The guys behind the world famous brewery, BrewDog, James Watt and Martin Dickie, traveled across America visiting seven different American beer cities. During their travels the duo celebrated each of the city’s distinctive craft beers and created their own locally inspired beers in honor of each vist. During this trip the founders of the fastest growing brewery in the UK and evangelists of the craft beer movement visited Portland, Oregon to film an episode of Brew Dogs. This episode airs on Tuesday, October 29th at 7pm Pacific on Esquire Network HD and at 10pm Pacific on Esquire Network.
During this inaugural season, Brew Dogs visit San Diego, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Seattle, Denver, Portland and Boston to get a glimpse of each cities beer scene and to brew a special beer in honor of each city. With five episodes behind them, the next episode features our fair city of Portland.
As we all know, Portland is a phenomenal craft beer town and us locals sometimes take it for granted that we have such a strong beer culture here. And BrewDog’s Watt and Dickie knew that they needed to film an episode here in Beervana.
In the Portland episode, master Scottish brewers James Watt and Martin Dickie set out to create a uniquely Oregonian beer with Deschutes Brew Pub brewer Ben Kehs. The beer that the three create is a fresh-hopped, blackberry-infused, Berlinerweisse. And to put the BrewDog spin on this beer, the three of them brewed this beer while floating down the Willamette River, right through the heart of downtown Portland, on a raft made of beer kegs. Along the river they forage for herbs to add to the brew, which they serve with traditional simple syrup made from freshly picked Oregon blackberries and lemon balm from the Deschutes Brewing Co. kitchen.
Ben Kehs, head brewer Deschutes Brewery’s Portland pub, said, “In the trailer, there was a clip of the show hosts standing naked in a brewhouse holding a couple of barrels. That was here at the pub. So you can imagine how the entire episode played out, we are looking forward to seeing the finished product.”
For the episode at Deschutes Brewery, the show hosts worked with Kehs to create a beer that reflected Portland and the surrounding region. The resulting brew included foraged ingredients from the area such as yarrow and scotch broom, collected by local author Becky Lerner who wrote “Dandelion Hunter: Foraging the Urban Wilderness.” In addition, executive chef Jill Ramseier created some special syrups that could be added to the beer. The ultimate beer that ended up being served in the Portland pub after the filming of the show was dubbed Willamette Weiss and contained red cedar and scotch broom.
Here are a few questions Brewpublic was able to ask James Watt followed up by his answers:
Why did you decide to do a TV show on craft beer in the US?
We did not really decide. We just were lucky enough to have an amazing opportunity to make a TV show about something we love which we grasped with both of our hoppy hands.
How did you decide on the 7 US Cities to visit?
They are all great cities with amazing beer scenes.
Was this your first visit to Portland, Oregon?
When deciding on Portland, how did you choose the task of brewing a beer while floating on the Willamette River?
We wanted to do something that represented the city and the culture. The river is a pretty key part of that so it seemed a fitting tribute to make the beer on the river. And we also loved the idea of making the beer on a floating raft made of beer kegs.
Since Portland is home to over 50 breweries, while you filmed here, which of our breweries stood out to each of you?
So, so many great brewers in Portland. Hair of the Dog is always a massive stand out for me and Cascade do some wicked things to.
What was your overall opinion on Portland’s craft beer scene?
Absolutely amazing. Probably the best craft beer town in the entire cosmos.
Will there be a second season?
Is there any interest in doing a season of shows from another country or region?
Yes – there are still loads of great beer towns we would love to visit in the USA.
Since there’s a new “World’s Strongest Beer”, are you two done with trying to out do all other brewers to create this behemoth?
That was like so 2010 dude.
And finally, why a squirrel?
The real question, is why not a squirrel?
Deschutes Brewery is hosting a viewing event of the show at its pub in Portland on October 29th at 7:00pm, complete with free popcorn and some other specially prepared “TV viewing” snacks.
Additional Information on Brew Dogs: