3rd Annual New Seasons Neighborhood Craft Beer Challenge

3rd Annual New Seasons Neighborhood Craft Beer Challenge

As the remaining days wind down for the New Seasons Market Craft Beer Challenge. Earlier this month, New Seasons Market shoppers chose the top beers in all 15 Portland-area neighborhoods through the Neighborhood Craft Beer Challenge – a store-specific beer tasting and voting challenge.

Online voting for the ultimate winner will take place on New Seasons Facebook Page through Friday, July 24. The winner will then be announced on Monday, July 27. Then the winning beer will be available in all stores this same week.

Here is listing of all 14 Store Champion Beers from all 15 Portland area New Seasons locations. Yes, one of the beers, Old Town Brewing Sundazed Kolsch was the top vote getter at two locations. What is more interesting is seeing which beers were popular based on each location in the metro area.

Finalists in the 3rd Annual New Seasons Neighborhood Craft Beer Challenge
Finalists in the 3rd Annual New Seasons Neighborhood Craft Beer Challenge

Happy Valley Winner – Pelican Brewing Kiwanda Cream Ale, Pacific City
Inspired by one of America’s traditional 19th century beer styles, Kiwanda Cream Ale is pale gold with a fruit, floral hop aroma. A sweet malty flavor and a smooth snappy finish rounds out this tasty, refreshing brew. (5.10% ABV, 25 IBU)

Hawthorne Winner – Terminal Gravity Brewing Extra Special Golden (ESG), Enterprise
Terminal Gravity’s Rye beer, “Extra Special Golden,” might be described as an American golden ale. This pale, dry and very drinkable beer is perfect for someone who wants something cold and refreshing but with a bit more flavor than the typical American lager. The surprise is that it has a bit of a kick. More bang for your buck and extremely popular. (5.4% ABV)

Sellwood Winner – Occidental Brewing Co. Kolsch German Style Ale, Portland
This German-style ale is Occidental’s homage to the delicious ale of Cologne, Germany. Crisp and dry, it is clean and lager-like with a pleasant, slightly spicy hop profile supplied by German Perle. Very “sessionable.” (4.5% ABV)

Progress Ridge Winner – Mazama Brewing Belgian Style Blonde, Corvallis
Handmade in the ecclesiastic brewing style of the great Belgian abbeys, this golden ale is light- bodied, drinkable, and full of complex, fermentation-derived flavors such as fruit, spices, & honey. (7.7% ABV, 20 IBU)

Cedar Hills Winner – Old Town Brewing Co. Sundazed Kolsch, Portland
Silver medal winner at GABF and Silver award winner at World Beer Cup, this beer speaks for itself. Crisp, sweet and beautifully refreshing, while packed with a high drinkability. Pairs well with sunshine. (4.8% ABV, 18.0 IBU)

Seven Corners Winner – Ninkasi Brewing Co. Dawn of the Red IRA, Eugene
An IRA bursting with tropical notes, this beer finishes juicy with a subtle malty backbone. After one taste, it’ll leave you wanting more. It doesn’t take brains to know this IRA is a delicious choice any time of year! (7.0% ABV, 75 IBU)

Grant Park Winner – Heater Allen Brewing Pils, McMinnville
Currently ranked as the #1 Pilsner in the world on RateBeer.com, Heater Allen’s take on the renowned Bohemian-style pale lager is a little more golden, rounder and a little more malt driven that many other versions. The beer possesses a strong hop character that is balanced by its rich, round, malty palate. (4.6% ABV, 36.6 IBU)

Nyberg Rivers Winner – GoodLife Brewing Descender IPA, Bend
This beer is a hop lover’s dream with a balance that beer aficionados will appreciate. Brewed with a process called “Hop Bursting,” the resulting beer has a balance and quality that is unforgettable. (7.0% ABV, 70 IBU)

Williams Winner – Old Town Brewing Co. Sundazed Kolsch, Portland
Silver medal winner at GABF and Silver award winner at World Beer Cup, this beer speaks for itself. Crisp, sweet and beautifully refreshing, while packed with a high drinkability. Pairs well with sunshine. (4.8% ABV, 18.0 IBU)

Mountain Park Winner – Hop Valley Brewing 541 American Lager, Eugene
German pilsner malts balanced with Mt. Hood hops makes Hop Valley’s take on the traditional pre-prohibition style lager a crafty classic. (5% ABV, 17 IBU)

Orenco Station Winner – Crux Fermentation Project Impasse Saison, Bend
To give this brew more interesting, complex flavors, Crux Fermentation Project decided to honor the history of the Belgian saison with a unique fermentation process, giving that farmhouse yeast a little room to breathe. Their open fermentation process coaxes out peppery, herbal and slightly tart attributes and releases slightly smoky, earthy esters, while a kiss of acidulated malt and wheat lends the perfect complement. (6.6% ABV, 25 IBU)

Arbor Lodge Winner – Breakside Brewery Breakside IPA, Portland
A distinct interpretation of a Northwest classic, this popular offering is a beautifully clear India Pale Ale featuring the unique character of Citra and Chinook hops. This light copper beer has huge citrus and tropical fruit aromas with hints of perfume and pine. Flavors like apricot, guava and orange hit the tongue accompanied by a mild evergreen note. There’s just enough caramel sweetness to balance the hop flavors, but this is really a showcase for the beautiful varieties of hops grown here in the Northwest. Like all Breakside beers, this has a notably dry finish, and, in true IPA form, a restrained but persistent bitterness. (6.8% ABV, 70 IBU)

Concordia Winner – Logsdon Farmhouse Ales Seizoen Bretta, Hood River
This unfiltered bottle of seizoen, with its beeswax seal, is naturally refermented and carbonated with select yeast strains, producing fruity and spicy flavors that are balanced by hops and soft malt character. Special Brettanomyces yeast provides added dryness and crisp complexity to the Seizoen Bretta. The bottle is even conditioned with pear juice for a natural carbonation. (8.0% ABV, 35 IBU)

Fisher’s Landing Winner – The Commons Brewery Urban Farmhouse Ale, Portland
Traditionally, farmhouse ales were brewed on farms in the French and Flemish regions of Belgium. These beers were born out of necessity as most water was not potable and the farmers needed a refreshing beverage to offer the hardworking farmhands. The Commons Brewery’s rendition was developed in the spirit of that tradition. The beer pours golden with a floral nose and a soft underlying hop bitterness with a crisp finish. (5.3% ABV)

Raleigh Hills Winner – Fort George Brewery Quick Wit, Astoria
A Belgian Style ale that’s very pale and cloudy, unfiltered and traditionally brewed with coriander and orange zest. Fort George’s version uses organic pale and wheat malts, ground coriander, organic lemongrass (to impart a citrus character) and wild-crafted elderflower. There is no bitterness evident in this beer whatsoever, which gives the palate room to explore the smooth wheat malt and tantalizing exotic spices. (5.2% ABV)

Beers in the 3rd Annual New Seasons Neighborhood Craft Beer Challenge
Beers in the 3rd Annual New Seasons Neighborhood Craft Beer Challenge

So what is our favorite beer of the 14 beers to chose from? We were provided with nine of the 14 beers to sample. From these nine, our pick is with GoodLife Brewing Descender IPA.

Now the voting is up to you. Vote at the New Seasons Facebook Page through Friday, July 24!

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