Monday, June 27, 2016

Coalition Brewing Company - Dropping Science Double IPA

Drop it like it's hops...
Following the Brexit debacle, everybody is talking about who's going to "exit" what next. Texas is bringing up their old independence movement (yawn) and some folks around this general vicinity wouldn't mind seeing the Pacific Northwest form the independent nation of Cascadia (Cascramia?). I don't know about all that. I'm not really a throw the baby out with the bathwater kind of guy. I do know one thing for sure: I'm not living in any country that doesn't do beer right!

We certainly have everything we need to brew the best beer in the world right here: a bounty of amazing hops; clean, delicious water; a world class brewing operation just about everywhere you look. I imagine beer would be our number one export--right after big ol' truckloads of logs. I think the independent nation of Beervana would be awesome!

What I love about living in Portland, Oregon the most, besides the fact that most people are progressive in their politics and passive-aggressive in their demeanor, is that there's almost always a surprise waiting for me in the cold case at the supermarket or bottle shop. I seriously drink a lot of beer. A LOT OF BEER! If I lived in some podunky, clunky, beer-poor stunky part of the country that has 99% of their cold cases filled with nothing but BMC (Bud, Miller, Coors), I would be one miserable beer guy. Gratefully, I live here and the surprises abound!

Today, I found a bomber of Coalition Brewing Company's Dropping Science Double IPA waiting for me in the fridge at QFC. This beer, made right here in Portland, is brewed with Northwest Chinook Hops. It boasts an 8.0% ABV and 85 IBU's. Sounds right up my alley! Let's give it a run!

The beer poured into my pint glass a slightly hazy, golden copper color with a white, foamy head. The head rose up to a half inch tall and dissipated at a moderate rate. A ring and a few spots of thin lacing were left behind.

Aroma was citrus and resinous pine. Sweet caramel malt. Some spicy herbal notes in the olfactory uptake.

Taste followed the nose. Citrus hops: orange and grapefruit. Piney. A hint of bitter pith. Herbal. Spicy. Excellent malt/hops balance. The clean malt flavor lingered after the initial hops punch retreated from my palate. Yum!

Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Juicy, mildly palpable finish. I love those Chinook Hops!

Overall, this is a slamdunk of a delicious Pacific Northwest IPA. I would drink this beer anywhere, anyplace, anytime. I'm giving Dropping Science a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4. Chalk up another win for Beervana!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Solemn Oath Brewery & Ex Novo Brewing Co. - Thick as Thieves

Dead men drink no ales...
A local publican recently informed me that my glassware is filthy. Well, he didn't put it exactly that way, but he did say that the bubbles in my photos indicate that my glasses aren't beer clean. I had to let him know that my glassware is more often than not cleaned with whatever t-shirt I happen to be wearing.

Hey! Stop judging me! It's not like I make anyone else drink from my ass-stanky glassware! Most of the time! WHAT DOES NOT KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONG!

I'm pretty sure pirates didn't care about the cleanliness of their drinking paraphernalia. (slick segue coming up...) Speaking 'bout PIRATES! (warned you...) The beer I'm reviewing today is Thick as Thieves, a collaboration sour ale from Chicago's Solemn Oath Brewery and Portland's own Ex Novo Bewing Company. The label features the vissage of a tearful, split-faced pirate. There's even a parrot and a cutlass drawn on there.

The beer is described on said label as so...


Intriquing? I'll say! (Is is pronounced Bel-GO or Bel-JO?) We are also advised of an ABV at 6.0%. How does this Belgo-American Sour Ale rate, you ask? Let's find out!

The beer poured into my filthy goblet a hazy golden orange color with a bubbly white head. The head dissipated quickly and left behind a thin ring of bubbles.

Aroma was light pineapple, kumquat and quince. Very different. A little bit of yeast funkiness. Herbal and floral notes.

Taste delivered some citrus and mildly grassy hops flavors. Nice, clean, sour flavor with some citrus pith. All followed up with a clean malt finish.

Medium mouthful with good carbonation. Semi-dry finish. To me, the malt flavor left on the palate at the end was the star. Nothing muddled. No off-putting flavors. Everything seemed to come together in a very pleasing structure.

Overall, this a very flavorful, easy to drink sour beer that I very much enjoyed. I could drink galleons of the stuff! (See what I did there?) I'm giving Thick as Thieves a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Baerlic Brewing Company Turns Two Years Old


Baerlic Turns 2 Years Old!!
Tues, June 28th 6-10pm
Baerlic Brewing Company
2235 SE 11th Avenue Portland Oregon 97214
Baerlic Brewing turns 2 Years old on June 28th and we're throwing a party! But we're keeping it laid back and low profile so we can party too. We'll have the brewery opened up with cornhole, big jenga and some very special beers pouring on the back taps: 

2nd Anniversary Brett Pale Ale
Oktobaerfest 2015
WoodWorker Bourbon Old Blood & Guts Barleywine 2014
WoodWorker Pinot Mtn Of Gold Belgian Golden Stong 2015
WoodWorker Bourbon Ninety Bob Scottish Ale NITRO
Primeval Sour Bruin 2014
And More…

Monday, June 13, 2016

Portland Brewing Company (Collab with Double Mountain Brewery) Subcontinental IPA

It's Official...
Did ya know that it's PDX Beer Week? Did ya? Did ya? Did ya, huh? Well, it is! PDX Beer Week is going on RIGHT now, here in good ol' Stumptown, June 9th through June 19th (yes, that's slightly more than a week) with a megatonage of super cool events and tasty, tasty beers. Check out the official calendar HERE

Hey! Talking about official, did you know that there's an official Portland Beer Week beer? There is! I had a bomber of Subcontinental IPA this evening. The beer is a collaboration between Portland Brewing Company and Double Mountain Brewery. It comes with an ABV of 7.0% and was brewed with pepper, cardamom, clove, cumin and saffron. Hmmm, interesting. My first thought was cumin? Probably my least favorite spice, right there. 

The beer poured into my pint glass a clear, golden orange color with a creamy, off-white head. I coaxed the head up to a full finger thick and it dissipated at a moderate rate. A thin cap and solid ring of lacing were left behind and stuck around for a while.

Aroma had a significant Belgian-ish touch to it. Those aromatic spices were front and center. Cardamom and clove. Caramel malt and some citrus hops in the mix. Herbal and floral notes.

Taste followed the nose but there was definitely more of an IPA quality on the palate than the aroma foretold. Indistinct citrus hops flavors--mostly orange and lemon. Tropical fruit flavors worked in tandem with the spices quite nicely. This beer went great with my homemade spaghetti sauce tonight but I would bet it would be an even better accompaniment to some Indian or Thai food. Nice!

Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Semi-dry finish. Flavors of aforementioned spices were left dominating the palate at the end--but in a good way.

I like this brew! I was afraid of the cumin, but that definitely wasn't the predominant spice flavor. This is a good pick for the official 2016 PDX Beer Week beer. It's just weird enough to proudly hold the moniker, for sure. I'm giving Subcontinental IPA a respectable BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Ex Novo Brewing Company - Cactus Wins the Lottery Berliner Weisse Sour Ale

Prickle me this...
"Can I help you find something?" said the friendly beer manager.

"Just clear the aisle and stay out of my way! I'm a man on a mission, missy!" said I. 

Well...not really. That's what I was THINKING, anyway. Well...not really. I'm too polite to even think of calling anybody missy. It was a long day at the office and I just wanted a new beer to try. I was shambling through New Seasons like something out of Walking Dead.


I was delighted to find a new offering from Ex Novo Brewing Company in the cold case. Cactus Wins the Lottery is a Berliner Weisse sour ale with prickly pear, according to the label. It comes with an ABV of 4.2%. It was also "brewed with pride in Portland, Oregon." Hey, that's my burg! Actually, I'm very familiar with Ex Novo. They are the nation's first nonprofit brewery. Cool, huh? Read all about Ex Novo's good work HERE. Now, let's get to the beer...

Cactus Wins the Lottery poured into my fancy Dollar Tree stemware a semi-cloudy, pale orange color with a pinkish hue. The white head rose up to a full finger thick and dissipated quickly. a thin ring of lacing was left behind.

Aroma was citrus and floral. Lemon and stone fruit. Some herbal notes with a light, yeasty funk way in the background.

Taste provided a tart lemony flavor up front with luscious prickly pear and stone fruit rolling in right behind. Tropical fruit. The aforementioned herbal notes. Clean malt on the finish of every sip. DANG! I like this one a lot! A LOT A LOT!

Medium mouthfeel with appropriately lively carbonation. Nice sour bite at the end with remnants of those delicious fruit flavors, mild funk and clean malt left behind to please the palate.

This is a really nice sour beer. I would buy this one all the time, anytime and you should, too! It's a lip smacker! Good stuff and I'm giving Cactus Wins the Lottery a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4. Great work, Ex Novo!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Lompoc Brewing Presents Brewers Dinner at Sidebar on June 22

Eight Courses of AWESOME!
Pan-seared Duck Breast paired
with 2012 Black Mamba Stout
Portland's very own Lompoc Brewing Company is hosting an eight-course Brewer’s Dinner on Wednesday, June 22 at its Sidebar barrel tasting room at 3901 N Williams Ave. I was lucky enough to be invited to a media preview of the food and beer pairings this evening and I have to tell you that this is one brewer's dinner event that is NOT to be missed!


The event will begin at 6pm, with dinner starting at 6:30pm. Tickets are $65 per person and available at the Fifth Quadrant or by calling 503-288-3996. Chef Mark Otey and Head Brewer Bryan Keilty collaborated on the menu, which includes:

Starter course: Amuse-bouche 
First course: Yellow fin ahi tuna tartar with julienned English cucumbers and pears prepared in the uke style, paired with Cranberry Saison
Second course: Roasted chicken consommé, paired with Spring Bock

Third course: Micro green salad tossed in a vinaigrette made from agrumato, apricots and pink peppercorns, paired with Mystical Apricorn Belgian Pale Ale

Fourth course: Lime & rosemary sorbet, paired with Straight Outta Hopton IPA

Fifth course: Pan seared duck breast with brandy cherry glace de canard and a roasted cashew and duck confit risotto on roasted seasonal vegetables, paired with 2012 Black Mamba Sour Stout

Sixth course: Chocolate griottine mascarpone crepes topped with poached raisins and gritting cherries, paired with Raisin' Hell Red Ale

Seventh course: Imported & domestic artisan cheeses with grapes and crostini, paired with select Lompoc beers
Here are more photos of the food:

Yellow Fin Ahi Tuna Tartar
paired with Cranberry Saison

Micro Green Salad paired with
Mystical Apricorn Belgian Pale Ale

Head Brewer Bryan Keilty and Chef Mark Otey have put together a pairing menu that is simply magnificent! The courses and beers have been expertly selected for a palate-pleasing mix of complementary and juxtaposed flavors that any self-respecting gourmand-slash-beer aficionado should enjoy thoroughly.

My favorite dish was the Yellow Fin Ahi Tuna Tartar. The fresh julienned pears provided a crisp, bright compliment for the tuna. A perfect balance of sweet with the acid of the light dressing. The Cranberry Saison was a great choice for this first course. Appropriately tart and light on the palate, the beer made the fresh, bright flavors pop.

The Fifth course was the star. A beautiful, pan-seared duck breast with a robust, brandy cherry glace was paired flawlessly with the 2012 Black Mamba Sour Stout. 

I highly recommend this event. Get your tickets before they sell out!


About Lompoc Brewing
A long-time Portland craft beer fixture established in 1996, Lompoc (pronounced Lom-Pock) creates eight flavorful year-round beers, plus a ridiculous number of seasonals. You can find Lompoc in 12-ounce and 22-ounce bottles and on draft at locations in Oregon and Washington, and at its five Portland neighborhood pubs: Fifth Quadrant and Sidebar in North Portland, Hedge House and Oaks Bottom in Southeast, and the Lompoc Tavern in Northwest. Drink Local, Drink Lompoc! 

Website: www.LompocBrewing.comPhone: 503-288-3996
Facebook Event:
Hashtags: #LompocBeer #Sidebar #Lompoc5Q #BrewersDinner