up on my preachy box.) I'll be attending the Oregon Brewers Festival this upcoming week, starting on Wednesday, July 22nd. I WILL be bringing my phone with me for photos, but I WILL NOT be checking in any beers. I see so many beer lovers with their noses permanently glued to their screens that I can't help wondering if they even know where they are--surrounded by THOUSANDS of very interesting people and all kinds of fun! I admit that I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to allowing my electronic devices to hog all of my attention, but I'm trying to moderate that a bit. My advice is that perhaps you should, too. Cheers!

    Thursday, July 16, 2015

    Oregon Brewers Festival Tap List by Trailer Number

    Let the countdown begin...
    If you're the type of uber-efficient, geeky beer freaky who insists on precisely mapping out his/her beer drinking activities at beer festivals (How do your friends and family put up with you?), you've come to the right place. I have been generously provided with the tap list BY TRAILER for the upcoming 28th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival.

    If you're also wondering why the beers aren’t listed by alpha or by style, I've been informed that the OBF organizers are dealing with more than 1,600 kegs of cold beer. Those kegs are shipped to various distributors. When each distributor brings their trailer down to the festival, they don’t have the time or manpower to unload and re-sort the beers--could you imagine what kind of crazy hand truck clusterf**k that would cause? Holy workers' comp, Batman!

    I'll see you down at Tom McCall Waterfront Park starting the 22nd. Get there early, before I drink alls the beers. I'm serious. Here's the list:

    Trailer 1
    Coalition Brewing Co. Honey Trap
    Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom Homestead
    Great Divide Brewing Whitewater
    Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub Supergoose IPA
    Laht Neppur Brewing Co. Flaming Peach
    Maui Brewing Co. Kihei Kölsch
    PINTS Urban Brewery Honey Bunches of Oats
    StormBreaker Brewing Mississippi Red Dry Hopped Red
    Walking Man Brewing Littlefoot ISA
    Trailer 2
    Bear Republic Brewing Co. Double Aught
    Breakside Brewery Rainbows & Unicorns
    Collaborator Valley Vanilla Pale Ale
    Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Pivo
    Gigantic Brewing Kölschtastic
    Kona Brewing Co. Big Wave
    Logsdon Farmhouse Ales Aberrant
    Omission Beer Free Radical Lager
    Widmer Brothers Brewing Widmeritaville
    Trailer 3
    Buoy Beer Co. India Pale Lager
    Burnside Brewing Co. Smoked Berliner Weiss
    Ecliptic Brewing Aurora Crimson Saison
    Eel River Brewing Co. Emerald Triangle Session IPA
    Fort George Brewery+Public House Summer Stout
    Hop Valley Brewing Pils to pay the Bills
    Lompoc Brewing Saison de l'Evolution
    Old Town Brewing 1-Up Mushroom Ale
    Upright Brewing Golden Goat
    Trailer 4
    Boundary Bay Brewery Double Dry Hopped Sorachi Ace Pale Ale
    Laurelwood Brewing Co. Hipster Sunburn
    Mazama Brewing Co. Rasplendent
    Port Townsend Brewing Co. The S.H.I.P.
    Prodigal Son Brewery & Pub Huckleberry Wheat
    Seven Brides Brewing Crooked Finger IPA
    Sixpoint Brewery Little Raspy
    Uptown Market USA Uptown Session Ale
    Wasatch Brewery Ghostrider White IPA
    Trailer 5
    Anderson Valley Brewing Co. The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose
    Bison Organic Beer Kermit the Hop
    Boneyard Beer Bone Light
    Caldera Brewing Co. Dry Hop Mosaic IPA
    Epic Brewing Hop Syndrome
    Fearless Brewing Co. Strawberry Cream Ale
    Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Baby Daddy IPA
    Terminal Gravity Brewing Wallowa Lake Lager
    The Lost Abbey Witches Wit
    Trailer 6
    Alameda Brewing Co. Black Bear Stout
    Ambacht Brewing Matzobrau
    Base Camp Brewing Co. Hop in the 'Pool Helles
    Green Flash Brewing Co. Soul Style IPA
    Klamath Basin Brewing Spud Muffin Pale Ale
    Melvin Brewing Hamber Hoppy Amber
    Payette Brewing Co. Leaning Barb Farmhouse Ale
    Sunriver Brewing Co. Oh MANdarin! White IPA
    Vertigo Brewing Lemongrass Wheat
    Trailer 7
    Calapooia Brewing Co. Santiamber
    Central City Brewers & Distillers Red Betty Imperial IPA
    Fire Mountain Brewery Paradise
    Fish Brewing Co. Fish In A Barrel
    Flat Tail Brewing Co. Big Green
    Flying Fish Brewing Co. Cold Pressed Pale Ale
    No-Li Brewhouse Mosh Pit
    Three Creeks Brewing Co. Hop Damme
    Victory Brewing Co. Prima Pils
    Trailer 8
    Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits Grunion Pale Ale
    BridgePort Brewing Co. Conviction Pale Ale
    Deschutes Brewery Gluten Free & Red Wheat
    Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Glancing Blow English Pale Ale
    Fremont Brewing Co. Summer Ale
    Full Sail Brewing Co. Session IPA
    Gilgamesh Brewing Radler
    Sprecher Brewery Abbey Triple
    Trailer 9
    Cascade Brewing Frite Gaulois
    Hopworks Urban Brewing Evie Radshine
    Lagunitas Brewing Co. Sucks 366
    Mad River Brewing Co. Jamaica Sunrise E.S.B.
    McMenamins Edgefield Brewery Quatrophenia ISA
    New Belgium Brewing Co. B-Side Peach IPA
    Portland Brewing Super S.M.A.S.H.
    Rogue Ales Imperial Smoked Lager
    Worthy Brewing Co. A Walk on the Wild Side
    Trailer 10
    Bayern Brewing Dump Truck Summer Bock
    Bent Paddle Brewing Co. Paddle Break Blonde
    Boulder Beer Co. Nothing Too Fancy
    Claim 52 Brewing Runnermass
    Dunedin Brewery Mango Makrut Paradiso
    GoodLife Brewing Co. Jay Bird
    Lucky Labrador Brewing 20th Anniversary IPA
    Viking Braggot Co. Gypsy Tears
    Wild Ride Brewing Quencher

    Tuesday, July 14, 2015

    Laurelwood Brewing Company - Red Elephant IRA

    I direct your attention to the
    elephant in the room...
    Laurelwood Brewing Company has joined the craft can revolution with aluminum-sided 12 ouncers of their Red Elephant IRA (India Red Ale). I've been keeping an eye out for this brew in stores and finally spotted the six pack in New Seasons on Sunday. I paid $9.99, which is about the going price in the New Seasons cold case. What a swanky grocery store, huh? It's a very short bike ride from my house, but man! I don't think I ever get past their checkout without plunking down at least two Andy Jacksons. Jeesh!

    I like craft beer in cans. Some folks say that it makes the beer taste different and they can tell. I call bull pucky on that. Bull pucky! I can't tell the difference. Maybe if I was sipping the stuff right out of the can, sure, but poured into proper glassware? No way.

    I'm curious to know why Laurelwood selected Red Elephant as their fledgling can offering. I know I would buy cans of their Workhouse IPA all day, everyday. Maybe it's because most other canned Oregon beers are either IPA's or lagers and they wanted to be a horse--or elephant in this case--of a different color. Beats me. I don't know nothin' about beer marketing, I just drink the stuff.

    Red Elephant poured into my pint glass a clear, reddish amber color with an off white head. The head rose up to two fingers thick and dissipated slowly. Clumps of creamy suds and webby lacing remained all over the glass.

    Aroma was citrus hops up front. Grapefruit, orange and tangerine. Light tropical fruit in the background. Pineapple. Floral notes.

    Taste followed the nose. Big citrus hops flavor. Nice bitter tang. Some spicy, herbal notes. Toasted malt filled in after the initial hops bitterness subsided. A tinge of dankness. Good malt v. hops balance. No alcohol detected.

    Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Semi-dry finish that ended things with hops bitterness and earthy malt flavor left behind on the palate. Nice, complex aftertaste.

    Overall, this is a dang good IRA. Top notch stuff and I will certainly pick up another six pack for my BBQ cooler this summer. I'm giving Red Elephant a respectable BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4. I recommend.


    Sunday, July 12, 2015

    pFriem Family Brewers - Tripel

    Abbey normal?
    Honestly, I never know what to do with photo captions. Unless I'm giving credit to another photographer, which is rare, I typically draw a blank. See the caption for the photo on the left? Yeah, that's all I got, and I'm lucky that lameness finally popped into my head. It's a Young Frankenstein reference, get it? And Belgian beers are typically brewed in Abbeys...oh, never mind, it's horrible. Sorry.

    What I am NOT sorry about is my recent purchase of a bottle of pFriem Family Brewers' Tripel. It is fantastic! pFriem is located in beautiful Hood River, OR. Their brewery has earned an amazing reputation in a very short time. The recently opened tap room is a destination for visitors to Portland, even though it's an hour drive to Hood River from downtown Stumptown. They do good brew.

    Tripel poured into my St. Bernardus chalice a clear golden orange color with a bright, white head. The head rose up to about a 1/4 of an inch and dissipated quickly. A spotty cap of lacing was left behind.

    Aroma was quintessential Belgian-style: notes of cloves, bready malt and yeast. Herbal, floral. A little fruity. A little funky.

    Taste delivered what the nose foretold: Cloves, pear and stone fruit. Hops spiciness was a pleasant surprise. No detectable alcohol taste in this 9.5% ABV beer. Delicious!

    Medium to slightly fuller mouthfeel. Good Carbonation. Lush finish. Subdued fruit flavors with that bready malt and yeastiness left lightly behind on the palate at the end,

    Overall, this is a damn good, reasonable facsimile of a Belgian Tripel. It comes with a Pacific Northwest twist that my taste buds really enjoyed. Good stuff! I'm giving pFriem Tripel a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4.


    The Big One's Back! Oregon Brewers Festival 2015

    (photo by Timothy Horn)
    The Oregon Brewers Festival is coming back to Portland's Tom McCall Waterfront Park on July 22nd! This is the big one, folks! The bestest beer festest in the West-est! Those ginormous tents will be set up on the shore of the beautiful Willamette River and lovely beer will flow into the bellies of thousands upon thousands of joyous craft beer aficionados from around the world! 

    The OBF (as us locals like to call it because we're lazy like that) will be celebrating it's 28th year. That is one helluva long time. Let's see, 28 years ago, I was living in a beer-barren wasteland known as Los Angeles. I was 26 years old and my idea of a tasty beer was a Corona with a slice of lime stuffed into the bottle. Gratefully, there were seven craft brewers in Oregon kicking ass and setting the foundation for the fermented awesomeness to come: BridgePort, Widmer, McMenamins, Portland, Full Sail, Deschutes and Rogue. I would like to personally think them for saving my taste buds.

    Today, there are 61 craft breweries in the city of Portland alone, and 194 across the state of Oregon. The economic impact on the state is an unbelievable $2.83 BILLION annually. I would say that's something to celebrate. Let's get the party started!

    OBF has truly become an international event. Last year, a contingent of Dutch brewers shared their brews and and brewing views. They are coming back in 2015, along with five "Kiwi" brewers from New Zealand, including Garage Project, Panhead, ParrotDog, Tuatara and Yeastie Boys. All of these special guests will be on hand daily to chat about brewing in their part of the world and I hear they are bringing along some samples for us lucky festival goers to taste. I'm really looking forward to that!

    The Oregon Brewers Festival will run from Wednesday, July 22nd through the Sunday the 26th. Here's the basic lowdown:

    Place:
    Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon Main entrance at SW Oak Street and Naito Parkway; other entrances at SW Pine St, under the Morrison St Bridge and along the sea wall at Pine.
    Dates:
    July 22-26, 2015 — "Always the last full weekend in July"
    Times:
    Weds through Sat, taps are open from Noon to 9 pm Sun, taps are open from Noon to 7 pm Token & mug sales close one-half hour prior to the taps shutting off: this is 8:30pm every night except 6:30pm on Sunday.
    Admission:
    The Oregon Brewers Festival is not a ticketed event, and there is no admission charge to enter the festival grounds. In order to consume beer, the one-time purchase of a 2015 souvenir 14-ounce polycarbonate tasting glass is required and costs $7. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens, which cost $1 apiece. It costs four tokens for a full glass of beer, or one token for a taste. The purchase of glasses and tokens is made on-site in one location, although there are a handful of local businesses that sell them up to two weeks prior to the event. The OBF glass/token sales booth is CASH ONLY and does not accept credit cards or checks. The festival does offer eight ATM machines on premise.

    For a boatload of more information and the beer list, visit the OBF website. What? You thought I would do all the leg work for you? Actually, since it's the Internet, I suppose it's mouse work, so get to clickin'! I'll see you at the fest! I have a special OBF beer drinking costume all lined up this year. It's going to be awesome!

    Saturday, July 11, 2015

    Gigantic Brewing Company - Solid! Hoppy American Wheat Beer

    A solid liquid?
    The Hefeweizen. It's probably the most popular craft beer style after the venerated IPA. I would posit that the always reliable Hefe is the antithesis of the uber-hoppy IPA. I know that when my wife is in the mood for a beer (which is almost never), she'll sip a nice, mild Hefeweizen. Let's face it, big hops flavor and the tag-along hops bitterness isn't for everybody.

    The traditional Hefeweizen is a German brew that is made with at least 50% wheat and a yeast that produces pleasant, mild flavors of banana and clove. The appearance is typically cloudy. It's usually low in ABV and has very little hops bitterness. I might call it a lightweight brew, but I don't want to offend anybody...it's a lightweight brew.

    American craft brewers have created a version of the Hefeweizen in the American Wheat Pale Ale. Typically, there's little or no banana and clove flavors in these brews--different yeast. There's also very little hops bitterness. They look like their German cousins--cloudy and unfiltered. I must say, this is not my favorite beer style. Nope. Not much fun or tickle for the tongue.

    Hey! Would anybody be interested in a wheat beer that looks like a Hefeweizen but has a surprisingly bold hops profile? A sneaky, bitter punch to the taste buds hidden in that hazy, innocent looking brew? If so, Gigantic Brewing Company has something for you! Meet Solid! Hoppy American Wheat Beer.

    I poured Solid! into a pilsner glass. It was a hazy, golden orange color with a white head. The head came up to about a 1/2 inch tall and dissipated quickly. Webby lacing was left behind, along with a thin cap across the top.

    Aroma was citrus hops and tropical fruit. Floral notes.

    Taste was bitter, citrus hops right up front. Grapefruit and orange rind. No malt flavor. Lots of those hops. Some bready, yeasty notes waaaay in the background.

    Medium to slightly thin mouthfeel and good carbonation. Dry finish with citrus hops left behind on the palate at the end.

    Overall, Solid! is a fairly one-dimensional beer but it's a dimension that I like a lot. I'm not sure there will be a big following for this type of beer, but what do I know? It's tasty and I'd drink it again. I'm giving Solid! a respectable BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4.

    Friday, July 10, 2015

    Loyal Legion Now Open in SE PDX

    I got 99 taps and a tip ain't one...
    I have been anxiously awaiting the opening of Loyal Legion, the latest craft beer emporium in PDX. Loyal Legion is located on my side of the Willamette and very close to my office. I raced over to SE 6th and Alder immediately after I got off work today at 3:30PM--unfortunately, the door didn't open until 4. Sadness. I stood outside with my greasy forehead pressed against the window for about five minutes before shuffling off.

    Never fear, there was another bar close by where I could cool my heels until Loyal Legion opened...come on! This is Portland! No shortage of spots to get your drink on is this burg! Of course, that observation brings up some very pertinent questions: 1) Is there room in town for yet another taproom? And 2) is Loyal Legion different enough to...make a difference?

    Loyal Legion is certainly different in one respect, and I wrote about that last month. Loyal Legion is tip-less. Yup, no tipping allowed. I also found out today that it is also a cash only establishment. Yes, there's an ATM on premises, but it is best to arrive with your pockets stuffed full of moolah. I ran out of sawbucks very quickly. Considering that tips are not accepted, the prices are very reasonable. All beers are six bucks before 10PM. That includes every beer, regardless of the serving size. A frosty 18 oz. mug of lager is the same price as a petite snifter of saison.

    When I arrived back at Loyal Legion at 4:02, there was already quite a sizable crowd inside. My buddy Brian and I probably snagged the last two seats at the very large, horseshoe shaped bar. Wow! Lots of people had the same idea I did.

    Loyal Legion just opened a hot minute ago, so I wasn't expecting perfect service. The place was completely slammed as soon as they turned the lights on. I was impressed to find owner Kurt Huffman behind the bar pouring beers right along with his harried crew. He took a few minutes to talk to me, which I really appreciated. Kurt is very proud of the tap lines at Loyal Legion--and there are 99 of them. All Oregon beers. My kind of place.

    While I sipped on a nice, cold, massive mug of Hop Valley Brewing's Light Me Up Lager, I was advised that the actual tap list was being printed nearby. When the list finally arrived on the bar, I found it to be quite local, very eclectic and as long as my arm--well, it was two full pages and printed on both sides. 

    The huge selection and the fact that it's an All-Oregon line-up will certainly bring me back into Loyal Legion soon. Perhaps tomorrow. I did not get the chance to try the food, but the menu looked good. Lots of brats, sausages and such provided by Olympia Provisions. Score! That's my kind of pub grub! (Linderman, okay?)

    All-in-all, I believe that Loyal Legion will be a perfect addition to the Portland taproom line-up. It is just different enough to provide a unique beer drinking experience for picky Stumptown natives and tourists alike. See you there!

    Friday, July 3, 2015

    Bike 'N' Beer Accessories

    My bike's better than your bike, my bike's better than your's...
    After five years in Portland, the bicycling bug finally bit me. I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. People love their bikes in this burg. For many Portlanders, life on two wheels is almost a religion. Folks are damn serious about their bikes and bike commuting. The Portlandia skit with Spike the rabid cyclist is pretty much a documentary... I'm on a bike!

    I got rid of my car four years ago and I've depended on the the semi-reliable public transportation system (Trimet) to get around town ever since. NO! I did not get a DUI and lose my driver's license! Beer Guy PDX DOES NOT drink and drive, and neither should you! I've been sincerely trying my best to leave a smaller footprint on this planet and just couldn't justify owning and maintaining two cars for our two person household.

    Now that I've finally bought myself a decent commuter bike, I can't believe I waited so long! Bicycling is AWESOME! I love it! It's almost as much fun as drinking beer! Of course, there's no responsible way to completely meld my two hobbies. Drinking and bicycle riding do not mix. Don't drink and RIDE. Drinking and bicycle maintenance also do not mix. However, I have been enjoying tricking out my bike with all kinds of cool upgrades. When will it stop? Maybe NEVER. There are quite a few fantastic beer-related ACCESSORIES that I've discovered that I MUST own. I can't wait to upgrade my bike with these...

    1) Growler Cage - Yes, it is giant-ass water bottle cage that is humongous enough to hold a 64 ounce growler!

    Check out the website HERE.

    Now, I don't know if I would ever really need to transport a growler full of beer attached to the frame of my bike, but just knowing that I could, if I wanted to, is good enough for me.

    The Growler Cage is encased in a waterproof neoprene sleeve that helps hold the growler securely. It fits in place of any water bottle cage and has an adjustable, sliding mount, It comes in a wide variety of colors and is in made in the US of A. Yay, 'MURICA!

    A Growler Cage will set you back $55.00 and you can purchase one with PayPal. I'm trying to decide between the red or the black.

    2) Wisecracker Seat Post Bottle Opener - Here's the scenario: You're pedaling through the park and spot your friends glumly hunkered around a picnic table--a six pack of fine Oregon craft beer sitting in front of them, unopened.

    "What's the matter, my sad, beer buddies?" says you.

    "Ah, maaaaaaan! We forgot to bring a bottle opener and now we're really, really thirsty!" whines your pathetic pal.

    "NEVER FEAR!" you proclaim, "YOU CAN OPEN THOSE BOTTLES ON MY SEAT POST!"

    How heroic is that? Very. The Wisecracker comes with a cheaper headset mounted version, too, but I don't like the idea of somebody yanking around on my headset. The seat post mounted version seems less...breaky to me.

    You can purchase the Wisecracker on Amazon for $22.00, plus $5.00 shipping.

    3) Beer Bottle Cap Valve Stem Caps - Seriously, why just cap your valve stems with those boring little plastic caps when you can cap them with BEER BOTTLE CAPS?

    These are pretty flipping awesome, if you ask me.

    One set of caps (that's two caps--one for each wheel) costs $10.00.

    Honestly, if you're a particularly crafty individual with a regular supply of beer caps, you could probably make a set of these for yourself, but I'm not, so I won't.

    These handcrafted marvels are available on Etsy. Click HERE.

    4) Beer Gauge Level Helmet Sticker - My bike helmet is a cheapo, matte black thing I picked up at Fred Meyer. When I bought it, the clerk scoffed and asked me if I wanted to "wear it out." I believe he was insinuating that it was a darn ugly piece of crap.

    Wouldn't that snarky clerk be impressed if he saw this nifty beer gauge level sticker affixed to my no longer dorky skull cooler? I'm thinking yes.

    This sticker is made from high quality vinyl and can be easily removed once applied. 

    Made in the USA!

    Only $4.99 with FREE shipping from Amazon

    Thursday, July 2, 2015

    McMenamins - Copper Moon Pale Ale

    A good moon risin'?
    The good folks at McMenamins provided me with a gratis growler of their seasonal Copper Moon Pale Ale yesterday. I picked in up at the Kennedy School, the beautiful McMenamins location in my NE Portland neighborhood. It you've never paid a visit to the Kennedy School, you really should. It's the gem of the Concordia neighborhood.

    The old elementary school has been converted into a hotel, brewery, restaurant, bar(s), theater and all-around awesome place to stay and hang-out. It truly is a cornerstone of community activity, much like it was when it was still a school--except perhaps just a tad more fun with all the beer. They have movies, lectures, concerts and all kinds of special events year round. You have to give a hand to the McMenamins for restoring the social, neighborly vibe of the place, along with the actual brick and mortar.

    The Copper Moon Pale Ale was poured from tap into my 32 oz. growlette and consumed the minute I brought it home. It poured into a pint glass a slightly hazy, golden copper color with a bright, white, foamy head. The head made it up to a half inch high and dissipated at a moderate rate. A thin cap and some spotty lacing remained behind on the glass as I drank it.

    Aroma was citrus hops up front, with mild, earthy malt in the background. (Copper Moon was brewed with 100% organic malted barley, according to the postcard I received in the mail.) Grapefruit and orange. Floral and spicy herbal notes.

    Taste followed the nose with citrusy hops up front. I'm betting more than a few pale ale purists are going to complain that this brew is too hop forward for their liking. Ah, to heck with them! Copper Moon appears to be a purely NW version of a pale ale, and that's alright with me. Decent malt and hops balance. I really enjoyed it.

    Medium to lighter mouthfeel with good carbonation and a smooth, clean finish, Very drinkable. No alcohol taste to this 5.3% ABV beer. 

    Overall, this is a very pleasant pale ale and some very welcome refreshment on these summer days that are currently pushing up to almost 100 degrees. Good stuff and I'm giving Copper Moon a respectable BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4 and a Droolie. The Wonder Beagle approved of the smell very much.


    Go get yourself some of this seasonal pale ale. It will be on tap at McMenamins locations through August.


    Portland Brewing Celebrates the Oregon Brewers Festival With Limited-Edition Super S.M.A.S.H. Double Pale Ale

    (PRESS RELEASE)
    PORTLAND, Ore. (July 2, 2015) – With July heat in full effect and Oregon Craft Beer Month underway, it’s the perfect time to double your summer fun with an extra special brew. In celebration of the 28th annual Oregon Brewers Festival, Portland Brewing is unveiling a limited-release Super S.M.A.S.H. Double Pale Ale. The specialty version of Portland Brewing’s summer seasonal takes its first-ever single malt and single hop (S.M.A.S.H.) Pale Ale to the next level. 
    Similar to its pale ale cousin, Super S.M.A.S.H. features Goldpils Viena malts, known for their toasty flavor, and an extra heavy dose of bright, citrusy Simcoe hops. The result is a refreshing pale ale with a 7% ABV, slightly higher than the original 5.6%. “We were thrilled with how our S.M.A.S.H. beer turned out, so when it came time to think of a special beer for the Oregon Brewers Festival, the obvious choice was to double down on S.M.A.S.H.,” says head brewer Ryan Pappe. “It is still a single malt, single hop beer, but we raised the original gravity to boost the alcohol, while increasing the hops to keep pace.”
    Super S.M.A.S.H. makes its debut exclusively at the Oregon Brewers Festival from July 22-26 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. When the festival ends, you’ll be able to find this small-batch beer on tap at select Portland-area pubs, growler stations, restaurants and Portland Brewing’s Taproom for a limited-time. In addition, discover all the Portland Brewing events happening during July’s Oregon Craft Beer Month here
    # # #
    About Portland Brewing:
    Founded in 1986 by craft brewing pioneers, Portland Brewing was a forerunner of the Portland craft beer movement. Driven by a love for brewing great beer for the people of Portland, Ore. and beyond, Portland Brewing is committed to delivering the best every time. From unique small batches, to seasonal brews and new year-round offerings, beer drinkers can expect variety, innovation, quality and great-tasting beer in 2015 from a company that, simply, brews with a passion for beer. Portland Brewing is located at 2730 NW 31st Ave., Portland, OR 97210. For more information about Portland Brewing Company, head to their website,Facebook and Twitter.