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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Basecamp Brewing Company - Forest Park Heritage Tree IPL

Drink a beer, save a tree...
Portland is a city of trees. The whole town was carved out of a forest. The nickname "Stumptown" was coined in the late 1840's due to the innumerable stumps left behind when thousands of trees were cut down to make way for development. Gratefully, many big trees were left behind, like the gigantic Douglas Fir that stands in my own front yard. I love that tree. It's about 40 feet tall and the trunk is about eight feet around. When it rains, the drops don't even make it though to the ground beneath its branches.

Most of my fellow Portlanders have the same affinity for old trees. Recently, a developer was prevented from plowing down three massive Sequoias in Southeast Portland due to some swift eco-activism, and the monetary help of South Park creator, Matt Stone. (You can't make this stuff up.)

A number of Portland's trees have been designated Heritage Trees. Heritage Trees are those that are regarded as being of "special importance to the city" because of their "age, size, type, historical association and horticultural value." Currently, 290 trees have been designated as Heritage Trees.

Then there's Forest Park, the largest urban forest in the United States, with over 5,100 acres of massive trees, lush vegetation and thriving wildlife. It's a huge park, with more than 80 miles of hike-able trails. (I know it's big because I got terribly lost there once!) The park overlooks a large section of the city of Portland and the area where the Willamette and Columbia Rivers meet. Forest Park is a beautiful, picturesque piece of wilderness right on the cusp of metropolitan Portland.

Today, I'm drinking a bomber of Basecamp Brewing Company's Forest Park Heritage Tree India Pale Lager. 20% of the proceeds from this beer goes to support the Forest Park Conservancy. The beer was brewed with Oregon-grown hops and Douglas Fir chips. Man, you can't get more Portland-centric than that! How's it taste? Thought you'd never ask!

The beer poured into my glass a clear, golden orange color with a bright, white head. Wow, that head was impressively creamy and clumpy. It rose up to almost two fingers thick and lasted forever. Thick webs of lacing were left behind.

Aroma was pine and citrus hops. Floral, herbal notes. Honey. Sweet malt and bready grain. Light tropical fruit.

Taste followed the nose. Citrus. Orange and lemon. Mild pine resin. Light, spicy, herbal flavors of lemongrass and pine needles. Tasty stuff.

Medium mouthfeel with lively carbonation. Dry finish that left clean citrus and pine hops flavors behind on the palate to savor.

Overall, this is a really nice brew. Good job, Basecamp! I like it! Enough to make this one a do-over. I may even go out of my way to get me some more. I'm giving Forest Park Heritage Tree IPL a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4.


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