Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Commons Brewery - Urban Farmhouse Ale

How you gonna keep 'em
down on the farm?
Man, I love living in the Pacific Northwest. First and foremost, at least for ME, is the fact that no other region on Earth even comes close to touching the PNW when it comes to the quality and quantity of beer produced here. Yeah, yeah, yeah, your podunk-y neck of the woods might put out some tasty brews, but come on... Seriously, come on! Enjoying those hops in your local beer? They were most likely grown around here. You're welcome.

Craft beer is such a thing here in Cascadia that nobody even calls it craft beerIt's just BEER, muchacho. Hell, it's actually hard to find a megabrew on tap in most of the bars in my neighborhood. Everybody is a beer expert in this burg. Everybody. I'm not kidding. 

Even though I've had some folks vociferously argue with me (usually, anonymous Internet trolls), no one has ever taken me up on my "best beer town contest" proposal: We both walk out the front door of our respective houses on a Saturday afternoon and see how many craft breweries we can visit in six hours--on foot. Your beer town against my beer town. I WIN! Nobody in any other town on this little blue planet can even come close to Portland. I can get a dozen knocked out before my feet even start hurting.

I know, I sound like a braggy, snooty snotbag. Sorry about that. Oh, yeah, here's another thing that beer tourists should know about Portland: you can use whatever bathroom you choose. Most of the bars and restaurants have unisex restrooms, anyway, but we absolutely have no discriminatory potty laws in Oregon. Yay!

Okay, I was planning on reviewing a beer. It's been a while. Today, I'm drinking what I believe to be one of the very best beers brewed right here in Portland. I'm talking about The Commons Brewery's Urban Farmhouse Ale. It's fantastic!

This beer has earned a number of awards, kudos and medals; most recently, a Gold Medal at the 2016 Oregon Beer Awards. What I like most about Urban Farmhouse Ale is that works as well as a summer BBQ sipper as it does as the accompaniment of a fancy charcuterie plate. It's hard to go wrong with this beer, no matter what you're planning.

The beer poured into my tulip glass a slightly hazy, pale yellow color with a foamy, clumpy, creamy, white head. The head was more than a finger thick and dissipated slowly. A respectable amount of sudsy lacing was left behind.

Aroma was yeast, lemony hops and Belgian spices: light coriander and clove. Subtle floral hints in the background. 

Taste was yeasty banana bread and lemon with Belgian spice. Mild hops bitterness perfectly balanced with robust, earthy malt.

Medium mouthfeel with a crisp, dry finish. Yeast, malt and spice played gently on the palate at the end. Good carbonation.

Yes, The Commons Brewery is close enough to my house that I could walk there if necessary. I recommend it as a MUST VISIT for any beer tourist coming to Portland. As for Urban Farmhouse Ale, I'm giving it a perfect BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4.

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