Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cheers to Belgian Beers Returns for its 10th Year...

(image courtesy of Cheers to Belgian Beers)
...celebrates Belgian-style beers brewed by Oregon craft brewers using the same single yeast strain


PORTLAND, Ore. The Cheers to Belgian Beers festival annually celebrates the breadth of style and flavors of beers brewed in Belgium. This year’s 10th annual event will take place May 13 and May 14 at The North Warehouse, 723 N Tillamook St. Hours are 1 to 9pm on Friday and Noon to 8pm on Saturday. The festival is unique in that it features up to 70 Belgian-style beers all brewed by Oregon craft brewers using the same single yeast strain.

Admission to the event is free. In order to drink, it costs $20 for a souvenir glass tasting goblet and 10 drink tickets. Beers are available by taster only; most beers cost one ticket for a taste, though some may cost double. Additional tasting tickets are available for $1 apiece. Portland Perks and MercPerks are on sale now; advance tickets will go sale April 8 at http://oregoncraftbeer.org/ctbb. The event is for ages 21 and over. 

Cheers to Belgian Beers takes place in The North Warehouse as well as outside in the tented parking lot. Food is available from Monk’s Deli and the Urban German Grill. Street parking is available, but limited. Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation — the TriMet Bus Line 35 stops one block away and the Yellow Max Line stops two blocks away — or ride their bike, with complimentary bike parking available. 

While the Cheers to Belgian Beers festival showcases a single yeast strain, the Oregon Brewers Guild first holds a dart throw competition to determine the color and strength of Belgian-style beer that will be brewed for the event. Based on each participating brewery’s dart throw, the brewery will brew a Belgian-style beer that is either light or dark in appearance and either lower or higher in alcohol. Each year’s dart throw ensures there will be diversity in color and strength among the featured beers.

Belgian yeasts are incredibly diverse; this year’s selected yeast strain is Imperial Organic Yeast 58 Lioness, a yeast that shines in red to brown ales, but also works well for light colored beers. Lioness produces white fruit esters that are balanced with clove phenolic aromas.

The festival is still seeking volunteers, which receive a glass, 10 drink tickets, a t-shirt and free admission after their shift. An OLCC Servers Permit is not required to participate as a volunteer server at this event. To sign up visit www.ocb.events-connect.com.

The event is organized by the Oregon Brewers Guild, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the state’s craft brewing industry and the common interests of its members. Founded in 1992, the Oregon Brewers Guild is one of the nation’s oldest craft brewers associations. The Guild, which receives no state funding, comprises 154 brewing companies, 122 associate or supplier members and more than 3,500 enthusiast members or S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer). To learn more, visit www.oregoncraftbeer.org.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Cascade Brewing Expands Distribution Across the U.S.

(photo courtesy of Cascade Brewing)

PORTLAND, Ore.Cascade Brewing, which has been rapidly expanding into markets across the nation, has announced distribution deals in more than a dozen new markets.

The producer of award-winning Northwest sour ales has begun shipping its 750 ml bottled products to Alabama (Pinnacle Distributing); Connecticut (Sarene Craft Beer Distributors); Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C. and West Virginia (Kysela Pere et Fils); Indiana and Ohio (Cavalier Distributing); Maine (Mariner Distribution); Michigan (Henry A Fox Sales); Minnesota (Clear River Beverage); South Carolina (Advintage Distributing); Tennessee (Bounty Beverage); Upstate New York (Gasko and Meyer); and Wisconsin (Johnson Brothers of WI).

"We are ecstatic to have found solid business partners who share so much enthusiasm in building the Cascade Brewing brand in their respective markets,” stated Tim Larrance, vice president of sales and marketing. “Aligning with such great distributors enables our retail customers and consumers to get the most up to date releases on all the Cascade Brewing products in cities where demand was previously high but availability was limited.”

Added Larrance, “We look forward to supporting our new wholesalers in their efforts to increase selection, volume and exposure for the Cascade Brewing portfolio of sour beers."

Cascade Brewing is known for its award-winning sour ales that feature a clean, lactic acid profile produced by a house culture of lactobacillus bacteria. The beers frequently rely on the use of fresh ingredients grown exclusively in the Pacific Northwest, including cherries, apricots, berries and grapes. Its blending house currently holds more than 1,500 French oak, Kentucky Bourbon and Northwest wine barrels — plus nine foudres (giant wooden barrels that typically hold around 1,800 gallons of beer).

Look for Cascade products to arrive in the new markets in early May.

About Cascade Brewing
Cascade Brewing has been a pioneer in the sour beer renaissance since 2006 and is the proud innovator of the Northwest Sour Ale. Its distinctive sour beer blends feature fruit forward, barrel-aged ales with an emphasis on project year-to-year variation. These beers offer a complex array of flavors derived from Northwest grown ingredients, with each project year release capturing the unique subtleties of that year’s growing season. Cascade Brewing sour ales are brewed and blended in Portland, Oregon, and distributed in 31 U.S. markets as well as Canada, Japan, The Netherlands, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hopworks Urban Brewery - Secession Cascadian Dark Ale

Free Cascadia!
What a beautiful spring Sunday it is here in Cascadia. The sun is shining and the tulips are blooming. There's Dogwood fluff wafting across the lawn and a gentle breeze is encouraging the giant Douglas Fir in my front yard to greet passersby with a friendly wave of her boughs. It doesn't get any better than this. Wait, it DOES get better! I'm sitting on my deck sipping on a delicious, local, organic beer!

Today, I'm drinking a Secession Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA) brewed by Portland's own Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). Let's see what the label can tell us about this beer"

"Secession is a Cascadian Dark Ale. This beer style is characterized by an alliance of Northwest hop flavors as formidable as the Cascade Mountain Range and roasted malts as dark as the moonless night. Join the party and uncap a revolution!"

6.5% ABV and 70 IBU's. I purchased the bomber at Hollywood Beverage on Sandy Blvd. I don't recall the price. I don't think it was more than five bucks. Is this beer as truly revolutionary as the label proclaims? Let's find out!

Secession CDA poured into my pint glass a clear, reddish dark brown color with creamy, clumpy, tan head. The head rose up to almost two fingers thick and dissipated slowly. A solid ring and copious amounts of spotty lacing were left behind.

Aroma was citrus and resinous pine up front. Some floral notes. Sweet, roasted malt with some hints of cocoa.

Taste followed the nose. Big presence of Northwest hops. Indistinct, citrus pith and pine. Respectable bitter hops tang. Toasted malt. Notes of cocoa and toffee. Delicious!

Medium mouthfeel with appropriate carbonation. A little bit of a sticky chew on the finish. That prominent hops bitterness was left behind on the palate at the end with just a little competition for attention from the malt.

Overall, I love this beer! And not just because of the beautiful Doug Fir flag featured on the label. This one is a keeper. Right in my wheelhouse when it comes to hops awesomeness. I'm giving Secession CDA a deserved BeerGuyPDX score of 4 crushed cans out of 4 AND a Droolie. Merry the Wonder Beagle actually abandoned the bone she was chomping on to get a close-up whiff of this brew.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Portland Brewing Partners with Local Legend Dark Horse Comics


The Collaboration Brings S.M.A.S.H. to Life

PORTLAND, Ore. (April 15, 2016) – With the huge support following the inaugural launch of Portland Brewing’s S.M.A.S.H. Pale Ale, it’s only fitting the summer seasonal becomes the city’s newest super hero. Portland Brewing teamed up with local icon, Dark Horse Comics, to create a one-of-a-kind comic book cover in honor of S.M.A.S.H.

Artist Ron Randall brings the sessionable pale ale to life. "This poster was a blast to draw – a cool beer on a warm summer day can indeed feel like an epic conquest,” noted Randall. “It was fun to embody that image in a classic, over-the-top, superheroic struggle against the evil forces of Thirst.” 
The illustration highlights S.M.A.S.H.’s powerful combination of one hop and one malt by turning them into characters. Captain Simcoe Hop is seen riding a bottle of S.M.A.S.H. Pale Ale across the Willamette River with his trusty side-kick, Vienna Malt. Their goal — take down the evil villain, Summer Thirst.

Ron Randall will be signing the exclusive S.M.A.S.H. posters at various locations throughout Portland this summer. Portland Brewing is also giving away 50 limited-edition 64oz. growlers featuring the S.M.A.S.H. comic cover between May and July. Want one? Just text SIMCOE to 55678 to be entered into the contest and you could win one. 

Be on the lookout for special events, featuring Portland Brewing and Dark Horse Comics this summer, including during Portland Beer Week in June. S.M.A.S.H. Pale Ale is available now through August in six-packs and 22 oz. bottles as well as on draft in select locations. 
ABV: 5.6% | IBU: 35

# # #

About Portland Brewing Company
Celebrating thirty years of passionate brewing in the Rose City, Portland Brewing looks ahead to a future of unwavering obsession over what our civilized world simply can’t live without: great beer. Founded in 1986, the brewery is one of Portland’s craft brewing pioneers and remains committed to the city for which it is named. Portland Brewing is located at 2730 NW 31st Ave., Portland, OR 97210. Find out more information on its website, Facebook andTwitter pages.

About Dark Horse
For 30 years, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, the company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. Today Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic book publisher in the US and is recognized as one of the world’s leading entertainment publishers. Check out its website, Facebook and Twitter pages

Thursday, April 14, 2016

No-Li Brewhouse - Komrade Imperial IPA

In Pacific Northwest,
Beer drinks YOU!
Hey, does anybody else remember perestroika and glasnost? That was the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union. Ronnie Raygun started talking about real life star wars and the other guy (the one with the birthmark on his forehead) flinched big time. It was like the "New Coke" of Communism. Looking back, those were kind of the good ol' days. At least, we thought we knew who the bad guys were. Now? I'm more a-scured of the nutjobs next door than I ever was of the Ruskies! Waxing nostalgic for the Cold War--who'd a-thunk it?

Anyway, everybody else across America thinks the folks living up here in the Pacific Northwest are big, fat commies. Truth be told, we do have some of the most politically progressive denizens of the US of A in our large, urban areas, but get out into the countryside of the PNW and you'll find a lot of conservatives. There's quite a political divide between the country and city folks, for sure, but there is one thing we all agree on: BEER. A tasty cold one--or two--can bridge any ideologic chasm, absolutely.

I'm only bringing up this subject because today I'm reviewing a new, seasonal beer from No-Li Brewhouse in Spokane, WA: Komrade Imperial IPA. Let's see if this beer is friend or foe, shall we?

The beer poured into my pint glass a clear, reddish amber color with a bright white, creamy, foamy head. The head rose up to more than a finger thick and dissipated slowly. Copious amounts of sudsy lace were left behind. Quite a pretty beer.

Aroma was citrus hops and earthy malt. Some tropical fruit and floral notes.

Taste followed the nose. Indistinct citrus medley with some pine and tropical fruit in the mix. Sweet malt well-balanced against the bitter hops. No alcohol hot detected in this 8.1% ABV beer. I found it to be quite an easy drinker that did not remain in my glass for long.

Medium mouthfeel and good carbonation. Smooth, semi-dry finish. Hops and malt flavors remained on the palate at the end in perfect harmony.

I like! I would have no problem drinking this lovely IIPA again and again. I'm giving Komrade Imperial IPA a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4.

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.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Portland Beer Week Opens Ticket Sales to Coveted Events

11 Days, Dozens of Events & Beers Galore
PORTLAND, Ore. (April 6, 2016) — Mark your calendars! Portland Beer Week, presented by Portland Brewing Co., is ready to take over your schedule in mid-June for 11 straight days of all things beer. Beer enthusiast, self-described geek, or a professional? With festivals focused on solo-styles of beer, to beer and food pairings, educational seminars and screenings — there’s something for everyone. That includes a special celebration of Portland’s unique love for collaboration with limited releases of Salt & Straw ice cream, Blue Star Donuts, Hot Lips Pizza and Bunk Sandwiches — yes, ALL made with beer! They’re just a few examples of how Portland Beer Week keeps true to keeping things weird.
Presented by Portland Brewing, PDX Beer Week kicks off June 9th and runs through June 19th, highlighting the Rose City as a leader and innovative force in the beer world. Tickets to the most anticipated events are now on sale! Here’s what you can expect:
Portland Fruit Beer Festival: The 6th annual event celebrates the increasing popularity of fruit beers, featuring 35 breweries and cideries.
PRICE: $25 advanced tickets
WHEN: June 10 —11:30am – 9:00pm  
June 11 — 11:00am – 9:00pm                          
June 12 — 11:00am – 6:00pm
WHERE: North Park Blocks, Downtown Portland
Rye Beer FestBack for its 5th year with expanded hours, rye beers, beer cocktails, live music and entertainment.
WHEN: June 10 — 11:00am – 2:00am
WHERE:  EastBurn, 1800 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214
New Oregon Breweries Showcase (presented by The New School): Welcome 11 of the newest breweries from across Oregon, meet their brewers and owners and taste their brews.
WHEN: June 13 — 5:00pm – 8:00pm
WHERE: Bailey's Taproom, 213 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
Sour & Wild Ale Seminar (presented by Oregon State University): Learn about sour beer production from the masters and try rare beers.
PRICE:  $45 advanced tickets             
WHEN: June 14 — 5:30pm
WHERE:  Upright Brewing, 240 N Broadway #2, Portland, OR 97227
Barrel-Aged Beer Seminar (presented by Oregon State University): Learn from the masters of non-sour, barrel-aged beer and taste rare beers.
PRICE: $40 advanced tickets
WHEN: June 15 — 5:30pm
WHERE: Ecliptic Brewing, 825 North Cook St, Portland, OR 97227
Branding for Breweries Seminar (presented by Oregon State University): An expert panel discusses how to brand a brewery and its products, from beer labels to logos and merchandise.
PRICE: $11 advanced tickets
WHEN: June 16 — 5:30pm
WHERE: The Labrewatory, 670 N Russell St, Portland, OR 97227
Down Under Smackdown: New Zealand vs. Australian Hop Beer. Local breweries are creating beers utilizing hops from both countries. You be the judge of which down under hop varieties have the best taste profiles. Let's keep this fight clean.
WHEN: June 16 — 5:00pm – Close 
WHERE: Big Legrowlski, 812 NW Couch St, Portland, OR 97201
The Love for Beer: 5 Year Anniversary Party + Women & Beer Meet-up: Women are fighting their way to become some of the most influential people in the craft beer world. Based in the Pacific NW, The Love of Beer follows these inspirational women. The evening includes a showing of the documentary and features several special guests.
WHEN: June 17 — 5:00pm – 11:00pm
WHERE: Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St, Portland, OR 97209
Portland Beer and Cheese Festival: The 5th annual event unfolds at the most anticipated new Portland brewery of the year — Wayfinder Beer. Master Cheesemonger Steve Jones (Cheese Bar, Cheese Annex, Chizu) pairs 10 beers from 10 breweries with 10 amazing cheeses. 
PRICE: $35 advanced tickets or $45 for VIP session
WHEN: June 18 — 1:00pm
WHERE: Wayfinder Beer, 304 Southeast 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97214
SNACKDOWN!: The official Portland Beer Week closing party brings together 10 brewers and 10 chefs to create their greatest beer and snack pairings! Guests choose their favorites and the winners are awarded the SNACKDOWN Belt!
PRICE: $49 advanced tickets
WHEN: June 19 — 12:00pm – 4:00pm
WHERE: The Evergreen, 618 SE Alder St, Portland, OR 97214
Save the date for these additional events:June 12 — Understanding the Three-Tier System @ Belmont StationJune 15 — Weird Beer Bonanza @ Imperial Bottle Shop & TaproomJune 16 — Brewers and Their Bands @ Ecliptic Brewing June 17 — Ecliptic & Worthy Brewing Collaboration Beer Release & Tap Takeover @ Beer June 18 — Sour Solstice Fest @ Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom 
Discounts:Portland Beer Week visitors can enjoy a 10% discount at Society Hotel — the historic 1881 sailors’ hotel in the heart of Portland’s Old Town/Chinatown. To redeem the discount, you must call in to book your reservation at (503) 445-0444 and mention Portland Beer Week. 
Travelers and Portlanders alike can enjoy a 20% discount on any beers sold at Whole Foods locations in Oregon (except Bend & Eugene) on Fri., June 17.
For full details about Portland Beer Week festivities, visit http://pdxbeerweek.com/
Additional PDX Beer Week event graphics available upon request.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Inaugural Pints in Pearl Beer Fest Slated for June 4th


PORTLAND, Ore – Portland has a new beer festival for the calendar. The Pearl District Business Association has announced the debut of Pints in the Pearl, a one-day craft beer festival that will showcase some of the best beers Pearl District breweries have to offer. The event will take place on June 4 from Noon to 9pm at NW 13th and Everett; the street will be closed to vehicles.

Four craft breweries — 10 Barrel BrewingBridgePort BrewingDeschutes Brewery and Fat Heads Brewery — will each host a station serving three different beers, including one made exclusively for the event, along with a complementary food pairing menu. Each station will be manned by brewery staff, allowing attendees to learn more about the beer from the very people who make and serve it.

“We are so excited to debut this festival in the Pearl District,” exclaimed Carolyn Ciolkosz, director of the Pearl District Business Assn. “Our neighborhood has such a strong history of craft brewing that carries through the present with its award-wining breweries. We are looking forward to bringing them all together to celebrate what makes the Pearl District so special.”

Admission is $20, which includes a limited edition souvenir stainless steel pint and three tokens, valued at $5 apiece. Each token is good for either one 16 oz beer or one food item. Additional tokens may be purchased for $5 apiece. Tickets are available in advance at www.PintsInThePearl.com or at the door (note: the event will only accept credit and debit cards on-site).

In addition to beer and food tasting, Pints in the Pearl will feature family friendly entertainment ranging from cornhole to live music by bands including The Weather Machine and local American Idol contestant Haley Johnson. The event is open to all ages.

Pints in the Pearl is put on by the Pearl District Business Association, a non-profit organization with the mission to promote the Pearl District as the region’s premier destination for shopping, dining, art and living. Its goal is to enhance the vitality of business by providing value to its members and to the community. The event is sponsored by Central Office and Venture Portland.

Twitter: @PearlPortland
Instagram: @PearlPortland
Hashtag: #PINTS

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Baerlic Brewing Company Presents Reinheitsge-NOT Beerfest

(Graphic courtesy of Baerlic Brewing)
PORTLAND, OREGON - Saturday, April 23rd is Baerlic Brewing's 1st Annual Reinheitsge-Not Beer Fest. We'll be Celebrating Ingredient Freedom with 13+ Northwest breweries! Urban German will be slinging brats and our friend DJ Short Change will be laying down the tunes.
Reinheitsgebot? More like Reinheitsge-Not!
April 23, 2016 marks the 500 year anniversary of The German Beer Purity Law of 1516.  Also called the Reinheitsgebot, this law states that beer can ONLY be made from Water, Barley, Hops and Yeast. But that's just boring! So Baerlic Brewing pulled together some of their favorite brewery friends in the Northwest to celebrate the world's oldest beer rules by brewing beers that break them. Come drink beers brewed beyond Water, Malt Hops and Yeast! Let's Celebrate Ingredient Freedom!

 Day-of Event Details:

The Beers and the Breweries 
(full list live at baerlicbrewing.com/events)
Nice & Easy Gose with Damiana Flower
Pale Ale with Rosemary
Schwarzbier with Coffee
Smoked Dopplebock with Cherries
Superbad Imperial Stout with Coffee
English Golden Ale with Lemon and Earl Grey Tea  
Mexican Lager with Flaked Corn
German Style Hefe w/ Quinoa
The Sister Imperial IPA with Grapefruit & Rosemary
Gose with Mango & Lemon Thyme
Smokin' Reds Saison with Smoked Cranberries and brown sugar
Respect Your Elders Kolsch with Elderflower
Goggle Fogger Hefeweizen with Grapefruit
Dry Hopped American Wheat Beer with oats, triticale and rye
Barrel Aged Frankie Claus with French Chocolate