Sunday, November 20, 2016

GoodLife Brewing Company - Comatose Imperial IPA

You snooze, you booze.
Yeah, sorry about the caption on the photo over there. (groan) I was drawing a blank for about thirty minutes and finally decided that I needed to type something--anything--or this blog post was never going to happen. Man, I don't know what's wrong with me lately. You'd think I got some really, really, really bad news this month. It's like I'm in a coma or something...sigh.

Well, the world might be going to hell in the proverbial handbasket, but at least I'm still surrounded by lots of tasty, tasty beer. Today's tasty beer is from Bend, Oregon's GoodLife Brewing Company. Comatose Imperial IPA comes with an ABV of 8.5% and I got mine in a 500ml bottle at New Seasons for $4.99. 95 IBU's according to the label.

The beer poured into my glass a slightly hazy, golden orange color with a creamy, clumpy white head. The head dissipated slowly. A full, thin cap of suds was left behind with thick webs of lacing all over the glass.

Aroma was juicy fruit galore. Tropical fruit scents of melon, guava, and pineapple. Luscious citrus: tangerine and Mandarin orange. Hints of pine. Floral notes.

Taste followed the nose. This is a big flavored beer. Some spicy, herbal notes mixed in with the citrus and tropical fruit. Sweet caramel malt up against some well-rounded hops bitterness. Nice!

Medium mouthfeel with a bit of a chew to it. The finish was just a bit hot. The 8.5% ABV was apparent but not overbearing. No doubt that this is an Imperial IPA.

Overall, this is one heck of a delicious beer. I can't find any fault with it. I get a lot of grief from my friends about my generous ratings, but I'm giving Comatose a BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4. All that really means if that I would buy this beer again without hesitation. I'm also giving it a Droolie. Merry the Wonder Beagle's nose perked up the instant the cap came off the bottle of this one. Trust me, her nose knows.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Old Town Brewing Company - Mushroom Ale

Will this beer make you a...
wait for guy?
One thing I've learned through my beer adventures is to always keep an open mind--always. If the brewing process is anything, it's transformative. You can literally make beer from dang near anything and chances are good it will, in the very  least, be drinkable. "What the holy heck are you talking about, Wolf?" you ask. "Are you 'shroomin'?" you say. Yes, as a matter of fact, I am!

Tonight, I'm drinking a beer that was brewed with mushrooms. Yup, mushrooms. If you're not from around here, I should probably clue you in about mushrooms and the Pacific Northwest. We have a lot of rain. We have a lot of forests. Mushrooms love damp forests. It's where they live. Lots of Oregonians forage for mushrooms. It's kind of a big deal. Some mushrooms are for eating--like my favorite Chanterelles--and some are for, uh, other things. We have a veritable mushroom bounty every fall in these parts, and there are dozens of delectable mushroom varieties that most folks out in the real world have never heard of before.

Old Town Brewing Company's Mushroom Ale is flavored with Candy Cap mushrooms. I'm not sure when the mushrooms are added. To the boil? In the fermenter? Beats me. A REAL journalist would find out for you, but I'm just a lowly blogger, so I'm not held to any kind of standards--other than my own very low ones. Sorry.

Candy Caps are an interesting little fungus because they taste and smell exactly like...are you ready for this? Maple syrup. Bam! How are they in a beer? Delicious! Pow!

The beer poured into my glass a dark amber color with a creamy, light tan head. The head rose up to almost two fingers thick and dissipated at a moderate rate. A thin cap of lacing was left behind.

Aroma was full-on maple syrup up front. Brown sugar. Sweet caramel malt. Some muted citrus and floral notes.

Taste followed the nose. Maple syrup. Sweet malt. A mild but appreciable hops bitterness was present to balance  things out quite  nicely.

Medium to slightly full mouthfeel with a smooth, creamy finish. Very drinkable and light on the palate  at the end.

Overall, this is a terrific beer. Something new, different and unapologetically  Pacific Northwest. I love this beer. I must go get some more tomorrow! My wife tried a sip and proclaimed this the beer that she will use to make her special holiday gingerbread cake this year. That's quite an honor, Old Town Brewing, and I'll let you know how  it turns out.

I'm giving Mushroom Ale a BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4. Get yourself some of this seasonal beer while you can. I bought my bomber at Hollywood Beverage on Sandy Blvd, here in beautiful Northeast Portland.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hopworks Urban Brewery to Release HUB Brewer's Whiskey

(photo courtesy of Hopworks)


Hopworks Urban Brewery today announced that they will release HUB Brewer’s Whiskey at both Hopworks pubs on Wednesday November 16. More than four years in the making, the whiskey was distilled at New Deal Distillery from the wash of Hopworks’ award-winning Organic HUB Lager. Highly limited in production, HUB Brewer’s Whiskey will be available primarily by the glass at Hopworks pubs, with an upcoming bottle sale in December.

“What really sets our Brewer’s Whiskey apart is the use of our beautiful, finished and filtered organic beer in the still,” said Hopworks Brewmaster and Founder, Christian Ettinger. “We get a smooth spirit that exhibits characteristics well beyond its years. Making whiskey is a natural extension of our passion for craft beer. Our Brewer’s Whiskey is a product of our playfulness and our commitment to push the limits of what we can do as fermentation experts.”

“We’re used to working in a fast-paced brewing facility. It was an exciting challenge to make a whiskey based off organic beer and give it the love, patience, and neglect it needs to age well,” said Hopworks Head Brewer, Trever Bass. “We did just that and we’re truly proud of the results.”

Unhopped Hopworks’ Organic HUB Lager received a traditional double pot still distillation and was aged in a variety of American oak barrels where it picked up flavors of brown sugar, dark currant, chocolate, and leather. Much like Organic HUB Lager, the whiskey has a clean honey flavor, restrained ester profile and a smooth finish.

“We had a lot of fun working with Hopworks to create a single malt whiskey,” said Tom Burkleaux, New Deal Distillery owner and distiller. “Being brewers, the Hopworks team excels at working with all malt fermentations. We wanted the deeper notes of the malt to carry through. Once distilled the malt had a pleasant nutty character, which mellowed nicely in the barrel. Of course the best part was finally tasting it after several years!”

Of the partnership with New Deal Distillery, Christian Ettinger said, “We found a great partner in New Deal. Their decisions to use organic ingredients resonates with us, and they have been excellent in helping us bring to fruition a product that is made with the same skill and care as our beer.”

Release Party

HUB Brewer’s Whiskey will be available at both Hopworks’ pubs beginning Wednesday, November 16 at 5pm. The whiskey is served neat or in a variety of house cocktails that include a Hopworks Old Fashioned and Blackberry Sour. The Hopworks brewpub on Powell will also serve a BBQ Whiskey Burger special with beer battered in the days following the release.

Bottle Sale

750ml bottles of HUB Brewer’s Whiskey will be available during a special bottle sale on Saturday, December 17th, from 11am - 3pm at the Hopworks brewpub on Powell Blvd. New Deal Distillery will also have a variety of bottles available for purchase at the pub during the sale.


About Hopworks Urban Brewery

Hopworks Urban Brewery 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 13,500 barrels of beer and cider a year for HUB’s brewpubs and for distribution throughout the Northwest. Hopworks is a family-owned and operated business, the first Certified B Corporation brewery in the Pacific Northwest, a gold-level bike friendly business, and is recognized as one of the Best Green Companies To Work For In Oregon. In 2016 Hopworks will open a new brewpub in Vancouver, Washington. More info at

About New Deal Distillery

New Deal Distillery has been proudly crafting small-batch, award-winning spirits in Portland’s Southeast Industrial District since 2004. Visit their Tasting Room & Distiller’s Workshop to sample and see what they’re playing with, or take a hands-on whiskey-making class taught by owner and distiller, Tom Burkleaux. Find New Deal at local farmers markets, spirits event around town, or on the shelf of your local liquor store. More info at