A toast to Ben Flerchinger, beers for outlaws at 54°40’ Brewing, Cheers to Belgian Beers, Pints in the Pearl and the rest of the Portland area beer events for the week of June 1st.
BENefit 5-9 p.m. Friday June 2, Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom. 3090 SE Division St.;
Ben Flerchinger, a mainstay of the Portland brewing scene and beer community, died unexpectedly in March, well before his time. Ben had worked at Lucky Lab for over 13 years, and more recently brewed at Gigantic and 54-40. He was also the man behind events such as the Lab’s Barleywine Festival, BenFest and the Lab’s yearly backyard hop harvesting bee. He was truly a special person who enriched our lives and made the world a better place.
Unfortunately, his time in the hospital left his wife Margaret with some medical bills. To help her and to honor Ben, Imperial will be pouring Lucky Lab’s BenVention Imperial Mild (Ben’s last brewing brainchild) and Ross Island’s Ben’s Porter and donating 100 percent of sales from the beers to help with those bills. Plus there will be a sunset toast to Ben around 8:45.
11th annual Cheers to Belgian Beers 1-9 p./m.. Friday June 2; noon-8 p.m. Saturday June 3, The North Warehouse, 723 N. Tillamook St.; $20 includes a beer goblet and eight tix. 21 and over.
Once again, Oregon brewers ring the changes on a single style of Belgian yeast to create more than 50 unique beers for your tasting pleasure. This year the strain is Imperial Organic Yeast strain Gnome B45, a yeast that produces peach and apricot esters with a spicy phenolic character. The beers made from this yeast run the gamut in styles and regions, including a mango lassi Belgian-style blonde ale from Bend, brewed with mango, salt and cardamom; a Belgian-style strong dark ale from Cascade Locks made with plums and soured with lactobacillus; a Belgian-style beer from Portland made with stroopwafels; a blackberry sour ale from Yachats; and a Belgian-style golden strong ale from Corvallis.
More than 70 breweries participated in a dart throw earlier this year to determine the color and strength of the beer each would brew: Depending on where the dart landed on the board, the brewer was directed to brew a Belgian style beer either light or dark in color, with amber as the midpoint; and either lower or higher in alcohol, with six percent being the median.
Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers takes place inside The North Warehouse as well as outside in the tented parking lot. Food is available from Urban German Grill and Oregon Deli Co., and Oregon craft beer gear and apparel is available through Brewed Oregon. Street parking is available, but limited so take MAX or ride yer bike…
First Outlaw Beer Festival Noon – 10 p.m. Saturday June 3, 54°40’ Brewing, Washougal Wash.; $5 suggested donation to Community Chest.
After Merle Haggard’s death last year, 54°40’ hosted Haggard Fest as a way to celebrate the life and music of a true country original. This year they want to honor all of the country music mavericks that are gone and Bolt Minister and company are establishing the annual Outlaw Beer Festival as a new beer and music community with the Camas-Washougal Community Chest as the beneficiary.
Among the many fine beers pouring, look for brand new 12oz cans of 54°40’ Brewing Käscadia Kölsch and a fresh keg of Mama Tried pre-prohibition American lager, a seasonal brewed in tribute to Merle Haggard — which could also be called Johnny Tried in recognition of the fact that at last year’s fest, I really DID want to try some of Bolt’s other beers, but that Pre-Pro lager was just too damn good…
Outlaw Beer Festival is family friendly and will feature music from Pacific NW singer-songwriter Pt Barton and headliners and outlaw country specialists The Oregon Trailers. Food available on-site includes BBQ ribs, hamburgers, steaks, and more to benefit the local Camas Lions club. Plus, there’ll be a beer-filled dunk tank, where you can put the brewers of 54°40’ in “the drink”.
Pints in the Pearl Noon- 9 p.m. Saturday June 3, 1355 NW Everett St.; $25 includes glass and 2 tix good for a pint each.
The Pearl District Business Association hosts the second Annual Pints in the Pearl featuring 10 Barrel Brewing, FatHead’s Brewing, Deschutes Brewery, BridgePort Brewing, and BackPedal and River Pig Saloon to serve local craft beers, including special brews made exclusively for the festival, such as Deschutes Pearl’s Place Kolsch, a Portland Pub exclusive beer on tap at the fest this year: Citrus notes from Mandarina Bavaria hops are balanced with Pilsner malt and wheat to round out this traditional German style ale
The festival also features bites from Verde Cocina, Brix and other Pearl District restaurants, along with live music from The Garcia Birthday Band, The Quick & Easy Boys, Redwood Son, and the Tony Ozier Band.
Ecliptic/Melvin Collabo Release Party 5-7 p.m. Tuesday June 6th, The Side Street Tavern, 828 SE 34th Ave.;
Ecliptic’s Cosmic Collaboration Series has been largely Oregon-centric, but they recently teamed up with Jeremy Tofte and Wyoming’s Melvin Brewing to create an 8-percent beer that defies all explanations, Space Ghost Golden Session Barleywine, which takes inspiration from Melvin’s illustrious Imperial IPAs and, we are told, “explodes with a panopoly of Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy, Southern Cross tropical hop flavors with a taste not unlike Melvin’s famous Imperial IPAs. Complex yet infinitely drinkable, Space Ghost defies all explanations.”
“When Jeremy and I first talked about this beer he wanted to make a barleywine,” said Ecliptic’s John Harris. “I thought a barleywine in the summer? No way! That’s when the idea for a golden session barleywine was born.”
Nor is this your only upcoming chance to sample Melvin beers because Tofte and Melvin Brewing will be a presence in Portland next week with a weeklong – June 8-15 – tap takeover at Lardo on Hawthorne and “Melvin vs. the World” June 9 at Roscoe’s…
John Foyston is Oregon's longest serving beer writer, and wrote a
weekly beer column for The Oregonian until just recently. His
work has appeared on CNN, and in Beer Connoisseur, Celebrator Beer
News, Oregon Beer Growler, Mix Magazine and other publications and
will occasionally appear on these pages, at least until Angelo and DJ
get tired of him too...He can be followed on Twitter at @beerherejohnny.